Thursday, June 20, 2013

Bloggy Good News?? AND Throwback Thursday Linky

This Google Reader shutdown & blogloving crossover has got everyone in a tizzy, for sure!

I've been trying to do some research about it all, and this is what I have found...before we get to the whole business of actually blogging!
1 - (May be true) You MAY NOT lose your Goggle Friend Connect Follower number> Google is closing down Google Reader, but your follower number MAY remain with GFC.  Rumor has it, anyway.
2 - (True)  Bloglovin' IS working on allowing you to see all of your followers, rather than just the last 20 and having the rest be anonymous. YAY! Should be soon, according to the admin of bloglovin.
3 - (True)  Bloglovin' IS currently working on adding an education category because they have seen such an "influx of new bloggers" in the last week. Go us!

Ok, now to some bloggin!
The amazing Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade is hosting a super fun Throwback Thursday linky.

Basically, you did back into your old posts and REpost an oldie, but goodie from the archives.  Since I've only been blogging for less than a year (ALMOST a year...eek!), I decided to go with one of my most popular posts on Pinterest. Hey,  I needed something to give me an idea of what to pick & that helped.  :)

I posted this back in September, but my kids kept asking for us to do it again and again throughout the year when we were reviewing. Winning! :)

Here you go.... Pool Noodles, Wonka Bars & Place Value
I am so excited to share what we have been doing with place value. This concept is always a killer for my little first graders, so I was so happy to find some new resources and even MORE happy that they have been a super success!

See, my kids always get the "rote memorization" part of place value in knowing the tens and ones place, etc.. but the truth that they don't actually GET it always rears its ugly head.  With such a huge emphasis on place value with the common core, I wanted to try some fun and new things & it was awesome! :)

First, I came across this fabulous & fun idea from Mr. Smith at  If you have never watched his videos, he is HILARIOUS & I just wish I had him as my first grade teacher . . . or any grade level teacher for that matter.  Truthfully, I just wish we were friends ~ he makes me laugh in every video.

Anyway, I tend to get distracted . . . sorry!  Here is the video that started it all :
So, I went to the Dollar Tree & bought TEN pool noodles.  The green ones were cut in 1/2 for "tens" and the blue ones were cut into pieces to make the "ones".

I called the class to the carpet for whole group & we sat in a circle. Each kid picked a number & I wrote it on a white board. Then, they had to make the # using the noodle tens & ones.  They went NUTS!!  Seriously, the kids had a blast.

And not one single kid turned their noodle into a light saber, sword, or stick. SUCCESS!

Then, another from Teacher Tipster, I came in one morning wearing a soldier's hat & we "did" this song :)
I have to admit, Mr. Smith does it WAY better than I did, but you know first graders, they ate it up!  It's amazing how funny they think you are when you act so silly.

We have to use the Learning Focused E.A.T.S format for our lessons, so this was the A - Activator :)

Then, we cut up straws to be kinda like our pool noodle game & the kids had to make their own numbers and glue them down.

Throughout the week, we used a lot of different manipulatives to build numbers & reinforce the concept.

Then, the last thing we did was Willy Wonka Bar Place Value.  When I say the kids LOVED this, I promise you it's an understatement.  I got this idea from Katie at I Want to be a Super Teacher. She teaches 3rd grade ( I think?) so I had to level it down just a bit. 

I told the kids that today they were going to be working in a candy factory just like Willy Wonka's. Each table was given a stack of brown "ones" or chocolate candies.  Because they work in a factory, they had to stamp each candy with a "W" for Wonka (or my last name . . . they liked that part). I played the Oompa Loompa music (on repeat for about 10 minutes) and the kids had to stamp (write) on each candy.  When the time was up, they had all their candies (ones) on their desk & each kid had a different amount. YouTube has just the song on their website.

(yay for my Promethean Board!)

Then, I explained that our job at the factory was to make candy bars.  Each bar was made up of TEN candies.

I put sentence strips on each table & of different colors .  Orange  = peanut butter & chocolate bars. Green = mint chocolate chip.  Yellow = lemon chocolate (eww! their idea). And, pink = strawberry chocolate bars (again, eww).

They knew they could only put TEN candies on each bar because all the candy bars have to be the same size, just like the ones we buy at the store.  When they had used up all their candies, the "ones" we have left couldn't be glued down, but would be sold as "candies".  I put the song back on ( they were so cute singing "Oompa loompa...dippity dooooo....") & they went to work!

 I walked around and acted like their boss, which they thought was funny. One kid said "keep working! We don't wanna get fired!".  Which is funny, but maybe not?! Hmm. . . Anyway . . .
Then, the kids had to make a "poster" that would go in a window of the store to show what they had to sell. It's not much, but I made it on the fly & it worked for this.  I stapled their candy bars & their candies to their poster & we hung them in the hallway under our "Wonka Store" front :)

The kids had so much fun & I just loved all the ideas I found on the blogs.  I hope you enjoyed our unit & you check out Teacher Tipster & I Want to be a Super Teacher.  :)

Schwoo...that was a long one, but seriously, the kids did AMAZINGly with it & because I started the year off with some heavy emphasis on place value, I had more kids "get it" than ever!

Anyway, hope you're having a happy summer day! As always, thanks for stopping by :)


  1. OMG Kelly! How have we not seen the pool noodles for tens and ones?! We love this! Bet your kiddos did too. Great idea and thanks for sharing!

    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

  2. What a great idea!!! I love this hands on approach. I will have to try this in the future. I am your newest follower.

    A Basket Full of Apples

  3. I.LOVE.THIS!!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Amazing idea!

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I love Kindergarten

  4. Aren't your kiddos lucky to have such a fun and creative teacher?!? Love all these fun ideas.
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  5. I love the pool noodles and straws for tens and ones. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing...I'm a new follower :)

    Carolina Teacher

  6. How did I miss this wonderful idea? I am off to the dollar store to find pool noodles. Thanks for re-sharing this post!
    Still Teaching After All These Years

  7. I made these today and linked back to you on my blog! LOVE this idea so much!

  8. What can I add? Brilliant post, inspiring stuff...can't ait to try them. and I'd love to be in your class. Just about to become a follower.

    With thanks
    Julie :-)
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

  9. Kelly thank you so much for the information about the bloglovin thing. It was very helpful, especially to a new blogger like me when everything is all a little confusing at first! I just love your blog. Also, thanks for following me!


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