A place to share thoughts, ideas, gadgets, and giggles from my classroom. 💜

Pencils Through a Baggie of Water?!? No Way!

This was one of my FAVORITE science experiments we have done this year...and it was totally last minute!
Sharp pencils, must be sharpened to a point!
Baggies that can hold water
Optional: Bowl, you know, just in case.
Fill the bags 3/4 of the way full
Sharpen pencils
It seriously is one of the lowest prep science experiments we have done ever! 
I had one student hold the bag while another poked their pencil through. The trick is to go slowly!
I tried it with more baggies than I would like to tell, just because it was so much fun!
The kids LOVED sticking their pencils through the bag. They did a great job going slow, and not poking each other with those super sharp pencils! Explaining how it worked got a little tricky since they are pretty young, but I did my best:
The baggies are made of plastic. The plastic is made of a special kind of material that makes it easy to shape and hold things. I took a baggie and stretched it out real thin so they could see that the plastic was very durable and stretchy. When we poke a hole through the baggie with the pencil, the plastic is going around the pencil and not letting a hole be made. This is what keeps the water in!
I tried my best to explain how polymers work in words that a 7/8 year old could understand.
They loved it and had fun! I loved the lack of mess, easy prep, and low maintenance experiment!


How to Help Students find New Books to Read with Book Talks!

Since we stopped doing {Accelerated Reader} I have been on the search high and low for ways to keep my students engaged in reading. I thought, Let them choose! That's gotta be the way, right?! Kind of... Except when the best reader in the class only wants to read about Biscuit... Today we finally tried {book talks}!
For morning work, one of my kiddo's jobs was to read a book or chapter of a book. They had to fill out their book talk page so they could be ready to tell others about what they read and why they should read it. 
The students loved hearing about their friends books and why they liked the story so far. It was fun to hear them asking each other MORE questions about their books! 
This page comes from my {Reading with a Purpose} pack, but you can get this page, plus book talk pages for nonfiction and problem and solution for {FREE}!
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Ways to Make Subtraction with Regrouping Less Stressful

Hey y'all! Thanks for hopping over! Don't forget to enter to win the $100 TPT Gift Card at the bottom of this post!  I want to tell you about what I like to do when I teach subtraction with regrouping. Subtraction with regrouping makes me nervous. It worries me to see the look on my students' faces when they are completely confused the first time I introduce subtraction with regrouping. Last year, I didn't feel the students truly caught on for over a week of practice. I have a strategy this year, and my kids are going to rock! 
This year, I jumped right in. I showed the kids how to regroup even before we watched the math video! (We use EnVision and it gives us a math video for each lesson.) I drew tens and ones and showed them why we had to regroup. Then we went into the video. The kids weren't near as confused as they were last year after the video. It was a total success! We use the BBBB method!
It's super funny to say and the kids really get a kick out of the word bottom, oh 7 year olds....Ha! I show them this funny YouTube video after a couple of days of regrouping practice and using BBBB during practice. 

The characters talk weird and look funny. The kids think it's hilarious and I'll have to admit, I do too! It makes me laugh!!

We got out the base ten blocks for more practice. I wrote the problem on the board, and the students would use their white board and cubes.  We did this as a whole class while I walked around. When we went into our {math groups}, I got the cubes out to work with the students were were still having a hard time. 
I grabbed this page from my friend Angie at {Lucky Little Learners}. She has an amazing post about regrouping, by the way! The kids LOVED being able to write on the counter while we worked on regrouping. We started with showing only the 31 cubes. Then we broke it down and regrouped the cubes. The marker did give me a little trouble coming off, but after a few scrubs with a Lysol wipe, it's as good as new! 
I got the {dice in dice} out and practiced regrouping too. I want to use as many manipulatives as possible to help students find a way to make regrouping click. Once students seem to understand why we regroup, then we practice with just the numbers.
I like to have students highlight the ones place for a few problems so they know to start with the ones then do the tens. They love having a chance to "play" with their highlighters during math!
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