Free Easter Math Activity

What’s better than cute bunny Easter practice? That’s right…FREE Easter math practice!

Check out my LIMITED TIME new freebie. It’s great for practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division!

Subscribe to my blog (on the right sidebar) to get future flash freebies!

Grab it now, It’s free for a limited time!

 

Free Math Bunny Math center- Subscribe to my blog blog.printableprompts.com for updates! Free Math Bunny Math center- Subscribe to my blog blog.printableprompts.com for updates!Free Math Bunny Math center- Subscribe to my blog blog.printableprompts.com for updates! Free Math Bunny Math center- Subscribe to my blog blog.printableprompts.com for updates!

Enjoy!

 

Teaching with the Common Core- 1 year later

It was exactly one year ago today that I decided to start blogging. I was frustrated about the pushback to the Common Core, a set of standards that I was embracing and LOVING in my classroom. I am just as frustrated today. I read popular children’s book authors posting ridiculous things about the standards… I’ve heard community members say that we should “overthrow” the Common Core because it makes kids like zombies and all the  same (I’m not sure exactly how).  I have heard teachers saying it is stressing their students out. I have heard parents say that the Common Core dumbs things down for students. And still… I wonder, have they read the actual standards?

After talking to a number of people and reading articles (and their comments) I think these are 2 big things at the center of the Common Core debate.

1.Prescribed, scripted district programs and curriculum-

It seems that some school districts have ordered prescribed teaching programs that teachers are required to teach from, sometimes exclusively. Could it be a knee jerk reaction by a district, making sure that the teachers are meeting the standards? I believe that teachers are smart, teachers are professionals, teaching is a craft- and whenever teachers are handed their plans it’s like they become a substitute in their own classrooms in a way. There is little choice and few opportunities to develop new curriculum or bring in new resources that meet the standards. That is a surefire way to take the excitement and engagement out of teaching and learning.

Some people are worried that they can’t help their students (especially with math), because it’s too complicated. I think this might be, in large part, due to the program the district chooses in some places. Some of the insane problems I have seen posted online and shared on facebook and the like, are absolutely ridiculous. I guess you could say that kind of problem fits within the standards, but those types of “27 step first grade math problems” just don’t have to be what people are making them.

2. Testing-

Some people are confusing standardized testing with the standards. Politically, I get that there is a big connection. I can see why parents and community members would be concerned. Academically, however, when those 15 first graders are sitting in front of me, my goal is to teach them how to learn. To coach them as they explore and discover. None of the teachers I know are cramming for a test any more than they were with the state test (Connecticut Mastery Test). Are there concerns about the testing? Sure. I am always concerned when there is a huge emphasis on one measure. It is important to remember, however, that the standards don’t ask for a test. The standards are just that… standards.  I wonder if people realize that there were standards before these… and ours in Connecticut actually weren’t much different than the Common Core in many ways. There were also big standardized tests before the SBAC and like assessments… I took them when I was in school.

 

So what have I learned?

I AM SO LUCKY!  I am lucky to work in a district where we are referred to as “practitioners of education”.  I work in a district where I am allowed to decide how I deliver the standards. Do we have curriculum guidelines? Of course! But I can meet the standards through a favorite picture book (in fact, they’re PERFECT for teaching Common Core Standards) or through a poem. If my students are exceptionally interested in animals, I have the freedom to choose to use materials, text, and resources to meet the standards using this topic (I don’t think I’ll ever understand why some people are complaining about informational books.. the kids LOVE THEM!).

So… here’s what I have decided to do. I will unpack the standards one by one. I’ll do at least one a week, and i’ll share how I am meeting these standards in my first grade classroom. Maybe it’ll shed some light on what the Common Core can be.

 

The Chocolate Touch

MMM… chocolate! Yes, I am that teacher with a desk drawer full of chocolates (don’t tell my colleagues 😉 )… and I wonder why I put on so much weight during the school year despite eating bananas and salad for lunch!

This afternoon I put the finishing touches on my 45 page Chocolate Touch book companion. This is one of my favorite books to use in the classroom. It is full of humor, great vocabulary, and a little bit of magic.

The Chocolate Touch book companion. Blog.printableprompts.com The Chocolate Touch book companion. Blog.printableprompts.com The Chocolate Touch book companion. Blog.printableprompts.com

 

Another fun and easy thing to do after completing reading the book is to make your own chocolates! I prefer to buy the little chocolate wafers, Wilton candy melting bottles, and  chocolate molds.

You can just microwave and pour the chocolates into the molds and cool!

Great for following step by step directions!

 

This book study is super exciting

and it’s also making me very hungry!

