Friday, December 31, 2010

Money Gathering

Object of the game:  Players identify coins and coin values while trying to fill their card first.

Materials:   Money Gathering cards  (there are 3 versions of each card depending on the level of your students),  coins (real or play money can be used),  a bank to pull the coins from when playing the game

Player 1 begins the game by pulling a coin from the bank.  If there is a space on their card for the coin, Player 1 may place the coin on their card.  If there is no space left for the coin pulled, Player 1 must replace the coin into the bank. 

Player 2 pulls a coin from the bank and places the coin on their card if a space is available for the coin that was pulled.

Player with most places filled on their card is the winner.

Here's version 1 of the Money Gathering Card...

Here's version 2 of the Money Gathering Card...

Here's version 3 of the Money Gathering Card...

Enjoy, Heidi

Addition Tic Tac Toe

Use 2-decahedron die to play this game. Player 1 rolls the two die and adds
the numbers together. Player 1 places an X over the answer to the addition
problem. Player 2 rolls the two die and adds the numbers together. Player 2
places an O over the answer to the addition problem. If no answer is available,
the player loses the turn. If a player gets three in a row, they win that
board. Winner is the player that “takes” the most boards.

Decahedron die are 10-sided die.  They have the numbers 0-9 printed on the sides.  You can purchase them in numerous places.  My team was able to get some reasonably priced from EAI
However, you can also check as well as Ebay.

Enjoy!!! Heidi

Monday, December 27, 2010

Super-Sized Sentence Writing

Here's some pages I use to help the kids super-size sentences they're writing.  We'll start with the sentence "A boy played." and then add webbings to go over what kind of a boy...then we'll complete the first sheet together.
Then we'll start taking sentences from our topics and adding information to them using the pages to help them create super-sized sentences.
Download Page One
Download Page Two
Download Page Three
Download Page Four

I patterned these pages after someone else's idea...they are not my own and I can't find the source that I used to make them from...Just know they aren't my idea...just a switch on the way I use someone else's brilliance to lighten my room :)

Here's the source for the original book from Evan-Moor...super size is just my take on it...

Have a great day!

Do You Like Marshmallows in Your Hot Chocolate?

Here's a graphing idea I plan to use during the first week of school.  Make some hot chocolate with the kids.  Ask to see if they like marshmallows in their hot chocolate or not…

Have the kids cut out and put their names on their marshmallow circle.  

Create a bar graph first and then transfer the information into a pie chart using the circle marshmallows.  Put a large mug in the middle of the chart paper for the pie graph with the rhyme at the top…build the pie graph in the middle of the large cup of hot chocolate that you draw.
Then analyze the data…

Download the File Here.

Here's a link to a blog with some super cute snowmen and hot chocolate things too!
First Grade Teaching

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

We Froze the Grinch

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
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My son and I spent some time exploring the Grinch on Ice in National Harbor Maryland.  What a unique display of ice I'll have some great pictures to share with the kids each time we do a Grinch Day in my class.
You can see how they put the show together by going to

Enjoy your evening!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

This is the video shared by the minister during the Candle Light Service we attended in Alexandria, VA.
It was a quaint colonial inspired service with a great message.

Lego Tower Math Game

While waiting to open presents on this beautiful Christmas morning, I finished the game I've been thinking about for the last 5 days...( mind goes at 30 miles an hour)...I had my family help me put it together and test it out, so I think it's finally time to share.  Here's the "scoop":

Lego Tower Math Game Idea...

Time to use those Lego Bricks for more than just building!
Use the sticker label sheet to add number sentences to the Lego Bricks.  Store the bricks in a container.  


To play the game, students pull a brick from the container and solve the number sentence on the sticker label. 

If they have the sum or difference on their Lego Tower Builder Map, the player puts the brick on the answer.  

After all the answers have been covered on a player’s map, they may build their tower in sequential order starting at the top with 0 and ending at the bottom with 18.  If a player picks a brick that has an answer that has already been covered on their map, they lose their turn and put the brick back in the container.  If time runs out before a player is able to gather all the bricks they need to create their tower, players build their towers using the bricks they have gathered.  

The tower that is the tallest…shortest…made with the most bricks…made with the least bricks…(you decide) is the winner.  You might also consider having them play in teams…it would help for those who need extra support with number sentences.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Squiggle Writing

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

So...what do you do when you're up before everyone and your mind is going 30 miles an hour?  You post to your blog and send an early morning Christmas wish via the net!

