Primary Chalkboard: October 2014

October Giveaway Fun!

Hi Friends,

Corinna from Surfin' Through Second and I have planned out a little giveaway fun for you!  We've both looked through our stores, and pulled out a few things that we thought would be helpful.  So…let's see what we've got in store for you.

From Surfin' Through Second:

Surfin' Through Second

We have Corinna's fabulous Creatures of the Night Unit.  This unit is over 140 pages of awesomeness!  I do not lie!  In putting this post together, this little gem has found its way onto my must-have Wishlist!  It has EVERYTHING you could ever want when leading your class on a study of nocturnal animals.  (I also noticed that it is on sale today!)  Here is a peek into some of the great treasures this unit holds.

From my little store :
I am offering my Halloween-Themed Differentiated Behavior Cards and Super Strategic Readers Pack.  The Strategic Readers pack has Reading Strategy posters, Thinking Stems, and Response Sheets that work with any book, and are differentiated for readers at various levels!  This pack is a must have to get your kids to think strategically when reading, so that they can be successful with the Common Core!  AND…best of all, it pairs wonderfully with Corinna's Creature of the Night unit!

and just for fun, some spooky Behavior Charts!  

This giveaway will go until the end of Saturday, 10/26/14.  Check back here on Sunday to see who won :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Interactive Notebook Set-Up

I am writing this blog post to see the different ways that interactive notebooks are used in the classroom. I am currently in a new school that does their notebooks a little differently than the way I am used to. 

I am going to show you the way that I did interactive notebooks last year, followed up with the way that I do interactive notebooks this year. I would love to hear feedback on how you do them in your classroom!

Last year's set up-
-1 inch binder 
-Filler paper
-Scissors and glue
-Started with spiral notebooks, but stopped (1 inch was great!)

We worked on our phonics notebooks.
(Yes, shame on me, I don't have kid pictures, so I included my own work. Haha!)
However, you get the idea. We worked on interactive notebooks that included flip flap pieces and the students worked on one on with their paper and work.  
These come from my Interactive Phonics Notebook.

Here, my students were working on their math flip flap pieces. 
They were writing about their math work.
I made these pieces to help break up their steps for writing about math. 
Above- They are writing the steps of how to add tens and ones. 
Below- They are lifting the flaps to show examples of HOW to add 2-digit, then writing about their steps. 
(These aren't in a product for sale YET. It's a project I've been slowly building!)

And lastly, we have our Reading Response pieces. I was blessed last year to have volunteer moms who would help with the cutting and gluing so that my 15 minute Daily 5 stations weren't taken over by students cutting and gluing. These pieces are all types of reading response pieces, asking characters, events, predictions, etc. 

This year's set up-
-Composition Notebook
-Pre-cut pieces (by teachers) and Tape

Our district uses a similar outline throughout all schools. 
Our school uses the same outline for grades 2 through 5. We are introducing these notebooks to the students this year and they will have the same setup through fifth grade. They are called Interactive Content Notebooks, but we have one for each subject, so it covers all areas! 

Sorry! I was trying to give your neck a workout! 
You see in the sideways picture an example of our input/output page. 

We started with a table of contents.
I do really like this! Every time we add an entry in our ICN, we label what we are working on and the page numbers. 

First, we start with our target. We write the target together. This isn't expected in second, but we tried it on our first experiment. I think we will wait til the end of the year to pick target writing back up again. It took lots of time to get it copied for some students! I want to spend more time on the work! 

Now comes the input, which is usually a guided piece that practices the skill or target we are working on that day. Here, we are recounting events and how a character responds to an event. 

Output comes next. This is our short answer/constructed response/extended response/etc. goes. This is where students work on their own. We have a school wide extended response expectation, which involves topic sentence, detail sentence, further support sentence 1, further support sentence 2, and conclusion. It's been an adventure with our seconds this last few weeks starting these, but we're getting them ready for third! 

So, I would love to know! 
How does your school use notebooking? 
Are you more free-flowing, cut and glue, flip-flap type of notebook teacher?
Or are you a structured input/output type of notebook teacher?  

Thanks for reading! 

Let's Play! Active, free, FUN math facts game...

