#bethedifference Shape Math Centers

Did you survive this exceptionally crazy week?   

For me, this week was packed full with Red Ribbon Themed Activities, the 50th Day of Cool School, Owl Pellet Investigations, an observation and our school wide costume parade.  I'd previously planned to share my #bethedifference post using place value but lost all my data when I crushed my iphone last Friday.  I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to be here a week later, breathing a sigh of relief.  I have a new phone, activities complete, blog post finished and I'm in one piece! 

By mid week, I began to think about changing the direction for my Friday lessons.  The kids were tapped out from all the activities this week and frankly so was I.  Using The Mailbox Gold, I found really engaging activities for shapes.  This topic had been previously instructed so I knew this would be entertaining centers on this half day of school. 

I challenged my students to create a shape monster using specific number of shapes.  I suggest allowing kids to create their shape monster manipulating shapes with pattern and attribute blocks first.  Having a visual and manipulating the shapes will help speed the center along.  Without a doubt, my kids were over the moon with excitement as we shared our creations!

An equally engaging activity was our Camera Picture Walk.  The kids created their own camera with envelopes, four (trifolded) index cards, black construction paper and a string.  On the back of their index cards, I listed three specific shapes based of their previous assessments.  The final card was student choice.  Once the kids returned to class from the parade, they began recording their observations for each shape.  Before placing the images in their camera envelope, the kids cut the index cards into thirds.  

At my small group table, I pulled kids who struggled with the Camera Picture Walk to create shapes with real objects.  We began the guided instruction with Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Hoban which was a familiar text.  After, we completed a mini shape book. 

I wasn't sure this final activity would keep my student's attention.  We'd worked really hard on attributes before the district assessment so I figured it might be the least desirable activity.  Oh my moon and stars, I was so very wrong.  Give a kid craft supplies and smelly markers for decorating, constructing and comparing basic shapes and you'll get loads of engagement and accountable talk.  

All in all, I felt good about the hour and a half of meaningful instructional review the kids received. The files are instant downloads with minimal prep!  

Best wishes as we coast into November!  
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iTune Out Drugs: Red Ribbon Week Lessons

Happy Red Ribbon Week!  Are you looking for engaging activities to help primary students understand the impact of taking drugs?  I originally created this file in 2011 and used it every year but decided this year needed a big update.  If you previously purchased, please redownload for free by clicking the graphic below.  

I worked hard to provide lessons that were acceptable for K-2 grade classes.  There are a few investigations included.  Best wishes to you as we work through this coming CRAZY Halloween week.  

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Little Owl's Night {Book Companion and Owl Pellet Dissection}

Good Afternoon Friends!  I hope you are having a remarkable fall day!  It's the coolest temperatures we've had since March.  We are slowing getting the house together with fall themed decor which gets me very excited about the upcoming theme in class...

The past few weeks, I've worked to modify an old unit.  The file was just a simple book companion.  I updated to ensure the companion matches each of my other book units created this past year.  In addition, I added crafts and resources needed for an owl pellet dissection!  

Watch the interactive book read online!

1st set of Vocabulary is themed to Little Owl's Night.

2nd set of vocabulary is themed to nocturnal animals.

3rd set of vocabulary is owl themed vocabulary!

This past week, I ordered a set of owl pellets from www.obdk.com. I usually purchase one pellet for partners to dissect together.  The small pellets are under $2 each. I added a set of 10 probes and tweezers for $3.  With shipping, I'm under $20.

For an added themed excitement, I found disposable lab coats on Amazon.  The coats button up the front and have elastic cuffs on the sleeves.  They can easily get multiple uses and possibly used for more than one year.  BONUS!  

Update: Amazon is currently out of the lab coats but the manufacturer still has them available. Link to Markerspace Lab here.

Each year, I use part of my lead money to buy something new for the classroom.  One year I ordered clipboards, another year magnifying glasses for each child, this year I ordered adjustable science goggles.  What I love about these... they're worn like sun glasses and adjust along the ear.  I can toss in the dishwasher to clean them easily!

UPDATE 2017: I want to share some in action pictures from our investigations for the past few years.  We are still wearing the original coats purchased and featured in this blog post.


Synergy at it's finest!

If you are interested in the unit, please link through the cover image of the preview below!

Are you looking for additional companions themed for each month?  You can click the images below to link to each unit in my store!

Unsure about purchasing?  You can download the next companion for free! 

If you previously purchased the Little Owl's Night Book Companion, you can redownload for the newly revised unit for free!
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