It is hard to believe that it is almost time for the winter games to begin again. Every time I think about them I remember the excitement we felt when they were held in Vancouver in 2010. It was such a special time for those of us who live in British Columbia.
My students were so engaged and felt connected to the athletes and their accomplishments. We would listen to the theme song I Believe and this became our song in class. As some of you may know, "believe" is my power word and it comes up often as I am constantly coming across things with the word on them.
It is times like this that I miss having my own class. There are so many things I would love to do with my students. During the last winter games, I created some activities that could be used to make writing and Math time winter game focused. I would certainly be doing some of them in the next few weeks if I had the opportunity.
Here are some task card templates that can be used to create your own questions, games, or activities. I hope you find them helpful as we watch the athletes compete to represent the various countries.
I know this will be an exciting time for people all around the world as they cheer on their athletes. It is a time when we focus on the good in the world. It is a time to unite instead of divide. I hope for more caring and kindness towards one another, not just during the games but everyday.
Years ago, I taught Grade 1 French Immersion for 4 months and then I taught French Immersion music for several years. My own children also attended French Immersion schools when they were young.
Now some of my grandchildren are studying at French Immersion schools and my son is teaching French Immersion music. It is exciting to see the cycle beginning again.
I have taken some of my early literacy and numeracy products and created a French version. I have enjoyed trying them out with my grandchildren and I am planning on taking them to the school so that they can be used in the classroom as well. I have also created a new game to help them learn how to create sentences. Check them out below.
If you are interesting in finding out more about learning a second language, my next post is about learning a second language. Click on the image below to read it.
Children love to play with money and they get very excited when they have the opportunity to use it for activities. This makes it a great tool for teaching many different math skills as well as life lessons. Here are several money products that I have used with my students to help them better understand how money is used.
One of the first things we want them to be able to do is recognize currency and the value of each coin or bill. They need to be able to count money and figure out how much money is needed for various purchases. These products focus on counting coins and deciding what coins are needed to make different amounts.
Once children are able to count money, they need to be able to produce the correct amounts in order to make purchases. They also need to know how to count change when they overpay so they are able to manage their money as they use it in the real world.
Money is also a great tool for learning how to do regrouping. I often taught my students that they were going to the bank when they needed more ones or tens or when they had too many and had to trade them in for larger amounts. They would actually use the coins to do the math transactions and this helped them to better understand the concept of regrouping.
Word problems can be difficult for children because not only do they need to do the math, they need to understand what the words mean in order to do the math questions. Using money as manipulatives can sometimes help with making sense of the problems. These word problems are some examples of things that children could encounter in real life.
This is one of my favorite units. It was created with my students. It started out as a simple activity and grew to be one of our most memorable moments that year. We created a spring fundraiser to raise money for a special field trip. We made many different things to sell. It was a perfect way to put into practice the skills we had worked on during the unit. (It works well for both Canadian and American money.)
We recently stopped using the penny in Canada. This created some confusion for businesses, so it was necessary to begin rounding up or down when making change. I created this product to address this situation.
This is a set of task cards that helps children to identify and count coins and match them up with the written form of the money amounts.
Here are my Canadian money products all in one place.
For three years before I retired, my class collected Pennies for Presents to help buy gifts for needy families at Christmas time. This was a wonderful way to give to others, but the added bonus was learning how to count money as we kept an on-going tally of what was collected each day. You can read about it here.
I hope that you find some of these ideas helpful for teaching about money in your classroom.
Christmas festivities are over and we have rung in the new year. Now it is time to get back to learning and the curriculum. This doesn't mean we have to take away the fun.
The New Year is a great time to incorporate winter celebrations into curriculum activities. There are so many different choices and events happening during the winter. There is Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, 100 Days of School, Valentines Day, and in some places in Canada, there is Family Day.
Kids enjoy games and activities that focus on celebrations and they are more likely to be engaged in the different activities. This translates into better focus on concepts and skills presented and therefore, hopefully better understanding and retention of them.