Here's an idea for Squiggle Writing that I use with my class.  We draw the picture to go along with a subject that we are studying and then create the writing underneath.

Have a Wonderful, Blessed Christmas Day!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Animals in The Mitten Probability Activities

If you haven't had the opportunity to visit Jan Brett's Web pages, you should go and visit soon!  Her site is full of wonderful educational opportunities.  I love the videos she has available to show the kids how she draws the different characters in her stories.  It's a great tool when doing an author study about 

I found a lesson on the Utah Education Network site that used one of the "old lady who swallowed" stories to introduce and work with probability and graphing.  I modified the lesson and the ideas to make it work for our continued study of Jan Brett's fabulous story "The Mitten".  

Animals in The Mitten Spinner Activity: Show students the Probability Spinner and ask questions like: Which animal are you more likely to spin? Which are you less likely to spin? What does equally likely mean? Decide on a number of spins each group should spin to play the game. Spin the spinner and use tally marks to record
the outcomes on the Data Collection Page. Students can then transfer their findings to graph worksheet. Come together as a whole group to share their findings with the class. Compare the data between the groups using words like: less likely, more likely, and equally likely.

Animal in The Mitten Card Activity:  Print cards on cardstock and laminate. Cut out cards and place them in a brown paper bag with the mitten graphic glued on the front.  Students draw one card from the bag. They put a tally mark on The Data Collection Sheet. Put the card back into the bag, mix the cards up and draw another animal card.  Students continue drawing, placing a tally mark on the data sheet for as many draws as you decide at the
beginning. Students graph their data on the Graph sheet. Compare the data between groups using words like: less likely, more likely, and equally likely.

Download the worksheets:  Click Here

I've looked over the terms of use on Jan Brett's site and I think I'm okay posting this on the blog...I'm not selling anything...I'm not advertising anything ( well...maybe her web pages [], which are fabulous!)...however, if you feel this should not be shared on this blog, please let me know and I will delete the post.  I just wanted to share something I think will be useful in the classroom.  Thanks, Heidi

Monday, December 20, 2010

Counting On Mittens

Materials:  game boards (one for each player), a spinner with numbers 0-9.

Objective: TLW practice adding the number on the mitten to number that is indicated on the spinner.  TLW use counting on or doubles strategies to add numbers.

The first child looks at his big mitten to determine what number he will start adding with.  The child spins the spinner and adds the number he lands on to the number that is on the mitten on his game board.  If the answer is not on the game board the player loses his turn.  If the number is on the game board the player puts a cube or a marker on the answer. 

The player to fill all his animals up is the winner.

To make the game more applicable the players can write the equation on a piece of paper as they spin.

Optional:  Use a decahedron (10-sided die) instead of a spinner.

This is a game created and shared by my wonderful team mate and co-presenter at the K-Crew Conference this summer, NBland.  She gave me permission to share it with you on today :)
You can download and print off the file:  Click Here

Thanks so much friend!  You're "da bomb"!

Bowling Doubles


Players set up their scorecard by matching all the
pin numbers to the scorecard numbers. Player One
rolls the decahedron die and doubles the number.
Let’s say the number 6 is rolled. Player One would
say, “double sixes…6+6=12”. Then remove the pin
from the number 12 spot on their scorecard. If a
player has already removed the sum of the number
rolled, their turn is over and play continues for the
next player. The winner is the player to remove all
(or the most) pins on the numbered circles on their
You may play up to 4 players in a group.

These colorful pins make for some extra fun when setting up the game.  I got them at the local Dollar Tree, but I've also seen them at Target and Walmart...

Or download the file with directions and the printable templates below:  Click Here

Target Addition

I found a baby blanket at the Dollar Tree and used fabric paints to create a target board.  One of my crafty parents sewed me some bean bags just right for this activity.  Students get two bags, throw them on the board and then record their number sentence.  You can vary the requirements:  add the two numbers, subtract the two numbers, or add a third bean bag and have them practice 3 digit addition number sentences.  You could even have them practice doubles by using only one bean bag and having them record the doubles number sentence for the number they land on the board.  I had my kids use their white boards to do the recording at first.  Then bumped it up later to having them write the number sentences on a sheet of notebook paper.  We took some time to deconstruct their work and see which number sentence was written the most...which sum was tossed the least...most...what was the highest answer...lowest...We had a lot of fun.  Some more than others, so we added the rule that if your bean bag went off the target, you lost your turn.  Three times off the board and you were out of the game.
Have fun!

