Small Group Instruction Linky {Math Style} including Math FREEBIES

We are linking up with The Appilicious Teacher for her "An Apple a Day" Linky Party!  

This week the theme is Small Group Instruction.  We are going to share how we handle Small Group Instruction during Math.   Math is a tough subject to teach; so many concepts, so many ability levels, so hard to just "move on" when you know you have kiddos that are stuck.  We were struggling with a way to teach whole group but have a small group component to our Math block.  So, Math Bags were "born!"  Math Bags allow us about 15 minutes of uninterrupted time to meet with small groups for remediation, review, and challenge.   We are only able to meet with 1 group a day...but that's one more group that we met with before!  This has been a blessing.  The small groups are fluid like a Guided Reading group is; we move kiddos around based on the lesson and need.  

Now...let's talk about what the other students are doing...this is where Math Bags come in.  Math Bags are engaging activities that students work on in pairs to review math concepts.  They were designed in a "budget friendly way," as none of the activities require a colored printer or multiple copies. We only change Math Bags once a quarter, so no more working on math centers every weekend!  Our kiddos love them and we have seen great results having a time in our math block to work with students 1 on 1 and in small groups. 

We now have 4 sets of Math Bags available for Grades K, 1, and 2 in our store. Each set of Math Bags contains 12 activities; across the 4 Common Core math strands.   Each set can be purchased separately or you can buy the complete set (which is priced to save you money!).     

Click on each grade level set for more information:

First Grade
 Second Grade

These are the Complete Sets (each grade level set bundled together; it's priced as buy 3 get 1 free!).  
Under each set you can grab a FREEBIE sample!

Here is our product preview for Set 4 to give you a better picture of what each set looks like:

Kiddos hard at work on Math Bags...

Math Bag set up:

Picture 1:  Each math activity is literally in a Ziploc (gallon size) bag.  The bag holds all the contents for that activity.  The bags are labeled (both on the outside and on the inside baggies that hold the pieces).   Everything in each Math Bag is laminated; there are no worksheets to copy, collect, grade, etc.  However, several of the Math Bags have a recording sheet that students use and erase when they are done so the next students can use it.  We always copy Math Bag direction sheets on blue so the students know exactly what to look for.  We always copy the pieces and parts that go inside the Math Bags on yellow for consistency as well.  If there is a Math Bag that needs another color, we use red.  Our goal is to make these very streamlined to limit questions while we are working with small groups.

Picture 2:  On the closet door, the numbers 1-12 are hanging with Velcro.  Student groups are also hanging on the door.  Each day we move the numbers down 1 row so that the Math Centers change for each group of students.  Within a quarter a group of students may do each Math Bag 1-3 times.  

Picture 3:   This bucket holds all 12 Math Bags.  We picked this picture to show that this system doesn't take up a whole lot of room.    Another note:  we actually have Math Bag Helpers that hand out Math Bags, switch Math Bag numbers (mentioned above), and check to make sure Math Bags are cleaned up before putting them back in the bucket.  

We've also now added Seasonal Math Bag Sets!

Have a great day! 

Mentor Text Linky 6.30.13

Happy Sunday!
We are linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky!  This week the theme is a teacher favorite; Back to School books.  There are WAY TOO MANY of these to choose from!   A book we love to read at the beginning of the year is Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.  Many of you know the book; but in case you haven't read it....
Rainbow Fish is about a beautiful fish with sparkling scales that is greedy and selfish. He does not want to "share" his scales.  He soon learns that not sharing and unfriendly ways lead to a lonely life without friends and happiness.  Once he decides to become friendly with the other fish he sees how great friendship is.  He also learns that his beauty is only 1 part of his character.    

After reading The Rainbow Fish, we make an anchor chart with "Rainbow Fish" behaviors and "Stinky Fish" behaviors.  Rainbow Fish behaviors are written on colorful fish and Stinky Fish behaviors are written on brown fish.  We think about how friends should and should not act at school and elsewhere.  This is one of our favorite lessons of the year; we leave it hanging in the classroom as a constant reminder.   

An activity we will try this year after reading Rainbow Fish is "My New Friend."  This writing activity will give the kiddos a chance to write about a new friend they have made in the first couple days of school.  Grab your free copy by clicking below...

These ideas and a ton more are available in our "O'fish'ally Back to School" packet.  There are over 30 Back to School activities across Reading, Writing, and Math (as well as a lot of other goodies for the classroom) for only $5!  Check it out!

Have a great day!

Five for Friday 6.28.13

It's Friday!  We are linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share 5 things about our week! 

Each weekend we are putting a different product on sale.  This week, our sale product is "Shapebot Shape Activities."   This 42 page document is only $1.50 through Sunday!  See below for more info...

"We created this packet to strengthen our resources for the new Common Core shape standards. We wanted to create a strong connection between 2-D and 3-D shapes and have students use new terms that come with Common Core; such as attribute (defining and non-defining), edges, vertices, and faces. We also included practice with 2-D shapes and 3-D shapes in academic pictures and real life pictures so students would have lots of exposure to the shapes and multiple opportunities to say the shape names."  

