January Math Centers - Snowman Math!

While I have spent most of the past week drinking and eating and loving the holiday season, I found some time to post my January math centers and wanted to share them with you all!

This month's theme is all about SNOW!

As always with my math centers, they are set up the same as the previous months, review a bit from before, and cover some new concepts. Some of the new activities include:

Snowy is Missing!
In this center, students have to figure out the number pattern (2s, 5s, or 10s) of each card and find the snowman that fits in the middle.
A new skill included in this unit is non-standard measurement.
Snowy Footprints is a fun center that the students love! It requires a little bit of prep, but it is definitely worth it. While the kids are out of the room, you tape the 8 different footprint paths on the floor of the classroom. Students receive their own snowman measurement tools and walk around to see how far each snowman walked. This center allows the students to practice non-standard measurement. It can also be used over and over again since the teacher determines how many footprints go behind each letter.

There are 4 more centers included in Snowman math that you can check out by clicking the image below:

If you'd like all my seasonal math centers for a discounted price - check out the bundle!

Both will be on sale through Saturday!

Oh, and I hope everyone had a VERY, merry Christmas!! Our little family sure did :)


Addition in First Grade!

I love teaching addition in the younger grades. After we have built a strong number sense, we start with simple addition using manipulatives. We use buttons, cubes, gameboard pieces, etc. Basically anything we can get our hands on. Developmentally, I believe this is exactly what my first graders need to learn addition. 

They need to see it. 
Feel it. 
Understand it.

I want all those things before we practice quick math facts and math strategies. Once they can show me an addition sentence and find the sum, we move onto different addition strategies. Last year, I  created a subtraction unit that we used and loved [see post here] Naturally, I wanted to make a similar addition one. The same set-up, but with addition facts (up to 20) and addition strategies.

Take a look below to see some of the activities that are included:

Add it up! This hands-on activity is where we start. We use different colored cubes or game pieces to build and add and find the sum. Most of the cards only use two colors (2 addends), but I made some with 3 to get us familiar with adding three numbers together at the same time.

Add and Color! This was one my students FAVORITE games in the subtraction unit, so it was an easy choice to make the same game, but for addition.

Some fun anchor charts:
and much more!

Click the image below to check out What's the Sum? in my store and see if it works for you an your students.


Math Centers for the Whole Year!

I have been busy, busy with my son, Theo these past 6 weeks, but I was able to finish up my Christmas math centers I had started before he was born!

Every month, I make 6 different themed centers based on what we are learning at the time. They are Common Core aligned and by the end of the year, each math standard will be addressed in these packs. I made these December centers with my previous ones in mind. Each month has different centers, but include similar games and activities - just with harder material. They are scaffolded, so that as the teacher you can spend less time teaching HOW to complete each activity and more time focusing on the content.

If you liked any of my previous math centers, these may be just perfect for you and your students!

Here are 2 of my Santa Math centers:

 10 more and 10 less practice! Students practice matching (and reading -BONUS!) the Santa with the numbers that are 10 less and 10 more. They then record the answers on their recording sheet.

Making 20. In October's math centers (Pumpkin Math), there is a similar activity which requires students to find the missing addend to make 10. This activity is the same except with 20! Students choose a present card, cover up that many presents, and figure out how many more they need to make 20. They then record the missing addend on the recording sheet.

These, along with 4 more centers are included in my newest unit, Santa math:

I also decided to bundle the all seasonal centers together to save some money. They aren't all complete YET, but each month (September through June) will be uploaded by the 25th of each previous month. The bundle will be 400+ pages by the end! Already included in the bundle are also the following:

Here are the upcoming months' themes:
Snowman Math - January
Heart Math - February
Leprechaun Math - March
Bunny Math - April
Camping Math - May
Summer Math - June

I have the bundle AND the already uploaded units on sale through tomorrow night for even more of a discount :)

Happy Thanksgiving!


Baby Theo is Born!

