Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Found my Sweet Tooth using Bubble Gum Math!

The New Year is in full swing and that means 3rd quarter begins addition and subtraction timed tests for my first graders.  This is definitely one of those challenging areas for me because the weekly tests I have given for the past 12 years have been pretty boring.  
I knew if I was to make it through another semester of weekly timed tests, I had to do something to JAZZ it up a bit.
Lucky for me, I have TWO incredible first grade experts (and friends) who have totally changed my opinion of managing these weekly assessments!

Let me introduce you to Bubble Gum Math.
Christy and Tammy over at Fluttering Through First Grade
have made my job so much easier this year!
 I was jumping for joy when I was printing these units out!
Then I got on Amazon and ordered a gumball machine!
Gordon Food Service has the gumballs for eight bucks!   
Next up:
Copying the timed tests.
I decided to color-code, so all addition tests are on blue and all subtraction tests are on red(hot pink).
Then, I made divider-tabs (in the corresponding color) to separate each level of tests.
Laminate for durability.

I made two separate folders for the Answer Keys.

Students will keep track of their gumballs earned and graph growth of weekly tests using their blue Bubble Gum Math folders.

I made color copies of the gumball machines.
One for addition and one for subtraction.
I walked the kids through the steps and process of picking up the correct test(s).  I want the kiddos to be as independent as possible!
Yesterday we took our first Addition +0 and +1 tests!
These eager-beavers were so stinkin excited!
One minute on the clock, and......

I gave the test in the morning, graded them (easy-peasy) during lunch, and returned the tests to the students in the afternoon.
Students get busy right away and graph their stamina for each test!

The timed tests are out of 15 problems.
If students earned 12 or higher,
I circled the level indicated at the top of the test and made a star above it.  That indicates a PASS score and students can pick up a gumball to add to their gumball machine. 

We are keeping the folders in our desks for now!
If a student does not reach their goal,
they can sign up to take the TEST B during recess the following day.  I will take the higher score of the two.

Here you see a student today signing up to retake subtraction tests during recess tomorrow.

I have set up our "cheetah table" with our Bubble Gum Math supplies.
Gumball Stickers and sharpies-
I keep track of the points earned on these tests using GradePro.
Then I print out a copy and keep it on my clipboard for check in's.
I also have a bag of pennies in there too!
Once students have passed 3 addition (levels), they earn an Award and penny to buy a gumball!
Needless to say, my students are EXTREMELY stoked about this new find! Bubble Gum Math has made taking timed tests
I have created some additional Bubble Gum materials for these units and I am happy to share them with all of my Bubble Gum math fans!  
Click here or on any image to download-

Bubble Gum Math was definitely a WOW find for me, so I have linked up with Em Hutchinson for her Wednesday WOW linky!

Special Thanks to Ideas by Jivey for letting me share this post with her weekly Wednesday Workshop Linky!


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Floods and Folly Five for Friday!

Floods and Folly
Five for Friday!
These pics might be a few weeks late, but I just had to share a spectacular afternoon with some of the sweetest girls in OHIO!
Our Columbus Teacher Blogger meet-up was SO MUCH FUN and I am so lucky to have new teaching friends so close to home!
Pictured above: back row: Me, Emily, Jennie, Sarah, Lisa, 
Front row: Jenny, Sarah & Christina!
Below: Emily, me, and Jenny.
Now these amazing ladies aren't just great blogging friends,
but WOW, do they have some GENIUS ideas!
Click here to read this awesome technique that Emily uses to teach fluency to her first graders.  Christina has a super-easy way to break the letter/number reversals too!  Click here for more details!
The week of January 6-10 was a nightmare for Northwest Ohio.
The POLAR VORTEX decided to make a week-long pit-stop and Old Man Winter was on the attack.  We had ANOTHER week off from school and this is what I walked into Monday morning.
Water pipes burst on the main floor of our school building...
Inches of water over the weekend....
And EVERYTHING that was touching the floor-level in my classroom was ruined.  All the white bookshelves and books on the bottom shelf....saturated.
The bookcases were bubbling and cracking with moisture.
Mold spots already.
There is an empty classroom next to mine so I began pulling things over there to dry out...  This week, I have called it the "Salvage Room."

Bulletin Board sets that I have made over the years were sopping wet....and getting moldy.

These few tables of books are just a bit damp but I am trying to save them.

The custodians have taken 10 loads of trash out...and counting.
Lost 21 big books too.
So sad.
Loss total approximately $3,200.00
Now I must say that if you're not a teacher, it is hard to wrap your brain around this kind of loss.  Most people will just say,
"That is what insurance is for."  However, in the profession of teaching, there is a certain hidden value that sometimes can't be replaced.  Teachers spend days, weeks, and if your like me, years  collecting and creating resources... To see it all washed away, well it's been pretty heartbreaking  On the brighter side, God did do his best to shelter my classroom from total despair.  Thank goodness the sprinkler system did not burst-loose!  Can you imagine!  Everything in my classroom and storage room would have been a total loss.  I would have needed the white straight jacket if that happened!
I needed lots of shoulders to lean on this week and I am so fortunate that so many of you were there for me, even if it was through texts and emails.  Your support and inspiration was just what I needed to get my self going again.
Nothing like being knee-deep in gross wet soggy messes and hearing that "ping" on my iPad and phone.  I knew it was more encouragement!  THANK YOU for being there!
Now when I tend to have a bad day,
or a bad flood,
I get ART on the brain!
Art soothes my soul and the kids and I can share in some really creative conversations about what they are thinking and feeling.
I grabbed Nancy V's "We're Gonna Knock Your Socks Off!" New Year's unit and it was a blast!
We brainstormed some of our goals for the new year-
Then decorated our hallway bulletin board with this!

Friday was my favorite kind of day with the kids...
How do these young little minds understand "form" and "perspective" in art?  This type of snowman is pretty common....
But can you let your mind ZOOM IN to see just part of it?
How can you show me your perspective?
Let your mind be a camera and your eyes the lens.
Zoom in,
take a picture in your  mind,
and draw it.

I found this gem snowman project two years ago on Pinterest.
First, direct draw the outline of the snowman in black marker.
Then use white chalk to shade in the head and body.
Next, add color chalk for the hat and scarf.
Add the carrot nose.
Now use black oil pastel chalk to outline the snowman and give that POP for detail!  Laminate and you've got a masterpiece!
This made my heart smile!
And after a tough week,
my kids reminded me that the most important things in life,
are the special moments we share and learn together!

Now besides a bag-full of school work to do over the long 3-day weekend, I have a Pinterest inspired wedding idea that I am working on!  Instead of using the traditional card box at the reception, I bought this bird cage and will jazz it up with my colors navy and pink!
Stay warm and thanks again for being such great listeners and friends!

This five for Friday was brought to you by Doodle Bugs Teaching!

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