I have created some pages that can be used for some of the various celebrations. I have a complete package of ideas available here, but I wanted to share these with you now. Just click on any of the images below to get a copy.
This is an activity that can be used yearly around Chinese New Year to figure out ordinal numbers.
Here is a hundred chart for using with different activities that require counting to 100 or looking for patterns when celebrating 100 Days at School. There is also a page with things you can do.
Playing dice games is always fun to do, especially with holiday themed dice. Here is a probability page for keeping a tally of how many times different numbers are rolled.The worksheet has heart dice on it, but you can use regular dice to do the activity.
Playing dice games is always fun to do, especially with holiday themed dice. Included is a probability page for keeping a tally of how many times different numbers are rolled.The worksheet has heart dice on it, but you can use regular dice to do the activity.
These are only some of the ideas that I have for math and winter. More math activities can be found in my Teacher Pay Teachers store. I also like to do language activities using sight word bingo, memory, language task card games, and phonics activities. There are several winter and holiday celebration activities in the literacy category or sight word category in my store.
I love to use glyphs for teaching about data. Kids love to create them and they don't realize how full of information they are until we begin to analyze them. They think they are just drawing or creating pictures.
I was introduced to glyphs about 15 years ago when I went to math workshop. I was amazed at how these simple drawings contained so much data. I knew that I had to use them in my classroom.
When I began to use glyphs, I didn't know about clipart. We drew pictures to represent the data. Then we posted the pictures on the board and began to look at the data. One of my favorite glyphs was the pumpkin glyph. Here is the information needed to create one version. Note that the classification matches the template. The pictures can be used to answer the classification questions as well as counting and comparison questions.
I was so excited about using glyphs, that I bought some books with prepared templates. I still did some that we drew ourselves, but not as often. The templates required some drawing, but kids felt more confident using them because the main shapes looked more uniform.
One of my favorite glyphs, in one of the books, was the baby block. I used it many times when doing student-led conferences. It was a way for parents and children to share information together about when the children were babies. It was also a great way to introduce the parents to the power of a glyph for collecting data.
Now, there are so many different templates that can be used and added to when creating glyphs. Here are some that I made.
The beauty of using glyphs is you can make the activities as simple or complex as you want. You can create pictures and do basic sharing with them, or you can do in-depth analysis and create graphs to go along with the results.
I highly recommend giving them a try.
Halloween is an exciting time for children. They get caught up with the ideas of costumes, scary stories, carving jack-o-lanterns, and of course trick or treating. Using these themes make learning more exciting.
Learning about numbers, patterns, basic facts, and graphing can all be more fun if they involve themes. Here are some Halloween math activities that will add some spook fun to their learning.
This scaffold framework is a great one for Halloween time because it is a time when kids allow themselves to think about wild and scary things that can happen.
My students love to make up silly sentences. This is a set of Halloween themed parts of speech cards that they can use to mix and match for some hilarious sentences. Here are a couple of pictures from last year.
What kinds of Halloween fun do you do in your classrooms? I would love to hear about them.
In Canada, Thanksgiving comes in early October. This is a time for thinking about others and for being grateful for all the blessings we have. I feel that it is important to focus on giving rather than receiving, and this is a good start to preparing for the Christmas season that will be upon us before we know it.
I love to use themes when presenting Math and Language concepts because they allow for many connections in real life. Real life connections are necessary if we want our students to be able to apply what they learn and find it meaningful.
Here is a sample math and language activity that I created using Thanksgiving as the theme. Click on the image to get a copy.
If you would like to try some other
Fall/Thanksgiving activities, check out
my Fall/Thanksgiving bundle.
Using projects evolved from a need to help students share their learning in a variety of different ways. I discovered early in my classroom teaching experience that some students had a wealth of knowledge, but that they were unable to truly share it in written activities. I decided to try using projects for representing their learning, and I have never looked back.
Here are some of my most popular social studies projects as well as a couple of other special projects.
