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Merry Christmas and a Talk Bar Giveaway and Freebie! YEAH

I am apologizing profusely.  I know it’s been forever since I last posted.  Admittedly, I have not been in the posting mood.  With everything that went on in CT and the holidays, it just hasn’t been on the top of my list.  Not because I don’t care about all of you great readers, but more so, because I felt the need to be focusing on my own kinders and my boys at home.  It’s been a welcome break, and I’m so glad you all haven’t forgotten about me either.  Here’s hoping you all have had a blessed holiday season and have had many opportunities to enjoy your own family and friends.

To answer a few questions about what I’m working on quickly before I get to the BIG GIVEAWAY and Freebie.

Yes, there is a new Cold Weather Math Stations Galore.  I’ll post about it later this week, but for those of you wanting to get ahead on your printing and laminating here it is.  It’s NINE activities all differentiated and aligned within 71 pages.

and yes there is a new Winter Sight Word I-Spy (Dolch Lists 1-11) completed as well
Still more to come this week so stay tuned.

Ok, on to the good stuff . . .
The good people (they are like little elves I tell you) at Learning Resources, have contacted me to check out a couple of their latest products.  So I want to tell you a bit about their new ‘Talk Bar.’

The Talk Bar has six separate compartment-like buttons with slide-in laminated cards that you can label.  The compartments are all lined up on one light-weight device.  If you click on one of the large buttons, it will play (or record) up to 10 seconds of instructions, problems, spelling words or whatever it is that you want someone to hear.  If you’d like specifics on this device go ahead and click HERE.

Of course, my head has just been a spinning trying to figure out all the great ways to use this tool.  Obviously, it’s ideal for story sequencing, providing step by step instructions for students who need tasks broken down or for center activities.  (I have to admit, it has been tons of fun around my house over the last couple of days as I have dictated ‘tasks’ for a scavenger hunt on each of the six buttons for my boys to follow…LOVED IT!)

Here is my plan for using it in my classroom next week.
(It’s always nice to have  a preschooler and kindergartener in the house to help you test out your latest ideas.  In this case, my pre-school son was more than happy to accommodate me.  I created some fun, colorful number cards that fit exactly in the six compartments.
Then on each button I recorded a math story problem for my son to complete.  Common Core Standards for kindergarten ask that they:


  • CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.1 Represent addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, mental images, drawings1, sounds (e.g., claps), acting out situations, verbal explanations, expressions, or equations.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.K.OA.A.2 Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem


I always find it difficult to get this standard covered unless I’m in a small group with students.  While that is ideal, there is only one of me and 26 of them, so I am always looking for ways to make activities independent.  Using the TalkBar, I can have the students listen to the problem and represent it on a math mat with fun manipulatives and/or represent their problem on a recording sheet.

For this activity, I created a winter scene and have some fun clipart to use for manipulatives in case you all didn’t have anything readily available.  In my own class, I like to use fun foam snowflakes or painted Fiore shaped pasta like the ones here.

But you could use buttons, cotton balls or anything else you have lying around that would be fun.

If you’d like a copy, just click on the picture below to get yours.  Of course, if you don’t have the TalkBar and would like to use this activity in a small math group you certainly can, but I’m loving that I can make this an independent center.  I’m sure you would love one of these too.  I am so excited to use this with my kinders and after the last week of using it with my own boys, I can tell you, it’s easy to use (my 4 year old can manage recording and playing it back), fun, versatile and durable.    The people at Learning Resources were so nice, they’re letting me give one away to one of YOU!  You’re gonna love it.  I promise.

Here’s all you have to do.  Complete the easy entry requirements within the Rafflecopter entry below and you’re in the running.  That’s it.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Marsha Moffit McGuire

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