Sunday, July 6, 2014

Playing to Learn ~ Counting Money and Making Change

Over the past 25 years of my teaching career, I have noticed several shifts in kids' ability to count money and make change. When I first began teaching, I had to teach the students the names of the coins and their worth. Then, the kids recognized the coins and their values and did a pretty good job of figuring out the total amount of money, but making change has always been a bit of a struggle. Now, credit and debit cards are taking over and kids don't see their parents using money much anymore. 

{Personal Creations} contacted me about helping parents keep their children engaged over summer vacation with a 'School All Summer' project, so I thought "Why not play store?" for something fun and educational this summer. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Have your child gather some toys to put price tags on. You can also go through the pantry and put price tags on some food items as well. Have them help you with the prices. This will help your child start to recognize the values of items.

  • Arrange the items that are for sale into rows or just use the furniture! It is really fun if you have a toy shopping cart for your child to use too.
  • Give your child some money to spend at their store. It is best to use real money so your child will get the feel of the money, especially coins.    
  • Let your child go shopping! Remind them to pay attention to the prices and the amount of money they have. When finished shopping, head to the cashier. Your child can help you figure out how much they owe and how much change they should receive! You can use a calculator for the total, but let the kids count up to make the change. For example:
Let's say the total comes to $19.33 and you pay with a $20 bill.
  • Start by counting out pennies: 34 (give a penny), 35 (give a penny.)
  • 35 is divisible by 5, so start counting with nickels from 35 to 40 (give a nickel.)  
  • 40 is divisible by 10, so start counting with dimes from 40 to 50 (give a dime.)
  • 50 is divisible by 25, so start counting with quarters from 50 to 75 (give a quarter) and from 75 to $1 (give a quarter) and that gets you to $20.
If you would like a computer challenge, {Change Maker} is an online game for practice making change. So get those kids counting money and making change and let them have a blast doing it!


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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

10 Terrific Activities for Your 'Not-So-Lazy-Days' of Summer

Ah, the lazy days of summer . . . so they say. But if you have young kids at home, I'm sure that saying doesn't quite fit! So, to keep your kiddos busy, I compiled a list of ideas of my favorite activities that might help you survive the 'not so lazy days' of summer.
Ellis Benus

Laser Training for your super spies. This looks like so much fun, especially on a rainy day when the kids can't be outside playing.






Allison McDonald
Make parachute guys and drop them from the slide and jungle gym. This is a great physical activity because after the 'guy' is dropped, your kids have to run down to fetch it and climb back up to drop it again!


Hello Kiddo!

Make a tin foil river and let kids see what will flow down the river. Make little ice boats for a more authentic touch!



The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide


Another great rainy day activity is to have a 'Camp-In!' Make S'mores in the microwave and you're in business. And just think, NO BUGS!



Make ice cream in a bag. It's so easy and so yummy too! Click here for the recipe.



Play 'Drip, Drip, Drench.' This game is played like Duck, Duck, Goose, but with a sponge and water. Great for hot summer days.

Mamas Like Me




Draw a bulls-eye on the driveway with sidewalk chalk. Give the munchkins a wet sponge to see who can score the most points.


Aleisha

Grab an old sheet and let the kids express their inner artist in the middle of your yard. No one will think you are too crazy!


Six Sisters Stuff


Have the kids go on a treasure hunt to find items for each letter of the alphabet. What a great way to reinforce beginning letter sounds. 





Frugal Fun 4 Boys
I know the kids at school LOVE eraser caps! Why not put them to use in a mini-bowling game with a marble?




Have a great summer with your little ones!


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Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Tribute to My Dad~John C. Jenkins

This past week has been the hardest week of my life.

A little over 2 years ago, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. The doctors told him that if he didn't receive treatment, he would probably only be around not much more than 3 months. He still decided not to take radiation or chemo because he said he'd rather spend 11 weeks living than 11 weeks dying. 

Last Sunday, June 1, 2014 I had a date to meet my dad in Scottsburg, Indiana at the Cracker Barrel. We loved to meet there to eat and chat. We had a fabulous time! Daddy didn't look great, but he didn't look as bad as I thought he might. He told us he hadn't been eating much, but ordered the meat loaf anyway. I asked him if he would like to share it, but said he thought he could put a pretty good dent in it. After eating a few bites, he asked if I wanted some and when I said 'no' he asked where the dogs were!



