Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Five for Friday - Counting Cookies

I'm coming to you today from beautiful downtown Tampa, Florida!  Even when I'm out of town, I link up with Doodlebugs Teaching!

Why am I in Tampa?  I presented my Books You Can Count On workshop at the annual One Goal summer conference! 
Decided it shouldn't be all work and no the hubby is meeting me this weekend and then we'll vacation on Treasure Island for a few days!

I blogged about my workshop earlier this week.  Click HERE to read how I use classic children's books to teach math standards.  I shared activities based on cookie themed books. These ideas will be perfect for back to school!
 I forgot to show this picture of another way I used the milk & cookies diecuts. This activity matched number words and ten frames. I love how these diecuts are so versatile and allow us to differentiate for the needs of our students. I program mine with address labels to make a quick center!

New highlights but still deciding if I like or not. I'm lucky I don't have gray to cover but sure wish I had the natural highlighted blonde of my youth!

A great find for Fun Fridays at school!  I can't wait to watch it!
Have a super weekend!

Books You Can Count On

I'm excited to tell you a little about my Books You Can Count On workshop!  This will be the first post in a series based on the workshop.  I hope you find ideas and inspiration for your classroom!

Books aren’t just for reading!  In the workshop, I prompt you to see how your favorite classroom books are much more than just language & literacy.   Books You Can Count On  was created to help you discover ways to integrate children’s literature to achieve your Mathematics standards, too. 
Today, I'm going to share activities based on several of my favorite books that are most likely in your reading area when school begins.
As you can see, the theme of these books is all about cookies!  These books have wonderful lessons about sharing, learning names, and more.  But have you thought about using these treasured books to help teach math skills?  Basic standards such as...
  • The child will organize, represent, and build knowledge of quantity and number.
  • The child will recognize numerals and use counting as part of play and as a means for determining quantity
  • The child will match numerals to sets of objects with the same number, 0-10
  • The child will describe sets as having more, less, same as/equal
  • The child will quickly recognize and name how many items are in a set
Here's a Cookie Counting activity the children in your class will really enjoy!  It gives them a fun, hands-on experience while they work on math skills. Does it get any better than that?


Putting this activity together took me less than 20 minutes.  I cut brown paper circles with a two inch circle punch and programmed them on one side with numerals or number words.  I decorated the other side with random chocolate chip dots.  Next, I cut circles from tan craft foam.  As soon as I poured a bag of tiny brown pom pom "chocolate chips" into the cookie jar, the class was ready to start counting!  I found the cookie jar awhile ago at a dollar store but any bowl or container can hold the cookies and chocolate morsels for this game.

To do the activity, students will pick a paper cookie and read the numeral or number word. Then, they'll count out the correct number of pom pom chocolate chips and place them on the foam cookie shape.  Your students will absolutely LOVE counting the chocolate chips!


This is a counting exercise you can do with a small group and then place in your independent math center for the kids to do on their own.  
Here's another cookie themed activity to go along with any of the books above.  This one uses a small baking sheet and a package of the "Cookies & Milk" diecuts from the Dollar Tree.
First, I made a very simple counting mat using a cute font and cookie clip art. 
On the glasses of milk from the Dollar Tree diecut package, I placed number stickers.  You could also program the milk glasses with number words, tally marks, ten frames, or sets of dots.  It's up to you! 
Then I used a circle punch to cut small discs from the big cookie diecuts.  Each large cookie diecut yielded three smaller cookies.  I did this so I'd have enough cookies for making larger number sets and to ensure they'd all fit on the baking sheet.  But you could also just use the big cookies as they come in the package.

For this game, I had my class working on matching the correct number of cookies to the numeral on the milk glass as you see below.

Here's a look at the magnet buttons on back of the diecut pieces.  I put these on so everything would stick to the baking sheet and not slide around too much.
Write it in your plans to read one or more of these cookie themed books when school starts and then watch your class play, work, and learn!
Teaching math concepts with your favorite children's literature. 
It's what Books You Can Count On is all about!

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday Made It - Packing & Peaches

I love Mondays!  It's partly because it's the day for one of my favorite linky parties, Monday Made It.  But Monday is also a fresh start...a clean slate...the time to get your week off on a good note!

One task this weekend was making copies of the outline for the Books You Can Count On workshop I'm presenting Friday in Tampa.  The outline gives participants an organized spot to jot down notes during the workshop. 
The bigger task I had was to pack everything needed for my presentation.  Oh, and let's get it all in one suitcase since we're flying!  

