Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fraction Kites and Math Morning Meeting

Happy Tuesday!
For the last two weeks or so we’ve been hard at work on Fractions! My students are really getting into it. I had one student to tell me today that our classroom lights were fractions. We have three rows of lights and two of the rows were out at the end of the day while we had snack time. He replied “Ms. Arnold one-third of the lights are on.” Don’t you just love moments like this!
On Monday we completed Fraction Kites! They turned out great. I got the idea from Pinterest of course via Step Into Second Grade, who got the idea from Mrs. Bainbridge’s Class.
  Source 1            Source 2

If you’d like a copy click here or here to download.

Changing up my Math Morning Meeting has been one of the best things I’ve done all year! If you’d like to read about that you can click here.

I’ve recently added a Math Chat slide. I first read about this idea on Mrs. Jump’s blog.  I really get to see my student’s thinking. Here’s a snapshot from today. The answer was twenty three and here are some of the problems.
This first student started with 600 and worked her way from there.

Here’s where she ended up.
I tell them they can use any combination of addition and subtraction as long as they can explain their strategy.

The next student offered  20+3 =23, and that was perfectly fine too.image
I didn’t take pictures of the rest.
But one student offered: 50-10-10-3-4=23.

I’ve uploaded April’s Math Hunts to my TpT store. This set covers two digit subtraction, counting back by tens, counting back by ones and place value.
April Pics

April Math Hunts: Two Digit Subtraction Edition
Also, everything in my store is 20% off today and tomorrow! Happy Tax Day!!! Thanks to Mrs. Mullins over at The Inspired Apple for the lovely sign!

Tomorrow is Hump Day! Now I’m off to watch my DVR’d episode of The Originals!
Who loves this show!? I miss Rebekah sooooo much! Maybe she’ll show up on The Vampire Diaries again???????


Monday, March 24, 2014


“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Clap along along if you feel like happiness is the truth…”
Happy Monday!!! I’m EXTRA happy because I’m on Spring Break! But like probably every other teacher out there I’m already batting around ideas about next school year…come on I know I’m not the only one.
I must confess that this school year my blogging has been…well....blah.

 I’ve been waiting and waiting for inspiration to kick in and  it’s still MIA. So I figured maybe next year a change was in order, which lead me to the decision to give my classroom a total makeover, maybe that will kick the inspiration up a notch. So I’ve been doing a bit of pre-planning.

Disclosure: If you are one of those people who doesn’t like preparing your space before the kids arrive, if you think it's not good pedagogy, blasphemous, sacrilegious, or if you have some aversion to the dreaded "cute" word, then please stop reading. I'm totally okay with that.

But if you’re like me and want just a touch of inspiration then please read on. Let me just say I prepare the space and my student's work is like the icing on the cake. I have to live in my classroom for nine months, five days a week for 7-10 hours daily so I’m just saying.

Step 1: Scour the blogisphere for ideas that speak to you, tickle your  fancy, get the creative ball rolling and all that jazz. I must say that First Grade Blue Skies is my current favorite for tons of ideas for my classroom space. I’ve also just discovered The Pink Pineapple, love her Instagram pictures and I love how her student’s work is everywhere! If you’d like to check these ladies out then click on their buttons below.
Photobucket                    My Logo

Step 2: Decide on a color scheme. I’m going with a sort of light teal, lavender, a touch of hot pink and black as an accent. I created the slides I’m about to show you in PowerPoint. I found some backgrounds in my clipart collection and started from there. I’m thinking Chevron and/or polkadots?????


Step 3: Copy and paste ideas against the backdrop of your color scheme and type notes as needed. If I copy and paste an idea I’m more likely to remember it, and I may not do it exactly like the picture, but it’s the idea of it that I’m interested in. I also copy and paste things I’d like to order from places like Really Good Stuff or Lakeshore. Also, having my color scheme in mind helps when I go into Target, Walmart and The Dollar Tree.

Step 4: Keep adding ideas until I’m satisfied! I know lots of people probably do this same thing, but I just wanted to share my little ole process. Now fingers crossed that it turns like like the picture I have in my head of my classroom space for next year!
The pictures from this post came from: First Grade Blue Skies and Ladybug Teacher Files. If you see a picture from a blog I didn’t mention, please let me know so I can credit the proper person. Thanks a bunch! Now I’m off to read, relax and enjoy this beautiful day!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Math Hunts Done


After many e-mail requests I have uploaded my first set of math hunts to my TpT store. My students are enjoying these! On Friday I gave them a cumulative unit test on all things Common Core: Operations in  Base Tens and they all rocked it! It didn’t record a grade below a B plus! I’m so proud of them! They are getting a special treat from me on tomorrow…shhhhh don’t tell them!

