October 2012 - Susan Jones Teaching

Turkey Malurkey & a Bundle!

Turkey day is one of my favorite holidays! 

Random fact about me: I used to call it Mashed Potato Day when I was a kid because I hate, hate, hated turkey... but I tell ya, I loved mashed potatoes. Garlic mashed potatoes, buttery mashed potatoes, cheesy mashed potatoes, sour cream, chives, and bacon mashed potatoes. Oh-em-gee are your mouths watering yet?! That is right... I wouldn't eat turkey, I wouldn't eat stuffing, I wouldn't eat cranberry sauce, just a whopping pile of mashed potatoes. What can I say? I was a weird kid.

Well now, as a much more mature adult, I have learned to like turkey. Not love, just like.

I finished my Thanksgiving literacy centers this past weekend and while I say they are for Thanksgiving, they are mostly just TURKEY themed!

Here are a few of my fave parts from my new pack:
 Turkey Races!
It is no secret that I love games. This one is easy-peasy and fun to play! Students roll a die and find the corresponding sound. Students can move their marker to the closest word that has that sound in it. If students roll a turkey, they get to move their partner's marker all the way back to start - BOO YAH! The first one to the finish line wins! If they make it there too quickly, I make them race to the finish and back to start!

I made a separate game for short vowels, long vowels, digraphs (above), and blends. My kids are all working on different spelling patterns right now so this will help differentiate!

Next, I can't help but make another turkey craft! I made this one to resemble the cute little turkeys all over this pack (from the ever-fabulous Jessica Weible)

These are just some of the activities in my "Turkey Malurkey" literacy pack! If you'd like to check out more, just click on the picture below and download the preview at my TPT store :)

I also decided to bundle these ELA activities with my math centers to create:
Hip hip hooray - it's Turkey Day! Bundle!

***They are all the same activities, just bundled for a discounted price :) ***

On a side note:
Parkster and I just got back from an amazing little 3 day getaway here in Vegas and I am exhauuuusted! I was too busy having fun to take any pictures!! I did snap this little ditty of our crazy HUGE, but crazy delicious dinner at Hash House A Go-Go!
(Ignore the goofy faces)

Have a great week!

Halloween Activities

Halloween season is among us! Honestly, we don't spend TOO much time on this holiday in the classroom, but I find the best way to get this seasonal fun in is through centers! 

Here are a few of the fun things we do the few days leading up to Halloween:
 Trick or treat math sort!

 A little how to writing!

 We read some fun Halloween facts and record our thinking afterwards!

 This simple strategy game has students working to remove 1 or 2 q-tips at a time. They start with 10 "bones" and try to be the last player to remove a bone from the skeleton. Students are subtracting and they don't even know it!

 This riddle is a classic and we love to hang them on a bulletin board! Students brainstorm facts about themselves and draw themselves under a decorated mask. We try to guess who each classmate is!

We can lift up and see!

You can find these activities and LOTS more:

Enjoy the holiday!

Going Batty!

A three day week for the kids.

22 parent-teacher conferences.

Report cards right around the corner.

Lesson-study with my first grade team.

Organizing 140 QSI results to make intervention groups.

I am going BATTY!

Thankfully, my favorite craftivity designer, Mrs. Cupcake, has got me covered! 

We are learning to identify the main topic and key details of non-fiction texts and this morning we read allllll about bats! 

I had been waiting for the perfect time to use her little freebie and today was it.

Are they not the cutest bats you've ever seen?!?

Tomorrow we will use her writing templates to write all the fun information we learned.

Click on the picture below to snag your own copy before Halloween is here!

I hope everyone's conferences are going well! I only have 2 more tomorrow - WAHOO!
Happy hump day!!

Spider Word Families!

 Parent teacher conferences are this week - ahhhh!!

That being said I have tons to do and not enough time to do it all! So this post will be short and sweet. I made this little spider craftivity that we will be completing tomorrow afternoon. It is EZ-PZ and free! Click on any of the pictures below to snag yourself a copy!

I also want to show you a sneak peek of my Halloween bulletin board:
 It isn't finished yet, but I will be choosing some of the word family spiders to decorate and a few more of my riddle crafts to fill up the board. Once the whole thing is put together I will take a good picture for you guys!

Happy Sunday :)

10's Frame Trains & Sight Word Cubes (MPM Supplies)


Okay... technically for most of you it is already Saturday, but I am going to milk my last hour of Friday as much as I can.

I was contacted by someone at MPM School Supplies a few weeks ago and I was given the opportunity to buy some products to review from their website and I have to tell you I was VERY pleased with my choices!

I chose 2 items to review:

I saw the sight word cubes first and I have a group of kiddos that need some major practice with their sight words. Instead of the same old, boring, flash cards, I thought I would switch it up for my little ones! First we practiced simply rolling and reading and once they got familiar with most of the words, I added a Sight Word Quilt page so students could identify and color the words they rolled.
 The Sight Word Quilts are from Erica Bohrer's Just Right Reading Response Activity Sheets for Young Learners. To check it out, click {here}!

