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Strategy Share: Using Strategies to Teach Reading and Writing

By | |Guided Reading, Reading Strategies, Strategy Share|0 Comments

Hi everyone! I want to start a new series that shares various strategies you can use in your classroom. It is going to be posted sporadically. It is my goal to help build confidence when it comes to teaching reading and writing and to share ideas and inspiration in those areas. 🙂 I want these posts to include practical strategies you can implement in your classroom. I will also be sharing many freebies along the way to help you apply these strategies in your classroom. 😉

Using Strategies to Teach Reading & Writing


Strategies have been a bit of a buzzword over the past few years, and rightfully so. It’s important for every teacher to have a tool bag of strategies to use in their instruction throughout the day. Today, I mainly want to focus on what defines strategies and how they apply to teaching. Now before you click out of this post because you already know that vocabulary word, lol, hear me out. I think we all get the definition, but lets be nerds for a bit to really “get” how strategies apply to teaching. I promise to make it short and sweet. After this post, it is my goal to share some strategies for each Strategy Share post. That way, you can fill-up your teaching tool bag. 😉 I already have some strategy tools for your tool bag written up to go with this one. You can choose “Strategy Share” in the categories on the right to find all of the current posts.

Strategies are the practical steps to developing skills. Quote

First off, strategies are a means that students can use to obtain a goal. An example of a goal would be to get your students reading on a second grade level.  The goal of reading on a second grade level is reached by developing various skills such as decoding skills, reading comprehension skills, and so on. Strategies are the practical steps to developing those skills. The skill may be a necessity for obtaining that goal, but there may be several different strategies that can be used to develop that skill and eventually reach that goal. Just like there may be several different steps you take to make sure students gain those decoding skills. Maybe you teach some strategies like Eagle Eye (use your eagles eyes to look for picture clues) or Lips the Fish (say the beginning sound), and maybe you use different strategy methods. The strategy here has a fun theme with an eagle, and the decoding skill being taught is to look for picture clues. Neither Eagle Eyes or Lips the Fish or any other specific method is the ultimate way to gaining those decoding skills. You could very well teach students to simply look for pictures to help decode the word without a fun eagle theme or come up with a completely other way to teach them to look for picture clues. Therefore, it is important when using strategies to remember the strategy is not what is most important. It is the skill being developed that is needed to reach that goal. If one strategy does not work for your students or even your teaching style, it is ok. Find a different strategy that does. I hope to be able to share many strategies that will help your students to develop those skills and reach those goals.

Now with that said, I hope you find the strategies I share practical and helpful. And maybe, some will even inspire you to bounce other ideas off of them. I love bounced ideas! I really would love to hear from you, so always feel free to comment below on my posts. I would love this to be a collaborative learning where many of us come together to learn new ideas and even grow new ones.

Make sure to join my email list, so you can get some strategies in your email box. There will be plenty of exclusive freebies along the way with this series too! 🙂

Thank you for stopping by the Candy Class!

Jolene 🙂

How to Not Teach a Boring Compound Sentence Lesson

By | |Grammar, Uncategorized|10 Comments


Hi everyone! Today, I wanted to share some ideas about teaching compound sentences.

Ideas for Not Teaching a Boring Compound Sentence Lesson

Introduction of Fanboys

First off, students need to know those fanboys before diving into the realm of compound sentences. A simple way to do this with a hands-on twist is to have them make some fans with those bad boys. Students simply fold the paper seven times to make eight sections. Than they write the coordinating conjunctions on the fan, squeeze it, and make a breeze.

 Fanboys Fans for teaching compound sentences


 Activity Ideas for Compound Sentences

Idea #1 Silly Sentences- Write some simple sentences and the fanboys on some sentence stripes. Students connect the two simple sentences with one of the fanboys. Then they use pasta and lentils to add the punctuation. Finally, they add that capital letter at the beginning with a wikki stick or other letter manipulative of choice.

Silly Sentence Idea for Teaching Compound Sentences

Idea #2 Create & Share Giggly Sentences- Each student creates their own simple sentence (silliness encouraged). Then they partner with someone else to form a compound sentence with their two simple sentences. They can record their newly formed sentences on a paper. After a few minutes, they rotate to pair up with another student and make another sentence. You can rotate as many times as you like.

