A Very Mathy Five for Friday

Sep 6, 2013

Ever have one of those weeks where you feel like you are two steps behind?  All..Week..Long!  That was my week.  And I know that it is just a matter of getting back into the "swing of things."  But...as my Ben reminded me tonight...it is Friday. Let it go.  Perfect way to do that...Five for Friday (of course!)
You may (or may not) know that we are a departmentalized first grade.  After many assessments we finally got our firsties placed in their classes and started switching classes this week. We introduced our math groups for the first time today!  And I decided to try out my math bracelets from a blog post I read at the Math Coach's Corner. (She has changed my life forever) I was amazed.  I just asked them to show me what problems they could come up with....AND...3 digit addends became part of this conversation!! What!!?!  I was beyond excited by this.

Another AMAZING part of my week...word problems.  This has always always always been something that I dreaded (mostly because I have felt weak in math...but we are turning that around)!  I was reading a blog from the Math Coach's Corner (again!) and I found a link to the Math Learning Center.  I started to poke around and I came across a free book (3 hundred and some page book!) called "Problem Solving with Story Boxes."  I handed it to Natalie one day this summer (remember...3 hundred some page book) and told her to check it out!  What!?  She probably thought I was crazy!  But by the introduction we were both hooked with a capital H.  We became convinced that this was how we wanted to work on story problems this year.  And so we started it this week...and LOVED it.

Once we introduced our story problem theme from the book: bus arrivals and departures (we took some "classroom trips" to the beach, pool, and McDonald's), we took the lesson theme a step further with this book:
Then each firsties made a bus with dots or stripes, yellow or red.  We used these buses to form "how many" questions.  Then we practiced how to count, point, touch, and check our work when counting.

Many weeks ago I posted a  "Number of the Day" sheet that I created for Natalie's math meeting everyday.  Our goal is number sense this year!  We finally got to see it in action this week.  It really worked out well.  The firsties all seem to really like it and it is keeping them very engaged.

We started using Evernote this week to upload pictures of student writing and some notes.  I think I might just be in love :)  I really like this idea.

One final thing:  You might be wondering...why all the math?  Math has always been a weakness in my mind and last year I started team teaching math with Natalie to our struggling firsties.  I had to step up my game and find ways to make it make sense to them.  This summer I did a lot of research, reading, making and it is so exciting to see it all working in real life!

Happy weekend all!  I know I need some relaxation, for sure!


  1. Oh, I love the math bracelets! I have a few students, in particular, that I think would really benefit from a simple manipulative like that! I'm going to prep for this one right away... Love it! :) Thanks!


    1. You will have to let me know how it goes! I can't wait to see what else they can come up with!

  2. Thanks for posting the link to the Math book. I got it downloaded this time. ;P I still haven't made the bracelets, I'm going to try to get them done this week!
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher


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