Friday, August 10, 2012

Math Games for the New School Year

My Math Games Posts Part 1 and Part 2 are some of my most visited posts on my blog. I love math games! My kiddos last year loved them too! They begged to do Math Games! I knew that I would need to reorganize my games for the new school year. It was one of those items on my to do list that was important but not quite as important as making name tags and planning for the first week.

So it got pushed back until after school started. One afternoon I went through my cart and pulled out the games that we won't use until later in the year and organized. Here's what the cart looks like now:

Our first unit for math is numbers in base ten/place value. So all of my games that are currently out are place value related. Here's what I have out currently:

Swinging Around the 100's and 200's Chart - Free on TPT from Fourth and Ten

Flash Cards - of course. Such an easy bin. I took out the time and money ones and just stuck with addition and subtraction. Dollar Tree has great flash cards.

Race to 100 - Free on TPT from Primary Graffiti

The ever popular Bump from Sunny Days - My kiddos love, love, love this game! For student led conferences last year they had to show their parents how to play one math game - this was a popular choice!

Addition Jenga - Picked up this original Jenga set at the flea market for $3 and then downloaded the free labels from Minds In Bloom. I printed the labels onto adhesive backed paper and then laminated it. Yep, you got that right - they were sticky and laminated! I wasn't sure if you could do that but it worked out great - I wanted the durability of laminating but didn't want to have to tape or glue each strip. 

The kiddos simply build the jenga cube as usual and then when they remove a piece they have to solve it. Simple, yet fun!

Place Value Bulls Eye from What The Teacher Wants - I think this is my personal favorite because it helps the kiddos practice expanded form and because it's so fun! It reminds me of skeeball - who doesn't love skeeball?

Slides and Ladders from First Grade a la Carte - To practice doubles facts! This isn't a place value game but addition is coming up next and this game is simple so I threw it in there. 

Last but certainly not least in my kiddos' eyes is Power Towers - They absolutely love this!  The original idea comes from Teacher Tipster

That's the beginning of the year line up. I've shown my kiddos the games and now we are beginning to practice playing them. They are already excited!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We Like to Move It!

It's already week 5 of the new school year for me! Phew! I'm loving my class!

For the past few weeks I have been teaching them greetings and activities for morning meeting. I've found some new ones thanks to pinterest, TPT, and bloggers. I've especially found a bunch that get us moving!

Here are some of our favorites!

 1. Cha Cha Slide - It's easy to follow, gets the kids moving, and is so much fun!

2. Get Funky - Another easy to follow, line dance type song. It gets stuck in your head easily!

3. Stomp, Stomp Clap

4. Cupid Shuffle - Yep, that's right we're shuffling. I think it's great practice of the ordinal words "left" and "right". So many of my kiddos still get those confused!

5. Jump Up, Bend Down - Haven't tried this one yet but I think it will be a winner!

I've been using these, along with the brain breaks from 3rd Grade Thoughts to keep us moving and thinking. The kids are loving them! Sometimes I'll even get a "Miss R, I think our brains need a break!"
I use my CD player and my projector to show these and it works great!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Marker Management

Today I have a quick management tip to share. I have my students use whiteboards and dry erase markers very frequently in math. I try to be very strict about keeping the boards in their lap, no doodling, following along, etc. But I still have kids who are drawing and rolling their markers on the board or throwing it around in their hands. I was starting to get frustrated last week when I realized that I needed a good motivator to reinforce whiteboard and marker procedures.

My solution is something super simple but effective!

I had some very kind parents donate colored dry erase markers - I'm talking neon, primary and more. All sorts of colors.

 My kiddos each have a black dry erase marker in their pencil boxes. I told them at the beginning of a whiteboard math time that I would be looking to see who was using their board and marker correctly. At the end of math I would pick the one person who I thought did the best job of participating while showing the correct procedures. That person would get to pick a colored marker to use for the next whiteboard math time. They would get to use it for that entire time and at the end they would return it and I would pick someone else to choose a color.

 You would have thought I was giving away a trip to an amusement park - they were so excited!

It's the small things folks! :)

Also be sure to check out my guest post over at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher. Amber is a dear bloggy friend of mine and she has so many great ideas! I posted about how I'm using "math bins" in my classroom.

And for all of you who are gearing up for a new year - I feel for you! I have been back for 4 weeks already. I love meeting my new kiddos but I even more love getting into a routine. :)