Giggly Sentence Idea

Idea #3 Work with Compound Sentences in Multiple Ways- Students can identify if a sentence is simple or compound, rewrite two simple sentences into a compound sentence, add more details to a compound sentence, and rearrange compound sentences into other sentence formats.

Various Ways to Work with Compound Sentences

Click here for these task cards or check out the digital ones here.

Idea #4 Butterfly Grammar Craft- Add simple sentences on each wing of a butterfly. Then the comma and fanboy can be added on the body of the butterfly to join the two simple sentences into one. I added a touch to this craft idea by making the butterflies body in the shape of a comma, but you can use any butterfly template or make your own easily for this craft. All I did was cut these out of some colored card stock. You could also use colored construction paper.

Comma Butterfly for Teaching Compound Sentences


I hope you enjoyed these ideas about compound sentences. Check out some of my other grammar posts, and make sure to subscribe to email for more ideas! I promise I don’t spam. In fact, if I can blog once a month, I am doing good, lol! Although, hoping to share more with you all (nothing crazy…never going to be blogging 365, ok!).

Compound Sentences 1B

Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class!  I hope you are enjoying my grammar posts and getting lots of ideas to jazz up your lessons.

Candy Class

Jolene 🙂


Ideas for Not Teaching a Boring Contraction Lesson & a Freebie

By | |Uncategorized|0 Comments

Hi everyone! Today, I want to share some ideas for teaching contractions that will help you cover all the bases of various learning styles, and yes, you read the title correct. I also have an exclusive and unique freebie in this post!


1. Start with a formal classroom introduction when teaching contractions. This can include an anchor chart and mini-lesson. A simple way is to start off by defining contractions. To strengthen those connections in the brain for the purposes of being able to recall the word contraction more easily, give a bit of a vocabulary lesson for the word contract, which means to become smaller or shrink. You can even strengthen those connections more with some sensory by giving students a string and having them contract their “snakes.” This is a good way to get the attention of those fidgety sweeties too. 😉 For guided practice, you can write the two words on the board that forms a contraction, and the class says the contraction as they contract with their strings. You can then write the contraction on the board. You could also just say the words and have students say the words back, but I think the more you involve the senses, the better they all remember. Also, this helps your visual learners too.

Teaching Contractions with Brain-Based Research Strategies

Here are some ideas for independent practice: 

2. Contract them on paper. This activity is very ideal for your kinesthetic learners! There is just something about physically contracting the paper into a contraction. You can write these yourself on paper and simply fold.

I decided to make have some fun with this concept by making some “boa contractions.” Kids love fun themes. I made sure to draw them up as friendly boa contractions. 😉

Boa Contraction Snakes for Kinesthetic Learning
Find the boa contractions by clicking here.

3. Make it relevant with a contraction hunt. Just like a lesson in geometry, you would show how shapes are all around. It’s important for students to be able to see how contractions are all around them. Students can hunt contractions as they read. You can always point out how contractions tend to be used most in quotes from characters in most books. This will help them to know where to look and give some extra attention to quotes! When you get ready to teach formal and information English, you got some prior knowledge you can tap on with this. 😉

Contraction Hunt

To hold students accountable and to add some more sensory for memory purposes (brain research strategies about using more senses), I recommend they write them down on a graphic organizer or in a notebook.

Contraction Activity: Scavenger Hunt While Reading


4. Hold your tongue. This really connects to relevancy above too, and it is a good activity for reaching your auditory learners. This is a one day activity that extends across their other activities. For the day, you encourage students to pay attention to how much they actually speak with contractions. When they hear themselves say a contraction, they must “hold their tongue”. Their tongue is actually this freebie bracelet I am providing below. Basically, they hold the tongue on the bracelet when they hear themselves saying a contraction while speaking. If they hear a friend saying a contraction, they can ask their friend to hold their “tongue.” It is a good idea to do this activity on a day where you know your students will be doing some social learning activities throughout the day. If you like, students can write some contractions on the bracelet portion before wearing it.  Click here to snag up the free contraction bracelet activity.

5. Write with contractions. I am all about moving students from foundational knowledge to higher order thinking. Therefore, I think it is always important to require some creativity and application rolled up into one from students. Writing is the perfect opportunity for this. You can write a list of word pairs for students to use and give them some writing prompts (your choice). I recommend students be encouraged to use dialogue containing contractions.

