MLK Jr. Research {& some math!}

Our current literacy unit is informational text. The kids are reading about real people, real places, and real things. With all of this, we are summarizing! The kids are turning into real pro’s. They identify the topic of the text and then find details about that topic.

For the past couple of weeks, we have been focusing on Martin Luther King Jr. We’ve been reading, researching and learning all about him.

When we started this topic, the first thing we did was make a Circle Map. A Circle Map is a wonderful way to gather student’s knowledge before you start a topic. It gives the teacher insight into what they already know and what ideas they might not understand. The kiddo’s initial ideas were so great!

They worked in their table teams (teams of 4) to write one fact they already knew about Martin Luther King Jr.

 

Post it's

Post it’s

 

Post it's

Post it’s

Post it's

Post it’s

{As a first grade teacher, this is easy for me to read. But for others, let me translate- Martin wanted everyone to be together} 🙂

Aren’t these the best? We put them together on a Circle Map.

Pre Knowledge Circle Map

Pre Knowledge Circle Map

The cool thing about doing it on post-it’s is that as our unit progressed, we kept adding more post-it’s. We used different colors each time we added more, so that by the end of the unit, we had a wonderful map that showed everything we’d learned!

Another fun way that we learned more about MLK Jr. was by researching him using the kid-safe search engine KidRex. If you haven’t heard of it, you should really check it out!

KidRex

KidRex

Just go to www.kidrex.org. It’s a filtered search engine for kids. KEEP IN MIND- You should always monitor kids searching anything on-line, but I’ve only had great experiences using this with my kids.

KidRex

KidRex

KidRex

KidRex

KidRex

KidRex

I love allowing my kids to learn more by researching and reading things themselves. The more we do this type of research, the better my kids get at it.

The first times you have first graders search something, they are mostly just clicking pages and looking at pictures. But by now, my kids are really reading some of the facts they see and sharing what they find with the others around them. It’s really awesome to see them start this journey in their education, it’s such a skill they will need as they get older!

And going back to the Circle Map, as they found new facts, we wrote them on post-it’s to add to our knowledge!

Subtraction Games

I just wanted to mention a SIMPLE, QUICK game to practice subtraction. I’m always looking for fun and simple ways for my kids to have hands-on ways to practice the skills we are learning. Sometimes you just don’t have the time to get together a bunch of materials when you only have 20 minutes to play something.

I was looking at the materials I had ready and came up with an easy game that helped reinforce the idea that subtraction means to take something away. After six years of teaching first grade, I’ve always found that some of my kids still struggle with the difference between addition and subtraction. I wanted them to really understand that when we subtract, we take things away.

Subtraction Game

Subtraction Game

All you need for this game is a cup with counters inside and dice. My kids worked in partners, each pair getting a cup with 20 counters and a die.

To start the game, each kid takes 10 counters {this number could be adjusted up to as high as you’d like}. They take turns rolling the die. Whatever number they roll, they have to put that many back inside the cup.

Subtraction Game

Subtraction Game

In essence, each roll is a “subtraction”. They have to take away from their own counters and put them in the cup. Their pile is getting smaller- the main idea of what it means to subtract.

The kids play until one of them runs out of counters. Then, they start over.

And do you want to know something? THEY. LOVED. THIS. GAME.

We played it for 3 days in a row {using larger amounts of counter chips} because they were BEGGING to play.

Subtraction Game

Subtraction Game

Subtraction Game

Subtraction Game

We only played in small time segments, but a great way to kick this game up a notch would be to have them write the subtraction sentence each time they roll. So if they start with 10 counters and roll a 3, they could write 10 – 3 = 7.

Subtraction Game

Subtraction Game

Subtraction Game

Subtraction Game

I just wanted to share because it was an amazing game. Not only was it simple to set up, but the kids loved it and it truly enforced the idea of subtraction!

Thanks for checking into our adventure! Be sure to come back soon!

