Appy Classrooms {Money App}

When I begin a new unit in my classroom, I immediately start searching for an engaging app to integrate.  To be honest, I was very disappointed in the engagement factor of most of the money apps I came across.  That is, until I found this Money Bingo app.  I love it for many reasons!  Let's take a look.

App Name:  Money Bingo
Price: $1.99 in the Apple store
What to Look for:

I know, I app that's not FREE?  Is it really worth it?  In my opinion, absolutely - it is one of the best thought out practice apps that I've come across!  Other money apps haven't held my students attention for more than a few minutes.  This one, they're purchasing at home to play!

To begin, simply hit start!  I turned the volume off, but there are options to click on coins to have them named and their values told.  When you use this option, students just double tap the coin and it will say, "Quarter, 25 cents" and then the coin will flip over to reveal the opposite side - super helpful!

The first time a student plays, he/she will click "new player" and type a player name.

They will also select their gender (this is because they will create a character) and click next.

There are many character options - MANY.  Students will first select their head from ones with various hairstyles and skin colors.  Then, they will select their own clothes, from pirate wear to regular wear there is something for everyone!

Students have three buttons to choose from - Bingo, Practice, and Fish Tank.  The ultimate goal in this game is to build your own fish tank.

Students can play Bingo to earn fish for their fish tanks!  There are several different levels to help differentiate for your students.  My students love challenging themselves here. :)

After selecting the level, you also have several different grid options.  This helps to differentiate even more.

To play the Bingo game, students must count the coins in the white space.  The pencil and eraser come in handy, especially for the harder levels, so students can write down their dollars before moving on to count the change.  Once students know the amount, they click on the matching amount on the gameboard.  Then, a new set of coins appear.  Fish pop up to cover the correct answers until students have three in a row (on this game board....more on the higher grids).

Once BINGO is achieved, students earn a new fish for their tank.  It also gives them a score based on the seconds it took them to get BINGO.  This score will show on their leader board, motivating them to try to beat that score the next time.

The other option, is to play in Practice Mode.  During this mode, students are given a money amount at the top of the white space (53 cents on this example) and are required to drag money from the left side onto the white board to make that amount.  Then, they click "check" to see if they are correct. 

The goal is for students to get 10 correct.  Once they have 10 correct they WIN all of the money they counted.

Once students have won money, they are able to shop for items to go in their fish tanks.  They can only purchase one item at a time, which I makes sure they don't spend too long shopping!  HOWEVER, students aren't guaranteed to receive the item they purchase.  First, students must solve a word problem.  If they get the word problem correct, they receive the item.  If they do not solve it correctly....wait for it....they LOSE ALL OF THEIR MONEY!  This is my students favorite part...and the teacher loves that word problems are integrated!!!!

Students use their fingers to write on the notebook paper to solve the problem.  You don't have to worry about them using the calculator - there's not addition or subtraction sign on it.  The calculator is simply for them to input their final answer and {hold breath} hit enter to see if they are correct.

If correct, students are taken to their fish tank so they can position their new item how they want.  While there, they can double tap the screen to drop a piece of fish food in the tank and watch their pets swim to get it.  Then, they click the back arrow and keep playing!

I hope that your students love this app as much as mine!  Creating #appyclassrooms one app at a time!


Tongue Twisters & More {All About Alliteration}

Since it is poetry month, I thought I would share a bit about how I teach alliteration.  Teaching literary devices is probably one of my favorite things to do, but they can be tricky for the little ones!  That means I provide a lot of different kinds of activities to help the concepts stick!

Here are just a few of my favorites with alliteration.

Tongue Twisters

Tongue twisters are a favorite!  I love sharing some with my students and have them try to say them three times fast to the class.  We usually end up doubled over in laughter. :)  Once students are familiar with tongue twisters, we set out to write our own.

We publish them on the tongues of these cute displays!  No template - we just trace lids for the circle faces and I free-cut tongues out of the large construction paper.

Poem Practice

We read the Jack Prelutsky poem, "Bleezer's Ice Cream" and I ask students to identify the flavors that alliterate, like checkerberry cheddar chew or cotton candy carrot custard.  This poem is in the book The New Kid on the Block and it's an all-time favorite poetry book that I highly recommend! {affiliate link below}

There are a few ways to access this poem online if you can't get your hands on the book.  Here is a YouTube reading of the poem.

You can also play the musical version of the poem being sang by Natalie Merchant here.

After analyzing the poem, I put students in partners and let them create their own wacky ice cream flavors that alliterate!  You can download the freebie below to do this activity with your students.

Games Galore

Games are so important in the primary classroom.  We play games every single day.  Multiple times a day.  For alliteration, we play an old fashioned car game.  It's great, not only for alliteration, but for listening and memory, too!

The items being taken on the trip must all begin with the same initial sound as the destination.  To play, I read the card, for example, "I am going to Paris and I'm taking a parachute."  The next student in the circle would repeat my item and add one of his own, for example..."I am going to Paris and I'm taking a parachute and a piano."  The sentence keeps getting passed around the circle with each student repeating it and adding another "p" word.  They are amazed when it make it all the way around the circle!

I also teach students how to play it with just two players - perfect for the car ride home from school (sorry parents)!  One student starts it, and it keeps alternating until one player either can't think of an item to add or can't remember an item.  What fun practicing alliteration!

Clever Crafts

Since we study literary devices during the spring, we love to decorate the hall with clever craftivities.  For alliteration, we create "Alliterainbows."  Students use planning pages and brainstorm parts of speech to alliterate with each color and then use these ideas to write their own sentences with alliteration on each color band of the rainbow.  By now, they are amazing at alliterating! :)

Story Surprises

Throughout our study, I always throw in a couple of surprise read-alouds!  These are a couple of my favorites for alliteration. The first book I read is The Little Book of Alliterations.  It is a simple alphabet book with one phrase per page.  It's perfect to read before having students write tongue twisters.  The next book I read closer to the end of our study.  It's called One Smug Slug and it is written in story format.  The story uses as many "s" words as possible.  They enjoy trying to figure out what the smug slug is climbing throughout the story and are always surprised when he is eaten at the end!  But, their favorite part of the book is that there is a hidden "S" somewhere on each page - some are super tricky and they love searching for them.

{affiliate links for books}

I hope this post gave you a few new ideas for teaching alliteration!


Spring Into Books {Freebie & Giveaway}

Who is here for a FREEBIE today?  Keep reading!  You can pick up 8 of them!

That's right!  I'm linking up with seven other fab teacher bloggers to share some of our favorite spring-inspired activities and picture books.  One lucky reader will even win all 8 books to accompany the free activities.  What a wonderful asset to any classroom!

I chose a classic book that I feel like most teachers may already have easy access to from their libraries.  This is a quick read and one that can be a springboard into many other activities - plants, colors, spring....and even poetry!

April is poetry month, after all, so I like to use this book as a springboard to writing color poems with my students.  I've included all of the resources that I use to do this in my freebie - a step-by-step procedure poster, a prewriting graphic organizer (and sample), a poetry frame (and sample) in both a half-page format and full-page format, and a class book cover.

You can download the freebie from my shop, Teacher's Clubhouse.

Then, you'll want to hop through the other seven blogs to collect MORE freebies.  But, before you hop over to Digital Divide and Conquer to visit Matt, you'll need to jot down my number on the image below, so grab a piece of paper!  You'll collect a number at each of the 8 blogs in this hop.  Just add up the numbers to find the "mystery number."  You'll enter that number into the  Rafflecopter at the end of any post for your chance to win all 8 books that correlate with the freebies you collect!

This giveaway will end on April 16th!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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