Math Review Fun

I can't believe this school year is about over.  I am doing my best to keep my head above water with all the testing, state testing, paperwork, more testing for the district, and end of the year junk.  With all that going on, it's easy to get caught up in it and get a little.....ok, a lot stressed.  I know my kiddos feel the effects of all this testing, sooooooo, I have been trying to squeeze in fun whenever possible. 

Anytime you can bring out the Playdoh is FUN time!  I had my kiddos review their math vocabulary making examples with playdoh.  They picked their own words.  
They did 4, raised their hands and had me check them and then flipped their paper over and did 4 more.  They loved this activity and I was impressed with how detailed and complex some of them got:)

Another fun review is an awesome activity from my friend Meg at The Teacher Studio.  Her blog is a math jackpot!!!  You have to check it out!  Area and perimeter.  I teach a little chant, we practice with hand movements, they can do it in their sleep, and YET, some of them still flip it!   This activity was the perfect review before our tests.
This activity is one she shared on All Things Upper Elementary.  
I gave the kids their rectangle guide lines and some graph paper to draw out each one.  
Once they had their 3 rectangles and I checked to make sure they followed the guidelines, they were off to make them. 
I cut strips of Astrobrights for them to use:)
Another review we do, more because the kids LOVE it... our symmetry bugs.
These are a hit every year and I just love how unique they all are.  You can find step by step directions HERE in a older blog post.

Hope you found something you can use.  I would love to hear about any other math/art related ideas.  If you have some, leave me a comment:)


The Jelly Donut Difference

I have always been a fan of Maria Dismondy books and have used them in my classroom every year.  I get so excited when I hear she has another book coming out.  Her books always have strong messages including diversity, standing up for others, courage, and kindness.  They have been valuable staples in my classroom.  I am thrilled to be a part of her virtual tour for her new book The Jelly Donut Difference.
This is yet another wonderful book with a great message.  This book's message is  about sharing kindness with the world.  What a wonderful and powerful message to teach our children and students, especially in a world that, at times, seems to not have a whole lot of kindness.

Here is a short trailer about this great book!
My students loved this book.  They loved the "spreading kindness" message.  We did a little of that over Christmas break and this book has been a great reminder to try to spread a little kindness daily.  I hope you will take some time to check this book, as well as her others, out.  You will not be disappointed.  They are incredible.


Ready to Rock the Writing Test

One state test done!!
I posted these on my IG and FB pages and had some questions and requests so I wanted to share a quick little post about them.  We work so hard to get ready for the writing test and I wanted my kiddos to know how proud I was of them BEFORE the test and give them a little something to encourage them.  I made these "letter bookmarks" a few years ago but this year gave them a little facelift;)
I picked up all the supplies I needed at Hobby Lobby.  
- a bag of foam glittery stars
- a little bag of snow confetti
- a bag of star confetti
- little clear ziploc baggies
I put 3 foam stars and a little sprinkle of everything else in each baggie.
Printed the bookmarks and you're all set.  Each student was greeted by this on their desk the morning of the test.  I hope it helped ease some stress and encourage them:)
I uploaded the bookmarks as a freebie to my TPT store and made the name editable so you can put your own name in:)  You can get those HERE.
I also wanted to share another fun test-prep idea we did.  This idea was from my teammate and was inspired by the Valentine Scoot idea from Teaching With a Touch of Twang.  I made a Super Hero/Super Writer emblem template for each student.  I gave one to each kiddo and then they rotated desk to desk to write something nice, encouraging, thoughtful,  or inspiring.  I had a timer and we rotated every minute.  Super Writer Scoot!
We did this the day before the state test.  I told them their homework for that night was to read their notes before they go to bed and to get to bed early:)
I hope you can use one or both of these ideas in your classroom to encourage your kiddos:)  If you do, I would love to hear about it!  


"Adopt" an Endangered Animal for Your Classroom

We have 2 new little additions to our classroom!!!!
I posted a picture of these little cuties on my FB page the other day and got a few questions so I thought I would do a quick blog post.  

I am a HUGE animal lover and share that love in the classroom all the time with classroom pets and sharing stories about my own pets/farm.  I also like to do things to promote helping the environment.  This "animal adoption" all started with adopting a sea turtle one year.  That was so fun because it had been rescued and then released with a satellite tracker, so we were able to watch and track the travels of our turtle.  
Next came reading The One and Only Ivan.  Reading that book lead to adopting a silver back gorilla. 
You can read more about that here:)  Since then, each year, I have let my class go through the World Wildlife Fund catalog, do a little research, and vote on an animal to adopt.
After the gorilla, the class chose a blue footed booby....which by the way, I thought was already extinct!
Last year, my class voted and adopted an Okapi.  Love those!
Which leads to this year.....the kids chose the black footed ferret.  Apparently they are one of the most endangered mammals in North America.  AND we were quite surprised to find out there were 2 in the bag and not just one.
I have also been able to incorporate all kinds of fun activities around these animals.  One year, each of my students went through the catalog and chose an endangered animal to do a research project on.  Then they each made an informational text booklet about their animal. 
This year the kids were so excited when I opened the package, they wanted to do something right then, so they each took home a note card and did a little fun fact research about our "new additions" and I am putting them on a ring for a fun fact book:)
They also use them as reading buddies;)

As far as adoptions go, there are several different costs/levels to choose from on the website.
If you decide to adopt with your class, I would love to hear about it!  Leave a comment here or on my FB page:)


Fraction Fun

Fractions can be so confusing for some kids.  I know some of my kiddos struggle with the wholes and the parts.  We have been adding and subtracting fractions and I wanted to wrap up the lesson with a little fun.  I literally made the worksheet at 5 one morning and ran to Wally world to grab some Skittles before school so we could do this.  Sometimes some of the best ideas for your kiddos are last minute.  Anyone else roll like that???  (there are several spins on this activity...this is just what I wanted to do)
These little mini packs of Skittles are perfect for fraction activities.  Each bag has 12-16 pieces and a great variety of colors.  So here is what we did with this:
- each child had to write the fraction of each color of Skittle they had 
We had been practicing adding and subtracting fractions using number lines and picture models so each child had to give an addition and subtraction example of each using some of the fractions they had.

Maybe this is a fun, fast activity you can use.  Of course we ate the Skittles when we were done:)
Do your kiddos struggle with fractions?  Ideas to share?  Leave them in the comments!

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