In 20 years, you'll be more disappointed by what you didn't do than by what you did - Mark Twain.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Give the Dog a Bone

I just love this game - Give The Dog a Bone.

I use it on the interactive whiteboard and the children would play it forever! You could also use it individually on computers but the children love performing in front of each other trying to beat their friends.

The game consists of a blank 100 chart. There are ten bones hidden in the chart. The player is given a number on the chart where the bone is hidden. They have to tap on the space where they think that number would be. If they are correct, the bone is revealed and the next number is given. If they are not correct, the number is revealed and the player can use that number to guide them to the correct space. Play continues for one minute and the player must reveal ten bones to win.

I have played this with children in my classroom for several years and it has always been really popular. In fact, parents have trouble getting their children to leave school in the afternoon, they are so keen to have an extra go!

This is an outstanding game to familiarise children with the numbers 1 - 100. They quickly learn the relative positions of the numbers, and  to add and subtract 1 and 10.

Click Here

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Basic Facts and Addition Strategies

At my last school, we had a Mathemagician Tournament every year. We had to select six students from our class to compete against other children in the same year level. All the children that were selected from each year level went on stage and had to answer as many basic fact questions as they could in one minute. Years one, two and three had addition and subtraction facts and the older classes also did multiplication and division facts.

We worked hard in class to get the children ready - introducing and practising mental strategies. I always emphasised to my firsties that they were competing against themselves, as I always had such a range of abilities - from children who would get 5 or 10 answers down in three minutes to those who could get more than 100! I would time them for three minutes. Some used concrete materials as they were just not ready for mental strategies, but most of the class would practise the strategies we had been learning.

These are the mental strategies we investigated for addition:

Adding 0
Adding 1
Adding 2
Friends of Ten (or Rainbow Facts)
Turn Around Facts
Doubles and
Near Doubles

 Have you ever come across this Youtube video?


 This has ALWAYS been so popular in my classes. The children get up and dance while they rap. It's great to watch them! Give it a try.

Here are the cards we used for the timed speed tests:

I would copy this and the subtraction card back to back. This creates a self correcting system - notice A1 on the addition card is 1 + 6 and on the subtraction card it is 7 - 6. The answer to the addition sum is the first number on the subtraction sum and vice versa! Cool huh?

I used to get the children to place the basic fact card next to their answer paper (which was ruled in ruler-width columns) and place their finger (of their non-writing hand) on the sum. As they answered each question their finger would slide down the column, keeping their place.

I time them for three minutes. Once the three minutes is up, we mark the sums. They then record their  results on a personal graph:

The graphs are great for the children to see their progress over time. They get very excited to see the columns get "longer and longer".

My firsties' goal was to get 50 basic facts correct in three minutes. When they did this they were awarded a "50 Club" certificate. This was most sought after!

If you are interested in these materials I have packaged them together and they are available in my TpT store. The 50 Club materials are suitable for Grades 1 and 2.

Also available in my TpT store is 100 Club. This package is suitable for Grades 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. It includes all four operations. 

Have fun and...

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Sight Words for Emergent Readers

Learning sight words is such an important skill in the early years, integral to learning to read. In Australia we are asking the children earlier and earlier to start recognising sight words. In my last school, we required children entering Year 1 to know about 70 words. Many children do achieve this goal but, of course, there are those little chickens who struggle to remember 10, let alone 70! 

I have developed some packages for beginning readers learning their sight words. They are designed to teach, consolidate or review groups of Dolch words, depending on the needs of the children. They are perfect for differentiation. The packages are composed of a mixture of worksheets, games and flashcards. Many of the materials can be used in Literacy Centers (Centres - for us Australians!) or for individual work and there are some whole class games also. I have included a small and large set of flashcards. These can be used for any number of different games and I have included a page of suggestions. You could also use the large flashcards for your word wall. 

Click here to go to my TpT shop to download this package.

The words included in this package are: 
the, to, and, he, a, I, you, it, of, in, was, said, this, that, she, for, on, they, but, had.

Activities and games included are:

Read it, Write it, Glue it
Find the Words
I have...Who has...
Flashcard game suggestions
Monster game
Commando game
Small flashcards
Large flashcards

Click here to go to my TpT shop to download this package..

The words included Package 2 are: 
at, him, with, up, all, look, is, there, her, some, out, as, be, gave, go, we, am, then, little, down.

Activities and games included are:

Read it, Write it, Glue it
Word Sort
I have...Who has...
Flashcard game suggestions
Monster game
Commando game
Small flashcards
Large flashcards

Click here to go to my TpT shop to download this package.

The words included in this package are: 
do, can, could, when, did, what, so, see, not, were, get, them, like, one, this, my, would, me, will, yes.

Activities and games included are:

Sight Word Graphing 
Read it, Color it, Build it. 
Cover Four
Flashcard game suggestions 
Small flashcards 
Large flashcards

As you may have noticed, all the packages have different colored monsters. These monsters are on all the worksheets and games to allow for easy organization and makes it easy to find homes for stray games pieces and flashcards!

Have fun and ...

Friday, 9 January 2015

Time to change direction

After a long and rewarding career in teaching it is time for a change. 36 years - that's about one thousand children I have taught from Kindergarten to Year 7 and everything in between. It's time to change direction, steer a different path. I didn't think I could leave education that's why I am starting something I have been thinking about for a couple of years now.

I have opened a shop on Teachers Pay Teachers. I am going to package up all the ideas that are spinning through my head, all the games, worksheets and activities that are floating around on my numerous flash-drives. All the things I didn't have time for when I was teaching full-time!

Do you know the game of Scoot? It was a favourite in my class last year. It's a great educational game for kiddies who like to move around.

Here is a freebie...

Click here to go to my shop and download the game.

This particular Scoot! game is all about halves. The kiddies have to decide whether a picture is half shaded or not or a group has half of the pictures coloured. They are asked  to identify how many is half of a group. The kiddies need to have been introduced to halves before they play this game. It is designed to practise and consolidate their knowledge.

I hope you and your class enjoy this. Let me know what you think by leaving a comment and rating the product at the bottom of the TpT page.

Have fun and...