February 2012 - Tales from Outside the Classroom

### Sight Words

Our kinders are struggling with identifying their sight words.  They do better when the words are in isolation, but struggle when they are within text.  While this isn’t exactly the same as reading the words in the context of a book, I thought it would be a fun way to practice identifying them.  Students find the word and color it in with the corresponding color.  Some of the words repeat.  I also created a blank

### Functions in Primary Math

Functions are such an important skill in algebra.  It’s important to establish an understanding of function rules and how they work in the primary grades so students are accustomed to them and can apply functions in new ways.  In first and second grades, functions typically take the form of cute robots named Function Machines.  Rules are applied in input and output tables based on the Function Machine.  Through continued practice students learn that a number

### Word Chunks Freebie

I have always been of the mindset that it’s important to use formal names for things with children.  They’re capable of learning them and it can continue to strengthen their vocabulary skills in other ways.  In most aspects of my day, I stay true to this philosophy.  I use “schema” with my students; I explicitly teach comprehension strategies and expect students to use their formal names.  I teach content vocabulary and expect students to use

### Counting Coins

Counting coins is in the second grade Common Core math standards, but it’s so important to begin to work with coin values and counting combinations early.  The ability to switch values while skip counting can be tricky, especially if students aren’t being very attentive.   Giving students continued practice, and working with coins in many different ways really helps build students’ coin counting skills. When I taught first grade, I introduced coin values at each numbered

### America: Fact and Opinion Sort

Fact and opinion is such an important skill to teach students. In the digital area, information is presented continuously to people.  Our students need to be able to judge the quality of a text, the validity of the arguments, and make their own decisions based off of it.  It takes a lot of work to build those much needed, “adult” skills in students and it starts out in the primary grades at a foundational level.  Fact