Monday, January 24, 2011

Polar Bears, Brace Maps and Even Some Math



Some of my students have been struggling with numbers that come between, so this weekend I whipped up these math stations. I split the sets up so the file wouldn’t be so large, and also you could just take the sets for the numbers you wanted to work with if you didn’t want to download all of them.

To prepare all you have to do is print out, cut and laminate, then place Velcro dots on the backs of the individual cards and the Velcro mate to the middle spaces on all the strips. I’ve seen games like these in Lakeshore..but it was just as easy to make.

The students take a sack and lay all the cards out, then they place the numbers that come between. I think one of the files has a recording sheet…if I left it out just e-mail me and I’ll send it to anyone that wants it.

                     Click on the picture for set 10-20




Click the links for the rest of the sets.


Set 20-30              Set 30-40           Set 40-50     

 Set 50-60       Set 60-70    Set 70-80

Set 80-90      Set 90-100


Last Friday after  we finished our daily story problem and graph journal I looked around and all of my students were content with free choice math games. You know those days when everyone chooses the right partner and everyone’s engaged and happy. There’s a quiet hum in the room…we wish for those days everyday, but on this day it just seemed extra perfect.


These students are quizzing each other with flash cards.


These students are playing an old favorite.STJ_2359

My students love playing More or War. When I first started teaching it was called “War”. Now there are so many names for it, it’s hard to keep up. But sometimes I’ll make cute playing cards and they like those, but most of them love playing with just a plain deck of cards and a felt mat. They never get tired of this game.

STH_2357      STE_2354


This student is playing Add Ten. This has become a new favorite.



Arctic Animals

We are continuing our Arctic Animal Unit. Each February our school has a big Science Fair, all the grades (K-8th) participate. In grades k-2 individual classes complete class projects. This year I decided to fold our study of Arctic Animals into our class science project. We are looking at the ways Arctic animals adapt to survive in their habitat, and we are looking at the polar bear in particular. The students are really into it, and we’ve learned a lot.STA_2340

Here is a Brace Map we completed as a class. The students then completed their own in our Arctic Animals Science Journals.

STD_2343              STC_2342

Friday we did the blubber glove, and the students had a blast! It  helped them  understand what the layer of blubber beneath a polar bear’s skin really does to help it survive in the Arctic. After each student had a turn with the glove, we completed a quick Science Response sheet. I did it the old fashioned way…wrote it out then made copies.


STA_2369   STB_2370



Today we completed our Polar Bear Tree Map.

STE_2385       STD_2384



I hope everyone had a Marvelous Monday!

Here’s to a Terrific Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Thrilling Thursday and a Fabulous Friday!

Next week I hope to blog about attending Debbie Diller’s Winter Institute on Math Stations and Literacy Stations! I’m so excited!

Have a great week.

Ms. A


  1. Oh I love your ideas!! Your class is very lucky! Love the blubber glove idea!

  2. Thanks! I love your blog more, your tutorials are wonderful!

  3. Oh my goodness!! You read my mind with the penguin game of numbers between - my kids are struggling with it too! THANKS!!

  4. Love this activity! This is the Envisions unit we are on and I needed some hands on for my struggling learners! Thanks for sharing!

  5. I can't wait to hear about Debbie Diller's Math Stations! I have her Literacy Work Stations book and love it! Have fun at the institute!

  6. I purchased the Arctic animals unit and I don't see the brace map or the tree map for the polar bear. Am I missing something? I am starting this unit today. Thanks a bunch!!

  7. You are a daily read! Thanks for your greatness!!
    I have A freebie!!

  8. Sass Class
    The Brace Map is a free companion to the Arctic Animal unit. Just click on the link above that says Arctic Animal Science journal. If you still don't see it e-mail me.
    Ms. A

  9. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! The math games... you must have been reading my mind!

  10. Thank you so much for the penguin number game!!! I can't wait to use it in my classroom next week! Awesome!

  11. The penguin missing number game is perfect! It is just what my kiddos are needing right now...with a healthy dose of "cuteness!" Thank you for sharing your ideas and HARD WORK with are wonderful!

  12. New Follower!!! I just started student teaching in first grade this month - it has been fun but stressful :) I love your blog and all the wonderful ideas for when I get my own classroom!

  13. Thank you! We are studying penguins appreciate your sharing such cute activities with us! What a wonderful blog you have. I'll definitely be checking out your blog regularly. ~Liesl

  14. I love your polar bear ideas! Thank you for posting. I've been looking for more great ideas for my bear unit and these are perfect. I just started blogging a few days ago, and I posted some other polar bear things if you are interested:

    Thanks for all your inspiration!

  15. I like your what comes between games because you can focus on what students are struggling with, not just a big set that overwhelms them. Thanks

  16. I downloaded the free supplement but the brace map is not included. Is this science journal part of the ARtic unit?

  17. Love all your wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing! I have featured one of your ideas on my blog for my favorite penguin-themed math ideas for this winter!

    Great {First Grade} Expectations

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