Sunday, May 30, 2021

Fun with Learning Games


Welcome aboard, me hearties! The school year is finally coming to a close.  Even though it has been a difficult voyage to boot, end your school year with some fun!  Of course, we want our wee pirates to continue their learning so let's find some learning games to play!

However, I'm not suggesting online games, but if your classroom is still online, you probably have no other choice.  For those of you who are in-person with your students, I suggest card games.  My main reason for recommending these types of games is that they are social.  Students interact with each other and learn from each other when playing hands-on games.  Also, keep in mind that for most of the school year teaching was online with little opportunity for students to engage with their classmates.  

Now, you may be thinking that you have no card games in your classroom.  If you don't, how about a traditional deck of playing cards.  You probably have some at home and so may your students' families.  

Once you collect some card decks, consider teaching a few of the classic card games such as Crazy Eights, Go Fish, and Rummy.  "Why?", you may ask.  The answer is these are strategy games which help to develop and sharpen our brains.  

Here's a link with a list of 12 classic card games: story/1d153893aee53908749c1377c588928c

These cards can also be used to develop and review math skills.  For example, each student is given two cards.  They add the numbers on their cards.  The student with the highest sum collects all the face-up cards.  For a more challenging game include aces with the value of 1 and jacks, queens, kings valuing 11-13. The joker can be valued as 14 or 0.  In addition, increase the number of cards to be passed out to three, four, and five cards for students depending on the needs of your students. Of course, other operations can be used as well.  

Another math concept that can be practiced is place value.  First, determine the place value your students will work with- 10's, 100's, 1000's and so one.  If students are working with 10's, then each student draws two cards.  Next, students make the largest number they can with their two cards.  The player who has the largest number keeps all the played cards.  These games can be used with decimals and fractions as well.

The link below will provide you with more math games using a traditional deck of cards:

If you are in need of a resource that provides a higher range of games and practice for place value skills, please check out my product shown below.

Seven Games Included

Place Value Fever! games provide fun, engagement, and practice in reading, writing, and comparing multi-digit numbers from the thousands to the hundred millions as well as multi-digit numbers to the thousandths.  Designed mainly for 4th and 5th grades, this resource may also benefit 3rd graders who require a challenge or 6th graders who need to review place value concepts.

Thank you for visiting my blog!  I hope you found it useful!  Be sure to sail here again for more teaching treasures.  Yo! Ho!

Keep your eyes on the horizon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

How To Begin Sentences/Part 2

Ahoy Mateys,  and welcome back!  Before we begin, please keep in mind that there are FREE resources available to you today! 

I am excited to share with you ideas and resources to help you teach your students additional ways to begin sentences. In February 2018, I wrote a blog post about one of the Six Traits of Writing.

My focus was on the Sentence Fluency Trait and more specifically on using a variety of sentence beginnings.
As I wrote then, one reason for varying the start of sentences is to prevent the repeated use of sentences starting with a subject followed by a predicate which becomes boring after a bit.

Those variant start ups I discussed in that much earlier post are: 

If your students haven't worked with these sentence starters, you may want to read the February, 2018 post or visit my TpT store to take a look at the resource, Sentence Fluency: How To Begin Sentences Part 1/Grades 3-6/Distance Learning.

Today, I am adding on three more categories which are more sophisticated and more difficult to comprehend.  However, when your students master these beginnings, they will be strong and interesting writers!

First is the Infinitive Phrase, "to" + verb.

In the example sentence above, the phrase, "to battle fierce fires", tells the reader why firefighters use great quantities of water.   Although the writer could have begun the sentence with its subject, "firefighters", isn't it more exciting to begin with a phrase that implies that dealing with fire is a battle?

Next is the Participial Phrase, verb + "-ing"

Using the strong verb, "battle" plus "-ing", the writer explains how firefighters conquer the fire.  Again, the sentence could have started with "the firefighters", but "battling" grabs the reader's attention.

Finally, there is the Dependent Clause, also known as the Subordinate Clause.

Before students are able to use Dependent Clauses as a sentence starter, they must understand what a clause is as well as what the difference is between a Dependent Clause and an Independent Clause.  Also, they will need to know about Subordinating Conjunctions.   

Independent Clause
Dependent Clause
More About Dependent Clauses

Subordinating Conjunctions

The example pictures above are part of a PowerPoint I created to teach these more difficult ways to start a sentence.  The slideshow is engaging and interactive.  Also, content appears in small pieces. Below you'll see the Independent Clause slide as it first appears to viewers.  After the presenter reads the information at the beginning of the slide, she then clicks the mouse to reveal what is behind the first green box.  Revealing pieces of information one at a time helps to keep students focused.

Clicking the picture will take you to this resource in my TpT store. 

Along with the PowerPoint, I have provided practice sheets for students to write sentences beginning with these three starters I have shared with you.

Also, I have a FREE Sorting Activity resource in which students sort sentence task cards into the three starter categories: Infinitive Phrase, Participial Phrase, and Dependent Clause. (Click on the picture below to see the product in my store.)

In addition, there is another FREE Sorting Activity for the first four sentence starters: Adjectives, "-ly" Adverbs, When Phrases, and Where Phrases.  (Click on the picture below to see the product in my store.)

Thank you for docking at my blog pier.  Writing for all pirate teachers sailing the many seas of education is a pleasure, and I hope you found this post helpful.

Happy Sailing!