Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Base 10! Finding Hidden Partners

We have been busy, busy with base 10!  For any number 1-9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number.  (Sound familiar?  CCSS K.OA.4)  We have needed a good deal of practice on this skill so I have tried to incorporate activities that are a little more fun.

Here is a snapshot of 2 of my kiddos playing "Hidden Partners."  One person breaks their stick of 10 in half and hides one part behind his/her back.  The other student looks at the given part and tries to guess the hidden part so that they equal 10 when put together.  I have really encouraged "Math Talk" with this because I want to hear my students verbalizing their part-part-whole as well as the number sentence.  This helps us with addition too! :)
{Click to play a 10 second video clip.}
A video posted by Mary Lirette (@marylirette) on

"Rainbow Bonds" have also been a huge hit with our morning work drawers this month.  The station activity is part of my Clovers, Rainbows and Leprechauns! Oh My! ELA and Math pack.

Here are some great websites for free practice on the computer:
Combine balls to make 10
Enter the number that is empty to build 10
Find number pairs that equal 10 (must be touching!)
I hope these ideas help you with base 10 practice in your classroom! :)

Monday, March 28, 2016

A Glipse into Our Class Seesaw! {FREE APP!}

Have you heard of Seesaw?  It is amazing and FREE!  It has taken "student-led learning" to a new level in my classroom this year.  My kiddos are encouraged to grab one of our class iPads and document their learning (or a friend's learning!) throughout the day.  This has really pushed my students to use their words to explain and describe their learning process.  We still have a ways to go but they have made tremendous progress!
Here is a video one of my students made about his morning work station activity:
I love it when my learners decide to document another student's work like in the video below:
(She's working on creating real and nonsense words from my Clovers, Rainbows & Leprechauns! Oh My! EL and Math pack!)

As you know it's nearly impossible to see everyone's work as it is happening.  That's another reason why I love this app! I can sit on my couch in the evening and look through the day's feed to see the end products of some of those activities I missed earlier in the day.  I just ask my students to snap a pic for me on Seesaw and then I can look over it at my convenience.  I do this often with fluency practice!  Kids record their voices reading and I can listen to it later.  Here's an example of CVC word building that one of my girls did last week.

It takes only a few minutes to set up your class on the app.  You can choose to approve items before they are published which I recommend!  You invite parents to sign up for their child's account as well and they can receive notifications when their child has posted a new picture, video, audio file, etc.  A fantastic way to improve your parent communication! I LOVE having a digital portfolio for each student!  There is so much to explore with this app and it is easy to get started.  You can visit the Seesaw website {here} for more information and to get started.  I can't wait to use this in new ways in my room and share it with you soon! :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Hippity Hoppity Spring! {3 FREEBIES!}

Spring has sprung!  I'm out on Spring Break this week so I am saving a few of my favorite activities for when we return next week.  Even though Easter will have already happened, I will still be focusing next week on oviparous animals.  There will be several bunny-themed stations as well! :)

Have you ever had a class egg hunt?  They are loads of fun!  Because we are on break leading up to Easter, I plan to do this on a much smaller scale this year.  That's one thing I love about a class egg hunt- you can modify it easily!
 Here is what I have done in the past:

I usually ask each of my students to bring in 1 dozen plastic eggs.  I like them pre-filled and taped shut (less work for me!).  I encourage my kiddos to fill the eggs with small, cheap trinkets, coins, etc.  It does not necessarily have to be candy! As I receive the eggs from each student I number them and collect them in a big bucket.  Number them?  Yes I do!  At this point in the year we are learning to skip count by 2's.  So...I usually number everyone's eggs, skip counting from 0-20.  This only uses 11 eggs so I set aside the 12th egg in case I have students who do not bring any in.  Everyone's extras will give me at least one complete extra set.  I number the eggs myself so that they are all legible and written correctly.  It is important to note that all of these eggs are combined together so the likelihood of a child finding any/all of those 12 eggs that they originally brought in is slim.  Everyone will get 11 eggs...just a mod-podge of eggs from different classmates.  You could differentiate this activity by asking some students to find the odd numbered eggs.  This also works well if you have kids with allergies and you want to make sure you are in control of which eggs they are finding!

Once all of the eggs have been collecting and numbered, we get 5th grade student ambassadors to "hide" them in our field by the playground.  Then armed with their clipboard (optional), pencil, basket or bucket from home and their checklist (download below) we set out to find those eggs!

Here's my favorite part.  This is not your typical mad dash for eggs!  Everyone is specifically looking for one of each number to add to their basket and check off on their handout.  That means this event does not end up being a mad grab and dash like some traditional egg hunts.  Actually, I'm always quite amazed at how hard the kids concentrate to find their eggs!  Once they have checked off each of their numbers, I ask my students to find a spot to sit down and put those eggs in number order.  More math! :)  Here is a video from last year:
A video posted by Mary Lirette (@marylirette) on
This turns out to be a big hit each year!  I'm happy because I'm able to incorporate academics into a seasonal activity and the kids are happy because they have a blast!

Download the checklists for FREE by clicking {here} or the image below.

We will be working on these stations throughout the week as well!

You can grab all 7 of these stations {here}.  Make sure to download this activity for FREE by clicking the picture below or {here}.  I hope you like it!, we will be incorporating this month's Roll and Cover games to go along with the Old Lady book series!  Download all 3 versions of the game {here}: rolling 1 die, finding the sum of 2 dice, finding the sum of 3 dice.  My kiddos love playing these games independently or with a partner.  We usually use two-sided counters for partner play.  However, it's Spring so my kiddos will have the option of using adorable seasonal erasers from Target's Dollar Spot.  Love those little chicks, bunnies and carrots!
 If you are looking for the book make sure and visit the link below:

I have Roll and Cover games for most all of the books in this series.  Make sure and check out the "Free Roll and Cover Game" section of my Tpt store!

Hoppy Spring! :)