Sunday, January 25, 2015

Oh for the LOVE of Math!

Lazy Sunday for me today! Perfect time to start prepping math centers for Valentine's Day! With math workshop in full swing, I'm always looking for fun resources and creating my own math centers to keep my firsties engaged and learning! Right now, I'm always trying to stay a few weeks ahead in my math center planning so that I have time to make, print, copy, cut, and laminate all of my centers before we are ready to use them!

That means it is time to start prepping Valentine's Day!! I am so excited about these fun, easy activities and I took a little time for some guilt free Valentine's Day pinning... These are some of my favorite non-classroom ideas.

Okay, now for my math centers! I spent yesterday, working away on my laptop and I am so happy to share these centers with you! Click this link or the photo to see these in my TpT store!

Center One: 
Counting tens and ones using Base Ten blocks. This is a new concept for my firsties. We use the Everyday Math curriculum and it is just being introduced. This center is simple and will be perfect for their beginning knowledge of base ten.

Each card has a letter on it. After students count the base ten blocks, students connect the letter to the number they counted on the recording sheet.

Center Two:
My students are great at counting by 5s to 100. However, when they get into the hundreds, they start to fall apart. This center will help them to continue their skip counting into the hundreds. They will order the counting by 5s cards from 105-220 and then record then on a half sheet.

Center Three:
Another new concept for us is using the greater than and less than symbols. All of my students can compare numbers, but they are stumbling over these symbols. This center will give them much needed practice by sorting statements as true or false.

Center Four:
In the last center from my Valentine Math Centers, students fill in the missing addends in addition problems. Students complete addition facts to equal 7, 8, 9, and 10. My plan is to laminate these mats. Students will fill in the missing addend with dry erase marker and then record some of their answers on a half sheet of paper.

Center 5: (FREEBIE)
Last year, I picked up some of these foam heart stickers from Michael's on clearance after Valentine's Day. I'm sure that they have something similar this year if you are interested in creating this center!

I sorted out the big, flat hearts so that I could write numbers on them with black Sharpie.

I wrote numbers 0-9 on the hearts and put 20 hearts in each basket. Students will pick two hearts from the basket and write an addition problem with those numbers on this free printable! Saw this idea on Pinterest from the amazing Cara Carroll. Love her!

So that's a peek at my Valentine math plans! I hope that you enjoyed this post! All of these resources can be downloaded in my Valentine Math Centers!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Interactive Notebooks for Guided Reading

Over the past two weeks, I have started using interactive notebooks as part of my reading group instruction. This is something totally new for me and I have to say... I am LOVING it and so are my students! When students come over to reading group now, they always ask "do we need to bring our notebooks? Are we going to do another page?"

This year, I have six guided reading groups reading texts ranging from a level C up to a level J. Each group has such different needs so I have been doing unique activities with each group.

Today, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching with her fabulous linky, Five for Friday!! Here's a peek at my 5 favorite reading notebook activities!

I'll start with my intervention kiddos! These are the activities that I did with my two lowest reading groups this week. One of the groups is reading at a level C and the other is at a level E. I have a lot of kids that are in need of reading intervention this year and these notebook pages are perfect for them! 

 In this first interactive page, students wrote CVC words that matched a picture. Then, they cut out the pictures/words and glued them under a heading depending on the vowel sound.

The finished product:

We are learning about blends and digraphs in our literacy instruction and this group drew lines to connect pictures to their beginning blends. Simple and effective!! One of the things that I love about these notebooks is that students keep them in their book bins for Daily 5 and they often look back at their work. Great way to revisit their previous learning!!

This last interactive phonics page was completed only by my lowest reading group, my level C students. They connected CVC words to their pictures.They did a really great job with this too!

All of these pages can be found in The Sassy School Teacher's fabulous product, First Grade Phonics for Interactive Notebooks. These are super cute and a huge time saver for me. Great, interactive practice for my intervention students! Click the link to check it out in her TpT store!!

Okay, moving on with some of my other reading groups! My next level reading group is my level F group. This week, we read a text called My New Pet. After our typical reading group of strategy discussion, reading, and fluency work, we practiced responding to the text through writing. Students had to think of three ways to care for a pet that were mentioned in the text. We had a great discussion about the differences between "ways we already know how to take care of a pet" vs "ways that were mentioned in the text." 

Now, for these interactive pages, I am not using an existing product. What I have been doing the past two weeks is just quickly creating headings, questions, sorting activities in Google Drive at school in the mornings. Since the prompts and activities are so specific to the text that we are reading, I'm not planning on making a TpT product with these "text-specific" resources. However, later in this post, you will see an interactive page that features a common core aligned language activity. I may consider compiling some of those pages in a product for TpT at some point!

Here's a look at my simple headings/questions that I put together in Google... three to a page and printed to our color printer... simple!! Especially when I'm running around like a crazy person in the morning before school... please tell me I'm not the only one!

In Google Drive, I started a folder to house all of my interactive printables, organized by guided reading level so that I can easily print these out next year or when other guided reading groups reach that level text.

Okay, moving up in the guided reading continuum... this is the activity that my level H group completed. We are working on nonfiction texts and text features. This week. students read a nonfiction text about sea turtles. We practiced writing facts and focused on using the text to support our writing (checking factual information, spelling help, etc) but then putting our ideas into our own words. 

