Monday, October 31, 2011

Literacy frog hopper freebies!

I hope you liked my maths froggy hopper activities.  As promised, here is the literacy froggy hopper activities.

I have made a consonant froggy hopper mat and a vowel one. 
The froggy hopper is placed on the frog in the centre and wherever it lands is the letter used.

I thought the mats would be useful for lots of activities, depending on the level of the pupil. 

*I'm also including the blank froggy mat because I'm sure there are lots of other ways they can be used - if you use them differently, I'd love to hear about it!

Please give me a comment and share my blog with others if you are having a wee peek! I'd love to be sharing ideas with more people.  Thank you!

Froggy Hopper Vowel Mat
Froggy Hopper Consonant Mat
Froggy Hopper Real or Silly Words recording sheet
Froggy Hopper Blank Mat

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fact Family Center

Here's a new Math Center I've uploaded to practice Fact Families!  The great thing about this center is that it is self-checking, but it also includes a follow up worksheet so you can review student learning!

All you'll need to do is print and laminate the pages on cardstock.  Then cut a slit along the dotted line of each square of the recording sheet houses.

Insert a house with numbered roof into the slit.  Only the 3 numbers of the Fact Family will show.

Students will then use a dry erase marker or Vis-a-Vis marker to write on the laminated page.  When finished, the students can pull up the roof of the house to check their answers!

I've also included a follow up worksheet if you would like students to turn something in to you for evidence of learning.  Click the preview below to get the center!

Author Study activities!

Do you do author studies in your class?? I just made an author study Tic-Tac-Toe "game" to do with my kids for the next month. We're going to be  "studying" Arnold Lobel in November.

Come on over to check out my post and to grab your freebies!

Candy Corn Number Puzzles

Hi guys!  I'm so excited to be posting some fun learning centers here!  The first thing I'd like to share with you is a great way to practice different repesentations of numbers.  My kiddos are really struggling with this right now.  So I made these candy corn puzzles for them to practice matching standard, expanded, and word form together.  You just need to cut apart the three parts of the candy corn, then they will match them up!

Click the image below to head to my blog to grab your own copy!


Witch writing freebie

We had fun today completing this witch inspired art/ writing activity. I saw the art idea on Amy Lemons blog and totally feel in love with it.

I wanted my class to have a real focus on writing structured sentences and have been influenced by lots of printables that have the topic tree for a subject. 

Click here to visit my blog and get the freebie!

p.s. The font is is free one called 'buffied'... am going back to my teenage years, loved that programme! haha


Saturday, October 29, 2011

What's My Voice

With partners students practice using the Voice trait with these cards. Each card has a character, and they are to use words or phrases to show the character's voice.  Guaranteed to liven up the Voice trait!

Frog Hopper letter, number and word activities!

I found these little frog hoppers in the party favour section of my supermarket for a few pence... so I thought "endless possibilities"!

I have came up with loads of maths and literacy activities to use them for and have made some game mats and recording sheets for some of the games... but the mats are definitely open to other uses.

Click on the image below to visit my blog and download all 6 of the mats and recording sheets!

Come and visit me for more free ideas and resources!


Picking Pumpkins Sight Words

Found this other great freebie just in time for Halloween!  

You could put these word cards into a plastic pumpkin or just a brown bag and let the kids pick them out! They would have to write it, say it, or write a sentence with it!  Great for K-1.  

Found at Time 4 Kindergarten again!  

Money...Dinero...Loot! Let's Count It!

Here are two money centers I've used with my 3rd graders.  I'm tagging it as K-2 as well...depending on your students.  Click the pics to check them out.

Enjoy!  Dana @ 3rd Grade Gridiron

Sorting Shoes

You could sort shoes during your actual class and then use this activity in one of your math labs.

Found this at Time 4 Kindergarten, be sure to stop by and see!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Color Coded Editing

Editing using a color coding system could be a great activity for an upper grade center!  How fun to give the kids crazy paragraphs and ask them to edit them!  Or they could just edit their own work from a project from another time of day!

Again, found at Classroom Freebies!

Subtraction Flashcards

Found these from Sassy in Second at Classroom Freebies!

Flashcards are great for practicing for speed.  You can also play war with them, whoever has the highest or lowest answer wins.  You can also have kids quiz small groups and whoever is the fasted wins and the person with the most at the end wins too!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

War (# ID, Addition, Subtraction, and Multiplication)

Taught the kinders to play 'War' this week with number cards. 

It took awhile to set it up, the kids just did not understand how to hold the cards, etc.  But they were eventually set up like above and playing.  If they had the number that was bigger, they would get to keep the cards by pushing them to their side of the table.

Lot's of variations for this game....

     Compare More or Less
     Turn over two cards each, who even has the highest sum wins.  (Or product)
     Turn over four cards each, who ever has the highest sum wins.

You can also play subtraction the same ways above!

So here's some number cards for FREE!  

Enjoy - Jennifer from 

Author Study

When we are doing an "Author Study", I add an Author Study Center.  Here students get a chance to revisit some of their favorite books by the author, as well as, engage in fun activities focusing on the author and their works.  Some of my favorite authors are:

Jan Brett
Patricia Polacco
Lester Laminack
Tomie dePaola
Kevin Henkes

I have a couple of FREEBIES for you!
You can find them ---> HERE <---

The Teacher's Chatterbox

Math Matching

So my intern came up with this math center for my kids this week....

They pick a pumpkin, which have 2-digit subtraction problems on them, and they use their 100s chart to figure out the answer....the skill of going up and to the left, you know??? WOW - that is SOOO hard compared to the addition - the down and to the right. 
But they have the answers on the page and they have to write the subtraction problem on the line that matches with that answer. You can make your own sheet up to go with whatever them you are doing. She just used the Ellsion machine to cut out pumpkins and hand wrote in the problems...

We only had 4 sheets and put them in page protectors and they used vis-a-vis we could reuse them over and over (you know...they count our copies and all trying to be conservative with paper).

Here' s a close up.....

This can be done with any skill really - adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and even with single or multiple digits - it's up to you! Whatever your skill is for that week!

Happy Learning!

Jen R.

Book Club Order Form Center

Capitalize on your student’s interest in the monthly book club order! Cut apart these cards, fold the direction tent, put out some extra copies of the book order and you have an instant high-interest center!  Most activities focus on literacy skills, but there are a few math activities as well.
An answer sheet is provided, however students may also complete these activities orally or on notebook paper. Remind the students that some answers won’t require all of the spaces available and to number each answer space to match the number on the task card.

Just click on the picture below to grab your FREE copy of this center!

Stop by my blog and see 
Follow me on Facebook!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Centers for the Beginner

Hi everyone!  I'm Rebecca from The Teacher's Chatterbox.  I am so excited and honored to be an author at Simply Learning Centers!  Centers have been a part of my classroom for many years...even before anyone else at my school was doing them.  So, I thought for my first post, I'd start from the beginning for those that might have never incorporated centers into their classrooms.

{The above pic was my center board about 6 years ago.}

First, I want to say that each year is different.  What might work really well with one group, might not work with the next ones.  What works for one teacher may not work well for you in your classroom.  So don't be afraid to venture away from what "everyone" is doing if it doesn't work for you.

Next, before you begin any new must MODEL AND PRACTICE!  Students need to know what to do when they get to that center.  Remember, the point of centers is to get kiddos actively engaged in their learning, and also allow you to work with small groups on differentiated and explicit instruction without interruption.

So, as you begin centers for the first time, model and practice!  Talk about troubleshooting in each center so they can work things out {most of the time} within their group, without interrupting you!  In the beginning, I also do a lot of role play....I have some students show the class what that center "looks like" and "sounds like".  Then, I have a group that shows the class what that center does NOT look and sound like.  They love to do this!  hee hee  Brainstorm with your students and come up with an "I CAN" list to post in each center.  This way it will always be readily available, and they won't have to interrupt you.

If you take the time from the very start to do this, you will have much more success with centers!

For grouping students, I use Dibels data, and teacher observation logs to determine my groups.  Now, I use to be a HUGE proponent of heterogeneous groups!  I wanted to have stronger readers mixed in with my struggling readers for peer models.  However, when our school received the Reading First grant the first time, we were expected {per the grant} to group homogeneously.  This way students would be grouped according to ability for the teacher to better meet their needs.  I knew I had to do what was expected of me and this is what research said, but I wasn't convinced this was the best way.  However, I was pleasantly surprised at how well this worked with it allowing me to really create differentiated instruction that was explicit.  We completed the requirements of the grant several years ago, and I am still grouping homogeneously for center time...I like it that much!  :)  I do have my students' desks {where they spend the majority of the day} grouped and those groups are heterogeneous so that they do have good peer role models to work with throughout the day.
The size of your group is important as well!  Many people have success with pairing students.  I have four/five in my groups.  It just works better for me.  I would not have more than five in a group or you defeat the purpose:  being able to work with students more individually or in small groups!  :)

For management of centers you need to consider a few things. 1.  How will your students know what centers they will go to for the day? 2.  How will your students know when it is time to change centers?  3.  What do they do if a computer freezes up or their headphones don't seem to work?   For question number 1, I have tried several ways over the years, but my favorite is to have a board that is easily changeable.  My kiddos have center group names {depending on my classroom theme} that the kids decide on.  This year we are doing owls, so they each have an owl name.  There is a picture of each owl with two centers beside the name.  For question number 2, I have a bell that I ring between centers.  One ring means to clean up their area, and two rings mean move to the next center.  In the beginning, this should be model and practiced, as well.  And as for number 3, this is where your troubleshooting will come in.  Before you ever begin the center, you need to think of things that might go wrong in that center...such as the computer freezing, the volume knob might get changed, etc.  Then you present, model, and practice these at the very start.

