Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Teaching Place Value

These little DIY place value mats from The Teacher's Wife is on my list of things  to make this summer.
Here's a place value FREEBIE from TpT thanks to Second Grade Cup of Tea.  It is geared towards 1st and 2nd grades.
I love using books for all areas of teaching, including for math.  Here's a list of the top books to use when teaching place value thanks to Hub Pages.
A place value review; 4 ways to write a number freebie from Peterson's Pad.
Here's a FREE place value story recommended for 1st and 2nd graders from TpT (Sarah Sebesta) .  I read through this 5 page story and really like the simplicity of it, along with the pictures.  It seems like a great addition to my file!

I found this idea on Pinterest, but when I clicked on the picture to go to the link, it only opened the picture larger.  If you know where this idea came from, please let me know so that I may properly give credit. 
I am going to create the black line for this paper first (easy enough) and then use this idea at a math center/station to review place value.  Each student will need a paper, 2 dice and crayons or a pencil.  The directions from Pinterest were these:  Math center idea for tens and ones. use foam dice so they don't make any noise. Student rolls 2 dice. The 1st number is for the tens place and the 2nd one is for the ones place. If they roll a 6 and 4 they write down 64 and then they draw the picture. You can add more dice for larger numbers.  I love that students are able to write and draw the number for extra practice!!
**UPDATE:  I created a blackline for this place value game and here goes my 1st attempt to upload it to google docs.  I'm crossing my fingers it works!  Click on the picture to get your FREEBIE... (hopefully!)  :)

Lory's Page gave to 2 free downloads to use a a review or math center.
This first idea is to be used as a math center/station.  The directions can be printed along with the game board if you follow my link.  Basically, the students are to roll 2 or 3 dice (1 at a time) depending on their skill level.  The students place their dice in the column they want, trying to ultimately end up with a smaller number than their opponent.  Your students could also practice write their numbers in standard, expanded and written forms for some extra practice and review.  This is a game of strategy and fun.  I know my firsties would have a lot of fun with this activity!!
This would act more as a review page, but I know the kids would still love it!  Thanks Lory for creating and sharing!!

I can't seem to access this page, but looking at the picture I found on Pinterest, I think I can make a judgement on how to recreate this center.
First, I would make a recording sheet like the one shown above.  Next I would give each child 2-3 dice to roll to make a number.  In the column that says "number" have the child record the number they rolled.  For example, if your student rolled a 3, 6,  and 2, they would write down 362.  The last step would be to have the student glue down the correct place value.  Cheerios for the 1's, pretzel rods for the 10's and Chex cereal for the 100's.
**UPDATE:  Click here for a FREE document I made that you can use.

Oh and check out what I picked up at Walmart this weekend for only $6.97 for a 12 pack...Mr. Sketch smelly markers!! 
I am so excited to use them at my spelling center next year!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Math Journal Ideas

So I have to admit...I attempted to use math journals last school year, but I wasn't as consistent as I should have been and as a result I didn't love how they turned out.  Instead of scrapping the idea I'm thinking about gathering more ideas and giving it another shot.  Here are a few ideas I have come across that might help me (and maybe you) with math journals in the future.
First of all, can I just say how inspired I am by Kathyrn at Kindergarten Kindergarten!  I LOVE her math journals!  Take a look at some of the examples from them.

Oh.  My.  Goodness!  Just looking at her students' work gives me hope for next year.  I can't even begin to tell you how excited this makes me.  My inner teacher nerd self is thrilled to have found this! :)
I think there are many components to making a child's learning successful.  Hands-on learning, like the math journals above, but also learning terms and meanings for math can be overwhelming for kids.  These math songs from Lory's Page are super cute, catchy and great for teaching younger students.  There are 12 songs ready to download and print out.  Wouldn't they make a nice addition to a math journal too!?!  Maybe glue each song at the front of each new topic taught.  Love it!

Teacher Web has some wonderful ideas on how math journals work, including FREE downloads to use.  As you scroll through this page, you will also find ideas covering math tubs, suggestions on how to make math in your classroom successful and awesome games to download at the end.  I can't wait to dissect this site!!
Our Aussie Homeschool has a great little calendar book to help her child with various calendar skills.  With her printables, you can track the weather, practice writing the date in various forms, write the #'s/tally mark until the 100th day of school and more. 
The think it would be great to glue a few of these pages in at the front of your students' notebooks to use throughout the year.

Calico Cookie has some good ideas of how to incorporate math journals into kindergarten and first grade classrooms, including a list of questions and ideas to accompany literature.
My Teacher Pages has a downloadable list of 101 math journal topics for 3rd graders.

