Sunday, November 13, 2011

Math Station Freebie

Happy Fall, y'all!

Here is a graphing station I adapted from an activity I saved online. It does not have any credits on it, so I don't know who to give credit as the author! (if it is YOU, let me know!)

We just finished a week long graphing unit and this is going out into the math station world this week.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Fact Family Freebie

Here is a handout I created for my parents to explain what a fact family is. I designed it so it can be used with my Fact Family Fun math station. Leave a comment if you can use it.

Click image to download.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fact Family Math Station

We are working on fact families and I created this fun little game to use during our math stations. This seems to be a hard concept for the majority of my kids! If you'd like to get a copy, head over to my TpT store and check it out!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Common Handwriting Problems

I don't remember where I saw this idea.
I hope someone can use it!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Math Station Freebie

Here is a freebie to use at a Calendar Math Station.

Click on the picture to download and leave a comment if you like!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Whole Brain Teaching

I am so excited to be trying out Whole Brain Teaching in my classroom this year! I love it, love it, LOVE it.

Whole Brain Teaching (formerly Power Teaching) incorporates all aspects of the brain when teaching lessons. Students hear, see, speak and "do" the learning.

My first graders picked up right away and responded very well to WBT. I hope to take a short video soon to show some of our routines and our rules!

The WBT approach teaches 5 basic rules. Since I started using this about one and a half weeks into school and had my own rules...I figured out how to mesh them together. It turned out AWESOME~

Rule #1 Be Safe: Walk or sit, don't push or hit
Rule #2 Be Respectful: Raise your hand, Wait your turn, Make your dear teacher happy so we all can learn
Rule #3 Be Responsible: Follow directions quickly, Do your best, Make smart choices for all the rest.

I created my own set of picture cards for the rules, along with the basic commands and responses used in the WBT classroom.

If you know anything about WBT you will recognize the scoreboard and command signs going around my board. I created motions for my own rules and put them to rhyme. The kids learned them right away! I also keep a team scoreboard (but with tally marks, not smileys and frowneys). They work together to earn a team reward on Mondays (usually eating lunch with a friend--we eat in our room). The little trail sign is our "Wrong Way Trail". This is where cards are placed when a student needs more "practice" time. They repeat the rule they were breaking, along with the motions, over and over at recess (within earshot of me) for about 2 minutes.

Please leave a comment if you have questions or are using WBT in your classroom. I'd love to share ideas.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Doubles Rap Freebie

We are working on several addition strategies and I created this poster to help remember our doubles facts. The rap is from Saxon and I added the intro from a Whole Brain Teaching video I saw.

Click here if you'd like to grab it and leave a comment!

Busy Start to a New Year

Blogger friends,

I have been so busy with the start of a new school year!
I have wanted to get on here and post things to share, but my energy has been zapped!

Hopefully, I will soon be able to organize my thoughts and share some of the fun ideas and strategies I've been trying this year.

I am trying to incorporate several new things this school year:

Thinking Maps
Whole Brain Teaching
Guided Math
New Essential Learnings in my lesson plans...

These are all BIG things to tackle, but I've got it under control  ;P

Will post more soon!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Clutter Free Classroom Series-Teaching Routines and Procedures

Check out the Clutter Free Classroom's new series! Something we ALL need. :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Camping Work Station Kit on TpT

Yeah...I've finished my Camping Work Station kit and it's up on my TpT store. Check it out...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

New Camping Items at TpT

I am excited to get my class jobs and newsletter template posted at my TpT store. Since I am getting my own classroom ready, they are camping themed. I will begin posting other general items soon!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Classroom Blog

I've been away on vacation and also working on my classroom blog so it is functional for back to school! I'm excited about it. I have a website that needs to be revamped, but who has the time??

So if you'd like to take a sneak peak at what I've done,
click the photo below!

Please post your comments here and not on my classroom blog. Thanks.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Yearn to Learn Blog Linky (Find New Blogs!)


Find New Blog Friends!

1.  A blogger who is a "New Kid on the Blog"
(Let's say someone who has blogged 2 months or less and has less than 200 followers)

(Looks like she started about the same time I did!)

2.  Post a blogger in your same grade level

(I can relate--I've taught 3rd, 7th, technology 1-8...but 1st is the Best! Plus, she's been very helpful to me as a new blogger)

3.  Post a blogger in a different grade level

I just love Fran over at Kindergarten Crayons.
She always has such creative ideas.

4.  It's all about the button. Find a cute blog button and post it.
I just found this cute blog through this linky party :)

Mrs. Saylor's Log

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Grade Level Linky Party

Head over and add your blog to this organized list
of Grade Level Blogs! Woo-hoo.
(click title to hop on over)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Math Station Freebie

Just letting you know I have my Camping Math Stations as a freebie now on TpT. Go by and grab them if you want 'em.

(and for those of you that grabbed my S'More Sorry note...get the updated one without the sorrry!! OOps.