I'm travelling with quite a variety of props...plastic apples, clothespins, mini pocket charts, magic gold beans, and a frying pan! The good news is that everything fit! 

We went to a big farmer's market over the weekend and found these beauties.  I wish blogs had a smelly feature because these are perfect Georgia peaches and they smell incredible!

I decided to bake two smaller cobblers instead of a gigantic one since we'll be leaving soon.  I used 8x8 baking dishes and broke the recipe down to divide everything evenly into the two pans.  One to keep and one to give to my sweet friend who is overcoming breast cancer. 

Here's the cobbler recipe I use which was originally published in Southern Living magazine.  It's truly a "no fail" recipe and the ideal way to use those summer peaches.  Don't forget a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!
I don't think I'll have any new "made it's" to share next Monday but I'm going to blog about the workshop and share my ideas for Books You Can Count On in your classroom this fall! 

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Five for Friday - Playdates & Cupcakes

Time to check in with one of my favorites... Five for Friday...hosted by Doodlebugs Teaching!

This week I invited the girls from last year's class over for a play date! They squealed with delight when they saw each other and were thrilled my sweet assistant and her twins joined us, too.  It was really a fun little get-together...very simple to host! 
Everyone brought their own lunches while I supplied drinks and dessert.  The girls played with a few special toys they'd not seen before at school.  The big hit was definitely my Polly Pocket collection!
For our dessert, I baked a batch of vanilla cupcakes and topped them with a summery lemon buttercream frosting.  The finishing touch was a sprinkling of freshly grated lemon zest!
Click here for the lemon buttercream frosting recipe.  I'm a big believer in making  cupcakes versus buying them at the grocery store bakery.  Part of it is that I'm thrifty and can't see spending $4.99 for only four or six cupcakes when I can make two dozen for lots, lots less!  Plus, my homemade frosting is super easy and really delicious!
A trip to Costco this week yielded new kitchen towels...
and browsing for new luggage...
We enjoyed a fun "date night" of Costco hotdogs and swirled ice cream, too!
I'm looking for some sturdier luggage because I have to pack and fly with all my workshop props to the One Goal Conference next week in Tampa.
I'm presenting my Books You Can Count On workshop on Friday and then I'm heading over to the beautiful gulf beaches of Treasure Island!  Very excited about this trip! 
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - I'm in Time Out

It's easy to find time to link-up with Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday!

But it's not always easy to manage your time, is it? 

Do you sit down to work on a specific project and then end up on Facebook for an hour...maybe longer? 

Have you ever searched Pinterest for just one quick thing and then realized you've got two dozen new pins but you've forgotten what you were originally looking for? 

I'm guilty.  I'm as guilty as a teenager with a pile of homework surfing the web and texting at midnight. 

So, here's what I did...

I put myself in Time Out.  That's right.  I'm on restriction from Facebook when there's work to be done. I think I have no willpower but that little note has worked somehow.  I've managed to get some big tasks outline for a new presentation, workshop handouts, plans for a fall unit, and more. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you're in Time Out!

How do you manage your time? 
Do you have a secret for avoiding the traps of social media?

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday Made It - Shirts & Aprons

I've always wished I could sew like my mother.  However, I didn't inherit her talent so I tend to use Stitch Witchery or hot glue on most of my sewing projects.  Good thing my Monday Made It projects didn't test my seamstress skills too much! 

If all my "to do" projects were as quick as this one was...I'd be done!

I saw a cute Pete the Cat counting activity here and knew I had to make it for my kids, too!   I had some of the felt pieces already and ran up to Hobby Lobby for a couple more.  Then, all I had to do was print the shirt pattern.
Pinned the paper pattern on my felt...
Cut it out with my "good" sewing scissors...
Colorful shirts for Pete!
Add a jar of buttons and a number dice and my Pete counting activity is finished!
Last summer I bought a teacher apron from Sandy at the I Teach K Conference.  Her sewing skills are obviously more like my mother's than mine!  I wore my teacher apron mostly for teaching and reviewing sight words but this year I knew I wanted to also use it for basic alphabet lessons.  I found a wonderful beginning sounds alphabet set on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Click here to see the product details. 

Show and Tell Apron Cards Beginning Phonics
I printed, laminated, and cut all the cards this week.  Each letter has four picture cards along with the upper case and lower case letters.  Best of all, the cards fit perfectly in my teacher apron pockets!
 I stored the cards in a small file box, organizing them with a set of alphabetical dividers.  It will be super easy to pull the letter cards I need for my lesson and then return them to the box when I'm done.
One more thing ready for school!
Click here to see more teacher projects at this week's linky party!
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