photo 3am_h1_zpse9aaabda.png                   photo 3am_am1_zps226e1806.png                   photo 3am_products1_zps40ddd5e3.png                   photo 3am_freebies1_zps0afbc6a9.png

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ten Things I Want to Do This Summer

I'm linking up with Mrs. Jump's Class for her Ten Things I Want to Do This Summer post. In no particular order here's what I have planned:

1. Read, Read, Read  - Here is my stack of books for vacation. It still looks a little small to me. If only that darn Barnes and Noble would start sending more coupons my way. I plan to read a whole lot of just for fun books.

2. 10,000 Steps a Day - This little bracelet is hopefully going to keep me moving. It's an Up by Jawbone and my goal is a minimum of 10K steps per day. I've been using it this last week and I have to admit it's harder than I thought it would be. I figured, "Oh, I'm a teacher, I'm on my feet all day." Yep, but no, on your feet all day doesn't translate into as many steps as I thought it would.

3. Clean out the office closet - Seriously? How did it get like this?

4. Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes - I usually just go down to the greenhouse and buy my tomato starts, but this year we are trying to grow San Marzano tomatoes. So we started them from seeds and finally put them in the garden last week. I couldn't bring myself to leave out a single plant, so I have 95 tomato plants out there. I think I will be canning my days away. However, if all goes well I will actually get to make a real Neapolitan pizza in my outdoor brick pizza oven.  They have to be made with San Marzano tomatoes only. Mmmm, I can't wait to taste this pizza!

5. Vacation - This should have been #1. I cannot wait for our vacation. We are spending three, yes, three whole weeks on the beach where the biggest decision of the day is where to go to dinner. Stocking up on sunscreen and books!

 6. Learn to play and sing at the same time - This is seriously difficult for me. I started taking guitar lessons in January and have yet to learn how to sing and play at the same time. I just want to learn one song where I can do both at the same time.

7. Quilt - This fabric is so dang cute - I can't wait to start this quilt. It's for my youngest daughter. I just don't get any time for sewing during the school year. Plus my sewing room is down in the cool basement where it's the perfect thing for hot days.

8. Professional Development - Yes, I do have a few professional development plans. Number one on the list is to read this book:
Number two is a 3 day math training so that I can help facilitate staff training next year with an inquiry based approach. 

9. New Orleans - I am looking forward to 5 days in the French Quarter without the kids. It's not often just the two of us get away. Blue crab, cajun mud candy and a little jazz - sounds so fun!

10. Sleeping in - This is going to be a no alarm clock summer.  We will be staying up late to catch up on all the movies we missed during the year so don't call our house before 10 please!

Just writing this list increased my excitement for summer. What are you most looking forward to? I hope you have a great one!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Flip Flop Blog Hop

I am really excited about this blog hop. This month we are reviewing products from other bloggers. I am happy to be paired up with Latoya from Flying into First Grade.

Today I am reviewing her Common Core Math Printables.
Click here to go to her TpT store.

I have to admit that when I received this product, I started laughing. Not because of her product, but because I had just finished a very similar product and posted it on TpT one week prior to this. I would love to say great minds think alike, but this might be more of a case of all first grade teachers have some of the same needs wherever you teach. Latoya took each of the CCSS for math in first grade and created no prep printable pages to use with your students. There are 50 different pages included with at least one for each of the first grade standards.

I picked out 7 different pages to try with my students. These really are no prep. Some pages needed only a pencil and others required scissors and glue but there's nothing that needs teacher preparation. Can I just say thank you! Sometimes you just need something that doesn't require a lot of work to get ready. All of her pages look great and are labeled with the standard on each page. These didn't even require any thinking on my part. Here are examples from the pages I had my students do:

 Now I know that I mentioned earlier that our products were similar, but I have to admit that it was fun to see someone else's ideas of how students can "Show What You Know" for each of the math standards. Latoya did a great job of coming up with ways for students to practice each standard. I love that her pages have cut and paste activities that are perfect for independent practice during my math workshop. As it turns out our products were more complementary than I first anticipated. I will definitely be adding her Show What You Know pages into my curriculum for next year.

Since our products go so well together, I think I better raffle off my 54 First Grade Common Core Math Assessments.

You can follow my blog on the right hand side or through Blog Lovin', follow my FB page, or follow my TpT store for a chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ready to see some more great product reviews? Continue on the Flip Flop Blog Hop by hopping over to 2 Scoops of Kindergarten:

2 Scoops of Kindergarten

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Gaining an Understanding of Larger Numbers

Helping students gain an understanding of larger numbers can be difficult in first grade. That's why I like to use a guessing jar to help my young mathematicians begin to understand larger numbers. To read more about how this works in my classroom, hop on over to the Happy Numbers blog where I wrote a guest blog about this.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Feet-On Measurement

I'm not sure there is a math concept that is more hands-on than measurement. Ok, my measurement activities depend more on feet than hands but you get the idea. Measurement is all about active learning. The first thing I do is send home a note asking for everyone to trace their own foot and the feet of three other people of varying sizes. This gives us plenty of feet for measurement practice. Since the first grade CCSS is for measuring with non-standard units, we use paper clips and Unifix cubes.
However, I think first grade students are capable of measuring with rulers too, so I also include some standard measurement in this unit.

Then it gets even more fun. We measure ourselves with cubes and look for things that are longer, shorter and the same height. Talk about a lot of measuring practice! They are measuring everything.
When it comes time to count how many cubes long the classroom is, there was some debate about the easiest way to do it. Finally they came to the conclusion that bundling into tens makes sense. I walked away before they bundled into hundreds, at least I hope they thought to bundle into hundreds.
There's a lot of buzz with this unit, but nothing is better for creating an understanding of a concept than active learning. I would love to give away my Hands-On Measurement Activities for first grade to the first 3 comments. Make sure to leave me an email address or email me at:  It's also available at my TpT or TN stores.