Sunday, September 17, 2017

Math Sorts for 2nd Grade

Hello everyone!

As I get more acquainted with the 2nd grade standards, I am more certain that I made the right choice by moving from 1st to 2nd grade. I love how mature my students are, and how much they still love the little things.
One of my absolute favorite things to teach has definitely been math. As the year goes on, I am always looking to create activities and resources that can help me move my students forward with intention  and precision. I want to support and challenge them all  without ignoring those high order thinking skills!

Sorting  increases the thinking process because it grows in complexity and it requires my students to engage beyond simple recalling or naked operations. Also, there is a lot of construction of meaning that goes  beyond instructional communication.
I know I sound like a textbook.
Ha! I love to go beyond a worksheet.
There is no other time in which my students are more engaged than when I create an activity that involves high order thinking skills. One of my 2nd grade teammates told me that some of her students have a hard time cutting and pasting. So instead, she has them highlighting according to the categories in the sort. How clever!

These are some of the sections in this fun and engaging resource:

This geometry section has the students classifying between quadrilaterals and not quadrilaterals, shapes with parallel lines, 3D and 2D shapes and so much more. Tons of academic vocabulary and concept development here, if you ask me!

Telling time to the hour, half hour, 5 minutes. Coins and values, sums with coins and coin names. Measurement tools, the Metric and Customary systems and so much more.

Number Sense and Place Value:

This is my absolute favorite!  Students need to have the ability to understand different concepts to be able to sort and classify these activities. They need to understand their tens and ones, greater than-less than, and the equal sign. With these sorts, students will also start digging into the world of estimation! Such an important skill for third grade!!

Operations Math Sorts:
With these sorts students will have to solve in order to classify!  They will sort between even and odd sums and differences. They also add and subtract with and without regrouping.

These sorts can be used for many things:

  • Math centers
  • Exit tickets
  • Morning work
  • Small group lessons
  • Assessment
  • Enrichment for high performing first graders
  • Intervention for third graders
How to purchase these math sorts:
If you wish to purchase these math sorts, you can buy them from my TPT store. Make sure to download the preview to get a set of free sorts so that you can judge and decide!

Until next time teacher friends!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

BUILD Math Centers in the Primary Classroom

Hello there teacher friends!
The school year has started for most of us, a new group of little faces, time to build new relationships, and if your are like me... then you are striving to provide your students with a wonderful experience during this school year!

I personally have many favorite parts during our instructional day. My two favorite parts are guided reading and guided math. They are my favorite because when I meet with my small groups I KNOW that I am meeting my students needs. I KNOW that I am moving them forward with intention and precision.
What  are the other kids doing while you meet your small groups? 

Today my friends, I wan to write about math specifically.

In order to have a strong math workshop you need to take the time to establish routines prior to releasing the students on their own.
I always take the time to discuss points like:

*intentional math talk
*how do collaborative partners work
*what do I do if if am done with my work.
*and  the overall expectation of each BUILD math center.

I first learned about BUILD math centers a number of years ago when I first started teaching 1st grade. I have done them ever  since and I have never looked back.
They are that awesome!
BUILD math centers are the ultimate management system. They allow me to conduct my small guided math groups without any hassle, and they provide my students with a meaningful routine that allows them to practice, review, and work on many important math concepts and skills in a fun way.

Look at the graphic for a peek of how BUILD math centers work:

Each component of the BUILD math centers will target a different mathematical dimension:

*Operations and algebraic thinking
*Geometry and measurement
*Word problems
*Number sense

To sum it up --> for peace of mind.

That's right. After I started doing BUILD math centers in my classroom, things just went smoothly. My time is spent TEACHING and not exercising crowd control. Honestly.
The kids just simply know what to do and how to assist each other.

In a future post, I will explain how I structure my math block. But for today, you only need to know that after our math mini-lesson, I aim to meet with at least three small guided math groups a day. While I am meeting with my FLEXIBLE small groups, the kids are working on BUILD.
They have a small contract per round of BUILD. The contracts look like this:

This contract is from my March BUILD math centers for 2nd grade. With this contract, my students keep track of what they have accomplished. They work on one BUILD station a day. When they are finished, they may make a choice like:

*Completing another BUILD math center
*STEM mats

After the children leave every day, my time is consumed by looking for  math and literacy activities that will meet their needs and enhance their strengths independently.   I always tell myself:

Some of the activities that I provide are aligned to 1st grade standards for those students who need the foundation or the refresher. Some of the activities I design to challenge and extend:

If you are interested in learning more about the power of BUILD math centers you may click HERE for the 2nd grade math centers bundle or HERE for the 1st grade math centers bundle.

Next week, I will be back with more information about how I structure my math block.
Hugs and best vibes,

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Seven Great Activities for The Tale of Despereaux

Hey, hey!

Among the read alouds that I do with my students, we always enjoy and learn SO much from The Tale of Despereaux by Cate DiCamillo. We always love the bravery and cheesy lines of Despereaux being in love. Ha!

I always begin decorating the classroom the day before, right after the children leave. I never tell them about the big celebration that awaits... and that is because I love surprises. And I also love to give my students the opportunity to go beyond the book and truly experience the characters and the message of such a well crafted story.
So let me show you a bit of how I do it:

I place these quotes around the classroom. I use Dollar Tree little stands. These quotes have so much meaning, we discuss them and talk about the craft used by this author and how her words truly show a great story of compassion and forgiveness.

I also recruit my classroom parents to help me hang this bunting banner to welcome my students to "Despereaux Day."

We make this "Castle Dor" craftivity that we use to determine the lesson in the story and words that we use to describe Pincess Pea and Despereaux based on text evidence.