~Please leave a comment or follow me~

Monday, July 11, 2011

Class Schedule Linky Party at Simply2ndResources

Simply 2nd Resources is hosting a daily schedule Linky Party. Here is my proposed schedule for this coming year. I think it will be pretty great. Each year we have to fight to get our specials where they will fit into our schedule. It is always such a nightmare. Mine just got moved around a bit today, so I had to make some adjustments. Hopefully, I won't have to make any more. I honestly don't see how some of you guys can do without having a break/recess in the morning AND afternoon, especially with the little ones. Click on the picture to open .pdf and read better.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Digital Student Scrapbooks

This year, instead of my normal end of the year memory books, I decided to digitize them. It was a LOT of work...many, many hours, but the results were worth it.

1st: I took LOTS of pictures throughout the year, field trips, parties and special projects and events.

2nd: I found a neat site called
It has adorable scrapbook templates set up, but I found it to be a bit restrictive and not very user friendly. (Reason #1-you can't mix and match themes.) I had to search through all the templates to not only find the themes I wanted, but that had layouts that I could work with too. 8 pages max-so what I would do is create a page I liked for each event/page and then do the same thing for each student 1-8, then start over and save the next set as 9-17, etc. Then I had to save each set as .jpg pages. (You can't rename and it saves each time as the same names but in a different folder). I pulled these into folders on my computer I had labeled for each student--making it MUCH easier to upload to photo book site. (Teachers can get a FREE subscription to Smilebox.)

#3: I use for my Photo Books and they were ON SALE for $11 each - 20 page (10 pages front/back) softbound 8 1/2 x 11 book. I had to upload the first set of pictures, set up the book and then save it. After that, I just uploaded the next set of pictures and switched them out and saved as next student.

I also added a two page "yearbook" section with a picture of each student with their name and phone number below.

The last page had my picture and a special note to the child.

These were a great hit. The parents actually sent in the $11 so I did not have to pay for it.

I made one for myself with a few extra pages (I put ALL happy campers and extra pages from our USA program/unit.) Now I have it to show parents next year...and get them excited early on. That way they can save their pennies for it at the end.

Since I had to do the last page (our end of school beach party) after school was out, I put the books in the school office and had our secretary pass them out.

If this is something you are interested in doing, I'd be more than happy to help answer any questions.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Teachers-Pay-Teachers Store Opening: Freebie

I have opened up my Teachers-Pay-Teachers Store. Yippee!

My first item is a classroom management form I use with my camping theme: S'More Sorry Notes.
Go and grab them if you'd like.
**I've updated the link so the typo has been fixed**
Yikes--so sorry about that.

I have also added my first PAY is a cute set of math stations with a (you guessed it) camp theme.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Behavior Management

I have 3 simple rules: Be safe. Be Responsible. Be respectful. This might be a bit abstract for 1st graders...but it covers about everything.

My management system includes a Happy Camper Board, Campsite Points, and Camp Compliments.

Happy Camper Board:
My kiddos earn camper cards each day if they follow the rules and procedures of our room. Each card represents a quality that will help them be a Happy Camper: boot=they can stay in the appropriate area (no wandering around or bothering other groups, stations, etc.); canteen=they can speak at the appropriate time and in the appropriate level; backpack=they can keep their things to themselves and not bother other people's things; fire=they are on fire for learning and can stay on task; hand=they can give teacher their attention quickly (give me "5"). At the end of the day, they color in all the cards they earned in their CAMP notebooks. If they get a few reminders and aren't earning a card, it gets moved to the "Wrong Way Trail" until the behavior improves (easy to earn back at the beginning of the year...VERY hard at the end.)

Campsite Group Points:
Each group is called a campsite. Each has a different color, i.e. the Blue Campsite. I keep track of group points on the board and the group with the most points at the end of the week gets a reward. We eat in our my standard reward is that they get to eat with a friend of their choice on Monday.

Camp Compliments:
As a class, we try to earn compliments --especially from others. I keep track of our compliments by filling in a mystery word on the board (written right above the group points section). I will write lines for each letter needed to make the word and fill in one letter per compliment. It is a fun way to keep them guessing words that will make sense and fit. My rewards are things like: PLAY/RECESS (extra resess or play time), CORN/POPCORN (popcorn), MOVIE (during lunch), etc.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Giveaway at Finally in First

Finally in First is offering this super cute math stations giveaway in celebration of her new FaceBook and Twitter accounts. Check it out and enter to win.

(my image uploader is going crazy and won't let me upload a pic)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Calendar Math

Calendar Math

Oceans of First Grade Fun is hosting a linky party on calendar walls vs. interactive white boards.

I've gone back and forth over the years as to have a concrete calendar wall or use my ACTIVboard. This year, I'm going back to the ACTIVboard and I'm cleaning up my flipchart.

This is a sneak peak:

Each day I will do a quick calendar and pattern activity, then each day has a special skill: Money Monday, Tally Mark Tuesday, Word Problem Wednesday, Time Thursday, and Fun Math Friday (misc.). I've linked the days of the week on each calendar to the corresponding day's page. They all link to the 100s chart then the weather page. The next page is going to be an index page of other prepared pages. I've got to clean up this has a LOT of pages I've used over the years and I'm trying to get it streamlined so I can pull up the resources I need for a lesson quickly...down time is NOT good in first grade.