My dad loved to joke around, and Sunday wasn't any different. He was teasing all of us! After our great afternoon, my daddy went home and took a nap and never woke up again. I am so thankful he went peacefully and that I was able to spend the day with him, but selfishly, I wasn't ready for him to go.

My sister and I drove down to his house after he died to comfort our step-mom. On our way back home it started raining very hard, but stopped quickly. The next thing we saw, was a complete rainbow from end to end. It was just what we needed to comfort us and remind us that everything was going to be okay. The next day, my sister saw a double rainbow and yesterday I saw another one. 



At his funeral, each of us kids decided to share a few memories that we had of our father. Some of my memories are:

  • Playing airplane on daddy's feet~I felt like I could really fly!
  • Pushing daddy's car out of the driveway when he went to work.
  • Playing checkers in the garage and ALWAYS losing . . . I think the losses helped me become a good sport!
  • Hitting rocks with golf clubs and getting a real butt-chewing!
  • Getting to sleep in the back window of the car because I was the oldest. Safety first - NOT in those days!
I am going to miss my dad so much, 
but just like when daddy held me in his loving arms
. . . everything is going to be all right!


Thanks for stopping by to read. 

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Travels with Charlie: North Dakota #bookingusa


Hi everyone!
Hope you are keeping your head above water during this busy time of year! 

I've had the awesome opportunity to check out some amazing books called 'Travels with Charlie.' In these books, Charlie, an adorable dog, hides in pictures of states for kids to find. The states are packed with pics of special places in that state, so while the kids look for Charlie, they are checking out state highlights! Genius! 

I pulled together with other bloggers for Booking Across the USA and we each took a different state. Now YOU can find great ideas for all 50 states.




As you may have read above, I picked North Dakota for my state. I know you are thinking . . . 'Hilary lives in Indiana!' Well, did you know that my middle son actually lives in Williston, ND? Yup! He's a chemist in the oil fields of Williston. 

I know it doesn't seem like there would be a lot of things going on in North Dakota, but it is a beautiful state with a rich heritage. Did you know that Lewis and Clark spent more time in North Dakota than anyplace else? Did you know that North Dakota has more sunflowers than any other state? 

One of the things that intrigued me about North Dakota is that there is an 'International Peace Garden which is on the border of Canada. There is a little stream that flows between the USA and Canada and there are flowers galore on both sides. There are even flags from each country made from flowers.



Beautiful, right? I thought it might be fun to make a little Peace Garden with tissue paper. I don't know about you, but I used to love putting little pieces of tissue paper on the end of a pencil, dipping it in glue, and sticking it to a piece of paper. What a better place to make tissue flowers! 



I made a page to guide the kids on their flower making skills. Just click the pic if you would like a copy for yourself and your little ones.

If you would like to check out the rest of the states with Charlie, just keep on clicking! 





Win some Charlie books for yourself!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/OGIyOWY4MzQ3YmUwNmM0Zjg5NDA2ZjE5MmRkODU1OjEw/


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Saturday, May 3, 2014

Alliteration Spinners Were a HUGE Hit!

I love teaching alliteration to my kiddos (some of you already know that about me) and wanted a quick and easy way to help them learn. I have my humongous alliteration pack, but I wanted to make something simpler. I came up with a spinner idea . . . I just had to print, laminate, and USE!

I gave the kids a paper clip to use as a spinner and they were ready to roll . . . or spin I guess I should say! 

There are 5 different spinners on each letter page to give the kids ideas for their sentences. 





I decided to do this as a whole class activity, but it could definitely be used in a small group or at stations.  Here's the way I got going.
  • Give each child a 'spinner' page and paper clip.
  • Kids spin the paper clip to find a name, who (or what), where, with what, and adjectives to describe those things.
  • Kids write the words from the spinner in the correct boxes on the 'sloppy copy' page.
  • They then write a sentence using words from the boxes. Have them use describing words to make the sentences more interesting and colorful.
  • I checked the sentences on the sloppy copy and provided a final page for the published sentence.
  • The kids illustrated their sentences and shared them with the class.



The kids had such a blast and asked to do more! Getting kids excited about learning is half the battle! SCORE! If you would like to score your own pack, just click here!





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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Plural Nouns vs. Possessive Nouns-That is the Question!


I had the opportunity to use an amazing resource by Laura Candler with my kids this past week. We have been working on the difference between plural and possessive nouns, and it has proven to be quite a challenge. However, using this resource has helped my kids tell the difference with ease!


