## Thursday, May 21, 2015

### Place Value Practice is Worth the RAWR!

I am here to tell you today that if you grab
activity, you will love it!

 Click on this picture to go to her store.

Sarah has a blog called There's No Place Like Second Grade. She allowed me to preview it with the 2nd grade kiddos that I work with. They were getting ready to take a place value test and I wanted to be sure they were secure with their place value skills. This game did just that. And on the side lines, . . . . They. Had. FUN!
Here are some of the cards. They show the expanded notation, the standard number, the words, and the place value blocks.

There are also cards that say "Give 2, and Take 2." This is where the kids have to take 2 from someone or give 2 to someone.
The game is played like the WAR game we used to play with playing cards. They compare their cards with the other person. The one with the largest number gets to keep both cards.

Now the kids study and read the cards to see which one is largest.

I love the looks on their faces. . . they are really focusing on the cards and figuring out what their value is!

Sarah has included some pictures that can be used on the backside of these cards. But our district watches the color ink levels closely, so I didn't print them with the designs on the back side. This picture below shows that you can barely see through the papers (not card stock) even without the designs on the back.

Here are the faces of the winners and not so winners!

I even won once!
There is also a recording sheet that you can keep track of who wins and how many times they win.

If you are looking for a good end of the year fun game for your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd graders or even home schooled child, I highly recommend this activity.
Click HERE to go right to her store. And if you're not following her already, please click that link to follow her store and blog. She's doing a great job and I know you won't be sorry!

Don't forget to leave her some loving comments in the feedback section so you can earn credits to use on your next purchase!  If you're not aware about how the credits help you, read HERE!

If you like this War type of game, Sarah has other skills that use the same concept.

## Thursday, May 14, 2015

### Profundity with Maria Dismondy's Book Chocolate Por Favor

I won a contest that was holding. I love winning stuff and I suspect that most of us do! Have you heard of this book? Have you heard of Maria? She's a Michigan author,  mom, and friend to everyone. I've met her once and was thrilled to see how sweet she was.

 click on the book to get your own copy from Amazon
Here's a summary of the book.

Johnny is a big fan of school but that all changes when the new kid, Gabe arrives. Gabe doesn't speak any English, and that doesn't stop Johnny from going out of his way to be unkind. What will Johnny do when Gabe starts to make new friends? Will he join in the fun of making a new friend or turn the other way? Johnny realizes a powerful message in this story where empathy and inclusion teach us that actions speak louder than words. Read to find out how chocolate milk plays a major role in the discovery of the real universal language.

In my school district, we like to practice "Profundity" with our students. It helps them to think deeper about a book and the actions in the book. I decided to share this book with  two kindergarten classes. I realize that kinders are new to profundity, but they certainly have thoughts and can usually verbalize their feelings.

This book shares a real situation that happens in schools to many students and I knew that these particular kinders were also experiencing these same scenarios.

First we decide on which character to focus on.

Then we look for three actions that character did. We write them down on chart paper in the order of the time they happened in the book.

Next, we ask them questions to think about one action at a time.

"Why did he do that?" (write in red pen)
"Was it right?" (write in green pen)
"What did he get from doing that?" (write in blue pen)

We continue with each action asking the same questions for each action. No answers are wrong, you just clarify their thoughts so they are staying on task. Sometimes (especially with kinders) you will need to paraphrase their thoughts into a shorter sentence that will be easier to follow.  Be sure that the others are agreeing to the thoughts that are being shared. If someone disagrees, ask them to defend their thoughts by explaining why.

Finally you ask them what the author wants us
to know about this story.

"What is the big idea of the story?"
or
"What is the universal theme?"
(Write this in a brown pen)

Many topics can be discussed and each story can have many big ideas, so you help them narrow it down to one that you all can agree on.

And TA DA!!!!  You now have a finished chart showing the profundity of this story. We hang these in the halls so others can read them and see if they agree with the choices.

I know that this particular story is mainly about empathy. But kinders don't always know this word. However, there were some gasps when actions happened in the story, so I knew they got it. I took the time to tell them, that they understood the pain he felt and that's why they gasped. That's called empathy. They knew what he was feeling.
I will be doing this same story with some first and 2nd graders and it will be interesting to see how the different the charts turn out and what they deem the big idea is.

