Happy belated Thanksgiving! It's been awhile since I have linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday Linky so I thought today would be a great day! (Please ignore the fact that it is actually Saturday...this whole having a few days off thing makes me lose track of time!).
Last week was full of Thanksgiving projects in the classroom and turkey fun. Students brought in their family Disguise a Turkey projects. Many of them turned out super cute! I am hoping to do a gingerbread themed one in a week or two- I love having my kiddos let their creativity and imaginations run wild.
We did a lot of math stations with a Thanksgiving theme also. I created a simple folder (folded construction paper) for them to keep track of all of their recording sheets and it seemed to work well for center management. I don't usually do a lot of worksheets, but having everything in one place held the kids accountable and they could see which centers they haven't done yet.
Our favorite activity was our Decomposing Turkey. I quickly freehand sketched out some parts and copied onto colored paper (read- I was not prepared and felt like a slacker for not having an adorable Thanksgiving craft). Each student wrote all of the ways to compose their assigned number on each feather. Add some google eyes and voila, a meaningful and engaging math craft :)

So I shared some Thanksgiving wins above...here is my Thanksgiving fail! I was super proud of myself for single handedly creating a glorious Thanksgiving feast. It didn't matter that the biscuit can wouldn't open...I couldn't get the top off of my wine...that I ran out of butter (who does that!)....or that the sugar bag spilled a little too much into my homemade applesauce (scooped some out and called it a day). I resolved everything, made up a plate for myself, and realized all that was left was my stuffing. I am for sure a Stove Top kind of girl. I threw it in the microwave and went on my merry way. Until I smelled something funny. Nope, nothing in the oven was burning. Hmm...back to decorating while I waited. Then I noticed a strange yellow tint forming on the top of my microwave. I opened it naturally and was greeted with a face full of SMOKE! Yup...my one ingredient recipe (just add water) was MISSING the water!! So, my house filled with smoke, my eyes watered...I gagged...it wasn't pretty! I tossed my burning (flamed!) stuffing outside. Two days later and I still haven't been able to close my windows because it smells so bad. OOPS!
Sidenote- my smoke alarms go off when I preheat the oven, make a slice of toast, or blow out a candle. They apparently do not go off however when I practically light my microwave on fire and fill my house with smoke. Lesson learned. 
Yesterday was spent Black Friday shopping from the comfort of my pajamas and safety of my bed. I got some great deals and am almost done with my Christmas shopping. Wahoo! I also added more ideas to my wishlist after linking up with the Primary Pack's Black Friday Wishlist Linky. Check it out for great ideas for yourself and your classroom. I also shared what my most wish listed items are and why they might be great for your classroom.
What goes better with adding to a wishlist than a sale?? Have you heard the news? Teachers Pay Teachers is having a huge Cyber Smile sale on Monday and Tuesday this week. Get ready to make your list and check it twice. I know that I will be stocking up on some bundles and fun ways to get through the next few months with rigor and meaning!
Lastly, I have been busy creating the last few weeks. I just added my Long Vowels Highlight and Record product to my bundle (and individually). I can not tell you how great it feels to have completed this one! It is filled with over 100 pages of long vowel practice, both at the sentence and story level. CVCe, vowel teams, and other long vowel patterns are included for students to identify in text, highlight (their favorite part), and record/sort based on pattern. Huge hit in my classroom and works so well for word work time.



I hope you are enjoying a few days off and can find calmness and peace in the holiday chaos that is now underway! See you soon.

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I am so thankful to be home today and enjoying time with friends, family, and good food.

I don't know about you...but I have a really hard time resisting a good sale. Which means... I do love Black Friday shopping (from the comfort of my PJs and safety of my bed)!

I was so excited when I discovered The Primary Pack's Black Friday Wishlist Linky and can not tell you how much time I have spent reading what other teachers are most interested in. I also have less trouble justifying classroom purchases than personal ones, so we'll see what which wish list wins!

Here are some of my personal wish list items:
Gray Boots- I have been searching for the perfect gray boot for years. I even tried these on in advance at the store so I would be ready to purchase online. Best part? $19.99! Yes please-these are a must!

Tieks- I have heard so many wonderful reviews of these shoes that my teacher feet would love to give them a try! Definite wish list item.

Wireless Mouse- I am in the process of creating a new home office (read: tiny desk in the corner of my tiny living room) and would love to have a new mouse to help with creating all of my lessons and products. Plus, my crampy hands could use a change too from the laptop.

Michaels Gift Card- I'll admit it. I'm a craft store addict! I can't help but love all of the decorations, card making supplies, and other goodies.

Now, on to my classroom wish list!
In addition to some more wiggle seats for my fidgety friends, I've stacked up quite the list at TPT. Here are a few items:

The teacher-author in me would love to add to some borders to my collection, especially from Graphics From the Pond. I also have a Flip Book Template from Danielle Knight that I think would be fun to create with on my list.

As a first grade teacher I would love Primarily Speaking's Common Core Language Assessments. There are so many language standards to teach that it would be nice to have assessments all in one place. I have also had my eye on this Interactive Notebook (K-2) for Social Studies from First Grade Centers and More for months. Let's be honest, we don't always get as much time to teach Social Studies as other subjects so having something meaningful and engaging is a must!