Comparing Numbers {Using Cards!}

 

Elfie!

Elfie!

 

I mean…. this might be the best sweater I’ve ever seen. We have a spirit week coming up and one of the day is “Holiday Sweater Day”. I found this sweater at JC Penney’s and I  dragged  had my husband go check it out with me. I LOVE it and can’t wait to wear it next week!

Cards for Comparing Numbers

Cards for Comparing Numbers

A few weeks ago, one of our WONDERFUL class volunteers donated a bunch of playing card packs to our classroom. There are so many things you can do with cards, but since we are working on comparing numbers, I thought of a simple {and fun} game to help us practice this skill!

Cards for Comparing Numbers

Cards for Comparing Numbers

The game was simple. The kids put the deck of cards in the middle of them and then took turns pulling two cards each. They used the cards to form a two digit number. In the above picture, you can see he pulled a 6 and a 4, making the numbers 64.

Cards for Comparing Numbers

Cards for Comparing Numbers

After they’ve both made a number, they compared them. The student who had the GREATER number got to take all 4 cards. The student who had the most cards when the deck ran out was the winner!

Cards for Comparing Numbers

Cards for Comparing Numbers

We didn’t use any of the face cards, or the 10 card. You could use the ten to make larger numbers and you could give the face cards a value.

There are lots of ways to differentiate this game. On Monday, we will play this again, but this time, they will win if they had the “less than” number. You could also have the kids pull two cards and arrange them either way to try to win.  I had my kids put their cards in the order they pulled them. So if they pulled a 6 first and then a 4, they made 64. But you could have them decide where to put each number to form a number that would win. {i.e. They could form 64 or 46 with their cards to try to win the game}

It was really fun for them, simple to play, and helped them practice the skill of comparing numbers!

 

 

M is for Measure

 

Sunny Days

Sunny Days

Happy Saturday! We’ve made it through another week {we’re almost at 40 days of school…. can you believe that? I feel like school just started!}

Right now, we’re in the middle of our measurement unit {1.MD.1 & 1.MD.2}, which focuses on measuring with non-standard units, basically we are measuring objects with things other than rulers. This leads us into the second standard, which is about comparing things based on their lengths. We are putting objects in order from longest to shortest OR from shortest to longest.

Here is a couple ways we are doing this in class!

Comparing Sizes

Comparing Sizes

Comparing Sizes

Comparing Sizes

Last year I bought this pack from TpT on measurement, which is based on the fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. We started off by reading the story together and discussing some of the things in the story that were long and some things that were short.

As pack of that pack, there is an awesome activity where the kids take the “giant’s shoe” and look for things around the room that are shorter than the shoe, longer than the shoe, and the same length as the shoe.

So the kiddos took their “giant shoe” and were off searching the room!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Jack-and-the-Beanstalk-A-Nonstandard-Measurement-Unit-for-Common-Core-351371

Comparing Sizes

Comparing Sizes

Comparing Sizes

Comparing Sizes

Comparing Sizes

Comparing Sizes

Comparing Sizes

Spot! Of course the kids wanted to compare him to their shoes 🙂

Comparing Sizes

Comparing Sizes

As the kids were comparing things around the room, they used the simple organizer {that comes in that pack} to record the things they found. They wrote down the things they found that were longer than their shoe, shorter than their shoe, and the same length as their shoe.

Recording their Objects

Recording their Objects

Recording their Objects

Recording their Objects

Recording their Objects

Recording their Objects

Recording their Objects

Recording their Objects

Recording their Objects

Recording their Objects

Have younger students or kids who can’t quite write yet? This can be simply differentiated by having the kids draw pictures of the objects they find instead of writing them down. I encouraged my firsties to write what they found, sounding it out. Not only did this activity help us practice comparing lengths, but it also was a great way to talk about vocabulary. As they were exploring around the room, they asked each other {and me!} “What’s this called?” when they found an object. It opened up their eyes to different words and how to describe things!

