Thursday, April 26, 2012

End of Year Poem - Thursday Free Poem Pack


Here's this weeks Thursday Poem Freebie.  I know many of you are gearing up for the end of the year, so here's a little poem with that in mind: "I'm Glad I Was Your Teacher".  Remember that these packs correlate directly with the Free Poetry Task Cards and that there is a new poem each week.  You can get links to all of them on the freebies tab at the top of the page.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Amazing Giveaway Hop!!

It's Giveaway time and you are not going to believe this!  Over 20 items up for grabs from AMAZING bloggers all over the USA!  It's Top Teacher's Giveaway Galore!  Enter my giveaway here and then "hop" over to the other great blogs listed to enter their giveaways.

Just enter with the rafflecopter widget below
before APRIL 27th and from me you could win:

  Adding 3 Numbers Pack by Melissa of Dilly Dabbles: "Pack full of activities to support instruction on adding three numbers with sums within 20." (K-2)


  2 line Counting Frame (Set of 6) by Melissa of Dilly Dabbles: "See my recent blog post here all about these magnificent tools." (K-5)

While you are here, make sure you follow me through Facebook, Teachers PayTeachers, Twitter and Pinterest.  Also be sure you're on the newsletter list.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Magnificent Math Tool - Rekenrek

Student using Rekenrek to answer a
3 number addition problem
The Rekenreck, also called a Math Rack or Counting Frame, is a wonderful math manipulative tool that I have been using for three years.  My students love it and it is the tool they use the most for just about every kind of math.  Most recently, we used them to aide us in adding 3 numbers and in finding missing numbers in an equation: missing addend and missing subtrahend / minuend problems.  We have used them throughout the year for all types of addition and subtraction and counting.  The best things about the Rekenrek tool are:

  • It is coded for easy recognition of working in the base 10 system.  The beads are color coded in groups of 5 which enable students to see numbers quickly.  Each row contains 10 beads which also lends to quick number identification and manipulation. 
  • It is kinesthetic and visual.  Students physically manipulate the beads and see the numbers.  This is an added help that is not given to students when using a number line. 
  • It is available in three sizes: a single 10 row for preK-K students or for students who may need extra support, a double row containing 20 beads for K-2 students easily facilitates working with all problems within sums/differences within 20, and the final option is a ten row board containing 100 beads for use with all students allows many options for number work.  
There is information available on how to use and instruct with the Rekenrek all over the internet.  I really like this PDF book available online that gives step by step lessons you can teach your students to introduce them to the tool.  

Another resource includes the book Number Sense Routines: Building Numerical Literacy Every Day in Grades K-3  in which Chapter 3, Visual Routines, includes several pages about the Rekenreck.  Author Jessica Shumway also includes questions to ask to get students thinking about the tool and ideas for problems and numbers to try.  One of her ideas also includes reading books by Greg Tang (read one of the problems a day) and working them with the Rekenrek.

If you already teach using ten frames or dot cards, the Rekenrek is a perfect companion and extends the same concepts kinestheticly.

There are also virtual versions of the Rekenrek and an App.
Here's the link to an online version.  
Here's the link to the free app. 

Commercial Rekenreks can be very costly.  Of course, I have a solution for you! The Dilly Dabble Rekenreks are made to be of quality between the major commercially available Rekenreks and the personally made ones.  They are durable enough to last through several years of classroom use and much more affordable than the metal or wood ones available.  You can see pricing and details at the Dilly Dabbles Store here.


Of course, this post wouldn't be complete without some Freebies!  Here's a link to a recording page on which students can record ways they make numbers or solve problems using the Rekenrek and prompts you can use when working generally with the Rekenrek.

Would you be interested in Counting Frame flash cards or problem cards?  I'd love to hear your requests in the comments below.  Also, please share if you've used this tool before and how.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Spring" Free Poem of the Week

As promised last week, each Thursday I will post a poem pack freebie that directly correlates with the Poem Task Cards (also free).  This week's poem is titles "Spring" and you can get it here.  If you've missed any of the past freebies, be sure to check the featured freebies tab at the top of the blog.  I'd love to hear how these are working out for you. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Synonym Feelings

A few weeks ago, as a team, we were thinking about what we could do to put in the hall for April.  We like to do an integration art piece as a team each month that hangs in our hall.  So, here's what we came up with.  We used the book My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss as our literature inspiration and the topic of Synonyms.  We read the book to students and discussed the synonyms for traditional feeling words and recorded our lists.  Then, students chose a color and a traditional feeling.  They used a splatter paint technique on white paper and let it dry.  Then with a black marker, they wrote several synonyms around the painted page and glued the traditional feeling word somewhere on the page.  I backed them with black construction paper and laminated them, but you certainly don't have to do that.  One of our teachers made these shades of meaning cards with paint color strips. (She said I could share it with you.)  So, this is a great way to integrate art and language.  I've included a printable of the feelings bubbles here for you to use in your own projects.   I'd love for you to come back and let me know how you use this idea.  How do you teach synonyms in your classroom?

