Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 26 Swamp Frog First Grade

 Yep, I fell into the black hole for awhile...I finished my report cards and my last conference.  It was weird this year.  I actually thought I was ahead of the game, ready to have my report cards done well in advance of the conferences...but no it was not the case.  I was still getting a couple of the report cards printed just hours before the parents walked into the room!

It was a combination of troubles.  The first being sick kids.  It's really hard to assess kids when they aren't there...or when they are there and they still don't feel good :(

The second hurdle in my way was the huge Cheer and Dance Competition I was organizing at the high school.  I am so thankful that I had the parent volunteers to help me through that last couple weeks before the big day otherwise I would have really lost it I think.

The third hurdle I had was the 4 hours of sleep I was getting every night for a week.  Thankfully the 1st grade germs merely bounced off of me. Perhaps I was moving too fast for them to catch me :)

So something had to give for the week...and it had to be my computer time.  Not that I wasn't on the computer.  I did find some awesome ideas on some amazing blogs throughout the week.  Because of course in the middle of everything else we have to redo our math assessments to tie more closely to Common Core.  Not during the summer after spending a year teaching with the new standards....but WHILE we are teaching...because we are teachers and we have endless hours of free time :)

Sorry...still shaking off the report card grumpies for a moment there....

The big push in 1st grade is number sense.  We want our students to understand that the symbol 5 equals five of something.  And then further on we want them to understand that 35 represents 30 of something + 5 of something...and so on.

Playing with numbers can be fun.  Lots of little sparks are igniting in their heads as the connections are being made.  Some days my class is full of fireworks...while other days it's a bunch of misfires.  One of the struggles some of them have is equivalency. (1.OA.7  Understanding the Meaning of the Equal Sign)

They have trouble coming up with two ways to make 10 other than just flipping the two numbers. Which doesn't really show they understand equivalency between facts...just that one fact.  So I found this fun and creative way to get the right synapses firing.

Swamp Frog First Graders has a fun manipulative way for her students to learn equivalent equations. This week I gave it a try...and it helped many of my students.  We did it in class first and next week they will take it home and use it with their homework page to remind their parents what an equivalent equation is too :)

Here is a picture of the project/activity she did with her class.  You have them make the snowman first.  I love when they make their own manipulatives.  It makes the activity much more meaningful than just a photocopied sheet -- one of my biggest complaints of the Saxon math program.

She has the snowman template** on her blog post and she also has a recording sheet -- both of which are freebies!  

Thanks Swamp Frog!

**you will have to supply your own marshmallow counters though :-)

She has a beginning TpT store (like me) as well with more math freebies on it.  Check it out.