Another non-standard measurement activity we did was “measure the teacher“. Another first grade teacher and I spent our planning time on the floor of the staff lounge {much to the laughs of our fellow teachers and ourselves!} tracing each other on butcher paper.

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

The kids were seriously EXCITED to see their “teacher” papers to measure. The kids had a recording paper and had to measure their teacher with a unit of their choosing.

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

This is also a great way for you as a teacher to see how they are measuring. We have been talking a lot about the correct ways to measure, with no gaps or overlaps between units. As I walked around, I heard a lot of them saying to each other “Don’t put a gap there!” 🙂

It’s also a great way to point out to kids that we measure in a straight line. Some groups might want to measure along the shape outline. It’s a simple chance to remind them to measure from one end to the other in a straight line.

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

Each group had to use four different units to measure their teacher. To manage this  {in a non-crazy way} I assigned one student in each group as the “unit picker”. That student was the only one who picked the groups unit and also the only one to put that unit away. This worked out really well and ensured that the groups weren’t fighting about what unit to pick. I just put a bunch of units out of the table and they were ready to go!

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

Measure the teacher!

After, this led to a great discussion about why they got different numbers for their measurement of their “teacher”, based on the unit. {i.e. because the units are different sizes, when they use them to measure the teacher, they get different answers}

The kids had so much fun doing this and as an added bonus, I had them decorate their “teacher” when they were done. I must say, I really should have taken pictures of that because some of them were just hilarious! One group made me in a Halloween costume and another dressed me for winter {because it might get cold soon, they told me} 🙂

It’s been a great unit so far! Thanks for checking in to our adventure!

 

And It Begins…. iPads!

Good morning and happy Labor day! 🙂

I hope you are having a relaxing day and had a nice weekend.

 

Birthday girl!

Birthday girl!

 

This weekend was my niece’s first birthday. How cute is she!? I think the picture says it all, she loved her party, presents, and of course her cake 🙂

It’s Monday, which means most teachers out there are gearing up for school tomorrow. As I sit here thinking about the upcoming week, I know a large part of it will be focused on learning how to {safely} use our iPads.

iPads

iPads

My students and myself are lucky enough to be a 1:1 classroom, meaning that each of my students has an iPad to use in class and take home each night. Of course we take this process slowly, and last week we just started learning how to walk with our iPads correctly.

Walking

Walking

One of the rules we follow in class is holding our iPads with care. This means two hands and holding it close. We practice this by walking around the room with our iPads. The kids love it, plus its the first time they actually got their iPad!

Walking

Walking

We also practiced putting our iPads away in the charing cart. This seems simple, right? But just like anything in first grade, you need to practice practice, practice to form a routine! Right now, I help the students put their iPads in the cart, but eventually, the kids will be able to do this with no help at all.

Cart

Cart

You can see that at the top of the cart, there are numbers. This is great because each student has their own slot. But…. I quickly learned last year that a number at the top doesn’t really help my kiddos find the right spot {it is quite tricky to find the right slot below}. So…..

Labels

Labels

Last year I realized labeled the bottom of the slot also helps! This year, I also color coordinated the charging cable to match their number color. Those cords are often tangled and hard to match. I’m hoping the color cord will help this year!

Bar Graphs

Before I sign out for the day, one of the other things I wanted to share that we’ve been doing is bar graphs. Our first math unit covers counting to 120 and graphs/data. We are tackling bar graphs first, making our own to really discover what a bar graph is….

Bar graph

Bar graph

We answered the question: Which food do you like best? Their choices were pizza, ice cream, hot dogs, and tacos. The kids each got a post-it and made their vote.

Graphs

Graphs

The kids loved putting up their post-its. After, we talked about how this information is called “data”. We can use the data to answer questions.

Graphs

Graphs

So what was the winner? Pizza 🙂

 

Have a fabulous rest of your Labor day and I hope you are all rested up and ready for a great week ahead. Thanks for checking into our adventure!

