Thursday, December 29, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

We've been nominated for the Liebster Blog award by Mrs. T at  Mrs. T's First Grade Website. I am so excited! 
The goal of this award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.

The rules are:
{1} Copy and paste the award on your blog.

{2} Thank the giver and link back to them.

3} Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

My Favorites:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks

Here is a link to Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks. I was lucky enough to attend one of their math and language arts workshops last Friday .  I had my first experience with this organization when I attended a dice/card games workshop run by owner, Jane Felling at NCTM St. Louis. Both workshops were incredible!  There are handouts on their website, but if you can attend a workshop in is worth it!  They even do family math nights! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Number Bonds Worksheets

This link is for the site Math-Aids.Com. You can program the number you want it to use and it will create a worksheet that has students figuring out the number bonds for you chosen number.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Doubles Flip Chart

Pop over to Mrs. T's First Grade Class to see a great idea for children to practice their doubles facts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Literature Books to Reinforce Math Concepts

Here are two great resources if you are looking for the right picture book to go with your math lesson. The first link is from the blog Living Math Book List. The second link is to the blog love2learn2day. Both sites are excellent and offer an outstanding list of books.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Place Value Letters

Check out this activity from Mrs. T's First Grade Class. The children make there first initial of their name using tens and ones.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Dynamite Song for Teaching Compliments of 10

My first grade friends have discovered the song 'Dynamite' that is popular on the radio.  They sing it all the time.  It is the type of song that sticks in your head and makes you a little crazy!   I thought I would use that to my advantage.  I took a piece of the song and changed the lyrics so that it taught them about the compliments of ten.  We call it 10-oh. We sing it without any background music.  (If you want to listen to the song,  use a version fit for first graders-like the one by KidsBop on iTunes).  My first graders were so excited they even want to make hand motions to go with it and perform it.  I will let you know what happens.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Math Exchanges book

I have to read this book! I have gone to all the different stops on the blog tour and have really enjoyed reading the conversations with the author.

Math Picture Books

This is great resource and it lists all kinds of math picture books.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you so much from Cindy from love2learn 2day for the Versatile Blogger Award!  I love visiting her blog every Monday!

  This blog was started as a way for a few teachers in my district to communicate and archive great math activities-I never thought anyone else would become interested in what we were gathering. 

 In order to accept this award I need to:
*Link back to the blogger who awarded me this award.
*Share 7 things about myself.
*Nominate 15 other blogs.

Here we go...
  • This is my twenty-first year teaching first grade. 
  • I climb skyscrapers (I always have to clarify that I climb the steps-not on the outside -when I tell my first graders!) to raise money for asthma research  every year. 
  • I actually met the sisters who wrote The Daily 5. 
  • My family and I go on two vacations every year-one is to a historical attraction and one is to hang out on the beach in Michigan.  
  • I love my iPad.  
  • This blog came about because a group of teachers in my district decided we wanted to find out more information about Guided Math so we started our own study group.

Here is my list of favorite blogs.  You may want to check them out!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Number Bonds

I really like this idea from the blog A Place For All-Star Ideas. I would like to use it with my first graders-it has so many possibilities!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Assessments for Math

This is such a crazy, busy time of year!  Sorry for the late post.  Attached are two assessments that were created by my teammate, Kim.  I did the Counting Assessment first.  One of the Common Core objectives is to be able to count and start at any number.  This assessment will help me pinpoint who I need to pull for small group instruction.

The second assessment is called Combination Assessment.  I used this one with my students who did well on other paper/pencil beginning of the year assessments.  I want to be able to differentiate my instruction for those students.  If they understand the compliments or number bonds of 5-I should be searching for the number they do not know.  This assessment will help me do that.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Compliments of 5 and 10

I really love K-5 Math Teaching Resources! Here are poems to help kids with compliments of 5 and 10.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Patterns Plus Fruit Loops

This activity is from the blog Just Add Clipart. It has an activity to help students with patterning by having them use cereal.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Number Bracelets

This is a great idea for math tubs from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits. She shows how to use beads to show the parts that make up a whole number.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Brain Chains

Check out this great video by Teacher Tipster to help children with place value. Brain Chains are a great idea for calendar time, but I was also thinking they would be fun to make for the 100th day of school.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Toothpicks and Number Sense

I think this idea from the blog First Grade Parade is great for beginning of the year math tubs. It is simple, but yet you can differentiate the activity easily by using larger numbers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Beginning Number Sense Math Mats

Thanks to Heidi Samuelson for finding this great resource from Geocitites. I especially like the Lego mats.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Math Flashcards

Here is a great resource for all different types of Flashcards from the site Have Fun Teaching.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What Number Am I? Place Value Riddles

This is another great resource posted from Dr. Nicki's blog. It is from the Courseware Solutions website. These riddles would work well in a small group lesson.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

New Common Core Blog

CCSS Links is a blog dedicated to the first grade Common Core Standards. It is a place to submit lessons or browse for lessons.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

All Things Dice!

