old wood shabby background

Monday, April 28, 2014

Do You Need a Good Mystery To Read?

The other day I went to the library to look for a good book. I was looking for Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar.

But those were all checked out. 

So I continued to browse and I found this one.

I've never read this before, never heard of it, 
but it caught my attention.

I started reading it to my 2nd graders on Wednesday. It is written with the dog talking. It is a fun book to read aloud, especially if you like to use different voices and lots of expression. 
In this book he is looking for his humans and in the meantime he is in the P-O-U-N-D. (He can't say the word because he knows it's a bad word, so he has to spell it all the time!) (My kids now can spell pound!)
He is trying to solve the mystery of where his humans are so if you need to add mysteries to your list of genres, this will be a hit. 

One part that my kids really like is when he gets a back rub. I think my kids could actually imagine themselves giving their pets a rub and how their pets might feel. I am loving this book and my kids are begging to read more. There are more books in this series and some of my kids have already checked them out. 

I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a fun one to read!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Showers, A Wedding AND A Giveaway!

It's coming. .. . it's really coming! 
(that sounds like the song in Wicked!)

Are you ready? 
The End of the Year is quickly approching!

Do you have a long list like I do? Geesh! 

Can I ever possibly get it all done? 

At this time of the year, I live day by day. . . 
and try not to overwhelm myself with the impossible.
How do you cope with it all? 
And even more importantly I want to focus on my family. My daughter and son-in-law are coming home this weekend so we can give them two baby showers. I'm so excited to see them and to give my granddaughter a belly rub! 
I hope she can feel it from inside her special womb!

Just look at how cute my daughter is now!

Speaking of exciting news. . . 
Did you see that Sara Ventrella of Miss V's Busy Bees 
is no longer Miss V?
That's right she got married. . . now is Mrs. U! 
I wonder if she will change her name?

Click this picture to swing on over to her blog.

Not only is it a new name for her, 
but she is celebrating her birthday this week. 
Who doesn't like to celebrate! Obviously she does! 
So go on over to her blog and enter into 5 days of giveaways. . . 

Now, don't you worry that it's too late and 
you may have missed a day. . . 
because you haven't. 
You can enter yesterday's rafflecopter 
at anytime in the next 6 days. 

So git on over there and see if you can be one of the winners!

And if you're still hanging around, thank you! I want to highlight one of my biggest sellers today. If you don't have it, you might want to grab it.

It's called Ou & Ow Spellings. My kids just took a spelling test on words with the ou sound this week. 
Some were spelled ow and some were spelled ou. 
This activity is a great practice for the kids to be able to look at the word and decide which spelling looks best. You can pick it up at my TPT store right here. You might also like to know that this set comes in color AND black & white in case you can't use a color printer.

I use Corinna Gandara's Differentiated Spelling lists. 

You can pick up her spelling lists by clicking on the Red words above this picture.

I love her lists. They are perfect for my 2nd graders. She has two lists for each week. I give everyone the first test as a pretest on Monday. If they get 80% or higher, then I give them the 2nd list to study for the final test on Friday. Anyone who doesn't get 80% on the pretest must practice those  words for the final on Friday. 
If you're interested in this, go check it out in her store. But for now, you have my sincere recommendation!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Place Value Partner Style

I'll start with two questions. 

1. Do you know Laura Candler from 
Teaching Resources?
Or maybe you know her from her blog, 
called Corkboard Connections?
Or maybe you know her from her Facebook page?

2. Do you remember the game Battleship from your childhood?

(Ok, so I can't count. . . that was 4 questions!)

Laura has kindly allowed me the honor of previewing one of her activities. I picked her Place Value Partners. Some of my students still struggle with this concept, so I knew it would be a "HIT" 
(Just like in Battleship!)

There are only 29 pages to copy. It's available in color or black & white. It is very easy to assemble with clear directions for the students too. And of course, it WAS fun and educational for my students!

If you would like to pick this up for yourself, 
you can see it at her store.

Or you can click on this picture above to go to her store, too.

Let me show you some of the pictures of my students involved in this activity.

First I glued the place value board to a file folder. There are two different boards. A receiver and a sender. Each board conveniently has the directions on it. To the top of the file folders I glued the papers that explain what the standard form, expanded form and word form might look like. On the other file folder I glued the words that are used to write the names for the numbers.

The students put their number tiles in order beside them so that they are easy to find. The Sender creates a number, then recites that number to their partner who is the Receiver. The numbers are made in two different colors so they are easy to separate when needed. 

Can you see how he is watching his partner and trying to listen carefully?
This is where it reminds me of Battleship. 
The boards can not be seen by the partners and the partners really have
 to listen to hear what the Sender has said. 
One folder has places up to hundreds, one goes to thousands, one has places up to millions, one is a decimal variation from tens to hundredths, and the last is a more advanced board from thousands to thousandths!
For my 2nd graders we used the hundreds and thousands. 
But for one group I challenged them with the millions!

Once they are finished making and sharing their numbers, they compare them to see if they got it right. 
If it is right, BRAVO! If it is not right, they can take some time to see why they are not alike.