Room Walk-Through, Desk Re-Do, and 3-D Marshmallow Shapes

Hello party people!  It’s Thursday around here, a Thursday afternoon with 9 days left of school! A lot has been going on, in and out of school. For starters, here has been my latest project.

Plain Desk

Plain Desk

I found this old desk at a local thrift store. It was not looking great. But, it was $9.00. Which is seriously the price of my Starbucks in the morning. A whole desk for nine dollars? Yes please.

I convinced the husband to go to the store with me and help me get it home. He was less than impressed with it’s condition. I promised him that I could change it! Thanks to Pinterest (of course) I’ve been wanting to re-do some furniture, because I keep seeing amazing trash to treasure examples!

We also went by Menards and visited the section in the paint department where they have extra or left-over paint for cheap. I picked up a quart sized can of gray paint for $10.00.

It was so expensive still because it was chalk board paint I think, but still the perfect price for this project. We also got white primer (mostly because we also needed it for another house project)

Primed White

Primed White

Step one was to paint the desk white with the primer. I did two coats of this, letting it dry fully between each coat. I didn’t sand it at all before this. Let me say again, I DIDN’T SAND IT AT ALL. Why? Mostly because the girl’s blog I read who also did this didn’t sand it either. Once you put the sealant on it, there isn’t really a need. Also, this won’t be an item in a “high traffic” area of the house (like a kitchen cabinet for example) so I’m not too worried about scratches or knicks.

Started to be Painted

Started to be Painted

The gray paint came next. It was looking better already! I also did 2 coats of this and followed up with any last minute touch-ups as I looked it over the next day.

Finally, I used a matte finish Polyurethane sealant. I did 3 coats of this over the course of a week (following the directions on the can) This provided a clear finish!

Final Product!

Final Product!

Here it is in the end! I changed out the hardware as well. I put on those three glass handles and a new silver pull handle along the top. I think it turned out great and adds so much to our guest bedroom!

3-D Solid Shapes

Last week we were learning all about 3-D, solid shapes. As part of this unit, the kids learned words like “face” and “vertex”. They also learned about the names of specific solid shapes, like cylinder, sphere, etc.

On one of the days, the kids got to make the 3-D shapes we’ve been learning about. How better to do this than with marshmallows!

The kids used tooth picks and mini marshmallows to make the shapes of the unit. They loved it- and who wouldn’t, a project that uses marshmallows screams fun!

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

I was worried the kids wouldn’t be able to make these shapes without seeing an example, but boy was I wrong! They were instant pro’s.

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

The one thing I didn’t account for was how many tooth picks we’d need! {Darn my math skills!}

I thought- foolishly- that 500 tooth picks would be plenty! I didn’t think about how many toothpicks each student would need for each shape. So basically, after everyone made a cube, there weren’t many tooth picks left to make a rectangular prism.

It worked out fine because the kids just took apart their shapes and used the tooth picks again for a new shape. But in the future, or to other teachers out there, BUY MORE tooth picks than you think! 😉

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

3-D Shapes

It turned out great and was a fun, fun way to practice our 3-D shapes. Thanks so much for checking in to our adventure. I hope you are having a wonderful end to your school year as well!

 

 

 

iPad Shape Hunts

Shape Hunt

Shape Hunt

When the weather gets warmer, the kids get ….. let’s say…..more active 🙂

So in the last few weeks of school, I’m always looking for fun ways to keep our learning going, but also make it fun and active. We are in our unit about geometric shapes, including 2-D and 3-D.

Since the weather has provided some nice days for us here, we took our iPads outside with us and spent some time “hunting” for shapes.

We did this on two different days, one day looking for 2-D shapes, and the other for 3-D.

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

On the day we looked for 2-D shapes, the students used the Doceri app and drew pictures of what they found.

Doceri

Doceri

My love for Doceri is strong…. here is just one post I’ve made about it. It’s basically an interactive white board.

