Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Money From Around the World

This month, my class is learning about money and banks.  Our standards are American, so they require us to teach the kids to recognize and count American coins (even though we live in Morocco and use dirhams to buy things), so we have spent lots of times on American coins (here’s a post on how I’m teaching American Money in Morocco), and we have also looked at Moroccan dirhams.  However, we have also spent a lot of time looking at other coins from other countries.  I am blessed to have families who have traveled or lived in lots of different countries (United Arab Emirates, Spain, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Republic of Congo, Libya, Kuwait, the Philippines etc.).


These families happily sent in money for my class to view, and so we have been keeping track of all the different money we have looked at.  We are recording: the country, the color, the images on the front and back and whether it was coin or paper.  We also recorded if there were numbers on the coins – as American coins do not have numbers, making them increasingly hard to count.  (I’m smiling to myself, because I know that many of you just pulled out a coin to check me on that!)  I know that many students don’t have access to this type of experience, so I have been taking pictures of the money that has come in.  Please feel free to share with your class!

Paper Money from the Democratic Republic of Congo



Paper Money from Tunisia



Paper Money from Libya

100_6398  100_6399


Paper and Coin Money from the Republic of the Congo




Coins from all over!!





Monday, January 30, 2012

Lots of Literacy Games!!!

If you’ve seen my Friday Game Night Posts, you know how much of a game-aholic I am! So for the next few weeks, I’m going to highlight just some of the games I love in my Top 10 posts. Last week, we looked at games to use in math.  This week, we’re going to look at the Top 10 Board Games to use in Grammar and Writing Lessons and Literacy Centers. Often, I will introduce a game in Small Group Writing or Guided Reading, as a way to get students interested in a topic, and then put the same game into Literacy Centers to reinforce the topic in a more independent setting.

10. Upwords – I love using Upwords when I am teaching word families or talking about vowel substitutions.  It’s such an easy way to show how changing one letter can change the whole word.

9. Chutes and LaddersThe game board on Chutes & Ladders is an inspiration to me!  There are so many cute “picture” stories on it.  I love to pull it out in guided reading when we are talking about inferences or guided writing when we are talking about describing and creating a picture with words.

8. BoggleBoggle is the ultimate word game!  I love seeing kids look at all those random letters and then see the words just start coming.  It’s a great, easy center.  As an extension, I like to have kids take the words they found and make a story out of them.

7. Very Silly Sentences – Whenever I’m ready to start talking about parts of speech, Very Silly Sentences is the go-to game.  The color coded cards are such an easy way to talk about where each part of speech goes in a sentence and why each sentence needs all these parts of speech.

6. Taboo – Do you get sick of hearing those same tired words in your student’s writing?  In order to show kids that they can say something, without saying those words, I love to pull out the game Taboo.  It gets students in the frame of mind, to say “Hey, I can say that in lots of different ways!”  After playing, we will make a list of words that are “Taboo” in our writing!

5.  Scategories Jr. – Whether you are teaching or reviewing beginning consonant sounds, Scategories Jr. is a great way to have fun doing it.  It’s easy to modify this game and play it with your whole class, or just that one group that needs a little more time!  Then, send it to centers for a good regular reinforcement.

4. Pictionary – I know it sounds counter-intuitive to put a game with no words into a Guided Writing lesson, but Pictionary is a great way to get kids thinking about what needs to go into a story.  If it’s in the picture that’s needed to describe the topic, then when we write, it should be in the words too!

3.  Apples to Apples – Students have the hardest time explaining their answers in reading and writing!  Apples to Apples gives them the chance to justify their answers, by explaining how it could be that volcanoes would fit into the category of “juicy things”.  Good for categories and persuasive writing.

2.  Rory’s Story Cubes – The easies brainstorming activity ever!  Rory’s Story Cubes
stop the “I don’t know what to write about” complaints real quick.  Let your kids roll the dice and use the picture to get writing!  
1.  You Gotta Be Kidding – I have the adult version of this too – Would You Rather – which I use with older kids.  You Gotta be Kidding is a great way to start talking about persuasive writing.  Kids get to persuade their friends why they should also believe that “it’d be better to eat worms than bettles” and other truly gross things!

Click HERE for more Top 10 Lists.