Wednesday, October 30, 2013

No GRADING Timed Math Tests

One thing that I feel that I lacked as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher was getting my students to memorize their math facts. I think it is partially due to the fact that I HATE grading timed math tests just as much as I HATE giving them! (I loathed those tests as a child too!) However, with Common Core I NEED to make sure that my students are learning them and I need to hold them and myself accountable. This year I was thrilled with the system my students are using to test, grade, and track their progress all INDEPENDENTLY!

1.  Students work in partners at a fast facts station during guided math

2.  Students get materials. (timer, laminated test, laminated answer key, and graph)   

3.  Students sit facing each other. One student has answer key, one student has the blank test.
4.  Student with the answer key, starts the time for three minutes.
5.  Student with the test, orally says the answers. The student with the answer key follows along; circling any wrong answers.
6.  Student with the answer key marks where they left off after 3 minutes and reports how many the student got correct.
7.  Student with test marks his graph showing level, date, and number correct.
8.  Students switch roles and repeat.


9.  Once a student has gotten all the problems correct within the time limit, they can move on to the next level. Students get all their materials for the next level.

10.  Teacher can give a paper and pencil test at any point to verify students assessment. :)

Contraction Surgery

Mrs. Wanke's Wonderful Whales: Contraction Surgery:   Our reading group performed contraction surgery today! We had to take two words, cut them apart, and put them back together with ...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Strategic Thinkin' in 1st

I am in LOVE with this FREE game that I found on TPT!
My class and I had so many good discussions about strategy and probability from one adorable little game.  I was amazed at the thinking my students did...and they are ONLY first graders!
If you want to see what my Wonderful Whales and I did with this game, click on the link below to read my classroom blog: 
Mrs. Wanke's Wonderful Whales: "Sum" Halloween Fun: Yesterday we played a Halloween Addition game. We had to roll a dice. Move that number of spaces, in any direction, on the game board. ...
Click on the picture below to download your free copy and begin strategizing with your firsties! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Mrs. Wanke's Wonderful Whales: We LOVE pizza!

This week we read the boom The Runaway Pizza. We discussed how good readers think about what they read. We added the "tool" (strategy) asking questions to our readers toolbox. We talked about how we ask questions before, during, and after reading. My students even made the connection that when we ask questions before reading we are predicting. Something we learned how to do from the Candy Corn Bandit. (From the Inspiring Apple blog)

To celebrate our hard work we made pizzas that we could eat that would NOT runaway!

Mrs. Wanke's Wonderful Whales: We LOVE pizza!:  After reading the book The Runaway Pizza and working very hard on asking questions before, during, and after reading we decided to ...

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Candy Corn Bandit!

I have recently fallen in love with the blog, The Inspired Apple!

Through her blog and her awesome TPT store, I found this amazing activity that teaches making predictions.
My students and I had so much fun with this activity!  Here is the entry off my classroom blog. 

The Candy Corn Bandit stole Mrs. Wanke's candy!  Mrs. Wanke was very excited to share her jar of Candy Corns with us.  However, when we came back from lunch it was gone!  It it's places...
  was a letter on our SMART board from the Candy Corn Bandit...
a Candy Corn Bandit booklets for each of us, a prediction poster, and a clue!

Before we read the clue, we read the Prediction poster.  We learned that a prediction is a guess you make about the way something might be in the future.
Then, we looked at the Candy Corn booklets. On the inside we had to draw what we predicted the Candy Corn Bandit to look like. 
Then, we had to predict three places we thought the candy corns might be.
Finally it was time to read the first clue!
We made a prediction based upon what we read in clue one.  we predicted the candy would be in the lunch room!
When we got to the lunch room...all we found was another clue.  After reading that clue, we predicted that we would find the candy in the gym.
When we got to the gym, all we found was another clue.  After reading that clue, we predicted we would find the candy on the play ground.
When we got outside, all we found was ANOTHER clue!  After reading that clue, we predicted we would find the candy in the library.
But, when we got the the library, all we found was ANOTHER clue! Boy oh boy this Candy Corn bandit was causing some trouble!
After reading the clue, we predicted we would find the candy in the classroom.
When we got to the classroom...what do YOU predict we found?
You got it...the CANDY and another clue!

This activity was great for making predictions.  Not only did we predict where the candy would be, we also made predictions about how the bandit was able to pull off this crime, did the bandit have an accomplice, how big was the bandit, and what was the bandits motive. 
When we got back to the class, Mrs. Wanke had a light bulb moment.  She said that we could use predictions when we read!  WOW...she is right.  Tomorrow, Mrs. Wanke is going to show us how we can make predictions when we read and how this will help us comprehend what we are reading!