Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Fun

First Grade is all about making learning fun, and what fun we had this week! We visited a pumpkin patch, picked our own pumpkins, carved them, and displayed them at our school with pride. Students loved the nonfiction National Geographic book Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie by Jill Esbaum and the Math Reads book Pumpkin Countdown, by Joan Holub. They practiced math strategies and skills by estimating the weight of their pumpkins, and then weighing them on a scale. They also estimated the number of seeds inside, and then counted them all. We learned that it was easier to count them by twos, fives, or tens instead of one by one--so we also practiced skip-counting. I learned a bit of Science myself. Did you know that pumpkins float? Or that the number of lines along the outside of a pumpkin indicates the number of rows of seeds inside? My class also learned about farm living. They had the opportunity to feed the insides of thier pumpkins to the chickens who live at the pumpkin patch, and to use hay to make a scarecrow. So much fun! I think my favorite part was our sing-a-long in the pumpkin patch. We practiced rhyming as students added their own verses to classic songs, and we practiced keeping a beat by clapping and tapping. Most importantly, First Graders practiced taking turns, sharing, and working together. I wish my classroom was outside every day!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Guided Math

I am feeling inspired after attending Dr. Nikki's Guided Math Workshop yesterday! She has a comprehensive blog I will be using a lot. Check it out!
Also, here is a link to Dr. Nikki's Guided Math Pinterest Board:

Here are a some tips I picked up:
Form guided instruction groups based on student needs, and change groups frequently as needed.
Begin with a pre-assessment for a particular standard, and group students according to skills and concepts they are struggling with. In guided group, focus on teaching those skills and concepts. Other groups will meet in centers working on math fluency, math reasoning, etc. 
Do not feel you need to meet with every group every day. One meeting per week may be sufficient for each group. 
Teacher-guided center is a good opportunity to introduce and teach math games that will later become independent centers once they are mastered.

Math Games

Check out "First Grade Printable Board Games" on!
Also, from Cambridge University, check out NRICH Math Games for Primary Grades!

In my classroom, we love:
"I love Math"
Addition Roll 'Em
Subtraction Roll 'Em
Add and Color
Subtract and Color
Addition Cross Out
Subtraction Cross Out
Popsicle Stick Math