Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Books for Teaching Place Value

Most of my career, I've worked in the primary grades setting. Even the few years I worked in an upper grade classroom, I still tried to use as many math read alouds as possible.  I wanted to share a few of my favorite read alouds that I've used during my place value units. The best part is, I've used all of these books in a variety of grade levels! So let's chat about books for teaching place value



books for teaching place value


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This is a really easy reader. The book is really more appropriate to read to a Kindergarten or First Grade class.  I use this as my first book to introduce place value. I've used in in K-2. It's perfect in 2nd as a review of the skills students have already learned.
After reading this book, I put it back into my math bin. 



A Million Fish More or Less


This is an excellent book to teach place value skills and give students real word application. It's a bit of a stretch for students to imagine or visualize a 500 lb turkey, but it gives them the opportunity to do that! I always tie visualization in with this story. This book is also very humorous so I've been able to use it with a variety of grade levels. I've read this book to my students in 2nd- 4th grade. Also, it allows children to start to picture numbers outside of a math worksheet.  My students loved the characters and the twists throughout the story. This is a MUST have for your classroom!

Billions of Bricks


This is a great book for the students who are beginning to develop a sense of numbers. I enjoy reading this book to my Kindergarten- Second Grade students. The author does a great job of showing different counting patterns throughout the story. I love picking books that relates to different children. For me, my reluctant readers always enjoy this book!


Sir Cumference and All The Kings Tens


In this book, students get exposure to counting by tens, hundreds and thousands. Throughout this creative and fun story, students learn about grouping and how numbers work together. I use this book as a preview to our place value lesson and sometimes at the end of my lesson. I find that this series of books relates to most kids. Even my students who are not excited about reading, get excited about these books!



After our math read aloud, we go into a quick mini lesson on the skill or our math centers. I wanted to share some of my favorite math centers  for place value that we've used this year! These centers range from 1st to 4th grade!



place value task cards




place value math centers using dominoes















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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

First Week of Third Grade








Whoa! Our first full week of school is finished. I wanted to share with you a few little things I did and do each year to start my kiddos off with their routines! We started school on a Friday, so I started this routine Monday morning. 


We start our reading block off with a read aloud every single day.

Here are three of my FAVORITE read alouds to use in the first week of school.




In the book SORRY! , the author does a great job of showcasing a character that doesn't really understand the meaning of an apology. It's perfect for the first week of school because it gets students thinking about their behavior and how it's important to follow the rules. If you make a mistake, we should make a sincere apology. The kids really relate to this story and I think it helps set the tone for a great year of school.


Another favorite is Parachute by Danny Parker. This book is about trying new things and facing your fears. I tie it to school by mentioning how we might all be scared at the beginning of the school year about our new class, teacher and friends. This is seriously a student favorite. They reread this story on their own EVERY. SINGLE. TIME!




I also like to read Word Collector to teach my students to think about using different words than the normal words they use. We also discuss how students should choose their words carefully. 



You can find writing  and readers response activities  for these books  HERE.




For centers, I start by letting my students stay in their groups they already sit in. We start with four centers: Library Center, Word Work Center, Puzzle Center and Skill Based Center.
 I want my students to work for about ten minutes the first day. I teach them to use their words in a sentence and work the entire time until the timer goes off.  I let them sit in their normal seats (my class is set up into four tables). I rotate the baskets and not the students for the first week. 


For the Word Work center, I start with just ten words to arrange in ABC Order. I want to see if they take the entire ten minutes. This helps me gauge the abilities of my students. I also use vocabulary words that are back to school themed to the kids are familiar with the words. I make sure to give students ideas for what to do if they finish before the timer goes off and I hold them to those expectations even the first day we do this. I print three copies of this center so the kids can work in partners.



Each day, I add in more words and add a little more time for the centers. We move from back to school themed words to sight words. Next, we practice parts of speech and syllable counting. These activities build so each day you can expect your students to work a little longer.



For the library center, I pick about 6-8 books for my kids to read. I put them in the center basket. I just want them to practice reading to themselves as I have modeled. I review the expectations for this center and how we treat our books. 



For the puzzles, I am just using the Lakeshore Match Up puzzles. I pick skills that line up to the stories I am reading or are review skills. I just want them to practice working together. I teach my students that when we do puzzles, we read the words and discuss what they mean with our partner. Every puzzle I give them ALWAYS has a word. 