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

On the day we looked for 3-D shapes, the kids took pictures of the shapes they found, simply using the camera on their iPads.

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

While we were outside, one student was SO EXCITED because she’d found a piece of paper that had a QR code on it! I was pretty excited too 🙂

After we worked each time, we sat in a circle and shared some of the shapes we had found.

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

On this particular day, the weather was just perfect. So was the sky. Which of course meant that after we shared what was on our iPads, we laid back and looked for shapes in the clouds. See? There are shapes everywhere! 🙂

 

Thanks for checking in on our adventure! Be sure to check back soon!

Teens Are Groups of Ten and Ones!

1.NBT.2.B: The numbers from 11 to 19 are composed of a ten and one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, or nine ones.

The above math standard has been the main focus on our math lessons for the past few days. On the surface, it seems pretty simple. Teen numbers right? Easy-peasy.

…Or is it?

Dun, dun, dun! 🙂

Well it’s not as scary as I’m making it seem, but it can be a complex idea when you need to kiddlets to understand that all of these numbers have a bundle (group of 10) in them and then additional “ones”. And even more complex when you need them to understand that this is why we write the numbers the way we do. For example, we write the number twelve the way we do because it has 1 group of ten and 2 ones ( 1 and 2 put together make the 12!)

Poster

Poster

I started by making this anchor chart. I like it because it shows that each of the teen numbers has a group of ten in it, and I also like how it shows the ones “growing”. After we discussed this, the kids used their iPads to make the same teen numbers.

We did this a bunch. I’d call out a teen number and the kids would make it. After a while, we made all the teen numbers, just like the poster.

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

 

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

The cool thing about the kids being able to manipulate these pieces on the app, is that it allows them to really see the pattern in teen numbers. As the kids were building, so many of them kept saying, “Hey it looks like a pattern!” or my favorite, “It looks like stairs!” 🙂

This has been a big focus on this standard, so yes, I love that they were really seeing that the teen numbers all have the one ten group and then the ones were “growing”, adding one more to each numeral.

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

 

Number Pieces app

Number Pieces app

Number chains…. I saw this on Pinterest (source) and knew I had to have my kiddos make them!

Number Chains

Number Chains

Again, I love that they reinforce the group of ten that all the teens have, and then the ones attached. My kids worked in their assigned learning partners, each group making the group of ten first.

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

As they finished their bundle of ten, then I assigned the duo their teen number. If they got 16, they had to pick one new color and add 6 ones. If they got 14, they had to pick one new color and add 4 ones.

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

Making Number Chains

It was a really fun activity and once they were hung up, it was another wonderful visual for the kids.

Thanks for checking in on our adventure! Be sure to check back to stay up to date on all the fun things we’re doing in first grade!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movin’ Through Math {Unit 1: Counting to 120}

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of today’s post, there are some adorable things happening around here…

 

BK!

BK!

Meet my adorable new niece- Charlotte! She’s too cute and already the center of attention 🙂 We’re all so happy for my sister and brother-in-law and couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to the family!

Counting

In less adorable (but still fun) news, we’re already 11 days into school and right in the midst of our first math unit. It’s called “Counting and Data” and covers 1.NBT.1 (Count to 120) and 1. MD.4 (Organize, represent, and analyze data). Right now, we’re breaking up our weeks by practicing numbers 1-30, 30-60, 60-90, and 90-120.

One of the first things we did was basic practice with small numbers. Each student got a dice. They rolled the dice and picked that many counters out of their math bin.

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling game

Rolling game

There’s lots of things I love about this.

To start, it’s a great way to practice using our math bins. I keep small bins, like the one in the picture, full of different math manipulatives. That way, the math tools are ready to use! (How much time is wasted as you walk around, table to table, passing out different math tools? Agh- too much!) Math bins was the answer to this problem! Now, everything is ready to go at any point.

