Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Math Journal Tidbits....

I've had a few ask about our math journals, so I thought I would do a quick post to show you how we use them and tie them into our math word wall. Our math curriculum coach shared these with us and seriously y'all, I don't know why I never did this before!?!

I stalk Target ever summer waiting for their composition notebooks to be on sale. When they are, I snatch up a class set. I am not picky about them all matching, so I usually just grab whatever. 

Q: How do you set them up? 

I printed the labels above on Avery address labels and wrote the kiddos names and classroom number on them. You can download the labels here. Nothing fancy - just simple to get the job done. 

Next up, I used return address labels and small colored stickers to create the tabs. These colors tie into our math word wall. Our math coach provided the smiley faces for us, but colored stars would work just as well if you are not able to find smiley faces. Our district uses blue, red, orange, green, and purple to color code each concept. 

For example:

Red = numbers and their relationships and how they are represented
Orange = Computation
Purple = Data
Green = Geometry
Blue = Measurement

I left 20 pages or so between each color. Some more; some less - just depends on how much you will do in one concept versus the others. 

I am sure you have all seen this on Pinterest, but I taped a ribbon to the back to create a bookmark for the kiddos to keep up with which page they are on. 

Q: How do they correlate to your math word wall, and what is a math word wall? 

With each new concept introduced, we create "vocabulary" cards to use as a reference during our learning. I have posted about this before, but I have to say it again. I think it is SO important for posters to be relevant and used during learning. I have been so guilty in the past years of hanging a cute little poster and not using it for anything other than decoration.  

The posters that we create for our math wall are nothing fancy or pre made. The only ones that have any clip art on them are our shape posters. I do not have any attributes etc listed on the cards - the kids do this during our introduction and throughout our learning. 

We create them as we go....

We use this wall every single day! Whether it be during our learning, reviewing, or when a student ask me what expanded form is....I tell them to check out our math wall and come back to me. We love it. 

The colors on the tabs in our journals match the colors of our math wall. 

Q: When and how do I use math journals?

It really just depends on what concept we are working on. When we learned about fractions, time, and shapes, we used them almost every day. Again, it really just depends on what I am teaching and what I am wanting the kiddos to produce. 

On the days that we use the journals, they are usually a part of our math stations. Have you read Reagan Tunstall's post about Guided Math? This is very similar to the rotations that we use in my class. She is the Guided Math guru! If you are looking to start math stations in your room, you MUST check her out. 

After teaching the lesson, I put the interactive page that I want the kiddos to use in their journals inside our Center 4 tub. 

The kiddos know that when they get to Center 4 if there is a page in it, then it goes in their journals. This used to say "journal", but I changed it to "Center 4" because if there is a day where we do not have a journal activity, then they complete the activity that is in the tub. It is usually a sort or match of some sore. The kiddos also know which color to put their journal activity behind. If they are not sure, I tell them to check our math wall. 

You can read more about our math stations here

Q: What activities do you use? 

I use activities that are applicable to what concept and TEK we are learning. Below are a few that we have used this year for time, shapes, graphs and numbers. You can find these here

We have also used Reagan Tunstall's Monthly Math Journals and they are wonderful. You can find them here.  

When the kiddos are finished with their journal activity, they put the ribbon over the page, close their journals and turn them in on the u-table so I can check them quickly and put a grade on them. Much easier than a pile of papers to go through! 

And last....
Q: Where do you store them? 

It is nothing fancy! We stack them together in this cute little tub I found for $1 at Target. 

 I hope I answered any questions that you may have. If you have any others, please leave it in the comments and I will answer them. I would also love to hear how you use math journals in your room! 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Suffix Freebies!

We are working on suffixes -ed and -ing this week in phonics. I wanted to pop in and share a few freebies with you all. 

I don't know about y'all, but figuring out if I need to double a consonant, leave it alone, or drop the e before adding -ed and -ing can be all kinds of confusing! So many rules! Can I get an amen?!

So, to clear the mud, we have been working our tails off understanding the rules. Here's what we went over. and over. and over again until we all had it down! 

1+1+1 Rule: 
Double the consonant if the word has one syllable, one vowel, and one final consonant. 

Rule Breakers:
Do not double the final consonant if the word ends with w, x, or y.

Here is the interactive anchor chart we used. Inspired by Amy Lemons. 

Each student had a sticky note with a word on it. They had to sort it under the correct flip. 

 ....dropping the e: they said that was easy peasy! 

We also talked about words that do not follow the 1 + 1 + 1 rule. We leave those words alone and just add our suffix.

Afterwards, the kiddos made these Clip and Flip books

You can download them here

We also used these verb cards to apply our rules to. 

You can download them here

....and of course we had to make something cute to hang in the room, so we made our Sunny Suffixes

You can find Sunny Suffixes here for free. 

