Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sorting Activities Build Addition Fluency


It's almost January and sooner than we know it, both teachers and students will be back in school.  The beginning of January is often a time when skills taught in the fall are reviewed.  This is necessary because while they were away from school, they started to forget a few things.  January is also a time to get back into a routine.  That's hard for some children!  They've been sleeping in for an extra few hours every day and perhaps they are running . . . um . . .  their own "daily schedule".

I received a set of clip art from Graphics From the Pond during one of her flash freebies this past week.  We had some snow days so I used her freebie graphics to make an addition fluency builder.  I decided to make it the third of my "Home For the Holidays" freebies.  If you want the other freebies from this promotion, you'll need to scroll through the past few posts to find them.
Students cut out addition sentences on the broken lines.

This packet has addition sorts for the children to practice speed and accuracy with.  I made the activities for sums from 3 through 20 with graduated degrees of difficulty from one sheet to another.  First the children cut out the addition sentences.  Then they sort them with the appropriate sum.  They can glue the addition sentences to the appropriate groups as well. 
Students sort the facts prior to gluing.

Students can affix the addition sentences with the appropriate groups after the sort is completed.
Here's a close up.
I added a few pages (one is shown below) that could be used in place of the numerical sorts. Those pages might work with students that need additional practice with pictorial representations of the addition equations.
This student is coloring in "snowflakes" to represent an addition equation with the sum of nine.  She will use another color to represent the second addend.  This method provides her with a pictorial representation of the addition equation.
Students can use two colors to color the snowflakes to create a visual representation of the addition fact.

 Here is a brief video about the addition sorts.
As I mentioned earlier, it's hard for students to get back into the routine of school when they return in January.  They've been on holiday for two weeks and now they have to go to school for seven or more hours!  One thing that can help make it easier for them (It's easier for teachers too!) is to incorporate games into the instructional day.  With this in mind, I added two games with this packet.  The first game is called, "Let's Play Snowflake Pie".  First the students color each piece of pie a different color.  The student directions specify the colors to use.  It does not matter which piece is colored pink, blue, etc . . .   You'll want to have them color lightly so the sums printed on each piece of pie remain visible.  The teacher uses the calling cards to call out a color along with the sum.  Students that have both the color and sum called out will stand up and recite an addition sentence that is equivalent to the sum.  An example might be to say, "Blue twelve".  Students with a "Blue twelve" stand and recall an addition sentence that will work with the equation.  I intended this game to have no winners or losers.  There is no end to the game until the teacher calls time.  There are two snowflake pies so the children can practice adding with both odd and even sums - depending on which pie you choose to use in a given day. 
Each piece of "pie" must be colored by the students. A total of six colors are used. The teacher calls out colors and numbers. If the student has a piece of pie with the color and number called, he/she stands up and recites an addition fact to go with the sum. (In the picture shown above, if the teachers called out "Orange 7" the student would stand up. However, he would not stand if "Orange 5" was called since he does not have that slice of pie.) Warm up the facts for a few minutes before starting the game.

The other game is called, "Eating Snow!"  The are eight unique "snow pies".  Each player gets one of the "snow pies".  This game is ideal for small groups but could also be played with the whole class.  When playing with the whole class, some students will have duplicate sheets and there will be multiple winners.  "Eating Snow!" is a game of chance and not one of skill.  In this game, the teacher calls out an addition sentence but omits the sum.  The students look and their pie pieces to see if they have the sum.  Those that have the sum turn that piece of pie face down.  The winner or winners are the first students to "Eat Snow" - that is, they eat their whole pie before anyone else.
Students cut around the solid black line. Then they cut on the broken lines in the center.

Students turn the pie pieces face down when they have the sum to an addition problem that is called out. The first student(s) that have all their pieces turned over are the winners. The teacher checks to see that the sums covered on the pie pieces are ones that matched problems used.

Want to try this freebie?  Click the image below:

Lessons by Molly © 2013  All rights reserved.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Winter Bingo For Children

Winter Days Are Here Again!

I think winter has come two weeks too early in the northeastern United States!  Do you like having a "SNOW DAY" in December?  It's great when you have Christmas shopping to do (when the roads are not icy) or still need to put up those holiday decorations in your own home.  It's not very convenient when there is a practice for an upcoming holiday program that is cancelled when the children need the rehearsal.  I think I prefer having the snow days after the Christmas holiday when there is a need for a break from school. 

One of the science Standards of Learning for first graders in Virginia is to investigate and understand the seasonal changes in our environment.  I listed a few ideas on this topic at the end of this post.