I just wanted to share with everyone that my husband, Parker, and I are beyond thrilled to announce that our baby boy, Theo was born just one, short week ago!!

I wrote a little bit about it over on my personal blog, Late Nights and Lattes, but here are some pictures of our sweet little guy.

Theodore "Theo" Lloyd Jones.
Born at 2:12pm on 10/8/14. He weighed in at 7lbs 5oz and was 19 inches long.

We are madly in love and enjoying every second of this crazy ride called parenthood!

Thank you for all the well wishes the past 9 months!

Phonics Poetry for Grades K-2!

Do your young learners have poetry journals?! Mine do and we love them. 

The main question I have been asked in the past is what I put inside my journals and I created a resource to help answer that question. Most of the poems in our poetry journals are phonics poems, but I also am sure to include plenty of seasonal and holiday poems throughout the year.

I always had trouble finding poems that were appropriate for my first graders to decode on their own throughout the year, so I used to make up a few of my own. I decided this past year to make lots more, type them up, add some clipart and borders and voila! Here is my newest unit, Phonics Poetry for Grade K-2!

If you want to see how I set up my poetry journals in the class, click the picture below to read my previous post on Blog Hoppin' AND snag one of the poems for free!

Inside my phonics poetry pack, there are 27 different phonics poems that focus on common word families and phonemes taught in Kinder, 1st grade, and the beginning of 2nd grade. Each word family or phoneme has a short, simple poem written by me, a practice page for students to record their words and sort real vs. nonsense words, and there is also a visualization sheet. 

Here is a close up of each:
Poem: the above poem focuses on long vowel e, spelled /ee/. The set up of my poems are very similar so students can get used to them. Students read the poem many different times and ways and then glue it into their poetry journal and color in the picture.

Visualization Page: I find that poetry is the perfect time to teach visualization! Sometimes instead of the full-sized sheets, I will substitute the poem for that week with a visualization sheet. We still read the poem numerous ways and identify the words with the word family or phoneme we are learning that week. Instead of simply coloring in the clip art on the page, I have my students draw what the poem is about! It is a great way for me to see who can actually decode the poem and understand it.

Practice page: This is the page we complete after we read and illustrate our poems. It allows students to record some of the words they found in the poem as well as decode real and nonsense words with that word family/phoneme.

I also included a few sheets on how and when I use these sheets in my classroom:
My kids really love collecting these poems in their journal throughout the year and I allow plenty of time for students to read through their poetry journal. It also makes for quite the keepsake when they leave my classroom in June!

To see more, head over to view my Phonics Poetry unit on TPT and download the preview!
It is also on SALE through tomorrow night!

PS - as the year progresses I plan to add a few more phonemes, word families, and consonant blends to this unit. Feel free to let me know if there are ones you would like added! I just ask that you please be patient with me as THIS is what's going on in my life right about now:
...now THREE more days...

Tracking Our Reading Growth in 1st Grade!

I blogged over at Blog Hoppin' today about how I have my little first graders track their own reading data:

Hop on over to read more and grab the free data-tracking sheets I use!


Building Number Sense in Kindergarten and First Grade

We are THREE weeks in! Already! I can hardly believe it.

We have been working hard on building number sense in my 1st grade classroom, but I noticed pretty quickly that this crew would need to take a few steps back before we went into my Numbers to 120 unit. Many of my students needed to work on ordering, identifying, comparing and building the numbers 1-20 before we could kick it up a few notches and work on higher numbers.

In order to help my students build up this background knowledge I created some of the following hand-on activities:
 Number line remake! Students work together to put together this number line puzzle in which students need to be able to identify numbers 1-20 in all different forms.

 Match and make! Students make the numeral with the number word and then make that number with a math manipulative of their choice. These 2 chose pattern blocks.

 Roll and build: Students play against one another to roll dice and build towers with that amount of cubes. Once the whole board is covered up, students challenge themselves to count up their color cubes and see who had the most. There are 2 levels of difficulty of this game.

