Friday, November 28, 2014

WATCH Us Tell Time!

It's that TIME of year again!! No, I don't mean firsties are learning to tell time! 

We started off by reading some books and poems about time. One of the poems we read was an oldie but a goodie, Hickory Dickory Dock, and the kiddies got their own copy of this classic to decorate and practice filling in the missing numbers on the clock:
I can't find the original of this file. I did not create this; I tweaked it by changing the roman numerals that were once on the clock to simple numerals. You can grab my edited version HERE.

 Next we learned our way around an analogue clock:
The kiddies helped me fill in the above anchor chart as an introduction activity.

It sure didn't take my firsties long to pick up time to the hour. We use the saying "the short hand has the POWER, it tells the HOUR" to help us remember which hand does the talking first. Next, we practiced our new skill by doing some very simple SMARTboard activities:

You can download this SMARTboard FREEBIE file HERE!

Then we got to build our own simple clocks (FREE download below!):

I included the template we used to create the above activity along with additional options in this little 3-page FREEBIE below:
Click HERE to download your free copy! 
FYI: The first page is what we used to mount on construction paper. The second page gives you the option to build your clock directly on the white paper (without having to cut out the clock). And the third page gives you the option of cutting and pasting the numbers onto your clock rather than hand writing them. Yay for fine motor!).

After all the fun, it was TIME to get down to business! We practiced time to the hour by working through the first few pages of our time booklets:
Here's a closer look at what's included in our time booklets:
Click HERE to grab this pack.

Next week we'll start learning about time to the half hour. It's already so awesome watching them keep their eyes on the clock throughout our day and get SO pumped when they are able to tell the time each hour.

Have a fabulous weekend (and a very Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!!)

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sight Words & Flash Cards

Hi everyone! Did your week fly by as quickly as mine?! Sheesh! I

n all the insanity I barely had time to document our week in pictures for you so I thought I'd dedicate this short-and-sweet post to sight words! Last year I wrote a little post about how I introduce sight words to my firsties. I still use some of the same strategies as I mentioned then, but I've recently added a new element. Cue: Sight Word Booklets!
I was (and am) constantly having parents ask me how they can practice sight words with their little one at home. Flash cards have always been a go-to strategy and, although effective, they are a tad dull if you ask me! So I created these booklets as a way to get the kids more involved and interested in creating their own "home-made" flash cards. Tracing and colouring each word not only helps with recognition and spelling, but also supports proper letter formation and fine motor development.

At school, I will have students work through the booklet as extra practice as I gradually introduce new sight words each week. This week though, I just had the kids complete the Pre-Primer booklet as a Word Work centre activity (since they should already be very familiar with their pre-primer sight words, this book will be a good review for most). Their "home-made" booklets will be available all year in each child's book box (in our reading centre/classroom library) for them to read during centre time, to quiz themselves and their friends as a "fast finisher" activity, or to take home occasionally in their Reading Rocks bags.

If you think your bunch would love these cards as much as mine do, you can get a closer look at each pack by clicking the images below:
And if you will use all 3 Dolch sets (I use all 3 in grade one):

And along with our Sight Word Booklets, we also played a sight word game at the end of the's an oldie but a goodie:
haha...please ignore my attempt at drawing a hand

I wrote out all of our Dolch Pre-Primer sight words and the kids had a blast taking turns coming up to SLAP the words I was spying. 

And that about wraps up another wonderful week in grade one. Have a fabulous weekend!

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Introducing Addition

In our Number Sense math strand we just finished up a brief introduction to the concept of addition. This unit focused primarily on printing numerals and number words, and one-to-one counting, but I like to incorporate some early addition towards the end just as a precursor to a more solid unit later on. The skills we learned here will help us when we actually dive in and begin our "official" addition and subtraction math unit in December. 

To start, I have the kiddies work through my Shake and Spill pack. Without explicitly saying that this is addition, this helped us to understand that there are many ways to build a number. Plus Shake and Spill is always a hit! (To play, you put the select number of double-sided counters in a cup. Shake and spill the counters on the table to see one way of building the number. Record your findings and repeat!)
We did Shake and Spill for the number 5 all together, then the kiddies worked away on building numbers 6 through 10 in partners.
Click HERE for my differentiated Shake and Spill worksheet pack (I also have one worksheet for Shake and Spill 10 available for FREE for you to try HERE for the freebie!)

After each page, we got together on the carpet to discuss all the ways the kids found they could build the selected number. For the first few, I arranged all of the ways so that they were in order from 0 to __ (i.e. the ways to build 5 would start with "0 and 5," then "1 and 4," then "2 and 3," and so on). Soon my little smarties picked up on the pattern and we were able to come up with all the ways to build each number without using our Shake and Spill worksheets or counters:

We then talked about how we could turn phrases like "4 and 1 makes 5" into an addition fact. I drew the "+" and "=" symbols on the board and we discussed what they represent. We learned that + also means "and" and = shows that what is on one side of this symbol is the same or EQUAL to what is on the other side of the symbol (last year my firsties would often confuse "=" and "-" once I had introduced subtraction, so I use the trick that the first line in the "equal" symbol is a reminder that tells you to look at the left side of the equation and the other line tells you to look at the right side to check that both sides are the same).

We then used what we learned about the Shake and Spill patterns, and our new knowledge of addition facts and symbols, to write all of the addition facts for 5 through 10 on an anchor chart. At the beginning we used the SMARTboard pages we created (see above) to help us remember each fact, but we quickly were able to use the pattern we saw to write the rest of the facts on our own.
*FYI: You can see that I have the "inverse facts" concepts begun on this anchor chart. I was originally going to introduce this now but just decided to leave it at that and save inverse facts for when we begin our addition and subtraction unit later on. So stay tuned!*

The kids were pumped at how many addition facts they knew just from completing our Shake and Spill activity and from following the patterns we found. This anchor chart will now live on our math board and come in handy for our unit in December. 

What are some of the tips and tricks you find helpful when introducing addition? (or subtraction!)
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