Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Activity Books to help Introverted Students to Mingle

In each class, there are always outspoken, social students and very quiet, seemingly shy students. I always try to get my introverted students to build their social skills because it is very important for them to be able to effectively express themselves to others both in the classroom and at recess time. The books that I'm highlighting below are filled with fun and engaging 'question and answer' activities that your children can practice to without feeling like they are being been put on the spot. These can be used as formal whole-class activities or students can try them on their own with a partner at any time. Just click on the books to see more.


Monday, 27 May 2013

Daily Deals and Sales for Teachers on Clip-art, Stationery and Teaching Resources

I usually use my Summer Vacation to stock up on new teaching supplies for my classroom for the upcoming school year. I use a site called Educents which is just for teachers - it works directly with publishers and companies like RockNLearn, Bench Prep, and Newmark Learning, to notify us about current sale promotions that can save us a few extra bucks for the things we usually need. 

Check out this fabulous deal below!

In addition to the physical resources, there are also deals on learning software for test practice, visual models, and video lessons. 

Feel free to check out Educents and see what they have for you!

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Polygon Word Wall, Books, and Resources

math word wall bulletin board

This is an illustrated word wall of polygons with a definition sentence strip. Students can count the sides or corners of each shape to deduce the meanings of each polygon word. The polygon prefixes can also be studied and linked to the number sides, for example, the prefix 'tri-' means three, therefore the three-sided or three-angled polygon is called the triangle.  


This book, The Greedy Triangle, introduces polygons and their properties starting from the simplest one, the triangle. In this story, the triangle was unhappy about only having three sides so he added a fourth to become a square,  then a fifth to become a pentagon and so on... Let's just say that as he underwent each change, he learned about each shape's properties and learned to appreciate his own. See other polygon books here.

I created a set of activities for polygons that you can check out. It is available here at my TpT store.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Homophones - Word Wall for Visual Learners


For the past year I have been busy finding ways to make everything (that I teach) as visual as possible. It is working well in my classroom especially for differentiating between homophone pairs. With the homophone word wall cards in the picture above, I included an illustration to go along with each homophone right on each card next to each corresponding word. This is really helpful to weaker students who may not be able to just grab a dictionary, find the homophone and read the definition to grasp the meaning of the word. Picture recognition will instantly give the reader a sense of the meaning of the word and the pictures also help to keep the students' attention longer than just the words alone. Digital pdf copies of these cards are available for purchase ($6.00) at my TpT Store and Teachers NotebookIt contains a total of 47 word wall cards with pairs of homophones (some triplets too), a homophone definition poster in the form of a graphic organizer, and a large 'definition of a homophone' sentence strip. There is also a preview file that you can download to see exactly what you're getting.

After downloading the file, you can print and laminate the pages then cut out the word cards. Because there are so many cards, you do not have to introduce them all at the same time to your class. You can rotate a new batch of cards each week or as often as your students need. The reading level of these cards range from second grade to fifth grade so you can separate them according to reading level among grouped readers as well. I really hope you give it a try!

You may also be interested in these other posts about ways to teach homophones:

Homophone Activities and Lesson Plan

Friday, 24 May 2013

Silly Back-to-School Picture Books about Teachers

Let me first state that it's a good thing that I'm a teacher or I might get into trouble for suggesting these books! It is good for teachers to be able to laugh at things... even ourselves. Teachers are often seen seen as 'stern and stiff' but the teachers in these books are rather unique characters that hopefully will break down the stereotypes that many students have in their minds about us. I think that these will be great additions to any back to school reading list! The first book is my book!

Jokes about Teachers

My Teacher's Secret Life                                Miss Nelson is Missing!

My Teacher Sleeps in School (really funny)                 The Teacher from the Black Lagoon

What Teacher Can't Do                                     My teacher for President

For more teacher humor, check out this post: Do Teachers Have a Look? In this post I wrote about a funny incident that happened to me (and I'm sure it happens to other teachers as well).

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Simple Machines - Levers - Activities for the Three Classes of Levers


Are you teaching about Simple Machines? Levers are best to start off with because the effort, load and fulcrum are easiest to identify in a lever system.

I created a series of activities for students to identify the effort load and fulcrum in many tools that are found in the home. Also, levers are classified as being either a first class lever, a second class lever or a third class lever.

Real-world examples of levers are also included as labelled pictures, e.g. a pair of scissors is a first class lever, a wheel barrow is a second class lever, and a pair of tweezers is a third class lever

I have included a fun sorting activity for students to slide the pictures of tools into the correct pocket to show the class of levers to which each tool belongs. There are also posters and graphic organizers for easy visual recognition and recall.

It is available at teacherspayteachers and Teachers Notebook.

You may also be interested in my Simple Machines Unit Plan.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Free Math Board Game for Square Roots!

It's time for games this time of year! (Educational ones.) Now that the concepts have been taught, even the topics you taught back in Autumn and Fall, you can drill them over in a fun way using card games or board games.  I keep my board games organized in sheet protectors in a ring binder. To store my card games, I re-use Q-tip containers and soap dishes (you can read more about that here). As long as they are organised neatly, you students can come in their groups and rotate from station to station during class revision time or weaker students can stay in at lunch time if they need the extra drill time. 

square root games

This is a new game I created specifically to get the boys in my class to revise the square root number facts. Rather than to have them recite these facts till they are bored to death, it's always better to use a game so that they get their drill and practice but without the monotony. The boys in your class will love this because it's a big car race around the track. Players get to turbo up when they correctly answer the question cards given. I got the inspiration to make this from the new movie 'Turbo' - with the speed racing snail'. This game will also help them to remember the reciprocals of the square root facts which are the squared number relationships.

You too can make games for your students. Just think of what they need to learn and other books, movies or sports they are passionate about. Find a creative way to combine the two, try it out with them to see what works, make your modifications, and try it out again. You can read more tips about it here. It's fun and it's even better if you let your students help you with the process!

I have other math games that I made at teacherspayteachers.com. This one seen above is my fraction domino game. It is played just like regular dominoes but you can match up the same fraction values. Click here to see it! Do you need more free top-notch math games for your students? Well, you're in luck! This post is featured in collaboration with other blog posts about using math games and you can click here to visit and grab more free math games and ideas for your class!

About Me

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As a Caribbean primary school teacher, I share my unique classroom with the world through this blog. Readers step into my class through the pictures, articles and classroom samples of games and lessons used in my class. I have been teaching since 2005 at the std. 4 primary level in Trinidad and Tobago. I am particularly interested in sharing my own personal lesson plans, tests and activities. Teachers need to share ideas and support each other because in doing so, we help to educate our students and develop ourselves as teachers. Technology is ever evolving and we as teachers should get on board with it, collaborate and keep up to date with this new age that we live in. Our students belong to this technological era and we must embrace opportunities to learn from each other in this global community. I also love to express my creativity in the classroom. I am a bit of a craftster . So I'm always cutting, gluing or making something... a game, a chart, a learning center, etc. So, teachers and parents, feel free to stop by and see what's new at Nyla's Crafty Teaching!