Friday, January 15, 2016

Five for Friday January 15

I'm linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday!  Thank you for hosting, Kacey.  I hope all of you had a great week. Happy Friday!  

I saw these sweet cardinals from Fairfield Elementary School, and wanted to try them with my class.  Artsonia Art Museum :: Artwork by MrsP4:

Mine didn't QUITE come out so cute, but I still love the personalities!  I only did one cardinal on a branch.

I also saw this cute salt dough robin (which at first I thought was a cardinal) and realized that I liked how the thumb was the little peak feather on the head!  Some of my cardinals may look a bit like red fish, but I love them to pieces! 

I hung my cardinals over the children's lockers.  Above the cardinals, I used different sayings from "Advice from a Cardnial," and had children write a piece of advice on a sentence strip.  This would make a cute bulletin board, too.   I also printed out one of these pictures to go with each cardinal when I send them home.  

We played Hidden Partners this year for the first time.  The kids LOVE it.  It's such a great way to practice fluency with addition facts- and so much fun!  

I thought of the game a while ago.  Here is the back story:

We had a half-day conference day last week to discuss our math vocabulary with grades Pre-K- 2nd, so that we were sure we were all using the same math language.  As we went over the language, I realized that I had never actually said the words, "hidden partners," to my class at all.  (Actually, I had never used those words to anyone at all- which I think is a good thing... cause it sounds sort of soap opera-ish to me...) 

Anyway, as we talked math talk for the next couple hours, and everyone else moved on to other math vocabulary, I was sort of stuck on Hidden Partners.  I came up with a fun game to play during that class called... wait for it... Hidden Partners!  All you need is 3x5 cards and a marker.  It doesn't get much easier than that! 

Basically, Hidden Partners means there are different ways to make a number. 

We have been making charts about Ways to Make... numbers 2-5.  

I made 3x5 cards with numbers on them that added up to our target number.  I have 17 students, so I made 9 sets of cards- for example, for "5"  I made 0,5; 1,4; 2,3; 3,2; 4,1; 5,0, 3,2; 4,1; 5,0.  So I would also play the game since there are 18 cards.

Before we play, we review the facts that add up to that number. So- 5+0,0+5, 4+1,1+4, 2+3, 3+2.

I had the children spread out, and gave each child a card with a number.  They could not show their number to anyone until I said, "Go!"

Once I said, "Go!" the each child had to walk around and find a "Hidden Partner" to go with his/her number to make 5. 

Once they found their Hidden Partner, that team of two had to sit down on the floor so everyone knew they were paired up and done. 

The kids loved this game!  We had so much fun.   We also played it with the number four.
I made sets of numbers for 3, 4, and 5.  I just used different color markers for each set  in case they get mixed up.  You could go all the way up to ten!  We are really working on learning and knowing addition and subtraction facts to five right now.

This was my first group to sit down today.  They were a little excited.  

This book is fabulous for lots of things: opposites, predictions, retelling, and talking about the text, just to name a few.  We had so  much fun with it this week.  You can see it doesn't have many words- only "Good news."and "Bad news."  But that's actually great- because I used it to have each of my students explain a page as we read it.  They had to tell me WHY it was good news or bad news on the page.  The kids loved it- and it was great practice for them to speak in a group, pay attention to the story, and stay on topic.  

Another way to use it would be to have students predict what will happen on the next page- "What will the good news (or bad news) be?"  Then, you could read it again and have them explain what actually happened.  

I got this book from Scholastic. Here are some pages so you can see what it's like:

After we read the book, I had the children draw and write about something that was good news and something that was bad news for them.   (The picture quality came out awful- not sure why.  )

I like doing a quick writing activity because it really gives me a chance to focus on the conventions with each student.  Sometimes when we write books- I feel so overwhelmed, because I can't get to everyone, and while I'm working with a few of the children, I know I need to get to another group to get them going in the right direction...  But with one sentence, I can quickly remind them to use spaces or talk about "magic e," or notice misspelled sight words, or missing periods.

Just click the picture if you'd like a copy of the simple worksheet I made.

Here is another one of my FAVORITE books to use for writing about books.  

 If you haven't read it, it's about a little fish who steals a hat from a big fish.  The little fish thinks the big fish is sleeping, and will never know... but... he's not!  And trouble ensues!  You can see how this first page gets the kids' attention:

At the end, after a suspenseful trip, the big fish comes out of the weeds with his hat- and the little fish is nowhere in sight.  What happened?  It's up the the kids to decide what they think.  I LOVE it. They all have opinions- and they all want to talk about it.

So, we each write what we thought happened to the fish.  Then, after they write, we all share.  It's also fun to make a graph afterwards to see who thinks the little fish got eaten, and who thinks the he did not.


 ( I think "that" it made a loop-de-loop.  I thought that was a clever one!)

I love a quick writing prompt with a story because it lets me see exactly what each student needs to work on with writing- neatness, sight word spelling, spaces, etc. 

This is one of the 102 stories in my QR Codes and Writing Prompts.  I use these prompts all the time.
They're perfect for an ELA lesson.I use them to work on conventions with my students, because I can really see from these assignments if they are staying on topic, using spaces, beginning with a capital letter, using ending punctuation, spelling sight words correctly, and writing neatly.  

I also leave these for substitute plans.  They work great for that. 

I posted lots and lots of snowflake ideas if you'd need any ideas for winter!  I shared favorite books, ideas to go with those books, and LOTS of TPT Freebies!  Have fun!

Thank you for stopping by! Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Carolyn, love all your creative ideas you share. I was wondering if I could make the hidden partners game work with my 2nd graders, particularly at the first of the year. Thanks for sharing! Sara

    1. Yes! I bet your could! I also do Sight Word Hidden Partners. You could do this with the 2nd grade words! It's just good review. Thank you so much for writing, Sara! Happy Weekend!

    2. I bet "you" could- not "your..." Oh my goodness...

  2. Love the beautiful handprint cardinals and you products look great! Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Thank you so much for writing! :) You have a wonderful weekend, too!

  4. What a fantastic post! Love the cardinals- yours were super cute too!! And I play a similar game to the Hidden Partner Game in my room, but giving it the fun game makes all the difference in the world!! Awesome!



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