Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Big Change!

Hello Everyone,

As you can see I have been just awful at keeping up with this blog.  My goal of one post a week has been a failure one week after another.  I was just as bad on my classroom blog so I have decided to merge both blogs together.  Since I could post my math resources on my district's wiki I have chosen this blog to end.  It is sad, but I really have so many more ideas other than math that I would like to share with all of you! 

My classroom blog is:  Here

Thanks for all of your support for the past couple years!

Tina Parker

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Happy New Year!


After posting last time about my math fact outline I thought I would put together a whole program outline along with activities to go with it. 

One area of mathematics I am very passionate about is math facts and teaching math fact strategies. Every year that I collect math fact data for my school I cringe when I see the fact scores of past students I have had who were strong math students in first grade. So finally I created a math fact program that not only has a weekly focus, but activities to go along with it. I have already been through the first 4 weeks with my own class and have those activities developed for you to use if you wish. The activities for the first few weeks will be at the end of this posting.

I do use timing sheets in my classroom, but it is VERY important that you understand that you should not time your students on any math facts unless they already understand the strategy they are being timed on. For example, if the focus is on + 1 and -1 this week and then use the timing sheets for + 1 /- 1 facts the following week. I make sure my students can skip count both forwards and backwards as well as order the numbers before even teaching the introduction lesson. I will then reinforce these concepts when I teach the strategy lesson. Remember you teach math similar to the way you teach reading. Strategies are very important in both subject areas and students need strategies broken down and reinforced often to make the strategies a habit. You cannot teach one lesson on the CVCe vowel pattern and expect your students to remember it and the same goes for each math fact strategy.

I do not do a pre assessment on all the facts as a whole when starting these fact strategies, but I do assess each fact strategy by observation of how well they organize skip counting cards and then use the recording sheets as progress monitoring. If the majority of the class does not seem to have an understanding of the +2 and -2 facts then I will create or look for more activities for the following week on the same fact strategy. I would rather take the time and know that my students understand half the facts than plowing through just to say I “taught” all the fact strategies.

A week before you start the facts instruction I would practice skip counting both forwards and backwards. Students may not be used to counting backwards, especially by 10, 5, and 2’s. When starting the fact lessons I suggest a mini-lesson that simply involves writing 5 simple +1 number sentences on the board and have them give you the answer. Let them know that you noticed that they came up with the answer pretty quick and you did not see them count on their fingers so how did they know the answer so quickly? Point out to them that the goal is not to count on their fingers and that the goal is to solve these math facts quickly using efficient strategies. I always challenge my students to volunteer to solve those five problems as fast as they can and have everyone who volunteers do it. I vary the order I point to each problem, but every time I have my struggling students raising their hands by the time half the class has gone through the problems. It seems like a lot, but keep the pace fast and as soon as one is finished call on the next quickly. It will not take as long as you think.

Do subtraction the same day and have the discussion about how we can remember a quick way to solve both the + 1 and -1 addition facts. Send the timing the number before/after sheet home for that first week. Feel free to modify the numbers based on your student needs.

The first math fact resource is the skip counting packet Here.  This resource is very useful because it has all the skip counting cards and the recording sheets to go along with it.  You can use these cards a variety of ways based on your math fact focus.  Be sure to start small because there are a lot of cards for each skip count sequence. 
The next resource is the number before and number after activity Here.  This activity will help prepare your students for the +1 and -1 facts.
The next two resources are the minute math addition Here and the subtraction Here.  These are quick and simple timing sheets that can be done either in class as a progress monitoring with your students or as a homework lesson.  These resources were created by Ms. Gonzalez © www.solisclass.com
This is another resource that I have used both as a homework activity or a math center activity where students will time themselves skip counting a variety of different ways.
The last resource I have for you is a number ordering activity Here.  I have tried this activity one page at a time in my classroom with great success.  A quicker way to complete this activity is to have your students write the number in the box and then cross out the number. 

I am currently working on a +2 and -2 math fact packet that I will share as soon as I try the activities out myself. 

Tina Parker

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tis The Season for Giving!

