Thursday, October 30, 2014

Student Reflection for Conferences (Freebie)

Although it feels like school just started, conferences are right around the corner.  Actually, a bit closer than that!  While officially they start next week, I have my first one in about two hours!

I always open up my conferences with a reflection piece from the kids.  It's a short form but insightful.  Feel free to grab!

A while back, I posted about how I ask my students to reflect on their work every day.

I have to thank My Classy Collaboration Blog for this.  I saw it on Pinterest which led me to her blog post.  Love it! My district is big on Teacher Reflection and to include the kids- no matter how young, makes sense.  At the time, she didn't offer it for sale so I made my own.  Check out her TpT Store because she was planning to offer it in the future. 

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

EASY and Meaningful Way to Record 100 Days of School

We've had 34 days of school so far.  It's amazing to think how much the kids have learned and grown in such a short amount of time. (Me, too!) Each year, I count the days by bundling craft sticks in a place value pouch.

Then I saw this on Pinterest:

(It was just a picture, no link. Not sure who gets credit.)
Can I say how much I LOVE counting the days on Ten Frames?  LOVE!  I thought about making one but my room is so tiny, I don't have the space.  So, I came up with a compromise:
It's simple.  It's small at 8.5x11. It's perfect for my room.  Maybe yours?  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Finally Creating Clip Art Again...

and it feels good to get a few more sets out there...

The credit really goes to John, though!  I may tinker with color and design but he's the real artist here at Dandy Doodles!

Math Tool Kits: Huge Timesaver!

If you teach primary math students, you know just how many manipulatives your students need/use.  How many times have you passed out counters?  Too many, I'm sure.  Cubes?  Don't get me started! 

Sometimes I felt like I was spending more time gathering and handing materials out than I was teaching the actual lesson.  I would spend a good chunk of my lunch hour sorting, bagging, distributing.  One colleague suggested that I have the kids get them.  But when I did, it took even longer and I felt it wasted too much precious instructional time.  My solution?  Math Tool Kits!

I used media bags that I had: lucky break there!  I decided to reinforce the sides with some Duct Tape.  The bags are sturdy and fit nicely inside their desks.
What's inside at the moment? (most in individual baggies or small craft bags)
*Wipe-Off Tens Frame (reverses to two of them with room to write equations)
*Dry Erase Marker and Eraser
*20 Unifix Cubes (2 different colors)
*2 dot dice, one number die, and one 7-12 die 
*twenty counters
*Number Cards
*Greater than/Less than symbols to use
*Twenty Pennies
*Ten Frame War Game
Number Line and Hundreds Chart (even though on desks, this is helpful sine they are on carpet area a lot.)
What WILL go in there?  Clock, more money, deck of cards, etc.  Whatever the kids need and will use often. Some will come out, too.  For example, I need the cubes for games this unit but some of my kids will never need to use them for counters again.  So, eventually, tool kits will all look a bit differently. 
Of course I still need to pass out some tools from time to time but knowing that they have the basics they need and use often really has helped with my time management while giving my students access to the tools they need all day long.
If you're considering them, go for it!  You won't regret it!