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! 

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!

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!!

Throwback Thursday 6.20.13

We love this idea of Cara Carroll's Throwback Thursday....although we don't have a really long time to look back on since we just started blogging a bit ago!  When we looked back through our old posts, we did find one that we have been able to reflect on and celebrate it as a great success in our classrooms!

Original Post 2.15.13
 Rainbow Math has begun!  In trying to figure out a way to increase addition fact fluency, we designed an incentive to move up in levels.  Each kiddo gets a ring with +1 facts (in red) to begin.  Once they master this level, they will add on +2 (in orange) and so on until they collect all the colors of the rainbow.  If you are familiar with Rainbow Words, the set up is very similar in use and management.  Our kiddos are super excited to begin and are already wanting to test up to the next level!!
Updated Post 6.7.13
We have blogged about a math fact fluency system we created to use in our classroom called Rainbow Math before.  We were so pleased this year with the results.  So many of our kiddos made it all the way through addition facts, several made it through all of the addition and some of the subtraction...and a few even made it through all of addition and all of subtraction (that's A LOT of facts!!!).  This proud kiddo is one of those students. 

Now you can help celebrate our success with Rainbow Math Facts!  We are having our Addition and Subtraction Rainbow Math Fact Sets as a special deal starting today through the weekend!!