Monday, May 27, 2013

What Your Social Media Habits Say About Your Teaching Style - | Diigo

Last Summer, during one of my many technology workshops and learning opportunities, I signed up for Diigo Education Updates.  About once a day, I'm sent an email with some online articles on different topics about education.  Almost all are in someway related to technology, and I will admit, there are some days where I don't click to read any...but then there are other days when I read all of the new links to posts they've sent! 

Well, yesterday, I was sent quite a few interesting ones that I'll be sharing with you all over the next week or so.  And, here's the first. 

It's called, "What Your Social Media Habits Say About Your Teaching Style - | Diigo".  Click on over to read the full article.  It's super interesting, and I'd love to hear where you fall and how accurate it was for you!  Although I'm not a 100% "Power User", I do seem to fit in that category the most, and the synopsis of my corresponding teaching style fit pretty accurately!  :)

Like the article and want to sign up for the Diigo in Education group?  It's free, public, and optional:

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Teaching Arrays with Sticky Notes

Okay, I'll come right out and say it-- teaching multiplication in 2nd grade is hard. 

A few of my students still have yet to master their addition and subtraction facts, but then, many of my students are at the point where they're itching to learn multiplication and division!  Some kiddos already have started memorizing their "times tables" with the help of siblings or parents, so I have to ask myself, do I really want them just learning those rote multiplication facts without a conceptual understanding of why multiplication is what it is (and what it means)?!  Aye aye aye!  You can see what I mean!

So, with only 3 weeks left in our school year, our curriculum begins to introduce multiplication.  By no means do my second graders have to master multiplication nor division by the end of year, but I guess I do believe that now, a small, well planned out introduction is necessary and can be long as it is done slowly and "deeply" for all students!

Along with teaching "groups of" and "skip counting" as methods to begin multiplication, our curriculum also calls for us to teach arrays.  For those of you unfamiliar, an array is basically an arrangement of a group of objects or numbers, lined in equal rows or columns, students can see "___ rows of ___" or "___ columns of ___". 

After introducing my kiddos to the vocabulary, we made a few changes to the definition to make it work for our activity!

We crossed out "numbers" and under the word object, wrote "sticky notes", so our new definition to use for the day was "an arrangement of a set of sticky notes in rows".  Perfect! 

Then, we got going with some hands-on practice, because after all, that's the best way to learn anything!  On the board, I would write a statement, such as "10 rows of 2".  The students then would write the same on their dry erase boards.  Finally, as a table, they would make these arrays with sticky notes, and on their dry erase boards, under the "10 rows of 2", they would decide upon the corresponding multiplication sentence and write it!

At the very end of our class practice, I gave each table a different multiplication sentence, such as "8 x 3" or "5 x 4", and together, they had to figure out the array, arrange it, and write both the array statement with "rows of" and multiplication sentence:

Finally, we stuck our posters on the wall, to use as reference material for the rest of the year, and added an entry to our math spiral, to use as a reference, too:

So, there you have it...a quick, easy, and fun yet conceptual array lesson to help introduce students to multiplication!  This was the first year to use stickies (considering the idea popped into my head at 3:56 in the middle of the night...isn't that always when the best ideas come, in the middle of sleep?), but I couldn't of asked for a better way to teach my kiddos.  They loved it, I loved it, and they learned...what more could a girl ask for?! 

I'd love to hear how you all introduce and teach multiplication and division concepts...I'm always looking for new teaching strategies, especially this late in the year, when my brain is fried and ready for summer!  :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fun Box of Yum! Healthy Surprise Delivery

Recently, I stumbled upon Healthy Surprise-- a subscription program which delivers a box a month of healthy, natural, vegan, gluten free, and soy free goodies.  I chose the "Starter Box", which includes about 16-20 servings of yummy goodness. 

Everything can be kept at room temperature (which I LOVE, since I just took my whole box with me to school).  Inside, there were tons of new snacks that I've never had before, so I thought I'd share a little "review" with you!  :)

I ordered my box on Sunday, and it was delivered on Wednesday.  How's that for speedy delivery?!  The box was oh-so cute and branded, and you can see inside was stuffed with munchies.  Let me separate them and give you a little "run down"...

Cocomojoe Cranberry Bar:  This was the first thing I ate.  YUM.  Yes, it was a little high in calories, but it was a scrumptious compilation of coconut, cranberries, and more.  I actually ate this as an after school snack one afternoon, and it filled me up!

Thunderbird Energetica Lemon Rain Bar: Gluten free and very heavy for its little package.  Quinoa based, it's not your typical granola bar.  Very dense, not my favorite flavor, but all in all, it kept me satisfied!

Just Fruit Bar: All that's in it is fruit purees and juices.  It was like "fruit leather" but much more moist and yummy.  Love it a lot and would definitely eat again!

Alter Eco Dark Chocolate and Almond Bar: Of course, super delicious.  Not like a normal super sweet Hershey's bar, much more bitter, but just letting a square melt in your mouth was enough!  I broke this into pieces, and it lasted me three separate times, even though the package says 2 servings!

Rawma Bar: TBD.  Yet to be tried!

Kale Krunch: Dried kale snack with a "kick" has a coating on the outside.  Mine was "Southwest Ranch" flavored.  Tried a piece, but it was way too spicy for me...I'm a weenie when it comes to "hot".  Donated the rest to the teacher's lounge, and it was gone within the day.

