Sunday, December 29

Surprise 50% off SALE!!

There's something so exciting about closing the book on a calendar year.  Even though there's still several more months of the school year, a new calendar year always feels like a fresh start...a chance to tweak things that weren't working the way we hoped or start new routines to improve what we're already doing.  I am currently visiting family in Michigan, but when I go back tomorrow, I am planning on going into school for a day and doing some organizing and prep for the new year.  I know I'm not alone with that!

Are you looking for some new activities to spice up your math block?  Do you have students that haven't made as much progress since September as you would've hoped?  If so, going back to the basics and really solidifying that number sense is one of the best things you can do for them.  I created several number sense activities this summer to use in my classroom, and they have been so helpful!  Each of my number sense items are for sale individually, but I've also bundled them into one big number sense pack!  The subitizing and rekenrek cards have been great to use with my mini-lessons, as a quick time filler, and as small group review with my lower kiddos.  The "I Have, Who Has" games have also been a big hit!
This bundle includes 2 of my bestselling subitizing and rekenrek packets!
 120 charts, number lines, and ten frames in seasonal themes!  There are seasonally themed items for every month of the school year!
"I Have, Who Has" to practice 1 more/less and 10 more/ kids LOVE playing this!
 Independent math centers to practice 1 more/less, 10 more/less!

In the spirit of fresh starts and trying new things, I'm offering this giant 240+ page bundle for 50% off!!  The bundle is normally $15 (which is an already discounted price over buying each of the items individually), but it will be on sale for $7.50 through December 31st!  

A few of my friends are also having a 50% off sale for the new year!  Click on their buttons to be taken to their Facebook pages.  Enjoy the savings!!  :)

Saturday, December 14

Love for Sandy Hook Elementary

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School.  We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children.  We honor their memory with our service.  Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.

Wednesday, November 27

Happy Thanksgiving Break!

I hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving Break!  Take some time this weekend to reflect on your blessings....both big and small.  Get some much needed rest.  Do something you've "just been meaning to do".  Or even just sit on the couch and do nothing for awhile.  Let's all recharge our batteries...we need it, don't we?"  :)

Tuesday, November 19

Honored to be on EDUCENTS!! Grab this FREE unit!!

So excited to let you know that my "Dino-RAUR Math Centers" are FREE on Educents until Friday!!  If you haven't heard of Educents, it is a fabulous website that offers great educational products at a discounted price.  There are items for teachers, homeschoolers, daycare providers...really anyone who works with kids. 

I am honored that Educents chose my dinosaur math centers to be featured as a freebie.  It is one of my favorite products in my TPT store!  Included are 9 fun, colorful math centers that cover the 1st grade math Common Core standards.  Since it is not seasonally themed, you could use it in your room at any time of the year!  Head on over to grab these cute dinosaur centers and check out the other deals they have going on right now!

Want to share the love with fellow teacher friends?  Please pin this image to let them know where they can scoop up their own copy!

Saturday, November 16

A Couple Quick Tips for Counting & Cardinality

I have a few kiddos this year who have really been struggling with counting and cardinality skills that were not mastered in Kindergarten.  Specifically, rote counting to 100 and identifying numbers to 20.  So, I've really been trying to connect with them for a quick practice session.  I've also really tried to use some creative approaches when working with these students, as I know that traditional approaches to mastering these skills have not been working.  Here are a few things that I tried this week to help these kiddos along in this area...

With kids who are having trouble remembering the "decade" numbers (40, 50, 60, etc.), I've given them this little tool to help them remember what comes next.  They touch a cube as they count numbers ending with 1-9, then when they get to the end of the cubes, they have a visual reference for what comes next. So far, it's been very helpful for them!

I've had to modify it a little bit for a student who tends to skip numbers.  (It's just dry erase marker on unifix cubes, so the marker easily comes off when we're done.)  Having the ending number on the cubes has helped her focus on the correct order and not skip around as much! :)

For my students who need practice identifying numbers through 20, I've been doing a couple different things.  One thing I've tried is just writing numbers randomly on a whiteboard, and having them either erase the number that I say, or cover it with a post-it note.  It's quick, easy, and the whiteboards make it fun!

What other tips & tricks should I try?  I'd love to hear what's worked in your room!

Tuesday, November 5

Comparing Numbers with the CRA Model

In our math workshop, we are working on comparing numbers using greater than, less than, and equal to.  I don't know about you, but I used to just go right to the symbols.  Here's the numbers, figure out the symbol kids.  Maybe throw in an alligator to help you.  However, in learning more about the Common Core and the need for deeper understanding, I've come to learn the importance of teaching kids using the CRA model: concrete, representational (pictorial), and abstract.  So, this year, I decided to try something a little different in my guided math groups.  

First, we built two numbers using base ten blocks and just verbally compared them.  I had the kids count each group, and we talked about how to look at the biggest "place" to see which number is greater or less.  Then, when we were ready for the symbols, I still stuck with the base ten blocks so the comparisons would be very concrete.  I asked the kids to build two numbers and compare them, using popsicle sticks to make the symbol.  FYI - I took these pictures from across the table, so they are upside down.  I tried to rotate them, but they just looked weird.  So, upside down it is.

Some of them were very extreme in their comparisons...1 < 80 :)

This kiddo did 22 = 22.  Of course, the blocks has to be perfectly lined up and arranged.  Anyone else have kids who need their base ten blocks to be "just so"?? :)

Then, we moved onto representational (aka pictorial...I've heard it both ways).  I had the kids draw the base ten blocks so they could still visualize the tens and ones in the numbers.  I also taught them that when they draw the symbol, the little number gets the point.  I used a dot to model which way to draw the lines.  Apparently, it kinda stuck, and now they all draw a dot like it's part of the symbol!  Haha!

