Has anyone else gotten caught up in all of the WONDERFUL Target Dollar Spot finds lately? Oh my word. SO many good finds!
I, too, have fallen victim of a good Dollar Spot haul. Or two. Or three. Here’s a pic of ONE of my trips. It’s a disease, y’all.
There have been so many good finds, but one of my favorites is this awesome little puzzle set! I love how simple it is, yet has some good educational purposes! First off, I love a good puzzle and so do my students! I pull out puzzles especially at the beginning of the year during centers and then throughout the year during indoor recess. I love how puzzles help with fine motor skills, spatial skills, problem solving, hand eye coordination, self esteem, and so many other important skills! Above all – they are just plain fun!
This particular puzzle set has four two-sided discs that pull apart into five pieces, thus creating eight different puzzles to match. While students can match the puzzles with the background color, they can also look at the words/pictures and find the rhyming words.
I’ve been in schools before that don’t want just play time during centers (which is a whole other blog post coming your way). Administration wants proof of learning, aka documentation. One way to go about this is to have the students take a picture with an iPod of their work. I have a few donated iPods in my classroom, but we use them at another center, so this doesn’t work for me. I sometimes have my students use the manipulatives in the centers and then record their findings on a sheet to turn into a center basket. I don’t grade center work, but I do look through it and see if there are any areas I need to go back and address. I always pull out their writing and make comments or have them read their work to me before sending them home.
For this fun puzzle, I decided to whip up a little recording sheet. Once the students match all the puzzle pieces, they will choose four puzzles to record on the sheet. Nothing too fancy, nothing too hard. Just practicing writing the rhymes and handwriting.
Click this link to grab your freebie to use with your target dollar puzzles, too!
Do you use puzzles in your classroom? How do you use them?
In first grade, fact families are a big deal. We are all about playing around with numbers to see the different relationships that form.
Our favorite way to practice fact families is through centers! I started doing math centers this past fall after attending an SDE conference. I went to Reagan Tunstall’s session on guided math groups and fell in love! We don’t get to centers every day, unfortunately, but they BEG for them! Sometimes we even choose to do math centers instead of indoor recess. (My kids are crazy…crazy awesome!)
ANYWAY. Back to fact families. Here are some of our favorite centers to practice those pesky fact families!
I love Three Corner! Basically, it’s a fact family triangle. The sum or whole is always on the top in purple and the parts or addends are on the bottom in blue. We switch up covering up either the part or the whole to practice! I do this whole group as a warm up a lot of the time under my document camera. We use them in a center and the kids quiz each other. This builds great number sense!
We always use dice in our room. Here kiddos would roll two dice for the two parts, then write down the whole. Then we would write the fact family to match. This page is from Brown Bag Teacher.
In my small group, we practiced moving numbers around with playing cards. This concrete moving of the numbers really helped my lower students see how the numbers related to each other. The kiddos practiced writing the related facts as we moved them around.
This is the same idea as the triangles above, but this time its our turn to create the facts. We would roll a dice twice and write the two numbers on the bottom part of the triangle (blue). We then add then numbers together to find the sum and write it at the top (green). It’s then time to write out the fact family in the middle! I love that they are dry erase!
We LOVE the iPod center. Here are two of our favorite games. They aren’t exactly “fact family” practice, but simple addition and subtraction practice.
One fun app is Math Duel. Two students (or teams) compete to answer the question. The kiddos get really into this game!
Math Bingo is by ABCya and is super fun! You figure out the math fact, then find the answer. Once you answer correctly, you get a little bug on that space. When you reach bingo, you get to play a game with the bugs. We love it!
How do you practice fact families in your room? Any other fun tips you can share?
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.*
Do you struggle with finding activities for centers? I know I sometimes do.
I recently discovered my students’ love for a pocket chart. I was blessed my first year teaching from several of my mom’s coworkers who were retiring and gave me some of their awesome stuff. Among these goodies were some pocket charts. I didn’t really know what to do with them for a while, to be honest. I used it for several display things, but certainly not as an interactive center. A few months ago I started letting my students put numbers in order in the chart, like a 120 chart, and they loved it. I got a rhyming word work center pack of different pictures/words and figured I might as well give the old pocket chart a go – and boy did it go!
A few weeks ago I our spelling pattern for the week was extra tricky! We worked with words containing “er, ir, and ur.” Yikes! I decided that we would need extra practice outside of our normal spelling center, so I whipped up a new word work center to sort the words. Once the students sorted the words, they were to write them in the corresponding category (the spelling pattern).
I simply printed the first page on colored paper, laminated, and cut. Super simple. To save on paper, I printed page two as two to a page, but I also could have just print it as a whole page.
I am including this center as a freebie to you, just for stopping by! Thank you so much for being a part of this little blog and supporting me!
Enjoy this FREE download for your word work center! Just click on the picture above to access it! What other spelling patterns would you like to see?