Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Favorite Math Lesson Of the Year

I am a sucker for sweets!  Any kind of sweet :)  Donuts are one of my favorites.  So, it's no surprise that donuts are the star of my favorite lesson!

Subtraction is one of my favorite concepts to teach to young children.  You get to take objects away and find out what is left.  What better way to help them understand the concept, than to feed donuts to an old lady.  Students are able to feed the donut manipulatives to the old lady and then move on to subtracting with a number line.  Check out "Devouring Donuts!" here.
Students will draw a subtraction sentence card and identify the largest number (minuend).  Students will place that number of donuts on the plate.  They will then feed the old lady the smaller number (subtrahend) of donuts to the old lady.  The difference will be the donuts left on the plate.
I created three different types of old ladies.  I first laminated and cut out the hole in the middle of the old lady's mouth.  I attached the old lady to a gift bag, a cereal box, and to a plastic tub.  I cut holes for the mouth in the gift bag and cereal box.  I used a razor blade to start the hole and then used scissors to finish.  I simply taped the old lady to the plastic tub. 
So easy and kids are able to actually "feed" the old lady!  I have included a recording sheet, where students will record the subtraction sentences that they completed.
There is also an anchor chart to help students remember the steps needed to subtract two numbers.
Learning subtraction on the number line is trickier.  Students are not actually taking the numbers away, but moving backwards on the number line.  I find it very helpful to provide students with a life size number line that they are able to actually move up and down.  It is wonderful for kinesthetic learners.

I included focus wands to help students really narrow their focus to a specific number.  The focus wand is also the old lady "eating" the donuts, so it helps make the concept a little more concrete.  Students will focus on two strategies for subtraction: "counting back" and "counting up".
I included an anchor chart to explain the steps for "counting back", when using a number line.  Students can refer back to the chart for help.  You can complete this activity as a whole group with the class number line and extend the learning, by letting each student use a personal number line. 
There is also an anchor chart for "counting up". 
I have included extension worksheets, where students demonstrate their understanding of "counting back" and "counting up".
I have also included many other extension worksheets to explore the concepts of equal numbers, greater than, less than, and solving subtraction sentences.  Here is an example of students finding the number that is smaller that the target number.  They will use a bingo dabber or crayon to color in the number that is smaller.  Students are able to use the number line and focus wand to assist them.
Another game that I love playing with the number lines and subtraction flash cards is "Eat 'Em Up", which is the same as the old game "War".  Students will play in pairs.  They will each flip a card at the same time, solve their subtraction sentence on the number line, and whoever has the largest difference "wins" the cards.  You can also play the same game with the large donut cards (from the number line).  Make a set for each student and they can explore the concepts of greater and less than.
I also wanted to share my "New Old Lady"!  She is much more durable than the cereal box old lady.  I used an Oxi-Clean box, which is much thicker cardboard.  I laid the old lady on top of the box and cut out the shape of the mouth.
Cut it out.
Covered in scrapbook paper.
Used Velcro to keep the top shut.
 Last, I hot glued the old lady to the box.  She is ready to go and SO durable.  Your kids can really "play" with this toy and it should survive. :)
I have a donut missing addends freebie to tempt you without adding any calories to your diet!  Click here to get your freebie.  Delicious donuts with NO guilt!!
There are other donut games here!  Delicious Donuts: Roll, Add and Cover.
 Get a donut freebie here!
Get a free subitizing template here!  See this blog post to see the magnetic subitizing board in action and ideas on how to use it!
I hope you found some fun ideas!  I teamed up with Teaching Momster for her "Math Madness Wednesday".  Be sure to head over to her blog to see all the "favorite" lessons for the year!
I linked up with:
Freebie Fridays

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Car Wash Fun!

Memorial Day Weekend was beautiful.  The temperature was beautiful and we got outside to play!  I have a 4 year old and 7 year old, so they do not always want to play the same things.  This is where my special education training in differentiation comes in handy!!  We can all play the same game, with a little twist for each kid.  Everyone is happy :)
We had a letter car wash.  Here are the materials that we used: plastic cars, trucks, planes, sponges, Vis-à-vis marker, chalk, letter cards, and towels.  Of course, we also had a tub of water to get the sponges wet!
We used the letters in my daughter's name, but each child had a different objective. 
My daughter had to find the letters that made up her name and put them in order in front of the matching "Car Wash".  We pretended that each bottle with a letter was a car wash, just for that specific letter.
 My son had to give me a word for each letter with a short and long vowel sound. 
After they matched or told me their words, they got to "wash" the car.  Since the letter was put on with Vis-à-vis markers, it comes right off with a damp sponge.  You would not believe how long we played this game!  The towels are for drying the cars after you wash them.
We also added a town with the same letters.  My daughter drove the cars around and parked them by the matching letter. 
My son used chalk to connect letters to build different words.  Then, he would drive the cars along the roads and read me his words.  For example, he created "hop".  We added more letters of the alphabet and he created "magic e" words.
When they were done with the cars, we broke out their bikes.  I wrote numbers on my daughter's bike.
 I wrote long vowel words on my son's bike.
We played these games a variety of ways.  For numbers:
-  Call out a number
-  Hold up your fingers and the child will identify or count the number of fingers
-  Put out a specific number of cars and the child will count and "wash off" the number
 For the words:
-  My daughter got involved by telling my son the first letter of the word and he had to find it.
-  I said the word and he searched for it and washed it off.
-  He picked a word, used it in a sentence, and washed it off.
You can write anything on the bikes or cars, so your kids can practice any skill.  It was great to get outside and "play" with water!!
I would love to hear how you keep your kids learning in the summer heat :)
I linked up with:
Discover and Explore

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Keeping a Loved One's Memory Alive

My dad died before my children were born.  It was a tremendous loss, but even more present with the birth of each child.  I wanted to keep my dad's memory alive in the everyday lives of my children.

