Monday, October 24, 2011

Fact Family Spiders

Looks like I'm finding out the hard way that blogging about teaching is somewhat hard to keep up with when you're actually teaching - it's been over a month since my last post! In these past few weeks I've finished up with all my parent/teacher conferences, I've had a few days away from school (and no I don't mean days off - I wish!), and I've had several projects going on at home that have kept me very busy. I still want to show y'all my classroom and share how I stay organized, but until then, I thought I'd show y'all a super cute idea I came up with on a whim when trying to figure out a fun way to incorporate our fact family lesson with something Halloween-ish.

At first, I was toying around with the idea of students writing their facts on to strips that would fill in the bristles of a witch's broom, but then I thought that would take too long and/or be too complicated. Then, I thought about trying to figure out a way to make a haunted house with opening doors/windows that, on the outside, would display the three numbers used, and on the inside, would display all four related facts, but then I took a big fat leap away from that after thought about how much time it'd take to create something like that. Then it hit me - spiders! Not only do they already have eight legs (meaning it's perfect for displaying exactly two full fact families), but I had just seen this tutorial from Dana about how to make a yarn spider web, and that sealed the deal. A cute project AND a cute display? Done and done!

I made the web loosely based on what I remember reading in Dana's tutorial, and, the night before, I pre-cut circular bodies, strips of paper for the legs, and created a quick and easy block of eight circles for the eyes on word. Then the day of the lesson, I asked my students came up with two of their own fact families. After I checked for errors, they picked up their supplies and got to work! I know it's hard to see, but they wrote each fact in white crayon on the legs. I'm so happy with how they turned out - I love that some of the girls added bows and eyelashes and one of my boys even added a red hourglass on the abdomen to make his spider into a black widow! And, the best part was, it was self-challenging - I had a few kids make their problems using triple digit numbers! Yay!

Happy Halloween y'all!