I have a fun writing activity where some boa constrictors have not been forming their contractions around Pet Town and have overtaken the town. Students create a writing piece about this and use contractions in their writing.

contraction blog 3

Writing with Contractions
Scavenging resources for teaching a concept can be daunting at times. I created this unit for teaching contractions that includes the anchor chart, a mini-lesson, the boa contractions, a contraction hunt activity, task cards, interactive notebook/journal options, no prep printables, the writing project, a quick check, and assessments! You can find Contractions: All You Need to Teach It Unit here. (Note: I came up with the string idea from number one after creating this unit, but you can squeeze the idea in there easily with the mini-lesson. All you need is some string, a dry erase marker, and a board.)

How do you like to teach contractions? Feel free to share your ideas for teaching contractions! Also, if you liked these ideas, make sure to sign-up for email on the right! I love sharing ideas, and I have more to come!
Thanks for stopping by the Candy Class!
Candy Class
Jolene 🙂

Teacher Hacks & Organization Inspiration

By | |Classroom Organization & Management|0 Comments

Hi everyone! I wanted to share some organizing inspiration and teacher hacks!

Teacher Hacks and Classroom Organization Inspiration

Teacher Hack and Idea #1

Contrary to what the clear tape people told you, student name plates do not need to be a permanent fixture on a desk. Use some mounting putty and plop those babies on the desk. Little Talks-a-lot not mashing well with the Chatsome Talkettes? You can relocate that student swiftly without a word while you waltz the room teaching that math lesson.

Teacher Hack with Name Plates



Idea #2

Labels make teaching easy. Well, maybe not, lol!  They can’t take away the stress of unscheduled meetings, interrupted planning time, and that student who you love so dearly (ahem…after they move on to the next grade level). But labels do help label away the stress of chaotic basket mash potatoes, so label, label, label.


Joke about labels making teaching easy


Supply label image of Math Cubes

Supply Label Organizing Inspiration

Tip: Simple shoe box containers with lids are really great for storing all those math manipulatives because you can stack them easily on a cheap $20 book shelf. I use the additional space on the side of these containers to stack some plastic pencil cases for things like flash cards.

Classroom Shelf Organized

Idea #3

No more looking like you are running the airport. Use center signs to smooth out transitions.

Teacher Hacks and Organizing Inspiration with Placement Holders for Center Signs

Teacher Hack: Use place holder signs for placing the center signs in their place. Super simple and cheap. I snagged up a box with 8 of these place holders for under $5 with a 40% coupon from a craft store.

Teacher Hacks and Organizing Inspiration with Placement Holders for Center SignsBasic RGB

Idea #5

Your clipboard is your mind. (Ok, now that I am rereading that statement…I am realizing that totally sounds zombie like. Your clipboard is your mind. And I don’t even watch horror movies, lol!) With all due seriousness, my biggest weakness is my memory. It’s not that I forget things. It’s just I don’t think about them at the right time…like the next day I remember. See I remembered. 🙂 I remembered that one student was suppose to go in the car rider line instead of on the bus to after school care…after I put him on the bus (and the parent came in looking for him…but they helped me remember!) I remember that meeting with the superintendent, the next week (after they hand me a pink slip…ok pulling your leg on that one, lol!) But, I do forget way too much! But those things are not forgotten anymore because I realized a long time ago that my clipboard is an extension to my brain.

Clipboard quote for better classroom organization

On my clipboard, I have kept a list of transportation that lists every day of the week for the month. Than, simply check off each student as they line up to make sure everyone is going to the right place on the right day. A to-do list is a clipboard must. A schedule with student rotations comes in handy. Keeping a form for classroom management helps too. With a clipboard doing the hard thinking, it takes away quite a bit of stress and helps even the most forgetful of people (me!) remember. An attendance list is also good to store there and comes in handy for any kind of drill. Keeping the clipboard either in my hands or an arm’s reach away has kept me on tract and well organized.

