Friday, February 28, 2014

March "Math"ness -- Spiraled math skills

It's March!  Spring is just around the corner! Along with the bug spray, tissues, and light jackets, it's time to break out the basketball brackets...March Madness!  I created this basketball-themed bundle with college hoops in mind (plus, the boys in my class will LOVE it).  I can't wait to use these during "seatwork" time of Guided Math. It includes worksheets to review the following skills:

**Addition, Subtraction, Solving for Unknown Numbers, Data Collection & Graphing, Telling Time, Comparing Numbers, 10 More/10 Less, 1 More/1 Less, Place Value, Skip Counting, Even/Odd**  
Click on the preview image to see it in my TPT store!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Telling Time First Grade Style

Telling time doesn't have to be should be fun!  I was introduced to this FUN way of telling time (and helping the kids read the correct analog clock hands) from a colleague several years ago. It's called "Lady's First!" The minute hand is the 'gentleman' and the hour hand is the 'lady.' It is proper and polite allow the lady to go first, soooo, we read the lady hand (hour) first! When she is in between two numbers, like at half past the hour) she only says the number that she has been to.  When making a human clock in our classroom, I put visuals on a yardstick and a ruler to show the lady and the gentleman. The kids eat it up and they do a great job with it!

Click on any of the images below to go to my TPT store. (Don't want a St. Patty's Day pack?? Keep scrolling...)

**UPDATED**To keep the "Telling Time Fun" going all year long, I created this second set that does not include the St. Patrick's Day theme!  Everything else is exactly the same!  Although the first set is super adorable, I realized that the holiday theme came with limitations.  Have fun!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday (sorta)

Today there were a few "throwback" moments in my classroom with my kids.  During a Money Scoot activity in math, I changed up our scoot music by playing "I Wanna Be Rich" by Calloway.  When I initially found the song/video on youtube I about died...the video cracked me up!  What was so funny is that my kids thought that this was a NEW song that they just hadn't heard yet. Umm, not quite - although the 80s always tend to make a comeback! They absolutely loved dancing, moving, and learning to the sound of the synthesized drums! Even I was singing this song allll day long (even once I got home and started making dinner!).
Another "throwback" moment that we had was with an activity to reuse some old craftivities in the classroom.  In September, while focusing on buildling our classroom community, the kids made self-portraits.  They are one of my favorite BOTY activities!  These self portraits have been adding adorable pizzazz to our classroom walls until I decided to reuse them for a new activity - Valentine mailboxes.  When I first started teaching (yeeeears ago),  my kids made similar mailboxes using shoeboxes and they worked on them for several days to make a face, arms, hands, shoes, the whole sha-bang.  Who has time for that?! This version, however, took all of about 25 minutes to take the faces off the cabinets and tape them on to the covered cereal boxes! (Of course, I have my TA to thank for wrapping and cutting all of the cereal boxes for me!!)
Happy Valentine's Day, y'all!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Student Led Conferences

Last week was a big week in first grade. Not only was it the first FULL week of school in several weeks (I'm so over the snow), but we finally had time to conduct our Student Led Conferences (SLCs). I first starting doing this three years ago. My previous school was having conversations about starting them, but I transferred to a new school in our county before they began to implement them. I wondered if my first graders would be "able" to conduct SLCs, but then realized that first graders LOVE talking about their work! My kiddos are pretty used to reflecting on their work and setting goals for their own learning. SO, I took the plunge and began to develop a system that works for me.

My students fill out self-reflection rubrics for reading, writing, math, and behavior. Each one is basic, with an always/sometimes/never scale, and includes a goal for improvement. There is also a science/social studies "Ask me about what I've learned..." sheet. (I did this because I realized I had sent home most of the student products from this marking period - doh!) Finally, there is an At Home Goal Setting sheet for parents and student to develop together. This helps to create the triangle of accountability (teachers, families, students) for student success.

There are so many positives about SLCs! Parents love seeing their child take charge of their learning, students love talking about themselves, and I don't lose instructional time while they are happening. Yes, you read that right. While conferences are being conducted, I am still teaching. I schedule them so that there are no more than 4 SLCs happening at one time. The rest of my students know to be respectful of the space and volume in the classroom during SLCs.

 After the first few children had a change to hold their 'meeting,' here is a snapshot of a conversation I overheard:

Student 1: "So, how did it feel to do your meeting?"
Student 2: "Well, I wasn't really embarrassed like I thought. I really felt mighty important!" (yes, that's a direct quote)
S1: "Are you glad you did it?"
S2: "Yes! It was so fun! I can't wait till the next one."
S1: "Were you scared?"
S2: "I had that butterfly-kinda-feeling. But that went away after, like, 3 seconds."

I know this was a super long post...and I could go on and on! Feel free to ask questions via comments or emails! Click on the image below to check out my SLC pack on TPT...I've included everything that I use in my conferences, as well as editable versions of the rubrics, calendars, and checklist.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February Freebie Linky

I've just linked up with A Class*y Collaboration for February freebies. In addition to my Digraph Puzzles (see my last post), I've added this *NEW* Valentine's Day Freebie.  It is a 120 Number Grid Hidden Picture activity.  Click on the images to find it in my TPT store. Enjoy!

Click here to access it in Google Docs.  

Check out all of the freebies from the other generous bloggers! What a way to share the love!