Friday, May 31, 2013

Summer Vacation in 7 days and A Freebie!

Linking up again with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching! 

This week I had to try a different approach to my teaching once again with my class.  They are VERY restless and have unbelievable amounts of energy so my goal this week was to find and/or create activities that would keep them engaged and still learning with the end of the year so close.  Here are four activities I tried with my class with great success.

1.  My students have been so interested in researching animals the last few months I decided to pull out Deanna Jump's Zoo Animal Unit .  We conducted a class vote to research two animals and the Giraffe and Zebra won!  This unit along with a great website called Pebble Go is all I used and my students are becoming pros at hunting for important information, writing details in a web, and then writing the actual research paper.  I used this opportunity to have them try this independently and then helped my struggling students with their writing.  I ended up helping 5 students and the other 18 did everything else all on their own!  I am soooooo proud!!

Deanna Jump's Blog

2.  Calendar FINISHED!!  I finally finished my new calendar all year product.  I printed it out to see what it looks like and I am ready to use it next year.  Here is a picture of my May calendar:
My computer is acting up so I am sorry for the May heading being cut off.  I made two different calendar designs for each month and added two bonus designs.  I always post all the numbers each month so my students know how many days are in each month.  To distinguish what day it is for each month they will flip over that date and see a break in the pattern.  I staged this calendar to show May 16.  Here is the preview file on my TpT Store HERE  So far this product is 162 pages.  Here is the preview file:
And the two bonus patterns: 


3.  Adding 9 bump game. Another teacher showed me a doubles Bump game a couple weeks ago.  My students absolutely LOVED the game so I created an adding 9 bump game to go with our math fact focus these last couple weeks.  I cannot believe how well my students are actually understanding the adding 9 fact strategy.  Here is an example of their thinking for the number sentence 9 + 5 = , " I know that if I take one away from the 5 and make the nine a 10 then 10 + 4=14."  I swear my students will tell you this!! 

To get your copy of this game click HERE
 I am planning on posting a large bulk of Bump games such has time, money, subtraction strategies, 3 addends, and more!!  Please follow My TpT Store HERE to find out when my newest products are posted! 

4.  Math Fact Assessment-  I was so impressed with their math thinking I finally put them to the test.  I gave my class the second grade 3 minute math facts test in both addition and subtraction.  The goal is to get 40/50 or at least 80% on both tests by the end of SECOND grade.  When I corrected the addition tests 6/23 (26%) got 80% or better and  another 5 were within 2-4 points or 1-2 problems.  Since I collect the math data for our school I compared the current second graders scores at the beginning of the school year and then again in November and my class scores were comparable with the second grade scores in November. 

The subtraction fact test was a lot lower, which always seems to be the case, but my first graders performed comparable again with the November second grader scores again.  The highest score in my class was 68%, but that is still very impressive for a first grader.  I know the second grade teachers will be pleased because we are focusing on the math strategies rather than the memorizing and forgetting method. 

With the subtraction scores so much lower even though we focused strongly on skip counting backwards, -0, -1, -2, -5, -10 on decade, and -10 off decade my student were still missing critical strategies to be successful at subtraction in testing terms.  I decided to focus on the subtraction "halves" (2 - 1, 4 - 2, 6 - 3, 8 - 4, 10 - 5, and so on up to 18 - 9).  Since the game Bump was such a big hit I created a subtraction halves bump game.  I also will focus on the subtraction tens pairs (10 - 2, 10 -3, 10 - 4, and so on) and create another Bump game for this strategy.  When introducing these strategies we gather whole group and as I write the number sentences (in order of least to greatest sum) I ask them to look for a number pattern.  I have them think, pair, share and then come up with the next number sentence in the pattern.  From there we talk further about anything else they notice and then try to make a strategy rule for this group of number sentences.  Once we come up with a strategy rule then we put it to the test to see if we are correct. 

5.  It was my youngest daughter's 2nd birthday yesterday.  I can't believe she is already 2!  She started the day with a 102 degree temp and CRABBY, but still ended the day with a cupcake and just beamed at all the attention that was being placed on her that day. 

Well that is all I have for today.  As the severe weather rolls through tonight I hope to work late trying to catch up on my to do list for the last 7 days of school!!


  1. I love the BUMP game! Happy Birthday to your daughter!
    Two Friends In First

  2. Your Bump game is awesome! I think that cupcakes make everything better!

    Lucky to Be in First

    1. Thanks for the feedback on the Bump game!


  3. It sounds like your kidlets are super motivated to work hard and push themselves - you must be doing such a great job!!

    I popped over to visit from the linky. :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! I also found your blog from the linky :)