Saturday, 24 October 2015

Trick or Treat - A Fun Blog Hop

Welcome to a fun Halloween Blog Hop hosted by Rachael from The Classroom Game Nook.  Between October 24th and October 31st, you can hop from blog to blog participating in this link.  What does this mean for you?  First, you'll get some free tricks of the teaching trade by some very talented teacher authors, some free downloads and finally, a chance to win some very valuable prizes.  Remember this only lasts until Halloween.  So, "if the broom fits,"  hop away......

Halloween is a seriously fun time to decorate but decorating doesn't have to be limited to Halloween.  I've been on a bit of a creative spree when it comes to buttons, duck tape, washi tape and tacky glue.  This year I spent part of my summer revamping some old bulletin boards, notebooks, tin cans and pails.  Here's some pictures to inspire you when decorating your office space:

  I added some fabric to this old bulletin board and outlined it with borders.  Then I added a strip of red masking tape and glued some buttons around the border.  

I added some borders and washi tape to some tin cans.  I love these decals and letter stickers.  It really give my work area a polished look.  Each can stores different things:  pencils, pens, markers, sharpies, rulers, etc.  

This old book box needed an overhaul.  I added more borders to it and continued the same theme as the bulletin board and tin cans.  It houses some important papers and notes.  It looks great on a shelf too. 

These are just little things you can do on a tight budget.  You can take your workspace from drab to fab with just a few teacher items.  

This year I promised myself that I would take my artistic abilities to a new level.  I have always painted children's furniture, still life and canvas pieces.  I wanted to learn how to create clip art.  I enjoy adding some fun images to my newsletters.  So, here's a freebie for you.  It's my Halloween clip art sampler and is on for a limited time only.  This freebie ends October 31st.  

On a final note, I'd love to share my tried and tested Fall Math and Language Bundle with 2 lucky winners.  It's a great way to incorporate writing, fun word skills and math into your routines.  

This includes the following items:

a Rafflecopter giveaway Hop onto the next blog for some amazing treats and tricks:

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Halloween Tags

Hi everyone,

It's that time of year to think about ways to give your Halloween loot bags a fun twist.  Last year, I designed these loot bag tags for my students.  They were thrilled to receive their treats and equally thrilled to have a tag attached to them.  It's always fun to personalize your treat bags. Enjoy this Halloween freebie:

Monday, 5 October 2015

Math Tip Monday: Addition and Subtraction Skills

Addition and Subtraction should be taught in unison.  I often find that if they're taught as separate entities, children have a harder time with subtraction skills.  I use the Frayer Model to begin any new concept to see what children already know or what connections they have.

This model can be completed as a whole class or in small groups.  You begin by placing the words Addition and Subtraction in the middle.  Students then go through the chart.  Once the Frayer Model has been completed, it is hung somewhere in the room to periodically review or to add more things to as your lessons move along.

I do encourage the teaching of both concepts simultaneously.  One of my favourite resources to begin with is dot plates.  Below is an example of a simple math talk activity to give you an idea of how I introduce addition and subtraction,without using those words.

First, ask the students what they see.  Listen for their responses.  You may hear things like "I see four and four" or "I see eight."  Ask how they know.  Use language such as "how many", "more", "less", "how many more makes...", "altogether...."  Pose possible scenarios such as "If I moved four dots over to the first frame, what do you notice?" or "If I took four dots away from four frames, what do you notice?"  Eventually, students will use words such as "add" and "subtract" or you may introduce them slowly.  Using number to talk about helps encourage the use of productive ways to share strategies and ideas about addition and subtraction concepts.  

Revisit the Frayer model a few times between your math chats to see if students can add more things to the chart or to notice any misconceptions they may have had.

Second, play math games!  Children love them and I encourage playing them every Friday.  We have fun math Friday day.  One of my preferred games is "Either Way Wins".  I developed this simultaneous addition and subtraction game with a horizontal or vertical number line.  Students begin at the number 10 and learn to move along the number line by selecting a zero, one or two addition or subtraction card.  The student who gets to zero or twenty first is declared the winner.  This is part of a four pack of addition and subtraction games that includes Sum Power, Let's Play Add-It, Let's Play Minus, and Either Way Wins.

Finally, I highly recommend your look at borrowing or purchasing Sharry Parrish's resource called Number Talks.  It really has helped anchor my students' understanding of addition and subtraction facts.   Pencil and paper tasks will never allow you to see what children fully understand.  This is an excellent way to watch the interaction of mathematical thinking.  Visit the following website for more information about this:

For more great Math Tip Monday blog posts, click on the links below: