Thursday, January 31, 2013

Kindergarten Football Centers!

Included is Football Frenzy - Roll a dice and read the letter names for what you roll.
 Emergent Reader
Phoneme Football - Scoring by breaking down words
 With independent followup activity for independent work!

Plus several other activities!   Click here to get these activities from TpT!

First 5 people to comment will get for free!  Please comment your email!

Common Core ELA Strategy Charts

 These are some of the charts that I am using with my students as they become even more acquainted with the Common Core Standards.
 They serve as great reminders and help students understand each standard fully.

Additional Common Core Resources

I use these quick daily Common Core reading passages at the beginning of my lessons.  Use them as a quick 5 minute daily morning review or send them home as Common Core aligned reading homework.  For more information click the link.

Common Core Task Cards for each grade level!  These are great to use in learning centers, for guided reading, and book discussions.  Each grade level covers ALL of the major categories in the Common Core Standards for both the literature (fiction) and informational (nonfiction) sections.  Use them with any book or magazine.  These are great resources for the Common Core Standards.

Common Core Task Cards

There is a task card for EVERY Common Core Literature and Informational Text Standard all in one document.

Click on the link below.
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Grade 4
Grade 5
Grade 6
Grade 7

Common Core Rubrics
This document has definitely been a lifesaver for me.  It contains a rubric for EVERY SINGLE Common Core Literature and Informational Text standard.  Before giving the class an assignment to complete, I hand a copy of a rubric to each student and we discuss it.

It helps them stay on track and ensures that their work is always Common Core aligned.  Rubrics for each grade level!  Click the link to access them.

Click Here For Kindergarten
Click Here For Grade 1
Click Here For Grade 2
Click Here For Grade 3
Click Here For Grade 4
Click Here For Grade 5
Click Here For Grade 6
Click Here For Grade 7
Click Here For Grade 8

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Number Sense With Cuisenaire Rods

Although I teach second grade, I still have some kids who really need some basic number sense!  These are the kids who still don't automatically "count on" when adding two numbers together, or determining the sum of two dice.  They still count the dots!  These kids need more "hands on" opportunity to get to know these numbers inside out!

I absolutely LOVE Cuisenaire Rods for helping children develop their number sense.  I posted about them a while ago with THIS POST about using Cuisenaire Rods to practice math facts and fact families.  I've got some kids who need to back up even further and really need to get to know the individual numbers by using these manipulatives.

Come on over to Elementary Matters to see my ideas on using Cuisenaire Rods to develop Number Sense and download this freebie!

Football Time! Common Core Style

Are you ready for this weekend's big game?  

In celebration of the upcoming "Super Sunday" I put together a pack of 10 math station activities to help us practice some of those important CCSS math skills.

You can download the FREE PREVIEW FILE (red button) to snag one of the activities for free! :)
Hope you have a great one! :)

Valentine's Day Hink Pink FREEBIE

Ever since I attended my 1st state conference for Gifted and Talented Education several decades ago, I have seen, heard and read about Hink Pinks.  These vocabulary building, problem solving, critical thinking riddles are staples in GATE. Perhaps my decades long connection with Hink Pinks, et al, is best explained by the fact that my students absolutely love them!  They loved them when I was in the classroom and when I became an enrichment resource teacher, my pull-out students literally begged for more of them.

If you are new to the land of Hink Pinks, here's how they work:
  • Hink Pinks are riddles wherein the clues lead you to a 2 word answer.  Each answer word must have just 1 syllable and the 2 answer words must rhyme.
  • Hinky Pinkies are riddles seeking answers with 2 syllables in each word.  The 2 words must rhyme.
  • Hinkity Pinkities are rhyming answer word pairs with 3 syllables each.
Some teachers like to distribute Hink Pink clues on a work sheet, but I continually strive to eliminate worksheets from my teaching. About 20 years ago, I started putting the clues on 1/4 sheet cards. By doing so, I was able to create a resource that was ready to use year after year, saving me bunches of time and conserving paper big time!  

Armed with my Hink Pink, et al cards, I was able to use them as an anchor activity when students were arriving each morning. They also work well as a sponge activity and are great at a literacy center.  Now, working as a pull-out enrichment specialist, I use these cards as a warm-up activity.  Without a doubt, G/T students are enthralled with these riddles.  But, I also found that "average" students were intrigued and set their caps to solve them. 

It's about time, teachers, to offer you my FREE set of Valentine's Day Hink Pinks, Hinky Pinkies, and Hinkity Pinkities.  Here's a preview:

The answer to this Hink Pink is sweet treat.

The answer to this Hinky Pinky is sandy candy.  
The answer to the Hinkity Pinkity below is valentine turpentine.

There are 24 cards in this FREE set.  Naturally, there is an answer key.  Did I mention that it is FREE?  You can retrieve your copy here.

I hope you enjoy Hink Pinks, et al as much as my students and I do.

If you like this product, you may like these, as well:
Find it here.
 Find it here.
Find it here.

I'd love it if you would follow:           

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Skip-Counting Love

Seems like we just celebrated Christmas, and now Valentine's Day is around the corner!! Head over to my blog to check out these two freebies for skip-counting.

Math Coach’s Corner

Monday, January 28, 2013

Calendar Math Update

Here's an update to my Calendar Math freebie from a couple of months ago!

This update includes a new page with a section that focuses on the days of school after the 100th day of school.

Click the preview to get it from Google Drive.

or click here to get it from Teachers Notebook!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Unlock the Educational Power of Comics Using Bitstrips

Comics have a way of piquing the interest of even the most disengaged student.  In fact, I have had younger siblings of former students request to create a comic of their own!  In most cases, these siblings are referring to Bitstrips for Schools, a Canadian-based comic engine that users can access on-line for free.  The reason most cited by students for using Bitstrips for Schools is its fun, engaging, and user-friendly environment.  In fact, the Bitstrips for Schools template format allows users to create and customize characters, backgrounds, drawings, and so much more.  View the sample comic below to give you a better idea as to the functionality of Bitstrips for Schools.  

The Bitstrips for Schools feature not evident in the example above is the private virtual classrooms students are able to work in.  Educators will definitely value the safe and secure on-line environment Bitstrips architects have created mainly because teachers control all student permission settings.  Another very useful feature teachers will appreciate is the dashboard homepage which immediately shows the latest student activity.  By including these two features, teachers can monitor student progress in a few mouse clicks.    

A New De-tech-tive 4 Teachers Feature Segment!                                                     Teach-nology

Incorporating technology into classroom activities is a great way for students to learn 21st Century skills.  However, with any form of teaching, it should be based on sound educational practice.  Teach-nology is just that - the pedagogical rationale for the use of technology.  The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers goal for the 'Teach-nology' segment is to not describe every learning outcome, but to outline the key 21st Century skill(s) students will be exposed to by using a specific technology.



- Use written communication to inform, instruct, motivate and persuade.
- To extend & confirm meaning of a visual text.

- Write effective imaginative texts to explore ideas & information.
- Experiment with various writing styles & syntax.

- Utilize a variety of strategies to generate, develop, and organize ideas such as considering one's audience, gathering & summarizing ideas, etc.

Sample Activities:

Another valuable Bitstrips for Schools feature is its 'Activities' section.  In it, educators will find a wide selection of prepared activities organized by subject and topic.  Below is a sampling of some of the great lesson ideas offered:  

1.  My Report Card - Students create a comic to reflect on their academic progress in a subject area.  Analysis should include what they have done well and what they should improve upon.

2.  Two Sides to Every Story - To demonstrate their working knowledge of point of view, students create a comic describing a situation about how two or more people can interpret the same circumstances differently.  

3.  People We Depend On! - Students create a comic strip describing what may happen if the people they depend on were not so dependable.

4.  Une Activite Dehours! - Using proper French language writing skills, students create a comic describing their favorite outdoor activities.

5.  Your Province - To demonstrate their knowledge about a particular Canadian province, students create a comic interviewing the province's premier. 

How to Get Started:

Bitstrips for Schools has developed a very detailed support page for its users.  You can access it using the hyperlink below: 

Bitstrips for Schools Support Page

Bitstrips for Schools is an excellent web-based educational tool students will love to use as it allows users to express themselves in a fun and engaging way.  If you are interested in 'unlocking the educational power of comics', click here to get started right away!

This post originally appeared on The De-tech-tive 4 Teachers.

Speed! Skip Counting Game!

Speed! makes skip-counting loads of fun, and mastery of skip-counting makes multiplication easy. Speed! is available as physical cards and as an iPad app.

Two players compete against each other (or one player vs the computer on the iPad) to be the first to get rid of their cards, but they must watch-out...... if the number in the middle is the same they must be fast to tap the Speed! button, otherwise they will get all the played cards added to their stack.
Kids can skip-count by 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's, 6's, 7's, 8's and 9's. On the iPad they begin as a Trainee and can advance through the levels to become a Legend. With five levels to pick from and eight numbers to skip-count this game will keep kids entertained for hours. They don't realize how much they are learning because they are busy trying to win and having fun.

On the iPad the Lite version is free and contains the Two Speed deck of cards at all levels while the Full version costs only 99 cents and contains card decks Two Speed through Nine Speed.

To find Speed! in the App Store switch the category to education and then search on

  • Speed, math
  • Speed, highhill
  • Speed, multiplication

Then download it and have fun playing! (Be sure to let your students have a turn.)

The physical version Speed! is available on The package includes eight decks of cards; Two Speed through Nine Speed. Since two students can play with one deck of cards 16 kids can be busy memorizing their multiplication tables with one box of Speed! The physical version is excellent for tournaments or round robin games where the kids form two circles, play one game of Speed! and then rotate one seat to the left or right to play another round with a new kid and a new deck. 

The games are fast paced and last less than five minutes, so it's a great activity to sneak in at the end of a lesson, and it's been a hit at family math night. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Highhill Homeschool

Groundhog Day Word Work Centers

Here's a little Groundhog Day freebie to practice the consonant +le syllable.   The children sort the words depending on the consonant before the le pattern

Here's another Groundhog Themed game on prefixes and suffixes:  My kids love this, and they're getting awesome at naming the baseword in words with prefixes and suffixes! 

Come on over to Elementary Matters to download these items!

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