Do any of you use math journals? 
Any tips or suggestions to add?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Teaching Symmetry

Check out this symmetry self portrait bulletin board from Pineapple Paintbrush.  Each child is half photograph and half drawing.  I am sure the kids would love taking part in this project!
Along the same lines of symmetrical art to display, this idea was found on Pinterest, but I am unable to access the site it came from. 
These kindergartners put paint on half of a sheet of paper, folded it in half and created a symmetrical monster.  To take it a step further and incorporate another subject area, I think for 1st graders or older, you could have the students write a story to go along with their monster.

This was a 6th grade math/art lesson involving the students' names.  Definitely too hard for my 1st graders, but such a cool idea!
An easier name project might be this one that comes from Getting Messy With Ms. Jessi.
Using Bendaroos and letter blocks, kids can discuss which letters of the alphabet are symmetrical and which ones are not. 
This idea is from Homeschool or Bust.  For her older children, she took the idea a step further and had them make fractions.  Letters that are symmetrical: 14/26, which can reduce to 7/13.  Continue thinking of fractions that could challenge an older group of kids.

I got a kick out of this possible art/math idea of creating symmeTREE from Step Into 2nd Grade with Mrs. Lemons.  I love the play on words. :)
She also did a bulletin board similar to the first picture on this post, only the students had to draw the other half to a school staff member.  Too funny!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Teaching Beginning Addition

One of my favorite new discoveries is this blog called Tales of a K-1 Classroom.  If you are wondering where to get started, how math centers might look, or where to find FREE materials to get you started...look no further.  I have linked too all her FREE math ideas.  Of course she has more than just addition activities, unlike the title of this post, but I thought I would feature one of her many roll and color activities.  Most kids know about Angry Birds.  In fact these birds seem to be everywhere now-a-days...hats, shirts, pillows, toys, etc.  With them being so popular, I think my students would be super excited to know we were using them for math too. 
If you're looking for another theme, don't worry Sara has you covered there too!  There are games using dinosaurs, Flat Stanley (love that book series!), Legos, and many, many more fun ideas.  Oh and while I'm singing out my praises for her blog, can I mention that I also love her

I am strongly thinking of using the same concept with my students next year, but making a few changes.  I am still figuring out how I want to work my math program next year. 

Ok so on to some more addition games/ideas since that is the title of this post!

Great Schools has this free dice adding worksheet that could easily be added to a center for extra (unguided) practice.
For only $1.00 from First Grader At Last, this bowling for Facts game is the perfect addition to any math center (no pun intended ;))
All you need for Addition Tic-Tac-Toe is this FREE game board and 2 ten sided dice.
Source:  Swamp Frog First Graders.
Ok so you might have to use this addition game (Roll, Add and Write) around Thanksgiving because of the turkey in the corner, but what a great practice for younger kids with adding, number recognition and correct number formation!
This activity came from Heather's Heart and I am including a link to her math games because she also has a lot of neat ideas to choose from!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Money, Money, Money, Money...Money

Can you read the title post without breaking out into song?  Ok so here are a few money ideas, games and activities to incorporate into your math stations.  I have lots, so this may be broken into a few different segments.

Magic Money looks like a great resource for both home and school use.  It is a free download from TpT, thanks to Nicole.  I love that there is also a letter already typed up to send home explaining how to use this system.  Trust me, money is a hard thing for little learners to grasp, so any help tool is greatly appreciated!

Dollar and Cents snakes and ladders game FREE from Down Under Teacher.
or Money Track (coins and bills)

Tales From A K-1 Classroom has more than just FREE money printables so make sure you check out the link so you don't miss out.  Trading Up looks like a fun one to use though!

Another money game, similar to the one above, is called Money Trade.  The freebie is from Classroom Freebies Too.  The game was played with kindergartners and went up to $0.25 so it seems like a more basic/simpler game than the one above.  I'm thinking I would start with this one first and then move to the one above next.  You could also use this idea for your struggling or lower students and use the one above for the more advanced students.  Either way, everyone would be gaining a little extra practice with money!

Here is a 53 page money unit created by The Lesson Plan Diva.  I haven't bought it yet ($6.00), but it looks well worth it with all the featured ideas you could use at centers.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Teaching Measurement

Move over come the marshmallows!  This looks like a fun and different approach to measurement from First Grade Fabulous Fish.
Speaking of marshmallows and measurement, here is a free download from TpT thanks to Kelli from Castles and Crayons.
Lory's Page did a great post about measurement including free downloads to her activities.  I can't wait to try out the Magic Grow and all the other measuring activities!
If you work with kids 3rd-6th grade, here's a FREE download from Classroom Freebies called Find a Buddy Who...
And finally, my last measurement idea (for now) comes from Family Fun.  Make a marshmallow catapult.  This could be an in class (group) project or a homework assignment, depending on how you wanted to do it.  Either way, launch a few marshmallows, measure their distance and record your answers.

