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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Entire Year of Literacy Centers Posted!!!!

Wahoo!!!  Happy dance at the Evans' home tonight...
My final Literacy Center is now posted... September through June.
What is next on Lory's list?
This is a new fun food math review
for your kids if you have a few minutes to spare!!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Blogin' Math Stations & 2nd Grade BTS Assessment

I'm trying not to focus on the fact that we have only 2 more Summer Blogin' weeks left. This summer has gone by so quickly.  I must admit, my stomach does summersaults (for the good) each time I walk into Target/Walmart and walk through their school supplies ;)
This week the topic is math stations.  Last week I explained a bit about my math stations because it is a large and important part of my math time.

This is the book that started it all for me...as far as math stations. 
I taught for 15+ years and never wanted to go there.  I saw centers as an easy out... a play time... an unstructured piece of time.  Well, I guess centers could be, but if you read Debbie Diller's book  Math Work Stations yours will not be anything like that.
I caught the math station bug from her!!  She convinced me.  She changed my mind and has since changed my classroom math time for the better.
Each month my students work on various standards of the common core in each of the 4 areas.  I have 12 stations they rotate through with a partner.  I love to watch them experiment, work together, use math talk and share their understanding with each other.  It is actually very structured and one of my favorite times during the day... as I give myself this time to walk between the groups, sit on the floor with them to listen, reteach a concept challenging to a set of partners.

 Common Core - Grade 1 SEPTEMBER Math Stations
Common Core - Grade 2 SEPTEMBER Math Stations
Before I left for summer break I filled up my 12 boxes with SEPTEMBER
Math Stations.  It's nice to know when I return with a list a mile long... these will be ready and waiting!!
Below are a few pictures of my students working through the stations last year.

This is the rotation chart I use with my kids to keep us organized.
If you are looking for a quick, colorful math station rotation chart click here.
What are some of your math station secrets?
I was asked about my assessment that I give at the beginning of the year... This is what I made. Basically all the 1st grade skills they should have mastered.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Math Journal - Grade 1 - Term 1

Sticking with Math Journals

I've added another Math Assessment/Activity to the collection called
It assesses place value... the file includes a easy and harder version.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Week 7 Math Programs / Organization Giveaways and Freebies

This week the topic is math programs and organization.
My district (Davis School District, UTAH) decided to write their own math program about 5-6 years ago for K-2.  I was given the opportunity to be a lead writer for the project and learned a great deal... about mathematics and lesson writing!  Since then, math has become one of my favorite subjects to teach.  Funny, as a child and teenager... it was my LEAST favorite and my grades showed it ;)  I guess it's true... we are never too old to learn and appreciate new things.

Our program went through a little 'revision' when the Common Core was introduced.
  I made an outline of the curriculum to help me visualize the basic structure of our project. Below shows the 4 terms and when I plan to teach each CC standard.

One piece of the program is math journaling each day. We focus on the concept we are teaching and give the students an opportunity to share in words and pictures their understanding.  For years our journal was a full page.  Recently, we have been trying to cut back on paper and copying so last year I tried to revise the assignment BUT stick to what the district expected us to cover.  

 I found that inexpensive notebooks (17 cents at the BTS sales) and math prompts on mailing labels made for an easy, effective student math journal.  Above you can see an example of how we worked the journals.  Some days required a picture, other days number sentences, tally marks, charts, graph or sentences. Some days we took a few lines other days 1/2 the page.  We were flexible... I wanted to be thorough and wanted the kids to understand the concepts and be proud.  Many students chose to show their math journals during SEP conferences and it was nice because the parents could easy thumb through the pages and see the concepts being covered and their student's understanding.
Another piece of my math is math stations.
For the first 17 years, I never tried or had the desire to implement them. That was until Deedee Wills invited me to participate in a summer blog party reading and discussing Debbie Diller's math station book.  It was a wonderful personal and professional opportunity.  I gained a true appreciation for structured math stations.  I understood the importance of students sharing math conversations and accomplishing mathematic tasks together.  I enjoyed them so much I created math stations for each month of the school year.  They  build upon each other... progressively getting harder as the students become more independent with each concept.

 Each month the students receive a new partner to work with and complete the stations. Expectations are to complete a hands on activity using the task card (instructions and hints), include 'math talk' cards during their work time, complete a journal/share page in the class booklet and then finally to complete an independent assignment on the specific concept. With each month I have also created a student booklet for the independent assignments. (trying to save paper there, too).  There are many ways to create math stations, I know that many teachers have creative math tubs for their students... this was the route that I learned a few summers ago and found successful.  I uploaded a version of my simple ;) rotation chart for my math stations if anyone is looking for one and wants to save a few minutes.

This upcoming year I am excited to try yet another math piece in my classroom. Our district math program has a homework page for each night of the school year.  It is a simple task that should only take a minute or two.  I believe it's purpose  is to keep the communication open between school and home... hoping the parents will take a minute to see what their students are learning and IF they understand the concept OR need additional help.
Again, I liked the idea BUT was concerned with the amount of paper I was using... SO ... last year I began contemplating the idea of a weekly Math Homework page.  1 page/week!   This is how it turned out... a game board on one side (dealing with the weekly concept in our lessons) and one side stating the Common Core standard and 9 choices for math homework, including the game board, an online game or activity around the house.  I am expecting the students to choose 1 a night.  I always have a couple of students that want MORE homework... they will be encouraged to complete more or all the boxes.  Parents and students sign their weekly progress/ work and return the page on Friday.
My thought is have the student place these pages in a 3 prong folder each week after returning them... compiling a folder of 36 math game boards by the end of the year.  As a gift at the end of the year... I give them a set of dice, spinner and transparent chips along with their MATH Games to play over the summer to stay polished up on their new skills.
We'll see how it goes... I'm excited.  My 3rd grader has been playing them throughout the summer with the neighborhood girls.  It is fun to hear them use 'math talk' and review their math understanding.
Daily Math is a spiral review that I have used with my kiddos for over 10 years.  It has changed names and graphics but this set has been around for a few years and seems to be the favorite.  It is simple with 10 questions each day created a spiral, independent review.  This is actually what my students walk into each morning to complete.