If you would like to check out the March Edition of my math hunts you can click here.

Blog Pictures


I am also diligently working on my April edition. Have a great Sunday and a marvelous Monday!




Saturday, March 1, 2014

Back on the Blogging Block

Okay…..so I know It’s been a while since I actually did some blogging. Sorry about that. But I’m back now to share a little of what we’ve been doing.

This year I have some really great mathematicians, and they are surprising me everyday with their thinking!!! Some days I end Math Morning Meeting literally blown away by some of their problem solving abilities.

I was trying to come up with a way to keep math problem solving abilities front and center, sort of like a spiral review without all the worksheets. I wanted something I could leave up all month long and something that covered lots of skills within a domain. So here’s what I came up with.


I am currently testing it out in my classroom, and my students are having fun completing one activity each day. I made 26 cards, a-z. This allows me to keep them up for the entire month. After they complete their daily story problem they can complete one card of their choice. Here are some examples.  

IMG_0394         IMG_0393



In order to help them keep up with which cards they’ve completed I simply stapled a cover to half sheets of white copy paper. After I gave each student their books I instructed them to fold the white pages in half, that way they could complete two cards per page, front and back. I also made them an insert so they could color in the letter of each card they completed.

Oceans of First Grade Fun        IMG_0382


So far they are loving it, and I get to see each of their individual thinking on paper. On all of the cards they have to show their thinking. I am working on an April one that I hope to upload to TpT.

So there you have it. How do you structure spiral reviews in your classroom?

Have a great  rest of the weekend!


Thursday, February 27, 2014

3 Million Strong

Hey! It's time to get your shop on! Everything in my store is 20% off. Don't forget to use the code TPT3 to get up to 28% off your purchases today and tomorrow! My cart is full!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Daily 5 Second Edition

Just purchased the e-book version of the second edition of The Daily 5! Can't wait to dive in! They have even added a section on Daily 5 Math.


Saturday, February 1, 2014


Really indeed! I can't believe I haven't posted in four weeks!
See....what had happened was.....truthfully haven't been in a blogging mood lately. Does anyone else ever feel that way??

 I am also having computer issues, this time it's my internal hard drive that needs replacing. I have been ignoring the inevitable, but alas it's time, but I backed up all of my files!

I'm sure by now you know we had a bit of a snow event in AL. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know my story. The weather people said it would be just a dusting in the central part of the state, but that dusting turned into 2 inches. I know you're saying two inches...pishaw!! 

But people this is Alabama. Snow, ice and Alabama drivers do not mix!  Around 10am the principal came over the intercom and told teachers to start calling parents, because we were getting out at 11:00. I stayed until my last child left, then looked out of the back door of my classroom and this is what I saw!

My school is surrounded by hills, so there was no way I was getting home on Tuesday! I ended up staying overnight along with about 13 other teachers and school staff and about 20 students. We all made the best of it and the students were real troopers!

Two awesome teachers from my school!

On Wednesday around 2pm most of the teachers made their way home. I walked with one of my co-workers through the neighborhood to meet our rides. She slipped once...I slipped once, and we laughed about it. I told her she'd make a good wilderness guide because she kept checking on me, making sure we stayed in the grass and avoided ice patches. I think she has a second career in the bag. 

Most importantly all the teachers and students got home safely. That was an adventure I would never like to experience again! I am glad I can laugh about it..now. We were out of school for the rest of the week, our 100th was on Tuesday, and we didn't get a chance to celebrate, so we have some catching up to do.

So there is my little adventure. How about you...what have you been up to?

In honor of the Superbowl myself along with the other wonderfully talented teachers at Blog Hoppin' are throwing a sale! Hop on over and check it out! I'm posting in my Blogger app and it's not letting me link back to Blog Hoppin...but click on the Blog Hoppin button to the left and you can check out the other ladies who are participating in the sale.
Happy Superbowl Sunday!! I hope to be back in the blogging spirit really soon and share some of what's been going on in our classroom! Have a blessed Sunday and a wonderful week ahead!