Thursday, August 27, 2015

Make a Ten: Low Prep, High Engagement

Hi Friends!
   We are getting into the swing of things in first grade, and my sweet little friends are just the best!  I love when the first couple of weeks are under our belt, and we can really dive into the curriculum.

    In math, we have been working on "making a ten", and number combinations to ten using ten frames and number bonds.  We started with some anchor charts and hands-on activities to build numbers, and this little low prep activity really had the kids engaged...and learning! 
We started with some standard two-sided counters. I have a gazillion of these, but any manipulative that you can use two colors of will work....counting bears, unifix cubes, etc...  

I passed out clear cups and gave each child 10 counters.  We were working on Making Ten, but you could use any number of counters to build a number.   The kids got their counters, put their little hands on top, and I told them to SHAKE IT UP!!
Shake it up...shake it up!! The kids spontaneously started singing some Taylor Swift here, which just cracked me up! 

The children then spilled out their counters & drew a number bond on their desk to represent their "spill".  Here are some examples of three kids working on making a ten, and one little friend who was still building to 8! 

When they finished creating their number bonds, they had to write an equation to match it.  They just LOVE writing on their desks, and I love that it keeps them engaged!

We continued shaking and dumping for a while.  They were having so much fun, and the concept was really starting to click. How could I say no?! :)

When everyone had moved on up to making a ten, I had them record their "spills" on a sheet.
Some filled in the whole squares, while others drew the circles to mimic the counters.
While writing equations, we have been working with the commutative property and representing number combinations in two ways.  The children had to write the two equations that represented their counter spills.
They did such a great job AND they were able to identify so many ways to make ten!

Later, we made Rekrenrek bracelets so the kids could practice making combinations of ten, and create story problems to go along with their bracelets.
 This friend told me 6 monkeys were jumping on HER bed, and 4 more came along!

Just a quick, low prep,and easy way to practice building to ten! My kids loved it so much, they've asked to play it again and again.  Can't beat that!  If you would like a copy of the activity sheet, click the picture above or grab it {here}.  

I hope you can use this simple idea!  As always, thanks for stopping by! :)

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Classroom Reveal: Sweet New Year!

Hi Friends! 
   We started back to school on August 5th, and it has been a whirlwind of rules, procedures, hugs, funnies, and learning ever since. I'm usually a night owl, and I've been to bed before 8:00 several times already!

   I have the absolute SWEETEST group of kiddos this year. They honestly make every day so much better, and are a reminder of exactly why I chose this profession.  I just love, love, love them, and can't wait to share all the great things we do together this year :)

   Anyway, I love looking into everyone's classrooms with their blog posts, and pictures on Instagram, so I thought I'd share this year's room with all of you! But, before I do, I want to say something.

    I have seen a lot of amazing classrooms online, and I have also read comments that are both positive and negative about "cutesy" classrooms.  A cute classroom DOES NOT equal a great teacher. It doesn't make anyone better, or anything like that at all. For me, it's my "home away from home". In reality, I spend more time in this space than I do at my house. I want it to feel good when I'm there, and I want it to feel good for my kids, too.  I decorate my room for me and my students, and I share this with you because it's part of who I am.  Just getting that out there... Anyhooooo......

  Welcome to my First Grade! 
My supply cubbies...obviously.  I traded out the old buckets that came with the unit, and upgraded to some matching tubs from Target. One of the best investments I've made. Love the color, the fact that they match, and they don't even need labels!

This is the view from the door for my 20 sweet firsties!

Front of the room where we work with our Promethean Board, display our anchor charts, and hang out with cozy cushions and crate seats. The kids love sitting here...and I love the storage!  One of my favorite Pinterest projects, ever.... whoever thought of this is a GENIUS!

Our reading area/book center. I have seen this rug in so many classrooms, so I guess great minds really do think alike. I clearly have a little love for polka dots, chevron and patterns, so this little area just makes me happy.  My sweet daddy built me these bookshelves, and they are so great for keeping my books organized.

Join me on the rug! We have our morning meetings,whole group lessons, and read alouds here. My sweet momma recovered my chair & I just love it! 

These are my kids' work cubbies. These binder clips with labels have been a lifesaver for me. No more scratching off old crusty labels from year to year, or when adding a new student. I have been to war with some Goo-Gone, and I did not win that battle. Thank you, Pinterest...again!

Where all (well,most) of my "stuff" is stored. Books, binders,and well....stuff!
That chair doesn't live there all the time, but I had been using it as a ladder early that day.Yep, I'm short...and I have T-Rex arms, too!

Can you tell I love some patterns?  Contact paper is definitely my friend!
The clouds are for our Sky High Behavior!  

This is our Standards Board....We call it "I Can Central"!
I also have sharpened and un-sharpened pencils in those cute straw dispensers.

Here is an up-close view of our I Can statements. I just peeled the labels off old soup cans, and taped some new paper ones on the front.  They're perfect for storing our statements.  
{If you want to see these in my store, click HERE.  There are editable cards for your own science and social studies standards)

This is where I do our "centers".  We actually call them stations, and the centers are just one of the stations the kids go to each day. I will post more about this later, but it is honestly one of the best systems I have ever found. Life-changing!

And back to the other side of the room.  I didn't get a picture of this other wall, but it's a full length wall of kid cubbies for bookbags, coats, etc..with my own storage on top & a closest. Nothing too exciting. :)

So, that's it!!  I love my little room, and my little learners, too!
As always, thanks for stopping by & taking this little tour with me. I hope you are off to a GREAT new year,or well on your way if you haven't started yet!!

Happy Back to School!!

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