Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween!

I started my Halloween unit yesterday.  Halloween is not celebrated in Korea, and I wanted to show them what it is all about.  I found some great songs on YouTube, including this one:

We watched the first two stanzas of the song, and then we created some of our own.  We had a lot of fun with this song.  I had never heard it before.  It's a great way to talk about different animals and careers.  Some careers are easier than others.  For example, I couldn't think of one for "lawyer" or "teacher".  Can you think of some more?

Knock knock,
Trick or treat,
Who are you?
I'm a ghost.
I'm a little ghost.

Knock knock,
Trick or treat,
Who are you?
I'm a ghost.
I'm a little ghost.

Repeat with:
Cowboy - "Yee-haw"
Witch - "Hee hee hee"
Policeman - "Stop! You're under arrest."
Doctor - "Say ahhh."
Astronaut - "1, 2, 3...blast off!"
Tiger - "Grrrrr..."
Frog - "Ribbit ribbit"
Dog - "Ruff ruff"
Cat - "Meow meow"
Mouse - "Squeak squeak"
Singer - "La la la la la"
Pig - "Oink oink"

I have also introduced some new ABC activities with some of my classes.  Have you ever heard of Power Towers?  I found out about Power Towers last year from Pinterest and introduced to my classes with HUGE success.  HERE is the original link where I found it.  However, it originally came from Teacher Tipster.  If you have not heard about Teacher Tipster, you totally need to take a look.  He is fantastic.

We used Power Towers to practice multiplication facts.  My students would literally beg to play.  And when you get 5th graders to beg to play a game that practices math facts?  That means you have a winner!

To play Power Towers, you pull a cup out of the Pringles can, say the fact or the word, and then stack the cup making a tower.  The students get really creative with their towers.  I write my facts and words on the bottom of the cup and teach my students to keep the cups face down so they have to flip over the cup to read it.

If they don't know the fact or the word, I teach them to put the cup at the bottom of the stack.  You have to know it to stack it.  Also, if the stack falls down, then you have to start at the beginning.

Now in Korea, I don't have Pringles cans, so I don't use those.  I found small Dixie cups at Daiso, the Korean dollar store, and wrote letters of the alphabet on bottom.  The students turn over the cup, say the letter, and then stack it.  It's a great way to practice math facts, ABC's, phonics, etc.  You could even use Power Towers to practice vocabulary words although you might want to write the words on stickers and then put them on the cup instead of writing directly on the cups.

I was sick last week and ended up staying home for 2 days per the doctor's orders.  In Korea, you go to school NO matter what, whether you are vomiting, have a fever, or are dying.  To show you just how far they take this, here is a funny video to explain what I mean:

While I was home, I worked on my Math Stations pack.  Man, it was a lot of work, but I finally finished it....all 153 pages of it.  I used math stations in my classroom every single day back in Texas, and I would often re-use them for more practice.  My students struggled a lot with place value, multiplication, division, word problems, and problem solving, so I re-used those stations a lot.  There are 72 ready-to-go stations included, along with my station rotations and station groups.
Math Stations

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