Monday, January 28, 2013

Subtraction Fluency

Even though I am currently teaching a unit on place value, I keep fluency games in my math center to help my students develop automatically with some of their math facts. Football season is winding down. Although not a big football  fan, I did think of a football themed math activity while watching a game. Students need just one game piece, two dice, and a game board. The game piece will move back-and-forth across the field as students find the difference between the two dice (to mix it up you can use dominoes).

Click here for a free copy of this activity.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

First Grade Place Value Websites

Three days a week, I do my version of math workshop. In one center, students use the computer to reinforce the standards covered. I create a word/html document and put it in a shared folder so students can just click on the links (actually I embed the link in  a picture from the website).  Email me and I'll send you a copy of this.Sometimes I use these when we go to the computer lab.

I have included a brief description so that you don't have to research these yourself. I tend to avoid sites that have ads or are too busy.

First Grade – My Favorite Hundred’s Chart Interactive Websites

This is great to do with an interactive whiteboard (or have students do it on their own). Students will race to find numbers on a blank hundred’s chart. I line six to eight students up at a time and then they quickly find “the number” and sit down. A great way to learn to visualize numbers on a 100’s chart.
This is an interactive hundred’s chart which allows students to paint different numbers. This is just an exploration type activity. 
Find the target number on a hundred’s chart. 
Find 10 more than the target number on a hundred’s chart. 

My Favorite First Grade Place Value Websites

You are given the tens and ones, and you need to find the numeral that matches. If you are correct, the dolphin jumps over the boat, incorrect a shark takes a bit out of the boat.
Shark Numbers - More shark fun. Select one of 4 levels with the highest being numbers up to 999.
Shark Pool – Ten’s and One’s
The same as shark numbers but with cups instead of place value blocks.
A funky drum rhythm plays as you use base ten blocks to form numbers. You can select one’s and ten’s or add the hundred’s place.
Ten’s and one’s using ten frames, not much pizzazz to this site, but great for visualizing tens and ones using 10-frames.  You can also use this whole group or with an interactive white board while students record this on a whiteboard or place value mat.
Dinosaur Place Value – Build numbers by clicking on the correct dinosaur eggs. For the number 15 you will need to click on the 10 and 5 eggs. Cool dinosaur roaring.
Given tens and ones, identify the number.
Identify the digit in the ones, tens, or hundreds place
Save the swimmer by using a number line and a ten’s and one’s button on the lifeguards boat.
Critter Junction - This site goes to the hundred’s place. Feed the critters. Add place value blocks for hundred’s, ten’s, and one’s. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Place Value

I'm always trying to find or make up games that have my students practicing math skills. The ideal games are ones that don't require a lot of prep time but reinforce a needed skill. I want my students to be adding, counting, and making groups of ten, so I decided to use unifix cubes and dice (I have tons of different types of dice) for this activity. I have included different recording sheets.

Click here for a  free copy of this activity.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Mitten Mixed-Up Sentences - Literacy Center

One of my wonderful teammates shared this idea with me. It worked very well, especially for my students that are a bit more active. Students picked a bag of mittens (made of construction paper), put the mittens in order to make a sentence, wrote the sentence down, and then put the mittens away and got another bag.  She shared the mittens, clothespins, and clothesline with me. I am so lucky to work with a great team!

I have put the directions, mittens, and recording sheet together in a file. Click here for a free copy.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Computation - Addition and Subtraction

My students have been using a variety of addition and subtraction strategies to help them solve math equations. As is typical for this time of year, they are stronger with addition concepts. We have been working with a lot of addition equations with missing addends to help them discover the relationship between addition and subtraction. 
Click here for a free copy. All students need is a die and a crayon or marker. You many use 1 or 2 colors.

Here is another one.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Animals in Winter

My students will be making a flip book to show what they learned about what animals do in winter. They have to name an animal that migrates, hibernates, and stays and adapts and then write a sentence.

This flip book ends up being two pages printed back to back. Click here for a free copy. Scroll down to see the text. To print, turn the second and fourth pages so that the text is at the top (it will look upside down) and then print 1-sided to 2-sided.  Then stack and fold the pages so that you can see the words Migrate, Hibernate, and Stay and Adapt.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Questioning - Comprehension Strategy

Now we are focusing on the comprehension strategy questioning. We are asking questions before, during, and after reading. A few of my favorite books to reinforce this strategy are...

Charlie Anderson by Barbara Abercrombie. It's a cute story that will get your students questioning. Wednesday's Surprise by Even Bunting has an ending that many of your students might not see coming. A lot of Eve Bunting's books work well to model the questioning strategy, although many are more appropriate for upper elementary school students.

 Before reading a book, my students look at the cover and the title and write down some questions they have before reading the book. Click here for a copy of this, one with lines, one without lines.

Having the question words at the top of the page, will assist students with writing their questions. Click here for a free copy.

Friday, January 4, 2013


After reading the book, Hello Ocean, my students filled out this graphic organizer.
Click here for a free copy of the graphic organizer.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Comprehension Strategy - Visualizing

We just finished up a unit on the comprehension strategy - Visualizing. My go-to professional resources for this topic are Strategies that Work by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis and Debbie Miller's Reading with Meaning:Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grade.

Some online resources that I use include:

These two websites can be shown whole class on a whiteboard or in a computer lab:

These are some of the books that I used to teach the unit:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My students love to practice counting by 2's with this video.