Addition and Subtraction Strategies

Happy Thanksgiving!!  We are thankful to be spending some time relaxing and enjoying the company of our families!  Hope you all are having a wonderful Thanksgiving as well!  We're also resting up for our Black Friday sales tomorrow.  We'll have our top products for 50% off!!  Follow us on FB to see what time each product is on sale.

Until tomorrow, we leave you with a review of a great product we've been lucky to use in the classroom!
Hello there!  We would like to show you a great product that we have been using in our classrooms, Addition and Subtraction Strategy Sort Bundle, that was created by Nikki Sabiston at Teaching In Progress.    

In first grade we teach addition and subtraction throughout the entire year.  It is something we work on day in and day out.  We teach strategies that help the students add and subtract, but it seems that we always do this as we are teaching a lesson; using the actual problems we are trying to solve at the time, rather than taking a look at a set of equations and determining which strategy we should use to solve them.   This is why we really like Nikki's Addition and Strategy Sort packet.  

Let's start with the strategy cards.  They are pleasing to the eye and are very kid friendly.  The language  and graphics paint a very clear picture for the kiddos about what the strategy is and how they can use it.  Included in the pack are strategy cards for Addition and Subtraction.  Both sets of cards can be printed in full or half sheet sizes (which is an added perk - less ink!).  

 Addition and Subtraction sorting cards are included.  The sorting cards contain addition and subtraction problems and the students decide which strategy is best to use to solve that equation.  We did this activity a couple of different ways:

On an Anchor Chart (whole group):

With a Pocket Chart (independent / small group center):

Our kiddos loved this; both ways!  The conversations that came out of the sorting was wonderful, it's always great to hear kids explain their thinking; especially with math!

Students also had the chance to sort addition and subtraction problems by cutting out equations and gluing them under the correct strategy.  This served as a wonderful independent activity to check for understanding.  

Overall, we were very pleased with this product and know it is something we will use time and time again.  Grab this along with LOTS of other great packs from this Educents Bundle:

And now is the best time to buy!!

One Month In!!

Well we're a bit over one month in with our kiddos and are so glad to be settling into routines in our classroom.  This week, we'll have Daily 5 in full swing and we will finally be able to pull reading groups!  We always forget how long it takes to establish these routines at the beginning of the year, but we know taking time to do so pays off in the long run!  We've also gotten our homework packets going home and have great response from parents!  Here's a closer peek at them...

 Each Monday our kiddos get a bag with their homework packet and writing journal.  It goes home for the week and is due back on Friday.

 First page is a math review sheet.  We've included a task from each of the Common Core Math Strands.

Here's a peek inside the packet where kiddos practice fluency, reading comprehension, and language tasks.  There are 3 differentiated reading passages we assign based on reading levels.

Look at this GREAT improvement in fluency!  This kiddo was working hard!

Next up in our homework bag is the Family Message Journal.  Kiddos practice writing at home with their families.  We are encourage families to help our kiddos support their ideas in their writing as they respond to prompts.

Next, a family member responds to the prompt as well.  This kiddo had his sister (in high school) respond!  We love getting the families involved!

Here's where you can grab these tools for homework!

Some love we've gotten about the homework pack:

And we've got a freebie with a sample of the homework booklet we send home!  You can see the math page, 3 differentiated reading passages, and the reading response page!

How do you assign homework in your classroom?

Back to School Already?!

Well, this has been a hard week...  we've been going to school off and on.  Tomorrow is the official start for teachers.  We can't believe it is already here!  So we've been pretty consumed with starting to prep our classrooms and materials for the beginning of the year and hanging to the last moments of our summer!  We've just seen Jivey's Wishlist Share and want to link up!

Our number one wishlisted item is our Math Bags Pack.  We've got 30 math centers for the year in this packet!  People have been loving how easy it is to assemble and get set up with kiddos!  Check out our freebie from the pack!

Our second most wishlisted item is our First Grade Homework Shape Up Pack.  We've got reading, language, and math homework for the year in this packet.  People love the differentiated reading passages, mixed math review, and the addition of bubble responses to practice for testing!  Check out our freebie from the pack!

It was hard to just pick ONE item from our wish list to share....but we just had a training today and found we were going to have a big push on graphic organizers for next year.  We love this pack of foldable 3-D graphic organizers - it's a great, different approach to graphic organizers!

Back to School Blogger Exchange

Time to link up and share the goodies we got!

I was matched to exchange with Kate from Sweet Tea and Second Grade.  She sent me some fun and colorful school supplies!!  The Post-it Notes and pens will be great for sending notes down to Tamra's room during the school year ;)

I was matched with Lindsay from Apples and Chalk Dust.   She sent me everything I need to start my year off right!  Post its...check, Pens...check, Paperclips...check, Sharpies...check, pencils...check!  I can't wait to put all these goodies in my desk at school!!!

What a fun way to start our school year!  

Monday Made It 7.29.13

At the end of last school year we decided to do a fish theme for our classrooms for back to school.  We love the theme O'fish'ally in First Grade!  After heading to the teacher supply store and finding no good fish decor, we searched Pinterest looking for "fishy" ideas to use in our classrooms.  We found these super cute fish:

We love how colorful they are and thought they would look great "swimming" on the wall outside of our classrooms.  We found the colored party plates at Walmart for only $1 a pack!  We were able to get lots of great, bright colors.  Here are our fish so far:

We LOVE them!  We're sure you will see the whole school of them once we get them hanging up outside of our classrooms!

Last week we also made a Facebook page for our blog!  Come follow us over there!

Junie B. Reading Response Journal Freebie

We've been busy working on another project from our to-do list!  Our kiddos LOVE our Junie B. read alouds!  We've tried other books, but they just don't enjoy them as much.  They just make special connections to Junie B.!  So...after our first year with common core we thought these reading response journals would be a great addition to our literacy work.  We've created the journals to have tasks that are just right for our 1st graders.  We are super excited to use them for the upcoming school year and want to share one with anyone else who is a Junie B. fan!  They are super easy to use in the classroom and don't need tons of paper...just cut down the middle to make 2 at a time!
Click the picture above to grab the journal for Junie B., First Grader (at Last!) for free!!  If you love it, check out our store for more!

10 Things We've Learned from Teaching