Doubles and Doubles Plus 1

This week we are returning to school after a very long Spring break; three weeks in fact.  While many of you are counting the days until the end of the year, we still have 8 weeks of school.

During break, I gave my students this wonderful resource to help with math fact memorization.  We will begin taking timed tests next week.  I plan on giving lots of practice tests during the week and a formal assessment on Fridays.

Our math focus for the week is doubles, doubles plus 1 and adding a 10; all in a 4 day school week.  Wow!  To introduce these concepts, students will work in pairs using a deck of cards.   Students will pick one card and then, double it.  Easy!  Many already know their doubles so I am primarily introducing this simple game.  Later, we will expand this game to include the double plus 1 more.

Click on picture to download Doubles and Doubles Plus 1 Workmat
In order to save paper, these workmats will go into page protectors.  I will only copy a few to go into our math centers.  When we are working whole group, we will use dry erase boards instead.

I also created a Help Box for my students to help them understand the concept Doubles Plus 1.  I find that many students just count on when solving problems such as 8 + 9.  

What do you think?  I've used a Help Box before especially in math but nothing as detailed as this.  Is is simple enough for students to understand independently?

Mastering the Basic Math Facts in Addition and Subtraction: Strategies, Activities, and Interventions to Move Students Beyond Memorization
On another note, I am thinking about purchasing this book as part of my summer reading.  I was wondering if anyone has read it.   I'd love to hear your thoughts.  Please share.  I love your comments!  

Happy Teaching and Learning!


Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message (Reading Rainbow Book)As a tribute to Earth Day, I'd like to share this beautiful book, Giving Thanks.  This is a traditional Iroquois good morning message delivered at the beginning of each day and at special ceremonies. Passages include lines such as this,
"We give thanks to green grasses that feel so good against our bare feet, for the cool beauty you bring to Mother Earth's floor."

After reading, as a class or in partners, have students discuss what they are thankful for from Mother Earth.  Also, have students discuss how they will help to preserve Mother Earth.  In honor of Earth Day, have students record these on one sheet of paper per pair or triad.

Giving Thanks

Happy Teaching and Learning!

PS- I love comments!  Let me know if this was helpful to your teaching.

Mrs. Wishy-Washy

How cute are these?  I just wanted to let you know about a free audio download of Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Tub  read by Joy Cowley!  

Joy Cowley is a staple in our classroom.  I swear my kids learned to read from her.  She is awesome!  My students love Mrs. Wishy-Washy!  I thought you might too!

Go grab your free audio download.  I did!

Happy Teaching and Learning!


Helping Kids Understand Questions

Sometimes children have a hard time understanding what is a question and what is a statement.  I know that as teachers, we often hear, "I have a question." When truly it is just a statement or in the case of some of my kiddos an entire story.

At our school, we use Systematic ELD.  One of the functions for beginning and early intermediate learners is to ask and answer questions.  To help them, our first grade team created this song to help build background knowledge.  

The unit focuses on the 5 Ws but the song can be altered to any question words.  As a class, we generate a list of question words.  To help, I use the word wall and use the word in a sentence.  I let students know that if they can answer me back it is a question.  I teach students who have receptive language in English but need help with expressive language so this task is not as easy as it may seem.  With lots of practice, students begin to understand and use the language appropriately.

I also like to take a garden glove and attach velcro to each finger.  I make and laminate little cards with the questions written on them.  We practice together using the words as questions.  For students, we ask our nurse or purchase latex gloves (check for allergies first)  and write question words with a Sharpie.  The students practice with one another using their words in questions.  It is always a big hit.  

Other ideas for asking questions include playing 20 Questions or making an art craft where you intentionally leave out needed items so that students have to ask you for the items.  :)

These books go perfectly with our unit of study about questions.

Yo! Yes? (Scholastic Bookshelf)  Scholastic Reader Level 1: May I Please Have A Cookie?  Do You Want To Be My Frien (Japanese Edition) Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?

