Christmas Math Addition & Subtraction

I love teaching math in December because there are so many fun Christmas things you can use as math manipulatives.  I found these divided plates and mini erasers at Target.  So festive and perfect for practicing addition and subtraction during the month of December!  
The plates were $1.99.  The erasers were $1 and the jars were $1.  
I love the way the plates are divided because they show part-part-whole perfectly.  You can even write on the plates with a dry erase marker!
You can use my Christmas Math Addition & Subtraction Task Cards and you will have an awesome math station or small group activity for the month of December.  This would be fun for fast finishers too!  
 The Christmas Math pack comes with 5 sets of task cards (16 in each set).  It includes student recording sheets and answer keys so students can self-check (if you so choose)!  
Here's what it looks like.  Click on the pictures below to see it in my TpT store
 The cards come four to a page, as seen here.  
 Leave a comment below (with your e-mail) and I'll send my Christmas math pack to a few lucky winners!  

Christmas Countdown

Print this FREE Christmas Countdown poster and put it in a 8x10 picture frame.  Write on the glass using a dry erase marker.
Use this Christmas Countdown poster in your classroom, teacher's lounge, front office, or at home. Just print the design you like, put it in a 8x10 frame, and use a dry erase marker on the glass! If you don't have a frame, just laminate the poster and use a dry erase marker to count down the days until Christmas!  Print it for FREE right here.  For K-1 students, make this part of your morning meeting or calendar time.  Students can practice counting backwards, and they will love getting the chance to write on the picture frame with the dry erase marker.
Countdown to Christmas with this free poster!
FREE Countdown to Christmas
Christmas Addition and Subtraction Task Cards
Perfect for math stations, independent practice, or small groups.  
A fun and engaging way to celebrate Christmas while still learning!

Christmas Math {Word Problems}

I'm here today sharing a Christmas math FREEBIE!  You can use these word problem task cards in a variety of ways.  The freebie comes with 16 word problems, answer key, and student recording sheet. 
Christmas word problems for K-2 students FREEBIE
1.  Calendar Time: Work through a problem a day during whole group calendar time.  
2.  Scavenger Hunt: Post the problems around the room.  Tape them to the wall, bookshelf, under a desk, anywhere!  Give students a clipboard and their recording sheet.  They will have a blast finding and solving the problems.
3.  Math Stations: Perfect math station during the month of December
4.  Fast Finishers: Challenge your fast finishers with these word problems.
5.  Problem of the Day: Let students work through a problem each day during the month of December.  
Challenge students to solve these Christmas word problems {FREEBIE}
6.  Math Journal: Have students work through the problems in their math journals.  
Christmas math word problems for elementary students
Hope your students enjoy these FREE Christmas math problems!  
Do you call them "word problems" or "story problems" in your classroom?  Leave me a comment {with your e-mail} and let me know!  I'll pick a couple winners and send them my other Christmas math activities for free.  :)  

Parent Teacher Conferences: Making the most of your time with parents

How to structure Parent Teacher Conferences to make the most of your time with parents
1.  Start with a positive.  Praise the child, share a funny or sweet story, and tell the parent what you love about their child.  
2.  Discuss the child’s strengths.  Examples: Asks for help, prepared for class, demonstrates self-control, follows directions, gets along well with others, has a positive attitude, thinks creatively, participates in class, accepts responsibility...
3.  Review test results, grades, and student work.  Give concrete examples of what the student is learning in class by showing work samples.  Review data from standardized testing, benchmark testing, etc.  Use a highlighter to note the important aspects of the data BEFORE the conference begins so you can keep this portion of the conference focused.  
4.  Address your concerns and areas needing improvement.  Be very specific.  Don’t just say the child is struggling in math.  What specifically are they having trouble with in math?  Examples: Student needs to work on mastering multiplication math facts.  Student needs to work on communicating respectfully with adults.  Student needs to work on completing class work on a regular basis.  
5.  Discuss ways the parents can help at home.  Give parents resources to use at home, such as a bookmark with reading comprehension questions they can ask their child while they read together at night.  A list of websites & apps is something parents always ask for.  Identify 2-3 specific things that the parent can do with their child.  
6.  End with another positive.  Praise the child and tell the parent how thankful you are to have the child in your class.  