How about these intentional accordions  that we use to review character traits based on text evidence.  There are accordions also for Miggery Sow, The Jailer, Roscuro, and many more!

While we do the read aloud, vocabulary is a huge teaching point. Every story by Cate DiCamillo is an anchor for tier 2 vocabulary. So rich and and well written. We make these "vocabulary soup" frayer models and tape them to our door. We are known to be experts!

You know how Despereaux goes down to the dungeon in spool of thread? Well, I figured that is the perfect reason for a well thought STEM activity. With the proper guidance and support, the students build a pulley using some common household materials... they also use a shoe! They work in pairs and use a STEM mat to design, plan, try, and succeed.

And what is a celebration without treats? Well, I came up with the idea of Despereaux cups and Princess Pea-CH soup.
The Pea-CH cups are made with peach nectar, Sprite, and peach cups. The Despereaux cups are super easy to make and they are a student favorite. I always check for any food allergies ahead of time.

If you are reading The Tale of Despereaux or are planning on reading it, you may want to celebrate as well! You can find these activities in my "The Tale of Despereaux Day" pack on TPT.

Thank for stopping by teacher friends! Until next time!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

15 September Math Centers for 1st Grade

Hey, hey, hey!
So THAT was what I call a break from blogging. Ha! I chill harder than anyone I know.
I have had many request for a BUILD  math centers bundle for first grade.
I figured most of us start school in late July and/or early August, and it really takes about 2 to three weeks to establish routines and get our math workshop running. September is such a pretty month too, with all the apples and Johnny Appleseed. So it seems that September is the "right" month to get started full sail with math rotations and guided math.

So What's included??
These are the first grade math  instructional activities and Common Core standards that you can find in this September math centers pack:

1. Odd and even apple sort. --> CCS 1.NBT.A.1
2. 2-D Shape Picking --> 1.G.A.1
3. Independent work printables --> 1.OA.B.4, 1.NBT.A.1, 1.OA.D.8, 1.OA.C.6
4. “Where does the Apple Go?” Ones, tens, and hundreds. {to 121} --> 1.NBT.A.1, 1.NBT.B.2.A
5. 3 CGI type word problems Interactive notebook pages --> 1.OA.1
6. Apple Fact Families --> 1.OA.C.5, 1.OA.C.6
7. Shape sort {cut and paste} --> 1.G.A.1
8. Independent work printables--> 1.NBT.A.1, 1.OA.C.6, 1.NBT.B.3
9. Apple Number Order Task Cards --> 1.NBT.A.1
10. 3 CGI type word problems Interactive notebook pages --> 1.OA.1
11. Adding and Subtracting Scoot--> 1.OA.C.6, 1.OA.C.5
12. Shapes Scarecrow mathtivity --> 1.G.A.1
13. Independent work printables--> 1.OA.B.4, 1.NBT.B.2.A, 1.NBT.B.2, 1.NBT.B.2.B,
14. Ordering apples QR codes --> 1.NBT.A.1
15. 3 CGI type word problems Interactive notebook pages --> 1.OA.1

Come and take a closer look:

*Odd and even sorting activity:

*Fact families to 20

*Geometry cut and past sort. Students make their own rules to classify 2D shapes.

*A fun game of addition and subtraction (to 20) scoot:

* Interactive notebook pages with CGI word problems.

*QR codes:

*Place value:

These Math centers based on BUILD  are for sale in my TPT shop.
You may also be interested in the 2nd grade math centers based on BUILD.

Much love and good vibes!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Cutest, Simplest, Mother's Day Craft

I hope the end of the school year is not kicking your hiney. Lort! This time of the year is so so hectic and busy.
For many years I have had a tendency to immerse myself in my teaching... and truly not take care of my self. Please don't do that! Learn from my mistakes! Try to find a happy medium.

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking hard about what to make with my second graders for Mother's Day without breaking the bank.
How's this for a great idea??  This Mother's Day craft is PERFECT for elementary student and will not break the bank!


  • Tiles from Lowe's. I believe that each tile was 77 cents.
  • Bags of  peanut M&M's. $1.19 ea.
  • One small bottle of Modge Podge.
  • A painter's brush from Lowes.
  • Sharpie markers.
  • Cute crafting/sorting buttons
  • Twine
It took me (and my sweet DBo) a total of three days to complete the final product. Not full days though. Lol! I truly can make better use of my instructional time. It was more like an hour on each of the three days. 
Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Until next time!!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cause & Effect {Text relationships}

Hey hey!
So my sweet friend Carla from Comprehension Connection was too sweet to invite me to be a part of this fun spring linky. Since Earth Day is just around the corner, I figured I would tell you what I did this past week with my 2nd graders to keep things intentional while tackling relevant content area standards.

Whole Group

Earth Day offers the perfect content to teach text relationships, specially cause and effect. As we usually do with a reading strategy,  we begin by explaining what the strategy is, how it works, and why it is important. I opt for small, quick leveled, relevant  projectable texts that allow me to model and contextualize the strategy.

This was the informational text that we projected and learned from. I guess you can call it a mentor text. :)

Then we learned about the strategy.

Modeling and contextualizing the strategy using the text and of course... a Thinking Map!

ALWAYS, I connect our standards and reading strategies to a written response. #hellomclass

We follow these steps to answer our written responses.

These are  other mentor texts that I used this past week to celebrate Earth Day!

A Freebie!

And now let's get to the BEST part! If you would like to snatch this awesome Earth Day close reading. You may click HERE!
If you would like to take a look at my other content based close reads, you may click HERE!
And that is my secret word: recycling.

I hope you got some new ideas to take back to your own classroom! Come and read what my Reading Crew buddies wrote about  and do not forget to enter this awesome giveaway FULL of awesome mentor texts!

a Rafflecopter giveaway