Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA) Sequence of Instruction in Math

Phew. Long title.
This sequence of teaching is so simple, yet so important! You have probably seen it before or heard it by a different name, but I am really trying to make sure my kids get tons of practice in each level.

Students are using actual objects and manipulatives when working on math.
example: When adding, the students use bear counters to sort into groups, count and add.
Students use pictures, and representations when working on math.
example: When adding, students use ten frames to add 2 numbers together.
Students now use symbols and numbers when working on math.
example: When adding, students roll 2 cubes with numbers on them and add together.

Also, its important not to always do the sequences separate of each other. Students need to see how they connect to each other.
Often when students lack a deep understanding in math, it is because they moved too quickly to the Abstract and didn’t spend enough time in the Concrete and Representational parts. If students are struggling with solving number sentences, you need to take them back to using concrete materials and pictures!

Here are some activities my kids have been working on to help us move through the CRA sequence.

Students during my guided math group, were working on subtracting and connecting it with one less. We use counters on our ten frames to show us taking away 1, and then wrote a number sentence to match. (Concrete and Abstract)


During Math by Myself, students rolled a die, added bears to a ten frame tray, drew a picture on a ten frame to match and wrote a number sentence. (Concrete-Representational-Abstract)


Students picked a card, drew the number on the ten frame, added one more and then wrote a number sentence. (Representational-Abstract)


Think of the math activities your kids are working on. How many of those allow the students to have multiple opportunities in the concrete and representational phase before you move them to abstract?
Head on over to the Math Coaches Corner for more amazing ideas around CRA. She is where I get a TON of ideas from!

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Organization with class numbers

I`ve started organizing many things in my class for the students based on numbers. Each kid has a class number that helps them locate their materials. It has cut down on having to re-label things every year with a new group of kids. It also helped in getting new kids in the middle of the year! I recently had a student move and I am getting a new one on Monday! Easy peasy! They just took over that kids number and I already have his math bag, book bin and daily 5 board labelled and ready to go because of it!

There are still some things I keep names on for the students . (coat hooks, hometime folders, etc) But this helped a ton with getting ready in September! I could label everything early! I also didn`t even have to re-print new numbers for some things!

Here is what I label with numbers:

Book Bins

I labelled these last year and my kids took such great care of them we re-used almost all this year!
Kids find their number when going out to daily 5. The duotangs in the book bins also have their number on them.
Math Bags

Kids find their bag and take it with them to Math daily 5.


I also labelled as many things in the bag as I could with their number. If something gets left on the ground….you know which bag it belongs too!


Question of the Day Magnets

Kids answer the question of the day in the morning by putting up their magnet on the ten frame.


Daily 5 Choice Board

I used to have names here last year and every time a new kid came I had to re-print on coloured paper, laminate, and move everyone’s names in alphabetical order.


How do you organize and label things?

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wednesday in Pictures

Here is what we have been up to!


We have been loving our new iPad document camera and have been using it for everything! Reading books, showing math games, showing small manipulatives and materials, drawing and writing!


We started a new classroom job this year called Blogger of the Week. The kids get to help post pictures and thoughts about our learning from the week on our class weebly. They then take home a note reminding moms and dads to check it out!


In Theme, we have been learning about daily and seasonal changes. We are using anchor charts to help us remember the important info about each season.


Collaborative Line Leaf Art

I love chalk pastel! These turned out great! After exploring with different kinds of lines on our whiteboards, kids went out with a partner and collaborated together on a leaf using different kinds of lines and colours.


Happy Wednesday!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Digital Learning Journals with Seesaw

Grade 1 has been so busy!

We just finished Tri-Conferences this week with parents.

This year my kids created digital learning journals through Seesaw.

This app is amazing. It is kid friendly, free, and can be used in any grade.
The teacher creates their class with each child getting their own special learning journal.


Students have a QR code login, which takes them directly to their journal.


Students can add documents through photos, videos, links, drawings and more!


For Example:

When adding a photo, you can record your voice over it, annotate and draw right on it or add text! What a fantastic way for students to share their learning and make reflections on their work!

{At the bottom of the picture… you can see choices to record, draw or add text!}

Another great feature is all the apps that connect with Seesaw. There are TONS! My kids created books in book creator and it uploaded right to Seesaw! We re-told stories in educreations and it linked right up!

Here is a link to the Seesaw site that shares all the connecting apps!
Compatible Apps with Seesaw

So many great apps you are already using connect with Seesaw to help students share their learning!

In my teacher account, I can see everyones journal, approve or not approve items added, and manage the whole class! I can also see when parents and students comment on journals!


There is even a parent app! At Tri-Conferences, after kids had shared their learning journal, I gave parents instructions on how they can sign up for their childs journal. Every time we add something new in the journal at school, parents will get a notification and be able to see and share their journal with their child!
Again… Seesaw made it super simple and made the handout for me!


Here was the set-up at Tri-Conferences to share with our parents!


