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 ( 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 

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

Take Care,

Tina Parker

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Week 2

Hello Everyone!

I hope all of you are settling in to your new routines.  I am still working on it in my classroom.  I have been re-arranging my classroom and redecorating.  I had to replace my first word wall due to glare from my windows so I found a new one.  If you want some great resources check out Zeek's Zoo.  I just google it and it comes right up.  Best of all the resources she has are all free!! 

I am starting to send home math homework this week.  I divided my class in half to lessen my prep.  Here are pictures of how I set up my math bags.  Each group has a different colored marker that will help me be more organized.

This subitizing activity can be found here Directions and the cards found at

This math center is working on naming the number between (missing number) two numbers.  I have the Directions and then the activity can be found Here

I also created some part-part-whole teaching mats that I will share with you.  I have some students struggling with addition problems and I thought this would help.  I have three different ways of viewing the number sentences.  I have the whole on the right side of the equal sign, the left side, and I have one that will show the vertical (traditional) method.  I am using this resource as a means to show different ways of the same problem.  I started whole group and then to the document camera with the class participating, and then had them try by themselves.  Even my better math thinkers were engaged because they were understand the part-part-whole process of addition.  They can be found Here

Have a wonderful week!


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Welcome Back to First Grade!

September 2012

Hello First Grade Teachers!

Welcome back to start a new school year!  I have been nervous already!  If you are in the Eau Claire school district your classroom will look so much different than years past : (.  I took pictures of my classroom to show you that I am just as depressed as you are with the new fire code restrictions.  Twenty percent coverage of each wall is all we are allowed to cover. . . . I wish I had access to a bunch of smaller bookcases and cubbies, but this is all I have to work with this year.  I am going to be positive though! I am making up for the smaller display area by making and using smaller learning targets and anchor charts. I am also stepping up my table displays. Number lines, color words, and shapes displayed on each table to use as reference. Trying to get used to these new requirements : ).
Here is the front of my room.  On the left I have my birthday signs displaying only August and September.  Two months at a time is all I will be able to post.  The tree will come down after Family Day.  On the Right is my word wall and daily schedule. 

A close up of my carpet area. 

Here are pictures of my carpet area. Don't mind the far right mess.  They are by the door and soon the garbage. 

Here is the coat room.  Can you get any more depressing???

Here is the wall where my cubbies are along with my desk.  I am guessing I will need to move both, but I am going to wait and see.  Between the desk and the cubbies is a large mess of cords that will be exposed if I need to move everything.  Keeping my fingers crossed.
Hopefully you all feel much better about your rooms now! 

Here are some math resources I created over the summer that you may find useful in your classroom. 

The first is the number cards, but I also have days of the week and some Daily 5 resources in there too.  You can find it Here.

The next resource is the Math Facts Instruction outline I am planning to use.  I will also be posting all the lesson plans from these lessons.  You may be wondering when I plan on using these lessons?  I am going to get through them as time allows.  I will do the DPPs at the beginning of math, conduct the MTB lesson, and then if there is time I will choose between math facts, CGI, or math centers.  I am also going to get creative and "braid" math concepts into the S.S and Science time block as well.  The outline is Here.

Finally, here is a copy of the first grade CCSS that have the learning targets in the form of I can.... statements.  Here   

Well I am off to find more things to do in my classroom.  I actually have the whole day to myself!  No kids or hubby.  Only teachers can appreciate why I am in my classroom rather than out shopping : ).