Hey Everyone!  I wanted to share with you a little activity that is going on in our math classroom as we wrap up graphs.  I can not tell you how much it makes this reading teachers' heart happy when I can use a picture book to tie in a lesson in math.   I just love going across the curriculum for my activities. 

Anyway here is what we did:

We listened to our story:  I had a copy of the book on hand but you can easily find a read aloud on You Tube.  :) Next, we broke up into small groups and each group had a bag containing these graphs printed on cardstock and the manipulatives to create pictographs on their own.  Each student also had a copy of the mini book which I would collect later for a grade and then add it to their interactive notebooks. 

While they are working on their graphs and reviewing their skills they have learned this gives me the opportunity to work with those students who may still be struggling with different concepts on each of the graphs. 
Once our math center time is completed the students will turn into to me their finished books.  They look like this: 

So cute and a great way to add a grade to my gradebook for math.  This is perfect for small group math centers. 
If you like what you see you can get it here: 

Thanks for stopping by! 


 One of the many reading strategies I try and teach my struggling readers is to visualize what they are reading.  Research has shown that students who are struggling with reading comprehension actually benefit from visualizing the material they read.  Creating what I like to call a T.V. in their head. 

  So how do we do it in my classroom???  Well we start off with several mini lessons using small sentences to get us started practicing the skill.  A sample sentence would look like this:

   " Sam was so excited to see all the balloons hanging around the room.  He saw his superhero cake on the table beside a pile of presents he could not wait to open.  "

  After reading this sentence I grab our white boards and then we draw what we saw.  We would draw a cake, balloons, and Sam.  We talk about how to create those pictures in our head.


  After many lessons and practice using the skills, I decided it was time to take our lesson one step further.  We plan on looking at small passages and highlighting key words that will help us visualize after each small paragraph.  As we read the paragraphs we will go back with our pencil and highlight those key words that help us visualize what the passage is about. 
Next, we take a look at the pictures below our paper and check out which ones would be a best fit to the words we highlighted in each paragraph. 

   Finally, we glue them on and then check in our passage to make sure we visualized the correct picture to go with the passage. 

 The stories I created follow a theme and there is one for each day of the week.  On Friday my students are given review questions to practice their comprehension skills over the week. 

You can find these pages here:

Wow!!!!  It has  been a long time since I have blogged.  Where does the time go?  I wanted to talk about homophones and how we are using this handy little freebie in our classroom.  We started off with a little jingle to remember what a homophone was.  It goes like this (I just added a little jingle to it but you could add any little tune)

                  "Homophones:  Sound the same but spelled differently!   Sound the same but spelled differently! 

  It stuck with my little learners as soon as we began the chant to begin our lesson.  I wanted to create something interactive with my learners that we could add to our notebooks to review and refer back to.  Since we are heavily into soccer season at my house I decided to use that when I began to create.

Here is what we did!  Stay tuned freebie below.  :) 

  We cut out our title/definition and began cutting out the soccer balls to color. 
Next , we placed them in our notebook matching up the homophones.  After we matched up our homophones then we made it interactive by writing the short definitions of the words underneath so my students could look back as a reference. 

If you like what you see and want your own copy you can get it here:


One of the skills we have been working on this year is learning how to count up to 100.  We are happy to say we mastered that goal.  We are going to try and take it a step further as we prepare for next year.  I want my students to see how these numbers are written so if they come across them in their reading they can see how numbers are represented numerically and in their literature.  As we  wrap up the year I wanted to add this to our math centers that we could do together as a class in those final days leading up to summer vacation.  Best of all you can grab yours for free

My plan is to print several out on cardstock and laminate.  We all know the drill right?  I would break my class into small groups and then we would spin away.  As students work I will be walking around and monitoring their progress and looking to see how things are progressing.  Now just a side note we would have several explicit lessons on number words and we would start off very simple with the spinner 0-7. 

Number word mats. 


    Another quick post and a freebie for you. 
So many things to be thankful for this year.  We are almost ready for the holidays and we are getting a jump start on some review of the math skills we have been working on.  A couple of weeks ago we covered properties of math.  We learned about the inverse, commutative, and identity properties of addition.   I wanted a quick review to use with my small math groups so I made these Thanksgiving themed task cards. 
I printed them on cardstock and then laminated them.  Grab some clothespins or use a dry erase marker and let them circle the problems that match the one shown on the turkey's sign.  Take it a little  further and ask them to identify whether the problems are identity, commutative, or inverse properties.  Have them write it on the card or on a dry erase board. 
Simple quick and fun.  Head on over and grab your free set of task cards. 

Happy Thanksgiving
Thank you to all of my followers.  It is appreciated.
I am just dropping in to share a little freebie with you.  I wanted to share this quick little freebie you could use in your classroom to review inverse, commutative , and identity properties.  We are throwing in a little Thanksgiving to the review because we all have those days before the holidays when you need something for the kiddos to do to settle them down and of course you want to make it academic ...right???? 

 Click on the picture and grab your handout. 


Oh my goodness!!! Every educator is faced with this same question year after year.  How much is too much when it comes to homework??????   First of all,

I am a parent and an educator.  Sometimes finding the balance between the two can be a challenge.  Why you might ask????   Well,  I see both sides of the argument.  On the parent side I come home after a long day and the last thing I want to do is have a ton of homework to do with my kiddos.  I want to see them, talk to them, have a conversation other than "Do your homework!!!."  We have all been there when this voice comes out of our mouth that sounds like our mother and you realize you are becoming her.   Yep...that is me sometimes.  Sometimes I give her a nickname like "Mad School Momma!  Grab this freebie here:


On the other side I realize the increasingly instructional demands put on our teachers in the classroom today.  I understand it and I know we all feel each other's pain .  Well as you can see above and you can see I am changing up my approach to homework.  I decided to add two different approaches for myself one I can do weekly or one I can do nightly.  Depending on the week and how much we cover I can use either one.  Best of  all you can grab it for FREE!!!   

Here is what I will do:
1.  Reading /Writing -include any new terms we are working on in reading for them to review with their parents nightly... very quick and simple .or if we are beginning a writing unit let them know what we are writing about-personal narrative, etc.

2.  Math-this section I would include 3 -5 problems  that I want them to do based on the skill we are working on that week.  Again quick and simple. 

3.  Social Studies:  List any terms we are learning and their definitions.  Or pose a couple of questions based on the material we are learning.  Simple 5 minute review. 

4. Science:  Any terminology we are working on or pose an easy multiple choice question to review what the days lesson was on. 

5.  Blank box on the side will be used for their spelling words where the children could write them if you are doing Words your Way and their lists are different. 

***Run these front to back to save paper (Monday-Thursday in my room) or go even further and send them via email each night as homework so parents can pull it up and have their students homework handy.  ****

The goal is easy quick homework that does not require stress for you or your students.   A FINAL TIP:   Use this as part of your morning work for your students who are older.  Have them fill it in for morning work.  

Talk to me:  How do you keep your homework simple? 

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