We are loving our SUMMER!!!  This is what Sarah has been up to...

She's painting 2 rooms!  Painting is a lot of work, that's for sure.  

I'm not working quite as hard!  In my spare time, I started this book:

Do you know I have found some of my FAVORITE books in People Magazine??? They have a "Great Reads" section in each issue; you'll have to check it out some time! 

It's not all play this summer, we are working too!  This week we have been working on 3 more sets of Math Bags (will be up and ready this weekend) and our Reading Comprehension and Fluency passages (that will be up and ready in the coming weeks).  

This next year we are learning a new system called mCLASS.  This program is how we will administer Running Records - on an iPad.  We are both a little nervous about this.  We had a quick training in the Spring and will have a full training in August.  Do any of you use mCLASS?  If so, how do you like it?  Is it easy to adjust to?

Have a GREAT weekend! 

Throwback Thursday and a Weekend Deal

This week for Throwback Thursday we're going back to some of the work we did this past school year with Shapes.  Check out some activities we did, grab a freebie at the end, and see what's up for our weekend deal!

** Originally Posted February 2013 **

Whew!  We have been working on our Shapes Unit for over a month now!  We’re not used to spending so much time on this math topic.  We have been looking for ways to strengthen some of our lessons and came along this great book!  Perfect Square by Michael Hall tells the story of a square who gets ripped, shattered, torn and more to be created into a piece of art.  The story led to a great activity where our kiddos had to take a square of construction paper, destruct it, and create a new picture using all the parts of their original square.  Here are some samples from our kiddos: 
We have completed our unit on Shapes in Math.  Our students made “Geoanimals” using 3D shapes they had brought from home (things like cereal boxes, toilet paper rolls, birthday hats, etc.)!  The kids loved creating something unique from things that would’ve been thrown away!

 I Spy Shapes!  We continued our work with shapes this week.  One unique way we evaluated student knowledge of shapes was through this I Spy activity.  We handed out large I Spy books to partner groups and directed them to find as many examples of 2-D and 3-D shapes as they could.  This activity can be found in a shape packet we’ll post on TpT next week.  Keep a look out for it!!
 Now, for our weekend deal...our Shapebots Packet will be 50% off this weekend!

Ten Pin Linky: Math Ideas

This week's topic was great for us to go back and actually LOOK at what we've pinned!  We had so many great ideas....just need to implement them during the school year!

Manic Monday 6.24.13

Monday's aren't so bad in the summer!!!  Today we have a Number Puzzle freebie for you. It is designed so students cut out puzzle pieces and glue them on construction paper when they have matched the number with the correct picture (there are 6 puzzles in all).  It would be a great "Back to School" activity as the numbers are less than 10.  Click the picture below to get your copy.

If you are looking for a Back to School packet, we have just put our "O"fish"ally Back to School packet in our TpT and TN stores.  There are over 30 activities across Reading, Writing, and Math for you to start your year!  It is a fish themed packet and we tried to design activities for each setting; whole group, small group, and independent work.  Check it out!!!

Happy Monday!

An Apple A Day Linky: Whole Group Instruction

Here are some views of our classrooms during whole group instruction and some tools we use!
Our Whole Group Area
We meet in front of the whiteboard for most of our whole group lessons. 

We do LOTS of anchor charts using our easels.  We love using sticky notes to have all kiddos participating in our whole group lesson.

We use our SMART Board for whole group lessons all the time!  They are another great way to get all kiddos involved in the lesson!

Finally, we use whiteboards and dry erase markers often. 

Thanks for taking a peek into our classroom during whole group instruction time!!

Mentor Text Linky 6.23.13

We are linking up with Collaboration Cuties for their Mentor Text Linky. This week the theme is Social Studies.  In first grade we teach Mapping Skills.  We use this book, As the Crow Flies, when we are introducing maps.  It shows the students that maps are created from a "birds eye view," which this book illustrates beautifully.  It is short and sweet and sure to capture your student's attention. 

Maps — they help you get where you want to go. People use road maps to find their way. These maps show miles of highways that point out the right direction. But what about the crow? What kind of map does he use? Or the eagle, the rabbit, the horse, and the sea gull? What's on their maps? A look at different geographical areas from the perspectives of an eagle, rabbit, crow, horse, and gull.

After this book, we have a matching activity where the students match pictures of objects that are from the "birds eye view" with pictures of the same objects from the "front view."  Something you can do very similar to this is to take pictures of objects in your classroom from a "birds eye view" and have the students guess what they are.  Here are some examples...

We hope you have a great Sunday! 

Picture Book Linky: Back to School Books

How fun!  We are always up for sharing about picture books!  For Back to School this year, we are doing a fish theme.  We have been getting some fish themed books together....buying some new ones and pulling out some old faves!

New Books

Old Faves

 We have fun activities we do with Rainbow Fish and Swimmy.  We love the character lessons to learn from these books.  They help create a community of caring in our classrooms at the beginning of the year.  We shared them in our new Back to School packet.  Click the pic to check it out in our TpT store!

 Here is one more special book that we both love and have both shared with our kiddos!