Early Bird Book Club - Monday Made It October

Promised to be back with Monday Made It and share about my Early Bird book club I shared pics of on FB so here goes:)
I LOVE doing literature circles/book clubs with my kiddos but don't usually start those until closer to the end of the year....I wanted to start a little, and I mean little, (5 kiddos) book club before school once a week....hence, Early Birds:)  As I was looking through the sets of book club books I had, I came across this one!  
I had forgotten that I bought a small group set of this!  Perfect!  I LOVED anything about little people that lived under the floors and in the walls when MY  kids were little!
I have had these bags from the Target dollar spot forever and didn't know what to do with them until now;)  I'm using these to keep their materials (pencil, post its, book, bookmark, eraser) in.  Each student in my Early Bird group got a bag. At the end of our meeting time, I collect the bags for the next week.
For our first meeting (we have only had one...lol)  I dumped a little bag with these items out on the floor and told them it was a clue to what book we were reading.
They had some great guesses...Alice in Wonderland was one of them:)  After a few minutes, I told them there was one more clue somewhere in the room...they looked and looked...they were looking at eye level so I told them to "think little".  That was hilarious!  A few got on their hands and knees and started looking:)
I don't have a pic of this little door before but it was just plain wood.  I got it at Hobby Lobby...I think it was called a fairy door....I painted it and hot glued it to the wall;)  It took them a while but they found it and then went nuts!  
After I showed them the book, we went back to our little pile of clues and talked about all the things they Borrowers would use each of the items for:)  So fun!
Now, of course the door doesn't open during the day....the magic only happens when we are gone or at night.  They were/are so excited about this magical little journey we are taking together and it's spilling into the classroom and catching onto the other students. Even though they aren't all in the club, they are just as excited! 
I don't want to tie homework to our club BUT I did ask them to bring something in for our next meeting.  I asked them to find something around their house that The Borrowers may take and then be ready to explain what they would use that item for.  I can't wait to see what they bring in!
I also found these cute little post its for them to grab and mark spots as we are reading for questions they may have, something they want to talk about, and so on...

I would love to hear any ideas you all may have for fun activities or ideas to go along with this book! PLEASE feel free to share in the comments section below:)
  It amazes me what a little wooden door in a classroom will do to stir up some excitement about reading!!  Magical!!

That's all I have for this made it:)  Link up any time during the month when you can:)  Only rule is you can't link directly to your TPT shop.  And please leave some love on the blogs you visit!!  Thanks all!  Have a fab week!


Math and Thinking Maps

We have been working hard to incorporate Thinking Maps into our daily learning in all subject areas.  We are finding all kinds of ways to use them:)  Today I'm sharing a few ways we have used them in Math.

Brace Maps
One way to use brace maps that I just learned about at a training was taking apart word problems.  I love this because it really helps students find those important parts, what we know and what we need to find out.  Some of my students really caught onto this and liked using them to solve their word problems. 

Flow Maps
I have to confess, this was one of those "last minute/oh my gosh I'm gonna change my lesson plans" ideas:)

Flow maps are so easy to incorporate into our reading block and with good results but I wanted them to try it in math.  We were working on making bar models to solve word problems and were almost ready to quiz on this lesson.  I typed up about 6 new word problems similar to what were had been practicing.  I broke the kids into teams of 3 and gave each team a word problem and told them they had to create a flow map giving the steps to make a bar model to solve that word problem.  

THEN, I took collected the flow maps and word problems.  I then handed out the flow maps only to the teams (mixing them up) and they had to try and solve the word problem based on the flow map only.  Wowzers!!!  Some of them found that this was not so easy based on the information or lack of information in the flow maps.
Finally, I gave back the actual word problem that went with that flow map and they had to create a new bar model based on the word problem only and then compare:)  Some got the same answer because the flow map they had included very clear details/steps....some found that they got the incorrect answer or no answer based on their flow map because it didn't have enough info or some steps were left out.

This was really eye opening to my kiddos!  They really enjoyed it too!  We glued the flow map and bar model on one side of a piece of construction paper and word problem and bar model on the other side and hung them up;)  

Tree Maps
"Taking apart" word problems is always a challenge for kids...looking for those "key words/phrases" is so important so we made Tree Maps in our STEM journals listing several of those key words and phrases based on the operation.

Thanks for popping by.  It has been forever since I've blogged...I'm hoping life will settle down so I can get better about it....and yes, I forgot/ditched Monday Made It last month:(   That will be back a week from tomorrow:)  Would love it if you linked up something!

Have a blessed day!!

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