Ok, so are you seeing anything that keeps coming up???  Yep, if you said "model and practice" you are correct.  I promise this will make life during centers a much more happy time!  So, if you haven't implemented centers before in your reading block, I hope you will consider it!  You can start off slow with easier centers such as a listening center, computers, or BIG books, and then work your way up.

Gosh, I hope there is something here that beginners can take and apply in their classrooms!

Center Time Blessings,

Literacy Centers Rotation

Every year I find myself tweaking the way I do my Guided Reading centers.  I know it's necessary because each group and combination of students works differently, so what works one year may not work the next.  This year I changed up the way I did my Literacy Centers.  I have a total of 10 centers (5 of which are the weekly staples - Spelling, Independent Reading, Writing, Buddy Reading, and AR).  Students pairs do 2 centers a day, switching centers half way through our Reading time.  The new way of doing centers is working really well this year, and I owe it in part to my friend Katie over at Dishing It Out!  I tweaked the way that she and my other friend The Lesson Plan Diva do their centers to come up with a way that suits my own class.  Click on the link below to see how Katie (1st) and Courtney (K) do their Literacy Centers rotations!

Rockin' Teacher Materials: Boo! A Halloween Freebie for YOU!

Rockin' Teacher Materials: Boo! A Halloween Freebie for YOU!: Use this Spooky Spin-a-Noun spinner at one of your centers for a Boo-tiful learning experience!

Rock on over and pick yours up now!

Hilary :)

Problem Solving Math Centers

I love math centers, but sometimes it is hard to plan because of the diversity and different learning levels in a classroom.  Also, the work involved can, at times, be overwhelming.  Number Tiles are a great way to add variety as well as differentiate math learning.  I have created two Number Tile activity books, one for the primary grades, and another for grades 5-8. Each book contains a variety of math problem solving activities that range in difficulty. The pages may be copied and laminated so they can be used from year to year. 

These activities may be placed at a center for math practice.  They are also a perfect resource for those students who finish an assignment early.  Use these activities to reteach a concept to a small group as well as to introduce a new mathematical concept to the whole class.

Objectives:  To problem solve using Number Tiles; to use critical thinking skills; to arrange the Number Tiles correctly.

Materials Needed:  Number Tile Pages; Number Tile Keeper (page 2) – one per student (copy and cut apart); Construction Paper or cardstock in a variety of colors


1)  Using squares of construction paper or colored cardstock:

a)    Cut ten 1” squares for each student. 
b)    Number the tiles, using the numerals 0 - 9. 
c)    You may laminate these if you wish. 
d)    Store the Number Tiles in a snack size plastic bag.

2)   The Number Tile activities require that the students use each tile only once.  However, some of the activities will not require that all ten tiles be used; so, follow the directions carefully.

An answer key is included with both resources. 

Just click on  Number Tiles for the Primary Grades or Number Tiles for Grades 5-8   Both are FREE downloads.

Thanks!  Scipi

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sight Word Game Boards

Need an engaging way to get your kids to practice their sight words?  Try this!

Students will need 1 die, 1 game board, 1 place marker for each player(i.e. counter, teddy bear manipulative or any other small thing you have on hand), and 1 color marker/crayon per player.  When the player rolls they may advance the number rolled.  The player must then read the sight word and have it approved by the other players.  If correct, the player may color the space claiming a point.  This space is no longer playable and must be skipped for the remainder of the game.  If the word is read incorrectly, the player returns to the original spot prior to rolling.  The board loops so the game will continue until all spaces have been colored.  The student with the most spaces colored wins!

These game boards were created to be printed out for students to color.  If you prefer to save on copies and paper, slip your print outs into plastic sheet protectors and have the students color with dry erase markers instead!  There are 3 boards in all which feature the Fry's 1st 100 Sight Words (which overlap with the Sitton Sight Words).  Click the package preview below to snag it!


3D Shape Fun!

3D shapes are always fun! If your classroom theme is Fairy Tales, here's how you can incorporate 3D Shapes... students can create Cinderella's Castle. Younger students can create Rapunzel's Tower. It's really easy and fun!

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