Looking for ideas to add to your wish list? Here are some of the most often wish listed items from my store, as well as some seasonal favorites:

Highlight & Record Series: My Highlight & Record series is a huge hit in my classroom because it gives students an opportunity to work with word patterns at the sentence and story level...all while using a highlighter. Win win! The bundle, along with each individual item make up the majority of my most wish listed items. Also, I'll let you in on a secret- I am going to be adding additional products to the series and they will automatically be added to the bundle upon completion. The gift that keeps on giving :)

Popcorn Counting to 120: This simple math center is an easy way to practice counting skills along with reading and writing numbers. My kiddos love when I store the pieces in popcorn boxes. I strongly believe in math centers because when my kids are having fun they don't seem to even notice that they are learning!

Addition & Subtraction Year Long Bundle- Students always seem to need more practice with word problems! This bundle has seasonal themes as well as generic topics to help cover the skill throughout the year. These problems work great for centers (many task card sets have optional QR codes for self checking), homework/whole group (variety of problems, recording sheets, and open ended problems), and for differentiating (skills begin with numbers up to 10 in the beginning of the year and move to 20). The unknowns are also in all positions (sum, difference, missing addends, start unknown, etc). These word problem cards are always in my mix of math stations for my kids each month.

Gingerbread Math Centers- Last but not least, one of my favorite items in my store is my Gingerbread Math Center unit. I have a slight Gingerbread obsession (over 25 different versions of the book) and really wanted Common Core aligned math centers to use with the theme. This unit is one of the favorites in my classroom and includes 8 different games for a variety of skills. I can not wait to bust out these centers in a week or two!

Woo! That was fun. I am off to check out some other wish lists on the Primary Pack's linky and see what's happening with their HUGE giveaway. I should also probably start making my Thanksgiving feast! I hope you have a wonderful day and Happy Thanksgiving (and Black Friday shopping!).

Hi there! I am so excited to expand on last month's topic of addition and subtraction. For tons of center and lesson ideas, be sure to check out that post. I also included movement and repetition :) (PS. How is it already November???)

Once we have the basics down in first grade, we start looking at some of the more complicated aspects of the Operations and Algebraic standards. First, we need to truly understand what equal means.
We have a little chant that says:
We do a lot of practice just determining what equal and unequal means. I relate it to a balance and we want both sides of the equal sign to show the same amount. By "chopping" equations at the equal sign it helps students to see the two parts rather than learning numbers are added or subtracted and then the answer appears (ex. 8 + 1 = __ and __= 8 + 1).

We also learn that our goal is to make our equations true and how simple it can be to identify some false equations by just looking at the numbers. This is a hard concept for many of my kids to understand. However, it is something I stress. If we see 7 + 1 = 5, then right away we know it can't be true because if I was adding my sum would be larger than 7, not smaller. Here is a FREEBIE to practice true and false equations.
We also spend a lot of time solving for unknown addends, in all positions. Again, I have students "chop" the equation at the equal sign. We know that both sides of our equation need to have the same amount. This year the idea of a party came about and the kids are eating it up!
 First we look at our equation. We read it as "6 plus some number is the same amount as 9". This helps us visualize what the problem is really asking us to do.
 Next we chop it at the equal sign. This visual helps us separate our information.
Now we draw in the parts that we know. We know we have 9 total on this side. We also write it at the bottom to remind us.
My goal is to have my left side match the right...both sides need 9. We draw the 6 dots that the problem gives us so far. We ask ourselves, "If number 6 wants to go to 9's party we need to give him some help. Right now, he's not cool enough to go to a 9 party. "
We get poor little 6 some help. We start by thinking if he could invite his friend 1 to go with him. Nope. Now we only have 7 dots. Still not cool enough to go. Good bye 1! (As we say goodbye to the numbers the kids get really dramatic which makes it even more fun.)
We continue to add dots to our mystery box to see which "number friend" can help 6 be cool enough to go to 9's party. In other words, how many more do we need to add to 6 so it is equivalent to 9? A lot of times my students want to count the 6 and 9 dots together and write 15 in the mystery box. The friend analogy helps because I can point out that we can't call 3 dots by any other name than Three.
We repeat this process many times. Eventually we switch to the blank first ( __ + 6 = 9) and the sum first (9 = 6 + __). Although very similar, each type needs explicit modeling and practice. We typically do a lot of work on white boards to solve these equations.

Another way we work on this skill is by using manipulatives. We use partitioned paper plates, counters, and cards for this one game. Simply place a card in the "whole" section. You can decompose the number into two smaller parts, or you can give students one of the numbers and allow them to find the missing addend.

 If you don't have paper plates you can use plain counters. I like to read word problems and guide my students through the process. A ten's frame definitely helps.
For a seasonal twist I used ice cube trays from Dollar Tree and plastic eyeballs. Oh my goodness did the kids freak out (in a good way of course!). We could see the two sides needing to be equal. I also had them flip the eyeballs they were adding upside down so we could tell the two numbers apart. Only as a teacher do you get to say that counting eyeballs taught your kids math :)


 Sidenote- I have this Dry Erase tape on my table which is AMAZING! I can quickly write a word or number and not worry about getting a whole white board out. I bought it at Office Max but you can get it from many different stores.
 Lastly I am adding in one more FREEBIE for you today!! Continuing with the part-part-whole relationships and missing addends, this puzzle has been tons of fun for my kiddos. I hope you enjoy it too. I find that I need to sit down in small groups with this game at first, especially with my struggling students. Having conversations about which piece fits and why has been a great help!

I hope you found some new ideas for teaching Operations and Algebraic thinking in the primary grades. If you have a blog post on the topic please feel free to link up with us. Don't forget to check out all of the other great ideas and check back next month for seasonal (engaging/rigorous) activities!

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