Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ordering Numbers with our Bodies!

Before I share a fun strategy for ordering numbers. I wanted to show you what I spent all night doing... I cut my Apple Activities Pack. I put it on sale this week so go check it out here!
To practice ordering numbers, we use our bodies since ordering numbers with just a paper and a pencil can be pretty boring.
First, every table is assigned a decade ( teens, twenties, etc.) The students must choose a number in that decade that is different from everyone else's at their table. This ensures that everyone in the room has a different number for this activity.
Once everyone has their number written on a post-it note, we move around the room to the music. Once the music stops, the students freeze and listen for their challenge.
I will then call out a direction such as "Make a group of three"  and I count back from 10 and they have 10 seconds to find two others.
Once in their group and I have reached zero in my count, they wait for the next direction which is "order". This cues them to order themselves from least to greatest. The students have to position their bodies  to represent their order as well. For example, the student whose number is the least will be shortest, the number in the middle, a little taller and the greatest number the tallest.
Here are some pics of my kids after they had ordered themselves.

Hope that gave you an easy way to make a mundane skill more engaging and fun!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Apples, Apples, Apples!

I can't wait for next week! We will be knee deep in apples!!!!
I have some pics from apple day last year to share and maybe it will give you some ideas if you are studying apples next week for Johnny Appleseed Day which is the 27th. I have parents come in and run some of the activities on Friday. I also have some apple math tub activities we work on all week.

 This is an apple poem with a ripped apple craftivity. The students glue it into their poetry notebook.
 Ten apples on Top ordering numbers activity
 Creating artwork with apple prints! We used apples cut in half ( so star is exposed) and cores to make our prints.
 Making Ten Apple Math and Apple Snacks!
 Apple tasting, graphing and writing!

Apple Science Experiment with a Prediction Log. So fun! The kids really have no idea what happens to an apple that is left out.
If you are interested in any of these activities or the math activities we will be working on, check out my Apple Activities pack on TPT here. Here's a preview of what's included. It's kind of hard to see in these images so if you download the preview on TPT, you can get a better look!

In addition to my pack, I will also be working Johanna Tackitt's "Making Number Sense Applicious".
 Have a great Apple Week!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Student Goals freebie!

Hi friends!
I wanted to share something really quick I just made. Today my principal let us know that she'd like us to turn in student goals tomorrow!  No pressure! She wants each student to create a goal for themselves. We always work on fluency and math facts later in the year and by that time students can understand the goal so it's a great motivator. But what would that look like in September when they are still just getting the foundations of first grade in place? She suggested a behavior goal may be a good idea for now. I created these goal sheets that I think may work for now until they have a better grasp of their learning and we can narrow their goal down to a specific skill that is measurable.

I use whole brain teaching rules so the behavior goal is based on that. Maybe you can use these or at least get an idea that will help you make a student goal sheet that will work for you. If you have any ideas or suggestions for me, let me hear it!!!! Clicks the pics to download if you'd like. :)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Quick and Easy Math Tub idea- First to Fifty!

Yes! Two posts in a week! I'm on a roll! :)

I don't know about you, but my students have needed a lot of extra practice with numbers to 50 this year. I made this game last year, pulled it out on Friday and it was a big hit!

It's called First to Fifty (My spin on Race to 100). All the students have to do is roll a die, count the number of squares they roll and write and read the number they land on. The first player to land directly on 50 wins!

You can use any game pieces you'd like. I used my frog counters that are different colors. If you want to download this for a quick and easy math tub, just click the pics. I included a black and white copy as well to save ink.

If you are looking for more math tub ideas, I love this post from Peterson's Pad about quick number sense activities. Great ideas for the beginning of the year!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Seasons Arts Integration Unit

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend! I mentioned before about it being so hard to post since school started, but I think after 4 weeks, I'm finally getting back in the groove! I have 28 students this year which has been an adjustment but I also have two who need my constant attention.  So, my goal is that I post more than this one time in September!

Now on to something you can hopefully use...
My teammate and I usually do a Seasons Unit the 2-3 week while we are working on months of the year and student birthdays.

First, we read What Makes the Seasons.

The next day we read, My Favorite Time of Year.

I don't have this book but it looks great and it's now on my wishlist!

After reading about the seasons, we created a Circle Map together to show what we know about the seasons.

I then created a few season circle maps without the season listed in the middle. Students then had to infer the season that would be in the middle of the circle map by looking at the pictures describing the season.
Next, we created our own seasons movement showing what we had learned.  I took my students to the dance room this year just because I have so many students and space can be an issue. For the last two years, I have done this in my own room though.
 I start with a movement activity to help students understand how the seasons change. I have the class stand in a circle and choose one to be the sun in the middle. I then chose another student to be the earth and model the earth rotating and orbiting the sun. We all then pretend we are the earth turning every day as we revolve around the sun for the year. We tip our bodies closer to the sun to show why summer is hotter and tip away to show why winter is colder.
Next, we begin to create movements for each season. The students create all the movements themselves. I just use questioning to get them thinking about each season and how we could use our bodies to show our learning.
Here is a video of our movement. This was done in one class period!!!

Here are a few seasons resources I found if you'd like them. Click here to get them from Google Docs.

The first is a cute sorting activity that my teammate found on a blog. She doesn't remember where she got it but if you know, please tell me. I'd like to give credit.

We also make these adorable season books. First, cut pink, green, orange and brown construction paper in half. 1 of each color for each child.

Then use q-tips to paint the leaves onto the trees to show the seasons. Make sure the students color the tree trunks brown first.

Add a cover...

Staple together and voila! ( Note: In my haste to post these pics, I forgot to color my tree trunks brown. Shame on me! :)

Click the link above if you want to make this book and save time finding trees and a cover. Leave me some love if you can use any of these resources or ideas!