Sunday, December 19, 2010



We're going to use this to help the kids see the different transformations of a shape.  You could use any shape...have the kids trace it and cut out 4 pieces.  Then use the shapes to trace the outlines.
Download the labels:  Click Here

Reading Numbers

Students use sight words and names to create numbers to read…
she= 874 = eight hundred seventy-four
like= 1,804 = one thousand, eight hundred four
Have students practice reading the numbers formed by their words making sure to emphasize that there is no AND in a number word !

Download files:  Click Here

Mitten and Hat Number Sentence Sort

Here's a game I developed to go with The Mitten and The Hat both by Jan Brett.
Copy on cardstock.  Laminate.  Cut out.
Have kids sequence the hats in numerical order.  You could have them go from least to greatest or greatest to least.  Then have them sort the number sentences under the hat that is the sum or difference.
Download the printable game file:  Click Here

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Jump Frog Addition Game

Play is similar to the game PIG…player one chooses whether they will solve 1, 2, 3, or 4 cards for their turn.  Let’s say player one says they can solve 2 cards…they turn over one card and solve the problem before they can turn over another card.  If they turn over one of the picture cards, they must do as the picture indicates:
Squish Time:  everyone in the game gets a squish ball and has 30 seconds (more if you like) to squish their ball.
Trade Places:  the player that turns over this card must trade places with another player…both players leave their cards at their spot and start playing the game from this position.
STOP:  the player that turns over this card has to stop their turn.  They do not lose any cards…they just stop their turn.
FROG!:  the player that turns over this card has to stop their turn and return ALL their cards to the card pile.
Play ends when the timer goes off or the cards are all gone.  The player with the most cards is the winner.
Download the Game Cards:  Click Here

Have Fun!

Snowman Math Fact Family

During December, we created math fact families with presents.  It was an idea shared on The First Grade Parade Blog.  I wanted to keep the fact family practice going with a project in January too.  So I came up with the Snowman Math Fact Family.  We started working on them before we left for Christmas break, but didn't quite get them done.  Here's a picture of what we've started so far...

Here's a picture of what I want to accomplish when we return...

Download the file to create the snowman:  Click Here
Enjoy your Christmas Break!!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Popcorn Snowman Gift Ideas

My mom put together these awesome popcorn snowman to give to my room mom volunteers!  She's so crafty and creative (and kind too...sent them all the way from OH for me to give in TN :)!  I love the snowman and know my friends at school will love them too.

Download copy of poem:  Click Here

Grinch Day in the Swamp!

What a fabulously fun day of learning and excitement!  Grinch Day in the Swamp went very well for all!
We got to watch the DVD of Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".  Then compared the book to the movie noticing the differences in the colors and the sounds of the voices.
We used webs to record adjectives and words to describe the Grinch at the beginning of the story as well as at the end of the story.
Download:  Mean Grinch Picture

We used the webs to create the comparing/contrasting writing sheet (I modified the sheet from Deanna Jump's free unit to use our handwriting paper to conserve on copy paper and ink :).  We got a chance to talk about adding commas in a series of words that are more than two...yep...I've got some really advanced kiddos...gotta make sure I'm extending their learning too :)

We webbed what we would do to make the Grinch grin...which brought up a huge discussion on synonyms (grin and smile)...not a bad thing:)  I used the grin from the Grinch trace and paste project to put in the middle of our web.

After the kids had a chance to share in groups what they would do to make the Grinch grin, they traced, cut out, and pasted together their Grinch...They spent time finishing the inside writing of the smile and added a picture of what their sentences said.  

I also made some label stickers to pass out today.  We wore them on our shirts.  We made little Grinch buttons from the Grinch smile page.  We pinned them to our shirts after the stickers fell off :)
Download:  Label Stickers

For Math, we created a flip book for problem solving with Grinch problems from Deanna Jump's mini Grinch  Unit...We wrote out the problems and talked about the sentences and what the problems were asking as we drew pictures to go with each problem...

Even though we didn't have enough time to get to the Grinch Tree Map project, It was a fabulously fun day for us!!!

Be sure to check out the fun Mrs. Carroll's blog "First Grade Parade"...she has some fabulous ideas too !