Thursday, December 11, 2014

Candy Cane Craziness!

Can I just say that this time of year is INSANE??? So of course, throwing candy into the mix doesn't make things any easier.  So what did I do? I gave my kids four kinds of candy canes during math today.  I know, you are probably thinking I am crazy, and yes, I am. 

In math we worked on collecting and interpreting data.  So I had the grand idea to make this lesson Christmas themed.  Don't worry, everyone survived, including me, and we all did some learning in the process.

So, my idea was to give each student a piece of four different kinds of candy canes.  My kiddos tried every kind and decided which one they liked the most.  Then, they colored in a paper candy cane to match their choice.  They put the paper they colored under the correct category, and then we graphed that information.

Hearing my kids talk about the candy canes was a riot!  The looks on their faces were priceless as you can imagine, especially with the Sweet Tart brand!

We then graphed our results as a class and answered questions using our graphs. The kids then worked in groups to do a graph of the choices from their group.  They analyzed this information by answering questions comparing the categories on their graphs.

Some of my kids told me that I was the best teacher ever after this activity, although I feel like a Grinch lately, trying to rein in their wildness.

Check out a FREE copy of this activity on my TPT store: Candy Cane Graphing.  I have been up way to many hours and must...get...sleep!  I just keep thinking, "I think I can, I think I can!" I am hoping this is the case because we are in charge of the spirit assembly tomorrow and I pray it all goes well! Good luck tomorrow!  The weekend is soon approaching! :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Variety with Vocab

This year our district adopted the new McGraw-Hill Wonders Program.  Along with this program came some vocabulary words that my little first graders have really struggled with.  I have tried having them teach each other what the word means, act out the words, put the words into sentences, play games with the words, etc. But when test day comes around many of them draw blanks when asked what the words mean.

I having been wracking my brain, trying to come up with something spectacular that would help these kiddos remember the definitions of our five vocabulary words!  I was reading an article this week, for my ESL endorsement, and it talked about going more in depth with the vocabulary.  It hit me that THIS is what I needed to do.

So this week we made SERIOUS connections to our words. One of our vocabulary words for this week is route.  (I hope I am not the only one who finds this a tad advanced for a six/seven year old!) We talked about what route we take to school, home, to the classroom, etc. 

Then, I told them that we were going on a little field trip.  Of course, their ears perked right up.  I told them that we were going to pretend we had just arrived at school, but we were going to take a different route to get to our classroom.  We went back outside, around some trees, around the school, and through a door the students do not usually come in.  My students were laughing and came back in telling me that this was so fun!  They had made a connection! Our vocabulary word had come to life! I was worried this was taking too much time,  but I know tomorrow when the vocabulary test comes, my students are going to ROCK it!

We also made real life, hands on connections with the other words, but I am going to keep it at that.  I am very curious; how do you help your students remember vocabulary words?

I hope you are having a FABULOUS week!  Just think, tomorrow is FRIDAY! :)



Thursday, November 27, 2014

Don't Eat the Sight Word!

Did you ever play "Don't Eat Pete!" as a kid?  My family has the tradition of playing it every New Years Eve.  If you have never played, you should!

I took the game I love and adapted it to help my little firsties practice the Zeno Sight Words. They love this game!  One of my kiddos said, "You have got to make me a copy of this!"  I enjoy making games for anything and everything we are learning. 

Here are my kiddos playing the game :)

Here it is:
Check this out on my TPT Store:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Dont-Eat-the-Sight-Word-1574375
I hope you are having a Happy Thanksgiving!
Brynn :)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Commutative Property

This past week my class has been learning about the Commutative Property.  I love to put anything and everything we are learning into a song.  I know songs help me kiddos remember what I am teaching so much better!  So for you enjoyment, here is my class singing the song and doing the actions.

video

If you would like the words and actions typed up please comment below, and I would be happy to send them to you!



Monday, November 17, 2014

Brain Breaks!

Do you ever find yourself in front of your students looking out, waiting for a response, only to see a dazed look on their faces?  As entertaining as my teaching may be, I find this is a common thing after I have been teaching for long periods of time. 

To help my students combat with this dilemma we take "brain breaks!"  My students love to give their brains a break using the website: https://www.gonoodle.com/home.  We love this website in my class, especially videos with our friend, "Maximo."  We love to dance, do yoga, and move our bodies to give our brains a break from learning. My students ask if we can take brain breaks daily. 

Sometimes (if there aren't any other adults in the room) I take brain breaks with my kiddos and even bust some dance moves.  The looks on their faces when they watch me dance with them is priceless.  They watch me so intently and try to mimic my every move.  I love it!

We love that GoNoOdle updates their videos and continues to make our "brain breaks" more enjoyable!  Check out their website and give your brain a break!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Doubles & Doubles Plus One Bingo Giveaway!

I just finished my Doubles and Doubles Plus One Bingo.  There are thirty different cards included and all you have to do is print, let your students solve the equations, and play! 

You could also print the cards, laminate them, let your students solve the equations with a dry erase marker, and then play.  This way you could reuse the cards numerous days and practice solidifying those doubles facts!

I love helping my students enjoy learning by creating games.

Just a tip, I always have SMARTIES on hand for bingo and many other games!  They work great for everything! 

Write a comment below and I will chose three lucky winners on Sunday at 7 p.m. Mountain Time.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!

Brynn :)

Doubles & Doubles Plus One Bingo!


Welcome to Brynn's Teacher Bag!

Welcome to my blog! 

Over my past three years of teaching (this being my fourth year) I have worked to create many resources to use in my classroom.  I have had many friends suggest that I share them on TPT and open my own store.  Which I have started to. Check my store our here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Brynn-Westwood

Now that I have started my own TPT store, I was asked if I had a blog.  I can officially say, YES!

I have been debating over names for my blog for weeks.  I have recruited the help of friends, family, my neighbors, and anyone who was willing to let me bounce ideas off of them. We thought of so many names that were all taken by you fabulous teacher bloggers.  I randomly thought of "Brynn's Teacher Bag" and so here it is!

Hopefully I am not the only one, but every bag I own eventually turns into my "teacher bag."  I am hoping that I can pull ideas and resources out of my "teacher bag" that will help you during your teaching adventure!