We started out our week by following the explicit lesson plans in the pack. The kids especially enjoyed finding objects to write sentences about ownership. For example: Suzy found a pencil that belonged to Joey. This is the sentence she wrote on her white board:

After using other practice activities from the pack, I placed task cards at my word work station. I used one set of cards as a sorting activity for the kids to determine whether the sentence used a plural or possessive noun.

I placed the practice pages in plastic page protectors. That way, the kids could read the sentences, write the correct word in the blank, turn the pouch over to check their answers on the back. I like to have the answers available. 

Some people don't like to use the answers . . .they don't want their kids to 'cheat'. In my opinion, because the kids are learning a new skill, it is important for them to have immediate feedback. I sure don't want them practicing the wrong material!

I kept one set of task cards intact and had the kids write the correct word in the blanks. I used this activity as a quick check so I could monitor understanding.

If you need to teach your kids the difference between plurals and possessives, this is the pack for you! It is thorough, clear, and very visually appealing. I give it 'two thumbs up'! Thanks Laura Candler! 
If you would like to use this pack in your own classroom, just click {here} to scoop it up! If you'd like more great ideas from Laura Candler, you just have to visit her blog at {Corkboard Connections}~You won't be sorry you did!

Have a Fab Friday!

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring Blogger Meet-Up Blog Hop

A couple weeks ago, I headed down to French Lick, Indiana to meet up with some AMAZING teacher bloggers. This wasn't just a little lunch meet up, this was a first class event. Holly from Mrs. Ehle's Kindergarten Connections knows how to throw a party! 


Check out this hotel! Holy Moly! And this is a hotel in INDIANA no less!

Some teachers made an entire weekend of the meet-up, but I was only able to attend on Saturday. We had lunch and chatted. It was exciting to be in a room of like-minded educators! We even exchanged notes of what works, what doesn't work, and lots of fun facts, too! 






I learned about laser fingers that I can use with my kids to help with fluency! SCORE! LOVE these!









I also learned about phonto, an app that allows you to use your own fonts for your pictures. This will be great especially since I love fun fonts!

Oh, and have you heard of Frixion gel pens? I hadn't, but boy I'm glad I know now! Fun colors AND they are erasable! Doesn't get much better than that! 


There were fantastic sponsors of this awesome event as well and we all got tons of goodies from them. And . . . here's the GREAT NEWS! You can score these goodies for yourself! All you need to do is continue hopping through this blog hop until you find your chance to win them for yourself! You could win a Vera Bradley bag (I'm loving mine), a gift certificate for an Erin Condren product or Jamberry Nails, goodies from Crayola, Boogie Boards, Scentos, Creative Teaching Press, and Kaeden Books. That's a lot of awesomeness! 



Well, what are you waiting for? Hop on over to see Heather and find the hidden treasure! 

Teaching Through Turbulence

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Tori's Tiny Miracles Fundraiser



Today I want to share with you a special fundraiser that I am a part of: Tori’s Tiny Miracles Fundraiser! Tori is a teacher, blogger (Tori’s Teacher Tips), Teachers Pay Teachers seller, and most importantly a mom of 2 little miracles. Both of Tori’s children were born premature: Michael, born at 28 weeks and weighing only 2 pounds, 6 ounces, and most recently, baby Mason, born at 28 weeks and weighing 2 pounds, 8 ounces. Michael is now a happy and healthy six year old! Baby Mason is only 2 months old and very close to being released from the hospital. To read more about Tori's story, check out her blog.

Aside from all the emotional ups and downs of having a NICU baby, Tori's family is facing some very large hospital expenses. Together, almost 50 TPT creators/bloggers came together to show our support for our friend! We put together FIVE affordable bundles with a spring, summer, or end of the year theme: Kindergarten, First, Second & Third {Spring}, Second & Third {End of the Year}, and Clipart. The proceeds from these bundles listed in this store will go directly to Tori’s family to help offset the medical bills and living expenses they have while they are caring for their newest miracle. Check out each bundle below:

This bundle has 13 products to get you from now to the end of the year!

This product includes ten packets to enhance your teaching this spring!

This bundle includes eight products for 2nd and 3rd to use this spring!

This bundle includes eight products for 2nd and 3rd to get you to the end of the year!


This bundle includes 10 clipart sets you can use for your spring and summer projects!
Exclusive Jungle Clipart for Baby Mason by Melonheadz Illustrating
(this set is ONLY available through this fundraiser!)

As a thank you for supporting her family, Tori has also put a freebie in the fundraiser store. Please make sure you download it while you're visiting.

Thank you so much for your support!

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