Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Addition & Subtraction Task Cards!


Need a fun activity for math centers or small groups?  Then you are in luck!!  My Addition & Subtraction Task Cards {Monster Themed} and {Christmas Themed} are two of my most popular products.  So I decided to make some updates and offer these great task cards in a Valentine/Heart Theme!  If you've downloaded one of these products in the past, rest assured that I've updated all of the problems so your kiddos will get all new task cards to practice their addition/subtraction facts.  Yay!  

Check out a few pics or download the full preview here!  
 
 
 
 
 
In the full product, you get student recording sheets and answer keys so kiddos can self-check their work.  This also adds accountability to your math stations/centers.  
I {LOVE} this product because of the fun, heart theme.  I think it will be great for the month of February; however, it can be used throughout the year because it's not specifically for V-Day!  
I'm going to give these Addition & Subtraction Task Cards away to three lucky readers.  Leave a comment below (including your e-mail address), and I'll randomly select three winners!  


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Magical Product Swap!

MrsStanfordsClass

It's that time again...Time for Mrs. Stanford's Magical Product Swap!  This is the third time she has sponsored this fun event, and my second time participating.
I am so lucky because I was paired up with the lovely STACY from FUNKY FRESH FIRSTIES!  Stacy's TpT store is filled with 34 goodies that will appeal to all elementary teachers.  Some of my favorites include "Dear Mr. Farmer...A Persuasive Writing Activity," "The Three Little Pigs Mini Pack," "For the Love of Hot Chocolate," and "Peanut Butter & Jelly Mini Pack!"  Stacy let me choose any product I wanted for the product swap, and I was dying to have some fun with hot chocolate in my classroom!
This mini unit would have been fun to do before Christmas, but I wanted to wait until a cold, January day.  December was so festive and exciting, and I knew the kids would need some engaging activities to return to in January.  There are several awesome activities/ideas in this pack that I'd like to showcase...
After we made our hot chocolate {THANK YOU to the cafeteria ladies for their help!}, we sipped on our warm drinks while completing this graph as a class.
Then, I split the class into small groups to complete the following activities during Literacy Stations:
Grammar Station- ABC Order Practice

Writing Station- Procedural Writing Activity
While drinking our hot chocolate, we brainstormed a list of adjectives as a class before I set the kiddos loose.  I was so impressed with some of the adjectives my firsties came up with...SAVORY, SMOOTH, & RICH!  Great descriptive words!  {I added DECADENT to our list to boost their vocabulary a little, hehe.}

I laminated one set of the procedural writing steps and then made black & white copies for the kids to write on.  I wanted the students to be able to brainstorm and make notes on the laminated copy using a dry erase marker.  Stacy included a poster of words and pictures to help students with their writing.  This was such a big help so kiddos weren't asking, "how do you spell _____?"  

Stacy also included a super fun and creative way of having kiddos choose partners!  There were four pages included in the Hot Chocolate pack that look like this:

I laminated and cut out all of the number pieces.  Then I put them in my FAVORITE mug!
Without peeking, students come up and choose a card.  The child that gets the card with #8 Whip Cream, and the child that gets the card with #8 Hot Chocolate are paired up!  Such a clever idea!  It will make picking partners in January much more exciting!  :)
On a side note, you could use the same cards for lots of math activities...Memory Match, Comparing/Ordering Numbers, & Addition & Subtraction are just a few that come to mind!  Love these little cards!!!

I am so grateful to Mrs. Stanford for the opportunity to participate in her Magical Product Swap because I got to meet a new friend/blogger/TpT seller.  I'm already a follower of Funky Fresh Firsties, and I hope you will become one too.  Check out more of Stacy's great TpT products here!
Don't forget to swing by Stacy's blog and see which product of mine she tested out with her kiddos!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Addition Puzzles & Giveaway Winners!

It seems as if K-2 teachers are ALWAYS working on addition.  It's understandable.  It's a fundamental concept that kiddos must master.  Are you looking for a new way to help students master their addition facts?  Then, check out my latest idea...
First, have students choose a number (or assign #s to kiddos).  This number will be the SUM for all addition problems in their math puzzle.  Next, have students use manipulatives and a part-part-whole mat to come up with eight number sentences for their chosen sum.  
Have students record their equations on scrap paper or in their math journals.  I'd suggest CHECKING students' number sentences before letting them write on puzzle pieces.  =)
The next step is to have students write their sum on the center puzzle piece.  Next, write an equation (without the sum) on each puzzle piece.  Then have some fun coloring the pieces!  
I used these pre-made puzzle cut-outs from Trend.  They are pretty cheap, and I like that they are perforated so kiddos do not have to cut.  If you'd rather, TpT has plenty of blank puzzles you can download for free, such as this one by Amy Frank.   

I'd recommend having students label the backs of their puzzles pieces with their initials or numbers.  {This will be helpful for a self-check later if the puzzles are added to a math center.}

After students have created their puzzles, you can combine a few puzzles in a baggie to create a challenging math activity for independent practice or math centers/stations.

Reasons I think these Addition Puzzles are FABULOUS:
1.  It's not a worksheet.
2.  Kids get to create their own!  (Ownership=Engagement)
3.  Problem Solving/Critical Thinking while practicing basic facts
4.  Encourages use of manipulatives
5.  They are fun!!  Kids like puzzles!!
6.  Opportunity for self-check

Other Ideas/Suggestions:
-Subtraction Puzzles 
-Mixed Operations: Addition & Subtraction facts
-Fact Family Puzzles (4-5 piece puzzles)
-Multiplication/Division Puzzles

On another note, THANK YOU to everyone who participated in my Ringing in the New Year Giveaway!  It was a huge success.  Here are the lucky winners:
Thanks for stopping by today!  Leave me some love in the comments section if you have some time! :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Spring Break Countdown!


Yesterday on Facebook a friend posted, "Is it too early to countdown to Spring Break?"  Her post made me laugh, and then it made me think...NO WAY!  It's never too early to start the countdown!  I've always loved countdowns: Advent calendar at Christmas, birthday countdowns, PREGNANCY countdowns (haha), etc.  I created a cute little Spring Break countdown for all my teacher friends!  

All you need to do is download the Freebie here, print, and put the page in an 8x10 frame!  I found some cute, cheap frames in the clearance section at Target.  I'm thinking about adding a bow or ribbon to the top of each frame, but we shall see...Now, use a dry erase marker to write on the glass.  Easy, breezy countdown!!
I know the kids will love changing the number of days during calendar time.  

While creating the Spring Break countdown, I made another poster.  I think this would look adorable in any classroom.  Plus, it's a great opportunity to teach children about positivity, optimism, and gratefulness.  I can just imagine all of the cute/funny/sweet things that the kids will come up with to write on the poster!  A great addition to calendar time or morning meeting...

Download these FREEBIES from my TpT store!  There are a few variations.  I also included a black/white version in case you want to print on Scrapbook paper and save your color ink! :)  


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Currently January

Short & Sweet today!
I've linked up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for another Currently Linky party!
I couldn't decide on one little word, so I chose two little words.  =)
Baby Reed is due in less than 17 weeks so both words (anticipation & patience) seemed extremely relevant!
  
I'd love your input on his nursery...The main colors will be gray and white, but I want to add an accent color.  Should it be NAVY or TEAL?  Comment below and let me know what you think!

Don't forget to check out my "Ringing in the New Year Giveaway" below!  Happy 2013!
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