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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Insightful Games + Math = FUN!!!

Insightful Games +1 more equals MATH FUN!

While Matthew and I were creating our updated Crazy 8 game, Ethan & DH created their own game with the UNO cards.

They drew two cards and added the cards value together.  Then when DH felt E was warmed up then he added a card to have him add up three cards.  He had a great time adding up the totals. But when it came time to play "real" UNO, we were minus an Uno child. (E didn't want to play the real game!)

While I was updating the Crazy 8 game, to have numbers 3-21, Matthew asked if he could write the numbers instead of me.  **Mommy was having a silent party, because that means he created it and will have much more ownership in playing this game + he practices writing his numbers.** The Crazy 8 cards had 4 sets of the same numbers or suit.  I decided two of the same number was fine and we left the 8s alone because we needed more of those numbers because it was still CRAZY 8!  :)  We just wrote over the numbers to turn the values to a double digit number- 4 to 14 or 2 into 20 & 21.  In Texas, Kindergartners only need to recognize numbers to 0-21 & since he loves UNO, Crazy 8 & Go Fish, why not update it to meet those TEKs he needs to master. 
The winner of this game is MOMMY!!! Of course, Matthew too because we combined fun games (which he created) + math skills to equal FUN LEARNING!!!!

Insightful Games!

InSIGHTful Games!

 If you don't know already, I love to pin! At night when I can't sleep I will pin until I get sleepy.

I felt a little guilty pinning all these things for my Kindergartner but hadn't made him anything.  I decided I was going to create something that he really is into lately, sight word game.  There are plenty of wonderful ideas from Pinterest and are pinned and planned on creating them....but I used my own creativity to make this for my little guy.  I was going to cut tag cards but then I noticed I found another set of playing cards of Disney Go Fish & Snap that came in a two pack at the Dollar Store.  * I thought instead of going through the trouble of cutting the cards and then being super anal annoyed with different sizes to my cards and/or them not being laminated (a teacher's friend- but once they are laminated then you have to cut them out which may never happen...I'm speaking the truth my fellow educators.)
So I went with the cards that were already colorful and all it needed was my handy Sharpie and mommy writing the words.  Matthew's teacher sends home,on a binder clip, all the words they have studied, so I just used those words.

Only 3 easy steps to create these InSIGHTful Games:

  1. I wrote all the words down onto card stock so that we can make variations to the game at a later time.  I like using the cards because younger siblings, or children that aren't familiar with all the sight words could rely on the pictures to help with their game! :) 

  2. I matched up all the characters, which were 4 in each set. 

  3. I wrote the words twice on the matching card.

 The FUN step is making your game alive with your child, children, or students!
We were playing Sight Word Snap! 
 My favorite thing is creating something for all the LOVES in my life and them truly enjoying it!


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Multiplication Treasure!

Ahoy Mateys! I feel like I started this year, smooth sailing...but I guess I boarded the SS Minnow and instead of getting through a 4 hour trip, I ended up tossed & jolted, or bumped. At about 4 weeks, I was "bumped" or moved to another campus.  My original class number was low (I hate to mention it because I know that in other states their standard class numbers are WAY higher than our state max) 16 to be exact, but I wasn't the lowest in my "former" team.
Although, I sort of felt deserted on a stranded island, I still had lots of hope.  I had heard nothing but great things about my new school & all of those comments are very true! Although, I still left a piece of my heart with my yellow jackets, I'm loving being a Tiger!!!  In fact, my team are pirates so I guess I was taken with them (pirates) to help find the "buried treasure." ( that was my attempt to reference How Became a Pirate, by Melinda Long)

But with much ado, I did find some treasure...Multiplication Treasure!  My new campus struggles in math, which I find the hardest to teach because it comes so natural for me.  I find myself getting upset and hear my inner pirate want to tell them to "walk the plank." So now I'm on the search for anything interactive, fun, exciting to bring my little pirate-teers to be great mathematicians.  I decided to share all my "booty."  I hope you find these helpful for your students.  If you use anything that your kids love, please Pin It &/or leave comments!

Fair winds!!!!

They loved this one...Warning: Your kids will sing it all the rest of the day!

Super Teacher Worksheets has three great free activities:
I Have, Who Has? Multiplication Game
Multiplication Memory

Wheel Multiplication worksheet 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Prezentating....World Cafe Method!!

My last grad class is Ethics and the Teacher in Society.  We were all hoping for a professor that would take it easy on us due to it being our last course of our program. Although it is not as easy as we had hoped, it is really making me think.  This course is having me think of all my actions in a different way. 

In our course, we have to present an activity that aligns with the chapter our professor presents to the class (everyone is assigned a different chapter). 

I love to do different activities to change it up so I created a Prezi. If you haven't used Prezi, it's a free online presentation system.  There motto is thinking outside of the powerpoint slide.  As with anything new, the more you use it the more you understand it.  You can begin by importing your PPTs and then creating something completely new. 

While on the adventure to seek a new way to present to my colleagues, I came across World Cafe Method.  I remember this method from my undergraduate days, but forgot about it.  I think this would be a fabulous way to incorporate in your classroom into a lesson.  Of course, this would be something the students would need to be modeled for awhile before letting them go to this method.  It's a great way for collaborative dialogue and their is one leader for the group,while the other students/participates rotate to another group. 

Although the ideal grouping time is 90 minutes, I plan to shorten it for my grad class & my students.

Tell me what you think, have you used this in your classroom- Prezi &/or World Cafe?


