Sunday, October 30, 2011
Also on MoreStarfall, your child can play bowling to help practice subtraction. The students roll the ball and then a subtraction problem appears which helps them visualize taking away objects as a form of subtraction. We play a variation of this game sometimes in class with miniature bowling pins that I picked up in the toy section of Target. The students take turns rolling the ball twice. They count how many pins they knock over on the first roll and add it to however many pins they add on the second roll. You can extend the learning to relate addition and subtraction facts by having the students first count how many bowling pins there are and then subtracting how many they knock over in their fist roll. This can lead to a discussion of fact families.
Last week we worked extensively on addtion and subtraction problem situations. The students practiced using a variety of math problem mats and manipulatives. They also practiced solving problems by acting them out and by drawing pictures. One of the mats that we used to help solve problems was a part-part-whole mat. Although not exactly the same, there is a game on MoreStarfall that helps the students visualize two parts coming together to create one whole group when adding. You can click here to play the game.
To help your child practice digraphs at home, visit the reading website Starfall. They can practice the /sh/ sound at the beginning and ending or words here, the /wh/ sound here, the /th/ sound here, and the /ch/ sound here.
Over the last several weeks our word work has been based on the digraphs /sh/, /ch/, /th/, and /wh/. We have sorted words beginning with these sounds, found them in word searches, wrote them in dictation sentences, put together word puzzles with them, and wrote sentences independently with them. To bring it all together, we held Digraph Show and Tell. Students could bring in one item that begin with one of the sounds.
As a part of our Red Ribbon Week festivities and in perfect timing for Halloween, our school held a Book Character Parade. It is an annual event that the students, parents, and staff look forward to each year. The students showed their "character" by saying "no to drugs" by dressing up as their favorite storybook character and parading through the school.
Last week was Red Ribbon Week at our school. First grade decorated with the theme "First Graders 'Clothes' The Door on Drugs." Each class decorated their door with a different type of clothing and saying. Our class decorated with cowboy boots and our saying was "We give drugs the boot!"
Last week the students went to the science lab to discover which items were magnetic and which were not. Thank you to my co-teacher, Mrs. Timms, for being so flexible and taking my class to the lab when I was out. The students then went back to class and illustrated objects that were magnetic and items that were not magnetic.
To identify the features of a fantasy text, we read Bats on Parade by Kathi Appelt. The students brainstormed various reasons why the book was a fantasy:
- Bats do not wear hats.
- Bats do not drive cars.
- Bats do not play instruments.
- Bats cannot talk.
- Bats do not have parades.
Last week we were working extensively on making connections. After reading The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll, the students wrote and illustrated at least one text-to-self connection they made.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
To help your students build quick number recognition using ten rods and ones, have them play Partioning Numbers. The game flashes various numbers and gives three answer options. As soon as the students choose the correct number, it moves to another. You can also download a set of Place Value Flashcards that I made for FREE.
Here is another fun way to practice place value at home. In the game Dino Place Value, the students are given a number to build. They identify first how many tens there and need to mentally calculate its worth. They then identify how many ones there are. In class we practice counting how many tens and then calculating how much the tens are worth by counting them by tens. We use vocabulary and phrasing such as this: "There are 2 tens. 2 tens is worth 20. There are 4 ones. 4 ones is worth 4. 20 plus 4 equals 24."
To help your child with place value, have them visit Learning Box to play the Base Ten game. The students will build various numbers. We are currently working on building numbers to 50. You can also have your child practice at home with manipulatives you probably have around the house. You can use pretzel sticks, craft sticks, straws, toothpicks, pencils, etc. for tens. You can use marshmallows, candy, buttons, etc. for ones. A trick we use in class to signal when it is time to break a skip counting pattern between tens and ones is to clap in between the units. For example, if we are counting to 32, the students would say 10-20-30-(clap)-31-32.
As a way to analyze character's feelings and make connections, we read The Memory String by Eve Bunting. The story is about a little girl whose mother had passed away and reflects on the relationship between a daughter and step-mother during a conflict. After reading, the students verbally identified the characters, setting, problem, and solution in the story and made connections to the story. They then wrote the story elements on a four-part chart. You can download this story elements chart for FREE at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Last week in Social Studies we studied the differences between needs and wants. The students read about, wrote about, and brainstormed various things that we need to live and things that we may want to make life easier or more pleasurable. One of the activities the students completed was to create a foldable to identify one need and one want.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Over the last several weeks we have been learning about place value. To practice identifying and counting tens and ones, we created pumpkin patches. Each student was given a bag of candy pumpkins. Each bag had a different number of pumpkins it in ranging from 20 to 50. The students placed the pumpkins on a ten rod mat starting at the top. As they placed the pumpkins, we discussed how there was not a need to count the pumpkins one-by-one because once a row was complete, we could count them by ten. A row that was not full had to be counted by ones. After building their numbers, we took a gallery walk to each table to count the various numbers of pumpkins. At each table the students discussed which number was the greatest and which was the least. We talked about first looking at the tens place and then at the ones place, if they tens were equal. The next day, the students chose a new bag and repeated the activity. This time instead of counting the numbers aloud, they drew sticks and dots to represent the nubmer. They wrote how many tens and ones were in their pumpkin patch and its expanded notation. Because we were having so much fun, we decided to extend the lesson to another day. The students chose another bag and built their number. This time, they used paint to create thumbprint pumpkins on a paper version of the ten rod mat to match their candy pumpkin representation. They students then wrote how many tens and ones were in their pumpkin patch and how much it was worth in expanded notation. Teachers, you may download the templates for the Pumpkin Patch Recording Sheet and the Pumpkin Patch Place Value Mat at my Teachers Pay Teachers store for FREE! Enjoy!
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To practice place value, the students built the first letter of their name with paper Base Ten Blocks. They then counted how many tens and ones were needed for their letter. They then calculated how much those tens adn ones were worth. In small groups, the students discussed which letter was worth more and which was worth less as a way to review greater than and less than.