Also, If you're a fellow blogger, check out Charity's challenge to be a 5 star blogger here.  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

It's a Tax Break!

Celebrate Tax Day with a sale at my TpT store!  For one day only, you will find everything in my store 10% off.  I've had my taxes done for a while and it turned out pretty good in my favor.  I made some adjustments for this year though.  How are your taxes going?  Have you filed yet, or are you waiting until the very last minute?

Thanks to Hadar at Miss Kindergarten and Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants for the idea and cute graphic!

Also, be sure to get my newest pack: Addition and Subtraction Cootie Catchers!  You can learn more about them and see the video tutorial here.  All of my products are also available in my blog store.  If you received the April newsletter, use your coupon code to get 10% off there too.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Addition Cootie Catcher - Freebie

I'm so excited!  I just got news today that I have been invited to be a contributor to Classroom Freebies!  I have been contributing to Classroom Freebies Too, and now get the opportunity to share on the original blog.  In celebration, here's the freebie I'll be sharing there first. This freebie is the beginning to a larger pack I'm working on.  I'd love to hear your ideas for using cootie catchers in your classroom and other themes / subjects you'd like to see them in.  You can get the freebie here and you can see a tutorial video on how to fold them below.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Vocabulary Freebie and a few other bits

Tier 2 Vocabulary is an important part of reading instruction.  My district just adopted the Journey's reading program and it contains a good list of tier 2 words as part of each week's lesson.  I'm in the process of putting them into page size posters to hang on my wall each week.  Here's Unit 5 for all of you.  Even if you don't use Journey's, these are a good resource of tier 2 words.  (The rest will be coming along between now and the end of summer.)

On some other notes:

I appreciate the several tags that I have received this week.  A tag is indeed a lot of work and did one a while back.  You can see that post here.  Again thanks so much for the tags, however I won't be creating a new tag post.

Also, be sure that you like Dilly Dabbles on Facebook.  An exclusive freebie is available there now for fans and will be changed each week.

Finally, the DillyDabbler, our newsletter, will be sent out this weekend.  Be sure you've signed up so you get the first glimpse of posts and other informational tidbits along with exclusive offers and discounts in the Dilly Dabbles Store.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Poetry Task Cards

Here's a set of Free task cards for your poetry center.  It includes 24 cards with various levels of tasks and a template card page so you can create your own cards.  Along with the cards, I'm starting a new series to share with you: A Poem a Week.  I feature a poem a week with my students and place the poem in the poetry center for the week for students to work with.  Most of the poems I use are from unknown or anonymous authors that are virally posted online.  So, I'm pretty sure that they're safe to adjust for the purpose of a poetry center and share with all of you.

**Please note that these cards have been changed to be priced at just $2.00.  If you were directed here by Classroom Freebies, please email me:  All the coordinating poems are still free, and will remain so.  Thank You. **

Here's the first poem set with one to come each week for the next 35-40 weeks.  This first one will be available only to Facebook Fans.  So hurry on over and like the DillyDabbles page.  Click on the tab that says Fans Only Freebies.  The poem set is 6 pages that correlate directly with the task cards.  It includes:

  • a page to cut into strips to put the poem in order
  • a page to slip into a sheet protector so students can trace the poem with dry erase markers
  • a page to practice antonyms and synonyms
  • a quarter page size for gluing in a poetry notebook
  • a page with words covered for students to add their own new words
  • a page with word family / pattern emphasis and recording sheets
By the way....they'll all be Free!  Please share this resource with your Friends, Followers and Collegues.  If there's something more you'd like added, please let me know. Check back Tuesday for the next Free poem set and then on Thursdays weekly.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Gotta Haves" For the Classroom

Kristin over at Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten is going to a new school next fall and is hosting a linky party about the top 5 "Gotta Haves" for the classroom. I switched schools this past fall and know what a scary and exciting thing that can be. Here's my 5:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Writing Center Idea - Draw, Write Now

I use this series of books all year for student handwriting practice.  They have 4 sentences on Science and Social Studies topics along with a picture.  Also included are step by step instructions on drawing the main element of the picture.  The incentive of learning to draw something new gets even my reluctant ones doing this center.

I have managed it two different ways.  Last year, as a team, we compiled passages that correlated with our scope and sequence into one workbook for students.  We included 1 passage for each week.  On the left side of the page was the copy from these books and on the right side a blank lined page for student handwriting with room at the top for the picture.  The directions for drawing were posted in a center.

This year, I have a document camera and mounted projector.  So, I didn't make a book for each student.  Instead, I display the text under the document camera and have a few copies of the drawing directions available for student to grab and bring to their seats.  I have done centers at students' seats this year, so this worked well for that format.

Whether you decide on one of the books or the entire set, they are a great way to integrate Social Studies and Science with your handwriting.  Of course, I wouldn't leave you high and dry without the paper for students to use!  Here's your free copy of the page student's use to copy the text and draw the picture.  There are two different line sizes for you to choose from.

How do you do handwriting in your class?
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