Monday, January 21, 2013

Equal Shmequal

Have you ever looked at something in the hallway as you're taking your class to a special and thought...."I can do something with this!"?
This is the craftivity in the hall of our preschoolers that I thought....hmmm...
I can do something with this!

Especially with the cute video and blog I had read earlier in the day about greater than and less than...
If you've not seen this're in for a treat!
It comes from Ms. Carrol's "First Grade Parade" blog which I LOVE!!! follow me here...and don't ask how my brain was's a mystery!
We've been talking about the Common Core Math standards...
I've been trying to come up with ways to help the kids with 

1.OA.7  Understanding the Meaning of the Equal Sign
Understand the meaning of the equal sign
and determine if equations involving addition and subtraction are true or false. 
For example, which of the following equations are true and which are false? 
6 = 6, 7 = 8 – 1, 5 + 2 = 2 + 5, 4 + 1 = 5 + 2.

So I thought....what if I reduce the size of the snowman in the picture and 
his nose becomes the balance????
Each side of the snowman has to have the same number of snowflakes, 
but they can fall in different ways...make sense??
So we started with the craftivity...I made templates and we practiced our small muscle control and shape identification as we traced and cut out circles, trapezoids, rectangles, and one curvy triangle :)

Putting together the snowman was key...we had to make sure it was IN THE MIDDLE of the paper...whew...that was a tough one...and we had to build it from the bottom to the top starting with the trapezoid, placing the circle to touch the top of the trapezoid but not overlap, and adding the curvy triangle so that the tip of the triangle touched the top of the paper...last we could add the rectangles to create the scarf for the snowman and cover up the area where the circle and the trapezoid met...

Craftivity completed...time for small group practice with the concept!
We used cubes and put them in different combinations on one side of the snowman...
then created another way of making the same number on the other side of the snowman.
We used our expo markers and wipe off plates to record our findings!
Worked well for most...

...but for those that were still having some concept issues a wonderful teacher on my team suggested a whole group idea that was "da bomb!"...

We counted how many kiddos were in the room and then began to group ourselves in different ways...
all the kids with strips or patterns on their shirts  +  plain colored shirts
We recorded the number sentence on the white board on one side of the snowman 
(I drew for visual review)
Then we regrouped ourselves and had boys on one side and girls on the other side.
We recorded this number sentence on the other side of the snowman.
Then the discussion started...did anyone leave the room?
Did anyone come in?  How many kiddos are here...did we change the number or just change the way we counted the people in the room...Yeah...more light bulbs came on :)

Now to show what we know using our craftivity and some yummy snowflakes!

We used index cards cut into eighths...(yeah more math practice) ...
adding numbers and symbols to our index cards we manipulated and arranged "snowflakes" on each side of our snowmen to show different ways of the same number....
talk about fun!

For an informal assessment, I went to each child's snowman and gave them two digits on the one side...
They had to create a snowflake pattern to show me the total and then make a new number sentence on the other side of the snowman... 

What???? You have extra snowflakes and you'd like to eat them...sure!  YUM-O!

For the summative assessment....I created this snowman worksheet.  The kiddos were asked to use dot patterns to show the equation on the one side of the snowman and then create a new number sentence with dot patterns on the other side of the snowman.  
No zeros allowed....can't use the same numbers in the reversed pattern...

Click HEREfor a similar worksheet created and shared by Myca Bell.

This book just came into our'm thinking this will be a great way to reinforce the concept through literature...

The Utah Education Network has a great page of math games listed to go along with 

Monkey Vine is a great game you can download from the UEN using dominoes to help continue practice with the concept of equivalent equations...
Monkeys on a Vine
  1. Place 16 dominoes, eight matching, in the center of the work area face down. A matching domino is a domino with the same total number of dots in a different configuration.
  2. Players take turns picking two dominoes at a time to see if they can find two dominoes that match.
  3. If a player picks a domino match, one domino is placed on each side of the monkey vine to represent leaves on the vine. Draw the domino and write the equation underneath, (start at the bottom of the vine).
  4. Put the matching dominoes in a discard pile.
  5. Move the monkey so it is hanging by the equation. Move the monkey up the vine each time a domino equation is filled in.
  6. The game ends when the dominos are all gone or one player has domino equations to the top of the vine. The player with the highest monkey on the vine wins.

Ms. Arnold has a wonderful math station packet for sale on TpT right now with a great game called:
aligned to the Common Core to practice the true false part of the 

Be sure to hop over and check it out!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Operation Smile

As a soon to be college "funding" parent, 
I was happy to find a company that rents textbooks!

Remember purchasing all those billion dollar books for one semester in college and then selling them back for pennies?  Campus Book Rentals sounds like it's a win win situation for the new college generation...and you can even highlight in the books!

Not only highlight, but they offer you the opportunity to rent your books to others and make some money in the process....of course to put right back into the books you'll need for the next semester :)
And if you really feel the need to keep the can purchase the book !

I'm definitely keeping this group in my sights for the Fall 2013 college year!
Good grief!  Am I really old enough to have an "almost" freshman in college?????

Very happy to see that they are also supporting Operation Smile...
With the books that are rented a portion is put into this worthwhile and fabulous program of helping those with needs to be given a brighter smile!

Hop over and check out their site and see what you think!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Counting Collections

I am so "stoked" by this lesson on counting collections and 
it so fits into what we're doing this week!  

Collecting all the things to count has been so much fun!

I made a recording sheet to use with my class.
You can download it HERE.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Snow Much Fun!

So....I'm NOT the most patient person in the fact, far from it... and if we're gonna be cold ....I'd at least like some snow to go with the cold!  
    (Of course as I write this post we're no where near's 66 degrees and rainy..
                     but when I was thinking of snow it WAS cold! )

Time to take matters into my own hands (well....the kids' hands) and MAKE SOME SNOW!

Thanks to Steve Spangler and the class I attended where we learned all about making instant snow!

And the kids LOVED IT!  Went right along with our story of "The Mitten" by Jan Brett too :)

First we became scientist and observed with our eyes...we talked about what the stuff in the cup looked like and things we THOUGHT it might be...
We felt the stuff and talked about what it felt like...making sure that we talked about NOT putting it into their mouths or up their noses (I know...but you gotta make sure :)

We made a bowl with our hands 

I poured the stuff in and then added the water for some magical moments!

Talk about some AMAZED firsties!  LOVED it!
Thankfully we had big paper towels to play with our snow on the desks.

Since it's not the packing kind of build a snowman snow...we decided to work out some 
math tasks while we had snow to write in...

So we patted the snow into a circle and then I began with the math tasks...
"There are 10 snowflakes in the sky.  5 snowflakes fall to the ground.  How many are left in the sky?"

They could write their answer in the snow....YES!  
Fun in a bag! 

When it dries out....add more water and presto puffo...more snow!

Oh could add in some science know like...states of matter...polymers...but then could just sit back and have some good old fun!


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Math Station with Dominoes

I needed a direction sheet with a little more meat to it for my Math Stations this
I created a little Domino Math Station sheet.

The plan is to have the kiddos use their math journals or scrap paper to write out their domino stories during station rotation times.

We'll do a couple together to give them the idea and then set them free to explore...since the station has two frogs working together, I'll allow them to talk over their stories and discuss ways to write their words....looking forward to seeing some interesting results!

You can download the direction sheet for free HERE...