Sunday, November 29, 2015

TpT Cyber Monday and Tuesday SALE!

A big thank you to Doodle Bugs Teaching for the graphic! 

Teachers pay Teachers is having a Cyber Monday and Tuesday (Nov. 30th and Dec. 1st) sale! Everything in my TpT shop will be 28% off when you use the code SMILE. This includes bundled sets that are already discounted! 

Here are some of my favorite teaching resources...

NO-PREP Ready, Set, Print packets
 (individual and bundle sets)

Plus, SO much more!

Keep Smiling, Friends! 
Only a few more weeks until Christmas Break;) 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Place Value Practice!!

I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving break! I know I enjoyed every single second of spending time eating with family and friends! It went by so fast and now I'm scrambling to get ready for next week! #teacherproblems

One thing I'm really excited about is using my new Place Value Practice pack with my kiddos! Call me a big dork, but place value is one of my favorite math skills to teach! I don't think first graders can ever have too much place value practice. I pretty much start teaching it as soon as they walk through the door and we continue reviewing it all year long in as many different ways that I can think of and then some. That is what inspired this pack.... I wanted new, engaging, and of course, FUN place value games and activities to spice up our place value practice when they came back from break! 

Here's a little sneak peek of some of the activities in the pack....

Spin and Match is an activity that can be played in groups of 2-4. The players take turns spinning and matching the number representation on their board. The first player to cover all their spaces wins! Three different game boards are included in the pack: base ten blocks, tens and ones, and expanded form.

Place Value BUMP is such a fun game! Partners take turns pulling a place value card from a bag and covering the correct number with a counter on their game board. If a number already has a counter on it, the other partner has a chance to "bump" it off. If a student gets the same number twice, then he /she can place two counters on it. If a number has 2 counters, it’s frozen and cannot be "bumped" off.  The first player out of counters wins the game!

I love it when my students can move around and learn at the same time, which is why I'm a huge Scoot fan! Place Value Scoot is an activity where your students move around the room and write down the number shown on each Scoot card. The Scoot cards are a mix of base ten, expanded form, and tens/one review. 
Brain break + math activity = Win-Win! 

Place Value Bags is a great math tub or small group activity! Students count the number of base ten blocks in each bag. Then they show how many tens and ones are in the number and write the expanded form on their recording sheet. 

There are also several different Place Value Flap Books to give your students extra practice! 

Four in a Row is class favorite! Players take turns picking a number card and covering the same amount on their board.  The first player to cover four sets of base ten blocks in a row wins! 

There are also a dozen different no-prep place value printables in the pack! They are great for homework, morning work, math tubs, and sub plans!

If you're looking for other math activities to add to your classroom, I also have these packets available in my TpT shop... Just click on the graphics for more information about them! 

Hope you have a wonderful rest of your weekend before the holiday fever takes over all of our classrooms!! 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Math Journaling: A Powerful Problem Solving Tool

After several years of using math journals in my classroom, I have witnessed first hand how they transform students into amazing problem solvers. Today, I'm going to highlight the reasons why I believe math journaling is such a powerful problem solving tool to use in any and every classroom! 

Little Prep with BIG Results
As a classroom teacher, I know how important it is to keep things simple. The beauty of math journals is that to get started your students only need a composition notebook and quality math journal prompts. At the beginning of math workshop, I pass out a math journal prompt to each student to glue into their math journals. After reading the prompt/problem together a couple of times as a whole class, the students work independently for about 5 minutes to solve the problem. Then, we share how we solved the problem. During our share time, we use the document camera to project students' math journaling work on the Smartboard for everyone to see. 

Daily Problem Solving Practice
Math journaling is a daily part of my math instruction. In just 10-15 minutes, it provides my students with opportunities to work at their own level to represent their mathematical ideas, find multiple solutions to a problem, explain their thinking, work with partners, evaluate the work of other students, and participate in meaningful discussions about problem solving.

At the beginning of the year, it is so important to constantly model how to solve a math journal problem. This is a time when I give my students a lot of support and encouragement to help them communicate their thinking. The more practice they get, the easier it will become, which is why I think daily practice is key! Trust me, it's worth your time and effort!! 

Here are some examples of math journal problems I've used in my first grade classroom. 

The math journal prompts I use cover first grade skills and increase in rigor throughout the school year. You can check them out HERE.

Incorporates Higher Order Thinking Skills
Math journaling is a special time for us to stretch our thinking! We are always celebrating multiple solutions and out of the box strategies to work out a problem! 

Instant Assessment Tool
Math journaling is a wonderful way to understand your students’ mathematical thoughts, problem-solving strategies, misconceptions, opinions, etc. A math journal also acts as a differentiated assessment tool, as well as documentation of your students' growth throughout the school year! 

Meaningful Math Discussions
As I mentioned above, math journaling gives students opportunities to share and talk about how they solved a problem. It is during this time that students are able to justify their reasoning while also evaluating the reasoning of others. Powerful! 

Remember, it's never too late to start math journaling with your students! If you're already using math journals, I would love to hear how you use them in your classroom in the comment section! 

Happy Math Journaling! 

Click HERE to find out more about my math journal prompts.