Author Archives: Kathleen

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Clip art courtesy of Laughing Deer Studio

Hi everyone! Every year we have lots of fun with our grandchildren at our annual Easter Egg hunt held on our back lawn. The kids enjoy it and look forward to it. Two years ago I realized that the kids were getting too big to truly enjoy opening little plastic eggs with little candies and trinkets inside. I decided to create something new. At first there were complaints because it was change and my oldest grandson is not a math fan, but the kids had a great time and when it was over I had three happy kids! Then I thought an adapted version of my new math egg hunt could be used for classroom fun.

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I created a new Easter Egg hunt based on luck but engaging and lots of fun. The eggs were stuffed with numbers.  Just for fun, the numbers over 10 were printed in yellow to be recognized as having a higher point value.  Here are the sheets of numbers waiting to be cut and stuffed into the eggs.

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The Challenge for Selecting Numbers

Each kid got a sheet with 16 numbers. The kids had to choose just 12 numbers and write them in the bunny ears.  These are the only numbers they would get credit for finding.

When deciding which numbers to choose, kids needed to think that lower numbers were worth less, but there were more of them in the eggs, so the chance of finding lower numbers was greater. Kids need to make a choice. Their chosen numbers were written in the bunny ears.

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The eggs were hidden and the kids ran around the yard looking in the garden, on benches, in flower pots, in window boxes, etc. until they were sure they had found all of the eggs.   

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Each child was given an empty egg carton with the 12 numbers they chose--one number in each section.

When they opened each egg there was a number inside from 5-20. Then they sorted the numbers from the eggs into the egg cartons. If they had chosen the number in the beginning they were awarded that number of points.  If the number in their egg was not on their list, it was discarded.  We computed one number at a time, starting with 20 and working our way down to 5.  "How many 20s do you have? How many points is that?" Then the next child was asked, "How many 20s do you have? How many points is that?"

Next the numbers had to be tallied. It was interesting to see the math non-fan 9-year-old, who wasn't happy with the new Easter Egg Hunt format in the beginning,  adding those points and all of a sudden interested. "I found five 9s. That's 45 points."  The 1st grade twins had no problem concluding "I found three 10s. That's 30 points."  Finally, the 9-year-old used a calculator to add the total number of points for each of them.

 

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Winner's Prizes

Slightly larger eggs were stuffed with a few $$$$ to create 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes.

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And, of course, they each received an Easter gift from their grandparents. Here they are with their gifts and holding the prize eggs.

That was my hunt for my grandchildren. It was lots of fun because they enjoyed the steps of the process and there was suspense to see who would win. Surprisingly, the older one liked doing the computing. Here's an idea to adapt the hunt for a classroom activity:

  1. Stuff enough plastic eggs for each kid in your class to find at least 3 eggs. (You decide the number). To be safe be sure to make a few extra eggs. Sometimes 1 or 2 eggs cannot be found.
  2. Stuff the eggs with numbers your kids can add, for example, single-digit, two-digit or three-digit numbers.
  3. Enlist someone (maybe a student or two from another class) to help you "hide" the eggs on the playground just before your hunt.
  4. Arrange kids in groups of 5 or 6 and send in a general direction so as not to have them run over each other. There is no need to rush or push or fight. Everyone gets to collect just 3 eggs and there are plenty for everyone. It is a game of luck! No one know which eggs have the biggest numbers.
  5. Tell kids when they have found 3 eggs, they should return to you.
  6. When you return to the classroom, the kids add their numbers. The kids with the top 3 highest totals win 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes presented in larger eggs or envelopes--or whatever you create. Prizes can be dollar store finds or homework certificates.

If you need a fun activity for your kids, try the math Easter Egg hunt,  Be creative and adapt it to the needs of your students! Let me know how it works for you. Have fun! Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

 

Kathleen in 8 Apples

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Spring into a great giveaway! The April Teachers Pay Teachers $75 gift card giveaway has just begun!
I have joined a group of teacher-bloggers to co-host an awesome giveaway with a $75 Teachers Pay Teacher gift card as a prize. Wouldn't it be great to win a $75 gift card and pick up some fabulous resources for some fresh spring adventures for your class? Or get creative with some great clip art?
Enter below for your chance to win the contest and get some of the hot items on your wish list.
The organizer, Kelly Malloy, invites you to join more giveaways too.  See the link at the bottom of this post if you would like to co-host too.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS
 
Prize: $75 Teachers pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 
 
 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 4/13/17 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers! 
 
 
 
 
 

Teachers Pay Teachers surprised me today by posting my resource, Harriet Beecher Stowe, as the "freebie of the day." It is so exciting to have my reading comprehension resource get so much attention!   I plan to keep Harriet Beecher Stowe as a forever freebie because it is an example of how my comprehension resources are designed to bring all of the kids in your class together to engage and experience success. I want you to have this free resource to use with your students.

