Sunday, April 29, 2012

ETA Cuisenaire Color Tiles

Okay, okay.. I know I haven't blogged in a while.  I am sure that you have missed me tons!  Or, at least I hope you have.  March and April were SUCH busy months!  Between traveling to Washington D.C., Chicago, STAAR-alt testing and STAAR testing it has been non-stop (and secretary's day was in there too.. will share what our kiddos did in this blog!)

Recently I was shipped some AWESOMELY cool and fun manipulatives from ETA Cuisenaire.  With all of the traveling and other craziness I am just now breaking into the kit!  So, I wanted to share the super fun things I have done just with the color tiles alone (more blogs to come soon!)  In my classroom I am always looking for items that are hands on, but more importantly serve many different purposes.  These little tiles are Fantastic, and my students have loved using them already!

Pulled out color buckets and have students sort the colors tiles into the correct color container

Sorting is important, but so is matching.  This activity I started with one color and they had to match a color to it.  As we have progressed I now lay out all 4 colors and give the student one color to match. 

Great for patterning! Have students continue on a pattern or create their own.

The tiles can be used as counters to complete addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division problems.

These are only a few things I have done so far! 
Some more ideas:
-use the color tiles to fill in graphs and have students answer questions
-write words on the different tiles and have students create sentences (have yellow ones be verbs, blue be nouns, green be adjectives and so on)
-bury tiles in a sensory bucket and have students find them and sort/graph/chart answer questions about what they found
-use them to create fractions

The ideas are ENDLESS!  What are your ideas to use color tiles for?

So, I want to end on Secretary's Day.  I get some of the BEST ideas from Pinterest!
Check out these cute bouquets!  Each one has 10 pencils stuck into a flower pot.  Each pencil has a foam flower on top.  Great way for hands to help making the flowers by punching holes in the middle and putting on a pencil.
Next up is Nurses Day, what do you do to show your appreciation?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

How Powerful is a PLN?

I have to admit, I am pretty lucky in the people that I know and have connected with over the last several years.  I am even luckier to have a huge PLN (professional learning network) to call on whenever I have a question or need something. For example, last week I plurked ( that I was looking for an author to either skype in or come visit us for CARE Day at school (a day where we celebrate authors and readers)  With budget cuts in schools everyone is looking for different ways to bring in the same type of learning, but on a different budget.  I was SO excited to get several replies back in less than a few minutes.  I can't wait until May to see how the day plays out!

So, today I was SUPER excited to get an email from my friend Kevin on helping support a school's theater arts program.  Now, I am just a teacher.... and do not have any money contributions to make, but I am GOOD at getting the word out! 

Here is a little background (a follow up blog will be coming next weekend... when I actually get a chance to skype in and talk to him more.. who knows where this might lead for my class!)  David Dublis works in Union High School in Grand Rapids, MI.  Like many educators he has many hats he wears.  He is the Instructional Technology Specialist, Drama Director, and Basketball Announcer.  The coolest thing about David... is he is putting on a play!  I know, I know.. some schools do this every year... but for David's school this will be the first time in 3 years.  Read Kevin's Blog about it- The Play is the Thing

Many classrooms blog so they can have a wider audience.  Many classrooms take virtual field trips because it it might be the only chance for them to be transported from the classroom.  As teachers we do these different things to help promote learning, get to a wider audience, and most importantly for continued authentic learning.  I am always looking for other educators that are wanting to think outside the box and not only connect themselves through PLN's, but also connect their students to other learners.

So, here is my question for my PLN.  Do you have any connections when it comes to props, costumes, or lighting?  Can you friend David on Twitter?  What kind of connections do you use for your classroom to continue the learning?