Clipboard with mode of transportation

Idea #6

Students need to know where the homes are of everything in the classroom, so they can do their part to keep the classroom organized. Keeping a classroom organized has everything to do with training students to use your organization system. Once you got those systems set-up, its just a matter of training them to use your system. Which I have found to actually be easy to do even with even kindergartners, but absolutely impossible to train the people in my house an organization system, haha! But in my sweet husband’s defense, he does do the dishes for me to help me have more time to work on my blog! 😉 The key is to know how you are going to train your students before they come to your classroom at the beginning of the year, and reinforce, reinforce, reinforce that first week. What I have found to work is picture the students coming into the classroom in the morning, hanging up their backpacks, pulling out their homework folders and placing those in the basket near the cubbies, and so on. Visualize how you would like the transitions to go between reading centers and lunch. That way, when those sweeties walk in your classroom, you can start training them the system. It’s amazing how a totally messy classroom (due to center time) can become so clean in a few short minutes….now if only that could happen at home. (By the way, my family was a good sport about my joke about them and are currently cleaning up the house for me. I just like to pick on them, and I am super blessed!)

Quote about classroom organization

Idea #7

Let students help you stay organized and use signs to keep their classroom job roles organized. Students don’t suddenly become responsible adults one day, they grow into responsible adults. A classroom job is like the water that will help that growing happen. By the way to make them even more responsible, you can send them to clean up my house too….just saying ;).

Let students help you stay organized.


Use a classroom job chart with clips that rotate to make management of the jobs easier. You can even have a student rotate the clips for you.

classroom job chart

Tip and dot hack:

As I mentioned, students can move the clips for you. Simply have them remove the bottom clip and place at the top. Than move each clip down one. If there is a job that has more than one student, you can put a sticker dot or mark a dot for each of those spots on the job chart. Students simply put the clips on those dots.

teacher hack for putting a classroom job chart together

Assembly Hack:

Eliminate some of the cutting, by only clipping the jobs you won’t be using from the pages. Keep the rest of the page together. No need to cut it all.  Less cutting will also make it more durable and easier to piece it together. However, maybe you don’t need a chair stacker…so clip that one off the page. Then attach the rest of them together with tape on the back. Laminate them either all together (if using a school laminator) or in paper size sections (home laminator). If you laminated in paper size sections, attach them all together with a stronger tape like duck tape on the back. You want the back to have good support to hold it all together. Attach the top part securely to wherever you will be attaching it, but allow the rest to float down.

classroom organization inspiration

Click here to get to the organizers and decor. 

I hope you found some helpful ideas with the teacher hacks mentioned and some inspiration. Make sure to subscribe to my email to receive more inspiration and ideas in your inbox.

Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class!

new logo 2-01

Jolene 🙂


Building up with Bossy R {Activity Ideas & a Freebie!}

By | |Phonemic Awareness, phonics, Word Work|0 Comments

Bossy R Activities and Ideas

Hi everyone! Today, I wanted to discuss good old Bossy R and how to build up from phonemic awareness to higher order thinking. Of course, it will incorporate some activities and include a freebie.

I like to set foundations and build up when it comes to mastering phonics skills. I have these levels I like to use. First is identification, then isolation, blending, segmenting, addition (adding sounds together), and substitution. Once students get those foundations set, then they are well prepared to spell the words, read the words, and write with the words. Now if you are saying, say what to all that, I actually have broken down each area below and put some suggested activities with each. With many of the areas, some phonemic awareness activities can be used during carpet time or in small groups. However, I have included some actual phonics ideas with each area too.

1. Identify Bossy R. Here students are learning to identify words that contain those r-controlled vowels. This typically involves distinguishing between words that contain bossy r and those that don’t.

Identifying Activity #1: For a phonemic awareness activity, you can simply name words. Students can point their bossy fingers if the words contain an r-controlled phoneme.

bossy r blog 2

Identifying Activity #2: Sort words. Students can sort words that contain bossy r, and those that do not.

bossy r blog 28

2. Isolate Bossy R. Here students isolate or locate where the bossy r sound is in the word.

Isolating Activity #1: Where it is. You can place out just about anything for this activity, counters, traditional box frame, and TOYS!!! You say a word and students tap if the r-controlled vowel is in the beginning, middle, or end of the word.
Isolating Activity #2: Isolate with a shark toy. Snag up a shark picture or toy from somewhere for some extra fun! This is very similar to the Where it is activity, only anything with a shark deserves its own activity number, right? 😉 Students simply tap where the r-controlled vowel sound is located. Is it in the beginning? Tap the shark’s head. Is it in the middle? Tap the shark’s body. Is it at the end? Tap the shark’s tail.

bossy r blog 3


Isolating Activity #3: Students show the isolated sounds by writing the phonemes where it belongs.
bossy r blog 26

3. Blend Bossy R. Here students take the individual sounds and put it all together. Getting students to blend the words fluently for reading is the goal.

