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Just For Smiles

Fun Hands-On Geometry Lesson for Kinder and First

At this time of year attention spans are short so it is always good to bring in a fun hands on activity. Why not use shapes to make new figures? I used this for an enrichment unit to see which of my students could demonstrate different perspectives in an enrichment class, but you could easily use it to meet these common core standards for kinder and first graders.


Kinder: CC KB6: Compose simple shapes to form larger shapes.

1st: CC standard 1GA2: Compose two-dimensional shapes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids, triangles, … to create a composite shape, and compose new shapes from the composite shape.1

This will take a little preparation because you will need four right triangles cut out of card stock. Each triangle needs to be of a different color. I used the Ellison die cutter at school and cut out squares. Then with a sharp pair of scissors, I cut down the middle of the square to make 2 triangles. Of course remind students to take care of the triangles so you can use them over and over. I chose not to laminate because I felt the plastic edges would probably make the shapes not fit together very well.

Next, you pose several different figures for the students to make. Students have to use all four triangles for each figure.

  1. build a square.
  2. build a triangle.
  3. build a rectangle.
  4. build mountains.
  5. build a diamond (really just the same as a square but turned differently. See if your students know to do this.
  6. build a house
  7. build a pinwheel (if you attempt this one be prepared to show students a picture of a pinwheel. This one proved to be most difficult for students because even after they had built it, they had the triangles turned the wrong direction and thought they were correct.)

Solutions are below.

I had my students sit on a circle around the carpet and build their figures. Some of them looked at others work to help them. If you really want to know who knows what, then this configuration wouldn’t work well, but at times, I think it was helpful for students to see their peers work. I liked sitting in a circle around the carpet because I wanted to see the students closely during this time.

Alternately, you could tell the students to build as many different figures as possible with four right triangles and record them as they find each solution. This could be done on a separate day. Heres a link that shows the ways and other activities to do with right triangles.

The four triangles

A Cute Funny & Giveaway Time!

So this week I had students write some “I Wonder” poetry. I did this for an enrichment class (totally unrelated to math here). I showed students two examples of I wonder poetry. Then I presented them with a paper to write their I wonder statements. To my surprise I had one very “clever” second grader write an amusing line to his poem. See the story below for your own giggle moment.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS:  

Prize: $100 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)

Co-hosts:  An Apple for the TeacherChocolate 4 TeachersMrs Wenning’s ClassroomTeacher Gone DigitalKamp KindergartenTheBeezyTeacherSimoneA Plus KidsThe Literacy GardenJackie CrewsResource Room RelevanceIt’s a Teacher ThingThe Fun FactoryStar Kids by NaomiThe Chocolate TeacherSamsons ShoppeMs. K,The Froggy Factory, and The Cozy Crafty Classroom.

Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter.  Giveaway ends 3/13/19 and is open worldwide.

Are you a Teacher Blogger or Teachers pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your store and social media?  Click here to find out how you can join our totally awesome group of bloggers! 


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Share Your Life with Your Kids

This is a very random post, but I must share this because I am rather excited about it. The other evening my dog who is an AH-dorable fuzzy 12 pounds would not come inside when I called her. This is not normally a problem, however this night it was! I finally went outside to see what she was distracted with and took my flashlight. I heard something squeak as she was pouncing in the leaves. I looked closer and saw something gray. I was like…WHAT IN THE WORLD!? I thought she had found a mole or something. Then I got closer and picked up the small gray animal. As I looked I realized she had found a tiny, baby rabbit. The eyes were still closed and the umbilical cord was visible. I picked it up so she wouldn’t damage its warm body. My dog fussed at me for taking her potential chew toy. My dog continued sniffing the leaves. It was then I realized that there were two more babies. I picked the others up, snapped some pictures and panicked about what to do with them. I called my veterinary technician friend. She said the mother was probably nearby watching us and may not want anything to do with her babies since we had touched them. I put the bunnies back down and went back inside. The next morning they were gone without a sign of harm.

I ended up sharing this story and the picture with my students who were equally excited about them…especially the younger students. I even was able to use a little deductive reasoning about what type of animal I found since I didn’t initially tell the students that they were bunnies. I say all this to say when something fun and exciting like this happens in your life, take the time to share it with your students. Chances are they will remember it more than other things you teach them…and sometimes these are the most important moments! (Hello?! life science!)

Fun Christmas Lesson While Learning a Little History!

This year just for fun I let my students experience the “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” song during a 30 minute enrichment lesson. First, I let the students watch this video in which Gayla Peevey sings the song.

