As a classroom teacher I fully believed in crafting high quality, experiential learning experiences for my students. I tried my best regardless of the curricular area to get my students outside the four walls of my classroom and exploring their environment. Furthermore, I truly believe in authentic learning experiences where a teacher helps the students connect their textbook learning to its real world applications. It was this ideology that help inspire me to create, Shape Hunt, an interactive math game that gets students out of their seats and hunting for math concepts in their everyday lives.
As you will remember, showcased some other math games from my geometry unit such, Quadrilateral Find Five. and Shape Bingo. I have also shared some of my favourite math apps for building spatial reasoning. Shape Hunt is yet another activity in that same geometry unit on shape identification. In this activity I also review skills from my measurement unit by having students practice finding the area and perimeter of each shape. Therefore, it is a multifaceted activity that infuses geometry, measurement and calculation into one lesson. I have adapted this game for different grades by choosing age-appropriate shapes for my students to find. For example, for the younger grades you could ask them to hunt squares, triangles, circles and rectangles.
Shape Hunt requires students to search their surroundings to locate different and identify shapes, then measure and calculate the area and perimeter. I often assigned this activity in pairs to encourage mathematical talk. If it is a nice day I would take the kids outside to the playground to hunt for shapes. This activity is a break from math drills and work sheets, and allows students to get hands on and engage with the geometric concepts.
A PDF of this game can be downloaded for free at on my Teachers pay Teachers store 🙂 Continue reading “Shape Hunt Math Game and Lesson Plan”
Last week we headed to the Catskills for the most perfect, cozy, blissful weekend escape. My nerdy inner elementary school teacher was as about the relaxation and she was about the setting of Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain in the real. To give a little context to my unabashed enthusiasm, when I taught grade 5 I devised an entire My side of The Mountain unit plan. It is hands down one of my favourite novel studies to do with a group of upper elementary school students. The story is set in the Catskills, and centers around the theme of survival in the wilderness. So as you know I believe in experiential learning. So naturally when I was teaching in the Northwest I made sure to infuse activities that got my students out in their natural environment to ensure the book really came alive. It really is one of the best books to create interactive, authentic learning experiences around. So while away this past weekend, I snapped a handful of pictures throughout our trip that I can put together in a slide presentation for fellow teachers to use to help their students visualize the setting of My Side of the Mountain. It is now up on my Teachers pay Teachers store. Continue reading “My Side of the Mountain Novel Study”
Another article is up on the Yellin Center Blog! You might remember that last fall I reviewed FableVision Learning‘s Animation-ish program. While during my exploration of Animation-ish, I stumbled across a few other awesome resources that FableVision has created. One of which is an amazing tool for learning how to structure an effective essay called, Essay Express. Crafting an essay requires multiple abilities including, spelling, understanding of grammar and sentence structure, master of written conventions, understanding of semantics etc. It is an area of writing that many students (all the way into their college years) struggle with and takes time to truly master. Often students come into the clinic having some of the key abilities in places but weaknesses in others. Essay Express is an exceptional tool that helps strength a students strengths and fill in any gaps they may have in the writing process in order to teach them how to devise strong written output.
So head over to the blog to read my review, the research that went into creating the program and the amazing aspects of this software that will make it beneficial for both home and school use.
The Yellin Center Blog showcased another one of my resources this week. You can head over to my article on the game for the full lesson plan and game play rules, as well as an in depth detailing of how I have used the game in my own classrooms. An augmented version of the game is also available free for download on the Yellin Center Blog, or the full version is up on my Teachers pay Teachers store. Continue reading “Freebie Friday: Find Five Quadrilateral Math Game (+ other geometry activities)”
Another 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.
Another activity I designed is up on the Yellin Center Blog. Noggle is a math game that I developed when I first started substitute teaching since it is flexible across grades and required little material prep. Noggle follows the same rules as Boggle but with numbers instead of letters. For more information on the game rules, how I have used this activity, its alignment to the educational standards and an example of the Noggle game board I designed head over the the Yellin Center blog. As always, I hope you enjoy it and can make great use out of it. I know my students have loved it.
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I have been guest blogging and creating resources on my own for awhile now and a couple of exceptional teaching friends were kind enough to encourage me to open a Teachers pay Teachers store to share some of my resources with the greater education world. It is still a work in progress but I have officially launched The Jordan Project Teachers pay Teachers store with 30+ resources I have developed for you to explore. Many are free, and I would love for you to use them, share them and send me feedback on what you think. Everything from math games to literacy center activities to worksheets to general classroom resources are available. Furthermore, materials across grade ranges are up for grabs, and many are great substitute teacher activities due to their portability and minimal additional materials required.
You may have noticed, but there is now a dedicated page on the blog for the The Jordan Project Store so you will be able to access it seamlessly (since it will continually be updated for you). I truly hope you enjoy the content, and that some of the materials can help make your classrooms or home learning environments a little more exciting.
As you may know educational writing and resource development are two aspects of my new role as Learning Specialist. I for one could not be more excited about this opportunity (being paid to blog AND create?! What could possibly be better?). Since tech is a huge professional focus for me (and my graduate minor) I will be doing a lot of tech and resource reviews. As well, I will be using my training in instructional design to share some of the curricular resources that I have designed for my previous classrooms or students I work with currently. Creating and sharing resources isn’t new for me; if you like what you see make sure you also check out the Teaching Category of this blog for some other freebies I have designed.
This latest resource is a game I designed called, On a Roll, which is a fun way to bolster your student’s sight word recognition. For background on why sight words are important to young learners, the rules on how to play the game, insights into how I used this resource in my own classroom and links to the standards head over to my post on the Yellin Center Blog.
If you are like me and want to keep personalizing the words as your students learn I have attached below the word version of this game so you can fully differentiate this activity to meet your students’ needs. My personal preference is to print the word doc version since sometimes the formatting of the google doc (like the sample offered on the Yellin Center Blog) can be cumbersome to navigate.
Please use, share, adapt and give me feedback. I am always looking to improve my materials and also love hearing the innovative ways my peers use my resources in the classroom. I especially love pictures, and sharing them here with your permission! Happy learning.
On a Roll Game Handout
Hey teacher friends, check out my review of the amazing and beautifully curated writing app, Storybird. You know how much I love education, writing and technology. So being able to combine three of my passions by blogging about Ed Tech is a real treat. In the coming months you will get a lot more of it from different avenues. So until then enjoy exploring this free resource that really has the power to inspire and motivate even the most reluctant writers in your classroom. Let me know what you think, or send me some great tools that you use in your classrooms. I love to be inspired.
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?”