Blending Activity #1: Blend the letters. You can write some words on some index cards and let students practice blending the words in small groups or as a center activity.

bossy r blog 4

Blending Activity #2: Roll a word. You write the phonemes on some dice that have the dry erase option, create cards to fit in some dice with the sleeves, or put some stickers with the phonemes on some foam dice. I recommend including not only basic consonants and bossy r, but also some digraphs and blends. Students roll the dice and blend away. You can even put a game twist on it with them trying to make the most real words.

Blending Activity #3: Show your blending. Let them show you their blending on paper with activities that require them to connect words to pictures. You could even have them illustrate what the words on a separate sheet.

bossy r blog 27

Click here to link to this resource.

4. Segment Bossy R. Here students break apart words that contain bossy r. An example is the word surf. S-ur-f. This is different from isolating the sounds because here students are dealing with each sound in the word, instead of only isolating the r-controlled vowel.

Segmenting Activity #1: Break apart bossy r words. For a phonemic awareness activity, students can hold invisible hammers or toy hammers. They can break apart each phoneme in the words by pounding out each sound.

bossy r blog 5


Segmenting Activity #2: Segmenting in the box. You can actually do a simple phonemic activity with this. Say a word. Students point to each box as they say each segmented sound.

Segmenting Activity #3: Isolate in the boxes (phonics style). Students segment the word by writing the phonemes in the boxes.

bossy r blog 25

5. Add the phonemes (or graphemes) together. Here additional phonemes (or graphemes) are added.

Adding Activity #1: When art becomes a cart. Say some words and have students add an additional phoneme. Example: What word would you have if you added “c” to art? Cart. What word would you have if you added “s’ to tar? Star. What word would you have if you added “sh” to ark? Shark.

bossy r blog 6

Adding Activity #2: Word adding. Students add the graphemes together to form the words.

bossy r blog 24

6. Sub Bossy R. Here students play around with the words by subbing phonemes in the word for other phonemes.

Subbing Activity #1: Turning sharks into parks. Say some words and have students sub one of the phonemes for another phoneme. Example: If you take the word, shark, and change “sh” to “p,” what do you get? Park. If I take the word, torn, and change “th” to “t,” what do I get? Thorn.

bossy r blog 7

Subbing Activity #2: Word Munching.  Have students munch off the phoneme and add a different letter on top to form a new word.

bossy r blog 23

7. Moving Up to Spelling with R-Controlled Vowels. I like to incorporate spelling too. I think it important students have time to develop some phonemic awareness and phonics skills with the words before they are expected to memorize a bunch of spelling words though. After all, they can’t memorize every word in the world that contains an r-controlled vowel off a spelling list!

Spelling Activity #1: Build the words. Students can use letter manipulatives to build the words.

bossy r blog 9

Spelling Activity #2: Crossword Puzzles. You can use one of the free crossword building sites out there to create some crossword puzzles.

bossy r blog 22

8. Comprehending Words with Bossy R. It’s important that students read r-controlled vowel words within context.

bossy r blog 10

Comprehending Activity: Students can identify words they see with the r-controlled vowels in books or passages they read.

bossy r blog 20

Click here to link to this resource.

9. Incorporating Higher-Order Thinking with Bossy R Words. I believe it is important to push the boundaries of simple identification and application to synthesis and creativity. Ok, say what? It’s important to push them up on that Bloom’s Taxonomy aka use their brains!

Higher-order thinking Activity: Have students use a list of bossy r words to write a fun, short story.

bossy r blog 21

Click here to link to this resource. 

Here is some organization inspiration. This is my organized binder of printables. This is actually from my diphthong no prepset, but they are set-up the same with the same activities. I have these broken into different sections with the section dividers I created and include in the resource. It is so nice to have them all pulled together like this. Easy to find, and makes differentiating instruction easy too. 🙂

Click here to link to the no prep printable pack.

Here is a link to the free sample!

I hope I inspired you with many ideas for teaching those r-controlled vowels! Make sure to get on my email list for some more inspiring ideas right to your box!