I'm very proud of this resource because it reflects the differentiated scaffolding I like to include in all of my reading-in-the-content-area resources (social studies, science and math too). Unfortunately, compared to my other biographies and non-fiction resources, Harriet Beecher Stowe has abbreviated scaffolding activities due to the 10 page limit TpT requires of freebies.  My other  resources actually have more in-depth reinforcement with a variety of activities. Yet Harriet Beecher Stowe will serve you well to teach and reinforce comprehension skills with your kids. Once your kids understand how various strategies can help them digest more difficult information, they will be able to use those strategies independently.  Then, of course, their comprehension will increase and that will be a great asset during state testing time.

Click on one of the images above to visit my store and get your free Harriet Beecher Stow resource. It's great to use any time, but is especially appropriate for Women's History Month!  Let me know how you like it!

Happy reading!

Feeling Lucky?
It's that time again! The March Teachers Pay Teachers gift card giveaway has just begun! Let the leprechauns be with you! Maybe it's your turn for a little luck!
I have joined a group of teacher-bloggers to co-host an awesome giveaway with a $75 Teachers Pay Teacher gift card as a prize. Wouldn't it be great to win that gift card and empty out your wish list? Enter below for your chance to win.
The organizer, Kelly Malloy, invites you to join more giveaways too.  See the link at the bottom of this post if you would like to co-host too.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS
 
Prize: $75 Teachers pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher), 
 
 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 3/13/17 and is open worldwide.
 
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!
 

I was so happy to be able to attend the meet-up Belmar, New Jersey last weekend. Over 50 TpTers gathered for a great social event hosted by Danielle from Study All Knight and Amie from Glitter Meets Glue Designs. It was great fun!

The food was delicious and there was great chatter in our beautiful room!

Danielle, Kim from English Oh My, Me and Shaeera from TpT

                                            The board Amie made to display the prizes.                                            Just drop your ticket into the cup numbered with the prize you would like to  win!

Amie and Danielle pick the winners!

I can't believe I won the $50 gift certificate Amie donated from her store. That's $50 of brand new glittery clip art! I can't wait to go on a great shopping spree!  It's going to be awesome!

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A special thanks to Kim Crouch and her husband Clay, who were kind enough to let me tag along on the 2-3 hours long journey each way. I could not have made it without them. They have a generous spirit!  Thank you Kim and Clay!

Get ready! It's so exciting! It's time for another TpT sitewide sale and it starts at midnight tonight EST! Let's celebrate the chance to get some great BIG bargains! Get out your wish list and grab the things you want while they're on sale! I'm putting my entire store on sale for at least a 20% savings! If you use coupon code LOVETpT at checkout you will save a total of 28% off your entire purchase! Wow! That's awesome! To make this sale even more exciting than it already is, I have teemed up with four awesome teacher bloggers to co-host a fun blog hop with a $50 TpT gift card for a prize.

To follow the hop and have a chance to win a $50 TpT gift card you will need to go through only 5 blogs to collect a word in a pink conversation heart. When you have collected all 5 words and decoded the secret phrase, the opportunity for bonus entries will be unlocked.   The contest ends Wednesday at noon and the winner will be announced Wednesday afternoon when there will still be time to shop the the sale and spend those fun winnings!

Enter on the Rafflecopter right here!

Love TpT Gift Card Giveaway

 

When you get back to me you're done!  Have fun at the hop!  Wishing you good luck and BIG savings at the sale!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exciting news! Zoe from ZippadeeZazz is celebrating! She has just reached two amazing milestones, 500 Facebook likes and 1000 feedback comments on TpT!  Wow! That's quite an accomplishment!

To celebrate I have  joined Zoe and other amazing TpT teacher-authors  to co-host a big giveaway!  Two winners will be chosen and each will receive a $60 TpT gift card.  So don't wait! Enter on the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! The giveaway starts now and ends next Friday, February 3rd when the winner will be announced on the Rafflecopter widget. Zoe will also contact the two participants who each win a $60 gift card to TpT. That's a lot of resources to make a teacher's life a little easier! Good luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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Clip art by Glitter Meets Glue Designs and Artifex

Like most teachers, especially Special Education teachers, I'm a pack rat. The fact that I am a retired Special Education teacher doesn't seem to matter. I brought home some of my favorite things telling myself that I could use them to demonstrate strategies for my graduate students pursuing a literacy degree.  And that's true. I have used them and the college students appreciate the visuals. Recently I decided I needed to clean out a bit and make some room in my home office closet. I found a long-forgotten rolled up, tattered piece of chart paper with a list I had made with two of my 2nd grade (boys) resource students.  Trying to promote interest and enthusiasm for reading we were discussing what makes a book interesting and what we had learned about books we like. They generated ideas expressing the awareness they had about books and I was the scribe.  Reading the list today I can still remember how these two struggling readers were excited about sharing what they knew about books and how much they were enjoying what they had learned.  I took that worn old chart and made the graphic above duplicating exactly what the kids said. I think they were off to a pretty good start. What do you think?  How do your kids identify good books? Are your kids aware of what they like to read? Favorite authors? Subject matter?  Older kid need to identify what they like as well.