Go check out Seesaw and try it for yourself!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Classroom Pictures 2015

This past week was our first days back. Wednesday was Meet the Teacher Conferences, Thursday I had 1/2 my kids, Friday I had the other half and then Monday will be my first day with everyone!
Click on the “My Classroom” Tab to see my classroom for the 2015-2016 year.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Make your own letter stamps!

Letter stamps are a great way for students to work on building, creating and spelling words. I use them as a choice during word work in Daily 5.

However, they can be quite expensive at the teachers store. I recently found some materials at the dollar store to make 3 full letter sets for under $5!

I bought 3 sets of foam letters from the dollar store. They had capitals and lowercase but I chose just the lowercase sets. I popped them all out of their molds.


I then needed a way to attach a handle of sorts to the back for kids to hold when stamping. I had a leftover foam mat from a set I had bought so I thought I would use that!


I just eyeballed it and cut out rectangles with my exacto knife.


Then I set out to hot glue the letters onto the rectangles! Make sure to glue them the correct way for stamping!


This is 1 finished set. I made 3 sets of each letter so 3 kids could be using the stamps at the same time.


I might also use a paint pen or something to write the letter on the back of the rectangle so kids know which way to hold the stamp when stamping.

Here they are in use with an ink pad!


Try it out for a cheap word work idea!

I have also added my Daily 5 anchor charts to TPT if you want to check them out!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Hands On Math Activities

I wanted to share some of the activities my kids were picking from during Math Daily 3 near the end of the year.

Math with Someone:  Take Ten

Students work on finding pairs that make 10 and removing them from the game board.
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Math Writing: Cross Number Puzzles

These crossword number puzzles are awesome! They are sequential and get harder and harder. They were designed by a Canadian Educator and fit the curriculum for my kids perfectly. After doing a few together, my kids can independently read and solve most questions. They have puzzles designed for K-4. You can find more about them {HERE}

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Math with Someone: Space Race

Another friends of 10 activity, students turn over a card and put their counter on the number that goes with it to make 10. So if you turn over a 10, you put your counter on a 0 because 10 + 0 = 10.

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Math by Myself: Bear Toss

Students toss their bears on the plate and remove the bears that land face down. They then work on writing a  subtraction number sentence to match.

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Math by Myself: Number Puzzle

This activity works on matching up a ten frame picture to a number sentence to the answer.


Extra Math: Don`t Capture the Tens!

If students are done their Math Writing before the round is up, they can take out their deck of cards and play some independent games.


I am always looking for new math activity ideas with minimal prep and paper!

Monday, 27 July 2015

Cleaning up the blog

Hello everyone!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! This is the FIRST teaching thing I have done all summer !

I am doing some cleaning up, deleting, editing on the blog and in my shops. I am going to be deleting a lot of my past freebies and try to set up everything in 1 place. So you will notice a few changes here and maybe some old deleted posts. I will be updating some of my freebies to TPT and am going to be deleting my Teachers Notebook shop.

I have decided that I will no longer offer paid products and only post freebies that I make for my own class. While I love making things for my own kiddos, I am always torn between the “shop” side of it and making things just to sell stuff. I have scaled back a lot of my teacher time outside school and I want to make sure that I am spending time between things I want to do as well as teaching. So with that being said, my TPT store will only house things I make for my own class. And they will be free. I rarely find things on TPT made by other people that truly fit my kids needs. Maybe it’s my style of teaching, but I don’t use worksheets or centres or cutesy decor or craftivities. So instead of trying to keep with with the joneses on TPT, I am just going to continue to use my blog to share what I am doing with my kids in my class. I hope you can get some ideas from it to go make your own stuff to fit your kids! If there are printables, games, etc, then I will be posting them to TPT for free or you can email me for them!

You can head to my shop to see what things I have posted for free. I will be continuing to add freebies from my blog to the site over the summer.

Hope to post more as I start to get things ready again for back to school!

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Simple Skip Counting Activities

My kids have been working on solidifying their skip counting patterns for grade 1.
In grade 1, we need to know how to skip count by 5’s and 10’s to 100 and by 2’s to 30.

A simple activity we did, had kids sorting by groups of 2 using beans. Their job was to sort by 2 and use sticky notes to label!

We first sat as a group at the smartboard and sorted our beans under the ipad makeshift document camera. I had students come up to add more beans and we recorded the next step in the pattern. 

Our makeshift document camera works great when you have something small to show! They could see each new bean being added and see how we skipped 1 number and then counted the next.


Document camera = ipad on camera mode, hooked up to the projector, resting on 2 lamps in our classroom while we work underneath! It works!

Students were then sent out with some beans, sticky notes, a marker, and a partner!

Their job was to work together to sort and label!


Students were then tasked with showing their numbers with beansticks and beans. They worked in Book Creator to create a skip counting book for conferences.

This was a great activity to see if students new how and when to trade in their single beans (ones) for a beanstick (ten). They had to take photos of each new number in the pattern as they kept adding on.

They could choose to make their book showing skip counting by 5 or 2!


easy Peasy!

Some beans and sticky notes makes a great formative assessment!

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