Thanks for stopping by the Candy Class!

new logo 2-01

Jolene 🙂

An Organized School Year

By | |Uncategorized|0 Comments

Organized Year 3

As I am wrapping up the school year, I’ve come to the realization that one thing I could have done better to make my year easier is be more organized. Sure, I survived off of checklists and sticky notes, but I really slacked this year with organization. BAD.

I depended on my dear friend memory too much, and well, she failed me!

Organized Year 2
Next school year, I am vouching to be better organized. I want a paper for all the important details.

And I don’t want it to look like a mount of paper chaos mess! I want cute binders to keep them in.

Have an Organized School with a Cute Teacher Binder

I also want to utilize technology more with keeping organized. I created these digital planners that can be used on a tablet!  (But I also made some editable printable ones in Powerpoint too.) I am super enthused for this. Hello, copy and paste for quicker lesson planning! Especially, if you work for one of those districts that makes you write a 10 page spread every week. Yup, I have been there! I still got papers. But when I need to reference my lesson plans, I don’t want to flip through smudgy sheets with wrinkled edges and lots scribble scratch! I want to go swipe, swipe, select as I stand there looking all tech nerdy and slightly ingenious. Joking on the how I look part haha! Honestly, I could care less about that, lol! What I do want is an easier organization system, and honestly, swiping on a tablet to reference my lesson plans is a smoother transition for me.

Yes, I will still have my dear old friend, teacher binder because sometimes I still need good old paper.  I got the standard things. Schedules. Check. Lesson Plans. Check. Calendars. Check. I’ve also added a yearly overview and peek at my week to have for quick references this year. Dear old paper has not become extinct for me quiet yet, but it may in the future as I get more use to being a paperless diva. 🙂

I am also a clipboard gal too.  A long time ago, I had a mishap where a child was suppose to go with the car riders, and I sent him to after school care (that involved a bus) that day (which is where he normally went except for that one day a week as a car rider.) After being hugely embarrassed and apologetic to the mom (who was very understanding), I vowed to myself, I would never let that happen again…and I did not. I put a mode of transportation with a daily checklist on my to do list, and every day the children were sent where they were suppose to go because I checked it off as I lined them all up in different lines. One line was for car riders, one for after school care, and so on. Attendance is also another must on a clipboard. If there is fire drill, the clip board is already there in my hands most of the time or just an arm reach away.

Organized Year 1B


Here is a video showing some of the forms I have created for improving classroom management. I also have daily forms that work well on a clipboard that I can check off.

You can find the teacher binder here.

The main thing is I want an easier organization system that is going to fit me. I am like a hybrid digital woman. I come from the age where we wrote our essays on paper, and I only first used the internet as a senior in high school. I was in my 20s when I first got internet in my home, so my mind still thinks somewhat better on paper with certain tasks, but sometimes I think better with utilizing some digital tools with it. So this year, this hybrid system is just what I need to stay organized the best. And most of all, I simply need an organization system that is going to help me keep my sanity.

Are you more a paper or a digital planner?

Organized Year 5

I would love to have a conversation about this in the comments below. Share your stories, please!

Getting Started with Using Google Apps in the Classroom: A Round Up of Links

By | |Uncategorized|0 Comments

google classroom blogpost

 Hi everyone! I have set-up this blogpost to be a source for those who want to use Google™apps within their walls, but don’t know where to look to get started.

Now I really recommend you get with your tech department to set it up, but I have provided some links to some helpful tutorials below that will help you with using the resource. Your school will need to sign-up for it for you to have access to Classroom by Google. It is free though! However, currently, only non-profit educational institutions can use it, and I recommend that you have that set-up ahead of time before purchasing one of my resources that are compatible with it.

Google has this Classroom 101 video that you should definitely check-out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K26iyyQMp_g

This post from History from the Middle includes some step-by-step pictures of setting up and giving students assignments in Google Classroom:

Here is another one about Classroom and setting it up from Adventures in ISTEM:

This post has a video that shows you how to give an assignment. It also shows you how to make a copy for a student. This is important because you definitely don’t want your student editing your original file. I highly recommend you check out this video from Tools for Teachers from Laurah J.

This post from Chalk & Apples has some helpful tips for using the Google Classroom resource in your class and includes some lessons they learned the hard way, so you don’t have to do that!

This post from What’s New with Leah includes some troubleshooting tips.

This post from Secondgradealicious had some tips on passwords with younger learners.