If you would like to know more about how you can do profundity with your class, leave me a message with your email and I can send you the chart that will help you do this with your class.

## Tuesday, May 12, 2015

### End of the Year Gift for Your Kids

Today I'm posting a flashlight poem that I posted a few years ago. This is for anyone who might have missed it before. It was a big hit for my kids and other teachers, so I wanted to share it again.

Reading in your bed is ok,
but when you have a flashlight to use,
it's even more fun!
Reading under the covers is cooler with a flashlight.
Reading under the kitchen table is
better than sitting in a chair! Just think of all the possible dark places you could read if you had a flashlight.

I bought some small flashlights for each of my kids, and attached this poem to it. If you have extra books, you could also include a book with your gift.

 click the picture above to go to my store to grab this

Don't forget to leave some feedback in exchange for the freebie. Do what you mamma taught you. . . use your manners!

And please go visit a new blog called The Balanced Teacher. It's a place that could help you put more balance in your life and today and each of the next five days you can revisit to win some prizes.

## Monday, May 11, 2015

### A New Blog to Follow. A Give Away Too!

I'm joining up with the Balanced Teacher and several other bloggers to share some great ideas, products and prizes.  The Balanced Teacher is a brand new blog that will offer tips of how to keep a balanced life with teaching, blogging, creating, selling, life, eating, exercising, etc.
 click the picture above to go to The Balanced Teacher.
Come back each day to see what's on the agenda. And then please come back and visit to see how you can add more balance to your life too!

## Monday, May 4, 2015

### Teachers Helping Teachers

Where would we be without our fellow teachers? I think I'd be down in the dumps a lot if I couldn't lean on all of you!
In this Teacher's Appreciation Week, I want to say that I SO SO SO appreciate YOU! You've shared things with me, encouraged me, and kept me in line!
But the one person who was my mentor, my guide, and now my friend is Christina Bainbridge. She has an adorable blog called Buntings, Books, and Bright Ideas. She is my hero! She's stronger than ever and yet as gentle as they come.
I am celebrating Christina this week by sending her some love and a gift card to Target (her very favorite store!) and I'm also participating in this linky that Melissa from Mrs. Daily's Classroom and Layla from Fancy Free in 4th  have created. Please feel free to join in and give a shout out or two to someone who has influenced you along the way.
Now I would feel just plain awful if I didn't also highlight some of my favs and just maybe you'll like these people too.

 click on the picture to go to Alyce's blog

 click picture to go to Denise's blog

 click picture to go to Deanna's blog

 click picture to go to Amy's blog

Now, if you'd like to read about some more loving shared by other teachers, all you need to do it to go to this link and add your thoughts.

## Friday, May 1, 2015

### Feedback Pays Off For YOU!

Have you heard about the TPT sale that's coming up this week?

It's on May 5-6th and you can get 28% off your entire purchase if you put the code Thank you before you check out.

But did you know you could get some of your purchases for free? Yes you can!

All you need to do is to go to your TPT page, click on the words MY TPT at the top right side of your screen. Then scroll down to the words MY PURCHASES. Now scroll through all of your purchases. If any of them say "Provide Feedback," that means you haven't given feedback to the seller. When you provide feedback you get credits. When you have credits you can use them to cash in on your purchases.

While you are in the My Purchases section, don't forget to go to the tab that says Free Downloads. It's a big help to give feedback there too.

If you have provided feedback it will look like this picture below.
It will say "Thanks for providing feedback. . . . . "

You might be amazed to see how many credits you could cash in on if you just looked at your purchases. If you have any friends who also shop on TPT, please spread the word and let them know that they too need to give some feedback especially right in time for this sale.

You might be wondering why feedback is so important to sellers. . . . it's because it helps us get a good rating and other buyers will look at the feedback stars and know if our work is credible and worthy of them purchasing.

If you have a question about a product, please ask that in the Q & A section. If you feel that you don't like the product, please offer some constructive criticism so the seller knows how they could fix it to suit others. If you find a typo, please don't rate the seller lower, talk to them in the  Q &A section and give them a chance to fix it. I promise you that most of the sellers work hard to be sure their work is perfect, but we are human and we do make mistakes . . . doesn't everyone?

If you are having trouble finding these parts to your TPT page, please leave me a comment with you email address, and I'll be happy to help you find it. I don't want you to miss out on all this free stuff!