Today is the first day of December and as it is already getting dark at 4:30 I wonder where the school year has gone so far? Wasn't yesterday just Halloween?  I feel I have so much more to teach to give my students a greater chance to be successful in mathematics yet the school year is flying by! 

I recently sat down and modified my math fact monthly goal sheet for the year.  I am much further behind than I wanted to, but I am taking more time this year to make sure my students are really grasping those number concepts rather than saying I got through everything.  This is what I got through so far

  • understanding of the equal sign/part-part-whole
  • skip counting by ones, fives, and tens both forward and backwards
  • True or False number sentences
  • Join result unknown story problems (3+ addends).  I really took the time to let my students know my expectations of them when solving problems.  We also worked hard on organization and different ways to represent their thinking (picture, number sentence)
  • Balancing of the equal sign
  • Number before/Number after practice
  • Fact Family (different representations of number sentences)
  • Understanding of number (how many number sentences can you make that equal 7?)
  • +1/-1 math facts- just began at the end of the month
  • Subtract result unknown story problems as well as more join change unknown.  We continued to really work on organization as well as math comprehension (How can we tell if we will add or subtract in the story problem?)
  • skip counting by twos both forward and backwards

  • +0/-0 math facts along with doubles up to 5+5.
  • Join change unknown in both addition and subtraction.  I really took it slow this year focusing on representing the number sentence with the missing second part circled and then using our fact family knowledge to figure out how to move that answer only to the right or left side of the equal sign. They will need to show both equations though. 
  • Continue to work on fact families- I will have a math center activity that works well with this.
  • Still skip counting, but relating it more to math facts (When we count by 5's we are really adding 5 each time).

  • Join and separate start unknown problems and how they are similar/different to change unknown problems.  I again will ask them to manipulate the number sentence from the answer circled at the beginning of the number sentence to moving the answer to only the right or only the left side of the equal sign.
  • We will continue to work on +1/-1, doubles, and +0/-0 facts, but add +2 facts as well.  I know the majority of my students will be able to grasp this concept due to their skip counting ability at this point of the school year.
  • Number order 99-120.  Many of my students are having a hard time writing their numbers after 109 so I am working on number order because of this need in my classroom. 
  • Make ten math facts - working with numbers that  equal 10.
If you have not started any of this extra concept teaching do not stress out about it.  It is never too late to start!  I would start small by counting forwards and backwards by skip counting and working on naming number after and number before. 

I mentioned a while back that when I teach math this year I am focusing on I(teacher) do, we do, we do, and then you(student) do method of teaching.  This basically means that I show them a problem or concept and model expectations by talking my way through the problem (although sometimes I give them a new problem to try first at this point of the school year), then we go through a problem together where they help me solve the problem (this is done on another day than when I worked on the problem), next they tell me what to do the majority of the problem and then I still facilitate and ask questions to check for understanding, finally I send them off to do the problem themselves.  Whenever I send them off themselves we ALWAYS meet back together to discuss strategies and different ways to solve the same problem. 

I was also asked how to help students understand change unknown problems.  I teach this concept through problem solving.  I will do this whole group and really focus on the language of the problem.  Here is an example:
John had 4 pencils.  His friend gave him some more.  Now John has 7 pencils.  How many pencils did John's friend give him?
First I focus on the number sentence by drawing three blank squares.  I then go back to the problem and read the problem again to them.  "John has 4 pencils." " How many pencils does John have?" When they reply 4 then I write 4 in the first square.  Then I read about how his friend game him some more.  "Do we know how many some more is?"  "Does the problem give us a number?"  When they say no, then I circle the whole blank square to show that is where the answer we are trying to find will be.  Next I read the rest of the problem and fill in the last square. 
From there I will ask them if we are adding or subtracting in this problem and how they know.  If they do not know I will read the problem again and ask if giving someone something would be adding or taking away.  Once they see this set up usually they can solve for the answer, but start will small numbers no more than 10 or 5 if you have students that really struggle.  It is always best to keep things easy when first introducing concepts and then getting more challenging as they become more confident.
This has helped my students so perhaps it may help your students as well.  I am sure there are other ways to help this understanding, but this is one way that I have had success with my students.