For the skill based center, I am using activities from my reading intervention binder from the grade above. I discussed theme a lot, so we used activities from my Fourth Grade Binder. I have a higher group of kids this year, so it worked out well. 

I hope this helps you with your first week of school! 





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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Classroom Makeover Ideas

Hey friends!

I'm not sure if you saw on my FB Page, but this school year, I've returned to a third grade teaching position. I'm super excited about this transition and wanted to share with you my classroom make over!



Classroom Makeover



This is what my room looked like when I walked in. 


Then we had this chair. 


My husband said that in order to paint the room, we had to "prep" the walls. In my mind, I thought just get the rollers out and paint. That was NOT the case. We had remove all of the tape and staples from the wall. Next, we could begin to sand the walls. This was probably the most difficult job.



For the record, I did sand SOME of the walls, but the spouse did MOST of it :) 






Next, we were able to paint the trim of the walls and all of the little groves. I am not sure that's what they are called!



Once we started to use the rollers, the painting went MUCH faster!










 My husband decided he didn't like the brown doors, so we removed them, sanded and painted them. This was such a chore because the doors were so heavy!



I looked at the furniture that was available and decided which pieces I could repurpose. At first glance,  I thought I was going to trash this table. After further investigation, we decided to cover it with contact paper. The biggest tip is that we covered it with two layers to make it more durable.

 He measures everything before he does ANYTHING. It's a great quality to have, I do not have it.










Final product of our table make over





We repainted this book shelf  for my math manipulatives.





Mr. Mike now hangs my bulletin boards for me. This project would not have happened without him!









I found the most darling storage bins from Kirklands on CLEARANCE!





Just when he thought he was finished hanging stuff, I needed my wall organizer hung!



We assembled this little dresser in about five minutes! It's PERFECT for the classroom. Mike wanted to get an IG account, so this was his welcome picture!





We found this little wash table at a local antique store. It's the perfect little side table! 

Curtains-- HERE



Part of my library (mid makeover)





This is the area in the back of my library. I have the reading strategies posters displayed for now. 



FANS- HERE



The library labels and reading strategies posters are all available right here



Here's another Kirkland's find. I purchased two of these shelves when they were on sale this summer. They are perfect for my  guided reading area!





The local news did a story on this classroom makeover. You can watch it HERE.











Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Five Must Have Picture Books



As we prepare to go back to school, I wanted to share five must have picture books that you need to add to your classroom library TODAY! These books are not only great for teaching rules and procedures, but creating a classroom community. Creating a group of students that willingly turn into a family. You see, that's the big picture in education that we NEED to have happen. Our classroom culture is shifting. Now more than ever, we need that sense of community. Students need to feel safe, loved and wanted. 



must have picture books

Five Must Have Picture Books


This story is perfect for the beginning of school when we are learning how to trust each other and lean on each other. In the story, Brave Enough For Two, the characters learn how to trust and help each other through difficult times. I 
Brave enough for two




In this book, The Jelly Donut Difference, the author Maria Dismondy does an excellent job telling a story about kindness and how we should treat each other. This is a great book to use the first week of school to model for children how we should treat each other. The book is rich in vocabulary and life lessons. The author even includes question examples for teachers or parents.






In this story, Designed to Be Different, the author tells a story of a child who is bullied. The children have a talent show and they create lyrics to a song. This part will just pull at your heart strings that we actually have children that feel the same way this character feels. The story does reference how "God made us different".  No matter what type of school you have, it's a story that should be told. I love the backstory to it as well. See, not all books are written by famous authors. This story was written by my former custodian. He is one of the hardest workers I've ever met and ALWAYS helped me out. He works several jobs and put himself through film school. I don't know what else you could need to buy, a book that is diverse and supports the little man. 



The Recess Queen is another back to school MUST READ.  This is a great book about teaching rules and procedures for recess. I love how the story is so easy for students to make connections to. Even the first week, I discuss how good readers make connections to the story they read. These read alouds are not just for helping children learn how to act, they are also great ways to start introducing students to the reading standards you will address throughout the school year. 




The story is not just for going over recess rules though. We can talk about kindness, how to treat one another and how we should look for people to invite to hang out with us. 


I love to read Enemy Pie at the beginning of the school year and then again throughout the year. It's a great story about friendship, judgement and how to become friends with someone that you might not normally be friends with. The best part is, the story has SO many reading skills embedded into it! 










Please let me know how these books work for your students! You can follow along on my IG page for more recommendations on picture books!





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