 



december-2016-75-tpt-gift-card-giveaway
Once again I have joined a group of teacher-bloggers to co-host a great giveaway with a $75 Teachers Pay Teacher gift card as a prize. Wouldn't it be great to win that gift card and empty out your wish list? Enter below for your chance to win. The organizer, Kelly Malloy, invites you to join more giveaways too.  See the link at the bottom of this post if you would like to co-host too.
GIVEAWAY DETAILS
 
Prize:  $75 Teachers pay Teachers Gift Card
 
Giveaway organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher).
 
 
 
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter.  Giveaway ends 12/13/16 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


And don't forget to enter our weekly $25 Teachers pay Teachers gift card giveaway as well!


Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!
 
 Kathleen in 8 Apples
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10 Reasons to Use Alphabet Book in Your Upper Grade Classroom

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Many people think that alphabet books are primarily for teaching sound-symbol relationships to emergent readers. However, their use goes way beyond that. I’m not talking about reading them, although that is a good idea, I’m talking about the motivating and engaging activity of writing them. My hope is that after perusing these 10 reasons you will decide that alphabet books are great instructional tools that offer many benefits and want to create one with your class. My students always loved them. In fact, for many years, I taught a graduate-level content area reading course at a local college. The graduate students chose to create them as one of the culminating activities of the unit they were required to write for the course. Writing either one class book or individual books will help your students to better understand the more difficult topics in your unit.

Reason #1

Alphabet books can be written on various levels of complexity making them appropriate for content area subjects in the upper elementary grades on up. It is expected that more sophisticated students will have more sophisticated responses.

Reason #2

Your students’ vocabulary will increase. Vocabulary words are listed on an alphabet chart and discussed as material is read. Students need to have an understanding of the vocabulary in order to write a cogent paragraph demonstrating knowledge of the vocabulary word.

Reason #3

Students learn how to do further research, when needed, to get details necessary to describe the topic. Students re-inspect material read to cite exact details.

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Reason #4

Writing a paragraph provides the student with opportunities for language development. Written expression is enhanced when the student must describe what he has learned.

Reason #5

When organizing their books students begin to understanding the importance of text structure or the format of how a book is organized. Students need to know that different materials are organized in different ways. Understanding how text is organized gives the reader clues as to what is coming next and helps students to develop anticipatory responses. Before beginning to write an alphabet book, the teacher needs to collect a few and review their text structure with the class. How are the books different? What do they have in common? When creating an alphabet book, students become aware of the importance of text structure. Each page in their book will include

A letter of the alphabet

An illustration

Information

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Reason #6

Concepts of the content area subject are reinforced as students use vocabulary words in context to write a passage for each letter of the alphabet. The task requires students to understand and be able to apply content area material. Completed books are great non-fiction, informational books that can be used to review academic material.

Reason #7

Students have an opportunity to show off what they have learned. Each book is a source of pride to be shared with the class, guests of the class (the teacher next door or the principal) and parents.

Reason #8 

Students learn to understand the difference between reading for enjoyment and reading for information. Students need to know how to use the information they have read. Writing vocabulary words in context helps them to demonstrate this.

Reason #9

Constructing alphabet books in the classroom is an activity that offers differentiated instruction. Poor readers and reluctant readers feel encouraged to participate. They can work at their own pace to choose the words they understand. Working with a buddy will help them to complete the task of describing a difficult concept. The best part is that is the teacher’s choice to set the requirements. Some students may only add a sentence while more able-learners will be required to add a paragraph with a minimum number of sentences.

Reason # 10

Creating an alphabet book is fun and educational! Students should have fun constructing their books and work with a buddy or a small group. Students can draw illustrations or find them in magazines or the internet. Sharing illustrations will add to the fun as well!

Here is a  pictures of ABC books my classes have written over the years. The ABCs of Animals book was written by emergent readers and contains only one word for each letter. All of the other books are on higher levels. The Halloween book was a fun book my resource students wrote after reading a few Halloween stories and poems. The Long Island book was a 4 months long project! As we studied various things about Long Island we added to the book until it was finally done in May of that school year.  When we studied Christopher Columbus we decided to make an ABC book to tell all about him.  I guarantee you that adults reading the non-fiction books will learn something they did not know.

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If you would like to write an alphabet book with your class, you can make one using construction paper or you can purchase an ABC book for your students at my store. (The December alphabet book will be appearing shortly).  Better yet, you can enter the Rafflecopter to win a $10 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card and have enough $$$ to treat yourself and your class to a great holiday activity.

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Twelve teacher-bloggers have joined together to have this fabulous hop that gives you chances to win one $10 TpT gift card at EACH BLOG.  It's possible to win a prize for every Rafflecopter you enter!  That's a total of 12 TpT gift cards to be given away.  So be sure to complete the hop for your best chance to win some great gift cards! The Rafflecopter ends Monday night at midnight so winners can shop at the TpT sale on Tuesday!

The winner is Hilda from MM Bilingual!

Congratulations!


The Bender Bunch
Good luck to you!!
Kathleen in 8 Apples
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