Saturday, April 27, 2013

First Friday Flashback & a Birthday GIVEAWAY!

This is the first time I am linking up with Teaching Maddeness for a Friday Flashback!  I just have a couple of great things to share from this week...

First, about a month ago, when I was looking through old files for something else, I came upon an oldie-but-goodie measurement activity that had been misfiled.  It was a measurement activity from AIMS Education Foundation (dated 1986) that I used AGES ago when I was student teaching.  How could I have forgotten about this one? Easy--out of site, out of mind! Anyway, I immediately said to myself, This is perfect for my second graders!  As I was looking through the activity, I noticed a note that I had made that read, "adapted for inches".  Well, where was the adaptation I did? Nowhere to be found!  SO I decided to get to work...  Halfway through my work, I thought to myself, I wonder if AIMS Education still has this activity?  SO I searched for it on the internet, and there it was! It was still designed for use with centimeters, so I continued my work.  Although, I still purchase the updated version from their website for $2 (does not include the class graph as in the original version).  Please email me if you are interested in my adapted version using inches.

The activity?

Are You a Square?

The gist: Students measure their height and arms span and compare the measurements to determine if they are a square (height=arm span), tall rectangle (height > arms span), or wide rectangle (arm span > height).  Then each student graphs his or her individual results.  Finally, a class graph is made and evaluated.

I had students work as partners.  To make it possible for students to yield more accurate measurements, I asked one student to lay on the floor while the other marked his/her height/arms span on the floor using a dry erase marker.  Then pairs worked together to measure on the flat surface.  This worked well!

Students really enjoyed this activity because they got to measure THEMSELVES and learned something about themselves.  Students were also amazed to find out that so many kids were tall rectangles.  AND the activity also meets Measurement and Data Common Core Standards for Mathematics.

Secondly, I wanted to share a fabulous find that my students got to begin using this week.  It's a word game called Word Winder. I was recently at a conference, and one of the vendors was the creator of this game, David L. Hoyt.  I immediately saw the benefit of the game for kids of all ages.  I played it with my husband, and it is great fun!

The object of the game is to make a continuous path from one side of the game board to the other, winding words along the way.  The letters of each word must touch in sequence, but can go in numerous directions.  

I introduced the game to students a week or so ago, and they got to begin playing this week. Benefiits of the game:
  • automatically differentiating, as students make words within their capability--some make shorter words and others longer
  • encourages strategy as students can block one another and force the other player to continue his/her path in a different direction
  • one game is never exactly the same as another as the 16 game board pieces are two-sided and can be arranged in many ways
  • provides an unpredictable word work activity for students
  • it's FUN!

 There is also a book that is great to provide as a word work choice as well.

Last, since today is my birthday, I am posting the very first giveaway on our blog!  I did a previous post about a vocabulator/word builder that I made, and I would like to give one away!  You choose the words, I make it and ship it out to you!! It will be a star version like the one pictured in the post, and will contain multi-colored dyed rice.  It will look just like the one shown, but it will be customized for YOU!  This is my first time using Rafflecopter, so I hope this works!  Enter for your chance to win below...

Don't forget to fly on over to Teaching Maddeness to read about some fabulous Friday Flashbacks! Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. What fun activities! My kids love doing anything that is "different!" Thanks for sharing.

    Hunter's Tales from Teaching

  2. Fun measurement activity! The Word Winder game looks fun too!

    1. Yes, it is great fun! If you would like the adapted inch version, let me know... :0)

      All the best--

  3. First off, Happy Birthday!!! I love the Word Winder game! Must get that for myself and see about it working for my firsties... I am sure some could do it at this time of year! And I like the measurement activity!

    I am also a follower of yours now, too! And look forward to keeping up with you and seeing what you do in your fab classroom!!

    First Grade and Flip Flops

  4. Thank you! Glad to have you as a follower! I really enjoyed the blog hop yesterday... :0)

    Take care--

  5. Oh I love this idea! We are currently working on measurement conversions so I could definitely incorporate this into our lessons. Thanks for the idea!

    Your newest follower,
    easy peasy education