Finally, some kids were ready to compare using numerals.  I've learned that numerals and symbols of any kind are very abstract for kids...while you and I can read a numeral and instantly understand what it means, it's a skill that's more difficult for some kids, especially kids who struggle in math.  I'm learning to slooooowwww down my teaching and really make things concrete and representational before I throw in any abstract symbols.  

I had them create the symbol with their popsicle sticks first, then they needed to write 2 numbers that would make it true.  It's fun to see the different numbers they come up with! :)

I purposely have not mentioned any alligators or special "tricks" this year...I've found that the alligator trick helps them know which way to point the symbol, but not necessarily know what the symbol is called.  (Case in point:  They learned the alligator trick in Kindergarten, and when I first introduced the symbol and asked kids if they knew what it was, one of them raised their hand and told me, "the mouth".  Haha!)  I want them to know the name of the symbol and what it represents, not just "the alligator eats the bigger number".  So far, I think it's really helped

Happy hump day tomorrow!

Saturday, November 2

November Currently

I'm linking up with Farley again to share my November Currently!

We had conferences last week, and I missed some of my favorite television shows.  I'm slowly catching up on them online!

This one's pretty self-explanatory.  I love that it's Saturday! :)

I'm thinking that the weekend should be a little longer!  I mean, it's almost Sunday, and that means it's almost Monday.  Yet, I feel like my weekend just started.  Oh well, at least I get an extra hour of sleep this week! :)

Wanting...and Needing...
I am in serious need of some motivation!  I've had a few ideas swirling around in my head for awhile, but I just haven't had the motivation to really get started on them.  I am the kind of person that works on projects in spurts.  Once I'm motivated to start, I get in the zone and work, work, work 'til it's done.  The problem is that if I'm not motivated, it's hard for me to buckle down and get things done!

Yummy Pin...

I saw this on Pinterest today.  It's from Dine and Dish. looks so yummy!  If I had some motivation right now, I'd totally make it! ;)

Thanks for reading my Currently...make sure you check out Farley's blog to read what some other fantastic bloggers are up to!

Monday, October 28

My Truth Monday - Creepy Stuff

Denise over at Sunny Days in Second Grade has this great new linky party called "My Truth Monday".  This week, we are sharing what creeps us out!

Foods that gross me out:
I am a pretty picky eater, and texture is a big thing for me.  I cannot stand peas...something about them just does not go well with me.  I had a bad childhood experience with eating them and being so grossed out that I was gagging while trying to eat them.  No peas for me!  I also don't like many fruits because of the mushy texture.

Scary movies:
Heck. to. the. NO.  I just get too worked up about it, and then I am scared for weeks after.  Many people I know enjoy the feeling of being scared, but not me.  I am a comedy gal through and through.

The thing that creeps me out more than anything???
Earwigs are disgusting.  Most bugs don't bother me- I can squish them and just move on with my day.  Not earwigs...too gross.  I have to call in reinforcements for those.  I'm also really creeped out by hearing creaking sounds in the night.  I try and rationalize that it's the floorboards, the apartment next door, or something outside, but it usually doesn't work.  My "fight or flight" takes over and my heart starts racing.  Yes, I'm a scaredy cat.

Well, there you have it!  Things that creep me out.  Head on over to Denise's blog to check out the other blogs participating this week!

Sunday, October 27

Winner Winner Turkey Dinner & Thanksgiving Math Centers

Congratulations to Julie for winning the giveaway!  Her winning entry was for following me on Pinterest!  Thanks to everyone who entered...I appreciate your support & the fact that you love getting free things as much as I do. 

I've been doing a little prepping for November (I know...look at me all ahead of the game!  No really...look.  It probably won't happen again!) ;)  I've printed and laminated my Thanksgiving Math Centers.  My district is using a new pacing guide this year that is very different than what we've used in the past, so many of the seasonal math centers I purchased on TPT last year are now out the window.  Don't ya just love it when that happens?!  Anyway, instead of buying more this year, I've decided to create my own.  That way, I can tailor them to what my students are learning during each month.  During November, we will be working on place value, adding 2 digit and 1 digit numbers by counting on, addition and subtraction word problems, 2D and 3D shapes, and fractions.  Here are a few (living room) pics to give you an idea...

Place Value Match...I have my kids pick a card, count the blocks, and match it with a number.  You could also play this as a memory game.

 Adding 2 digit and 1 digit numbers by counting up.  I've included 2 ways to do this.  The way that's pictured gives the kids the starting number, and they have to count up by touching the objects.  I also made a version that gives the number sentence (so the card above would say 70+3=___) and kids count up by touching the objects to find the sum.

Addition story problems!  The pink cards are result unknown problems, the orange cards are addend unknown problems, and the yellow cards are three addend problems.  Gotta use color coding to keep it all straight, don't ya know! :)

Sorting 2D and 3D shapes...I just love the little turkeys on the sorting mats!  KPM Doodles (whose Thanksgiving clipart I used to make these centers) does some fantastic work!

Sorting fractions into halves and fourths.

I also threw in a couple centers to help them practice adding and subtracting on a number line, as well as practicing fact fluency by "sorting by sum".

There are 10 math centers altogether (not all of them are pictured here).  As soon as the Halloween hoopla is over, I am whipping these bad boys out!  My students love the Fall Math Centers, so I'm sure these ones will be a big hit as well!  Want a lil' sample?  Head on over to my TPT store and download the preview!  You can snag the "sort by sum" center (the last one pictured above) for FREE!

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