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Friday, April 25, 2014

Trade and Grade with Ms. Landers' Class

For this month's Trade and Grade I hooked up with Kim Lander from Splish Splash Ms. Lander's Class.

I had the privilege to review her Splish! Splash! An Ocean Unit. Oh my goodness this package is amazing!!!!

This package is over 100 pages of AWESOME!!! Kim starts off this unit by giving you a variety of CAN/HAVE/ARE Graphic Organizers for many different ocean creatures, Titles for the Anchor Charts, and Venn Diagrams. 

To begin this unit we brainstormed as a class the different types of creatures that live in the ocean. Many of the creatures that we brainstormed, were included on in Kim's Ocean Life unit.

Language Centres

Kim includes 3 Language centres for your students to work through. My kiddos absolutely loved the centres.

Centre #1: Fishy Wish

In this centre students sorted the different words by deciding whether the -sh sounds was in the beginning, middle or end of the word. 

What I Love

I love the fact that Kim included 20 words in this centre. It is the perfect number, not too many, it's just right. I like that each card included the word as well as the visual to help my little readers. It allowed everyone to be successful at this centre which is key! I also love that Kim included a page for students to write the words down in the correct column. 

Centre #2 Whale's Tail

We have been talking a lot about word families lately, and how sometimes a word that rhymes doesn't always have the same spelling. So this was the perfect centre to reinforce this concept with my students. In this centre students worked together to sort the words by their ending (-ale and -ail)

What I Love 

Again, I loved that Kim included beautifully clear pictures (clip art) that helped students determine what the words were. Some of these words, my students were not familiar with i.e. quail, but the majority of them were able to figure it out by using their "Eagle Eyes" and the fact that it was a rhyming word. 

Centre #3 Alphabetical Order

In this centre students put the adorable ocean word cards in ABC order. This was the favourite centre for most of my class. 

What I Love 

I love that this activity can be differentiated for different learners in my class. Kim included 28 words which allowed me to pick the the words I wanted my students to work on. I chose to use 20 words with my kiddos. But, she also includes sheets for 12 and 24. I also appreciate that she included the visual for each of the words.

Math Centres

So not only does Kim include 3 great Language Centres but she also includes 3 amazing math centres as well! 

Centre #1 Swimming Into Place Value

This game was one of my students' favourites. Students pick a card make that number out of base ten blocks, then they spin the spinner to add or subtract a number. Students determine the answer by deciding if they need to regroup.

What I Love

We have been working on place value so this was the perfect activity to consolidate their learning. Kim includes 2 options for this game, both addition and subtraction. Again a perfect opportunity for differentiation. Some of my students played the addition game and some of my students decided to play the subtraction game. 

Centre #2 Comparing Numbers

In this activity students flip over two cards. They then compare whether the number is greater than, less than, or equal to. The cards that Kim included have a variety of number representations, i.e. base ten, tens frames, addition sentences to 20 and the numbers.

What I Love

I love that Kim included different representations for the numbers. This activity was great for building number fluency. My students especially loved the adorable clam shells that they used to show less than, more than, and equal to.

Centre #3 Beach Time

In Beach Time students match the half past analog clock to the digital clock and then record their answers.

What I Love

I loved that the students were not overloaded with cards to match. Half past is one of the hardest times for most of my students, so I love that they are just practicing the half past. I also like how this game encourages students to self check.

Overall Things That I Love

  • I love how easy it was to set up. Print, Cut, Laminate and  Play. 
  • I love that her instructions have graphics so the students can figure out what to do themselves. 
  • I love that all of her math centres are multi-strand! Which is great for review and consolidation.
  • I love that she included a book list to help getting us started with the unit. I also appreciate that many of them were books that my students could read themselves.

Click HERE to get a free sample of this fantastic product.

Click HERE to visit Kim's Blog and see what she wrote about my Fraction Bundle and to get a free sample of the bundle product!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Blogger I Admire is...

 I linked up with Amanda from The Primary Gal to participate in this month's blog event. I got to choose any blogger that I wanted and a product, from their store to use in my own classroom, to review. I knew instantly who I wanted to pick. The hardest part of picking this amazing blogger was picking which item, I wanted to use from her store. So who did I pick? Check out the clues below.

Clue #1 This blogger does not have a specific grade in her blog name.
Clue#2 This blogger has three words in her blog name.
Clue#3 This blogger is a mother, a wife and a teacher. She isn't currently teaching.
Clue#4 This blogger uses cardboard, small toys, and my guess is a lot of hot glue to create her different creations.
Clue#5 Whoot! Whoot! The train has left the station!

Did you figure it out? The blogger that I admire is.....

I have been following Laura of Differentiation Station Creations on Teachers pay Teachers and on her Facebook Page since August of 2013. So when I found out she had started a blog, dare I say that I was excited! Her products are amazing and I love how engaged the children are in her pictures! It just looks like fun! And learning should be fun! She is the go to person if you are looking for a way to get your students up and moving and of course to differentiate your instruction.

