Friday, 30 March 2012

Hungry Hounds and more fun stuff!

Hungry Hounds
The three part Math lesson is currently the big rage in Ontario. The documents that supports this approach are entitled, A Guide to Effective Instruction in Math. There are guides for each of the Math strands.  These documents provide practical lessons and activities to support this new way of learning and thinking.

The guides can be found here:

My student teacher is really keen on trying new things so she is taking everything that she is learning from university, our Math Instructional Coach, (and me) and attempting to implement it. She found this adorable activity in the Measurement Guide to Effective Instruction in Math and decided to try it with my students.

Here's how it works:
Each of the children makes their own "Hungry Hound." These hounds are made from basic margarine/yogurt containers. The children decorate them to look like cute dogs. The kids LOVED making their own hound, and they couldn't wait to feed them too! The children use their hounds to compare the capacity of containers. Here is one of the Hungry Hounds that was created by a student.
Hungry Hound ready to be fed!
My student teacher had each child estimate how many scoops of wood chips would fit into their Hungry Hound. Afterwards, we decided that the wood chips were too messy. We thought of water, but figured that would be a disaster too. Maybe rice or beans next time!

So the children made their estimations and then actually measured the capacity of their Hungry Hounds. They recorded their estimations and measurements for their own hounds and then did the same for another classmate's. They really enjoyed this.

Once the children had two hounds to compare, they had to answer the question "Which Hungry Hound has the greater capacity? Following this answer, they had to explain why by completing the sentence, "I know this because ..."

Hungry Hound worksheet
 Such an adorable activity, the kids loved it! I'm not sure if they even knew that they were learning! Sweet!

Math Scrapbooks
Our Math Instructional Coach shared a really cool idea with us in our last session with her - Math scrapbooks. The Math scrapbook is created by using a plain piece of bristol board, cutting it in half for the front and back cover, and attach it by using three round binder clips. Instead of having the students draw pictures of what they are completing in Math, she takes pics with her iPhone and quickly uploads and prints them off for her students. They use the pictures the next day in their consolidation period. They paste the pic on a ledger sized page, and underneath write their reflections of what they learned from the lesson. It certainly saves on photocopying worksheets and it's a neat way to store work, rather than a boring duotang or notebook.

So, we are in full swing and already have three entries from this week.  The first pic they responded to was the one below. My student teacher read the poem, When Tilly Ate the Chili. In the poem, Tilly is desperate for water because she ate too much spicy chill. So, the students needed to figure out which glass would be the best glass for Tilly to drink out of - which glass had the greater capacity. So, she brought in various glasses and compared their capacities with the students. After they decided which glass had the greater capacity, we took this pic and they headed back to their desks to do a reflection in their Math scrapbooks. They glued the pic onto their ledger sized paper and wrote about what they had just learned. The responses were amazing! They understood the concept and articulated their thoughts beautifully!

We have been busy preparing new Literacy Stations/Centers for the students. I am in love with Teachers Pay Teachers. It has been such a blessing to me (and my students) this year. How did I go so long without knowing about it? Who knows! I am just so thankful for all of the free resources. I hope to spend less of my own money on resources now that I have found this gem of a website. Anyway, I have found a ton of amazing resources created by other amazing teachers on TPT. I am very thankful for these talented individuals. I seriously don't know how they have the time to create them though (super teachers?)!

My centers are coming along and I am going to share a few that I have had my coop students help me  prepare. Here are my helpers. I am very blessed to have so many "assistants" this year.
Melanie and Jessica
I created this center board so that the students would know where they should go if and when they complete their work. I don't normally have "center time" unless there is only 15 minutes left before the end of a period. The student do, however, get center time when they complete their assigned class work. So, I have large numbers hanging from the ceiling so that students know where to find their center. It is working really well.
Center board
The center below is called "Sight Word Sandwich" - another idea I found online. Not sure where exactly I found the worksheet.... ?  I had one of my assistants cut out paper in the shapes of bread, tomato, meat slice, pickles, and lettuce. When the children are at this center, they are required to make me a sandwich, read the sight words on the sandwich, and then write them on the worksheet. They LOVE making me sandwiches. Sometimes my sandwiches are really big - stuffed with multiples slices of meat, pickles and tomato. It's super cute!
Sight Word Sandwich
This is another cute idea I found online. Digraph sort. Students look at picture, say the word, and place it into the proper holder. Another favourite amongst the gang!
Digraph Sort
We started learning about contractions this week. Today we made contraction kites and they turned out super cute. Another idea found on Pinterest. I don't have pics of the students' yet since they aren't hanging yet...
Contraction Kites
 I found another cute contraction resource online. It's called Contraction Crocodile. So, today I quickly drew and cut out this croc. I think it's so adorable! There's a cute poem that goes with it all about the crocodile crunching up the two words to turn them into one - so I decided to show that in the croc's mouth! I think it turned out really beautifully!  More contractions on Monday!

We have also been focusing on using descriptive words in our writing. I printed off these large pics to represent our senses and then the students and I brainstormed words that could go under each heading. They used post it notes to write their ideas on and then put them on the appropriate posters. I used their post its to create these posters, which the students use all of the time now when writing.

Here's another center that I have set up. The students write out short descriptive phrases to represent the pictures. Here are a few examples of their work.

Here are some "feelings" posters that we created using the same post-it strategy. The focus was on writing synonyms for the feelings. The kids did a great job!

I love my job! 
Have a great weekend everyone!


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