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!

Subtraction with Ten Frames

Happy Tuesday! I hope you are having a great day and are more wide awake than this lazy bones…

 

Sleepy Puppy

Sleepy Puppy

She loves that bear toy and will snuggle with it all night. By the way, she’s the culprit who ate the Christmas present handprints. Did your first grader tell you that story? We made salt and flour dough handprints for the parents Christmas present and I took them home that night to bake, cool, and harden. They were all on my kitchen table when I left for work the next day, thinking I would give them one more day to dry out.

Fast forward to when I come home from work that day and see little crumbles of handprints all over the floor! I couldn’t believe it! Molly ate the handprints! (Luckily we had to time to re-do them the next day in time to take home, otherwise I would have been really mad!) The kids were good sports about it and I even showed them a video I took of Molly looking super sad because she knew she was in trouble! 🙂

Subtraction

One of our Common Core standards in first grade is “Students can use addition and subtraction within 20 to solve word problems”. We’ve spent the last 3 weeks focusing on addition, and now we’ve moved to subtraction.

We began with a 10 frame.

10 frame

10 frame

I like using tape to make a big one right on the floor. It’s easy to see and the kids like moving the objects in and out. We started with a certain number of objects, in this case 7. Then I’d ask some kids to subtract or take away some of them.

Take away

Take away

What we have left would be the answer, or the difference.

We did this many times.

10 frame

10 frame

Being able to see the objects helps the students understand that subtraction invokes taking things away, not adding more together.

Take away

Take away

This is a great practice for visual learners. Some kids can understand subtraction in their heads, but others need to see it being down in front of them. This can easily be done at home with any objects: cereal, toys, books, etc.

Minus

Minus

After the group practice, each student got a smaller ten frame (A Pete the Cat ten frame, which they loved by the way! It can be found for free here- Pete the Cat 10 Frame)

10 frame

10 frame

Using chips, we would put in a certain number. Then, I’d ask them to subtract a certain number.

10 frame

10 frame

This is great practice for subtraction. Being able to move the objects themselves helps them learn in a concrete, or hands-on, way.

10 frame

10 frame

10 frame

10 frame

It was also done by a student up front using the doc cam for everyone to see and follow along with.

10 frame

10 frame

I hope you enjoyed this quick look into our math lesson! We will be spending 3 more weeks on subtraction, so you’ll be seeing lots of take away related things coming home. Enjoy your day!