Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spring has FINALLY sprung!

Hello Again!

Living in Wisconsin we are used to cold winters and winter storms, but what we are not used to are 20 degree below normal days all of March and April.  Well FINALLY, after indoor recess twice the first week of spring and two winter storm warnings the temp hit the high 60's yesterday!  It was much needed for all of us and now I can finally put away all the winter coats :)!!

I am linking up again with Doodle Bugs Teaching to recap my week at school.

1.  Weather in Wisconsin.....  What a difference a week makes!   These pictures say it all : )

34 degrees with 10-20 mph winds.  Brrrrrrr

67 degrees just one week later.  Lovely!!

2.  We have been so busy these last two weeks planting grass and alfalfa seeds.  We have been working hard writing our group research papers on parts of a plant.  I am working on proofreading each section so look for My Plant Unit to be posted very soon on my Teachers pay Teachers store .

Coming soon to my TpT store.  Like me on My Facebook Page to be notified when this product is posted!

Download your FREE copy of the plant observation journal included in my Plant Unit. 

3.  After the award ceremony for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Award was snowed out in March, it was rescheduled for last Wednesday.  I was not feeling the best that day, but it was a very nice presentation and lunch.  We do not have any idea when the winner will be announced so the waiting continues!  In case you are not familiar with the award process:  Another elementary teacher(5th grade) and myself are finalists for the PAEMST.  This award is the highest award presented to teachers in mathematics.  I was nominated last school year and after going through the lengthy application process, I got a call last summer notifying me that I was one of two state finalists.  One of us will be named the national winner for the state of Wisconsin hopefully by the end of May or beginning of June.  Winner will receive a trip to Washington DC for an award ceremony and also wins $10,000.  Keep your fingers crossed! 

Posing for a picture with Assistant State Superintendent Shelia Briggs

4.   Goals for this summer.  I made a list of things I would like to do this summer.  With three young children with me at home this summer I hope I meet my goals, but we will see.  My main goal is to put together all my math intervention activities I have created this past school year into one document.  When I create these type of intervention activities I make sure that the concepts are in the form of games or other engaging activities that are fun to do.  Many times all you will need are just number tiles and 6 sided dice.  Very little prep to the them most out of your students will very little time to prepare. 

My second main goal is to become more tech savy.  Everything I have learned about blogging, photoshop elements, and creating products are simply from teaching myself one method that, I would be willing to bet, is not the most efficient way.

My third goal is to make sure I finish and post all my unfinished products for TpT.  I do not even want to admit how many products I have started and just need to make pretty before posting!

5.  Here are the variety of products that I am currently finishing up to post into my store. 
I broke down the kindergarten mathematics standards into to I can statements that help both the teacher and the student understand each component of the Common Core State Standards.  I broke down each standards into the I can standards and also copies of each I can statement with examples.  Get your Free Sample here.  Again, like my Facebook Page to get updates on all my products!

Here is my first grade breakdown of the standards.  I am just fine tuning this product before posting in on Teachers pay Teachers store.

This packet is just addition right now, but I may add subtraction practice as well since I am such a strong believer in teaching addition and subtraction together. 

I am debating on making this product larger to meet the needs of more teachers.  I currently only have this product aligned to the Reading Literature standards for the Common Core State Standards, but I may extend it to Informational Text also. 
Well that is all for this week.  Look for updates on my facebook page as well as this blog for future freebies!

Tina Parker

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Intervention/Enrichment Block

Hello!  I am joining the very talented Jodi Southard from Fun In First to link up to " Be A Fly on My Wall" linky party.  I am so very excited since the topic of this linky is INTERVENTION BLOCK!! 

Our district has implemented a new 30 minute "Target Time" intervention/enrichment block each day this school year and I have been loving the concept and looking for ideas for our grade level (first) to really fine tune the assesment and progress monitoring aspect. 

We went into the school year planning on starting the first round of target time to last 6 weeks and to keep the focus on reading.  We used our grade level DRA2 reading assessment scores to first group our kids and then looked at individual student needs based on our beginning of the school year assessments.  Our first groupings included letter ID, letter sound(2), short vowel (2 groups), and a fluency group.  Since first grade has the greatest need we have the 3 general education first grade teachers, a special education teacher, literacy coach, and title one teachers leading each group.  We also had three educational aides assisting the groups with higher need.  After all year we finally are trying a math round of target time and I have the "bubble" students.  These students are the students that were flagged in 3 or more areas of AIMS web.  My group is working on number ID up to 100 and to 120, structuring of number (dot patterns to 10), skip counting forward and backwards to 120, number after, number before, and other number sense activities that will build on needed mathematical concepts. 

We are just finishing up our second week and here are my lesson plans and activities I have conducted/created up through this week:  Target Time Math Intervention Lesson Plans  Feek free to download these lesson plans and use the activites!

I have the same structure every day and have 4 total adults in the classroom everyday. We start with a warm-up to practice structuring of number, the main activity, an extra activity for those who need it, and then an area for the adult to note observations of student learning. 