As an added bonus, it’s a way to differentiate because some students find different ways to use the tools or learn better using different ones than other students. The table captains go to our math cabinet and gets a bin for their table to use.

Second, it’s a really good concrete place to start. Learning happens first when you have objects in front of you- concrete. Then, it can move to using numbers- this more abstract. For my firsties, it’s all about manipulatives, manipulatives, manipulatives!

If they can feel it, move it, count it- they’ll learn it!

Rolling game

Rolling game

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling

Rolling

Another way we’ve been practicing our numbers is through number Bingo game. BINGO! Can you ever really say that without shouting it aloud! Or at least in your head? Maybe it’s just the fact that I spend my day with kiddlets who never miss a chance to shout out BINGO if they can 🙂

This has been one of the kiddos favorite ways to practice. I can’t tell you how excited they got!

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

BINGO

Now I’m on the hunt for a numbers BINGO game that uses bigger numbers. This one was 1-20, which is a great game to play in the beginning of the unit, but they love it so much that I’d love to find one that uses bigger numbers!

Another way we’ve been practicing is using 10 frames, 20 frames, and even 40 frames to build numbers!

Again, using manipulatives to build numbers is a hands-on, concrete way to build knowledge. The frames, or boxes, are great ways for them to organize the counters and represent the numbers.

Counters

Counters

Counters

Counters

Counters

Counters

Basically I would call out a number and have the kids build it. I walked around and checked accuracy and helped those who needed it. {We’re also working on what is “helping” a neighbor. The kids LOVE helping, but we’re trying to understand that helping doesn’t mean doing it for someone. Since we’re been practicing how to help, it’s really cute to hear their conversations and hear them helping. They are little mini-teachers and it’s adorable!} 🙂

Counters

Counters

Counters

Counters

We’re doing loads of other things {scoot games, number order, group counting rhymes and chants, identifying numbers on a chart, filling in blanks, rolling games, etc} but this was a good place to start the sharing!

Parents and families- remember to practice counting each night! The more you do it, the better your child will become!

Thanks for checking in on our adventure. We’re having a great time and off to a wonderful start 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Composite Shapes (and a little QR code thrown in)

How could I not include QR codes in this post too? Do you remember my obsession!? 🙂

***YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEETS BY GOING HERE TO MY TPT STORE!***

We are right in the middle of our geometry unit and have spent a few weeks talking,learning,reviewing 2-D and 3-D shapes. After that, we began talking about composite shapes– or putting shapes together to make news shapes or pictures of things.

This practice took a few days and after we’d spent time understanding that putting together shapes can make a new shape, we played a scoot game in small groups to practice the skill.

Enter QR codes!

At each spot, I had a bin of shapes and a QR code that told the group what to do. The students used an iPad and the QR reader app to scan the QR code. When scanned, it read the directions to the students.

Scanning

Scanning

The directions were something like this: “Working as a team, use more than one shape to make a _________”. Some of the spots asked them to make a square, a rectangle, triangle, hexagon, etc. Others stations asked them to make a flower or a house out of the shapes.

Working

Working

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Again, I LOVE QR voice because it allows you to make directions oral in this way. The kids were so engaged when they got to the new rotation and really had to listen to the directions to see what to do.

There favorite spot in the rotation allowed them to make any shape they wanted with the shapes…

Free space!

Free space!

Moving along, the next day the students got a piece of paper and a bin of shapes at each table. I asked them to use their shapes to make a composite shape of a zoo animal. The kids were so excited and got right to work! (I had them glue the recording sheet first so they realized to make their animal fit in the left over space) 🙂

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

Composite Zoo Animal

What was really cool was that during this building time, one student say “This is a lot like when we made our own constellations“. Exactly! I asked him why he said that and he said “Because constellations don’t look exactly like a picture either, you have to use your imagination, just like with these animals”. Bingo. Ah, what smart first graders I have! 🙂

After the students had their animals built with blocks, I told them to record how many of each shape they used. They counted each shape and wrote the number on the recording paper.

