First Grade CORE Math

Friday, June 15, 2012

Celebration Time!!!! It is 11:37 p.m. and I have FINALLY finished the last of the First Grade CORE Math Packet! YEAH!! They have been a major project this year and a lot of work but I so appreciate all of your support and encouragement. I have had just an outpouring of positive comments and words of appreciation from other first grade teachers! To celebrate this very exciting event I am having a 20% off sale! The sale will last until Monday so stop by this weekend. 

In case you do not know about my math units, there are 16 units, 4 units per quarter. Each unit contains everything you need for 10 days of instruction. Each unit targets specific CORE standards but the units are spirally reviewed so students don't lose previously mastered concepts.

All 16 units begin with a CORE Standards page, so you know exactly which standards are being taught during the unit. Some of the standards are new and some are review from prior units.
Next, you will find a problem of the day. Students use their Math Journal to collaboratively work out the problem of the day. 

Then it's on to calendar time! Before creating these math units I HATED calendar! I found myself rushing through it because the kids were not engaged and it was monotonous. With students all having their own Calendar Companions they are engaged and learning and I LOVE IT! There are many versions of Calendar Helpers and Notebooks but I was not able to find anything specifically geared to the new CORE standards, so I created this.
Then we move into our daily mini-lesson. These lessons usually take between 10-20 minutes and are engaging and interactive. The lessons vary, they may be games to practice previously learned concepts or lessons involving the use of manipulatives or technology to keep kids excited about math.
Finally I have created a daily Guided Practice/Review Page. This is a worksheet to be copied back-to-back. The front page we do together and students complete the back independently. The back of the worksheet is always review and this helps students retention of concepts. Here is a sample of a daily worksheet. 
Each unit has a Unit Assessment, so students are assessed every 10 days. 

I have had several teachers ask me if I know anyone who creates these types of math units for kinder or second. GOOD NEWS! I am teaming with my former teammate and friend to begin working on these packets for kinder. I taught kinder for 7 years and my colleague has been teaching kinder for the past 14 years, together I think we can create something amazing! If you have colleagues that teach kinder and you think they may be interested, spread the word!

The Winners Are...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thank you for all of those who responded to the "David Learns School Rules" personalized poster giveaway! WOW!

The winners are Mrs. Gompah, Mrs. Papesh, Mrs. Christian, Mrs. Young, Mrs. Chidester, Mrs. Reynolds, Mrs. Thompson, Mrs. Rosenberg, Mrs. Norman and Mrs. Larkin! If you are a winner I have emailed you your personalized poster!

Didn't win??? THAT'S OKAY!!
  I have uploaded the poster to TPT. I put it in a PowerPoint Presentation. If you would like to personalize this poster simply download it from TPT, open the PowerPoint file. Insert a text box, type in your name and save the poster as a jpg file. From there you can put it on a jumpdrive and bring it to your nearest Staples, OfficeMax, Kinkos and have it printed. 

The poster is a 16"X20" poster! 

Again thank you to all who participated!

David Learns School Rules!

I have been asked several times about blacklines for the David's we make while learning school rules, and it's here! AND IT IS FREE!!!  Stop by my TpT store to download it! 
This packet includes the blackline masters to make David and a "First Grade Rules!" writing page, don't worry for those of you who don't teach first I included a generic "School Rules!" template as well :)
I have also created a "David Learns the School Rules" poster that is displayed with the kids David's pictures. Here is a picture of what the poster in my room looks like.
I put the jpg image on my jumpdrive and brought it to Staples and they printed my poster in color in a 16X20. I made the poster in photoshop but then imported the image into PowerPoint so I could share it with you.


I will give a personalized poster away as a FREEBIE to the first 10 people who follow my blog and TpT store. All I need is for you to leave a comment letting me know you follow me, your email address and what you would like the name on the poster to say. Good luck! 

BEE Folder

Monday, June 4, 2012

I am back! My poor blog has been so neglected the last couple months. Life has been CRAZY, particularly my life at work! We have had tons of changes are our school in the last month and I am slightly overwhelmed.  As I go through Spaulding training this summer and prepare to make some major curriculum changes next year I have decided to instead focus on what I CAN prepare for next year. 
The theme in our first grade class is bees, so my students have a B.E.E. Folder (Bring Everything Everyday). It is a white three ring binder. This is the front cover of the folder and the back contains directions. 
  Inside the left pocket is labeled with "Take Home Papers". Students put a hole-punched homework packet and newsletter in their folders each Monday and their homework packet is due on Friday. 

We also use this folder to communicate daily behavior. This a picture of what we use as our behavior chart in class. Every student begins on green for the day. If necessary they move to yellow or red. The blue flower is for students who make great choices.  

Students color their "BEE-havior Chart" each day to represent the color they earned. I sign each chart at the end of the day when students are packing up. If a child earns a yellow or red I attach an "Uh-Oh" note to the parents explaining the incident.  I require students to have a parent sign the behavior chart daily. 

I ask parents to provide a zipper pouch in the BEE folder to hold students "Buzz Bucks". If students earn a green light for the day, they earn one Buzz Buck. If a students earns a blue light they get $2. (Red or yellow earns no money) Students are responsible for keeping their money safe, I do not replace lost money. Every Friday I open treasure box and students can choose to shop for $5, $10 and $20 prizes. 
The final item in the BEE folder is each students current word list. I use the Frye high frequency word list. Each list has 50 words on it, when a student can read the entire list their parent must sign it. When it is returned to school they read the list to me and I give them $5 in Buzz Bucks (this is MAJOR motivation), and provide them with the next list. There are 20 lists total to take students through 1000 words. I find it very useful to have so many lists to challenge the higher level students. 

If you are interested in using the BEE folder in your classroom you can get it here. If you have any questions please email me at Also, if you have a different theme in your room and would like me to create materials for your theme, contact me, I may be able to help :)
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