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!! 

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Trick or Treat TpT Sale!!


My entire TpT shop is 20% off!
 Click HERE to snatch up something sweet!

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.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Get Your BOO On!!

Hey y'all!!! Halloween is in the air and my teacher buddies are getting boo'd left and right at my school this week!! It's so much fun {and easy} to play that I had to come here and share it with all of you!! To get your BOO on, print two copies of this adorable poem that I have no idea who wrote. If it is yours, please let me know so I can give you the credit!!! Love it!!

Also make two copies of the BOO cards!
Click {HERE} to download the BOO poem and cards!! 


Then make two treat bags & secretly deliver them with the poem and cards to two people in your school!! Can't wait to deliver my special treats tomorrow!!! I challenge you to get the BOO chain started at your school this week!! 
Have FUN!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

My Guided Reading Must Haves




Guided reading has always been one of my favorite parts of the day. It's a time for me to work with small groups of students to help them become stronger, more confident readers. I meet with at least 2 groups a day for 15-20 minutes (groups are flexible and based on skill/reading level). My struggling readers work with me each day. Every guided reading teacher has a little toolbox of resources, tricks, and can't live without tools that help their readers grow and be successful. Today, I'm going to share with you my favorite guided reading must haves!


The Daily 5
 Before I can even start to think about pulling guided reading groups, I have to teach my students how to work independently. I've been using the Daily 5 for several years now and love it! It does take time at the beginning of the year to establish the routines and procedures, but it's so worth it! It gives me such peace of mind knowing that my students are engaged in meaningful work that is developing them as readers and writers while I pull small groups! 

Leveled Readers
This is a no brainer, but I couldn't teach guided reading without a variety of leveled readers. I'm fortunate to have access to a leveled library room at my school. I also print a lot of books off of  Reading A-Z .  I try to stick with our theme for the week and/or integrate different subjects when picking out leveled readers. 

Group Organizer
You have to have some sort of organizational system to keep up with materials for 4-5 reading groups. I use this organizer from Lakeshore to organize my guided reading books and materials for the week. It stays right behind my table so I have everything ready to grab and go for each group. 

Dry Erase Boards
I use dry erase boards all the time for making words activities, sight words practice, guided writing, etc. I found lined boards this summer at Target and love them for also squeezing in a little letter formation lesson or two as my students are using them. 

Magnetic Letters
My students use magnetic letters almost every day to make words. I found these mini magnetic letter tubs on Amazon this summer. My favorite thing about them is that students don't have to search and search to find a letter...they have just what they need at their fingertips! Perfect for individual use during guided reading!     



Fun Pointers
Pointers are great tools to use as trackers or for finding specific things in a text (ex. point to a word that has a blend, point to a noun, find and point to the table of contents, etc.). My students think they are so special and are instantly engaged in a lesson when we use them! I found my pointers in the picture from Five & Below for  only 5 bucks! Steal! 


Reading Response Activities
I believe it's important for students to respond to what they read in guided reading. I like to use a variety of reading response activities (board/dice games, graphic organizers, brochures, foldables, etc) to build and strengthen their reading comprehension. I make sure to use different levels of reading response activities depending on the groups' needs. 



All of these reading response activities can be found in my Reading Response packs. The games, activities, foldables, and graphic organizers are great for whole group instruction, small groups, and independent work! Click on the pictures for more information. 


Save 25% when you buy the bundle

Need reading response activities for your high readers? Check out my H.O.T.S. (Higher Order Thinking Skills) Reading Response packets



This Book
Every single guided reading teacher needs this book. It's broken down by reading levels and gives word study ideas, reading strategies, and lessons to use for each level. Seriously, it covers everything you need to know and more about teaching guided reading! Saying it's a must have is an understatement! 
  


So, what are your guided reading must haves??? Share them with us in the comment section!