Sunday, April 28, 2013

Prefixes and Suffixes and a FREEBIE!

Over the last few weeks we have been doing a LOT of work with prefixes and suffixes!  My kids are recognizing them in their reading and writing (don't you just love when that happens!?!?).

We watched the Brainpop Jr on prefixes.  I love Brainpop Jr and am very lucky our school provides a membership.  It is FANTASTIC and we use it to introduce EVERYTHING!

I also found these two really cute Between the Lions videos focusing on the prefixes un- and re-.  Beware- they are from YouTube.  I know some schools block it :(

We brainstormed together as a class and made these anchor charts.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Brain, Baseball, and Geography

I read a lot about the brain because I find it absolutely fascinating.  I also want my students to learn, so I'm always searching for ways to help them remember what I've taught.

I've found that kids learn best when they get a little bit at a time, frequently, rather than one big lesson all at once, then never to see it again.  (Unfortunately, our present Math program does the latter.)

There's plenty of evidence out there to prove that frequent review and practice is the best way for children to remember what they're learning.

There's also plenty of evidence to prove that connecting the learning to the passions of the children help the learning process as well.

So, what does this have to do with baseball?  Come check out my blog at Elementary Matters to find out!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Earth Day Writing Freebie

I'm a big fan of Earth Day.  I think looking out for our world is HUGE and it needs to happen now.  Each and every one of us needs to do what we can to help this place be around for our grandchildren and our grandchildren's grandchildren.

I always celebrate every Earth Day with plenty of good literature.  Here are some of my favorite children's books with an Earth Day theme:


Earth Day is an ABC book, and makes a great introduction to the concept of protecting the environment.

The Lorax, is classic Seuss!  He tells about a mystical land of fantasy, which, in true Seuss fashion, a much deeper real story.  Even my second graders understand this valuable lesson.

The Wump World is a fun book to read to the children and NOT show the illustrations (even the cover) until the children have had a chance to show the Wumps and Pollutians that they visualized while listening to the story.  Another great story about a fantasy world with very real lessons!

This one is a new discovery to me, and my new "Earth Day Favorite". 

A River Ran Wild is a story that dates back to the days the Native Americans ruled this area, and respected the earth.  It continues through European settlers, the industrial age, and attempts to clean up the river.  This book is based on a local river, which makes it near and dear to my heart, but it's a valuable message about protecting our world.  My students became very upset when they saw what happened to the beautiful river!

See THIS BLOG POST for more about this book, and an art activity to go with it.

You can click the images above for a link to Amazon, to learn more about these books.

After reading, I intend to have the children do some opinion writing and/ or explanatory/ informational writing based on what they have learned about protecting the environment.

Here's a collection of writing paper with the Earth Day theme that I'll be using.  

Come over to Elementary Matters to download this freebie.
How are you honoring Earth Day this year?

Summer Math Task Cards Freebie

I am so ready for summer, so I created these to have a taste of summer!

  Click on the picture to download a set of 24 Word Problem Task Cards aligned to Third and Fourth grade CCSS. They would be a fun review for fifth graders too :)


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

QAR Freebie

Are you gearing up for the Big Test?  Do you like using Question an Answer Relationships with your kids? I LOVE it!  

To learn more about QAR's and download a freebie visit my blog! 

Happy Testing!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What's up for Spring Games?

I am so ready for Spring!  Here in New Hampshire, the temperature seems to have trouble getting past the 40s, and there are still patches of snow everywhere, including my garden!

But Spring is in my heart, as well as my classroom.  
Games make up a big part of my centers, and I have several spring activities in my classroom!

Come on over to Elementary Matters to see some of my Spring Activities!

Already to 1,000!

imageWow!  21 hours ago, I announced my Count Down to 1,000 followers giveaway and I’m already at 1,000 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers.  As promised, my top 10 selling items are now free until 1pm EST on Monday, April 8th, so stop by and download them quickly and don’t forget to tell your friends!











Enjoy and thank you again!


Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing

As a blogger, I know the power of the audience.  It's you readers out there that make me want to blog, and make me want to make quality blog posts!  Don't our children need this same sense of audience to motivate their writing?  I think so!

Here are some ideas for celebrating the children's writing:

1.  Share in Class!  Have one child read his/ her story to the class.  Class is expected to listen and ask questions that "prove they were listening."  This works well when the child is "mid-story" in order to get ideas on where to go from this point.

2.  Small Group Shares! Have children work in groups of 2 or three to share their stories as above.

3.  Share Your Best Sentence!  I like this one because there's usually enough time for each child to share one sentence.  If the children know it's coming, that helps motivate the children to work on the quality of their sentences.

4.  Share With Someone Else in the Building!  There are lots of adults in an elementary school who would be thrilled to "play along" with this one!  It's a great motivator to promise a child that he can read his story to the custodian, or the secretary, or the cafeteria workers.  It's a win-win!

Come on over to Elementary Matters to see more ways to celebrate the writing of your students!
Pin It button on image hover