Happy Teaching and Learning!  

The Teacher Wife

Linky Party - A Few (Non-Teacher Related) Things About Me Pickles is having a Linky Party.  I loved her posts about Daily 5 and math.

A Few Things About Me:

  1. I am a mother to an almost 4 year old.  He is super excited about his birthday party. It's Star Wars inspired. And, if he is upset with me, he "un"invites me to his party.  
  2. I love Clearance shopping!  It's one of my favorites places to look for "stuff." :)
  3. My favorite color as a child was red.  Today, it also includes black, lime green and pink.
  4. I'm a morning person.  I can't sleep in past 7 a.m.  Sad, but true.   
  5. I LOVE books!  Our home is filled with all types; but mostly cookbooks (my husband's obsession) and teacher professional books (my obsession).
  6.  I'm just an ordinary girl who believes that extraordinary things can happen if you make them happen!  I totally believe in happily ever after.  But I realize, I am responsible for making it that way.  :)
Thanks for letting me share a little bit about me!  Don't forget to join the party!

Happy Learning and Teaching!


Got Music?

Singing has always been a part of my classroom. One of my fondest memories was during my second year of teaching, when one of my students learned to read through song.

Singing can lift the heart, unite people together, and teach.

Here are a few of my favorites.
(Who doesn't love her?  Even my husband and son know a few of her songs!  :) )
Shake a Hand
Who Let the Letters Out! 
Macarena's Bones
The Water Cycle
Five Senses
Parts of a Flower

Favorites from this CD:     
Pepperoni Pizza
Syllable Clap
Happy Birthday Letters        
Slide and Blend
Lifetime Words
Karate Writing
Good Bye Friends

(They have been a part of my teaching since the beginning)
Rockin' Down the RoadYellow Submarine
Sunshine Medley
This Land Is Your Land
Rockin the USA

Love These!:
Kids In ActionThe Body Rock
Tummy Tango
Animal Action I and II
Show Me What You Feel

Top Picks:
Learning With Hip Hop (Today's Music Paired With Educational Lessons for Classrooms and Homes, Ages Pre-K - 5th)I Can Count to 100
Counting by 2s
Counting by 5s
Counting by 10s
Super E
Two Vowels Together
The Exercise Game #1, #2, and #3

10 Carrot DiamondFour Hugs a Day
I Wanna Be a Dog
I Am a Pizza
Looking for Dracula
Each Of Us is a Flower

Many of Charlotte Diamond's, Raffi's and other artists' songs have song cards which can be purchased here.  These cards are great and also come with a little book that you can copy for your class.

Want to incorporate technology with music?  See Kelly's Kindergarten for Powerpoints to many Dr. Jean and Jack Hartmann songs or Harry's Kindergarten for awesome videos!

I know I forgot many other favorites such as Jose Luis Orozco, Raffi, and many country music artisits.  But, that means, there will be more on music soon!

What's on your must have CDs?  I'm always on the lookout for great CDs that I can use many, many, songs.  Leave your comments.  I LOVE them!

Happy Learning and Teaching!

Tutorial - Adding A Page to Blogger

Ever felt like the Side Bars on your Blogger were too busy but did not know how to fix it?  Well, I've wanted to grab those cute Blog Buttons but I didn't know where to fit them on the Home Page of my blog.  So, I decided to add a page.  It's pretty easy.  Here's how.

First, go to Posting.  Click on New Page.

Once created under Design, click on Template Designer.  Here you'll customize your tabs. Under Advanced, scroll to Tabs Text.  Choose the font, font color, and size that you like.
To see if you like it, look at the red dotted area.  That is what you are customizing.  If you do, click Apply To Blog.

Then, go back to Blogger.   Click Save.
Now, you can Edit Pages under Posting.

Easy enough, right?  Click here to see what my new page looks like.

Happy Teaching and Learning!
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