Monday, November 26, 2012

Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks Workshop

Tomorrow our district is hosting the folks from Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks.  I am so excited!  They will be providing two workshops on math games for K-2 students and 3-5 students.  They also have all their games aligned to the Common Core.  After I was lucky enough to attend a few of their workshops, I started creating videos to help my students with math games at home.  Box Cars and One-Eyed Jacks even started posting them on their website.  If you ever get a chance to see them or have them come to your district, you will be very lucky!

p.s.  They will be at NCTM in Chicago later this week.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ways To Show a Number

Math Coach's Corner has a great activity for students this holiday season.  It is a poster to help them show different ways to represent a number.  I really like this because she has included ten frames into the project.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Math Workstations

Hop over to Peterson's Pad for some amazing math workstation ideas.  I especially like the activity Dice Numbers because you can use different sided dice to differentiate the activity for your students.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Math Stretch Numbers 1-121

I was very fortunate to attend Laney Sammon's Guided Math session for our district's institute day.  One of the big ideas we discussed were "math stretches."  A math stretch is a way to get the children thinking about math when they walk into the classroom in the morning.  A group of first grade teachers and I developed a math stretch based on  the first grade Common Core objective of being able to start at any number and count on.  Attached is a grid we created.  The idea is to make it larger so that each student can write a missing number on the chart.  Then when we get together,  I can ask the children: What patterns did you noticed?  What information helped you choose the number you wrote in the box?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Apps to Build Number Sense

Did you know that Augustana College has a number sense project?  They sent their university students into the schools to work with kindergartners.  This morphed into a series of educational apps to build number sense.  The apps are not super fancy, but they do focus on building number sense with ten frames, subitizing, and number lines.

Here is the list I am hoping to purchase for our iPads at school.

Line 'em Up  Free
10 Frame Fill  Free
What's Hiding? $0.99
Word Problems  Free
Thinking of a Number  $0.99
Pattern Sets   $0.99

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Great Teacher Resource

Have you checked out the Teaching Channel yet?  There are a lot of great videos there to give you ideas for strengthen your students' number sense.

I really like the one called Mingle to use as a brain break when children need to get up and move.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Guided Math Book Study Chapter 8

Thanks for stopping in!  I read this book last summer when I was trying to figure out how to get guided math up and running in my first grade classroom.  It was interesting to reread it again this summer. 

This chapter focuses on assessments. It talks about using assessments to drive your instruction.  This past year I spent much more time getting to know my students mathematically by having conversations with them.  I still used paper and pencil tests, but my interviews gave me a different glimpse at my students' mathematical understandings.

One area that I really focused on was helping my students learn their number combinations.  They each worked on a different number based on a hands-on assessment.   I had some students who were still struggling to learn the combinations to 5 and others who were already working with combinations of 15.   By using counters and talking with the students, I learned a lot more about their misconceptions and working strategies.  Children who I thought were doing well based on their written work, turned out to just be really fast counters!   I have attached the assessment our team used to this post, as well as the sheet I sent home to the parents letting them know what number their child was working on.

How do you think you will use assessments in your math class next year?  I would love to hear your ideas.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Making Tens

I like this worksheet from the blog Math Coaches Corner. It incorporates ten frames and writing the number sentences to make ten.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dominoes-Sum Snakes

I think dominoes are a "must have" in every primary classroom. I love this game from the Origo site.

Outside Math

This is the craziest time of the year! We are all trying to cram three months worth of work into one. Queen of the Jungle has come up with a great activity to get your children to burn off some energy while doing math!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Place Value Class Book

This idea is from the blog Crayon Bits. She does a great job showing how she makes a class book after each math unit using the vocabulary. I will definitely have to do this for our place value unit!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Common Core Resources

Dr. Nicki has found another great resource.  This link is from Georgia.  There are a lot of resources on this site including webinars and activities.  Check it out!

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Greedy Triangle

I love the book, The Greedy Triangle, by Marilyn Burns to help young children with geometry.  Here is a great activity from the blog Fun in First Grade that pairs writing and math.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Using Beads and Pipe Cleaners for Place Value

Here is an interesting way to reinforce tens and ones using beads. I will admit, I love my Unifix cubes, but I am always looking for a variety of math tools to teach concepts. Hop over to Mrs. T's First Grade Class and take a peek.

Place Value Mystery Cards

This activity is from the blog First Grade Parade.. Students have to figure out how many tens and ones are on each card. They then color the number on a hundreds chart to revel the mystery picture. What child can resist a mystery picture?!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

10-oh Song

A few months back I blogged about my students using the song Dynamite to practice the compliments of 10. We actually made a little music video. We will definately not be winning a Grammy, but anything that gets them learning different ways to make 10 is worth a shot!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Addition to 15

Addition to 15 is a great game with simple directions that helps children practice adding. It comes from Mrs. Young's website. She is a math coach in New York.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Combinations of 10

Mrs. T's First Grade Class has a great way for children to show what they know about combinations to 10. This would be a great activity to do after your children have had a lot of experiences using manipulatives to make the combinations to 10.

10 More, 10 Less

Here is a fun game from the blog Oh My Classity Class. It helps children practice 10 more, 10 less, 1 more, 1 less. You could send it home with a hundreds chart for a homework assignment.

Monday, February 13, 2012


Here is a free resource from Math Learning Center you might want to check out. It is a free resource guide for using geometric blocks. My friend Kim also came up with the idea of going on a shape scavenger hunt with the iPod Touches. The children will go around school and take pictures of certain shapes. I will post more about this once we have figured out all the details.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

What's Under My Thumb?

This activity was inspired by a presentation I saw with Jane Felling from Box Cars and One Eyed Jacks.  The children use dominoes to help them practice their subtraction and missing addend skills.  We are sending home the activity this week with a set of paper dominoes.  Here is a video that shows the parents how to play the game.

Place Value Scoot

Here is another idea from the blog Swamp Frog First Graders.  This activity is a great way to get kids moving and thinking about place value.

The 100th Day of School

Here are a few ideas for the 100th day of school.  This one came from the blog First Grade a la Carte.  The next idea has bounced around the Internet but my pal Kristen modified it.  It is an extension of the activity of hiding 100 Hershey Kisses around the room.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Have you seen the website NumberFix? Go check it out. Scroll down to the winners of the Digital Math Contest. These would be great problem solving activities.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tic Tac Ten

I love this activity from Michelle Flaming.  It is a great way to have kids practice adding and subtracting by 10's. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Super Cool Calculator Activity

I just learned a super cool calculator activity!  Maybe you already know about this, but I was so excited to learn it!  I am in the middle of reading Teaching Student Centered Mathematics by John Van de Walle.  In one of his chapters he talked about turning the calculator into a fact practice machine.

 Let's say you want your kids to practice their +5 facts.  They should punch in +5= into the calculator.  Then the child enters any number and says the sum of that number plus five before pressing = sign.  They can try out other numbers and the +5 = DOES NOT need to be repeated.  It will automatically add 5 to whichever number they push.   Try it out.  It is very cool.  Subtraction also works with this nifty trick.