Friday, November 13, 2015

Five for Friday November 13

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey! 
I'm so glad it's the weekend.  I have so much I should do...
Let's get started with some great free math resources!

Last week, our primary teachers were lucky to have Annie Cartie come share some fantastic FREE math videos for students and families.  Annie explained that while students have been introduced to Common Core Math, many parents have not- and they aren't familiar with many of the terms used and different ways of solving math problems that students are required to know.  Parents are at a disadvantage when they try to help their children with homework, because they aren't sure exactly how they are supposed to do that. WSKG put together a team of people to address that problem. They've put together many wonderful math videos for teachers to share with parents.  Each video is only about 45 seconds to 2 minutes, just the perfect amount of time for families to watch, understand the vocabulary or concept, and feel better prepared to help their children.  

Below is a handout Annie gave us to share with parents so they can access these videos.  

Here are some sample videos from the Youtube Good to Know Playlist, just so you can get an idea about how awesome they are!  They intentionally move quickly because they are for a quick explanation of a concept for parents.  They aren't meant to be used to teach students, although they could be used to help students remember concepts that were previously taught. They sort of remind me of Ted Talks.  I love how they're made.

Feel free to pass this great information on to families of your students if you would like!

Another great site Annie showed us is PBS Learning Media.  You can browse by standard or by grade and subject.
This is a screen shot of part of the search I did for K-Math. It shows just a few of the clips that come up for that search.

Each little video clip is about 1 to 2 minutes, again, intentionally, to highlight the concept and keep the students' interest.  This is a wonderful resource, and it's FREE!  You can sign up at PBS Learning Media so you can make folders of videos you like and save favorites.
Peg + Cat is a wonderful show for primary students that focuses on lots of math concepts.  The kids love it and learn at the same time!  If you haven't met Peg yet- you'll love her.  At the site, you can play games and watch full videos or clips,

Another fun  site that brings movement into your classroom is Kids in Motion.   Here is a sample of some of the videos at the site:

This idea was started by a school district near mine.  The students weren't getting enough PE time to meet the requirements (which I don't think any of the schools probably do because there just isn't enough time in the school week), so the district came up with a way to include a lot more movement into classroom activities.  I know lots of us use Go Noodle and have many fun brain breaks we use. These videos are just another free resource with some fun activities to get your students moving!

Here are a couple samples:

(This one would wipe me out for the day... )

Finally, here is a Thanksgiving favorite.  My sister shared this Thanksgiving Story Bracelet with me a few years ago, and it has been my favorite Thanksgiving activity each year since.  If you would like a copy of the paper, just click on the picture. We've been learning the story, and the kids are so good at it now.  We are making our bracelets on Monday. I can't wait.  I send this paper home with the bracelet just in case the children forget what one bead means, and parents can help them remember.  I don't want anyone to be frustrated.
The children really learn the Thanksgiving story, are able to retell it, AND have a new piece of jewelry to boot- what could be better?!

First, we read a lot of books about the first Thanksgiving.  The children have a good background and are familiar with:  the Pilgrims leaving England on the Mayflower, because they wanted freedom to worship God they way they wanted to; the Mayflower landing at Plymouth Rock after a long, hard trip;  the Native Americans helping the Pilgrims learn to hunt, plant, and survive when they arrived in this country; and the feast the Pilgrims and Native Americans had to celebrate and give thanks for all they had survived and all they now had in their new land.

I introduce my bracelet to the children, and we all retell the story together with my bracelet. We do this a few times each day whenever we have some extra minutes.  I want them to really KNOW the story before they make their bracelet and take it home to retell.
I move each bead as I tell what it is for. 
The Pilgrims left England because they wanted freedom to worship God as they wanted. (1st green)
They left England on a ship called the Mayflower. ( white bead)
It was a very long trip across the ocean. (I say a word for each of the 3 blue beads: very. long. trip.)
Finally, they saw land! (green bead)
They landed at Plymouth Rock. ( gray bead)
When they landed it was winter. (I say a word for each of the 3 white beads: very. long. winter.)
Finally spring came! (light green bead)
They met Squanto, a Native American who helped them learn to hunt and plant. (Light brown bead)
To thank the Native Americans, the Pilgrims had a feast for everyone including:
cranberries (red bead), corn (yellow bead), turkey (brown bead), and pumpkin pie (orange bead).

This is a wonderful book that is very age appropriate to teach about the first Thanksgiving.
 I also like this book by Ann McGovern.

I love to use these books by Kate Waters.  The children love to look at the pictures in her books, and I condense the information to make the books work best for my Kindergarteners.  Click on the picture below to go to the Scholastic interview with Kate.  At the bottom of that page is a link to a transcript where she answers questions from students about writing her history books. Here is a link to her homepage where she shares information about all of her books.

This little cartoon actually does a pretty good job explaining the basics of Thanksgiving, and the kids really like it. It is sort of goofy-but...  I'm not five.

After the children retell the story really well with my bracelet, they each make one during our small group center time.  I have the bags with the correct beads already sorted.  They just choose a pipe cleaner.  We string each bead on as we tell the story. Then they retell the story to a friend with their own bracelet- and are SO proud to do it!  


Thank you so much for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Thanks for all the great videos! And I LOVE the retelling bracelet! Going to use this activity with my third graders next week! Thanks for sharing!


  2. Yay! I do the retelling bracelet, too! Thanks for the video links, we have parent conferences in one week and were passing out number bond flashcards for practice at home. The videos will be the perfect complement. Have a wonderful weekend :) Jen


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