Zeus on the Loose

Friday, December 28, 2012
I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas and is enjoying their time off!  We actually had a white Christmas this year which is extremely rare in Texas. 

I came across a neat little game for addition practice that I thought some of you math teachers would be interested in.  I wasn’t familiar with it until my daughter received it from Santa in her stocking this year.  My family has already played this game a zillion times this week so I know it’s a keeper.

Zeus on the Loose is recommended for kids 8 and up.  The object of the game is to be the person holding Zeus when the total on Mt. Olympus reaches 100.  Players take turns adding cards to Mt. Olympus.  As each card is placed on the pile, the person who plays the card must mentally add the value of their card to the value of the pile and announce the sum. The primary math skill needed for this game is addition, but it also includes: subtraction, rounding, and multiples of 10.  Even though there is plenty of math involved, this game’s primary focus is strategic thinking.  You have to play your cards right in order to steal Zues from your opponents and be the one holding him when Mt. Olympus reaches 100.  For a more detailed description of the game, download the instructions from Gamewright’s website.

This would make an excellent math center or a great rainy day indoor recess game.  I’m going to buy a set to add to my classroom.  Since I know some of my 3rd graders will have difficulty with the mental computation, I’m going to allow them to use a 100s board as a reference.

Has anyone else played this or other Gamewright games before?  Zeus on the Loose is my 1st Gamewright game but I’ve read great reviews about their other games.  I’m definitely going to be getting more!

I hope you’re having a relaxing and peaceful winter break!

The Grouch Who Stole My Christmas Fun!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I’ve received a few emails about the lapbook that I recently posted on TpT. I decided to write this post to explain why it is suddenly MIA.  Even though I did not copy any graphics or text from How the Grinch Stole Christmas, TpT pulled my lapbook from the listings due to the fact that “Grinch” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” are both trademarked items.  Apparently that means that those terms cannot be used in a published format without written consent despite the fact that my lapbook was intended to promote literacy and was not created for profit.  I’m in no way blaming TpT.  They are trying to keep us little people from getting into hot water with the big people with the well-paid attorneys and I can appreciate that. 
I have thought of a couple of alternatives to this trademark conundrum. 

PLAN A is to change all the character names but make the file editable so that others could change the names to whatever they wanted.  For example, I could use “Grouch” instead of the “G” word.  Then teachers could change “Grouch” to something else.  This might be get kind of complicated and I wouldn’t feel comfortable posting this version on TpT.

PLAN B is to offer the lapbook with completely blank templates in an editable format.  This option would allow teachers to use this activity with any book.  I like this idea but not sure others would.  A lot of us just don’t have a ton of free time to create our own materials.

If you have any thoughts or suggestions concerning PLAN A or PLAN B, email me or leave a comment.  In the meantime, for a limited time I’m posting the original lapbook (but with a different name) here.  It won’t be up for long, so if you’re interested, grab it while you can!

I’m very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused. It’s pretty embarrassing to have a product that no longer exists in the TpT holiday ebook. Despite my embarassment, I’m treating this as a “live and learn” type of experience.

I Love the Grinch!

Saturday, December 1, 2012
I love the Grinch. I really do. I mean, who doesn’t?  He’s green, fuzzy, and awfully cute.  I adore this little guy so much that I wear Grinch Tshirts to school.

This past week we made Grinch shrinky dink ornaments at school.  You can get more details on how I do this here.

I’ve even decorated my door Grinch style.  Please pardon the eyebrows, they still need some work!

I combined my love of foldables with my love of all things Grinchy and made a How the Grinch Stole Christmas lapbook.  My class will be spending next week reading this classic Dr. Seuss tale and reviewing a variety of reading skills.  If you’re interested in making Grinch lapbooks, you can get a free copy at my TpT store.

 I’m thrilled ecstatic that this lapbook activity was included in the 2012 Winter Holiday Tips and Freebies ebook from TpT!!!

You can download a free copy of the 3rd-6th grade edition here.  There are more than 50 free holiday activities included in the book from some really great teachers.  Thank you Rachel Lynette for all the hard work you put into creating this ebook!
There are 4 editions to the Winter Holidays ebook.  Click on the pics below to see them all.

I hope you enjoy reading through these great ebooks. Have a great weekend!


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