This post from The Darling English Teacher includes some good points of why you should go digital:

Still want some more reasons to go digital? Check out this blog post by What’s New with Leah:

I hope these posts I found for you help you out a bunch! This certainly is not the full list of tutorials out there, and if you have questions, I encourage you to google it because you will be able to find access to tutorials that have images posted to help guide you through it more easily.

Thanks for stopping by the Candy Class!

Jolene 🙂

PS. Note, I am not affiliated or associated with Google™ or any product from them. Nor do they endorse this post. This is simply an informational post with link resources to help you in your digital teaching journey.

Teaching Ideas for Place Value & Two Freebies

By | |Math, Place Value|0 Comments

Hi everyone! I want to share some tips about learning place value. Having a deep root in understanding place value plays such an important role in grasping math. This post is geared for teaching place value in first grade, but I put in some ideas for 3-4 digit number too. That way, second and third grade teachers can have some take aways, along with those wanting some ideas to challenge some advanced first graders.
Tip #1: Let students show numbers with 10-blocks and 1-blocks. This will help them to understand that the tens place stands for a group of tens. (For second or third grade, add in numbers with the hundreds place and 100-block.) One idea is to have students draw numbers and show those numbers with the blocks.
Jan212016_0989 copy
Jan212016_0999 copy
Jan212016_1001 copy
(Please excuse the card, it is the wrong one. It should say 65. Each cup has a group of 10 bears.)
Jan212016_1007 copy
Tip #2: Break apart numbers by identifying how many tens and ones. (For second or third grade, have students identify how many hundreds, tens, and ones.) Students can draw a card and write it out on a sheet of paper.
Tip #3: Have students roll or spin a number for each place and merge it into a number. While regular dice only go to 6, you can still have students roll out some numbers. Have students identify the place value of each number and then write the number. (Sorry, no picture for the dice right now. I am hoping to have a dice picture later for this idea. I decided I wanted to use jumbo dice, so I need to go buy some for the picture when I get time).
Tip #4: Give students opportunity to show numbers in expanded form. Students can draw number cards and write out the number in expanded form.


Tip #5: Have students solve mystery number problems. I like this concept because it taps into some more critical thinking skills when students have to do things like figure out a number between 22 and 31 that has a five in the ones place.
Tip #6: Incorporate money with place value learning. Think about it dollar bills are the 100’s place. Dimes are the 10’s place. Pennies are the 1’s place. Students can count the money and identify how many tens and ones.
Tip #7: Count by tens in various forms. Give students plenty of opportunity to count by groups of ten with ten frames, number cards, hundred charts, and whatever else you can dream up. Let them not only tell you how many total, but how many groups of ten.
Tip #8: Compare numbers. Let students compare a mix of numbers. Have them compare numbers that depend on looking at the tens place to determine the bigger number. Have them compare numbers that depend on the ones place. For second and third grade, have them compare numbers that depend on the hundreds place. For an activity, students can draw two cards. Have them write the first number they draw first and the second number they draw second. Then have them use the comparison symbols to show greater than or less than.
Tip #9: Order numbers from either greater to lesser or from lesser to greater. You can have students draw five cards. Let them place the cards in order from lesser to greater or vice versa. Students can record this on a sheet of paper.
Tip #10: Let students work with concepts of one more, one less, ten more, and ten less. (For second and third grade, throw in concepts of a hundred more and a hundred less.) The concept of more than and less than can be tricky to some young learners, so I can’t recommend extra practice with this concept enough. Let students draw a number card. Then let them write ten more or less than as a number sentence. Let them do this for the ones place too. (Hundreds or even thousands place for second, third, and students who need more of a challenge.)
A tip for differentiating for first grade: I like to differentiate by providing students who are emerging with numbers that deal with up to 20 at first. Once they get a footing with that, they can move up to numbers up to 30 or beyond. Of course, you want them working with numbers up to a hundred in first grade, but it’s good to scaffold to get them to where they need to be with their understanding of place value. If they are struggling, breaking it down to lower numbers helps them to grasp that foundational understanding.
place value printables cover update

If you are wondering where all those fun no prep printables come from, they come from my Place Value No Prep for First Grade resource. Snag it here by clicking on the picture or by clicking here or on the picture.

