These giraffes and zebras turned out adorable... if I do say so myself! :)
I've had a lot of questions about my Chit-Chat charts. This is how I do my Morning Message. The idea originated with the Buzz Book from the K-Crew. I needed it to have a little bit more "meat" to it and I wanted it to be a way to not only cover the important skills such as phonics, sentence structure and grammar but also serve as a review for what we had learned the previous day.
Another component of my Morning Message routine is Oral Language and manners. My message always ends with a question. So when we finish the written part I read them the question and the tell them to turn to their partner and "Chit-Chat".
They learn how to take turns listening and speaking. Once they've had a few minutes to chat about the question I ask them who wants to share. They never know when I might say, "Who wants to share what their PARTNER said?" This keeps them accountable for listening.
Think Math is a GREAT math warm-up that I do before math time two or three times a week. The kids LOVE it! (I shared how to do this in my Spring Math Journal Resource). Think Math always starts with: The answer is _______________________. What is the question?
The kids raise their hands and tell me their equation. We always work it together to see if it equals the sum we are looking for before we write it on the chart. One reason I love this activity so much is because ALL kids can participate. Some of my kids give very basic answers like 8+1 and some can give 3 digit equations, and then a few of my sweeties who can't do it on their own know that they can say, "Give me a hint". Because they need a little extra help I will give them the first number in an equation and they have to figure out what to add to it. (I usually give them a number that is very close to the sum that we are working on so that they can be successful). After we've come up with several equations we write a word problem to go with our answer.
I was in Wal-Mart and I saw these Cheese Balls and I had to have them! Not for the cheese balls (they taste awful BTW....but Kinder kids will eat anything LOL!) I wanted the container! It reminded me of the Barrel of Monkeys game I used to have. So, I took this.....
and turned it into this......
This adorable Math game will be part of my Zoo unit resource. The kids have to put the monkeys into their correct "troops" by matching the equations with their sum. This is the recording sheet for round 1. Next week they will have a different recording sheet that will require them to write the equations and their "turn around" facts. I have a lot more ideas for literacy and math games that use the Barrel of Monkeys theme. The monkeys took a little bit of time to cut out...but that's the beauty of having teenagers who want gas money! :)