So what product did I chose to review? It honestly took me a good hour to decide which product I wanted to beg for. I decided that I have some students in my grade 1 class that still need practice counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s to 100 (Ontario expectation). And some students that could use the challenge of counting by 3s. So I chose her "Let's Get Hopping" set. 

This activity took a fair bit of set up, but oh was it worth it. My student teacher wanted to shoot me by the end, I'm sure. How could my students not love it? They get to hop from Lily pad to Lily pad and practice counting at the same time. How cool is that?

What I Love...What don't I love? 
One of the handiest things about this product is that Laura included both coloured and black and white lily pads. I printed the black and white version and then copied them on to coloured card stock. Even though they aren't printed in colour, I love them and even better the students loved them. 

What is included:
- detailed instructions with pictures
- Lily pads in colour and black and white for counting by 1s, 2s, 3s, 5s and 10s to 120
- Frog faces for the students to hold
- Activity pages (2 sets one set goes to 100, the other goes to 120)

What I Love
I love that the lily pads are colour coded. If you are counting by 2s, you step on the green lily pads. If you are counting by 3s, you step on the blue lily pads and so on. Not only are you getting you kinesthetic learners moving but you are helping your visual learner as well. It also helps those students who are just learning what number to step on.

I actually made these cards twice. I printed them, cut them out and laminated them. I then realized that when the cards are  layered that they might slide apart. So I redid them...I cut them out, glued them together and then laminated them. This worked soooo much better. 

What I Love 
Laura also included adorable frog faces that tell everyone what number they are counting by. The students loved the frog faces. She also included blank faces so students could write their own numbers. I had one little guy that wanted to count by 4's. So he wrote on the blank frog that he was counting by 4's.

Laura suggested attaching them to a Popsicle stick or a paint stir stick. I used Velcro to attach mine to a clip board. This way the students could use the clip board to hold their hundreds chart and they could also change the frog face depending on what they were counting by.

What I Love
Laura includes a variety of 100s charts and 120s charts in this kit. While practicing, students can colour in the numbers that they say as they are counting by the different numbers. They can also fill in the missing numbers. 

I set this up as a centre, so I we didn't have too many pile ups on our Lily Pad trail. I had a group of four students hopping along the lily pads.  

I love how engaged my students were.
I love that they were working on fluency and speed.
I love that the activity is differentiated easily for different learners.
I love that that it kept my busy students moving.
Most importantly I loved that they had fun while learning!

So now here is the fun part. Laura from Differentiation Creation Station has given you a sample of this amazing activity. Click HERE to download it.

I just wanted to thank Laura for allowing me to use her product in my classroom and for being willing to share a sample with you. It is definitely one of my new favorites!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Who Do I Admire...The Final Clue

So here it is! The final clue! Can you figure it out?

Remember everyone who correctly guesses the blogger that I admire wins their choice of item from my store that is $3.00 or less. One item per person. Contest closes at midnight tonight (EST). So get your guess in quick.

Click Here to see Clues #1 and #2
Click Here to see Clue #3
Click Here to see Clue #4

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Secret Admirer Clue #4

Oh No! I was just lying in bed and realized that I forgot to post today's clue and it is a good one! 

Remember everyone who correctly guesses the blogger that I admire wins their choice of item from my store that is $3.00 or less. One item per person.

Click Here to see Clues #1 and #2
Click Here to see Clue #3

Happy Guessing! Check back tomorrow for your final clue!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Secret Admirer Clue #3

I am linking up again with Amanda from the Primary Gal to bring you "Blogs That We Admire." I contacted Amanda, told her who the blogger I admire was, and what product I wanted to review. Amanda then contact the blogger to get a copy of the game for me to use...without knowing that it's me! How cool is that?

The best part is that this blogger has created a sample of the product that I chose...so you can try it out in your own classroom. I'm sure your students will love it as much as mine.

Here is the clue for today.

Remember If you can guess the blogger I admire most, you can choose a product from my store which costs $3 or less.  You can only guess once a day.  Your guess must be made in the comments below the clue.  On Saturday, when the blogger is revealed, if you correctly guessed the Blogger that I admire, you can choose a free product.  EVERY person with the correct answer wins!!

To check out yesterday's clues click HERE

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blogs We Admire Clues #1 and #2

I have teamed up with Amanda from The Primary Gal again this month to bring you "The Blogs We Admire." I got to pick a blogger that I admire and review one of their products without them knowing. As soon as Amanda announced her idea I knew which blogger I had to pick. I've been ADMIRING this blogger's creativity since she first started blogging! Oh no, I gave you hint already! LOL.

Each day this week (Tuesday-Friday) I will give you a clue. Each clue will help you guess which talented blogger I admire most. I'm already a little behind as you can probably tell...so today is a double header. Two clues for the "price" of one!

If you guess the blogger that I admire most, you can choose a product from my store which costs $3 or less.  You can only guess once a day.  Your guess must be made in the comments below the clue.  On Saturday, when the blogger is revealed, every person that correctly guessed the Blogger that I Admire, can choose their free product.  EVERY person with the correct answer wins!!

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