Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Math Strategies

Math Strategies Just stopping in quick, this is a busy week!  I am spending a some time to develop some addition and subtraction strategy lessons for my students this week, and I made some posters for my anchor charts.

 You can download them for free in my TpT store!  Click the link or any of the posters!  Almost halfway through the week!
Monday, September 14, 2015


Apples This past weekend, my family and I took a little visit to our local apple orchard.  I have been in "Apple mode" ever since!  First of all, I found this Carmel Apple Cheesecake recipe on PINTEREST:  YUMMY!  I mean seriously, YUMMY!!!  

Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kimberlykv/4013533080/


It is already gone and I cannot wait to make more!

At school, I have been doing some activities from my apple unit. Click on the picture to download it for free.

I love adding chances for my students to get up and moving. Here are a couple I did this week!
First, I took the sight words we are working on this week and review from the past 2 weeks and wrote them on apples.  I found these cutouts in the Walmart clearance for 50 cents.

First, we took a piece of shared writing we did on the Promethean Board.  I printed it and gave them each a copy.  Then, they went around the room searching for words that were in the writing and highlighted them.
Then, later in the day, we played a little sight word search!
They each got a copy of the recording sheet and I gave them a word to look for, when they found one that matched my description, they wrote it in the apple.  I had them sit down on the floor when they were ready for the next word.  I gave directions such as find a word with 2 letters, find a word with the short vowel /i/ sound, find a word that rhymes with shoe, find a word that starts with a t, find a word that starts with a vowel.  I did this until all but the last row was filled.  Then, they had to go around the room and write four words they did not use yet.  It was amazing that the students were having discussions about the words, even my low readers were engaged and excited.  You can download the recording sheet for free HERE, or by clicking on the picture. 

Hope you have a great fall day!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Math Word Problems

Math Word Probems

Math Word Problems in first grade can be such a difficult concept to teach!  But, this year I am so happy with the progress that my students are making in solving them!    Here is the standard:

Use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems involving situations of adding to, taking from, putting together, taking apart, and comparing, with unknowns in all positions, e.g., by using objects, drawings, and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem.

The word problems with Common Core are so much more complex than the word problems that used to be in my first grade student's textbooks when I first started teaching.  Those problems almost always the unknown at the end of a problem.  Teaching a few key words was enough to tell students if they needed to add or subtract.  The students understood how to come up with the end product, but the process was pretty much hit or miss.

Teaching the process of how to solve a word problem is so important from the time that students start doing word problems.  We begin teaching word problems during the first month of school.  I spend a few weeks with a part of my time teaching students what a number bond is and how it relates to an addition or subtraction equation.  Then we start practicing using them to solve our word problems.

First, we read the problem together,
Next we identify the parts of the word problem and where they fit into the number bond.

Then we write the numbers we know into the number bond.

And write them in an equation. (we write both the addition and subtraction because both ways are correct, they only have to write the one they decide is easiest for them.)

Then they solve the equation. I teach them to draw a picture if they need help.  We act a lot of these out the first few months!
Then I make them write out the answer.  I am happy if they put the label but happiest if they use a complete sentence!  I model writing the sentence every time, but in the beginning of the year especially, a label is good!

I do at least 2 or 3 a week to keep them thinking about it and they use Jodi Southard's Morning Work every day which has a word problem on it.  If you are looking for good morning work, I highly recommend it!  It is the most expensive thing I have bought on TpT, but worth every penny!!!

I have a word problem freebie in my store!  Check it out by clicking the picture!

I have been working to update all of my Word Problem Packs in my TpT store!  You can buy them individually, or bundled for a 20% discount.


 It is going to be a busy week!  Thank goodness it is cooling down!  The last few weeks with no air and 90 degrees have been brutal!  :)
Have a great week!