So… Here are some links to my top 3 FAVORITE chocolate recipes:

3. Chocolate Mint Cookies– http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-mint-cookies-i/

2. Nutella Filled Croissants- No real recipe needed! Just use Nutella & Pillsbury Croissants… spread,roll, bake, eat!

1.CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BLOSSOMS!  Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossomshttps://www.hersheys.com/recipes/recipe-details.aspx?id=8504

 

April showers- April Writing, Printables, Centers, and Easter Printables!

This weekend it’s looking like March is going to be wrapping up with another snowy Saturday… just in time to start planning for April.

I am ready for a break and my students are seeming like they’re ready for a break… so is it too soon to start the countdown?

Here are a few quotes from my class this week:

“My engine is running really high this week.” (No, it wasn’t the productive, working engine… it was the run through the classroom kind of engine).

“Ok my brain is having trouble imagining grass.”

and lastly

“How many days until summer?”

So, as we head into April, I’ll be looking for ways to keep them engaged and learning as the spring fever amps up even further.

New centers are always one thing that does the trick. I’ve created a pack of 6 new spring centers. A couple of them are “work work” type centers, and a couple of them are writing centers.

Spring Centers for K-1! Check out more at blog.printableprompts.com Spring centers for K-1. Check out more at blog.printableprompts.com
April showers are also another inevitable part of the month, and I’m counting on them meaning RAIN showers (Please!). My students are always a little more difficult to engage on a rainy day and indoor recess certainly doesn’t help the matter. I’ve also put together some rainy day activities including response to a couple of my favorites Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The Rain Came Down.

I, personally, like to keep these as “back pocket” activities to use on that especially rainy week. It seems like their narrative and opinion writing also comes more easily when they can relate to the experiences.

Rainy Day Fun! Including resources for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Rain Came Down, Rainy day writing & math fun!  Check out more at blog.printableprompts.com Rainy Day Fun! Including resources for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Rain Came Down, Rainy day writing & math fun!  Check out more at blog.printableprompts.com Rainy Day Fun! Including resources for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Rain Came Down, Rainy day writing & math fun!  Check out more at blog.printableprompts.com
I’ve also created an April Writing pack. It includes a printable journal with prompts, blank paper templates (to add for free choice writing, or to go with existing writing assignments you may do), and some listing activities.

April writing- Printable journal, writing prompts, papers, and list prompts. blog.printableprompts.com April writing- Printable journal, writing prompts, papers, and list prompts. blog.printableprompts.com April writing- Printable journal, writing prompts, papers, and list prompts. blog.printableprompts.com April writing- Printable journal, writing prompts, papers, and list prompts. blog.printableprompts.com

And lastly… who doesn’t love a little Henry and Mudge. My firsties are SOOO excited to finally be approaching chapter books. I’ve created the first of many of my Henry and Mudge book companion packs.

Henry and Mudge In Puddle Trouble book companion! blog.printableprompts.comHenry and Mudge In Puddle Trouble book companion! blog.printableprompts.comHenry and Mudge In Puddle Trouble book companion! blog.printableprompts.com

 

UPDATE: Now i’m really losing it! Just had to update this post because I forgot to mention my EASTER printables! How could I forgot this?

Super cute way to write and practice  basic math with a bunny/ Easter theme!

You can find all of these in my TeachersPayTeachers, and TeachersNotebook shops.

Leave a comment or a link to some of your favorite spring resources!

 

Thanks for your support!

-Jenn

UPDATE: Now i’m really losing it! Just had to update this post because I forgot to mention my EASTER printables! How could I forgot this?

Super cute way to write and practice  basic math with a bunny/ Easter theme!

Easter Printable Fun! blog.printableprompts.comEaster Printable Fun! blog.printableprompts.comEaster Printable Fun! blog.printableprompts.com

TPT- The Return of “Chaching”

Hello there. It’s spring here in CT, but still feels like winter (as is pretty much typical for New England). The result of all of this? I’ve been stuck inside and tried to make myself very productive. I’ll list a few of my new things at the end of the post.

But first… for the explanation for my cheesy title.

For those of you who aren’t TPT sellers, the “Chaching” sound is a notification sent to you whenever you sell a product on TeachersPayTeachers. It is an exciting moment, no matter how large or small the sale might be.

If you are a TPT seller, you probably mourned the loss of the “chaching” notifications a few months ago, making for an extra bleak winter. The notifications left without explanation and any indication of if they would return in the future. There was an emptiness in my day where my seven and three year old’s “chaching” song and dance had once been.