Lastly... I love to have fun with math. 
I want my students to enjoy their math experiences... a whole lot more than I did mine ;) That is why I tend to find the time to do FOOD MATH or activities that seem a bit 'fun'... however, I always try to make sure it is to help their math understanding and success.  
I will forever be grateful for Deedee and the opportunity she gave me to learn a new trick for my students and classroom.  I love to learn and look forward to hearing your mathematical words of advice.  Please feel free to share your ideas below. 

Friday... I will share
2 copies of my Common Core Math Stations for SEPTEMBER ( I have 1st and 2nd grade... so leave your email and grade level ;), 
2 copies of MATH HOMEWORK 
2 copies of FROOT LOOP Math and 
2 copies of SHOPPING SCOOT.  
Until then be sure to grab yourself a set of Math Flashcards, Apple Bump (skip counting), School Bus Bump (skip counting), Beep Beep Game board (basic math facts), along with many monthly (holiday) FRUIT SNACK FOOD MATH freebies in my store.

Krystal over at GOOD ENOUGH TEACHER is giving away my Homework to a few winners along with other Morning Starts and Homework idems... stop by for more ideas and freebies ;)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

1st GRADE - Math Homework for the WHOLE year ... POSTED!!

 Ta-da!!  Thanks for your patience and encouragement.
Math Homework for the WHOLE year in 2nd grade has been accepted very well.
I was pleased to hear so many requests for 1st grade!
It has been posted today!!
Encourage your first graders to study, actively participate, master each Common Core math standard and enjoy math homework all year long...
Teachers enjoy less paper work, copying and spending our ever shrinking budget on paper!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Week 6 - Math Facts and FREEBIES

 Do kids really need to memorize their math facts?
I believe that it is extremely important for young students to memorize their basic math facts in order to become successful mathematicians.

Last summer the math guru of our district stated that requiring students to memorize math facts and completing timed test was a waste of time.  She went on for quite awhile enough for me to think..."Okay, maybe I've' has been devastating  my students for the past 18 years... maybe I have scarred them for life and they will never embrace mathematics!" I didn't really believe this ( my students LOVE Pig Math and never fussed about it... only on the rare days we DIDN'T do it).  I wanted to follow the district guidelines and see if I truly could try something different to better my instruction for my students.

My teammates and I (all of which do PIG Math) took down our boards and never introduced the system to the students.  Not long into the school year we commented to each other that our students were lacking in basic addition and subtraction facts.   There facts were NOT instantaneous, we saw more fingers + fingers than ever before.  We discussed and studied number bonds,  use mountains of manipulatives etc... but, we missed PIG Math!

 I created PIG Math many, many years ago and have used it in my class each year.
 It's quick and individualized for all levels.
 I start PIG Math the first week of school.
I usually expect my students to write in their best handwriting on their assignments, however on PIG Math, they can be little piglets ;) They are writing as fast as they can... so I don't expect the greatest penmanship, however, I MUST be able to read the number ;)
Hence the name PIG Math!!
Pig Math takes 30 seconds to complete.
The dialogue for Pig Math is quick and simple also. It goes something like this...
"Pig pencils in the air." (this helps me see that everyone is ready)...
"Go Pig Writers!!" ... set the timer for 30 seconds... "STOP!"
"Pig Pencils in the air... honesty counts!"
"Drop your pencil to the ground, pass your paper to your table leader... let's hand them in!" "Please pick up your pencil."

I correct the papers daily. If they get 100% (or all 12 correct) I draw a star on their paper, move their magnet on the progress chart, and place their paper on their desk first thing in the morning. That way they know that they have passed that particular quiz and have permission to pick up the next PIG Math quiz for that day.
My kids are all on different quizzes and it's not a problem.
Math fact timed test can be individualized without being a pain for the teacher.
I don't like to hold the whole class back because a few students don't have them mastered yet.  When I have a few extra minutes during the day, I can use the flashcards or manipulatives to help these kiddos on their specific Pig Math quiz they are on.
(I sent this to the print shop and had them enlarge it)

My requirements for each term are:
Term 1 - +0, +1, +2, +3, +4, +5, 1R
Term 2 -  -0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5, 2R
Term 3 -  +6, +7, +8, +9, +10, +11, 3R
Term 4 - -6, -7, -8, -9, -10, -11, 4R

I have included multiplication and division in the file also for those kids that go over and above the basic addition and subtraction facts.

I also love to have the kiddos play games with opportunities to learn their facts without even realizing it :)  Practice, practice, practice ;)  I really believe it too... enough to publish a book of math games ;)

This week my MONKEY MATH and MONKEY MATH 2 will be FREE 
if you need a couple game boards for your classroom!!

Do you believe in math fact timed test?  If so, how do you accomplish this task in your classroom!!  Please share and leave your email address. 
 I'll draw 3 names to receive my PIG MATH file on Friday.

Math Songs - FREEBIE

I'm not a great singer, however, my 2nd graders are very sweet and join along in the fun when singing these fun math songs.  I cannot take credit for the darling songs... I just compiled them into a book to share with the little ones. 
I keep them in a basket around my carpet area for the moments when we have a few spare minutes.  If you are interested, click here!
Happy relaxing Sunday!!