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Showing posts from September, 2012

Teaching Number Facts up to 20

In my first grade class (Second Year Infants) I always use ten frames and triangles to teach number facts up to 20. They are great visuals that can get students to recall number facts quickly. I also teach both addition and subtraction together so that students can actually play around with the signs and the facts so that they can see patterns and form relationships.

Number facts can be very difficult for students to grasp if it is not done in a meaningful and practical way. I spend a lot of time getting students to build numbers on these frames then eventually transfer these 'pictures' in 2D form, that is, they use numbers and signs to record their sentences. e.g. 

When students understand the relationship of these facts and the signs learning number facts would be so much easier.

You might also like these products:

Apples and Dots Fact Family Frames

Base Ten Block Party! Frames for Every Teacher

How To Teach Creative Writing To Young Children

Teaching children to write creatively is not something that you can complete at any one particular grade level. It involves a series of planned situations and activities that gradually lead to independent writing. From as early as preschool a child's writing begins to take shape as he learns to interpret print. As he grows his understanding of that print is translated into a greater command of the language. Essentially, as he progresses through the grade levels his writing unfolds as a more personal stamp.

As a teacher my goal is to develop the writing skills of my students. This means that I must slowly direct each child to writing independently. To do so I must model good writing, write with them collaboratively, guide their efforts and allow them to work on their own. These stages are summed up under the following headings:

Modeled WritingShared WritingGuided WritingIndependent Writing

1. Modeled Writing

In this initial step I must demonstrate to my students that writing is the cap…

Upper Elementary Blogs and Resources

So you teach upper elementary (Std 3 to 5) and you're in need of a lot of ideas to pin down learning for your students. Well, here is the pool to begin your search. Debbie Clement from Rainbows Within Reach has given you a headstart. She has organized some beautiful and inspiring ideas from all over blogworld and pinterestinto a neat list of links just for you! So if you're pinterested you can take time to search ALL great and pinspiring blog links! 

The Invaluable Task Cards!

Have you ever heard about task cards? Do you know what they are all about? Well let me tell you a little about this wonderful teaching tool. Task cards are actually that, little cards that contain some task or activity for students to complete. It can be used for both individual and group learning. Task cards are an invaluable tool for today's teacher because of its ability to target a wider range of skills and to promote student autonomy. It capturesa more detailed picture of how much students have learnt because it requires them to use more of their knowledge to complete the task. The fact that its use allows a buzz of social activity through collaborative learning makes it a very invaluable asset!

Types of Task Cards

Task cards can be made to mirror your style of assessment in your classroom. Assuming that you do try to vary your question types, task cards can be created as simple activities, Multiple Choice items, Short Answer Responses orOpen-Ended Responses. For a great breakd…

How To Teach Spelling-The Order of Letters!

As a child I remember getting lists of words that I had to learn to spell in a very short space of time. These words grew to be more of a challenge as I grew older, and the list got longer and longer with my climb through the class levels. Somehow I would always master the art of spelling, yet I cannot remember actually studying these words at school. To me it was simply a case of mastering-the-art-of-letter-sequence-recall!

As a teacher I think fun is the name of the game. I give a list of words, yes, but I teach the words and use them in our class vocabulary for an entire week. By the next Monday, I use Fill-in-the-blanks and word searches to get my students to spell those words correctly.

Today I present some other ideas from around the net that can spruce up your spelling lessons by infusing fun and enjoyment to a seemingly boring exercise!

These ideas are great for kindergarten to Grade 6 (First Year to Standard Five)


Spelling Speedway

Make a race track with posterboard or card…

Play by the Rules!- A Singular and Plural Sorting Game

It is always very time consuming to get students to identify nouns far more to remember all the rules that govern sorting them into singular or plural categories. Of course, with practice they soon get the hang of it and they then move on to other skills. But why not cut teaching time in half by using games and activities which allow them to have fun and enjoyment while learning? I always believe  that games are very effective in the classroom, especially when it comes to making learning much easier and informal too!

Play By The Rules is a great sorting game that uses the rules of determining the number of a noun to get students to build their store of cards. The game uses very clear pictures and labels along with the knowledge base of students to facilitate learning. 

Play By The Rulesis so much fun that your students will be learning with ease. Their spelling is also sure to improve.

This game is available at my TPT store. Click HERE for further details.

The Need for Guided Reading

At the start of the school year it is important that you find out where your new students are by performing an assessment. What also helps is being able to ascertain where each child is along the road to independent reading. My first grade students have already been assessed in letter/sound identification and sight word knowledge. Based on these results I now have to group them according to their instructional level. 

In guided reading students are put into groups of 3-5 students for a 15 minute session (flexible for older students). The books chosen for each group would vary according to their needs. For example, books may range from predictable texts for the lower level to decodable texts, books containing a large amount of sight words, leveled books in a series or trade books for the more independent readers. The teacher selects an instructional focus then allows the groups to read together while she walks around, providing guidance to students. For instance, when stuck on a word sh…

Recycle CD Holders

Are you tired hearing about recycling? I hope not! I found a fantastic video on how to upcycle CD spindles into wonderful works of art. I think that with a stretch of your imagination you can come up with a tweak to these ideas for your classroom.

You may also like:

This one is a great idea for my earrings!:)

How Fair is Education?

In my studies last year I came across this illustration that made me question my purpose and role as a teacher. As teachers we have a mammoth task of getting all our students to achieve the same goal. In this illustration  all the animals must climb the tree in order to be selected for whatever purpose. As you already know the monkey can outdo the other animals because he has been climbing trees all his life. The bird may have some skills and he can always use his wings to his advantage. The dog, the walrus, the fish, the elephant and the penguin do not stand a chance in this competition. 
What do you think?

How To Organize Your Classroom Library- Without Shelves!

SOS I need help! I have one shelving unit in my classroom and may have to divide it between my library and my students' notebooks. I think that I have a need for at least one more unit. It is not enough for me so I really have to find a pinteresting solution. This is my library corner and the table to the right in this picture is my "sub shelving system' aka all purpose table. The picture below was taken before the start of school and not much has changed. 

Pinterest Ideas

So pinterest is everybody's solution for finding creative and innovative ideas. I must say,  I thought that my search for 'shelf-less' library ideas was an impossible feat, however, i was in for a surprise. 

Take a look at some shelf-less library ideas!