The next product I received, I fell in love with immediately!
My class has been working on number sense through number talks each day and this game has helped my low group tons this week!
 The Ten Frame Trains come with a tens-frame spinner (numbers 1-10), ten connecting trains, and 20 Unifix cubes. My kids took turns spinning, identifying the number on the spinner and adding that many cubes to their trains. After each spin I would check in with them and see how many cubes they had at that time. They had a ball with these!

The MPM School Supply website was easy to navigate and checkout was a breeze! I will also add that I have been checking back for more supplies lately and they always seem to have great sales going on.

With the holiday season right around corner, MPM is offering my first 10 readers an extra 10% off discount. You just need to click the link below to redeem the offer:

Happy shopping!


Addition with 3 Addends

I love math games. Did you already know that?!?

I really do. In my classroom, I teach a concept whole group, send my little ones off to play a game to practice that concept, students independently try via pencil and paper (or more likely mini-whiteboard and marker), then bring them back for review.

Rinse, dry, repeat.

Yah, this isn't new, I know.

What IS new, are the games and assessments I made for addition with 3 addends!

Last year when we adopted the CCSS, I had nooooothing for addition with 3 addends. Nothing. So I ended up making a few games, practice pages, and assessments. Well, I was looking it over this weekend and it needed a revamp - big time.

My little packet went from 17 pages to 44. From 2 activities to 7, and from 1 assessment to 3 with 5 practice pages!

Here are some highlights:
games, games, games = practice, practice, practice

A great mix of reading and math:
Students make CVC words, then add the letters together to get the sum. I made task cards to guide students at first, then they can just make their own words.

Story problems, missing addend problems, and basic addition with 3 addends.
I made 3 different ones for you to use throughout your unit.

If you'd like to see more you can visit my [my TPT store] or click the first image above and read the description/download the preview.

The weekend is almost near! Yahoo!


Writing Personal Narratives Using Small Moments!!

How do you write narratives?!

I already mentioned this before, but I am piloting Being a Writer this year and while I am loving the community feeling, I feel like my writing is pretty basic right now. I know we are building the foundation, but I am itching to just dive in and get to our interesting openings and "juicy" details. I am also missing Lucy Calkin's small moments as a starting point to our narratives.

Thankfully, Being a Writer has some "off" weeks that I can use to supplement and that is exactly what I will be doing. First things first... I will introduce a small moment!

We always talk about a small moment as being one, small, isolated incident in our lives. For example, a small moment would be eating a ball park frank during a baseball game - not the baseball game as a whole. This can be a tricky concept for my firsties to narrow down, so after we brainstorm together, I send them off to fill out their own small moments maps.
Once I see that they can narrow down small moments, I have them choose one and we start writing our narratives! We go through the following steps:

Circle map: 
Students think of as many details as possible about your small moment.

Draw it out:
Using detailed pictures, students draw out what happened before, during, and after their small moment.

Stretch it out:
Students take each picture and write what is happening.

Book Study:
We use Froggy books to add some fun writing features to spice up our stories!

We use different checklists to help us self-edit and peer-edit our stories.

& finally publishing!

Well... I wasn't planning on giving you all the full run down on my narratives process, but it actually worked out well for me because now I feel more prepared for next week! Thanks for letting me talk it out with you all!

If you'd like to see my narratives pack in more detail, just click on the picture below:
Happy weekend & happy writing!


Sweet Lisa, over at Growing Firsties, has a new narratives pack you should all check out too! I'm all about finding what is best to meet YOUR needs!!


Turkey Math

As November is nearing, I wanted to create some fun and seasonal math activities for my students to keep them engaged and learning! It can be a difficult few weeks of learning between all the candy crazed madness that Halloween brings, then the fun of Thanksgiving to winter holidays! I find the more I can tie in the holidays to our learning, the better we all fare!

Some of the activities I made are below!

Spin-a-story problem:
We work a lot on story problems in my class - solving them, dissecting them, creating them, etc. This is a fun little activity to get their brains workin' and their creativity flowin'! Students use a paper clip and pencil to spin 2 spinners. The first one gives them what their story is about and the second spinner tells them if they are writing an addition or subtraction story problem. Students write their problem, draw their problem, and solve it with a number sentence! I have students do this with their partner at their seat and they have a lot of fun challenging each other to solve their problems.

Number of the day turkey:
I see a lot of turkey crafts during the holidays, but I wanted to add a little something to it. My kids usually complete a "number of the day" where they show me the different ways to make a number, so I thought I would take it one step further and have them make their number into a turkey! Students choose their number and write it in the middle of their turkey. On each feather they will show their number in different ways (tens frame, picture, number word, tallies, base 10 cubes, and sentence). I included all the templates for this little craft in my packet.

All Mixed Up!
Students practice pulling turkey cards that have random numbers on them (0-120) and either put them in order from least to greatest or compare the 2 numbers using <, >, =.

You can see all of these activities and more by clicking HERE!

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