Saturday, August 20, 2011

More Math Fun and Other Stuff

This was our first full week, and it was filled with lots of assessments.

I usually complete the Reading Street Baseline Test. But I also do a couple of the Clay Assessments: the Writing Vocabulary and Hearing An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement 2nd (second) edition Text OnlySounds in Words. This year I also completed the Words Their Way Spelling Inventory.Words Their Way: Word Study for Phonics, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction (5th Edition) (Words Their Way Series)


I’ve been pouring over the results this weekend….so I stuck all three Twilight Movies into my DVD player and had myself a little vampire marathon as I perused the results.

Next week is when I conduct individual reading assessments using the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System. I went a year without buying not one professional book, or magazine, or fancy coffee drink, or cookbook, or new clothes Smile to save for this baby. I love it!




Okay, now on to math

I love love love my district’s new Math Pacing Guide. It’s all Common Core and Addition and Subtraction to 20 is the first goal each nine weeks….which means I can take my time to really make sure my students gain number sense knowledge. I’m feeling so great about it…and they’ve also instituted Number Talks…which I love. If you haven’t read the book you really should.

Number Talks: Helping Children Build Mental Math and Computation Strategies, Grades K-5

Here is a little of what we accomplished this week.

How Many Am I Hiding

This is a quick assessment I did whole group. I hid five counters behind my back, then showed the students a few of them. They had to tell me how many I ‘d hidden. It was a quick way to see who really knew five. Then they paired up and did the activity with each other. The ones who didn’t quite master it….worked with me on separating and joining groups of five counters.




Spill and Record for Five

We also completed this activity with five counters. The students shook their five counters and dropped them gently onto the blue felt (got those at Michaels). They recorded how many red and yellow sides were showing, and completed a recording sheet. I asked those that were able to write the addition sentence that matched their chips.

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Click here to get this activity.


Fives Number Sense Books

We completed our Fives Number Sense books. The students paired up to find all the different combinations of five using two colored counters.



Click here to get your copy of this book.

Graphing M&M’s

Each year we always graph M&M’s as a beginning of the year graphing activity. My students love it!

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Word Work

This week we worked on Short a. The students came up with a list of at chunk words. Here is a picture of our completed chart. I’m putting my Cricut to good use.

IMG_2863    IMG_2862

Have a great week!!!! If you’re starting back on Monday, my prayer is that you have a wonderful new school year!


  1. Oh my gosh, you had to purchase your own F & P kit?! I also use it, love it, but my whole district has it (must use!). My school personally just bought the Leveled Literacy Intervention Kit through F & P, and I was lucky enough to be chosen to go to New Mexico last February (on my district) to a seminar/training on the kit. Your post just made me realize I should feel very lucky to have these items. You sure are one amazing teacher to purchase that kit on your own!:)

    I also have the number talks book, I went to a Saturday convention provided through my district this summer just to hear a speaker talk about it and to get the book for free. Can't wait to see ways you use it, I honestly need to pop that sucker opened again, re-read and relearn what I learned this summer!
    The Bubbly Blonde

  2. Alisha, You will love doing Number only takes 5-10 minutes during math time. My students surprise me each day with what they know about number.

  3. Your activities look amazing...I cannot wait to see more this school year...I often borrow your ideas and games to use in my own classroom. Thank you for being so generous!

    P.S. I must add Number Talks to my wish list...

  4. You have an awesome page. Thank you for sharing. Wht is a number walk?

  5. You are a teaching super star! I am impressed that you got all of this done and had time to post. :)

    Also, it's fun to see what's happening in another first grade room. We do lots of the same things-- although your "at" word family picture is way cuter than mine!

  6. Yolanda,
    Thank you so much for sharing all of these wonderful ideas. We are in the same district and I was trained this summer on number talks. It is absolutely wonderful to see how the firsties think about numbers. I adore your -at family chart....precious!!
    Again thank you so much for all of the ideas!!

  7. Hey Lisa!
    Thanks so much...I started Number Talks in the middle of last year and loved it! Can't wait to see what happens after a full year of Number Talks.

  8. I am so sorry you had to buy your own F & P kit. We were lucky and our district bought them for us (I was told they were purchased for all elementary teachers in all schools). Last year was my first year using them and I am looking forward to using them this year now that I am more familiar with the materials.

    Thank you for sharing your Spill and Record and Number Sense activities.

  9. Great math ideas! (I love the quiet felt mats, btw.) Hope you'll add your link to Math Monday!

    Cindy @ love2learn2day

  10. I used the Spill and Record for Five today. Loved it and so did the kids! Thank you SO much!

  11. You'll love the BAS Kit! It's SO MUCH better than using the DRA...The pictures, fonts, and spacing are better! Good luck with assessing!


  12. Wow! You are one incredible teacher! I can't thank you enough for sharing your wonderful ideas. My district just adopted Common Core this year. It is the first year of our 3 year rollout. I am currently being trained to "train" my staff on the CCSS. If at all possible, is there anyway to get a copy of your districts pacing guide for math? We are still using our old state standards and pacing guide but I'd love to dive in early and get a head start.
    Once again, thanks so much for posting such incredible and useful information. We all know how much time goes into creating.

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