I finished my "Wintry Bingo" games. I think I made them just in time for winter!  They'll come in handy on those days that are too cold to take the children outside for recess.  I created both a black and white version and a color edition.  The game is useful to review winter vocabulary words.  It can be used in conjunction with a winter themed unit for those living in the northeastern United States.  It could also be used to spark interest in learning more about winter at the beginning of a unit on seasons.  Here are a few pictures from the color version of my "Wintry" bingo game.

There are 25 spaces on the bingo card.  An image is positioned in the center space.  The center space is the "Free Space".  24 winter words are used.  All cards have the same, 24 winter vocabulary words.  25 unique bingo cards are included. 

Sometimes it's hard to find bingo chips in local markets.  I ordered mine through eBay.  Pennies and other small objects can be used in place of bingo chips.

The photo shown above is from the black and white version of the game.  A paint dauber is being used instead of bingo chips.  The words used with the black and white version are the same as the color version. 
I used mini erasers as bingo markers in the photo shown above.  They came in a holiday variety pack of 100 at the Dollar Tree.  I  pulled out the snowflakes and kept the holiday themed pieces for my "Santa's" bingo game.  One pack of 100 mini erasers will be enough markers for five students. 
I wanted to use a wintry mix mix of winter words to included the following categories:

1.  Clothing  Worn
2.  Tools Used
3.  Recreational Objects  
4.  Animal Behavior (in response to winter)
5.  Plant Behavior (in response to winter)
6.  Forms of Precipitation  

Winter Words Calling Cards
Cut the calling cards out (shown above), shuffle, and use when the game is in play.

Here are a few discussion ideas about winter:

1. We observe how climate effects plants and animals. - The green grass has turned brown. The leaves on the deciduous trees have fallen off. The robins are flying south (we see less of them than when we observed them in the spring). The squirrels are gathering nuts. The Monarch butterflies have migrated. The crops are harvested. There is no corn growing where the cornfields stood. There are no more fresh tomatoes growing in our gardens. 

2. We discuss sudden and gradual changes. - There is a drop in temperature from arrival at school to departure time - or the reverse. The diminishing leaves on the trees nearby take many weeks to change from green to red and then to a dormancy phase. We have less hours of daylight - it gets darker earlier. 

3. We compare one season with another. We talk about the change in our dress for school from August to December such as wearing shorts when school begins in August to wearing long pants, sweaters, and jackets in December. 

4. We talk about the changes in our own activities. We think about the sports that are played in the summer like baseball and swimming. We compare the sports that are typically indoors during the winter months like basketball and volleyball. We talk about the kinds of tools our parents use in the winter such as shovels and ice scrapers.  We compare those with the things that are used in the summer such as lawnmowers and bug spray.  We discuss the possible reasons why those things are not used during the winter months. 

The possible discussions are almost endless!

If you are interested in purchasing my "WINTRY" Bingo game, click one of the images shown below.

Lessons by Molly © 2013  All rights reserved.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Spell S-A-N-T-A with Peppermint Letters

I wish I would have had the time to post this a bit earlier than now.  Perhaps someone can still use these for a holiday program, Christmas decoration, or other activity.  This is the second freebie in my "Home For the Holidays" promotion.  To get the freebie, scroll down to the bottom of this post.  Update December 2014:  I have changed the green background pages and the cover page. 

Recently I visited a website called   It has tons of fun fonts.  I found one that looks like a candy cane or peppermint stripe.  I used it to make images with large letters that spell the word "SANTA".  I did a little funky editing with the green background achieve the look I wanted.  There are two sets of "SANTA" letters.  One set has a white background and the other set has a green background.  The set with the white background will be a tad more ink-friendly on the printer.  If time is short, the set with the green background doesn't require cutting or mounting the letters.  Below are the directions and photos of the project.

METHOD 1  White Background Letter Set:

1.  Print the five pages to spell "SANTA".

2.  Cut out the letters.

3.  Adhere one letter on one piece of green construction paper or other specialty paper.

4.  Repeat step 3 for each of the remaining letters. 

5.  Laminate if desired.

Print the desired letters. (Method 1)

Cut the letters out. (Method 1)
This is how the letters appear after they are cut out.
Mount the letters on green construction paper or on specialty paper. (Method 1)
METHOD 2  Green Background Letter Set:

1.  Print the five pages to spell "SANTA".

2.  Laminate if desired.

Now you have "S-A-N-T-A" letter cards for the children to hold during your holiday program!  It's a good idea to mark the back of the letter cards with adhesive dots.  Put one dot on each side.  This helps the child know where to position his/her thumbs when holding the cards.

These are the letters with the green background built in to the page: 
Each of the letters above prints on a full size sheet of paper.

To get this freebie click on the words, "We Can Spell Santa!".

Lessons by Molly © 2013  All rights reserved.