Then I give the students a copy of the words, and I rewind it to the beginning so the students can sing it with the words. At about 2:34 I stop the song and ask the students to tell me what they think happened to Gayla later in her life. I’ve heard students say several things ranging from Gayla became famous all the way to Gayla died. Then I ask them how old they think Gayla is today. I give students a few minutes to figure out how old she is (Gayla’s age and the date of the video show on the video). Then I play the remainder of the video for students to see Gayla all grown up at 73 years old.

Next, I read students a little history of Gayla’s life from this website. Then I follow up with having the students write an acrostic poem with the word hippopotamus. Students were so proud of their acrostic poems! If time, sing the song again! I always like singing the song because it makes me happy and makes the kids happy, too. Here are a few of the student’s acrostic poems. Enjoy!

Try this Fun Activity for Your Promoted Fifth Graders!



We always have a big ceremony for our 5th graders who are being promoted to 6th grade every year.  In fact it rivals many high school graduations in its attention to detail and classiness.  This year, I wanted to add little something to it, so at the prompting of my students, we made these cute profile images of their faces.  The students put quotes on them that meant something to them.  In some cases students made up their own quotes, and I let them.

I had students make up the rubric for what a good profile image would look like. Most of them agreed that a quality profile had to have no white spaces, at least two colors, and at least one quote.  They turned out SO well, and I’m so proud of them! 🙂  You will notice that some profiles look similar to others.  That is because when one student had a good idea, other students tended to copy the good ideas.

First you must know that I work next door to the art teacher (HOW convenient!).  The art teacher let me borrow these spotlights that make the perfect shadow on a large sheet of white construction paper.  I outlined the students’s shadow and had them trace their shadow in black Sharpie.  If you don’t do this first, it turns out disastrous because then students end up coloring over the pencil lines and then when they cut out their profile, their lips and nose look somewhat deformed. I had them make their colored design first, and then AT THE END they can cut out their profile.  I allowed students to be able to use oil pastels, water color, black Sharpie, and crayons to make their images.  I emphasized the fact that they must NOT use Sharpie over the top of oil pastels or crayons because the wax will ruin the Sharpie.  I had them use the oil pastels, crayons, or Sharpie first and THEN they could paint over it with water color.  The wax in the crayons and oil pastels will cause the water color to resist causing a nice effect.

Parents and students took much pride in these as they lined the hall after their “graduation ceremony”.

Happy New Year 2018!

I Wish You the Merriest Christmas Ever!

To all my followers and visitors alike:

I wish you the Merriest Christmas Ever from this Christmas moose compliments of Teaching in the Tongas ! 🙂


Need a Cheap and Easy Book Character Costume?

In case you are needing a quick costume for book character day or for Halloween, you can try this.  Now this is a bit of a stretch on the definition of “character” but everyone was impressed with the creativity.   All you need is:

*a few pipe cleaners

*purple balloons

*green pipe cleaners

*purple masking tape or hot glue if you don’t care about ruining your sweatshirt

 


Now, I could have filled up my sweatshirt with way more balloons, but the balloons make it a bit hard to maneuver, so I didn’t fill the sweatshirt up completely.  I put the sweatshirt on after I arrived at school so that I had a shirt underneath.  This way I could move during the rest of the day.  As you can imagine, the younger kids especially enjoyed touching the balloons as we had our school parade!   I hope this sparks an idea for your last minute costume! 🙂

What Is It? {Giveaway Time}

So the story goes like this.  I, of course, like most dutiful teachers went back to school before my contract began to get my classroom set up.  I currently have a trailer classroom.  We affectionately refer to all of us in trailers as the “trailer park”.  Well the first time I went into my trailer and walked out I noticed a little friend waiting for me on the wood railing outside my door–pictured above.

What do you think it could be?

Suddenly I smiled and realized what this was.  I hate to spoil the fun, but I’ll go ahead and tell you.  Last school year towards the end you may remember I spent a lot of time doing electricity experiments with lemons, limes, potatoes, fruit, you name it.  I had given some of the potatoes to a classroom teacher so that she could use them in her plant unit.  She was allowing the students to sprout seeds.  Well the last day of school, I had one little potato left that had sprouted a bit and I planned on taking it home to see what would happen.  And, you guessed it!  I forgot and left it on the railing outside my trailer.  Little did I know two months later it would still be there untouched.

As if my whole house and yard haven’t become little science projects.  Think with me.  How would you turn this into a lesson? 🙂

 

Giveaway time!!!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
 
Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
 
 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 8/11/17 and is open worldwide.
 
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!
 

 

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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all of my followers!  May you have a day filled with peace.



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