Next, I told them that since we can’t glue those blocks down (groans from the masses), we’d use paper pieces of those shapes and glue them the same way they built their animal. I had the kiddos slide the animal they built off the paper, but still in tact on their desk. That way, they could look at the animal for reference as they built it again with the paper shapes.

They came to the table to retrieve the pieces they needed.

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

Getting pieces

For me, it was easier to just have piles of the pieces on the table and the kids came up to get what they needed.

Then they got started gluing their animal together!

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

Building their composite animal

They looked so good already, didn’t they!?

Well, to take this project over the top, we decided to put these zoo animals in cages- just like they would be at the zoo!

I gave each student a piece of black paper and modeled how to cut thin black strips of paper. They used those strips to glue over their composite animal, just as if the animal were behind the bars in a cage.

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Building the cage

Lastly, they glued two thicker pieces of black paper on the top and the bottom to finish the cage. At the top they wrote the word “Zoo” with a white crayon and at the bottom, they wrote the name of the animal.

They turned out so cute and are hanging outside our classroom. Check them out!

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

Finished animal

I love them all and can’t get over how adorable they are! They also helped us practice using shapes to make composite shapes!

Thanks for checking in! It’s Friday, which means it’s almost weekend time! Have a good one! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

QR Code Crazy!

Warning: I predict that the next few posts I write will all contain QR codes in some way. I’ve found QR Voice and I am  slightly addicted.

Hi, my name is Ms. Tasch and I’m addicted to QR voice.

Admitting it is the first step, right? 🙂

But first, here’s a slight look at other things I’m loving right now:

1. I mean… c’mon! How adorable is my nephew! I watched him a couple of weeks ago and  always enjoy spending time with that little munchkin.

Lucas

Lucas

2. Last weekend, the fiancé and I walked around a local downtown area by the lake. It was such a beautiful day (finally!) and we spent a few hours roaming in and out of stores. One of my favorites was a canning store that was also a bakery. As soon as we walked in and the smell hit us, I knew I loved this place. I also knew we wouldn’t be leaving empty handed! While we didn’t get one of those delicious looking Peep cookies below, we did leave with a mini pecan pie (called a Cutie Pie) and a toasted coconut bar- yum!

Peeps!

Peeps!

3. Before that adventure, we took time out to meet up with my sister-in-law and nieces for a walk around a local forest preserve. The adults kids and dogs all needed to get out of the house and run around! I love walks and it was the perfect day for one!

Walking!

Walking!

Finally….. QR codes!

What?

You knew it was coming- I’d already warned you! 🙂

Looking at Pinterest one day, I saw a pin about using QR codes for kids to practice math. Hmm, I thought…. I’ve only ever used QR codes to take you a certain website. I was intrigued and clicked on the link, which brought me to my new addiction: qrvoice.net or QR Voice if you are searching for it.

Now, maybe I’ve been living under a rock and missed all the coolness of this, but if you are like me, here’s a breakdown of how it works:

You go to the website and type in a word, phrase, or sentence and it will create a QR code for you. All you have to do is copy and paste that code into a worksheet. When the students scan that code, it will say the word, phrase, or sentence you wanted! Amazing right!?

Well I definitely thought so and quickly created a hidden shapes review for my first graders!

Worksheet

Worksheet

First, there is a QR code, or the clue for the shape. The students worked together in small groups to scan the code. They had to be good listeners and hear what shape it was.

In the next box, the answer box, they had to write the name of the shape they heard when they scanned the code.

Finally, they had to draw a picture of the shape in the last box.

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

Scanning

I can’t say enough how much we all loved this!

It was exciting for the kids and exciting for me…. ok maybe a little too exciting for me- I never knew this was possible!

