Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Vacation Writing Freebie

The day back from vacation is always full of excitement!  We've missed our friends and the predictable routine of school!  I love sharing with my students all about my vacation happenings and hearing about their experiences!   I use the excitement of our vacation breaks to launch a new writing piece!  

I like doing this by mingling to music!  I have the kiddos spread out around the classroom.  I start some fun music and they begin to mingle.  When the music stops, they stop and share something that happened over the break!  Then repeat!  I let this go until I can feel it getting too noisy and not focussed!  

Then we get down to business, writing about our break!  We write one thing we shared in each bubble!  This helps organize our writing!  Then we use the Thanksgiving Vacation paper to create a page for our class book!  

Here are some examples from last year!

First, we completed our graphic organizer.

Then, we wrote about our vacations!  I love the complete sentences and "first grade spelling"!


You can download this freebie to use in your classroom this year!  Happy Writing!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall into M.A.T.H. Stations!

I love this time of year!  The beautiful fall colors, cooler air,  Pumpkin Spice Lattes and knowing the holidays are right around the corner!  I also love seeing the growth my students have made in this short time we've been together!

During the first trimester of school, we have focused on subitizing, showing numbers in different ways, and making 10!  I've been forcing myself and my kids to slow down and really focus!  I want to make sure they have a solid foundation in these 3 areas of math!

This is by far the BEST I have felt about my students' math understanding this early in the year!  Each morning we gather on the carpet for our calendar time!  This is more than the day of the week, etc.  This is the mini lesson before our MATH time.  We make the most of this time by following this daily routine!

I'm so impressed with my students' math minds and plan to continue with this routine!  Here is an outline of what it looks like in my classroom!

For MATH time I use the acronym M.A.T.H. to organize my groups.

            • M - Meet with the Teacher
            • A - Activity Journal
            • T - Technology
            • H - Hands on Tubs

Meet with the Teacher is my time to work with small groups.  During this time, I introduce new games, strategies and/or reinforce concepts.  Often the activities we cover in my small groups will appear in Hands on Tubs for independent practice!

Activity Journal provides an opportunity for independent practice and is often pencil paper.  I try to provide more than a worksheet though.  Usually it is more of an interactive page.

Technology:  I am fortunate to have 5 Chromebooks and 6 iPads in my classroom.  My students use the Chromebooks to access our adopted curriculum's on line portion during MATH time.  We also use the iPads to explore apps.  Some of our favorites are:

Hands On Tubs are filled with games that review concepts previously taught.  Students play games with partners or complete activities independently.  Occasionally, one of the tubs may have an independent activity such as puzzles, tangrams, or pattern blocks.

Hands on Math Tubs offer the perfect time to provide engaging fall themed independent and group activities for students!  Here are some of my students' favorites and a FREEBIE for you!

Print and add DICE!  My students love these!

Get your kids up and moving while practicing math strategies!

Click the Picture to Download Your Freebie!