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Monday, November 24, 2014

Thank You

  I remember back to that day when I started this blog.  I just wanted to share my ideas with you, and chat about different ways to help children learn.  My granddaughter, who is a kindergarten, and lives with me is starting to read.  What a gift to see a child put all the parts together and LEARN!

That's what I wanted to share with you.
 The gift and wonder of learning. 

This blog is important to me. I feel most grateful for YOU!
Thanks to all of you who take time to come to this blog and visit with me.  Thanks to all of you who have shared ideas and your   thoughts . I know it is a small thing, but I feel connected to you.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  I'm celebrating 500,000 views, and thinking of new posts that I want to share with you that I have brewing in my head.

Deborah Devine


Monday, November 3, 2014

Recess Activity for Multi-Grade Classrooms

  Using the recess activity posted yesterday, think about ways to use  this activity in a multi-grade  classroom?
Click on the photo to read the information easier.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Recess Learning with Campaign Signs

I know that you seen many outdoor campaign posters like this with the upcoming election:

After the election, all these signs are removed and thrown away, 
so make use of this valuable resource and create this activity.

During lunch recess time, work with you lunchroom supervisor or a  parent volunteer to reinforce learning that is happening in your classroom.
First, glue a piece of paper over the front and back of the sign.  Write or glue on a written question and answer on the sign. For this example, let's imagine that your students have been studying addition doubles plus one or two.

Student begins at the start and softly dribbles the ball  to the first sign. The student calls out the answer, then waits
 to see if the answer is correct.

 A student standing next to the sign tells the student
 if they are correct.
  If they are correct,
then they softly kick the ball through the legs of the sign.
Student continues through all signs in the order
 specified by the teacher. 
great fun + exercise + learning = a great activity 

Leave a comment and let me know what you think of my idea.  

Deborah Devine

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Family Math Night At the Grocery Store Packet Completed

The Family Night at the Grocery Store Packet is completed and is available HERE at my 
 This is the English version of the packet. 
 The English/Spanish version will be available shortly.

This 39 page editable packet contains everything you will need to plan and hold a Family Math Night for your school.  The provided checklist assists the Planning Committee in thinking about all the details that make an event successful. Every grade level from K-6th Grade has an activity sheet ready to go!  Need parent input? Then use the Parent Response to the Event Sheet so parents can shout out about how great their children are in using everyday math. Informational Flyers to send home. Don't worry about making posters for the event because they are already done for you. Suggestions for promoting the event are available, and if so many parents and students come to the event that you are wondering what to do with everyone- then use the described ideas in Estimation Alley to control the crowd.

To take a closer look at what is available in the packet, just click on the above picture.  
There are 39 pages in the packet AND even a banner that you can use to promote the event that is also downloadable for free from my TPT store to promote the event or decorate the registration table at the event.
Here are some links to previous posts that describe the materials available in the packet:

The packet is in PowerPoint format so that your committee can edit the pages by highlighting the red words on the page and then typing in your unique 
 information for your event. 

The RED WORDING  tells you what information to insert.
Informational Flyer for the Front Doors of the Store to Guide Participants to the Registration Table
 Everything has been planned for your event... for only $10.00.  The activities for each grade level correlate to the Common Core Standards for that grade level.

If your school is in the Chicago-land area, I would also by available to attend your planning meeting to help your committee pull together the entire event for an additional fee.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

November Calendar Suggestion

Here is my suggestion for calendar time for the month of November:  Create a pattern of coins.
  I used plastic money and just double-stick taped it to the laminated calendar.
As each new coin is introduced, a new piece of information can be discussed about that particular coin. 

 I think it would also be interesting to use the copy machine and make some copies of different state quarters and not just use the same traditional quarter over and over. 

You could also use a pattern of coins fronts and coin backs.

Mathematically talented student suggestion: They could keep a running total of the value of the coins.

What pattern do you see? Coins that represent an increasing value-1cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents

Good class discussion: As the coin increases in value, does it's size also increase?

What would you discuss in your class if you used this calendar for November?


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sight Word Home Support

Our Kindergartener has homework every night. It's short, only about 5 minutes, but I think it is a great idea because it establishes a homework routine.  Here is an example of her homework for tonight:
  • Look for the word 'the' in a book or on a book page. Count how many times you find it.
  •  Practice saying your phone number.
She also has three sight words that the class is concentrating on in class for the week: I, the, he.

Our family decided to concentrate on those sight words too, with some activities that we will do at home.

  • Using a post it note, the three sight words were placed on the risers of the stairs. As she goes up the stairs, she reads the words aloud.
  • We play, "Where is the eraser?" She makes her choice like this: "I think the eraser is under 'he.'  We then check to see if it is under that cup. If she is correct on the first guess, she places the eraser under the cup, and I make a guess.  If she is incorrect, she keeps guessing with me in control of the cups.
                  • Another fun activity is to make the words using playdough.

So these are some of the ways our family is supporting the work that is happening at school.  We can do that because her teacher took the time to keep us informed about the sight words they are studying that week in school through a weekly homework sheet.
 If you would like me to scan one of the weekly homework sheets, and post it here on my blog, leave a comment and I will post it.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

October Calendar, Multigrade K/1 or 1st

The October calendar, that I am suggesting, continues with "attributes."  It builds on the work done in September, and emphasizes not shape but

The thick shapes are cut out of sponge sheets or foam sheets.

The thin shapes are cut out of tagboard (heavier paper).

The secondary pattern is light blue and dark blue.  This can lead to a discussion about the fact that they are both blue, but different shades of blue.  We could categorize them all as blue, or we could divide them into another attribute-- shades of blue. Could they also be categorized as large and small, smooth surface and bumpy surface, or straight sides and curved?  

If you used this calendar in a K/1st Multi-grade or 1st Grade classroom you could have the 1st Graders come up with a  list of the different ways you could categorize the shapes' attributes. Next, have them create a series of drawings that illustrates the different attributes on the list. These drawings could then be posted near the calendar center.

(This calendar also features words in Spanish-- for all my bilingual and dual language teacher friends!)

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