If you’re anything like me, you probably tried to get just as excited when you heard an e-mail notification only to have your hopes dashed when it was just an e-mail from Toys R Us, Old Navy, or Groupon.

This past week, however, just as spring was approaching, I awoke to a wonderful surprise. “CHACHING!” Could it be?… Could it be the return of the “Chaching”? Emerging from hibernation just in time for spring? IT was!

Ok… so I’m being a little dramatic, but the “chaching” sound matters! Why? I’m not really sure, except that it makes my heart beat fast and I sometimes have to hold back for jumping for joy each time I hear it- no matter how big or small the sale!

In my pondering, I’ve considered four possible reasons the sound is such a big deal to me (and some of my seller friends).

1.It’s VALIDATING to know that the products I have developed are valued and useful to other teachers. It validates that I, in fact, do have the ability to create worthwhile things.

2.It’s a SURPRISE! I don’t have to check my e-mail, or login, or even open my app. I can be snuggled up for a movie with my kids, in my classroom late one afternoon, or even sick in bed (winter germs stink!), and suddenly… “chaching!”

3.It’s SUCCESS! I don’t know about you, but I spend lots of money on my classroom. As a contracted teacher, salaries are set, and there aren’t many opportunities (aside from summer school) to make additional money. TeachersPayTeachers has changed that for me and tons of other teachers around the country. The sound represents opportunity and success! It is a reminder that I can set and meet my goals!

4. I, personally, find my kids to be pretty cute… and the song and dance they developed when the “chaching” rings through the house is priceless. I’m glad it’s back! It’s exciting to know that they SHARE in my joy and success.

So if you’re reading this, and you work for TPT… Please don’t ever take our chaching away again! It matters!

As promised, here are some of my newest goodies! I’ll write about some more of them soon, but just want to give you a quick peak at some of my newest things!

The SUN!- Research companion to use with any classroom resources about the sun! blog.printableprompts.com The SUN!- Research companion to use with any classroom resources about the sun! blog.printableprompts.com The SUN!- Research companion to use with any classroom resources about the sun! blog.printableprompts.com

Stone Fox book companion! blog.printableprompts.com Be A Perfect Person in Just Three Days - book companion! blog.printableprompts.com

 

Reading Vocabulary & Terminology For Teachers

To test, or not to test. That is the question that has been at the center of controversial and heated debates regarding testing and the Common Core. Usually the debate is regarding the overassessment of students, but recently in Connecticut, many elementary teachers have been mandated to take a reading “survey”. I am not sure how the working definition of “survey” is different from “test” except that, for now, we are told our scores are not reported to anyone but us.

Many teachers I know are uncomfortable. This side of the testing is a place that many teachers haven’t been for a long time. The language and vocabulary in the questions alone (as can be seen on the practice test for the Foundations of Reading test) are difficult for some teachers to remember offhand. Many teachers were stressed and discouraged.. after all.. what is the difference between phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and phonics? Does a teacher’s confusion between the three on a “survey” mean that he or she doesn’t know how to teach any one of those components? I’m not sure it does. Luckily for me, I recently finished my Master’s Degree in Reading (I guess all that vocabulary/terminology cramming is paying off!)

So… here is a little “cheat sheet”…. as a teacher I guess I should say “study sheet” of vocabulary and reading terminology related to early literacy. I tried to explain the words as understandably as possible.  If you’re in need of a refresher for an assessment  or even just a sheet to place in the front of a binder for easy reference, click through to download the nice PDF version of my freebie.

Reading Terminology for teachers! blog.printableprompts.com Reading Terminology for teachers! blog.printableprompts.com

Don’t forget to leave feedback, and tell a friend to hop on and download from my TPT store as well!

 

Little Red Riding Hood & Jack and the Beanstalk

So, it has been a couple of weeks since I’ve written, mostly because I have been busy creating.

And… as promised I have posted my Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk resources!

Here they are!

Jack and the Beanstalk literacy and math activities! blog.printableprompts.com Jack and the Beanstalk literacy and math activities! blog.printableprompts.comJack and the Beanstalk literacy and math activities! blog.printableprompts.com

Little Red Riding Hood Literacy and Math activities- Book companion. blog.printableprompts.comLittle Red Riding Hood literacy and math activities! blog.printableprompts.com Little Red Riding Hood literacy and math activities! blog.printableprompts.com

One of the reasons I am so excited about them is the extension activities. Sometimes, practicing those common skills, such as ABC order, Narrative writing, or a addition is so much more exciting and engaging when it relates to the literacy topic. I have also included different version of retelling/ summarizing and comparing versions of the story (another first grade favorite thing to do!).

 

Hope you enjoy! Now… to decide which story to work on next!