Realistically, you have 15-20 minutes with each parent.  The time will fly by!  I don't have a set time for questions because our conference is a two-way conversation.  Parents should ask questions along the way.  :)  Stick to this format, and your conferences will be a breeze!  

Did you catch Parts 1 and 2 of my Parent Teacher Conference series?  
Tips for successful Parent Teacher Conference
Parent Teacher Conferences

Addition and Subtraction Math Center using Part Part Whole

Addition and Subtraction worksheets using Part Part Whole Model
Need an easy, fun, and engaging math center for your littles?  This one is a breeze to set up, and my students love it.  I ordered these Dry Erase Sleeves on Amazon, but you can get them almost anywhere.  I even saw some in the Target Dollar Spot the other day!  I put several copies of each worksheet inside the sleeve.  Students use dry erase markers to work through the problems.  At any given time, I might ask a student to take out one of the pages and complete it with a pencil.  Then I can really check their understanding or even take a grade!  :)
Addition and subtraction printables for math centers
Slide the answer key in the back so students can self-check.  
Addition and Subtraction Worksheets for Math Centers
For my students that need an extra challenge, I add blank part part whole worksheets so they can create their own!  They LOVE playing teacher.  They can complete the entire page or create problems for a friend to work through.  Awesome way to really check their understanding of part part whole!  To download these Addition & Subtraction printables, visit TheHappyTeacher store.  

Parent Teacher Conferences: 8 MORE Tips for Successful Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conference Tips
Did you catch Part 1 of this blog post?  Find more Parent Teacher Conference tips & resources here.
  1. Create a warm environment in your classroom.  If you have a Keurig, bring it to school for the day so parents can have a cup of coffee before or during the conference.  Have peppermints or chocolates on your table.  Turn on soft lighting/lamps.  Turn on your favorite Scentsy warmer so your classroom smells great!  (-Ms. Lang)
  2. Send home a pre-conference form for parents to fill out and return prior to conferences.  They can write down questions and topics they want to discuss during the conference.  You will feel more prepared when it's time for the conference and be able to manage your time a little better.  (-Mrs. Cannon) 
  3. Have a notecard or form for each student.  BEFORE the conference begins, write down a positive about the child, an area needing improvement, and important information about the child's behavior.  Always start and end your conference with a positive comment or sweet story about the student.  (-Mrs. Bond) 
    Form for Parent Teacher Conference
    Parent Teacher Conference form
  4. Dress your best!  Be comfortable and confident.  If you never wear heels to school, don't start today.  Your feet will never forgive you.  (-Mrs. Blackmore)
  5. Empower parents to help out at home by giving them resources.  Give them a bookmark with questions to ask their child while they read at night.  A list of educational websites/apps is always appreciated.  Parents love ideas for practicing spelling words or math facts with their child at home.  Send home a little treat for the kiddo too.  This will help parents spark a conversation with their child post-conference. (-Mrs. Harris) 
    Resources and forms for Parent Teacher Conferences
  6. Have a notecard with a list of topics to talk about if you get in a bind.  Some conferences flow naturally and time flies by; others can be more difficult.  Examples: Upcoming field trips or school events, good books to check out at the library, student work samples, a funny story from class.  (-Mr. Pettis)
  7. Pack snacks, lunch/dinner, breath mints, chapstick, bottled water, etc.  My go-to snacks are protein bars, trail mix, banana with peanut butter, CHOCOLATE, iced tead.  A hungry teacher is not a happy teacher!  (-Mrs. Pledger) 
  8. Send home reminders.  Everyone is busy, and you will undoubtedly have a few no-shows.  It's frustrating and time consuming to reschedule parents.  Send home a note or two in students' folders.  If you use Sign Up Genius to schedule your conferences, it will e-mail parents a reminder automatically.  (-Mrs. Duke) 
Reminder for Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent Teacher Conference forms and reminders
Visit TheHappyTeacher store to download all of the forms, reminders, notes, and resources you will need for fall and spring Parent Teacher Conferences.  

