Monday, May 28, 2012

All About Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are a way for a student to visually represent information about what they are learning. They can also help to show relationships.  There are a variety of different types of graphic organizers including: timelines, webs, flowcharts, charts, diagrams,  venn diagrams and cycles. 

Here are a few examples of  graphic organizers.  Do you know of anymore?  Let me know and I will add the link!

Here is a fun hamburger shaped graphic organizer that helps your child to write a paragraph.

Character Analysis Graphic Organizer

Ice-cream cone Main Idea and Details Graphic Organizer

Persuasive Research Graphic Organizer

I'm noticing that the author graphic organizer

Vocabulary Graphic Organizer

Bubble Map Graphic Organizer

Somebody Wanted But So Graphic Organizer

Sequence Chart Graphic Organizer

Main Idea Graphic Organizer

Story Elements Graphic Organizer

Notebook Notes Graphic Organizer

Predict Problem and Solutions Graphic Organizer

What are Mammals Graphic Organizer

Research Round Up Graphic Organizer 

Venn Diagram Template

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rotten Apple Reading Game

If your kiddos are working on their reading skills, you may want to print out this fun reading game.  I would print them out on card stock and laminate them for extra durability. 

Shuffle the deck and place the cards face down in one pile.  Each player takes turns taking a card off the deck.  If the person can read the word on the card, they get to keep it.  If they can't they return it to the deck.  There are also special cards that allow the player to keep the card without reading or that force them to put all of their cards back!  The winner is the person who collects the most cards during the playing time.

Rotten Apples

Saturday, May 26, 2012

New Yummy Flavors of Tostitos - Perfect for Summer Gatherings

Tostitos has developed two new flavors of tortilla chips that are available for a limited time only.  These lighter, thinner tortilla chips are dusted with special salts making them the perfect snack to pair with your favorite margaritas, Mexican beers, and of course, lots of friends and good food. You can pick up both new Tostitios- Thins flavors- Lime & Salt and TexMex - exclusively at Target stores nationwide through mid-July.

To celebrate the limited-time availability of Tostitos Thins chips and help you get your own at-home celebration planning started, today, Frito-Lay launched the “Tostitos Fiesta 411” tab on its Facebook page – the ultimate online destination for planning the perfect fiesta this summer.  Tostitos Fiesta 411 gives you access to exclusive, simple summertime party-planning ideas, tips, recipes and more – great complements to Tostitos Thins chips!

Our boys always love when packages come in the mail - but most especially when they contain food!  They loved both flavors equally and devoured them quickly.  I was not as big on the lime flavor as I thought it was a bit too strong, but I LOVED the Tex-Mex flavor and am really bummed they are only available for a limited time!

Disclaimer- I was not financially compensated in any way for this review. I received tortilla chips  for review purposes only. The opinions in this post are my own honest opinions and were in no way affected by having received these items.

Printable Kindergarten Assessments

The Polka Dot Patch has these great Kindergarten Assessments that can be used at the beginning, middle, and end of the year to see and document how your child is progressing.

Celebrating Memorial Day

Is Memorial Day little more than an extra day off to host a barbeque? Would you like to make it much more for your family?  Here are a few ways to make a Memorial Day memory for your children while honoring our country's fallen heroes.


Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was a day set aside for decorating the graves of those who gave their lives in war.

1. Host a veteran.  If you have a friend or family member who has or is serving in the military, invite them to speak with your child.  Their experiences are bound to be educational.  Help your child to brainstorm questions in advance.


 2. Have your child write a letter to a soldier thanking them for their service.


3. Read The Wall by Eve Bunting. Talk about The Wall. Ask students what they would design if they could create a memorial for our fallen soldiers.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Phineas & Ferb Elapsed Time Game

My boys are huge fans of Phineas and Ferb, so I fell in love with this Phineas and Ferb Elapsed Time Game from Second Grade Style The directions and game pieces are all given, so head over to start playing!

