Freebie Friday: Shape Bingo

 As you may remember we have a bunch of different games and activities for geometry. Shape identification is an important skill acquired in the lower elementary grades. So today’s Freebie Friday is Shape Bingo, which provides a fun, engaging, play-based method to have students practice both the construction of shapes as well as the identification. This activity can be played using two or three dimensional shapes. I have also used it as part of a unit on differentiating quadrilaterals. It is a game that is easily modified to suit a teacher curricular needs, and as such I have found it to be an excellent substitute teacher activity or even a home learning game.Shape Bingo Picture

In the classroom, I have used Shape Bingo across the grades by modifying the shapes I ask my students to fill their bingo. For example, for the younger grades will choose squares, triangles, diamonds, squares and rectangles. Furthermore, for primary students I will often model the shapes by drawing each on the board and labeling them and allowing the students to copy them directly. Whereas, for the intermediate and upper grades I will often write only the word on the board (e.g. cube, sphere, cone etc.) and ask my students to draw the shape independently.

In my experience this activity provides excellent repetitive practice in drawing the different shapes. As such, I often will collect the game boards after the activity as a formative assessment measure to see how efficiently my students can compose the different shapes. Continue reading “Freebie Friday: Shape Bingo”

Home Reading Program and Log

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Another resource is up on The Jordan Project Teachers pay Teachers Store this week.  Today’s resource are the series of handouts I used to organize my home reading program.  At the start of our home reading program I would send home the Reading Log Handout, which outlines the expectations of our reading program as well as tips for reading with a child in the home.  The log would be packaged with an appropriate reading level book in a large zip lock freezer bag.  When the time came, for my extra avid readers I would simply print off and add extra reading log pages to their home reading package.  Below you can read the handout I sent home to parents which outlines the simple but effective structure of my home reading program.  From there, head over to the store to download the entire Home Reading Package.   Continue reading “Home Reading Program and Log”

Teacher Resource: Blends Bingo -A Letter-Sound Game

CaptureAnother resource is up on the Yellin Center Blog, and this time is it for the Blends Bingo game I designed. This game aims to improve student’s understanding of different letter-sound relationships which are critical to the development of a child’s early reading skills. Mastery of this fundamental phonological awareness skill has been linked to overall success in reading decoding and comprehension.

I use this game primarily in special education and reading recovery settings.  However, it can be easily adapted to a whole class environment.  If adapting for a large group, it is important to note that every sound is on every card. Therefore, you should expect to have multiple winners at a given time. The reason every sound appears on every card is that this game was designed as a purposeful play activity. As such, Blends Bingo has the objective of each student participating by locating a new sound every time a new playing piece is drawn by the teacher. There is no waiting in this activity, and every child is able to continually work to manipulate sounds.

For detailed description of the research that backs the creation and implementation of this game, how this activity aligns with the standards and detailed instructions of how to run this activity in your classroom please head over to my in depth discussion on the Yellin Center Blog. There, I also discuss how I have used this tool as a formative assessment measure, as well as a few alternate game play structures to keep your students engaged.

This activity was rather labor intensive to create due to formatting and finding images that clearly represented each sound.  As such, this game is one of my paid TpT resources but today it is on sale! The sale lasts through the weekend, so you can head over to my Teachers pay Teachers store to download Blends Bingo.  Furthermore, since my Blends Bingo Post went up on the Yellin Center Blog I have been routinely asked where I procure affordable or free materials for my curriculum designs.  I understand how tough it can be to find copy write free materials, so for this game and most clip art infused resources I often use Classroom Clip Art. It is an affordable membership service, with a pretty robust selection of images that are education centric.

Educational Technology Review: Animation-ish

icon-aiAnother ed tech review is up on the Yellin Center Blog.  This time it is for an incredible animation software program that has the power to assist educators in differentiating their instruction and cultivating a maker culture in the classroom. I was over the top excited to learn that one of my personal all-time favorite children’s authors has launched an award-winning software program titled Animation-ishPeter H. Reynolds is the bestselling author and illustrator behind the incredible titles IshThe Dot and The North Star. Each of the aforementioned held a very prominent and special place in my curriculum when I was a classroom teacher.  Now, Mr. Reynold has moved beyond books and into the digital space with the launch of Animation-ish, which is described as “an easy-to-use animation software program that inspires creativity and enables children to show what they know.”

For more on how to use the app, its undeniable merits for the classroom and more unabashed praise singing of this amazing tool head over to my review at the Yellin Center.

Teachable Moments: Guess Who?

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We all know how much I love to design curriculum from scratch for my students.  Yet it has been such a long time since I shared one of the resources I have developed for my classroom.  Life has been so grad school centric, which when compounded by the regular of end of the year school year crazy is leaving me with little time for much else.  So in honor of the last day of school here is one of my favorite lessons I have created -Guess who? I originally saw the idea of converting an old Guess Who? game into an educational resources on Pinterest and began scrounging for old game boards so my students could make their own.  However, even the Salvation Army prices were too rich for my blood so I decided to design and create my own game pieces that can be simply printed and constructed in the classroom.   Continue reading “Teachable Moments: Guess Who?”