Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fact and Fun Fridays

I have really taken a liking to math in the past year or so.  I was NOT good at math once I hit about 5th grade.  That's why I teach 1st.  ;)  Just kidding...kind of...

Every year I kind of change how I do math in my classroom.  As with everything else, so much to do, so little time!  I loved the idea of math centers and games and all of that fun stuff, but I just couldn't fit it in on a normal day.  We use Everyday Math in our district, so if you're familiar with it, you know that there's a lot, and there's not.  I have mixed feelings about EM...but that's a story for another day.  ;)

I don't like to introduce anything new on Friday.  At that point, our brains are fried and the last thing any of them can do is sit still and learn something brand new when they know the weekend starts in a matter of hours.  Plus, I assess like CRAZY on Fridays, so I need time to pull kids individually.  It's a nice little break to have a good time practicing skills in a laid-back sort of way.  :)

The idea of "Fact and Fun Friday" came into my head this summer.  I purchased Gumball Math to help my firsties with learning their math facts.  SO. PUMPED. about this program.  My kiddos already love it.  It's sooooo much more age-appropriate for them.  You should absolutely check it out.  So we do our fact practice the first part of our math block.  It doesn't take long at all.  We do a quick recap on adding and subtracting, might do some Around the World or quick fact practice together, then they take a 3-minute test to try and complete 50 problems.  That whole ordeal only takes about 5-10 minutes.

Then the kids pair up to do centers!  I have started creating my own monthly math centers that are Common Core based.  I pull the standards, come up with a quick game/activity, print, laminate, and put them in labeled drawers.  I put velcro on the back of my labels, that way I can easily change them out each month.

The first Friday we spend time going over how to play each game or what to do for each activity.  I made assessment sheets for each one to hold them accountable.  They turn them in when they're done and I do a quick check to see how they did.

Let's just say they LOVED IT.  They were really into it and had a blast.  I can't wait for Fun and Fact Friday this coming week!

If you're interested in my monthly math centers, check out my TpT store.  They are based on Kindergarten and First Grade standards, but I know that it would've worked great in my 2nd grade classroom last year, especially if you have a lower 2nd grade math class.  The September Centers are up and for sale!  I'm getting ready to start the October math centers tonight, so they should be up in the next week or so.

September Math Centers
Here are the kiddos picking out their centers.  I pull sticks to determine the order of how they get to pick.

I have GOT to start remembering my camera!  The iPhone is nice, but the quality of pics just isn't great...oh well..c'est la vie...

Off to paint our laundry room!  Enjoy the weekend, friends!  :)


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