Thursday, November 28, 2013

Subtraction "Home For the Holidays" Freebie

Hello viewers,

I hope you had a great week at school albeit a short one.  I am home for the holidays and plan on enjoying some turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and a slice (or two) of pumpkin pie.  It's nice to have a few days off to recharge my "batteries" and get a few things done that I have been neglected recently . . . like dusting.  Yeah!  One thing I will pass on is the maddening "Black Friday" sales that are now more like a "Black Thursday" sale.

Here is a subtraction freebie I made for you and your students.  I call them "subtraction function tables".  Students subtract horizontally and vertically.  This is intended as a mental subtraction exercise to build subtraction fluency.  (There are no equals of minus signs.)

They can be laminated and a dry/erase marker can be used to write and wipe the answers and the same can be done with sheet protectors.  I prefer that the focus is on the mental math aspect of the activity so we use the numeral cards with Velcro fasteners.  This method allows the children to focus just on the math and not on numeral formation.  It's a bit more self-checking when the correct numerals are presented for the students.  Ashley Hughes made the graphics that I used for this center.  I love her artistic flair!  Visit her Teachers pay Teachers store at Ashley Hughes.
Here's a shot of the finished product.

There is a student response sheet so the center work can be documented.
Print each of the sheet and laminate.  Then add the Velcro coins.  No cutting! 
1.  Print, cut, laminate, and cut again.  2.  Put Velcro coins on the backs of each.

Here's an answer key so students can check their own work. The letters in the top left corner of each function table correspond with the card names . . . "A, B, C, D, E, and F".

Happy Holidays!
Click on the picture above to get this freebie.

Check back here again soon for more "Home For The Holidays" freebies!  The pretty frame shown above was made by Krista Walden.  Visit her TpT store at:  Krista Wallden

Lessons by Molly © 2013  All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Santa's Bingo

Are you planning a holiday event for your classroom before the winter break?  If so, this might interest you!

I've seen some teachers collaborate with each other when organizing their special holiday events.  Within a grade level, each teacher plans one craft, snack, or game.  The children rotate from one classroom to another during their party.  Each teacher is responsible for just one activity and he/she repeats the activity for each group of children within the grade level.  This is a great way to make less work for everyone involved during this busy time of the year.  It also gives the children a chance to visit other classrooms and it's fun for the kids.  Bingo games are an easy, no-mess, activity that could be used for this purpose.

I started creating bingo games a few years ago.  Students seem to enjoy them!  I begin by making a list of words and phrases related to a topic.  In this post, I have used my Santa's bingo game.  I wanted the game to be practical for a variety of school situations.  Plus, they needed to have educational value.  This caused me to narrow my choices of words a bit.  Once I generated my word list, I create the bingo games.   

The black and white option is great for immediate use.  The words could also be cut out by the children and used for word sorts after playing the game.  (See the end of this post for the word sort ideas.)  The children can color the pictures with the black and white Bingo.   Click on the image to view it at my shop.

The color version of this game could be laminated for lasting use year after year.  Click on the image below to see it at my shop.

Below are a few more pictures of the Santa's Bingo games I created.

There are 25 unique bingo cards.  Each bingo card uses the same 24 words.  The center space is the "free" space.  It has a Christmas themed graphic.
The bingo cards print on a full sheet of paper. (8 1/2 X 11)  The card shown above is from the version that requires color ink.
Students can mark words on their bingo cards with paint daubers, bingo chips, math cubes, or anything else that can fit within the squares.

Erasers were used as markers in the photo above.  You can find inexpensive seasonal mini erasers (they're a tad smaller than the ones in the photo) at the Dollar Tree!  It's a pack of 100 erasers for $1.00.  If you have 20 students, you'll need about 5 packs.

I used common nouns and proper nouns with the words in this Bingo game.  Both singular form and plural form nouns are used.  There are two adjectives (red & green).  Here are a few sorting ideas that could be used:

Singular Nouns                    Plural Nouns                     Not Nouns

tinsel                                            elves                                        green
tree                                              stockings                                  red
ornament                                     carols                 
Christmas                                    candles
December                                    gifts
Santa                                            toys
sleigh                                            bells
holiday                                          lights
North Pole
candy cane

For the sort shown above:  "North Pole" and "candy cane" are paired words on the Bingo game.  These could be crossed out and not included in the sort.  To simplify further, the adjectives could be thrown out.

Common Nouns                      Proper Nouns                  

tinsel                                                Christmas
holiday                                             Santa
sleigh                                                December
lights                                                 North Pole
candy cane

For the sort shown above:  The adjectives were thrown out.

1 Syllable                    2 Syllables                    3 Syllables

sleigh                                Christmas                         holiday
red                                     tinsel                                 ornament
tree                                    carols                                December
elves                                  Santa
green                                 garland
bells                                   reindeer
wreath                              candles
star                                    stockings

For the sort shown above: The adjectives were thrown out as well as the paired words "candy cane" and "North Pole".

Lessons by Molly © 2013  All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Teaching Measuring Weight with Non-Standard Units

Last week was super busy!  I don't know if Halloween and "trick or treating" that has me tired or if it's just the time change along with the fluctuation in temperature. 

At the first grade level in Virginia, we use non-standard units with the measurement strand of the state standards for measuring length,weight, and volume..  While the balance scales are great for weighing small items, they're not useful for big things such as pumpkins.  This year I wanted to see if I could create something to measure a large object such as a pumpkin.

I used a shelving board for my beam and put a patio block below it. I took a large bag of rice and divided the rice into equal portions in plastic bags. I had six bags of rice in all.  The rice became my non-standard units for measuring the weight of the pumpkin.  I put the pumpkin on one end of the beam and one bag of rice on the other end. The pumpkin's weight was more than one bag of rice which caused the beam to tip to the left as seen in the first picture. Then I put a second bag of rice on with the first bag of rice. This seemed to cause balance as seen in the second picture.  
The pumpkin's weight was more than one bag of rice.
The pumpkin appeared to weigh two bags of rice.  This was not exactly correct!

Finally, I added the other four bags of rice on to see if the weight would cause the beam to tip over again. It did not tip.  I determined my teacher-made seesaw was an inaccurate measuring tool. Nonetheless, it did tell us that the pumpkin was heavier than one bag of rice! Perhaps I should have used smaller units of rice per bag to cause more measuring to take place.  I was wishing for one of those old playground seesaws to test this out more but we don't have them in my location. 

Some children have exercised with "teeter toys".  When using a "teeter toy", you place one foot on each side and then shift your weight from the left foot to the right foot to cause the "teeter" to rock.  While a bit abstract, perhaps a few children could make the connection between the similarities of how the balance worked and that of a teeter toy.

I would love to hear your ideas about how to create a simple device that could weigh large objects with non-standard units.  It can't be too technical or require a lot of carpentry skills though.  Please share!

Lessons by Molly © 2013  All rights reserved.