I am back!  I had taken a hiatus and a lot things have happened since then...I finished my thesis, presented my proficiency portfolio (another graduation requirement), completed my first year of teaching the STAAR 4th grade, and finished teaching GT camp.  I am officially on summer break now! (Although, I am completing my last graduate class & then I will be obnoxiously adding M.Ed to everything. LOL!)

I feel like I haven't posted (especially with all that has transpired since my last post) in 10 years, which is how long it's been since the last Spider Man movie.  I was invited to attend a press screening of the Amazing Spiderman, which I brought my sister, for her birthday, with me.  Although, both Ethan (7 yrs old) & hubby really wanted to attend.  I told Ethan that I needed to preview this movie first before we took him to see it and I am glad I did.  It is rated PG-13, which I will not be able to show at school.  Nevertheless, I think it is good teaching practices to know the popular things that your students would be talking about and bring that knowledge into teaching.  **I think by the time school comes around the kids will still be buzzing about this movie.**

Although, I was invited to attend this movie all the ratings and recommendations are my own.

I did not do any history of this movie before attending, except for watching the previews. I knew I wanted to see it, because I adore Emma Stone. She is a great actress, that always plays witty and stand out roles. Emma Stone, known as Gwen Stacy did not disappoint in Amazing Spiderman. Another one of my all time favorite actresses is Sally Fields, Aunt May. I feel this was the best time for Amazing Spiderman to be released because of the success of the blockbuster Avengers. I haven't really been a BIG comic story fan, but after Avengers I was hooked to see any superhero movie again. My sister and I were confused at the beginning of this movie, if this movie would be a continued back story of the other three previous stories. After watching this movie, I knew it couldn't be. It is the beginning of the SpiderMan story and it was amazing! I feel although only 10 years ago, the SpiderMan movies were released with Toby Maguire and Kristen Dunst, it was time to release it for the next generation.

As in any superhero, SpiderMan movie, there is a lot of action.  There were several times when I was holding my breath waiting for the scene to come to a close. I was literally on the edge of my seat in some scenes.  But I really enjoy the quietness and the back story in action movies.  The chemistry between Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) felt real and strong in their scenes.  Their relationship growing on the screen reminded me of high school sweethearts and the energy of young love. After watching the movie, I found out that Stone and Garfield relationship is a real relationship, which could be the reason for those pure bond you felt in their scenes.

Also I really enjoyed the hero, Peter Parker, evolving in this story.  As any teen going through identity issues, especially with the lack of biological parental involvement, Parker evolves from an egocentric teen to saving others and doing good. 

This is a must see to be ready for those kids in the fall. The take away from this story, which is very much awesome, is doing what you can for others.  Being a student that would not stand for wrong doing and helping others.  Another effort to spread this message is the Be Amazing, Stand Up, and Volunteer campaign. This campaign is remarkable and has me cheering for this movie even more. This is a great way to show our students that there is a deeper message in all stories.

I plan to see this movie again with my hubby and look out for Stan Lee (didn't see him the first time). I will not bring Ethan with me because the villain is too scary for him. Also stay during the credits for a teaser for the next Spiderman movie.

Read MovieExclusive, a professional critic's review of this movie.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Rock the Red Pump!

Hello ladies!

I found this site The Red Pump Project.  I love a good cause, especially for women and/or children.  This campaign's goal is to gain awareness of HIV in women.  This is an insert from the The Red Pump Project page:“Every 35 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States.“

They launched this project to get "blogsphere" to give recognition of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) and to create conversation of their efforts to get others aware.  This is the fourth annual Rock the Red Pump™ bloggers campaign.  You can go to their website to register and then get free badges to put on your blog. 

**I am not a pump kind of gal.  There are others that can Rock Pumps and even run in them, ie Carrie Bradshaw, but not this gal.  I do own a pair of red shoes, but they are TOMS.  (Another great cause!)  I am sure The Red Pump Project, would not mind my "flat" red pump.  :)

Be blessed!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Revealing the BIGGER Picture

The life of a mother, wife, teacher, and graduate student never ends. If I could stay plugged into my computer 24/7, I would to find the answers to all my questions.
Being a lower level teacher for most of my teaching career the fundamentals are being taught and they don't know much so there isn't much of a foundation to build on. But in upper grades, those primary foundations are critical to learning the next steps in the intermediate grades. It was revealed  this week and sadden me, that students have BIG "gaps" in their education. By the upper grades those gaps become a canyon.

If we notice the gaps, the students usually see it as a boulder holding them back from achieving their potential. 
As teacher, or parent, we become frustrated and then start placing blame or get upset at the teacher, parent, or student.  Like in the blind men and the elephant fable, we need to focus on the BIGGER picture. 
 Our job as the adults in "our" childrens' lives is to educate them and raise them up from "boulders" or obstacles. It is not an easy solution, but a critical one.  As the caregivers, we need to sit back and see the whole picture to fill in the gaps.

My revelation,solution, this week is to love, care, and fill in gaps along the way.  My favorite professor says, "a good teacher (even parent) can teach their student anything with even a bunch of rocks."  So as we are approaching the state tests and we are on the downhill of the school year (Hooray for 100th day!), we need to teach the teachable moments and not stir up emotions while we teach.  When the child has reached their breaking point, or we have, no one is learning anymore.  I've exposed the "elephant in the room".... now begin to see the BIGGER picture and love those kids (even the ones that don't seem to respond to it).