Thursday, June 23, 2011

Spin and Add

This is a version that I made last year...very similar to Fran Kramer's idea.  What do you think?  Use a pencil and paper clip to spin a number.    The students can use small manipulatives such as novelty erasers or beans.  Personally, I use these foam beads from Oriental Trading, which are the perfect size and have many variations for themes.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


After many years of not formally introducing the concept of addition and subtraction till Spring and realizing the complexity of actually understanding it, I now start introducing this skill earlier.  I have noticed a significant difference in the student's ability in understanding the meaning of putting together and taking apart.  I use many hands-on activities, especially involving food.  Who wouldn't like eating the manipulatives?!

Here's a game, SPIDER LEGS, using pretzel sticks for legs.  There are different versions depending on your students' abilities.  If there is a food allergy concern, you could use pipe cleaners for legs.

Fran from Kindergarten Crayons suggested using those animal paper plates for adding and subtracting.  What a wonderful idea!  Below is a Mouse Mat with recording sheet that is similar to the plate concept.  This is a great visual for joining and decomposing numbers.  It's in black and white.  I thought it would look great copied on bright colored paper. Enjoy!

Don't forget to hop on over and visit Mrs. Saoud who's hosting Math Work Stations Chapter 5. She has posted a lot of good information and freebies.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


First of all - THANK YOU, Fran for a wonderful post.  Be sure to hop on over and check out her awesome ideas and freebies.  Don't forget to check out others who linked up at her blog for more great posts.

One activity my students enjoy is Egg Carton Spin & Count Game.  I put a green sticker in the top left egg cup so the children know where to begin.  I use both the 12 and 18 count cartons.  To keep the student's interest just change the objects used for counting.  I like to use commercial items and seasonal items.  Also, for another change I'll introduce 2 ways to win.   The first way is by filling up the carton and the second way is emptying the carton.  The children never tire of playing this counting game. 

Below are some spinners and math talk cards to use for 
Egg Carton Spin & Count.

Here's two versions of a number writing game using two-sided counters to help with number writing practice.  It's called Red Hot Dots.

Check out  Math Their Way for some more 
great ideas and blackline masters.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

 I just saw a post for highlighter pointers from Always First Grade -  cute idea!  But, look what I found from Hobby Lobby's clearance aisle - they are stirring sticks for drinks!!!

BUT that's not all!  When cleaning up at home I came across these!  JACKPOT!!!!

I can't wait for my froggy friends to use these for reading next year!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I will be implementing math work stations for the first time next year, but the students did partner reading last year and I envision the preparation to be similar. We discussed what should happen at partner reading time and modeled what was expected. If there was a particular problem or I observed inappropriate behavior then we'd get together to model some more. I like the idea of an anchor chart to reinforce expectations so I will work on creating this using pictures and simple text.

One of the concepts I stressed and modeled with my students was how to be a helper and not a teller. I want to do this with math work stations as well. I think the "I Can" cards and the anchor/resource charts will be helpful with this. I hang all my anchor/resource charts from arm extensions on a pocket chart stand where a student is welcome to use them when needed. If we are focusing on a particular concept, the chart may be hanging around the room for a reference. This year I will add math vocabulary cards to use as a resource, too.

I got a document camera in January and LOVE it! In addition to modeling expectations together at large group time, I will use the document camera as another way to model.  Repetition (in all its forms) is GREAT!!! Also, the document camera is a wonderful tool for sharing and reflecting. The children absolutely love to share their learning and ideas using this camera. I noticed that it inspired students to stay on task and do their best so they would get an opportunity to share with their froggy friends.

I really liked the Work Stations Chart from Really Good Stuff, but I didn't really like the price. I love using pocket charts and have one I can use for this purpose. I'm thinking a numbered stations system will work for me instead of picture task cards. I'm going to use the 3 drawer sterilite containers. I'm planning on having 12 math work stations.

Last year I had an equal amount of boys and girls so I partnered a boy with a girl for partner reading time. I switched partners each week. This worked out great! The children started figuring out who they would be partnered with next week, 2 weeks later and so on... If someone was absent and didn't have a partner - no problem, Tad (our class mascot) was their partner for the day. As far as who went first, we'd take turns between the boys and girls, but without knowing next year's class roster I like the suggestion from Heidi Samuelson using high/low numbers for the day. This will work for me because I number my students alphabetically by first name. I also pick numbered sticks on occasion.

Since I'm using the 3 drawer containers for my math work stations I will not have a lid to attach "I Can" charts to sooooo I thought maybe I would make "I Can" cards that would be held together with a metal ring.  Also, this might be a good way to differentiate the stations and as we brainstorm ideas, we could add more cards.  Here are some "I Can" cards, blank sorting mats and labels for sorting I put together real quick.  Let me know what you think?

Hop on over to Mrs. Parker's blog for more tips and ideas.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I'm excited about participating in this blog party.  I apologize for joining in kind of late, but I've been cleaning and packing up my room.  I took a few pictures of what I could.