Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Morning Tubs - Setting the Daily Tone for Success in August!

Not only do morning tubs help set the tone for the day, but they get students excited about coming to school each and every day.  Who wouldn’t LOVE beginning the day with some play?  Students enjoy playing the activities so much, that they don’t even realize that they are actually practicing needed skills to be successful in school.

As many of you know, I recently retired after THIRTY years of teaching.  During the past year, I was blessed to continue my teaching journey in my own home as I homeschooled my grandson for kindergarten.

In doing so, it brought back memories and love for my sixteen years of teaching kindergarten at the beginning of my career.  I just LOVE hands on teaching, don't you?  Even when I taught second and fourth grades, I tried to incorporate that as much as possible.

So, I decided that second graders would also enjoy morning tubs like we have this past year.  (And coming soon, morning tubs for third and fourth grades!)

As I designed these activities, the prevailing thought was critical practice of second grade skills, but with those same fun hands-on activities that children enjoy in pre-k and kindergarten.  After all, children of all ages enjoy play!  
Keep reading to see all the activities included!

Nine ELA Activities

Sight Word Game

Short Vowel Words

Narrative Writing

Alphabetical Order

Noun Sort


Short Vowels Puzzles

Capitalization & Punctuation


Nine Math Activities

Show Numbers to 100 in Multiple Ways

True or False Math Comparisons

Addition to 20 Fact Fluency

Adding and Subtracting 1 or 10


Time to the Hour and Half-Hour

Nonstandard Measurement


Numbers within 1,000 puzzles

Fine Motor and Critical Thinking Activities


Trace the Shapes

Trace the Lines


Following Directions

These activities are perfect for beginning the school year and will appeal to a wide variety of learners.  

They can be used in a variety of ways.
vPlace the activities in tubs that can easily be set out each morning to begin the day in a purposeful and meaningful form of learning and play.
vSet up the activities in a permanent location for the week or month for students to use during free time, as early finishers, or as centers.
vMake multiple copies of the activities if desired so that each student or group has a copy.

If you are looking for a new way of starting your day and adding some fun and play to your morning routine, these morning tubs might just be right for you.  

Fun learning and excitement.  That's just...

Friday, May 10, 2019

Freebie Friday!

Can you believe it is already May?  The year seemed to drag by, then suddenly you are asking yourself, "Where did the year go?"

Testing is over and you're left with time to fill.  Students are mentally checking out and it's hard to keep their attention.

The good news is that it's now time to pull out all of those FUN activities for students to complete and enjoy.  Students are still learning and practicing what they know without pressure.  Just fun, fun, FUN!

Just add newspapers for a day (or several days) of fun!

Having students become more familiar with a newspaper through fun activities is a great way to introduce them to using a newspaper in their everyday life and gives them another form of reading for a small amount of money.
Just bring some newspapers into the classroom and watch your students get excited.

Grab this freebie here and ENJOY!

Fun and learning?  Yes, please!  That's just... 
My Kind of Teaching!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Multiplication Fact Fluency

When I was a student in 4th grade I remember my daddy sitting on the couch with me every night after dinner to practice my multiplication facts.  He helped me daily to commit them to memory.  It is a precious memory for me.  (But, oh, how I HATED it at the time!)

Today, it seems that life is so busy, that it's almost impossible to find time to give that kind of concentrated effort.  In addition, if you teach with Common Core, how to use strategies to solve multiplication is taught which is very confusing to parents.

I get it, I REALLY do!

  1.  Lack of time
  2.  Different way of learning/teaching
However, nothing (and I really mean NOTHING) beats that good 'ole memorization of those important multiplication facts.

So, I made games for the classroom because...who DOESN'T love games??  Certainly none of the students I've ever taught!

I made five games for multiplication and five games for division (because they are equally important).

These games have a Halloween theme.

You don't do Halloween in your classroom?  That's okay, I've got you covered also!

I also have these same ten games for multiplication and division with a FALL theme!

Let's take a closer look at each of the games.


Game # 1:  Build a Monster

Students use the spinner gameboard to spin the two number monsters and multiply those numbers together.  The student announces the answer.  If correct, the student then spins the bottom spinner with the monster parts.  The student selects that monster part and the next player is up.  The first person to build a monster is the winner.  

This can be be played with a partner or in a small group.