Here are some activities that have had my students 100% engaged for the entire activity.  I am also want quality lessons that will be meaningful and not take hours and hours of prep time to create.  These activities are easy and simple to prep, but more importantly then students are learning!!!

This activity only requires number tiles 0-100.  Students choose a number from the bag and sort the number either greater than 50 or less than 50.  When they are finished they will read through the numbers to once of the teachers.  The objective of this lesson is number identification to 100 and quanity discrimination. 

This activity also has a blank tens frame and cubes for those students who need that visual.  Students will roll a 6-sided die, fill that number of cubes in the tens frame, write that number in the first box, and then count the number of empty boxes to find the number that makes ten.  The objective of this lesson is number patterns to ten.

This activity only requires the number tiles as well.  Students choose a number tile, write the number, and then write the number that comes after that number. 

Number before is a glaring missing concept with students in my group.  I am working on counting by ones both forward and backwards each day and they are finally getting it!!  This activity is similar to the number after only this time they write the number before the number on the tile. 

  I just created a new facebook page and since I am new to the Facebook world (NO LIE!!) this page is a work in progress.  Please visit my facebook page Following First Grade With Mrs. Parker and become one of my first followers! 


Tina Parker

Monday, April 8, 2013

Fraction Action and FREEBIES!!

Sorry I have been absent for the past few weeks.  Report cards, math data collection, and a whole lot of distractions at home and school have kept me away. 

I FINALLY remembered to take some pictures of my math lessons the last few math days!  We started our unit on Fractions and I have been having a blast teaching the concepts.   Our curriculum does an okay job teaching the concepts, but I found some really great extension lessons to help my students understand fractions to one half and one fourth.

 When introducing fractions to my students I ALWAYS introduce one half as one part of two.  I write the one, say, "part of" as I draw the line, and then write two.  I always represent one half as many ways as I can think of so they do not get stuck thinking that one half can only be represented with a square.  I also want my students to understand further by explaining and showing them that the top number is the number of colored parts and the number on the bottom is the number of colored + not colored parts.  You will be amazed at how everything just clicks once they understand this simple explanation!

We are using Math Trailblazers are our universal math curriculum and in this activity students cut out four shapes, folded them to create a line of symmetry, and colored one of the equal parts.  Once the were finished they glued their shapes on a piece of butcher paper.  I emphasized that to them that the shapes did not always need to be places flat side down.  My shape is the blue triangle in the upper left corner and when I asked them if this is one half (point down) some replied, NO.  This told me I need to address properties of shapes once again ( flips, slides, and rotations).

Once we talked about equal parts students went back to cut out the same shapes only this time they made their shapes showing unequal parts not halves.  I challenged them to try to make unequal parts that they think no one else will make.  They had a blast with this activity.
The next day we repeated the activity only talking about one part of four, or one fourth.  At this point of the lesson I only referred to the fractions as one equal part of four.  Once again I really want them to understand the meaning of a fraction instead of just memorizing the name of the fraction names.

This first FREEBIE extension lesson I found by Chrissy Beltran Here.  I just bought mini m&ms and gave everyone a plastic spoonful.  They all got about 25 candies and a small snack as a reward for finishing.  I bought minis because on of my students has diabetes and the smaller candy portion helps regulate her blood sugar better.
Students sort their m&ms into like colors, tally, and total their colors.  On the back of this page they will write the fractional part of each color m&m and the total number of candies.

I also created my own Fraction Action FREEBIE that you can use with m & m candies Here
I created this activity as another interactive way for students to learn more about fractions in an engaging way.  I have them sorting, writing the parts, writing the fraction, illustrating the fractions, drawing the fractional parts, and writing the fraction.  Use this one page at a time or all together in a packet.

This next extension lesson is simple, but I like it because students struggle drawing equal parts themselves.  This activity was created by Paula Prince Here.  I was shocked at how well my students did on this activity. 

This is another great activity by The Teacher Wife Here.  Students will cut out the fraction pieces and then glue them under the correct fraction.  At this point of the unit I could start introducing the names of the fractions because I feel they understand the meaning of fractional parts.  Again, I thought they my students did so well!  We were on day 4 of fractions when I gave them this activity.

Finally I just have to share my latest obsession.  I have the program Photoshop Elements 11 and did not know just how useful it can be for a Teachers pay Teachers seller.  I learned how create background designs and since I am new at this part of TpT I am posting my favorite background design to see how you all like it.  This TP Design link Here.  I only downloaded three different colors and I have all primary colored backgrounds with the rainbow dots, but I wanted to see what kind of feedback I will get before posting more.  My latest learning is how to create borders.  I am very particular with my backgrounds and will post them as soon as I get at least 10 I like created. 

Have you seen the Apple app iFont Maker?  IT IS WONDERFUL!!   You can create fonts in your own handwriting and then download them on your computer and then to your products!  I have quite a few and will again post them once I get 10 that I like well enough to use in my own products!  Here is the thumbnail I created to use once I get this going:

Well that is all for this posting!  Have a great week!

Tina Parker