The next thing they do is write down the different forms of the number they just made. I love that Laura has made it so comfortable for students to search for their answers with the word list and the examples that are right in front of them.

There are two recording sheets that you can choose to use. One has longer lines for the bigger numbers.

Once they are done with the writing, they start over by switching the file folders around. So now a different person is the Sender and a different person is the Receiver.

My kids loved this. It was a great way to learn or review place value, writing numbers in words, and expanding numbers too.

Thank you Laura for such a wonderful opportunity. Your activities rock and now my kids do too.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Old Fashioned Phones

Would you like to read about what made my day today? 
Take a peak below.

We are doing a play for our STARS on STAGE tomorrow night.
 We are doing Goldie and the Three Hares.

If you haven't read it, check your library to see if they have it. I bet your students will enjoy it!

 One of the lines in it needs a telephone. 
So I brought in this OLD princess phone 
that was one of my aunts.

 I explained how it worked. 
They thought it was a wireless phone 
because there weren't any wires!
I showed them how the dial worked and 
how you had to wait for it to come 
back to it's original place before you
 dialed the next number. 
Each child had a chance to play with it.
What a hoot! They thought this was so funny. 
They said it would take forever to call 911! 
 They were right
You can see where they are struggling 
to hold on to the phone as they dial with one hand.

So that's it. Just my funny giggle for today! 
And a lesson on technology too!


Monday, April 14, 2014

Easter M&M Fractions Free For YOU!

Fractions . . . arghhhh!. . . they can be tough for some to understand.  But who doesn't like to eat candy, especially when it's chocolate? So maybe the incentive to understanding fractions is in the idea that once I learn it I can eat my fractions! I love this idea . . . except for the fact that I gave up candy for Lent. So while my kiddos ate theirs. . .  I politely sat back and drooled all over myself!

So this week when you only have a few days left before Easter, I have a freebie for you that's quick to set up and fun to do all in one. 

First you'll need one of these bags of the fun size M&M's. 

Next you'll need to give everyone a copy of this.
 (On the back side you'll put another activity to show how to divide with the same amount of candy.)

The students will sort their candy, 

Then write the fractions for each color. 
For example if you had 22 candies and 
7 of them were yellow, then the fraction of yellow would be 7/22. 

This is a great activity because most kids will have a different amount of candies in their bag.

You can pick up this freebie by clicking HERE.
 It's a 2 page document, that I printed on the front and back when I made the copies for my students. 

Could you just do me a favor and leave me a quick message if you do decide to grab this. I decided not to put this in TPT, but then I don't have any idea how many of you grab it. I'm always curious how many people like my stuff. . . . so a little bit of happiness will fill my heart!

Then just for fun we made a plot graph to see how many candies were in each bag. We rarely get enough practice working with graphs so this is a quick and easy one to do to show how there is usually an average in the bags. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

I'm Home Now! And Who Wants to Win?

I'm BAA-aaa-aaack! I am glad to be back, but I sure do wish I had more time to relax. We had terrific weather and only one rainy day. Not too bad for a vacation in Florida. My sister and my 14 year old niece joined us and they were perfect company. 

Now even though I was on spring break, I still took some time to look at blogs, facebook, and some of the giveaways that others were having. That was very stressful for me! I SO SO SO wanted to be creating while on vacation. 
But then that wouldn't be called a vacation would it?

I get it. . . I'm addicted! 
I love to create and make things that are cutsie and useful!

Does anyone else feel that way?
 I  sure hope I'm not alone on this issue. 

One of the fun things we did was go to the beach. We were fortunate to see their sand sculpture while we were there. This was a part of a little contest they had. This won 1st place. 

I'm a little slow, but I just noticed that this cute background has snowflakes on it. . . darn! I didn't see that at the time I made it! 

I posted a few other pictures on Instagram. If you don't follow me yet, please stop in and add yourself. I'd love to see what you do and to share another side of teaching and family life. 
Click here to join me. Or search for me with "pjrbar" as my name. 

Do you like to enter contests? Would you like to enter another one? Well, let me tell you how. . . Just click  Zipadeedoodah Designs and it will take you to the raffle copter. 

2 Prizes Available To Win!!!

$20 Amazon Gift Card 

$10 Credit

 to her Etsy or TpT Shop

That sounds like a nice way to start the week doesn't it?

Thanks for checking back in with me! If you missed me, then you know that I missed you too!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Oh YEA, It's VACA!

For weeks now I have been reading about many people's wonderful spring breaks. Well, now, I can talk about mine. . . it starts TO MOR ROW! . . . . At least it starts tomorrow at 4:00 pm. I'm uber thrilled to have this break. My class is awesome and we did have 9 extra snow days, but this break will be in the SPRING and there will be green grass and flowers, and a bit of sand and chlorine! Oh and clouds too! 

I know you'll miss me, but please come back in the middle of April. I will be having a give away that I know you will want to enter. It is a BIGGIE! 

But for now. . . enjoy your week and kick up those feet and relax some!