So what about you? What fun measurement activities do you like to do?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

More on Math Work Stations

So just in case my post from yesterday about all the math storage/set up ideas, weren't enough, I have even more for you.  You're welcome :).  The Clutter-Free Classroom (amazing blog...just in case you haven't visited) featured lots of great ideas.  You'll have to visit her site to see for yourself though!
One of the ideas that was featured was this from Here We Go Loopty Loo.  I thought I would bring it up so I could explain why you might see the word "BUILD" around some teachers' math area.  It is an acronym for:
B - Buddy Games
U - Using Manipulatives
I - Independent Working/Reading
L - Learning About Numbers
D - Doing Math

If you would like to download some BUILD cards, check out Adventures In Teaching.  I love the BUILD check in sheet offered at the bottom of the post.  It looks like the perfect way to keep track of students during this time!!  I even love this second post she offered with more tips on how she runs her math.  Very helpful tips!
Here's a look into yet another classroom and another set up for math stations.  This one comes from A Differentiated Kindergarten.  Within this post, I love how she broke down how to set things up and how she made math stations work for her.  Also I love her color coded system of breaking kids into groups based on their skill levels/readiness.  Check it out.

And in case you're wondering how you're going to tackle Math Stations in your classroom, take a look at Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten for this FREE printable of expectations.
Peterson's Pad also had a chart like the one above.  It isn't one you can download, but at least it shows you another version of the chart so you can create your own set of expectations.  She also has lots of great tips and suggestions!  Here's a link to some of the games she uses.  They look like tons of fun!!
Wanting to get started somewhere?  Check out Kids Count 1234 for tons of great games, ideas and free printables!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Math Work Stations

What a rough ride it's been for the last couple of weeks!  My best friend from high school passed away suddenly the weekend before school let out, so I had to call in a substitute for the last day of school.  Who does that?  I then had to hurry off to her funeral and return home before our family vacation started.  I spent a full week with my husband's entire family on a vacation to California.  We went to Disneyland, Universal Studios, the beach and even had to time to attend a baseball game (Angels vs. Yankees).  {GoYankees!}  It's been fun, wild and crazy, to say the least!  So now it's summer, and even though teachers do get time off from work, my brain doesn't quite go all the way into sleep mode.  All summer I think of ways I can improve my teaching, look for new ideas to incorporate into the following school year, and work on projects! 
This summer, my goal is to beef up my math.  I love math and I want my students to gain a love for it too!  I have heard many teachers talk about Debbie Diller Math Work Stations,
but I haven't read this book yet.  It sounds like maybe I should!   If any of you use math stations or have wonderful math ideas, please let me know.  As I come across ideas this summer, I will post them here so hopefully others can benefit too.
Here are a few places I have spotted math stations being used.  At least it's somewhere to help me get started!
Sarah from First Grader at Last shows off this cute and organized system she uses to store her math stations in.  (She mentioned that she found this shelving unit at Walmart.)
Amanda from First Grade Garden uses smaller containers that could be placed on the counter.
Amanda also has several math games and suggestions on her blog. 
Dana from 3rd Grade Gridiron uses these stacked drawers to store her math items. 
(I use these for drawers for other things in my classroom so I know you can find them at Walmart.)  She also shows you how she stores her math ziplock bags and of course laminated!!  HERE is a link to Dana's TpT store, where she has offered 17 FREE math games/activities to get you started.

Learning with Mrs. Parker did a post with a look back at her 1st year with Math Stations in her classroom.  I love all the inside information I was able to gain from reading it.

Julie from Second Grade Style went with the idea of using plastic tote baskets. 
She mentioned that she stores the totes on a rolling cart and then when it's time for math stations, she simply rolls the cart to the middle of the room where the kids can then access all the materials easily.
Just as I was about to post this, I came across someone thinking the same as me.  (Scary!)  Tiffani from Time 4 Kindergarten just did a post on Math Work Stations with a linky party to several more great blogs.  I can't wait to dig into this!
The 1st step seems to be figuring out which organizational system works best for you and your classroom setup.  These ideas were only suggestions.  Once you have that figured out, start collecting math games and activities to reinforce the math concepts being taught.  There are plenty of great ideas already created for you out there.  A lot are free, but there are also great ideas available on TpT.  As I mentioned, the ideas I have found will be posted here...soon to come...