Monday, July 15, 2013

Made it Monday

I'm proud to tell I have kept my blog going for one year! 56 post in my first year is a good accomplishment. That's more than one a week.

Today I'm linking up with Made it Monday with Tara. Thanks for stopping's what I got:

FIRST  At home we have been practicing multiplication last week. I made a number line on the wall for my daughter, then I made these ice cream groups and quickly wrote up the multiplication facts in Word. Basically I wanted her to get a better idea of counting by three, instead of being just told to memorize the facts. Memorizing has not been a successful strategy for her at all. We will be working on 4's this week, and review the 3's as well.

Everyday she had to randomly pick a multiplication card out of a shoe box, and then figure out where it goes on the line. She also had to find the correct ice cream group picture that went with it. Instead of her counting the amount in the picture, I had her use the number line. I felt that she didn't understand that 3's time tables meant you count by three. When she would easily give up and say I don't know, I would give her some pointers. (My daughter has low self esteem when it comes to math, so she easily gives up. That's a whole other blog post!)

Going on, for the card 8 x 3, I asked her what fact did she know that was closest to it. She said 10 x 3=30. So then I told her she needed to count back. A few times of giving her these pointers, and she started to think on her own. Then when she was done, I told her to just tell me the answers (3, 6, 9, etc). She had to practice 3 times each day.

Here is the link if these would be helpful to you Multiplication 3s.

SECOND On the not so teacher professional side, I crocheted slippers for my self last week. They turned out super cute!! Also, they were really easy to make! If I had two hours of alone time during the day, I could easily make them in that time. But it's summer and I have two lovely girls that keep me busy, so I don't find that alone time. I'm sure some of you know what I mean!

I found the pattern at DROPS Design. If you haven't ever heard of it, there are free patterns for tons of projects, as well as translated into many different languages. You just pick your country of choice, and off you go to find yourself a new pattern. 

Have a happy week!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Art Projects - So much fun!

Art is a great subject to teach. I love trying new projects and I love the freedom to choose projects that I too enjoy making and teaching. Have you found the blog Art Projects for Kids? If you haven't, you should start following immediately. Add it to your Bloglovin list, and you won't regret it!

Kathy Barbro not only gives you great ideas on what types of projects to make, but she even gives step by step instructions. How awesome is she? Also she sells some sets of instructions too, if your interested in purchasing those as well.

Here is a sample of her most recent post: How to Draw a Cruise Ship. Brilliant!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Saturday Snapshots

I'm linking up with Run! Miss Nelson's Got the Camera for Saturday Snapshots. I was reading her post from this week, and whoa, she wrote about a few things that I have no scheme for: Instagram, Project Life (for scrapbooking) and her DSLR camera. These are all things I will investigate in good time.

Here at home we were busy this past week, and I am pooped. Being a stay at home mom is tough work. I totally forgot what it's like.

1) We tried out some bean counting with my girls. The plates each have a number (1-10). I had my youngest put them in order and then add the correct amount of beans. She is good at counting to 6, and then numbers 7-9 are a bit haz. But this was perfect practice for it. Then to make it more fun, we invited Barbie and friends to a Bean Party! She decided that Woody would be the one to want the most beans, so he got the number 10 plate.

2) We had 2 beach days this week. The sky looked so pretty with the cumulus clouds and the wispy cirrus clouds.

Here I am, covered pretty well to keep from burning. And yet, I didn't protect my shins and guess what? They got burnt!! Guess who has been wearing pants for a few days in the heat of summer??

 My girls enjoying some most needed beach fun! Imagine that, big sister enjoying burying little sister. Yes they have on SPF, and they tan like their daddy. Lucky girls!

3) Last some 4th of July celebrations at home. I made a red, white and blue dessert. I found some frozen cream puffs at the store, whipped up some cream and added fresh berries. It was really tasty and it was gone in a flash. 

The girls helped make a banner in celebration of America's independence day. My oldest right away asked if we could do the same on Finland's independence day. I said "Of course!" 

Have a good weekend all!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Freebies on the 4th by Kinderland

Well surprise, surprise!! When I woke up this morning and the first thing in my Bloglovin was a post from Lanier's Lions. A group of kindergarten teachers have organized 42 freebies for today, all through Facebook. How awesome are they?? Your thinking that "Oh, but they are most likely all kindergarten related". Maybe true, but I'm sure there are some good surprises in there that everyone can use. Happy 4th of July America! Wish I could be over there to BBQ and set off some fireworks!!!! I'll make sure to do some flag crafts with the kids this morning and make a patriotic dessert for this evening.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Follow me on Bloglovin!

Turns out Bloglovin is where it's at! I am linking up with a Corkboard Connections this morning and we are going on a blog hunt! If you haven't yet signed up at Bloglovin, it's fairly simple. Just a few steps and your one you way! Make sure to claim your own blog after you sign up.