I will have a hands-on straw place value pocket chart and add the number of the day in school to a number line of some sort. I also might add a linking cube for each day in school...but the rest is on the ACTIVboard.

I've seen several people talking about the calendar booklets or journals. The year I used them I found they were SOOOooo time consuming. If I have problems with the kiddos not paying attention with calendar time this year, I might consider giving it another try.

Played around with it and this is what I came up with for an interactive calendar page (that students do at their seat during calendar time):

I tried to keep it simple. It has enough spaces for students to fill in the answer for the skill of the day and chart the weather for the entire month. They can also follow along on the 100s chart... and since we will be starting with counting, I put a 5/10 frame that can also be used as a place value mat. I can change that work area if I want to go along with skills (money, shapes, etc.) I plan on copying it front to back. I might copy off our monthly calendar as well for them to follow along, mark on, etc. If you like, I can add this page for a freebie (I'll change weather month to generic). **Uploaded to Google Docs...just click on either pic.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Station "Signs"

Here is what I've come up with to post as my station signs. Since my stations are in order around the perimeter of my classroom and I have a camping theme, the kids will "hike" through the stations. I will laminate these boots and also have some plain ones to put up in a path all around the room. At first I thought on the wall, but I might tape them down to the floor to be more authentic!
Click here if you'd like to use!

Math Work Stations

Ch. 5-Adding and Subtracting

Well, this is one of my MAIN focuses in 1st grade. To get the kiddos to internalize this skill! This year I plan on using manipulatives a LOT more. Some things I really liked about this chapter:
  • adding name cards
  • using linking cubes for story mats... just choose the right color to include for the theme (pink for pigs, black for bats, etc.--although I do LOVE thematic manipulatives, this is easy and inexpensive)
  • I also have to work on getting my I CAN and TALK cards together--Love, love, love those ideas
  • differentiate the activities in each box by color dots or some other system
  • I LOVED the board game station and using them for fact practice
I created these very simple fact sort cards--free if you'd like them:

Ch. 4-Numeracy

I read another Stenhouse book called Number Sense Routines and it is available to read online as well as Debbie's book! It has some very useful information.

I do a lot with my calendar routine, but will be adding more this year. Some years I've let my calendar routine slip...(it CAN get monotonous can't it) but it is Soooo important for the kiddos to get that repetition. I plan on doing more with the 100 chart this year too, as well as the section pieces of it (frames with a number given and student must fill in 10 less above, 10 more below, 1 more to right, 1 less to left, etc.)

Getting Ready for Math Stations

I am so excited about starting math work stations this year. I devoured this book (entire text online for a short time here). I love Debbie's philosophy and ideas. But, I have a LOT to do.

  1. go through all my math materials and sort & purge
  2. reorganize into bins or drawered carts (like that idea)
  3. map out my units and work stations
  4. fit it into 60 minutes (ahhh)

I have done guided math groups before, but I think this is more my style and I am going to model it after the way I do my literacy work stations--I think it will help the kids catch on quicker and know my expectations. :)

Here are some of my ideas for organizing my math station time. 
  • 2 students per station
  • Numbered Stations set up in order around perimeter of room (my literacy stations are "set up", but math stations drawers/tubs will be taken to the location)
  • 2 stations per day, visit all 10 by end of week
Schedule: (5 min. buffer for moving, etc.)
  • 10 minutes: Calendar and Daily Routine
    • Money Mondays
    • Tally Mark Tuesdays (number study)
    • Word Problem Wednesdays
    • Time Thursdays
    • Fun Math Fridays (misc. skills)
  • 10 minutes: whole class mini lesson
  • 2 15-min. rotations (while I monitor or pull students to work with)
  • 5 minute share time
In the past, I felt I was just teaching them how to do the worksheet for the day and not internalize the skills they needed to learn. Even when I did guided math, I felt rushed and like I didn't get to give some groups the time they needed. With this framework, my math stations are meaningful extensions of our core skills.

I feel with repetition, variety, and the enjoyment of "stations" my kids will catch on and think more mathematically.

How do I plan on grouping my students? I'm glad you asked.
I found a marvelous site with an assessment piece and directions for administering it and grouping students along a math continuum. Exactly what I was looking for. All materials are available with a minimal amount of gathering items (all listed in the materials list). This site has awesome games, practice ideas, and resources for everything.

I do NOT plan on having a set rotation schedule where I meet with groups like I've done in the past. After I assess my kids, I will mark where they are on the continuum. I plan on monitoring stations, conferring with students, and pulling groups up as needed to reteach, give additional support and/or challenge.

(Update) Yes, I will meet with my groups with this schedule:

Oh, would you like the link?? Here it is:

 One last thought: I've used a BIN before (Burning Issues and Needs) where students write comments (I liked..., I didn't like..., I don't understand..., Would you help me with...) on post-its and stick on the poster. I have NOT used it with math, but think it will work very well. Students don't have to put name/# on it unless they are asking for more help (so I know who to help). We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Brand NEW!

I am brand new to this blogging media.  I've had a class website for 9 years, but this is all new to me. My intention is to post information for my class, but also offer resources for other teachers. I hope you will be able to find something useful!


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