Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Great Butter Battle

Our classroom has been a little bit Suess Crazy for the past couple weeks!

(I'm just sayin' why celebrate for a day when you could celebrate for two weeks??)

Yesterday, we honored the Great Butter Battle with our very own Butter Battle Experiment! If you throw a buttered slice of bread up into the air, will it land butter side up or butter side down more often?

To prep us for our experiement, we watched this little gem of a video on

The kidlets filled out a hypothesis page that included a hypothesis for both the student as an individual and for the group they were working in, a page that asked them to graph their results, and an experiment analysis page.

I've posted our project on TPT so you can do it too--here's the linkity link! The kids really had a fun time with it--for some reason, throwing buttered bread up in the air really is just a hoot and a half :) Who knew?!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Scholastic Book Order Genres + Freebie

I feel like it's Freebie Palooza over here! Do you ever wonder what to do with all those scholastic book orders? I know I do. I always feel like I have a ton of extras...

My teaching partner told me about something nifty she's doing with them, and I thought I'd share the idea with all of you! The kiddos are going into those book orders and cutting out the books based on genre. One day might be all fantasy books, another day might be non fiction and so on and so forth.

I thought it might be a fun idea for the kidlets to make up their own book of genres so we decided to take a.......(drumroll please)....Genre Vacation!!

I've created this "Sightseeing Journal" for the kiddos to keep that houses all the examples of the genres they've cut out of their scholastic book orders. It also has a space at the top of each page for the kiddos to write down the definition of each genre so they don't forget!
A Cover Page for Each Student
Example of an Inside Page

If you'd like a copy, this freebie is posted here on my TPT page. Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Freebie Fun!

We've been really busy comparing and contrasting--basically, if it's a person, place, or thing we've compared and contrasted it to something else.

However, our favorite comparing and contrasting activity has been the Classmate Compare and Contrast. As an end of the week reward for working so hard, we did this fun little activity to wrap up (and assess) comparing and contrasting. The students paired up with a buddy and thought of all the ways they were the same and all the ways they were different. It was so cute to see them think of all the creative ways they could compare and contrast themselves.

I, personally, was really surprised at how unique some of the answers got! "I have freckles, she doesn't." "I like pizza puffs and he doesn't." "My favorite day of the week is Monday and her's is Wednesday because she likes craft day."

We filled out a funzie little worksheet to go along with the activity, which acted as a twofer writing grade and reading oh man, do I love a twofer :)

I've posted the worksheet I made to go along with this activity on Teachers Pay Teachers--here's the link :)

The best's free! I mean, there are few words in the English language I love more than the word free....well, maybe the word coffee....or if the word "Free" is followed by "Gift with Purchase".....but I digress.

Stop by and download this little freebie! Not only will you get a (FREE! Have I said it enough?) fun little activity for your kiddos, but you'll give my ego a boost! See?? It's a win/win!....please? :) Happy Tuesday!

P. S. Two yummy new (low fat!) recipes posted on Sparkly, Quirky Lifebox--check it out!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Apartment Subtraction: A New Look at "Borrowing"

Borrowing, has many names, but each time this traditional subtraction concept comes up I feel it is one of the most difficult for students to visualize and comprehend. I've started doing something with the kidlets that our class has dubbed "Apartment Subtraction". It's a story I tell each year that helps the kiddos understand what to do when we're doing double digit subtraction with regrouping.

Here is the poster I make with the kiddos to go along with the explanation....

Here's the Story:

"'You' are in the top right apartment and you want to give something special to your downstairs neighbor. The only problem is since you're a smaller number than your downstairs neighbor, you don't have enough money. You need to borrow 10.

You always always always borrow from your upstairs neighbor because he's so nice and will always lend you a ten. You NEVER borrow from the downstairs neighbor. He's a grouch--probably because he has to live on the ground floor and doesn't like it.

Once you've borrowed your ten, make sure your upstairs neighbor has 1 less and you have added "10" to yourself.

Now can you subtract?? Yes!"

I hope this strategy is able to help someone else out! The idea of giving each apartment it's own 'personality' has really given the kiddos something to visualize--making it so much easier for them to remember. Let me know if it works for you too! :)