 Button jars. This is a simple, hands-on activity that lets students pull a a button jar, fill it with that many buttons, and put it in order. There are jars 0-20,

Tens frame spin & color! This activity has students using spinners to identify different numbers and number words. Students color accordingly.

My kids have been having a lot of fun with these hands-on activities and games and I am confident that after another week of practice, we will be ready for some bigger numbers!

There are a few other activities that are included in my Building Number Sense unit and 5 practice pages. You can snag the unit below for 20% off through tomorrow night (9/8):

I made this unit with a beginning-of-the-year 1st grader or a kindergartner in mind!

Starting Writer's Workshop in First Grade!

This past week we began our writer's workshop lessons!

I use my writer's workshop units throughout the year, but before we dive into small moments we talk about what Writer's Workshop looks like in our first grade classroom.

This poster is hanging in our classroom and we go through each of these bullet points throughout the first week!
-Lights off: My classroom is lucky enough to have tons of windows and we are able to turn down all the lights and still have plenty of natural sunlight to write with!

-Music on: This one little CD has allowed me to curb talking during writer's workshop more than anything I have tried in the past:

This little CD is one of a six-pack designed to help students stay focused during reading and writing. I had all 6 at my old school but unfortunately had to leave them all there! This was my favorite though, so I bought it again. I play it softly in the background and let the students zone out. If we get louder than the music, we have to turn it off and my kids get really upset! I am always amazing by how into it they are.

-Students at desks: most students sit in their seats during writer's workshop without any problems. However, I always allow students to find a quiet space at a center table or on the floor with a clipboard if they need it!

-Teachers with students: It is important for my kids to know the expectations for the adults too! During writer's workshop we are currently walking around and checking in with students. As time goes on, we will be able to pull small groups and individual students who need extra support.

Voices off/Feet in front/Sitting up straight: All self-explanatory, but we make sure to model, model, model what this looks like!

Brains working: Seems self-explanatory but this one, but this also takes a lot of modeling. I have students come up in the front of the class and show us what it looks like when our brain is working during writer's workshop. It is pretty funny. My kids scrunch of their faces like they are thinking really hard and then they start pretending to write or draw. I always have them show the many ways it looks when our brains are NOT working during that time (heads on desks, slumped down in seats, pencils on floor, etc.)

Neatest handwriting/Colorful illustrations: The neatest handwriting I am not too much of a stickler on at this point in time. It will come to my students as the year goes on and we are beginning Handwriting without Tears next week. The colorful illustrations however - yikes! I don't know what has happened to drawing, but I swear my kids don't know how to color anymore! I spent one whole class period talking about using many different colors from our crayon box and adding more detail to our illustrations! They are getting better though!

Those are the basics in room 102 and if you walked by during our writer's workshop block that is what you would see going on!

As for WHAT we are writing, we start simple. I want to know what my students can do at this point in the year and before we jump into the meat and potatoes of our writing units. I want my students to practice getting into the writing routine and building up some stamina.

We do this using activities from my Write from the Start Unit:

These sentence completion sheets are just one example of many included in the pack. I love them because it lets me see who can complete the prompt in a way that makes sense and it also allows my students to trace the beginning and see what good handwriting should look like before they continue. We completed this one and "Good Friends" (I can be a good friend by...)  on days 1 and 2 of writer's workshop.

Another writing activity we will complete is a picture prompt:
I will give students a sheet with a cartoon image and they are told to write what might be happening in the story. I also include some relevant words at the bottom for my students to reference. This helps get them started and not be held back by spelling and ideas, but instead it lets me see the basics of their writing. It establishes a starting point for each of my students to work from throughout the year!

I also include these activities at my writing center along with some mini-books that students can complete:
Now that my students know the routines and procedures of writer's workshop in our classroom, we will be able to seamlessly dive into small moments and start writing some fabulous personal narratives!

If you want more information about my writer's workshop units, I cover the following in my two bundled units below:
Personal Narratives
Informative Research Projects
Opinion Writing
How-to Writing
Writing Reviews
Realistic Fiction

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