Non-Fiction Writing/Reading Graphic Organizer

Second Grade Style has a great Graphic Organizer for Non-fiction writing available to download FREE at Teachers Pay Teachers here.  Although it is listed as a writing graphic organizer, I think it would make a great graphic organizer for reading non-fiction.  Your child can summarize what they read, pull out the key vocabulary, notice text features and more.  Reading non-fiction is definitely a different skill set than reading fiction, and many children struggle with it.  This might be a great way to help them!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Telling Time Practice Clocks

If your kiddo is just learning to tell time, you might want to print out one of these interactive clocks.  Laminate it for re-use.  Have your child write the hands on the clock or the time below.

Interactive clocks

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Using Quotes For Writing Prompts

I love great quotes!  Did you know that quotes can also make great writing prompts. Provide a quote a day or a week to get your kiddo thinking.  Read the quote together, and give your child time to think about it. Take a few minutes to discuss what the quote might mean. 

Analyze the quote looking for excellent word choice or interesting word play.  An example might be Rudy Benton's quote, "7 days without exercise makes one weak".  Discuss with your child how the word "weak" is spelled referring not to the number of days in a week, but the fact that if we don't exercise, we become physically weaker.

Ask your child to respond in writing to the quote.  Do they agree or disagree with what the person had to say.  Why or why not?  They could also respond to one or more of the prompts below:
  • Describe a time when you or someone you know demonstrated the main idea of this quote.
  • Why do you think the speaker was prompted to say this?
  • What do you think the quote means?
  • How can you use this quote to help you in your daily life?

Character Metaphor Project

Older kiddos often get left out of the hands on crafty projects that younger kids get to do.  Here is an idea for giving your older kiddo a bit of fun while they explore a character in the book they are reading. 

  1. Person template (click here to print)
  2. old magazines (ones with lots of pictures)
  3.   Glue                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Have your child choose a character from the novel they are reading or a period of history they are studying.  This character/person should be one that is so fascinating that they’d enjoy learning a bit more about him or her.

  Then follow the steps below:

1. Using old magazines, pictures, greeting cards, drawings, or clip art, choose pictures of objects or things that describe something interesting about your character. Consider body parts as you do this.
  • Head/Face/Mouth – Think about their intellect, beauty, and other mental and physical descriptions.  What do they think about often?  (Wilbur from Charlotte's Web, pics of spiders)
  • Hands – How do they use their hands? (Anne Frank, pic of Diary)
  • Heart – What are their feelings, attitudes, and concerns for other things or people? (Atticus Finch, pic of something equally black and white)
  • Feet – Where do they go? What do they do?  (Mother Theresa, pic of India)

  1. Glue the pictures in collage form on the area that best suits that picture. If the character/historic person is stubborn, glue pictures of rocks on their head. And so on.
  2. On the back of the person template, write a description of why you chose that metaphor for your character and why you put it in that particular place.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Real Estate Area and Perimeter Game

I love this fun game that teaches area and perimeter from G. Sims "Husker" in her review of Dice in Dice on Amazon. She calls it the Real Estate Game.

You will need:

Graph paper
colored pencils
Dice in Dice (you could alternatively just use 2 dice)

(you might want to consider laminating a few grids of graph paper and use dry erase markers instead to make it re-usable).

 To Play:

1. Roll one dice in dice (or set of two dice) and use those numbers as the sides of the area of your land plot.
2. Draw a line around your plot. The line forms the perimeter of your plot.
3. Write the multiplication problem in your plot.
4. Color in your plot with a colored pencil. You will be coloring in the area of the plot.

This game is played in pairs. When there is no more room to place your next plot of land, the game is over. The player with the most land area is the winner.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fun Angry Birds Graphing Worksheets

My boys are having a blast drawing their own Angry Birds pictures (and learning math skills!) with this super cool Angry Bird graphing worksheets from  Your kiddos will love them too!

Angry Birds Graphing Worksheets