Finding the hidden shapes

Finding the hidden shapes

I’m already thinking of all the different ways to use QR voice. And as I said, be prepared to see them on here! 🙂

I’ve already created a rotating scoot game with composite shapes where students scan the code to hear the directions. And in sharing with a colleague, she wondered if it is possible to record students saying something and make a QR code for that. After searching- this is possible! By recording a student, emailing the file to yourself, uploading it to a Dropbox or website, you can create a QR code for that file. When scanned, you’ll hear the student talking!

Ah, I am in love with QR voice! The possibilities are endless.

Happy Tuesday 🙂

 

P.S. I almost forgot…. I uploaded these files to TpT for FREE! Check out the link: QR Codes {Hidden Shapes} or look at the right hand side for my TpT store!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plane Shapes

Hello! It is Wednesday (the Wednesday before spring break…. not that I’m keeping track or anything) and as I was looking through my phone today, I realized I needed to post about our new math unit- Geometry!

Our district math team divided up a few different Common Core standards for this unit, including plane and solid shapes, composite shapes, fractions, and telling time. Whew! It’s going to be a long unit, but a good one and we’ve already dived right in.

For starters, we reviewed 2-D plane shapes last week. We started by making the shapes out of play-doh.

Shapes

Shapes

I would call out a plane shape and the students created it. They had a lot of fun rolling, shaping, and making the shapes! It was really hands-on and fun!

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

Shapes

After we’d made the shape, we talked about how many sides and vertices (corners) it has. This was a great way to introduce the math vocabulary words!

Shapes

Shapes

The next day, it was time for a shape hunt! In the past, we’ve done shape hunts where the students go around and write down different shapes they find around the room. It’s always been fun and something the kids enjoyed doing. But this year, we’re trying to incorporate technology more in the classroom. In a team meeting, one of the first grade teachers said she saw on Pinterest (where else?) that you could have the students go on a picture room hunt, where they work together to take pictures of shapes they see with an iPad.

I loved the idea and knew I’d be using in with my kiddos!

So, I put the kids into groups of 3-4 students. With 6 iPads, it’s great to be able to put them in these small, manageable groups.

Each group was assigned one plane shape to look for, meaning we had one circle group, one star group, one rectangle group, one triangle group, one oval group, and one square group.

The groups were told to walk around the room together and take turns taking photographs of the shape they were assigned to find.

Photo hunt

Photo hunt

Photo hunt

Photo hunt

Photo hunt

Photo hunt

Photo hunt

Photo hunt

The kids were totally engaged. They were able to walk around as a team and find examples of the shape they were looking for. It was really amazing to see them look at things with a critical math “eye” and responsibly takes the pictures.

Photo hunt

Photo hunt

We didn’t stop there!

Part of incorporating technology is MORE than just using it. The kids need to be able to create and present with it.

Enter the app- Storehouse!

Storehouse

Storehouse

It’s a FREE visual presentation app that allows students to import pictures, text, or videos. They also create a picture cover, title, and subtitle. The app is very user-friendly and after (literally) 5 minutes of introducing the app to the kids, they were able to work together to create their presentations.

They worked in their teams to import the photos they had taken into a presentation. Then, they had to size and edit the pictures to look any way they wanted. They could pull them long, make them tiny, or make some look different than others.

They also had to pick a picture to be the presentation’s cover and create a title for their projects.

Using Storehouse

Using Storehouse

Using Storehouse

Using Storehouse

The kids all did a wonderful job working together, taking turns, and creating as a team!

Using Storehouse

Using Storehouse

Using Storehouse

Using Storehouse

The last step was presenting! The teams took turns showing their presentation to the class. One student held the iPad and scrolled through the photos while the other group members described the objects they’d found.

Presenting

Presenting

Presenting

Presenting

(I know the pictures aren’t great- the lights were off!)

Presenting

Presenting

Presenting

Presenting

The presentations also have a link that you can look at through the computer. Check out some of the awesome presentations that were ENTIRELY created by my first graders!

Rectangle

Circle Group

Triangle

I’m loving this app and can’t wait to find more uses for it! I hope you enjoyed this look into my class!