Monday, July 30, 2012

Guest Blogger: Two GREAT Freebies!

Before my wonderful guest blogger begins below, I'd like to point out that Krista is MY VERY FIRST Guest Blogger! I am so excited to have her and you are going to love reading her post! I know I did.... :)

Hi everyone! I am super excited to be a guest blogger for Marie and share some great {Freebies} and ideas with you. Marie has been so sweet in welcoming me to the bloggy world and I was so happy when she invited me to be a guest on her fabulous blog!
Here’s Me J

My name is Krista Wallden and you can find me over at my blog, The Creative Chalkboard I taught first grade last year and I’m moving to third grade this coming year. My blog is a mix of all things elementary with lots of ideas that can be used in different grade levels. Throw in my Creative Clips digital clipart, fonts, and a touch of crazy and you have The Creative Chalkboard J.
I couldn’t decide on just one freebie or idea to share with you today, so I’m throwing out {TWO} freebies for you- one literacy idea and one math.
First up: Response Lollipops. If you’re anything like me, you can never have too many sweets and tasty treats in the classroom. However, seeing as how a constant student sugar high is a bit of a teaching obstacle, I like to put a sweet twist on my classroom materials whenever I can. SoI give youResponse Lollipops- not the lickable kind, but so sweet all the same.

I came up with these little lollys for my firsties that were struggling with long and short vowel sounds. I needed a quick way to assess their understanding during my phonics mini lessons in reading groups. The best part, they are super easy to make and the kids LOVE them. To make them, all you need is to print out the two sides of the lollipop {long and short} from my freebie and glue them back-to-back on the tongue compressor size stick. Give each student a response lollipop. I would say a word and then give students a few seconds to listen to it and they would repeat it. Then I would say “Lollipops Up!” the students would show me “long” or “short” on their lollipops depending on the vowel sound. My kiddos took this very seriously and made up rules that their lollipops had to be very still on the table before I said the word and they had to look straight ahead so no peeking at their neighbors’ lollys J. It is a super easy, super quick check for student understanding or practice. I even had early finishers asking if they could use the lollipops with a partner and they would try and stump each other.
If you would like to add a dose of sugar to your small group instruction, snatch up these lollipops here with this easy to make {Freebie}.
**Note- To make this idea a bit more versatile, I have also included Response Lollipop template sets for “True/False” “Yes/No” and a blank one. Choose your type!

Movin on to Math! I love teaching math and I’m always trying to think of new ways to practice basic math facts but get my kiddos thinking a little harder. One activity my kids love is Boggle Math Boards. I have a seen a few different versions of this, but made my own set because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted.
Here are two sizes of Boggle Math Boards that I use:

It’s a simple set up, but can be used in a TON of ways. With these Boggle Math Boards, instead of making words with neighboring letters, students make up number sentences with neighboring numbers (any box that is touching by a side or a corner).
For example, on the board on the top, students might find “2+2=4” “10-6=4” or “7-6=1.” There are tons more, but those are just a few. This activity really gets kiddos thinking about number relationships and recognizing them quickly.
The great thing about these boards is that they are an easy way to differentiate instruction because the difficulty is really determined by the relationships your students can find or are learning. The boards shown above could also be used for older students practicing multiplication (4x2=8) or longer number sentences like “6+4-2=8). The only rule is that the numbers have to be touching in SOME way, but the length, function and order of the number sentences have not limits. Get it?
I would introduce these boards whole group until students really get a grasp on how to piece together the number sentences, but it could easily be moved to a partner or independent center during math Workshop. My kiddos really enjoyed just talking about the numbers on the boards too. We talked about greater than and less than with numbers side-by-side, we would put the numbers in one specific row in order from greatest to least, etc. The possibilities are endless!
One reason why I made up my own sets of boards was to position the numbers in specific ways that lend themselves to more number sentence combinations. This keeps the kiddos engaged longer with one board. I am throwing out a HUGE freebie to all of Marie’s fabulous followers with my Boggle Math Board Mega Pack! This pack has 20 ready-to-go Math Boards with two different levels (the 3X3 and the 4X4). Also included are blank boards for you to create your own and cute recording sheets to monitor your kiddos’ understanding. Just laminate copies of the boards and students can reuse them J.
Grab your Boggle Math Pack for {FREE} at my TpT store for TODAY and TOMORROW! After that, it goes back on sale for just $4.00. So hurry on over and snatch it up while you canJ
Just click the picture above to go see this packet! 
Have I overloaded you yet? I don’t know if Marie knew what she was in for when she asked me to guest blog, but I’m so glad she did!
Thanks for reading! Please come visit me over at The Creative Chalkboard- I’d love to hear from you! A super big thanks to Marie for letting me guest on her blog and being such a kind blog friend to a beginning blogger J.
Krista J


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Love these items. Thanks so much for sharing these. I hopped over and became your newest follower Krista.

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

    1. I'm so glad! Thanks for checking out my blog :)

  3. Love your response lollipops!
    I am a new follower of your blog Krista!


    Miss Elementary

  4. Hi Marie!
    I know you've gotten this award already, but I wanted to give it to you again!!! I just love your blog!


  5. Thanks again Marie for letting me guest on your blog! It was so much fun to hear from some of your followers over at my blog :)


I love reading your comments! :)

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