CLICK HERE to the find my blog on Bloglovin or click the button on the right hand side of the page --->

To get the same button for your blog, check out this GREAT tutorial at CommonCoreandMuchMore.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hungarian Math

So I have attend 2 days of the 5 day course for Hungarian math called Varga Nemenyi. We asked in the start of the lesson if there are any other countries that use this method, and the answer was no. It seems Finnish teachers have been working to use these hands on methods for more than a decade now, and Finland is the only other country that has translated the materials. Interesting if that is true.

Many of the concepts we have gone over the last 2 days are all hands on activities for counting and measuring. In Finland, first grade is when children begin their school career (the same year they turn 7), so some of these concepts may be better used for kindergarten in other countries.

Here are a few:

Sensory Counting: On top is a closed piece of fabric made to look like a snake. Inside the snake are marbles, 6 marbles to be exact. Students grab a snake, figure out how many marbles are inside, then find the matching number and ten frame to go with it. SUPER CUTE IDEA, in my opinion. Other teachers have made just plain squares that are sealed with marbles inside (same idea, not as cute though).

Counting Jars: These are just baby food jars with a set number on the outside. Students are to take any manipulatives left with the jars, per say beans. Students then count out that many beans and drop them into the jars. Easy Peasy!

Counting Nuts: These are match boxes decorated with a number (0-9). Students are given all the boxes and then some nuts (no bolts this time). Student then count and put the correct amount of nuts in each box. To make this more challenging, students then turn over the closed boxes, and mix them up (with the nuts still in them). Students then try to put the boxes in the correct order of weight, lightest to heaviest. NICE!

Visual Skip Counting: In each small Ziplock bag is always the same number of beads (in this picture 3). You pass out the bags to the students. To start the counting the first student puts his/her own bag into a basket being passed around and the student says 3. The student next to him/her puts their bag into the basket and says 6, and so on until all bags have been placed into the basket. The idea with this is that if someone is unable to skip count  accurately yet by 3's, then he/she can listen to the previous number and then count it out with their own beads before placing into the basket. Brilliant!!

Counting Random Patterns: Here is a laminated sheet with lots of stickers. The idea is that students get in a rut learning only regular patters (like the dots on a die). This sheet can be used with students to find different number sets (for example the teacher asks students to find the set with 6).
Another idea a teacher had: instead of using dice for a game, you could make a set of these cards. Each card would only have one number represented by symbols (as in the picture below). Representing numbers 1-6, like a die would have. Once you have a stack of cards made, students would flip over one card on their turn and would move that many spaces.I hope that all made sense!

Logic Pieces: There are many ways to use these logic pieces, mostly for sorting and classifying. If you want to know more, send me a message.

These are only a handful of the many ideas taught in just two days. Super course!!
I'm excited to get started making these math centers for next year.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Pinterest crazy!

Wow! How come that summer vaca is here, and I can't stop pinning??? I guess I'm trying to make up for the busy year when I couldn't be pinning!! Oh, and not only have I been pinning, but organizing my boards into proper topics. For instance here is my board on classroom management.

Have any of you ever used Diigo? It sort of the same as Pinterest, but not as fancy. You pin websites and label them. I have started using it, but sometimes forget I have it. The fun part is, that if you find a website you like, you can highlight a specif part for later when you return.

Starting tomorrow, I am taking a 5 day course on Varga-Neményi math for first graders. It is from Hungary and is based on more hands-on techniques. I'll have to give some updates this week to give you a better idea of what I am learning. 

Happy blogging all!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Currently June!!!

 Thank goodness it's June! And to kick it off, I'm linking up with Farley at Oh' Boy Forth Grade.

1. One of my guilty pleasures is staying in touch with my USA roots by listening to NPR. It makes me feel at home and of course updated.

2. My last day of school was Saturday. After passing out report cards, us teachers tore down the gym (after the end of year show), then I headed home for lunch, took a small nap, and returned to school to pack the rest. Hubby came along and it was done in a few hours. I'm still in disbelief that it actually happened.

3. Birthday party this afternoon!! So you know that after the last crazy week of school, now I have to focus on cleaning up the home this morning. Not loving this!

4.  I have decided that after the party today, we are driving to our cabin and letting my mom take care of us for a few days. Hopefully this will let me forget about all my responsibilities for a few days!

5. The weather has been beautiful here, and I have literally been stuck inside everyday at school for way to many hours. Today again is a beautiful day, and I need to clean.....ARG!!

6. Tomorrow I will be using all 3 items: swimsuit, sunhat and sunscreen! YEAH SUMMER!!

Again, I hope everyone has a super summer vacation!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Last days!!!

OM's almost over! Yeah!! And the weather has been super sunny and warm, around 73F.

Yesterday we invited all parents and first graders to a BBQ in the evening. It was a success.

Now I am in the middle of packing my classroom and moving it down the hall. I am going to go to IKEA tonight to grab a few tupperwares for organizing some math and English materials.

Tomorrow is Saturday, and we have our spring show and hand out report cards in the morning. Yes, you read that correctly.....going to school on Saturday to end the school year.

