Sunday, April 12, 2015

Smart Art: A Very Grouchy {Reading & Math} Craftivity

Hi, Friends! Has spring fever sprung in your classroom already? I think my class had bowls and bowls of Loopy Fruits before school on Friday…but I think, I think we managed to survive it!

It also turned out to be a very grouchy day in our classroom….BUT, in a good way!


Our smart art for the week was a fun connection between reading and math. Initially, my kiddos were wondering why we were doing math during our Daily 5 block, but after we got started with a fun interactive reading of Eric Carle’s The Grouchy Ladybug they quickly understood! Reading this book together was fun and everyone was able to participate because of the repetitive “call and respond” pattern found in the text.


This little activity helped us to wrap up our time unit, practice retelling, review shapes and use fractions in a fun way!

Each student was given a time taken from the story to represent in 3 different ways…how they would “read” the clock in words, how it would appear on a digital clock and how it would appear on an analog clock. That bold little ladybug had quite the busy day, so there were lots of times to represent!


The clock hands were colored to match our classroom set of Judy clocks. Each student had to show their time and get a thumbs up before gluing it to the clock face. After gluing the hands to the clock or ladybug’s body…students wrote to fill in their ladybug labels, then cut and glued them to the wings. In our classroom, students have creative control…so they did not all have to create their ladybug in the exact same way….BUT they had to make sure their analog time was visible after having glued the wings on.

See the whiteboard in the background? That was my little example projected onto the board to serve as a guide for their completed project.


We have new math standards in TX this year…the ending of the story worked very well for explaining “about time” or how we use quarter hours on the clock too. As the little ladybug flies through the story picking fights she moves from hour to hour. At the end of the story, she harasses a whale every quarter hour, which made for a great “teachable moment”.

After leaving for lunch and recess to let our little ladybugs dry, we returned to the classroom to retell the story. Each student grabbed their little ladybug and we sat in the hall in front of our lockers. Our intent was to sequence the times in the order of the events of the story {and hang them on the lockers] and we DID….BUT, HOLY MOLY did it look busy once we were done! I couldn’t even look straight at our lockers without getting dizzy! LOL!

Sitting in the hallway added a little novelty to the lesson too! With spring fever in full swing, finding new spots to learn in will be definitely be on the agenda!


See?! BIIIIII-ZZZY! Look away….scroll down, before your eyes begin to cross!


Whew! Much better!

If you look very closely, there are two little empty spots. Smart art is serious FUN, but also serious business. Students ONLY get to participate in smart art IF they have completed the two “must do” activities from work stations during the week. If it is not completed, then they must use their smart art time to become, well……smarter…and complete the work that was required of them. NO “must-do”, no smart art.This practice prevents students from being rewarded without having earned it. In our classroom, we have a lot of fun. Students are rewarded well, but it is because we make things look easy by doing the hard work, first. =)


Feeling grouchy? Click the pic above to grab this little activity for your class of ladybugs!

Happy reading! =)


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