Show Me the Money!

Someday we may not have coins in the US monetary system, but for now there are the four basic coins plus a few more. Did you know the US Mint still makes a 50-cent coin? Our 11-year-old son asked for one at the bank, and the teller found him one and saved it. Apparently, while they are in circulation, they aren’t easy to find.

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We used this Dollar*Tree tray to play a simple game I called “Make a Dollar.” Li’l Miss and I played first. We just took turns giving the other person a coin value in 5-cent increments. Once the middle of the tray was $1.00 or more, the person who had just added to it got to keep those coins. Continue reading

Easy Ways to Share the Love on Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I thought it would be fun to share a post about ways to share the love with others around you on Valentine’s Day.

One thing I’ll promise is that these are EASY things to do! With six children in the mix and mayhem and memories that are made here, I am usually not able to put together anything that requires more than three ingredients … whether it be food or art … or both!

Valentine’s Family Dinner

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These first few photos are from our Valentine Dinner last year. For several years now, Valentine’s Day has been a celebration of our family rather than for just the Prez and me to celebrate LOVE. I will admit that sometimes it would be nice to go out on a date, but our reality is that this is just not a reality right now.

So, I decided several years ago we would start a new Valentine’s Day tradition of having a meal complete with foods I know our kids LOVE, and that have a color theme of red and pink!

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Elementary Math: 2-Digit Subtraction Lesson and Math Facts Within 20 Mastery

I like math now. I used to think I didn’t like it very much.

Since I’ve been teaching little (and big) people about math, I have come to love it like it.

2-Digit Subtraction with Regrouping

Last week, the 2nd graders and I explored 2-digit subtraction with regrouping. I had held off on this with my 2nd graders, because they haven’t achieved mastery of their addition or subtraction math facts within 20. They do know how to find the answer if they don’t know it right away, but I wanted them to be able to say the answer within seconds on every fact. It just wasn’t happening, though with time and tools (fingers, thinking, abacus, number line, etc.) they could find the correct answer.

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Magnetic Letters: Oh the Possibilities!

Only other teachers can appreciate my LOVE of magnetic letters! 🙂 Seriously, they are so versatile! In this post, I thought I would list some ways we have used them this past semester (yes I might be slightly behind in posting photos from our school days) along with photos of those uses in progress.

Since I have multiple learners at different levels, you will find uses for multiple level learners in this post too! Grab your favorite cup of coffee, tea, soda, water … and be inspired. Oh, and please share in the comments any ways you use magnetic letters.

1). Vowel Pairs

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We use our large magnetic board all the time, and one way I’ll use it is just to show my 2nd grade peeps how different vowel blends or pairs can sound the same. They find this frustrating at times and so do I quite frankly (from the teaching side), but there is nothing like being called to come up to the board and try your hand at it (hands-on!) to help their little minds to grasp this concept.

Different letter combinations can say multiple sounds AND different letter combinations can say the SAME sound.

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Let It Snow!

It has been cold outside, but no snow here … yet!

Weather predictions are ZERO degrees this weekend. Our pond is frozen already and I told the kids I’d be buying everyone a pair of ice skates if it got cold enough to skate on it. The Prez says I might have opportunity to make good on the promise.

We are enjoying some snowy-themed learning here.

We’re reading these books, which we found at our local library or we own in our library …

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Repurposed for Reading: {Sight Word Jen*ga}

I almost put it into the give-away pile as we rarely played it. Just wasn’t a favorite.

But wooden blocks? I just couldn’t let them go. Enter Pinterest. And voila!

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Sight Word Jen*ga! They love it! I love it!

A great way to brush up on those sight words, some of which are memorized and a few that are still a bit of a struggle. When they find the block they want to try and pull, they must say the word first.

If they are struggling, the other player can try to help them out. We keep it fun and encouraging this way. If neither can figure it out, Mom helps out, but no matter what, they pull the block and hopefully the tower doesn’t fall!

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This way though, it doesn’t feel so much like work! If you have an old Jen*ga that sets in your closet/cabinet/shelf, I recommend repurposing it and giving it a new lease on life!