Hail Merry Macaroons: OMG.  These are gluten free, dehydrated coconut macaroons.  DELICIOUS.  Very crumbly, so at first I was a bit leery, but after eating one, I was in love.  I actually got on line and ordered more from the manufacturer!

Plentils:  These are lentil chips.  A good substitution for potato chips, much healthier and gluten free.  A good snack when you need something crunchy and salty.

Peter Rabbit Fruit Snack:  This particular one was a banana and apple "puree" type snack.  Kind of like baby food...I felt kind of silly eating it, since it's in a squeeze type bottle.  But, it is just banana and apple...yummy and healthy.  (I do have to admit, I ate this after school in the confines of my room, though, because I thought I'd look really funny eating it as a snack in front of my kiddos!!)

Freeze Dried Pineapple Crunchies: TBD.  They're actually my "next up" in snack rotation.  I'll let you know on Monday!

Happy Hemp Seeds:  TBD.  It's a healthy size pack of hemp seeds.  Not quite sure what to do with them yet.  Never had hemp seeds before.  Maybe I might mix them in yogurt or another snack...  :)

So, there you have it-- my mini, informal "review" of my first Healthy Surprise box.  Nope, I wasn't paid for any "promo" or given anything for free, just signed up and enjoyed it for what it was.  It's perfect for teachers like us, so I thought I'd share the program to anyone who's interested!  It's a month by month subscription that you can cancel at anytime.  For now, I think I'll leave mine and see what shows up next month-- after all, the items inside constantly change, which is what makes it a "surprise"!  Interested to sign up or learn more?  Here's a little more info, and of course, you can always click on over to Healthy Surprise!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Showin' Us Teachers a Little Love!

Isn't it always nice to know you're appreciated?!  Well now, it's quite clear just how much TPT loves us teachers!  This Tuesday and Wednesday, May 7-8, Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a huge sale!  Lots of sellers will have their stores on sale, including my own!  That's right, everything in my store, Just Tinkerin' Around, will be on sale for 20% off-- now through Wednesday, May 8.
Then, TPT is offering an additional 10% of my discounted price for a total sale of 28% off!  I simply LOVE being appreciated...don't you?!  I've already got my wish list items picked out, and I can't wait 'til the clock strikes midnight so I can get to buying some items for myself!!!
Hope you have a happy Teacher Appreciation Week, and don't forget to stop by my store today or tomorrow to get the deals!
When checking out on TpT, use the promo code: TAD13 to recieve your extra 10% savings!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Using Inch Models for Standard Units of Measurement!

What's a cuter way to begin "standard units of measurement" than to start with the book Inch by Inch?! Yes, I know this Leo Lionni book really has nothing to do with math, but it's so cute, and it's a book that most of my kiddos have already read by the time they hit 2nd grade.

After we finish reading, we chat about "standard" units of measurement.  This is such an important conversation to have, and the students always amaze me with their depth of knowledge and reasoning skills.  They can quickly figure out why it's important to have standard units and what might happen if we didn't.  (Partial credit is also due to the book How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller.  If you haven't read it or shared it with your class, I HIGHLY suggest you do so!)

Finally, I give my students a small 1" x 1" square piece of paper to draw their own "inchworm" in!  Then we use these little guys to measure objects around our room.

Unlike with our shoes, from the "non-standard" units of measurement activity, in this activity, most of the class should get close to the same answers for each item.  It's a fun way to begin exploring "standard" units such as the inch!

Want to share this fun activity with your class?  Click this link for a great set of lots of blackline masters, the first of which is a page of one inch graph paper that you can use for the one inch squares!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Measuring With Non-Standard Units in 2nd Grade!

Gosh, it's so hard to believe that it's time again for our "measurement" unit!  It feels like just yesterday that I posted about our "Area Tile" activity and our "Area Zoo" Kim Sutton activity, too!  Now, it's been a year, and I'm about to repeat these great units with yet another class!  But before we get to jump into area, we began with length last week.

This is where my "1, 2, Measure With My Shoe!" Pack comes in so handy!  It's such a fun little activity that we can spread out over a few days to teach (or really, remind!) the students about measuring with non-standard units. 

From tracing the actual size, then using one of their own shoes to measure objects around the classroom (such as the door or recycle bin), and finally answering follow up questions and even higher level "what if" questions as a class, my "1, 2, Measure With My Shoe!" Pack has to be one of my all time favorite things to use with my kiddos throughout the year!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

TN Sale and Oriental Trading GC Giveaway for Teacher Appreciation Week!

Let's face it, as teachers, sometimes we don't quite "feel the love" each and every day.  Stress from our kiddos, stress from parents, stress from our jobs, stress from our own name it, it's there.  BUT, are you ready for that one week a year that is devoted soley to our appreciation?! 

While, unfortunately, our school PTA is choosing to celebrate our "teacher appreciation week" way later than the rest of the world, I can still participate in (and enjoy!) the national actual celebration.  And, what's a better way to celebrate than with a SALE and a GIVEAWAY!?! 

Click on over to Teacher's Notebook for their Teacher Appreciation Sale:

AND, don't forget to swing by and enter for a chance to win an Oriental Trading Gift Card!  (Or don' there will be more chances for me! JK!)

Happy Saturday!  Hope you're having a great weekend!