Now here is the giving part.  I have been busy trying to post December themed activities, but I have also been creating a lot of word work and writing activities.  I know this is a math blog, but I am going to post a sample of some of my word work activities also.

I have Who Has Numbers to 20 is an activity I have been using with my Target Time (intervention) group the last couple weeks.  They struggle with number ID and this activity has helped.

I Wish I Had 10 game is great to practice and prepare your students for those ten pairs math facts.

Fact Family Number Sentence Sort- Students will sort number sentences according to their fact family.  This activity can be used to bring up conversations of why some number sentences look so different than they are used to seeing.

Sentence Structure Sample- This is a sample of some things I am working on for my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  Check it out at my store on Teacher Pay Teacher if you like it.

Primer Words Practice Program- I created a 5 week program for students that are struggling with their Primer sight words.  This is only week 1.  Students take home a weekly practice sheet of 12 words, work on a speed read sheet also sent home, and then a practice book of all 12 words that you copy of 1-2 sided.  Again, if you like these activities you can find them on my TpT store by searching my name in the search engine on that site.

I actually have a number of spin games for the site words as well that also reinforce those weekly words.  I will try to get them posted this weekend yet if I have time. 

That is all for tonight!

Tina Parker

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Friday Before Thanksgiving

Hello Everybody and Happy Friday!

With report cards coming up and new standards to teach, this time of year can be a bit stressful.  I apologize for not getting anything out sooner for November, but my computer was not working from home for the last few weeks.  I have not had time to create as many activities as I would like, but here are the ones I finished up just in time:

Here is a November number ordering activity that will help your students struggling with pausing on the decade numbers (30, 40, 50, ) when counting.  Make sure you read the instructions because I did not order the numbers from 1-120.  There are 7 different ordering activities.

Here are two I have who has number identification games.  Struggling students in our first grade are having difficulty with identifying those tricky teen numbers so I thought this may help.

I have been working hard on fact families in my classroom, but I have not done any formal or informal assessment to check their understanding.  I decided to use this turkey pattern and write the fact families in the belly of the turkey and then have the students write number sentences as many ways as possible.  All year we have been looking at different representations of number sentences so I wanted to see if they could apply the concept yet.

Here is one paper from one of my students.  I don't think you can see but he has the following number sentences:  3+5=8, 5+3=8, 8=5+3, 8=3+5, 8-5=3, 8-3=5, and then wrote vertical number sentences as well.  I asked him to explain to me why he wrote the two I highlighted with black marker and he replied, "8=5+3 and 8=3+5."  I have never been so impressed!! 

Another assessment with a different fact family
This paper was not a one of a kind paper that I saw from my students.  I would not say my class is necessarily considered a high math group, but they are developing the number sense and concepts that they need to have a greater chance to be successful.   All I have been doing is showing them different ways to represent fact families.  I always have them calculate the number sentences horizontally, but will also show them the vertical representation to show that it means the same thing.

Have a Wonderful Weekend!

Tina Parker

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Week Before Halloween...........

Happy Wednesday!

I cannot believe how fast the weeks are flying by so far this school year!  I am also so proud of my class.  The other day I tried to stop and move on during our fair sharing lesson and they begged me to keep working (No kidding!!).  Of course I told them they could and they worked quietly for a total of an hour.
 I have never had a class that enjoys math more than the one I have this school and it is so rewarding and exciting.  They are eager little sponges that just want to learn more.  Now I know you are thinking I must have such an easy class, but it is not the case at all.  I have just learned that I needed to change my way of teaching to best fit them.  I struggled at the beginning of the school year, boy did I struggle!!  I made little changes along the way to try to make things work and I think I finally found it.  My class needs to be given instructions on the carpet area and then sent back to their tables to work. 

I know I missed posting my equality lesson tips so I am going to try to get a bit ahead and post about greater than, less than, and equal to.  It is important to introduce the concept of the equal or "same as" sign to your students before greater than/less than.  I also spend a few days practicing quanity discrimination.

