Video segment about me, by the school district

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dice Number Freebies

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!  I'm going to Washington, DC tonight, to a wonderful chocolate-specialty restaurant called Co Co Sala.  I've never been there before, so wish me luck!  I hope it's delicious.

I wanted to share with you that my children were having a little trouble with addition.  Alright, to tell the truth they were having a LOT of trouble with addition.  So, I reflected on my teaching and thought I needed something a little more motivating than what I was doing.  I start off my math lesson with a little bit of calendar, then I do a math message on the whiteboard where I talk about what we're going to learn for that day.  Then I give the children a problem to solve together.  That always works fine, because the kids turn-and-talk and my smarties always help the kids who are really confused.  I made a slideshow for the computer, for addition, using dice.  I thought this way the kids could count the pips and also see the numbers.  On one slide they have to guess the answer, and I don't tell them whether they're right or not until they see the following slide with the answer.  I also had kids explain why they thought the answer was right or wrong.  This was done whole group.

Then I had my class divided into three groups: centers, table work with dice, and a group with me with large, foam dice.  Some of my group still need practice writing their numerals.   I mean, I get papers back where the number is upside down, backwards, etc.  I also use manipulatives to show the different equations when they're working with me.  When they're at their seats, each child has two dice and these papers:

I also placed this mini poster on their desk to help them write their numerals when they're not with me.

Addition Dice Poster by Sharon A Blachowicz Dudley

Enjoy these freebies, and let me know if this works for you.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Science Sunday: Valentine Flowers

Hi all!  I just got done doing my science fair project.  We took yellow roses and added blue food coloring.  I know this project sounds really simple, but my kids were really into it and the predictions they made were outrageous!  I got answers such as brown, purple, black, everything under the sun!  Two kids made the prediction that the flowers would turn green, but I think that only happened by accident.  I guess we need to read Mouse Paint and some of those other great color-mixing books again.

Anyway, the science fair is on Tuesday, and I thought that since the kids really got into observing the changes in the yellow flowers, why not use white carnations with red food coloring to change them pink for Valentine's Day?  Here is a prediction sheet so that your kids can predict what they think will happen if you put red food coloring into the water:

I also used 20 drops of food coloring and clear cups so the children could see the colored water as well as the stem of the flower turning that color.

If you have any great Valentine science ideas to share, please leave me a comment!