Sunday, March 30, 2014

Learning Goal Stand

Creative juices are slowly returning, so I decided I needed a mini-stand for my learning goals.

A lot has been going on in the last six months that have detoured me from my blog, but I'm back. I have a wonderful group of first graders this year. One of the things that I have been focusing on this year is posting my learning goals. With several reading groups and math groups a day (I do guided math 3 days a week), it has been a challenge to post specific goals. A colleague led me to Falling Into First Grade's post. Stephanie created a mini-anchor chart with PVC pipes.

I wanted mine to fit papers landscape style. Then I could use page protectors to store my goals.  After a couple of visits to Lowe's, I think I have something that will work. I used duct tape to fancy it up. Now I can just flip over the page for the next group's goals. I have made 2, one for reading and one for math. Can't wait to use it.

Learning Goal Mini-Chart

Supplies Used:
1- long 1/2 PVC pipe (I used one long tube and cut it into three pieces) .
2 - 1/2 inch elbow slip (not threaded)
2 -  T pipes the top opening needs to be 1/2 inch the bottom two need to be inch. This is to give it a little stability

***  I bought the T pipe with a threaded side so I needed to add 2 -1/2 adapter (slip and thread). I had already cut the the pipe.

I didn't have a hack-saw or anything to cut the pipe, so I used a tool that I use to cut branches. Hopefully, I didn't ruin it, but school comes first ;)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Top 3 Favorite First Grade Commercial Math Games

I enjoy making my own math games, but sometimes it is nice to have a game done and ready to go. Games with tons of pieces don't work for me. The  games and activities listed below have a long shelf life and provide some needed skill practice and concept building.

1. 7 ate 9 

This game works on fact fluency quickly adding and subtracting 1, 2, or 3 to or from another number. At the beginning of the year, only a few students are fluent enough to enjoy playing this game. It does help to have students work with others that are close to their ability levels. By the end of the year, they play fast and furious.

I find that this game works best with 2 to 4 players at the first grade level.

To make it easier for students I have them put their cards face up in front of them. I usually have them start with 8 cards. If no-one can go, they pick a card from the draw pile.

My version: I use a deck of playing cards and play one more or one less. Each player gets 8 cards (2 rows of four). A card is placed face up in the middle of the deck. If a students has a card that is one more or one less they place it on top of that card. Now students look at the new card to see if they have one more or one less. I have my students say one more or one less, so I know that they know. If no-one has a match a new card is placed in the middle.

2. Ten Frame Towers

This game does have a lot of pieces, but my students enjoy it and it gives them a lot of practice with making ten. At the beginning of the year, I bring it out to work on making ten. Towards the end of the year, I pull it out again and this time students are more fluent and can easily see combinations that equal ten.

I am not a direction reader, but for this game I had to read the directions to figure it out. I have included a video link to help those of us that like to see how it works.

3. Ten Frame Trains (Set of 10)

Students use unifix cubes (not included) to build trains of ten. I usually have students work with a partner to see who can fill up their trains first (up to 50) or their work together to fill up the train(to 100).

(More to Come....)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Meaning of the Equals Sign - First Grade Math

My students are learning that the equal sign doesn't always occur at the end of an equation. Once they get that each side of the equal sign must be equal, they are on their way. It might seem like a simple concept, but many have only seen an equation with the equal sign at the end. I am starting out with manipulatives and a balance to demonstrate this concept. I am still in the process of completing the unit.

Click here for a free copy of the activity sheets.

Need a technology connection? Check out the Math Illuminations website. It has a great activity showing Balanced Equations

I'm always looking for a book to connect to my math concepts.  Have you read Equal Shmequal by Virginia Kroll? Do you have any favorite books to use in this unit?

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, April 14, 2013

First Grade - DRA Prep with Reading Graphic Organizers

Do you believe it is already April? The year is flying by. My students are turning into amazing readers. To prepare for one of our reading assessments, the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment), we have been practicing retelling a story. I have created a few graphic organizers to remind my students to think about the connections they make while they read and to identify the author's message. On a side note, I love to use Leo Lionni's books to teach author's message. More about that in a future blog.
Click here for a  free copy.

Freebie Fridays

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Don't forget to check out Manic Monday at classroom freebies! There is always a lot of amazing, and free, resources. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Adding Nine (Plus 9)

Classroom Freebies Manic MondaySome of my students are getting good at adding nine to a one digit number. Those that still needed a scaffold used the 2 ten frames to help them visualize how to make that friendly number ten. To play the game they rolled a die and then added nine. If the sum is in the box they can move the counter, if not they lose a turn.   
 Click here for the freebie.

 Teaching Blog Addict - Ultimate FreebieHead over to Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade for more great spring resources.
Mrs Wheelers First Grade

Monday, April 1, 2013

Money Unit - Top 4 Favorite Videos to Teach Coins

My favorite videos to teach coin identification and value.
Did I miss one of your favorites?

Identifying coins, value, and what is on the heads and tails. 
Name of coin and its value. Goes with poem Penny, Penny Easy Spent 
Show me the money. Students can hold up the mentioned coin. 
Some equivalent values - My kids love this one it repeats going faster and faster.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

New Blog Design From Honey Bunch

Check out my new blog design. Do you love it? Isn't it adorable? The little girl reminds me of myself as a child. Don't you wish that we all had the sense of wonder and curiosity that a first grader has?

I had a DIY blog design, and I knew I needed help. The ladies over at Honey Bunch Blog Design are wonderful. Erika and Misty made for a great experience. If you are thinking of updating your blog, or giving yourself a bloggy face-lift you should head over there.