Parent Teacher Conferences {8 Tips for Successful and Productive Conferences}

Parent Teacher Conference Tips
Parent teacher conferences can be stressful, time-consuming, nerve-wracking , and downright scary for new teachers!  My first year in the classroom, I taught Half-Day Kindergarten.  This meant I had 26 kiddos in the morning and 25 in the afternoon.  Do the math...I had 51 Parent Teacher Conferences.  Eek!  Talk about overwhelming.  I've assembled 8 tips from veteran teachers that will help ALL teachers have productive & successful conferences. 
  1. Use an online sign up tool to schedule conferences.  Sign Up Genius is awesome and free!  This allows parents to sign up online for a time that is convenient for them.  Parents can edit/swap conference times if a conflict arises.  It automatically e-mails parents a reminder.  (-Mrs. Duke)
  2. Use the "sandwich method."  Start off by praising the child, sharing a funny/sweet story, and by telling the parent what you love about their child.  Next, talk about areas that need improvement before ending with another positive about the child.  (-Mrs. Trujillo)
  3. Let students be involved in Parent Teacher Conferences by letting them fill out a self-evaluation.  This gives them the opportunity to take ownership of their grades & behavior. (-Mrs. Swanson)
    Student self evaluationStudent self evaluation Student self evaluation
  4. Have a notebook to jot down questions parents ask you or issues you need to follow up on.  If you have all of these questions in one place, it will be much easier to address them when conferences are over. (-Mrs. Harris)
  5. Have activities for kids/siblings to do if they show up with their parent.  Keep it simple like computer games, puzzles, coloring pages, Wiki Stix, or a bucket of math manipulatives.  (-Mrs. Vides) 
  6. Set up a giving tree so parents can donate classroom supplies.  Cut out some apples and write what supplies you need on the apples.  (-Ms. Campbell) 
    Giving Tree apples for parent donations
  7. Remember that you and the parent are on the same TEAM.  You both want the same things for the child.  Tell parents that you appreciate all of the work they do with their child at home, and be sure to thank them for making it a team effort.  (-Mrs. Rincones) 
  8. Have a folder for each student.  Put everything you need inside the folder so you aren't searching around for papers and forms.  (-Mrs. Pledger) 
    Parent Teacher Conference forms
    Visit TheHappyTeacher store to download all of the forms, reminders, notes, and resources you will need for fall & spring Parent Teacher Conferences.  
Check out Part 2 of my series about Conferences!

Addition and Subtraction {Fall, Pumpkins, Halloween}

Today I'm going to share an easy, fun, and powerful math center that is perfect for FALL!  
Here's what you need...
1.  Flip book with math facts written inside (If you don't have these flip books, you can use index cards or flashcards instead.)
2.  Ten Frames & Part Part Whole Mats (Download for FREE here.) 
3.  Mini erasers, candy corn, or other math manipulatives 
4.  FREE printables 
To really build conceptual understanding of math facts, I want students using manipulatives and showing the fact in various ways.  During this center, they will show the fact on a Ten Frame, on a Part Part Whole Mat, pictorially (on their recording sheet), and they will also write an equation. 
Students work through the flip book or choose random index cards/flashcards.  They create the problem using manipulatives before showing their work on their recording sheet.  (Several to choose from!)  I love putting students in charge of their own learning.  The kids are shocked that the worksheet is BLANK, and they get to fill in EVERYTHING!  It also gives the teacher the opportunity to differentiate for individual students' needs.  
This activity would also be great for small groups or tutoring.  You could even take a grade on  independent work.
A few tips to make your life easier...
1.  Laminate your ten frames and part part whole mats for use throughout the year.
2.  Store the mini erasers in individual Tupperware containers from the Dollar Store.
3.  Ask parent volunteers to send in candy corn/fall candy at the beginning of September so you have plenty!
4.  Have a parent volunteer make a baggie of candy corn for each student.  
Need more K-2 Math Resources?  Check these out...

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