Game # 2:  Spin it to Win It

The student will spin the two witch spinners, multiply the numbers and tell the answer.  If correct, the player will use a dry erase marker on the laminated game board to connect two dots.  When a player is the last to draw the fourth side of a box, the student puts his initials in the box.  When all boxes are complete, the player with the most boxes is the winner.  

This is best for 2-3 players.

Game # 3:  Oogey Boogey Math Facts

These cards are placed in a bag or a container.  Students take turns drawing out a card and telling the answer.  If correct, the student keeps the card.  If a student draws the oogey boogey card, the student must return all of his cards.  

Set a timer on this one!  The student with the most cards at the end is the winner.  Perfect for partners or small group play.

Game # 4:  Ghostly Bump

The traditional Bump game with ghosts!  The first person to place all of her playing pieces on the board is the winner!

Game # 5:  Escape the Spider

Two players place their playing pieces on the star.  Each player takes turns drawing a multiplication card and solving.  If correct, the student moves one space.  The first player to reach the arrow and escape from the web is the winner.


Game # 1:  Witchy Feet Memory

The students place the cards upside down in an array.  Each player turns over two cards.  If the two cards match the player collects the cards and goes again.  If they do not match, the cards are turned over for the next person.  The winner is the person with the most pairs at the end of the game.  

This works for partners or in a small group.

Game # 2:  Trick or Treat

The students take turns drawing a card, solving, and if correct moving on the board.  The first person to reach finish is the winner.

Game # 3:  Halloween Tic-Tac-Toe

Students will play with a partner for this game. Students will take turns choosing a square, solving the division problem, and if correct marking with an X or O.  The first with three in a row is the winner.  Fun and fast, this is perfect for early finishers.

Game # 4:  Flying Ghosts

Each student draws a card and solves the equation.  He or she then places his chip on a ghost.  When all ghosts have been covered, the person with the most chips is the winner.

Game # 5:  Monster Eyes.

This game is played with a partner.  Each partner has a gameboard.  The player will roll a die, choose a problem on the row with the number rolled and solve.  If the partner agrees it is correct, the player will draw an eye on the problem.  The winner is the first person to complete any row. 

These games work best printed on cardstock and laminated for durability.  

They can be used in so many ways including:

  • math centers 
  • partners 
  • small groups  
  • remediation  
  • intervention  
  • guided math  
  • early finishers  
  • indoor recess  
  • and more   

Games is one of my all time favorite ways to learn!  That's just My Kind of Teaching!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Joy in the Homeschooling Journey

As you know, I retired after thirty years of teaching this past May.  What you might not know, is that I have the most wonderful opportunity of helping my daughter and son-in-law to homeschool my grandson.  We officially started this past Monday, although we have had many days of classroom fun during the last several months.  Today, I want to share some pictures with you of our first day.

I had sixteen years of experience teaching kindergarten.  What I do not have experience in is homeschooling.  However, I know what I want it to look and feel like, and even more importantly I know what I do NOT want it to be.  I am extremely comfortable taking care of my own curriculum.  I am extremely comfortable not using a ton of workbooks or computer program to teach my dear grandson.  Instead, you will find us playing, creating, and having FUN as I help him learn everything (and more) that he needs to learn.

The sign on our door.  We both take ownership to this very special place.

I added new shelves found at Walmart for only $15 and added baskets that I had previously purchased for my classroom.

We begin each class session with the pledge and Bible study.

 We made mommy and daddy a special keepsake on the first day of school.  I found this for Free on Teachers Pay Teachers.  You can find it here.

 We do calendar work, check the weather, and learn about shapes each morning.

  We won't be doing a ton of worksheets in our classroom.  I don't believe in using them just for the sake of using them.  But cutting and gluing are important skills.  

  We used colored popsicle sticks that I added magnets to for visual discrimination and building the same shape.

  We played a fun board game for Social Studies about the neighborhood.  Board games are so much fun.  It doesn't even seem like learning!

  We won't be using a curriculum that has him learning strictly online, however, we will be watching some videos.  This one was a science video from youtube about living and nonliving things.

  We worked on some CVC words by sounding out the word, and building the word with blocks and then wrote the words.

  So much learning from this probability game that I made.  Predicting, less than, more than, sizes, and more!

 I could go on and on about the many things that could be learned from this simple puzzle that I purchased at the Dollar Tree.  It's my favorite place to shop!  Want to learn more about homeschooling your child without a purchased curriculum?  Find full details at my homeschooling Facebook page, "Fun Learning with Grammy."

Homeschooling my grandson is DEFINITELY My Kind of Teaching!!