North Pole Party

Friday, 25 December 2015

     Despite the forecasted green Christmas, we were able to bring a little of the "arctic chill" to our classroom with a North Pole Party.

     The children visited four stations (Santa's Workshop, Mrs. Claus' Kitchen, Reindeer Games, and Winter Wonderland) where they participated in a fun-filled activity at each stop. “Elves” (parent helpers) were available to punch their cards and assist as needed at all stops along the way.

Ornament Making at Santa's Workshop

                       Cookie Decorating in Mrs. Claus' Kitchen 

Reindeer Ring Toss

Snowflake Making in Winter Wonderland

     Next year, I'd love for Santa to stop by for a surprise visit. Until then, I'll be looking for a Santa suit and a willing volunteer. 

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Math Tubs

Saturday, 21 November 2015


     If you are old enough to remember a program called Math Their Way, then you might remember “tubbing time.”  Last year, I created a set of math tubs for each module of our math program that was organized in a similar fashion to the tubs in that program. The advantage of this system is that the manipulatives for each of the tubs stays the same, but the task changes with the introduction of each new math unit.  So the children are using pattern blocks, snap cubes, geoboards and other manipulatives to explore number, geometry, measurement, etc.  This has simplified the storage of the centers since the bulky manipulatives stay in the tubs throughout the year and only the task cards need to be stored elsewhere when not in use.

     Here is where the tubs are stored. I have two of these shelving units and they are secured back-to-back so kids can easily access them.  Each tub has a number that correlates to a work space in our classroom.
     The children use these tubs at the beginning of our day after they complete their morning jobs.  In the first round, they are allowed to free explore the manipulatives. Currently, they are working with the number 1-10 tubs. They may work in these tubs for several rounds until I begin to slowly introduce the tasks for the next unit, which is geometry.  Here are some pictures of my students working with the number tubs.

Snap Cube Staircases from First Grade Blue Skies

Birthday Cake Counting Mats from Twinkl

Pattern Block Numbers from Making Learning Fun

Magnetic Chip Numbers from Tot School

Magnet Board Staircases

Play dough Numbers/Sets from Homeschool Creations

Ipads - Line 'em Up App from Classroom Focused Software

Truck Counting Mats from The Measured Mom 

Geoboard Numbers from Making Learning Fun

Pattern/Design Numbers

Treasure Box Numbers from Confessions of a Homeschooler

     The kids really enjoy working at these tubs and it gives me a few minutes at the beginning of the day to pull students for assessments or interventions.

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Five and Some More

Saturday, 7 November 2015

     What I love about teaching is that there are always opportunities for learning something new.  In our math program, numbers 6-10 are taught as 6 is 5 and 1 more, 7 is 5 and 2 more, and so on up to 10.  For me, this was a new way of teaching these numbers and I could easily see the benefits in working with this base of 5 to teach subitizing, counting on, and addition. Here are some of the tools I used to teach the numbers 6-10 as 5 and some more.

 felt board pieces in a ten-frame configuration

 counting hands and trees with a color change after five

 counting hand math mats

 counting paths using manipulatives and white boards


 counting book

How have you worked with “five and some more?”

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Halloween Happenings

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Here's what we did for Halloween this year. I added some Halloween-themed materials to a few of our centers for the children to enjoy during our party.

                   Spider Exploration in the Science Center  

                     Making Faces in the Play dough Center 

        Haunted House Building in the Construction Center

Pumpkin Painting in the Art Center

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