When I introduce greater than/less than I will write two numbers on the board and ask them what number is larger.  After they tell me I will draw two dots (like a colon) next to the larger number.  I will then ask them which number is the smaller number or is less than (use both terms for better understanding) and place one dot next to the smaller number.  Then all they need to do is connect the dots.(See picture below).  It is important that you also have them read it back to you.  This is created further understanding of quantity of number. 

Here is my Greater Than Less Than Activity that I created for math centers this week. My students are enjoying greater than, less than, and equal so much that I thought I would reward them. This activity has two different center activities that focuses on numbers 0-20. Enjoy! I am also working on creating higher numbers that I will post on my Teachers Pay Teacher site within the week.  This activity supports the Common Core State Standard 1.NBT.3.
For  math homework this week I am sending home the counting by 5's forward and backwards center activity and recording.  I am also working on count arounds (in a circle as a class) both forwards and backwards every day.  This activity supports the Common Core State Standard 1.NBT.1. 
If you end up having questions for me and you have my school email please use that email rather than my gmail address.  I do check the gmail address, but not as often as my school email.
Thanks and have a great rest of the week :)!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Problem Solving. The First Time This Year

Hello Everyone,

What a morning I have had already. I am so glad it is over : ).  Okay time to talk about math. 

I started problem solving in the classroom last week and I was absolutely terrified to see how my class would handle it.  I should know by now that my students amaze me every day and this time  was no exception.  We have been working on whole group problems for the last week and they were loving every minute of it!

 I created learning targets based on our grade level expectations here at Davey.  I chose to create a template that helps guide the students to explain their thinking four ways.  At this point of the school year I require them to draw a picture (using math art, meaning quick sketches.  I do not have them use markers at all!), write a number sentence, and circle and label their answer.  I will tell them that they can just label with the first letter unless they are ready to do second grade work and write the whole label word.  Even the struggling students strive to do second grade work.  This also gives me a great opportunity to work on math comprehension and see those students who struggle in this area.

Here is a copy of the problems I chose to do with my students today.  Keep in mind that we practiced much easier problems the whole week and each day I did a subtraction and an addition problem.  We compared both problems to see how we knew if we would be adding or subtracting.  I needed to facilitate some questions to get them thinking, but many of them could tell me exactly how they know.  I gave them a chance to talk to the person next to them to explain how they know and they all handled it so well.

Before I sent them off to do their work I reminded them that in writing we strive to get to a score of 4 (classroom rubric posted) and how in math we can get a score of 4 as well if they have everything down on the paper.  You should see how motivated they are- I am so proud.

Now that my hopes are so high I decided to start centers this week.  I created some October centers to sell on http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/ .  I put a price on all of them, but I am giving you the link to a few of them as a thank you for reading this blog!  If you are interested in a few other products I have you can find my store at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tina-Parker .  I am currently working on a missing addend unit as well as a problem solving unit for October.  My goal is to get them up by the end of this week unless conferences delay my progress.

Candy Corn Math Facts This center works both addition and subtraction math facts of +1/-1 and +0/-0.  I included a recording sheet that you can use as a progress monitoring piece.

Halloween Number Order Math Center This center focuses on number order at a variety of different levels.  I also included a recording sheet that has students list the numbers from greatest to least and another one that will have them list numbers from least to greatest.

Missing Number Spiders This center has students focus on number after/number before.  Recording sheet is included.

Halloween Skip Counting  My students are struggling with counting by 2's and 5's so I created this center to focus on skip counting.  I am making sure that students are skip counting both forwards and then backwards as well to extend their number knowledge.  To extend this center for students that need it I created recording sheets and I also have them skip count forwards and backwards w/o the cards.  Even my gifted students need practice on counting backwards.

I started keeping track of my progress monitoring with each MTB (Trailblazers) unit.  Here is an example of what I did with Unit 4 (Odd an Even) after the first two lessons.  First I handed out a random number of cubes to each student.  They were to count the cubes, write their name and the number on the post-it, and then pair up the cubes.  Then all I did was write even and odd on the board in a T-Chart form (simple, easy, and obviously does not need to be perfectly drawn).  I was able to see what students learned and what I still needed to work on.  I also kept in mind that students can just guess even or odd and have a 50% chance of getting it correct. 

