Saturday, October 13, 2012

Where has the time gone?

Well it has been along time since I last posted.   We are in a new school year and things are running smoothly.  We have started a new math curriculum Math in Focus.  I have taken a couple pictures of a number bond activity that I found on pinterest.  Students are really starting to understand number bonds and their addition facts.  Students also had the opportunity to work on number bonds with hula hoops in the gym.  If anyone out there is also using Math in Focus. What has worked for you?  Email me if you have any tips, tricks or activities that have worked.

I also wanted to share some Fall art work.  We are definitely headed into fall/winter here.  Just yesterday we had snow and rain mixed.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February has been a busy month!!

Erica here.  Wow! It has been a busy month.   We started the month off learning about our new sound spelling for Lesson 17  of Storytown -le.  Lesson 17 stories focused on the jungle and elephants, so we did an elephant art project, using watercolor markers. Also during the week students made their own -le books.  We brainstormed words that ended in -le.  Students then cut construction paper to illustrate their own -le word picture and then they wrote a sentence to go with the picture.

Student Book I Can Read Words With -le

Then there was Valentine's Day, Parent Teacher Conferences, and President's Day.  There was even the 100th day of school, but we decided as a grade level not to celebrate the 100th day.  We decided we would celebrate the 120th day of school, since the common core focus is to 120, so that will be coming up soon.

Last Friday, our first grade students got to go shopping at First Mart (First Grade Classroom Stores)  Students have been earning pennies for being safe, being responsible and being respectful and other helpful actions.  We had a variety of goods and services for sale.  It was so much fun to watch and the kids had a great time.   One student in my room said, " First Mart broke me" They are back to saving again.  We will have the store again towards the end of the year.  We will write more information later about how our year long classroom/economy system works.

Then of course this week we have been doing many activities related to Dr. Seuss!!
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!

On another note, our district is looking at math programs. We are previewing/surveying three different programs. Anybody out there use Every Day Math?  What do you like about it?  What don't you like about it?

Happy Tuesday!!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Homework Calendar

Someone asked to see what our homework calendar looked like.  Here is a copy of this years calendar.  I choose the games month by month according to what we are working on.  What I did was set up the skeleton calendar before the year began based on what our team decided for our StoryTown schedule.  I input the weeks and then spelling words (because this is what is the most time consuming).  Then at the end of each month I think about what our essentials are/or what the kids need more practice with, and decide what games they will have for homework.  Each month it is pretty simple especially if the game directions are already typed up.  The best part is that I can easily make copies for homework each week to send home, because the decision is already made.  This has really cut down on my prep time for homework each month and each week!  Obviously I will need to adjust it next year to make the dates match and based on what the kids are working on.  It's not perfect, but it really has helped me and help to have the parents participate in homework and make it meaningful for kids.  I have also attached the reading log that I send home.  I hope you find this useful!

Homework Calendar
Reading Log


Math Routines

Tia here!
I am taking a math class from Nancy Norman, as part of my professional development.  I am in my second year and learn so much each time I talk with her, in fact every time I learn something is elicits more questions.  The goal of this class to help create a balanced math curriculum, and I feel like this class has really helped to improve my teaching.  It is this math class where I got the idea to move away from worksheet homework to practicing the math games with their families.  The other component of a balanced curriculum is what we call routines times, this is the social knowledge part of math, this is meant to be a quick 10 minute part of the day.  The way I decide what needs to be done is I think about my essentials for learning for 6 weeks and then I figure out what things are social knowledge and add them to my routines time.  Right now we working on...time to the half hour, story problems, reading number words, doubles, days of the week, months of the year, 10 more/less, money (combining coins), skip counting by 2's to 40 and 5's to 120, hundreds chart.  Here are some cards that I have created to go with my routines.  I hope you find them useful!

Month and Days of the Week
Pattern pieces
Number Words
Tens Frame Number Cards
Coins Routines


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Math Games

I send homework home each week.  I develop my homework calendar each month so that they parents can see future spelling words and have a heads up for what it coming.  Each week the kids have a reading log, math game, and are supposed to practice their spelling words.  Instead of having worksheets for the math homework I send home instructions for a math game each week.  The parents are responsible for playing the game with their child each night.  This has been very successful helping the students to become masters at the games that they are playing in the classroom.  It also gives them the much needed practice with the skills we are covering.  I typically do is teach the math game/skill on Friday or Monday so that the kids know how to play the game and can be their parents teachers.

I am attaching the games that I have been creating for homework.  The games come from all different resources some of them have been modified to make them appropriate to be done at home with limited resources.  A few sources are Math Investigations and Nancy Norman: Creating Great Mathers.  Please feel free to share them with your families and use in your classroom.

Race to a Dollar
Number of the day
Make 10
How Many are Hiding
How Many to 20
Doubles Match
Closer to 10
Closer to 10 Board
50 Pennies
50 Pennies Board


Friday, January 13, 2012

Ahoy Me Hearties!

This week in Storytown we learned about the sound /ar/.  Today we had pirate day.  All the first grade students were encouraged to dress up, and many of them did. We did several craftivities. We made pirates and parrots.  They turned out very cute and the buccaneers seemed to have  a jolly good time.

We also went on a treasure hunt for /ar/ words around the building.  Our classes did a really good job finding and reading the words.  Many of the activities that we used are from Abby at the Inspired Apple and Deanna Jump, and can be purchased through their TPT stores.  The parrot was something that I found on pinterest.

Overall it was a great day and I am so ready for a three day weekend.