If I can get my classroom done tomorrow after the closing ceremonies, then I can start my summer vacation!!!

Here is wishing all of you a great summer!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Currently May

TGIF Folks!! And just in time to catch the May Currently. Drop on by Oh' Boy Forth Grade to link up with Farley's Fab currently. Here is mine folks:

I still can't stop listening to the Bob Marley tribute put together during the Grammys. Just fun and makes you want to move!

I hope the rest of you have a short amount of working days left too! Come on summer (and assessments)!!

Holy Moly!!! I've probably jinxed the weather now that I have announced that it is suppose to get up to 68*F next week Wednesday. I might be able to kick off the wool socks.

I ordered myself a sewing machine and I suppose that will be my summer fun. I need to find some fun projects to make. If you have any good suggestions, please leave a note.

My summer list is as basic as it can get.....just forget about school and city life. Summer cottage here we come!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Five for Friday

Well another 2 weeks have flown by! Next week we have off May 1st and then the following week we are off for Ascension Day.
I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for FIVE FOR FRIDAY.

Here's my week!

1. SPRING is in the air! Trees are finally budding. WOO HOO!

2. We have had these very old headphones at the listening center that cut out because the wires are broken inside (I'm sure you've experienced this). I finally broke down and bought myself two pairs of headphones (about $25). The kids were really happy! Well worth it. 

3. We have been making necklaces for Mother's Day. Students learned how to finger knit. I found a good blog with instructions. Check it out if your interested, The flower is made from felt pieces cut out and sewn together.

4. Art lesson was making balloons for May 1st. May 1st is like Labor day here in Finland. Cellophane balloons are all the rage to buy children for May 1st. First draw two balloons overlapping on paper and then trace the outlines with a crayon. Use one primary water color for each balloon and the overlapped part in the middle is suppose to make the secondary color. I say 'supposed' since it didn't work out this time. The students loved the idea anyways and were happy to take them home. 

5. Last but not least, here are some more super cute stuffed toys finished this week by my 3rd graders!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Five for Friday

This week was busy and I started many new things in my classroom (which I will pat my own back for).
I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for FIVE FOR FRIDAY. I think it is still Friday somewhere (Saturday morning here 

1. The best this week, it is raining this morning!!!!!!!! It still snowed THREE times earlier this week. Can you  believe it? Yes, I know I live way up here near the arctic circle, but we deserve some warm weather to start spring. 

2. I started writing journals with my first graders today. All the students were really excited about writing in them. I had one girl finish here whole journal by Thursday. It contained 5 pages (10 total front and back). I told her I would staple more pages to her journal for next week. Not sure she was too excited about that :)

3. My 3rd graders have been super about finish their animal sewing projects. They have been learning to use the sewing machines, and then designed their own stuffed toy. Here is a pic of a super cute kangaroo!

4. We did some descriptive writing with the first graders. After reading the story of The 3 Billy Goats Gruff from their readers, we made a chart together describing the troll. Then they had to write for "Watch out for the troll!" and describe the troll to warn others about him. They seemed to like this writing and they really enjoyed drawing the troll. 

5. I started a free time chart this week for my class. Somehow these last few months don't feel so hectic, and I have been able to focus on things I couldn't have imagined last autumn. I am really pushing my class to be independent and work in teams this spring. Almost every week they are working on projects together, and now they have this free time chart that they also play together. I wish I had a pic of it. I will go into work tomorrow, and will add a pic then. Anyways, you might have the same in your classroom. It's just a chart with different activities they can do in the classroom, and they place their name next to it. Some have a limit of how many students can play the activity. 

I have a sixth one, not sure if this is allowed :)

6. I started teaching my students how to log onto the computer and play games on our class homepage (it  has links to free online games). I have 2 student computers in my classroom and 2 more in the work room next to our class. I have only 2 students stay in everyday during their recess breaks to learn and play. I only had one student this week that choose to go outside during the second recess. The rest have been excited to stay and play!

That was just a small piece from this week in first grade! Hope everyone has lovely weekend. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January Currently

I'm joining in on this month's currently, put together by Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade.

Here are a few pics from my class work this autumn.....and I mean FEW. I had projects to do this term, and an eTwinning science project with a school in England and a school in Iceland. That was a huge project because we had to follow certain guidelines we had set for our pacing, and it was a new challenge to get it all done. Basically our first grades and sixth grades did many themes in science together this autumn, meaning many hours per week were spent together. The kids loved it!

These first two pictures were art done for our science theme on forest animals and plant life:

These next two are about recycling and sustainable development. Here students are making musical instruments for their music lesson. They were rolled up newspaper covered in plastic film, that were music sticks for beating out rhythms.

In this pic students made robots from left over garbage they brought from home. Then they made commercials for sustainable development with the sixth graders.

The following are not from the science project. Here is a pic of my students starting their 1000 chart packet. I have had 4 students finish already, and I have given them a smelly pencil as their reward for finishing. I made the packet on word, and then copied it double sided and stapled it.

Last photos are of my third graders crocheting project: