Sunday, August 11, 2013

From Birthday Treats to Star Student Week Treats

So last year (about this time) I made a "Birthday Confession".  I am happy to report that having the b-day treats pre-made, super cute, and on display, really helped.  It was great!

One problem: Not all of my students celebrate birthdays.

And, less signficiant, my kids have "Star Student Weeks" that is USUALLY near their b-day (or half b-day) but sometimes they had to be a random available week. (When 1/3 of your class has a birthday in June or August, you have to make some accommodations). So a "birthday" treat was not necessarily exactly what I wanted...

Hmmm... What to do? What to do?

I changed the "Happy Birthday" to "Happy Star Student Week!" I also changed the bottom part from a Laffy Taffy Ropes (which my kids LOVED last year) to a crazy straw (from Dollar Tree).  Two reasons for the change. #1- I am getting married in December and am trying to save money.  The Laffy Taffy ropes cost about $.25 each- from Sam's Club (in a set of 48). The straws cost about $0.17 each (purchased in sets of 6).  Reason #2- The taffy was great. The kids loved it. But as the year went on, with the taffy sitting near a window, it got hard.  The kids didn't notice but I was disappointed, when I went to give all the extras as a "thank you" to the Sweepers at my school, to find that they were ROCK hard.

The straws idea was modified from one I saw on Pinterest from THINKSHARETEACH.  Check that out here.

I am loving the results! I am using the same container as last year-- just changed it from "Happy Birthday" to "Happy Star Student Week!"  

Have a wonderful day! 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Math Journals Update (First Grade Update)

Here is an update on the Math Journal: Tools for your Toolbox post.  I have had so many emails about this post! I am so glad that people are finding this to be a simple, engaging method! :)

Here are the pictures from my class last year-- They are pretty self explanatory, but feel free to email me or post a comment if you have questions!

We try to add a definition and example for all of the math symbols in addition to our strategy "tools"!

Every strategy we learn we add into our "Toolbox" as a "tool".  We want our First Graders to be comfortable with ALL of the strategies so that they can identify the BEST strategy when faced with a problem. Yes, there will be strategies that they prefer, but they still need to know how to use the BEST strategy for the problem. :)

A definition and an example :)

Focusing on teen numbers-- they are so tricky! We want them to really see the TEN and the ONES that make up each number.

Sometimes we use our journals for fact practice.  I don't do them in my journal very often, but here is one time when they were working on fact families with teen numbers.

What better way to show numbers than on a hundred board? This is not only a great visual but it is so fun to watch the kids figure out the patterns!

The "Utah Core Standards" have First Graders mastering numbers to 120.  So we expanded our journal pages to ensure that they have the same opportunity for introduction and mastery as with all of the other numbers. They are quick to see the patterns!

We used this little hundred board to solve some challenging problems. (Using the strategy "Count-On by Tens or Ones".

Two-digit Addition Strategies!

I hope these pictures have given you some ideas! 
If you would like a copy of some of the pages, please feel free to email me :)
You can leave a comment but if you want to receive the documents, you will have to email me directly.
Have a wonderful day!