Check out Little Miss Kindergarten's blog.  She is hosting a linky party all about dice.  I like her ideas for organization.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Great Ideas About Equal Signs and Flashcards

Check out Heidi Samuelson's blog Swamp Frog First Graders.  She has posted a YouTube video of ideas she has learned from Dr. Copley's Workshop.  You will find two excellent activities.  One demonstrates the importance of teaching students that the = sign means "the same as" instead of the sign that comes before the answer.  The other idea is how to make flashcards that can be used for addition and subtraction.

Guided Math Structure

The blog The Creative Apple has a great explanation of how to set up guided math in your classroom.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Math Scavengar Hunt-Differentiation

This link is from a site called Minds-In-Bloom.  We all have  students who need their math work differentiated.  Some of these problems would offer those children an interesting challenge.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

First Grade Common Core Standards

Here is the pacing for the Common Core Standards for first grade that we aligned with our District Objectives.

Online Games

The blog First Grade in the Desert recently posted a link to the Investigations online math game site.  There you will find games for counting/numbers, addition/subtraction, geometry, data, and patterns.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Common Core Crosswalks

Here is a LiveBinder site that has all of the Common Core Crosswalks for the states that have adopted the standards.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Number Operations-Greater Than/ Less Than

This link came from Dr. Nicki's blog.  This link is for a catchy song to help with greater than/less than.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Beginning Numbers-Subitizing (again)

Here is a great post from the blog Math is Not a Four Letter Word about why subitizing is important.  I think if we can help those kids who come to use with minimal number sense right away ... it could make all the difference when they try to tackle other math concepts.  I have been thinking about how to assess children's number sense knowledge.  So far I think Kathy Richardson's Counting Objects Assessment and Changing Number Asessment  is the right way to go.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Beginning Numbers-Math Rack

Beginning number concepts for first graders include the concept of subitizing.  Subitizing is the ability to look at a group of objects and know what the number is or the numbers that make up that number.  For example-a child can look at the pips on dice that are rolled and know that one of them is a four because of the pattern the dots form.  Another example is a child who looks at a ten frame and can recognize that the number shown is five because half of the ten frame is filled in.  I recently went to a workshop with Dr. Nicki Newton who introduced me to the world of subitizing (and a cool tool I will explain below) and I have been trying ever since to figure out ways to help my students with this concept. 

One of the ways to help students with this concept is a  thing called a Rekenrek or Math Frame.  These tools are pricey-so I have made mine out of pipe cleaners, two colored beads, and plastic mesh canvas (used when embroidering).

Children can use a Rekenrek/Math Frame to start understanding the concept of a five and ten (as well as other numbers).  For example-all the beads start on the right side.  To show the number five-the student swoops all the red beads on the top row to the left.   To show the number eight-the student swoops all the red beads and three white beads that are on the top row to the left.  Here are some resources so you can see other activities and probably a better explanation about the concept!  This manipulative has endless possibilities for beginning number concepts as well as addition, subtraction, and story problems.

Don't forget to go back and check out all the great information at:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Math Interactive Flash Quizzes

This site has a wide variety of interactive quizzes that cover a lot of topics.

Assessments for Math

This site has a wealth of information for 1st and 2nd grade assessments.

Number Sense-Subitizing-Place Value

Check out this great site called Mathematically Minded (Thanks, Jill!).  They have some wonderful resources for subitizing and place value.  Even though this is a company that is selling products, they have offered some valuable resources for free.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Story Problem Videos

This link came from Dr. Nicki's blog.  I like the first few videos because it shows how to use  bar diagramming to introduce students to part-whole story problems, two step story problems, and comparing story problems.  Next year I want to make sure I teach my first graders how to solve story problems in a more systematic way using the types of problems that are outlined by CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Launching Guided Math-The First Weeks of School

What students will be doing the first few weeks : Exploration of Math Tools
  • Pattern Blocks
  • Wooden Blocks
  • Attribute Links
  • Geoboards
  • Unifix Cubes
  • Treasure Boxes (containers with different manipulatives)
  • Color Bears
  • Colored Toothpicks
From the research I have read (Kathy Richardson), I can't expect the children to get down to the business of using manipulatives until they have gotten the play out of the way.  I need to make this initial exploration a time for the children  to explore (and I can get some of the beginning of the year assessments done).
I also need to make sure it is very different from when I start the actual math stations.

Teaching the Routines for Math Stations
I will probably teach it like the Daily 5-building stamina, having the example, non-example etc.  However, I don’t want the kids to think that this is the Daily 5 Math.  Daily 5 should be quieter-Math Stations will obviously be nosier because the children need to talk about what they are learning.  The more I research, the more I realize that children need to explore-starting with the concrete before they move to the abstract.  Therefore, they need to have a conversation with their partners about what they are doing.  I want my Math Stations to be separate from my Daily 5 because I don’t want either endeavor to jeopardize the success of the other.

Below is the list of guidelines I want to strive for with my math stations.  I will obviously need to model and explain each one, but this hits on the main ideas I want my children to understand.

All Aboard for Math Stations:
Tools Not Toys
Peaceful Partners
Time on Task
My Place is in My Math Space
Clean Up Carefully

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Making 10-Number Bonds

This link is from the blog Let's Play Math.  It explains number bonds and offers a few activities.