We have one more day of -ed and -ing and then we move on to -er and -est. 

Don't forget I am having a giveaway for a graphic tee from TTandTwins on Instagram! I have been a lover of graphic tees for the longest and this shop is one of my favorites! Stop by to enter. Friday is the last day!

You can find the giveaway here

Monday, April 6, 2015

Time and FREEBIES!

Hi friends. I wanted to stop by and show you all a few more time activities that we have used throughout our unit

Last week, I introduced time to the half hour with this large clock and these suns. Thursday we showed off our learning by sorting time to the hour and half hour and made these prince and princesses. These are a favorite every year. 

We also became time keeper king and queens and tracked our schedule throughout the day. 

Today we went on a clock walk around the room. 

I don't know about your kiddos, but mine needed lots of movement today to burn off the Easter sugar!!!! 

The kiddos had to complete the analog and digital time activities from each card. 

We also have lots of clock activities in our stations this week. 

We have a few more things planned for tomorrow and then we will take our unit test on Wednesday. 

Side note: I realized I never shared our phonics activity with you all from last week. We went clOWning arOUnd with OW and OU last week. Goodness gracious they are some silly letters! They need to get their acts together y'all!

You can download this sort and craft here for free. 

And, before I go, I wanted to let you all know that I finally (after 2 years) created an Editable Sight Word Practice pack with templates for words up to 8 letters. You can check it out here

.....and a BUNDLE! You can view it here

I'm off to cuddle with 3 of my favorite people and watch The Voice! 

Happy Monday friends!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

No Worksheet Wednesday

I’m linking up with The Primary Chalkboard to show a few things we have done for No Worksheet Wednesday.

We wrapped up fractions on Monday and started our time unit yesterday. The kiddos created clocks with butcher paper and sticky notes. 

We also created this large life size clock outside our room with sticky notes and tape! Simple and effective!

The kiddos used it to show their time using their body as the hands. 

The kiddos paired up with a partner and created these clocks to display the analog, digital, and word form of a certain time.

In phonics, we used tissue boxes and sticky notes to create onset and rime dice. The kiddos rolled both real and nonsense words. 

In reading, we used my Guided Reading spinner activities to work on comprehension. 

Stop by The Primary Chalkboard to see what others are doing instead of worksheets!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Math standards here in Texas have changed quite a bit this year. We no longer teach fractions of a set anymore - just wholes now. 

I wanted to share a few things we did during our fraction unit. 

The kiddos started off understanding equal and unequal parts with Pop-Tarts. Afterwards we moved on to fourths and halves. That is something else that changed with our TEKS this year. We only teach halves and fourths. 

I gave each kiddo a handful of different sticky notes. They had to fold them to create halves and fourths. 

After folding, they traced the fold with their pencil and then with a black marker. Next, they had to sort their fractions by halves and fourths. 

We used washi tape to create the t-charts. 

We also created fraction flowers using several different 2D shapes as our wholes.

Yesterday we wrapped up our fraction unit with these Flip Its!

You can find the above activities here and here for free. 

I hope you are all having a wonderful week! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Gettin' fancy and some FREEBIES!

Hi y'all! 

Oh my Larry! Do you see what I see?!? Things are gettin' pretty fancy around here! The Cutest Blog on the Block did so good! 

I love it! The leopard print makes me all kinds of happy! 

To celebrate this new fanciness, I put a few fraction craftivities together for y'all. 

You can download them here

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Phonics made fun!

I am all about making phonics engaging and relatable. I mean, how many different sounds are in the English language? Too many for my adult brain to even get sometimes. I can't imagine how overwhelming it is for my kiddos. 

I like to start each phonics skill with something catchy for the kids to apply the sound to. Sometimes its a visitor, dressing up, play on words, or anything fun. Last week we had so much fun exploring the short oo sound that I had to make this week's learning of long oo just as exciting. 

Meet Dr. BOOwie

She came by to get our help with sorting and diagnosing words. 

We became doctors and started diagnosing our words. 

Any words that had the long double oo sound were diagnosed with Long Double-O-Itis! The kiddos got gloves and started their sorts. 

They glued all their long double-o-itis words to their patient's clipboards.

And, of course doctors have to make their rounds when they are in the clinic, so the kids made their rounds and visited several patients. Some patients needed help with rhyming words, some with missing letters and some with sounds. 

Day 2, we sorted through healthy and sick words. Any words with long double-o-itis went into the kiddo's Book of Boo Boos

All the activities above are from my Diagnosing Boo Boos pack

Switching over to science - we are working with plants for the next few weeks. 

Today we watched a video on Brain Pop and made these Plants Need craft. These are always a favorite every year. 

We wrapped up our Shape Unit today and have fractions coming up tomorrow. I'll be back this week with a few fraction freebies! Here's a little sneak peek at one of them!

I'm off to snuggle with my babies and watch The Voice!