place value freebieplace value freebie second
I have created two resources for FREE with the number cards and posted them over in my TPT store. Snag them by clicking here for the first grade one and here for the 3-4 digit number one. You can also click on the pictures to link to them.
                                                                          Thanks you so much for stopping by the Candy Class!
new logo 2-01Jolene 🙂

Prefix Thanksgiving Turkey Craft Freebie

By | |Uncategorized|0 Comments

Hi everyone! Tis’ the season to be thankful. One thing I am incredibly grateful for is the ability to share my talents with so many educators from all over. I am sharing this Thanksgiving Turkey turkey craft as a way to say thank you to everyone! I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving full of contentment and thankfulness. This freebie incorporates the prefix re-, and it is NO PREP! Gobble! Gobble! Woo! Hoo!

Click on the turkey picture or here to link to the freebie in my TPT store. I have some more crafty freebies planned, so make sure to sign-up for email on the right to know when I post something new.

new logo 2-01
Jolene 🙂


Improving Math Facts Fluency

By | |Math, Math Fluency|12 Comments

Fluency with math facts is an important skill. No doubt. Yes, students should have lots of opportunities to gain firm understanding of the thinking behind these simple math equations. Don’t stash those counters just yet! However, those fifth and sixth-grade teachers impart some wisdom to us. They know first hand that having a student count on their hands to solve more complicated math equations causes problems with learning math. Therefore, it is important that first and second graders blast their math fluency after they get that firm foundation with the addition and subtraction “thinking”.

Activities and ideas for mastering math facts fluency with addition and subtraction facts.

What are some ways to build math fluency?

Exposure. Students will naturally build some fluency with those hands-on experiences. Think addition fact games and other fun math center ideas. Utilizing computer games help too. However, do they memorize all of them this way? Some students at most. However, chances are, most will not. They need something to fill in the gaps.

Math fact cards with timers are a good way to make sure students do not have gaps in their fluency. It is a tried and true concept. This activity should not be stand alone though. There needs to be some other things in place to motivate and engage students more with this activity. (More about that below.)

On a side note, it is fun to add color to the cards. I actually had fun playing with my camera with these.

Being able to say the facts in a minute and write them in a minute is two different skills. That is why it is good to have a timed writing activity. Laminate them, and they can be reused over and over. It is also good for students to be able to self-correct these problems in some way. Tracking their progress through the week is also a good idea.

All these activities can fit in a basket for a math center. You could even have different baskets to differentiate instruction.

Differentiation can happen with these folders too. Students can work on different sets of facts with little effort on your part. It makes it easy for students to know what facts to work on at the center by providing a sheet that shows them this information.

Speed tests assess fluency. You can actually get away with having students test on different fact sets at the same time. It literally only takes a minute to give this test!

Make progress tracking part of the motivation. Adding a fun space theme allows students to soar around the galaxy, and they are learning the names of planets while they are at it.

When some students are not making adequate progress, it is important to add some more TLC to them with some intervention. Some one-on-one time with either you, a parent or a guardian is recommended. You could also send some fact cards home with them too if desired.

When a student completes their tour of the math facts galaxy, celebrate their success! Of course, let them know about their mission and the rewards that await them before you blast into space! This will drive up motivation and keep them engaged along the way. For struggling students, you can always change the time given for assessments or set different goals for them to reach, so every student can feel successful with their progress!

I like to add some fun crafts to the celebration. Rocket glasses and rocket crowns make the celebration extra fun!

Photo props are like the cherry on top. Have them strike a pose, and you can display the pics on a bulletin board. Since I went with a space theme, I created this space mask to go with it.

Of course, having a certificate that states their mission is complete and declaring them an official “Galactic Math Fact Zoomer” is always a good way to motivate students too.

Blast Math Facts Fluency! Click here or the image below to link the addition and subtraction one.  This covers sums and minuends up to 20, and there is a second set that covers sums and minuends up to 24 included at no extra cost too!

PS. Anything with a colored option in the set has a lined option, except the center signs. You can click on the two images above to link to the resource or click here.

Please note, due to many requests, I now offer a multiplication and division version of this too!

Additionally, I received many requests for one geared for kindergarten, so I got busy!
This set covers kindergarten math facts fluency for addition and subtraction facts within 5 and 10
Click on the picture or here to link to the Kindergarten Math Fact Bundle.
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Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas
Jolene 🙂