Measurement-Gallon Man

This link is from the blog Zook Tutoring.  I love the visual way to show children the relationship between gallons, cups, pints, and ounces.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


This is a great site for creating graphs.  One of the parents in my room cleaned out her Beanie Baby collection.  Each child got a stuffed creature to take home.  Before they got packed into backpacks, we decided to make a graph based on the animals' groups (mammal, amphibian, reptile, insect, bird and fish).  We used this online graph site to make a bar graph and then a pie graph using the data.

Common Core Math Standards

The sunny state of Arizona has done a wonderful job aligning the Common Core Math Standards with Explanations and Examples.  Check out your grade level to give yourself a quick tutorial of the standards.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Math Resource Site

This is a great math site.  It has games and printables.  I especially love the Parent Teacher Section.  I can download the articles by Marilyn Burns right to iBooks app on my iPad so I can ready them later.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Place Value-Mini Tutorial on Using Base Ten Blocks

This site actually has a mini tutorial for showing children how to use base ten blocks to make numbers and add/subtract.

Patterns-Good Book to Introduce

This activity comes from the blog Love2Learn2day.  I like the story she uses.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Math Workstations Study Group

Check back throughout the next few months for information on Debbie Diller's book.  A group of teachers are going to be posting their favorite lessons and math workstations using the format of an online book study.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Math Misconceptions

This is a great blog by Maria Miller that has a good post about math misconceptions.

Parent Resource-Math Facts Online

This is a new website one of our third grade teachers told me about.  You may want to check it out and see if it is a good one to recommend to your parents.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tally Marks

Here is another good resource from Dr. Nicki Newton.  This one is for using toothpicks to teach tally marks.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Even though this is a kindergarten classroom, there are great pattern activities.  The blog is called Kindergarten....kindergarten.  Check it out!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Number Sense-Dot Card and Ten Frame Activities-Subitizing

This is a good resource to help us in the beginning of the year to build subitizing for both Perceptual Subitizing (recognition of number patterns) and Conceptual Subitizing (recognition of number patterns parts to the whole).  When you use the dot cards with students you should ask "What do you see?" as opposed to "How many?"  It gives the children the opportunity to think about the dots as different arrangements of numbers. (Dr. Nicki Newton)

More cool subitizing resources: MovieMakers.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Common Core-1st Grade Number Activities

WOW!  This site is awesome!  It has examples of activities that correlate to each of the Common Core State Standards.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Fractions and Spring Insects

I like this activity because the children are making insects (which could go with our science unit-habitats) while learning about fractions.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Geometry-Pondering Polygons and Virtual Geoboard

Here is a virtual geoboard to use on your computer.  The next resource is by Laura Candler and it is Pondering Polygons.  I like this page because it has the students pair math with writing.  They are given a shape and asked a question about the shape.  The student has to answer yes or no and give a reason for the answer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Geometry-Polygon Song

I love this fun song about polygons.  It takes a boring square and changes him into all different shapes.  This is great to review vocabulary, but it will stick in your brain!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Geometry Lesson On Polygons and Symmetry

This is an interesting site. I like the flip book that the chilren make.  They choose shapes and then write yes or no on the inside if it is a polygon or not.  This is from the blog love2learn2day.

Interesting activity using Legos to help children learn about symmetry.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Great Parent Resource

This one is for the parents.  It is called My Kids Turn and it has different videos for parents that highlight ways to help their children with math, spelling or even how to play card games.  Very cool and a great resource to pass onto your parents.

Beginning of the year-using math to learn a classmate's name

This is a great idea using the book Five Little Monkeys by Michelle Flaming using dice, counters, a tens frame and a friend's name.

Cool Geometry Site

Check this site out!  It is called Math Cats. One of its features is something called Math Cats' Crafts.  If you are looking for ways to get your kids excited about geometry, you should check it out!

Monday, April 18, 2011

NCTM Regional Conference and Exposition

October 26th-October 28th is the NCTM Conference in St. Louis.  I looked at some of the workshops that are offered and they look great!  Check out the list of conference offerings.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Place Value

My team and I have been reading the book Math Workstations by Debbie Diller.  There are quite a few excellent activities for teaching place value in her book.  On Friday we had a "Tens Tools" day (this idea came from my teammate, Kim).  I used different materials (straws and rubber bands, beans and cups, unifix cubes, centimeter rods...) to set up 7 stations around the room.  The children traveled in groups of threes.  Once the children were at a station, everyone in the room made the same number using their tens tools.  Each station also had three tens and ones place value mats.  After the children made the number, they had to tell their friends at the station  "I have____groups of tens and ____extra ones, which equals _______."  (This math language idea can be credited to Debbie Diller).  It really helped to have this sentence written on the card for the children to reference.  I buzzed around the room to listen in briefly at each group.  Then the children were instructed to clean up, stand up, and move to the next station.  The children really loved it and had the opportunity to use seven different types of tens tools to make numbers.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


The grant for the math supplies and resource books is due on Friday.  I need everyone to sign the grant before it gets turned into to the committee.  We should know around the end of April if we were successful!

Check out the link Guided-Math I just posted.  It was a lot of great resources.