Saturday, October 25, 2014

Math Games and Ideas

Number sense is such an important concept for young kids to understand.  In kindergarten, it’s all about numbers- what they are and how we use them in the world around us.  Kids in K-2 learn about counting, grouping, and comparing quantities of numbers using more and less and begin to skip count by 2’s, 5’s, and 10's.  
Here's a center to help students practice skip counting:

The children also worked on their own skip counting book to practice counting by 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's,&10's using pictures to help those who needed more support.

In second grade, place value becomes more important and students need to have a solid understanding of number sense.  My kids need to readily break numbers down into hundreds, tens, and ones  so they add them together when solving problems.  This is always a tough concept for them.

To supplement our math program in these areas, I  created Buggy Math so students can practice these concepts in a fun and engaging way. 
We started this week and the kids love the dice games. I love them because they don’t require a lot of prep time and once the students learn the games, they play them after they’ve completed their work.  

It includes anchor charts, printables, and no-prep games  to teach and reinforce the concept of place value, even and odd numbers, greater than/less than, 10 more/10 less and 1 more/1 less. There is one game that requires cards to be cut up, but that's it!

There's not enough to say about the invention of foam dice... it makes dice games so much quieter.

If you don't have foam dice... I used to have my kids roll the dice on foam sheets from AC Moore or Micheals. 

     Last week, we used our tens and ones mats with unifix cubes to reinforce the concept of place value. Then, we played a few games.  Each game comes with directions that you can put  out in a center. Here's the game called Roll A Number.  Students roll a number with a partner and circle the larger number.

    I love how my kids imitated the greater than and less than alligator !

    Next week, we are going to continue to work more on comparing numbers and place value.

    Click for a FREEBIE Hundreds Chart which is part of

    Here are some other ideas (more to be posted)

    Copying patterns with pattern blocks from a 2-D model.

    Stuart Murphy has some great books to teach math concepts.

    Product Details

      Here's a list of all his math books from his site or 

    Some of my favorite books  are:

                              Great for teaching doubles

    Great for learning about shapes
    Great for introduction into fractions

    I also have several color by number freebies available at 
    my store. Click on the FREEBIE tag on the side. Enjoy!

    Saturday, October 18, 2014


    November is a great time to teach children about being thankful and grateful for all they have.  Children create these Thankful Turkeys and, depending on their writing level, they can add more or less information on each feather.  Other ideas can include writing a thank you letter to someone in their community who helps them (police officer, firefighter,teacher, babysitter, etc.) or you can show them how you donate your time/food/clothing to those in need.

    Another all time favorite activity is Disguise A Turkey.  I have families work on the activity together and they love it. 
    It also allows the family to work together to create somethig great.  This year, I wrote an emergent reader that is a great transition into the project for the Disguise a Turkey activity.  It includes everything you need for the Thankful Turkey above, many math printables, Tickle the Turkey emergent reader, sight word cards, a parent letter, turkey patterns, awards, and more.  You can grab it here!   Also, there's a FREEBIE to grab as well!

    A fun idea is to use a popsicle stick and glue a feather to it to read the words and to tickle the turkey as well! 

    Here are some cute creations from this year:

     Another great activity is to write what you are thankful for.   A great twist on this old favorite was this great idea from Sunny in Second Grade.  The kids enjoyed it a lot!  Feel free to grab the FREE turkey peekover from my store!
    Popsicle sticks are also great to use as "Mr. Spacers."  Kids can decorate them and use them to remember spacing between words.  You could also stick a holiday sticker at the end of the popsicle stick and change it out seasonally!
    If you like the writing paper below, grab it here! There's a FREEBIE  as well!

    Here's a freebie.. Happy Turkey Day!

    For Veterans Day:

    You can create a flag with the children's handprints and cut a star shape out of a sponge to create the stars.

    Another idea is to make some cards for the Veterans. We usually send them to a local organization, but this year I found this below in the Scholastic magazine. 

    This is from the Scholastic News Lesson:

    Operation Gratitude
    This organization collects and sends letters, cards, artwork, and care packages to troops and veterans around the country. Their guidelines include:
    • Bundle letters to deployed troops separately from those to veterans, and label accordingly. 
    No envelopes are needed for individual letters.
    • Start with a salutation such as “Dear Hero.” Do not use “Sailor” or “Soldier,” as the letter might go to a member of another branch.
    • In addition to giving thanks, have students tell about themselves! (First names ONLY, please.)
    • Include your school’s contact information (address or e-mail). Troops love to write back if time allows!
    • Art projects are welcomed—but avoid glitter.
    • Put all letters/art into an envelope or a box. 

    Ship to:
    Operation Gratitude
    17330 Victory Boulevard
    Van Nuys, CA 91406

     A big thank you to  Fern Smith for her  fabulous coloring pages and to Michelle Harper for the Veterans Day Timeline Activity.  
    They go great together! 

    My students highlighted the dates as we read the history of Veterans Day. Then, we went back to the text when completing the timeline.  

     (I did add Veterans Day on top of the coloring page since we already had our name on the project)

    Huge thanks to:
    Fern Smith's Coloring Pages... so many to choose from!
     Michelle Harper's  Veterans Timeline!

    Other fun ideas: Have a sharing feast with your children where each child brings in a small amount of food and you share as a class.  Another idea is to have your own Thanksgiving Feast in your class. Sliced deli turkey works as an quick and easy substitute for the real thing.

    We created some easy Native American hats to wear during our feast.  All you do is color in a feather outline, cut them out, and glue them to a sentence strip.

     The kids drew pictures to represent words.

    Create Indian Corn:
      Give children thin strips of colored paper and have them rip it into small pieces to use as kernels and glue them onto paper. Add the husk on top and you're done! 
    This is a great activity to practice fine motor skills.