This math game is exactly what the teacher wants:
1. Fun
2. Effective
3. Easy
4. Free

The purpose of the game is to help your students learn their math facts fluently. I always start my 2nd graders out memorizing their doubles (sums to 20) with this game and then it morphs easily into doubles plus one facts, and then onto the real toughies (7+9, 8+6, etc.).

Directions:1. Use masking tape to make a 3x4 box with the sums of problems you want them to memorize. This picture above shows the students working on their doubles facts.2. Make a set of flashcards with the problems you want them to practice.3. All students should sit in a line around the box (not shown here because of privacy issues).4. Choose two students to be "it". They stand on the number 0.5. Call out a math fact. The students hop to the correct answer.6. The first student to hop to the fact with their completely within in the lines stays in. The other student sits back down in exactly their same place. Keep it light-hearted and take away the competitive nature. To do this, I emphasize how much luck plays into it (i.e. "ooh, you had good luck being right by the six").6. Then the next student in line is in against the last rounds winner. Luck really does take a big part of this and you will see that one student will rarely last more than three rounds before someone else bumps them out. 7. We play this as a group for a few days. After that, I leave the cards and box out and let the students play if they ever have a free moment in class. After while, I change the numbers to more challenging problems. I have had my "game board" set up since September and they STILL are going crazy to play!

This game can be set up and implemented ANY time of year! Have fun!

19 Books for Halloween Fun!

Hi, friends! 
It's Laura from Peace, Love, and First Grade!
Hope your weekend is going well!

If you read my blog, you know I'm obsessed with children's literature!

I spend a great deal of time checking out titles to use in the classroom! 
 Old and New!

This week on my blog, I shared 19 titles perfect for Halloween!
 Click the pic to read about my favorite Halloween stories!
Hope your Halloween is spooky!!

Let's Play Top It! Differentiating Your Math Centers - w/ a Math Freebie!

Hi everyone! I'm Christina DeCarbo from Miss DeCarbo's Sugar and Spice! I am SO excited to be joining The Primary Chalkboard! 

For my first post, I will be sharing SEVEN ways you can differentiate a fun math game called Top It from the Everyday Mathematics program. 

I teach 90% of my math instruction in small groups, so games are a must! I think math games are one of the easiest ways to differentiate instruction within our math block, while making sure students are having fun, engaged, and working with hands-on manipulatives.  

Top It is a two player game.  Essentially, it is the game of "war" that you played as a kid with playing cards! To play, you need at least two copies of single digit number cards.  Players put all cards face down in a pile. They flip over the cards and the player with the greatest value, sum, or difference (depending on the rules) wins all the cards from that hand. (The kids can use a dry erase board if they need a space to show their work.) Players continue until all the cards in the deck have been collected.  The player with the most cards wins the entire game! Then, students repeat and play again!

So let's start differentiating!  Let's go!:

This version is perfect for kindergarten students who are learning how to identify and understand the value of numbers 0-9.  The player with the greatest number wins both cards for his/her pile! :)

This version involves not only comparing numbers but place value understanding, too. Each student flips over two cards. Players make the greatest number possible with their two cards. The player with the greatest two digit number wins all four cards for his/her pile!

Play this version the same way as the previous game, except with three digits! Students will practice placing numbers into the hundreds, tens, and ones place to make the greatest three digit number.  The player with the greatest number wins all six cards for his/her pile!

For this version, each play flips over two cards. Players add their cards together. The player with the highest sum wins all four cards.  Repeat, and play again! 

For subtraction top it, students should subtract the smaller number from the larger number. The player with the greatest difference wins!

Students will flip over three cards and add them together. The greatest sum wins that round and gets all 6 cards to add to his/her pile! Repeat until all the cards are used.

This version is great for the end of first grade and second/third graders. Students flip over four cards and create 2 two-digit numbers that they will add together. The player with the greatest sum wins all eight cards for his or her pile. 

You can click HERE to download the following number cards
 for your Top It games! You can also click on any of the pictures below. 
These cards would also be great to use for small group math work and whole class lessons.

Math games are an easy way to differentiate within your classroom - and they're FUN! :) 
I hope you and your students have a blast with all of these variations of Top It!