Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Black History Month Activities & a freebie!

This month is Black History Month and we do multiple activities in the classroom to celebrate. One project we do is send home a name of a famous African American to each student, they are required to send in 2 facts about that person as well as a picture. Some students go all out and they have huge projects, while others just send in a paper with the facts and a picture.
It doesn't matter---all that counts is that they are learning about history! So fun to see what we will get!  

We also use this book to show how important each of us is, regardless of color, here are a few books that we use within the classroom:

We used the book Shades of Black for this activity. This book went perfectly with my kiddos because it represented everyone in the class. We talked about everyone has a particular skin color, NOT just black and white. As we were reading, we would stop and find someone in the classroom who represented that particular page. You can see the inside of the book here on Amazon. 

I've always seen tons of activities where you compare their skin color to paint samples. I wanted to do that this year (with a smaller class this year---it's sooo much easier to do so much more! :) 

I started the lesson by matching up a paint sample to my skin and naming that sample--I think it was something like Natural Nutmeg Frost. They LOVED it. Then I talked about how that makes me feel. I used words such as beautiful, radiant, happy, excited, etc. And I'm a little---over dramatic shall we say! and this seems to help aid in their thought process and picture drawing.
After we matched each kid up, they were given their sample and off they went! 

Here's what we did! (I LOVE these!!!!)

And I didn't take a picture of every one of them....but they were all amazing! We did help them by writing some of the words on the board, but you can also see some inventive spelling throughout. 

They wrote the name of the sample (glued onto the page) in the top line and how it made them feel in the next line. (Don't you just love the Scrappy Kids from Graphics from the Pond??)


 hesum---handsome! (love it!)

Here's your freebie!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Those Tricky Teen Numbers!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

There are certain "sticking points" in math that are recognized by all teachers of young children, things that are just plain difficult hurdles for some of our students. Bridging the decades in counting, writing numbers greater than 100 (you know the ones I mean, like "10014" for "114"), ... and then, of course, even before those come along, there are the tricky teen numbers.

First of all, the naming of eleven and twelve is illogical.  If you want to read some truly confusing (and confused) theories about the naming of 11-13, try googling "oneteen, twoteen, threeteen".  The Spanish words seem so much more meaningful: ten and one, ten and two, ten and three, etc.  ESL teachers, I'm wondering if it's easier for your students to understand these numbers because of that.

So, we do what we can to make these numbers real for those who struggle with them, to take them from rote counting to the deeper understanding they'll need to move forward in place value.

Here's my bit of help for your strugglers, and with a seasonal twist, too! Enjoy this freebie!

After you let them have lots and lots of practice with concrete objects, try this set of 24 cards to move your students to the representational stage. Also included is a student recording page for using these cards as a Read and Write the Room activity. 

Many thanks to Teacher's Gumbo (love those love bugs!!),  Graphics From the Pond, and The Thematic Teacher for the fonts and graphics used in this set!

If you're looking for some fresh new ideas for February, I'd love it if you'd stop by my Primary Inspiration blog to pick up some goodies at this linky. You'll find nearly 100 free and paid resources for this very busy month! Just click here to see them all!

Happy Teaching!