From the day they were born, my dad was present in their lives.  We brought a picture of my dad into the delivery room, so that my dad was present for their births.  This was so helpful to me.  I felt like he was still here with me. 

We kept the memories of "Granddaddy" alive through everyday conversation.  We told specific stories about "Granddaddy" and also brought his presence into every day scenarios.  My husband and I comment on how much Granddaddy would have loved snuggling with them while watching "Cars", or how he would have shared his homegrown tomatoes with each of the kids.

One of the most effective ways that we keep my dad's spirit with us is by creating a book all about Granddaddy.  I printed out old pictures of my dad and added little vignettes about him and his life.

My kids talk about Granddaddy like they know him.  He is present in their lives. 

You would change your approach, depending on your religion, but this book really helped us discuss heaven, religion, and death.

This is just one little way to help keep your loved one's memory alive in the lives of your children.  It has made a huge difference in my life.  I still miss my dad every day, but it is a wonderful thing to hear my children discussing him, as if he were in the next room...
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

I admire...

The blogger that I admire is the one and only "Evil Math Wizard"!!!
First of all, she has an amazing name that jumps right out at you.  It doesn't end there.  She literally is a wizard, who is able to bring out the magic in any type of math. 
I chose the "Place Value Kit" for grades 2 and 3.  I am tutoring some children right now that need a lot of work with place value.  This was PERFECT!
The games and activities are incredible.  Even the worksheets are engaging and fun. 
One of the my favorite games is the "Place Value Toss".  All you need is some sort of container to attach the place value signs, some chips or cubes to toss, and some tape to create a line to stand behind.  You can see a blue Unifix cube making it's way into the hundreds bucket.  Students get to throw the cubes and try to get the highest score!
 There is a recording sheet and a sheet with directions, so that students can keep themselves on track.
Another great game is "Grab and Guess".  Students will reach one hand into a container and grab a handful of objects. Before looking, they will estimate or guess how many objects they believe they grabbed.  Fun!
After writing their guess on the recording sheet, they count how many objects they grabbed.  We used cereal.  The object is to count by groups of 10.  As they were counting, students drew a circle around each group 10 to stay organized.  The remaining cereal that did not make it into a group of 10 is your ones.
 We did the same game with different objects and compared the differences on the recording sheet.
 Here is a great game: "Place Value Picture".  The kids had a ball with this.  They were allowed to use any number of base ten blocks to create a picture of anything that they wanted.
 Then, they traced around each base ten block and glued it to a piece of construction paper.
 Each student then wrote the value of each base ten block on the paper and added the amounts together to find the "value" of their picture.
This was fun, but it gets even better!  Each student traded blocks with a partner.  They had to use the same number of blocks to build a different picture!
 They were challenged to use their creativity to create something totally different from their partner.
 Here are two pictures with the same value, but one is a frog and one is a rocket ship!
The kids had a great time doing this activity!
"Building Numbers" is a 2 player game.  Students chose 3 cards and built a 3-digit number.  They wrote it on the recording sheet and built it with base ten blocks. 
Then, they had to rearrange the 3 numbers to make a new number.  They continued to do this, until no new numbers could be made.  It is a great way to look at the difference changing the place value of the number.  They are able to visually see the differences when building with base ten blocks.
"High Card" is another 2 player game.  Students are practicing with 4-digit numbers.  They choose 4 cards make a number, say the number out loud, and record the number on the recording sheet.  Their partner will do the same.  They will compare numbers.
One of the lowest prep, easiest to get started games, was the kids' favorite.  "Guess My Number" is a game that can be used whole class, small group or in a partner setting.  One person thinks of a 2-digit number.  I had my kids write it on a post-it.  The other players take turns guessing the number and the clue giver will record the guess on the recording sheet.  The clue giver will also record whether the guess has any correct digits, or if any of the digits are in the correct place.
The picture I have below is of a hand written chart, because the kids were so enthralled with this game that we played it for at least 45 minutes. 
Here is one of the worksheets for making "Number Combos".  Students take the challenge to try and make as many different combinations with the same 4 numbers.  You can see their brains working!
The "Papa John's Pizza" activity is wonderful and hilarious!  It teaches so many different skills.  You set up a pretend pizza shop and have kids take orders over the phone.  It is amazing how much coaching and instruction some kids need on phone etiquette. 
The person who is calling to place the order will show the number of pizzas that they would like to order on the place value chart.  For example, 536.  The student who is taking the order will then write the number on the white board.  Students can repeat the order to reread their answer and double check.  It is an amazingly fun way to practice place value.  There is so much more included in the directions of the game, but you get the gist!
There is so much more that I haven't even shared in this packet.  It is a complete kit to introduce, reinforce, assess, and review place value.  It is absolutely amazing!
If you would like to get this "Place Value Kit" click on the picture below.
Thank you so much to the amazing Deirdre for sharing your "magical" resources with me.  Both my students and I loved them!!

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