Sunday, October 26, 2014

Common Core Math!

Happy Sunday!

Common Core math has been a big shift from what many educators and parents have been used to in the past. I have personally embraced the shift towards a deeper understanding of mathematical practices and welcome the shift towards assisting students to build a strong number sense. As a student, I could have benefitted from this style of teaching. I was one of the students that wanted to know "why" when learning mathematical algorithms.

My district has adopted the Engage New York curriculum and it has been interesting to see how one particular curriculum has been designed to meet the Common Core standards. I see both positives and areas for improvement with the program. I have really enjoyed the engagement pieces of the program. There are many fun games and activities designed to engage students and practice skills. For some areas of the program I have seen a need for additional practice of skills. To meet my students' needs I have created supplementary materials and have incorporated these materials into my daily routine, as necessary.

I strive to create lessons that incorporate a hands-on and interactive component. I have created many cut  and paste activities to meet the Common Core standards and they have been very engaging and helpful for my students. When I show my students the cut and paste activities there is always an audible "Yay!" from the children.

Check out some of the activities below!

Click here to get the Related Fact Number Bond Cut & Paste.

Click here to get the Related Fact Cut & Paste.

 Click here to get the Missing Addend Match Cut & Paste.

Click here to get the True or False Expressions Cut & Paste.
Click here to get the Domino Related Facts Activity.
Happy Teaching!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Writer's Workshop Resources

At the beginning of the year I decided that my students needed resources to assist them in becoming independent writers. I developed some helpful pages to put into their independent writing folders. I include a mini word wall that matches our larger version in the classroom. I also include a page of "School Words" to help them spell words related to school that are commonly used. I also created a book titled "Words I Want to Remember" this book is for students to write their friends' names as well as other words they will use frequently throughout the year. There is a writer's checklist that can be used with dry erase marker as well as a practice page to try words with dry erase marker before writing them on their paper. Lastly, I created a page of strategies that good writers use. These are the same strategies we have in our classroom on an anchor chart. These resources have diminished the "How do I spell…" question and have provided my students with more writing independence. Click here for the link to the resources. Click here to grab a freebie of the writing paper I use.

Happy Teaching!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Creating a Giant 120 Chart!

One of our first grade math standards is reading, writing, and counting numbers to 120. As I was racking my brain attempting to find ways to make this standard engaging, I realized that sidewalk chalk could bring a little pizazz to this otherwise tedious task. These photographs are from last year's Giant 120 chart, but I am really looking forward to completing one this week with my current class! All you need: pavement, sidewalk chalk, and students!
After planning out the lines during my computer prep time (the four square lines helped!), I brought the kids out and we had a blast taking turns writing the numbers to 120. When we were finished writing the numbers, the learning did not stop. We practiced jumping into squares that were 10 more and 10 less. We skip counted and literally skipped from one number to the next. We counted by tens starting from all sorts of numbers and hopped to numbers called out by peers. This lesson was one of my students' favorites and I am so excited to do try it again this year!
Happy teaching!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Informational Text Foldable Graphic Organizers!

For the past few weeks I have been using foldable graphic organizers with my students. They LOVE foldables! This main topic foldable can be found in my Foldable Graphic Organizers Pack. The students have worked hard on their folding and cutting skills and they are no longer producing foldables  that do not close, or foldables that have been cut in half! These foldables allow students to show their thinking through writing and drawing, while providing a hands-on component. Most of our foldables are completed whole class with clipboards on the carpet. My students are almost ready to try them independently!

Here are a few examples of student foldables with an informational story about nocturnal animals. 

 Be sure to check out the other foldables found in this pack at my TpT store! I have aligned all of the foldables with first grade Common Core standards for informational text  and literature.
Foldable Graphic Organizers for Informational text and Literature

Happy teaching!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Main Topic Key Details Anchor Charts

We have continued our practice of Main Topic and Key Details with various texts within our first grade  classroom. During our exploration we have completed a few interactive anchor charts that have helped the students internalize the concept of the main topic and key details. The first chart was created after a thorough discussion of main topic and key details. The second chart was created as a interactive graphic organizer to visualize our thinking after reading the MMH Treasures story Animal Moms and Dads. Representing our thinking with a chart assists learners of all kinds. I am a huge supporter of interactive writing. Not only do rich discussions occur before the composition begins, but students practice phonemic awareness and phonics skills, writing skills, comprehension skills, and feel a sense of ownership of the final product. Interactive writing also appeals to a vast array of learning styles. For this chart, the visual/spatial learners can refer back to the chart to remind themselves of the main topic and key details . It also appeals to the kinesthetic learners, who have a chance to assist with the writing. Linguistic learners benefit from the written word, and if the chart is posted, all learners can refer back to the content repeatedly.

My little first graders have also been using foldable graphic organizers to assist with their understanding of main topic and key details. My next post will explain these in detail! They have been wonderful and engaging for my students and I know we will use them for a variety of informational text discussions.
Check out my foldable graphic organizers in my TPT store! Foldable Graphic Organizers for Common Core

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Main Topic Hokey Pokey!

Welcome! To get things started I would like to share a fun song that I have created to help my first graders with the complicated task of understanding Main Topic and Key Details. The Common Core Standards use the language "Main Topic" instead of "Main Idea" in first grade. In order to ensure consistency, I decided to use this CC language for my song.

The song is called The Main Topic Hokey Pokey. I created silly gestures to go with each section (the kids love it!). For example when we say "Main Topic" we create a rectangle with our hands above our heads. Then for "Text" we make a book with our hands. When we say "Key Details" we create starbursts with our hands while turning around. Then we clap our hands for " The most important thing" and put our hands on hips for "Learn about".  This song loops around so the ending sentence is "The most important things we learned about the… Main Topic."

This has been an excellent resource for my students while we grapple with the main topic of many texts we encounter. Not to mention it is super engaging! Enjoy this resource... Stop by my TpT store for a freebie of the lyrics! Main Topic Hokey Pokey Freebie!