This group LOVED this activity! I guided them in writing two facts and then they wanted to write more on their own later in the week! This little darling filled a whole page in her notebook!

Finally, my level J group is working on summarizing and sequencing. We read a longer fiction text over the course of a few days and students wrote about the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

This group also went the extra mile and filled more than one page in their descriptions of the story!
The last type of interactive notebook page that we completed was a Common Core Language based activity. This activity was completed by all of my students. We are learning about nouns. This week, we have been discussing the different meanings of "s" on the end of a noun (plural nouns and possessive nouns). We began this activity by finding all of the nouns in our sentences with an "s" at the end and highlighting them. Then we cut and pasted the sentences under the headings based on if they were plural or if they were possessive.

This was another one of those pages that I quickly put together before school one day. Here's a link to my Google Doc if you'd like to print and use this in your classroom! It's not fancy, but it was very effective with my students!

I hope that you enjoyed a look at a topic that is quickly becoming near and dear to my heart. These reading notebooks are a big motivator in my students' learning! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Digraph Snowmen Art Project

Happy Sunday! Quick post alert!

Do you love doing art projects with your students, but always feel like they must have an "educational" purpose?? I know that I do! I wanted something fun for the kids to make this week to practice digraphs and came up with these cute little snowmen.

I'm going to have students make different digraph snowmen- including ch, sh, th, and wh snowmen. Each desk group will focus on a different digraph and brainstorm words together to write on their snowmen's scarves.

This little project is a freebie in my TpT store. This link will take you right to the product. Please leave me some feedback. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hip Hip Hooray! It's Almost the HUNDREDTH Day!
Click this photo for the FREE projectable image!
In my last post, I wrote about my New Years Resolution of NOT neglecting my blog!! With the help of a "cold day" off of school, I am posting for the second time this week!! My second New Years Resolution is to plan ahead a little more. This is my third year of teaching and I am ready to stop flying by the seat of my pants, especially when it comes to seasonal/time sensitive activities and units!! Therefore, I am taking today to prep for the 100th Day of School, which is still a whopping 22 more school days away for us! In this post, I'll share many of my own ideas/creations/past projects as well and some new ideas that I found today and want to try out this year!
Nothing beats a cold day/work day at home! I could get used to this!
Okay, let's begin with some fun door displays that I found while perusing Pinterest today! Here's my favorite that I plan to put up this year!!
Credit to Sara Ann Culberson :)
Last year, I began the day with making 100th day crowns. Students color 100 objects within the #100 and then add up all of the objects to make sure that it equals 100. The studenst cut around the number and we staple them to construction paper strips to make crowns! The crowns that I make are from an old copy that I got from my cooperating teacher when I was student teaching. However, a very similar crown can be downloaded for FREE from TpT. Enjoy this printable from Mrs. Ahren's store.

My kids wore these all day and loved it!! Simple and fun!!
I love having the kids complete interactive math and literacy activities for the 100th Day! Here are some of the activities they will complete throughout the day!! All of these activities can be found in my TpT store: Hundredth Day of School FUN!
We focus heavily on word families during our literacy block. One of the students' 100th Day Challenges is writing 100 word family words!! Most of them are short vowel word families because that's what we focus on for the first half of the year. They work in partners or small groups. It's awesome to see how many words they can write now!! Bless their little learning hearts!
Found this adorable chart idea on Pinterest today! Love this idea from KinderCraze! Plan to do this after the kids have written their word family words!
We also write about what the world will look like in 100 years!
We also read my favorite 100th Day Poem and funny 100th day books!

#sorrynotsorry. No cute drawings. I'm not an artist.

Just a few of my favorites! I especially love the Robin Hill School series because the teacher's name is Mrs. Connor, which I conveniently change to Mrs. O'Connor. The kids always get the giggles!
Alright, on to math!
I have my students complete these math activities in centers. Students rotate to each center throughout the math block!
Center 1: The kids test out some probability with 100 dice rolls and 100 coin flips! Also a great way to practice making tally marks in an organized fashion!

I dig out my fun dice for the 100th day!! It's amazing how motivating new dice can be!

Center 2: I CAN do 100 math problems!
Center 3: Sorting a bag of 100 pattern blocks and recording your findings! You know you all have these!! An oldie but a goodie, as my mother would say!
Divide your blocks into bags of 100!
Some of the sorting methods from last year!

Not sure that this method is the most effective!
But boy, did he have fun!
Here are a another idea that I may add to the mix this year from Tip Junkie!
Okay! Two more things that made our day complete last year! The first was our 100th Day TENS FRAMES SNACKS! This was a huge hit! Grab a freebie of this sheet here!
I had all of the snacks on the back table. Students went through the line with a cup and counted out ten of each snack item. Then, they organized the snacks in the tens frames at their desks.

The end result!!
Finally, our 100th Day of School Art Project! Got this fun and easy idea from The First Grade Parade. Give each student cut outs of the number, 100, and they create a picture out of it! Loved to see their creativity shine with this one!

Well, that's all I have folks! Can't wait to do all of this again this year and try out my new finds!