Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Second Grade Math Maniac Take Home Math Kit Review

I am soooo excited to have the chance to review Second Grade Math Maniac's Take Home Math Kits with the help of my 1st and 2nd graders and their families!  I love teaching math and have been looking for a product like this so that my students could have math games and activities beyond their regular homework to work on math while at home.   I feel that this product completely met the need that I had in my classroom!

First, let me say that I would recommend you checking out her blog.  It is so cute and has so many wonderful ideas for your classroom!  She has ideas for all areas of the curriculum.  I just saw a great new brain break site that she wrote about today on it!  Click on the image to check it out!

Second Grade Math Maniac
Now, back to my review:)  I offered the opportunity to my entire class of 1st and 2nd graders and their families, and the majority signed up.  Casey even includes a letter (which includes expectations for families so that the games will be ready to use again and again by more students) that is ready to send home so you don't have the take the time to write one.  What a time saver!  So, for the past few weeks I have been sending them home and I have gotten great feedback!  I have also been using them in my classroom during math centers as well and they work well for that too.  So this product works well for both home and school for 1st and 2nd graders!

Take Home Math Kits: 30 Games for Students and Their Families
She includes a list of the kits and the standard that they go with.  All I had to do was look for standards that we are working on for each of the grades, and then decide which games that I want to use for the remainder of the year.  She also includes a checklist to keep track of who has what game.  Here is a snapshot of the kits list.  It's easy peasy managing these games!

Here are some of them ready to be laminated.
Thankfully my school provides a laminator to use free of charge:)  Here are some all bagged up and ready to go!  These are my classroom ones, but I send home the home ones in laminated manilla envelopes.

She provides an answer sheet for any game/activity that needs one which is helpful for in the classroom for students that disagree about the correct answer, or if a parent is not available to help while the student is using it while at home. 

Here are some photos of my 1st and 2nd graders using the activities and games in the classroom:

Geometry: Students were counting vertices, edges, and faces.

Measurement: Students were sorting how different objects were measured (inches or feet).
Place Value: Students are practicing place value with a "war" like game.  I really like how she included the numeral, expanded form, and with base 10 blocks.

Measurement: Students are measuring different objects on the farm using inches.

She even provides as assessment page for each game/activity that students could do at home!

I would highly recommend this product for use both in the classroom, or to really help to develop a better school/home connection!  These would also be perfect if you have a family math night in your classroom.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


I am very excited to now have over 500 Facebook Fans and 250 fans on TPT!  In celebration of this, I placed 5 of my favorite products that I have made over my years on TPT at 50% off for the next 5 hours! You'll have to check out my store to find out which ones are on sale They will be on sale through 2:30 EST today. The link to my store is in the 1st comment.  You can find my store by clicking here!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Eggs, Eggs, and More Eggs :)

My students have had a lot of fun with eggs recently!  I wanted to share some of the fun things that we have done:)

We started by watching The Magic School Bus: Cracks a Yolk episode.  I bought the entire set at Costco last year and it has been worth it :)  If you have access to United Streaming, they have many of the episodes on there too.  I like having the DVDs though (especially for subs).  We also watched a short video from my favorite museum (Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry) on chicks hatching.  I always loved visiting that exhibit when I was a child!

I feel like I don't do enough art, so this was the perfect spring bulletin board:)  Students were allowed to choose from several eggs (there were more but I forgot to take pictures:) and add torn paper with glue to their egg.  This was perfect for the random pieces of construction paper that I have in my cabinet.  I do have a student who is a Jehovah's Witness, so I had him make a tree.

We also did some word study activities.  Students had a basket of eggs.  Inside each egg was one word for them to figure out.  I colored the paper with crayons to help keep the eggs in order.

 I don't have a picture of it, but we are currently doing the "naked egg experiment."  You can see how to do it here.  My students are really enjoying this so far!  I would recommend it!

Last, matching math problems with eggs.  I did not do this but my friend who teaches 1st grade next door did.  I saw it the morning of and plan on doing it next year:)  She was kind enough to allow me to take a picture of it.  I think that it can be adapted easily for different math skills and grade levels!  :)
I hope that you found an idea that you can use in your classroom next spring!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Break, Animals & Hail

Well, after our crazy winter in Michigan (with a record 94.8" of snow thanks to several inches this morning...93.6" was the old one), we now are having a crazy spring!  I guess I should say winter and spring are overlapping as we had 70 degree temps this past weekend and 3 inches of snow overnight.   This is a picture on my deck from a very strong hail storm that we had on Saturday night.

I think that in a way it is helping in the classroom as we have less than 2 months of school left, but the students don't seem as antsy about it.  Not that I want the snowy weather to stay around or anything though!

We had our spring break last week so I encouraged my students to keep reading over the break with this great printable that I found on Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher's TPT store.  Students were invited to read in many ways with this printable.  I bought pencil grips as a small reward for students who finished and returned it this week.  This is a freebie, so hop on over with the link if you are interested! 

My 1st graders have been studying animals and making big books about them.  So, I invited them to make shoebox habitats for the animal that they studied over the break.  I have some 2nd graders who wanted to do it as well...I figure review never hurts:)  Anyway, here are two of the projects.  The students really enjoyed sharing their habitats and how they created them!