This 3D community project started out as a class project where the class created the community from beginning to end based on what we learned during our study of what a community needs. Our celebration was our chance to share what was learned during this unit.
Check out one of our communities below.
I find that Social Studies lends itself well to projects. Most of my projects deal
with Canada and the provinces and territories, but I have also done some
projects that are more global.
Our Solar System was one of my first school/home projects that required the children to choose from a variety of activities to share their learning. It also contained a criteria marking sheet so that they knew what was expected and
how it would be graded from the beginning. It was amazing to see how they rose to the challenge. Including the families when it came time to create the projects was a great way of communicating what we were doing at school.
Check out some of the projects that my students created. The greatest part
was when they shared them with the families and other guests. Their pride
and the positive atmosphere made it all worthwhile.
Here is a summary of some of the lessons and a couple of pages to go with lesson 5. Click on the grid if you would like a copy.
I hope that you have found these ideas helpful. I would love to hear about how you use projects in your classroom to represent learning.
Fall is a great time for preparing for special days and activities. School is back in session and the routines are getting established. Now it is time to get down to the academics. Math is tough for some students, but by using games and activities, they often get engaged and learn without realizing it. This allows for more enjoyment and better retention as well.
Here are some task cards and glyph activities that have been successful in my classes. The addition task cards are great for practice and review.
The glyphs are fun to do and it is interesting to see what the comparisons are when they are done. I always make sure that the names are not seen so that we can make the comparisons using just what we see in the glyphs. The pumpkin glyphs require coloring, and the turkey glyphs require cutting and pasting. I often would make a bulletin board display in the hallway later so that other classes could try to do some of the questions.
Probability games are always a hit in my class. This is a great way to teach probability and also to reinforce the concept of odd and even.
Give dice and tally sheets to each student. Roll the dice and keep a tally of each roll. Check the results after 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 rolls. The students will be amazed at how the results change as the number of rolls gets higher.
When they get good at using 6 sided dice, increase the difficulty by using 10 or 20 sided dice.This is a collection of odd and even tallies that can be used for fall or during the Halloween season. All that is needed is some dice and a tally sheet. There are different themes to choose from.
Click on the image to get your free copy.
The concept of time is a huge one for children. Younger children often ask questions such as "How much longer until we get there?" Days, weeks, months, and years are chunks of time that they struggle to grasp when they are little. How many times have you had to say things like: "We will see them in 4 more sleeps."
Birthdays come and within weeks they are already talking about who they will invite to their next birthday party. A year is such a long time away for little ones. It is important to provide some kind of markers to help them better understand the passage of time.
Calendars are great to use because children can see the days and mark them off as they pass. Holidays and special days are often used as markers as well because there tends to be something happening each month. If these special days are on the calendar, they can count the days until they come.
Children are intrigued with time and they enjoy playing games that use time. I know that one of the favorites for my students was What Time Is It Mr Wolf? They would squeal and laugh as they ran away at dinner time.
Learning to tell time needs to be done sequentially as well so that it is easier to understand and apply to daily life. Using a schedule for routines and activities can be a great place to start introducing more specific time concepts. As they become more familiar with what happens when, and about how long it lasts, they will be able to better understand more specific concepts of time and how the clock works.
Starting with general times such as times of the school day will help them to apply times to real life. Putting up visuals with the time beside them will also help.
It is important to make sure that both analog and digital time are part of the exposure to clocks as both are still used in our daily experiences. Of course, it is easier for most children to read a digital clock, so it means that they will need to practice more with analog clocks to become proficient at reading them. Using manipulatives to actually move the hands of the clock will help to imprint the concepts.
It will still be confusing for many children, but with continued practice and exposure to telling time and seeing the time written out or displayed, they will eventually become more able to use it effectively.
The confusion will disappear and the questions will become less frequent.
I have put together some sets of task cards to help with telling time. There are 3 sets of clocks with times on them and there is a set of clock templates. These are available as a bundle here or as individual products as well. Click on the image to learn more.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 8, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.
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