I read off the numbers on the odd side first and wrote those numbers on the board.  I then had students raise their hands if they thought one number should actually be on the even side.  They also had to explain why they think that number should be on the even side.  This gave me a great chance to informally assess their thinking even further.  We did the same for the even side.  All the students were very engaged in their learning (even at 1:30pm) and I know the direction my instruction needs to go to meet the needs of my students.

I marked the post-it with an X if the student placed the post-it on the wrong side.  I also marked an X on their post-it if they could not explain even or odd if they volunteered. 

Sorry this posting is a bit longer, but I have not been able to post as often as I would like.  I am looking to purchase a new laptop soon to work more at home so if anyone has good suggestions please send them my way!
Happy Monday!
Tina Parker

Monday, September 24, 2012

Shapes and Unit 3 Tips

Fall is officially here and boy do I wish I could go back to the hot days of July! We are just starting the third full week of school and things are really coming together in my classroom.  At the beginning of the school year I brought in another table to give students more working space.  Well, I found out that it is much harder to get to everyone who needs help.  To solve this problem I stacked 6 at three tables, 5 at the fourth, and left one for a help pull-out table.  It worked so well and the students are much more on task because I am so close to them ALL the time! 

Here are some shape resources for you to use for Unit 2 in Math Trailblazers.  I know many of you are finishing up this unit and moving to Unit 3, but they are still good to have.  The only problem I see is that my google documents now is google drive so some of the images are off.  I will look through more of my files on my home computer to see if I have the originals. 

Pattern Block Shapes 1

Pattern Block Shapes 2

Pattern Block Recording Sheet.

Before starting unit 3 we talked about the meaning of the equal sign or same as sign.  We used balance scales to show that the equal sign needs to balance on both  sides.  This is a great visual.  If you do not have a balance then check around with kindergarten or in the upper grades. 

The following pictures go with Unit 3 of MTB - Pennies, Pockets, and Parts, but can apply to any math program.  Here are just some tips I found useful when completing these lessons with my students.  Prior to Unit 3 we talked about the 

When intruducing this lesson of pocket parts I started whole group with this example.  We talked about how we could draw in the pockets to help add up the number of pockets as well as writing the number of pockets in each box.  We had to find the missing total of pockets and came up with 9 total pockets.  When we wrote out the first number sentence I wanted to see if they remembered our discussion about the equal sign and wrote the 9 = in red.  From there I asked the students what numbers would fit in the other two boxes to equal or be the same as value as 9. 

Today I also talked about part-part-whole with the class.  I like the visual model of the two squares as parts and the rectangle as the whole.  My students really caught on to the hidden pockets lesson after we saw that two parts (squares) make a whole (rectangle).  My struggling students understood much better after that lesson.

This is something I needed to do for a couple of my students to have them understand part-part-whole and writing number sentences.  I know it is hard to see, but I highlighted one part in yellow, one in green.  Then I highlighted a yellow box plus a green box to write the number sentence under the visual model.  I then only highlighted the top to see if they could set up the number sentence with less help and finally the last problem was not highlighted at all. 

Here is my math homework bag lessons for this week I wish I had time to take pictures to show you the activities, but ........

The first one from Shari Sloane (kidscount1234.com) is the shape fill-in game  Here.  Students play with one other person.  They roll two dice, add up the total, and color in that amount of squared on the shape. I make it two-sided so they get more practice!  The first shape is a star.  I also have a heart Here.

The other homework bag is a count and color activity Here.  Students roll two dice, count the dots, explain how they counted or added the numbers, and then color the box.  The goal is to fill in every box.  I usually make two copies so they can play against someone at home.  This makes it more interactive and fun for the students.

 I am not sure I told people this before, but I also have a classroom blog that I will share and explain activities I create or use for Daily 5. My classroom blog is followingfirstgradeparker.blogspot.com. 

I hope all is well and that these tips and activities are useful to you!

Take Care,

Tina Parker