Saturday, 12 July 2014

How to Introduce Fractions

concept of half

Fractions are fun and easy to teach once you teach it conceptually. I have a little basket of goods that I cut up into halves for my students to see the real life use of 'a half'. I use fruits and it's a messy activity. Anyway, I recently found an alternative to the real fruit that was surprisingly just as effective... a fruit cutting set found at a toy store. The pieces are quite small (made for tiny hands) but that's alright. It included a plastic knife and cutting board. It was too cute not to share...

See other fraction resources that are good for introducing fractions here or by clicking on the picture below.
teaching halves in math

Friday, 11 July 2014

Free Posters - Positive Classroom Rules

Free Posters - Positive Classroom Rules

I'm getting ready for back-to-school. I might be switching grades from first grade to fourth grade. It is always good to change your grade level. I always learn new things with each batch of kids. I would also have to dig back into my fourth grade resources and do some back to school shopping. Yay!

Anyway, enough about that. I have a treat for you. I made these free classroom posters with illustrated classroom rules (it would work for first grade, second grade, third grade and even fourth grade because they're already in my new classroom).


I took out my washi tape collection so that I could border up my bulletin board area.  I love the way that the washi-tape separates my board into sections.  The tape comes off easily if I need to change things up again.  The poster above stands on it's own with all of the rules shown.  The other posters in the set can be placed separately around the classroom or you can group them into a larger poster that gets even cuter with the washi tape and foam stickers.  The thing that is important to note with these posters is that I deliberately took out the phrase 'Do not' because it generally sounds negative and limiting.  I don't want my students to feel stifled by that negative tone.  These rules have a more encouraging tone but it encourages only what is acceptable and expected of students.  Does this sound like a good idea?  I got the idea from a fellow teacher and I must say...

Gosh! Why don't we all do that?    I love the idea. You can download your free copy here at my TpT Store. I hope you like them.

Free Posters - Positive Classroom Rules

If you need editable versions in different classroom themes, you can see them here. Because they are editable, they are available for purchase... and are so worth it!
Editable classroom rules in different themes

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Parts of a Flower Activities


Think of this as an all-you-can-eat buffet of stuff related to the parts of a flower. This is a collection of classroom resources that I created for third and fourth grade Science. Below is a quick listing of the contents of my Parts of a Flower printables.

What you get:

A DIY craft activity for assembling the flower parts together to make a complete flower. This can be printed on paper or card stock or traced onto colored sheets of felt or foam sheets. Available in color and in blackline templates. 

Parts-of-a-flower diagram labeling activities with answer key

A set of 15 colorful illustrated definition cards

A 'Roll and Answer' worksheet with questions about the functions of each part of the flower. Includes answer key. 

18 large illustrated word wall cards for parts of the flower key terms.

parts-of-a-flower-build-a flower-activity              parts-of-a-flower-definitions
                        Build a flower activity               and                   Illustrated definition cards

You can get it here at my TpT Store.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Another Look at Fractions

Hi guys, I'm so excited! Now that my Summer has finally started, I got down business with my Silhouette Portrait (a paper cutting machine that does amazing things!). Another teacher introduced me to the world of possibilities that a Silhouette brings into the classroom and I just had to get one (thank you Miriam!).  I wanted to do something for fractions, for the first grade level, to help students to read fractions... literally. 
This is my Silhouette Portrait

I remember my students asking me about the purpose of the vinculum so I made each of the fractions in these posters to include a vinculum with the words 'out of' within it. A half really means one out of two equal parts. Similarly, a quarter means one out of four equal parts

I did not have to print anything at all from my printer. I put different colors of card-stock into the Silhouette which was connected to my laptop. Every Silhouette comes with a program that you can use to make your own soft-copy creations. The silhouette turns it into a hard-copy by cutting out the outlines of your image on paper. In my case, it was the numbers, rectangles, the offset-outline and letters on each paper, that got cut out. Then I punched out each cut-out from the rest of the surrounding paper, layered the colored cut-outs and glued them down.


I also did the circular fraction models for halves.

I made a center out of this. All of the parts here are separate pieces that can be matched up to show 'halves' or 'one half'. I keep them in this folder. 

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Back to School Shopping List!

Summer time is here! Many teachers are already preparing their classrooms for the new school year. Themes, planning, stationery, printables, decorations - your head is swimming with all of the new possibilities for September. Here's a quick list of the most poplar classroom stationery that are available at most stationery stores or teacher supply stores. I got these links from Amazon.

 Scented Markers (Mr. Sketch). Students love them and you'd know that you kids were using them by the little colored dots on their noses!

Permanent MarkersSharpie Markers. Sharpie has a wide assortment of markers - permanent, metallic and highlighters.

LaminatorsLaminators. I use my laminator to personalize my classroom with theme accents that really pop when they are laminated. It's very handy for name tags, posters, labels, charts, write-on-wipe-off worksheets, flash cards and so on. I prefer the Scotch Thermal Laminator.
HighlightersHighlighters. Aside from the regular highlighters, I love assorted fluorescent ones and I recently discovered that there are erasable highlighters too! I trust Sharpie highlighters because they do not smear the pen ink on the paper, everything remains neat!

A bookshelf that neatly shows off the covers of the books. This one does not take up much space but it holds a lot of books.
Stationery for Teachers      


Assorted Post-Its

Assorted Post-It Flags

Card Stock paper

I had to add the card stock - I like to print card games and task cards onto the card stock rather than regular paper for reasons explained in this blog post. Every teacher has their own style. I'm not overly picky about what I use. As long as I have a few ergonomic things that make my life easier, I feel prepared and ready to take on anything!

About Me

My photo
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!