Friday, September 5, 2014

Five for Friday~Routines, Routines... & Making 10

Hi, Friends! How are ya?! Another Five for Friday has rolled around….and we’ve officially survived the first two weeks!!  Whooo hooo! Sit back and stay awhile….check out these 5 happenings from our TODAY!


Routines are taking shape! My little crew of firsties and I are getting to know one another and meeting expectations has become the name of the game!


1 of our classroom expectations is knowing how to use an appropriate voice level. Sometimes you also just need a little space for yourself to get your work completed. With the switch to {round} tables this year, there’s no space for big, rectangular privacy folders. To gain a little privacy students learned to divide their tables into 4 individual spaces by placing their book boxes on the table extending out from the supply caddy set in the middle.


After taking time to learn procedures for showing what we know….students earned their first crack at smart art! Smart art is our weekly reward activity for meeting expectations during Daily 5 throughout the week. Our story this week was about pals, so students worked in pairs and used verbs to tell things that friends or pals do! Turn & talk, reading response and art all rolled into one….=)


Having a classroom library that students are allowed to access for good-fit book choices requires organization. Last weekend, I had my [personal] kids return all of the books back to the library bins because….let’s face it….I was just too exhausted to have the class do it for themselves! This week….however…I knew that it was important to teach this routine and hovered just a bit to ensure each student neatly returned their “good-fit” books back to the correct library bin by matching the sticker or letter on the bin. They did a great job!


I posted this picture earlier today onto the FB page and it’s gotten A LOT of attention! {Thank YOU to all!} We started this lesson by viewing a quick video clip about different ways to make 10 on The title of it was The Making of 10 (Math Monsters). We discussed what the little monsters were doing to create groups of 10 as we watched and then used this little activity to review the week by showing the pattern found in creating the same number different ways.

We worked on 2 or 3 of the little rectangles together and then…..I asked the class to stand and pretended that I couldn’t remember the next combination that would come in the pattern, sent them to talk about it in small groups and to build it using their own set of cubes {for each group}. They were charged with the task of holding up cubes that would be an example of the next combination needed…FIRST….THE FASTEST….and it involved a “clip up” action for getting it done! Engagement, movement, good behavior….all in one!

A little friendly competition makes things fun and interesting too! =)

After working to create the needed combination, the class was called back to the carpet and we completed additional squares together. Students making wise choices were chosen to record the numbers for each part to be joined to create a group of 10. Oh, how wonderfully a firstie will sit in order to get their hands on one of the teacher’s FAVORITE markers!

It took a couple of times to go back and forth before completing the chart and our room was a little rowdy, BUT the kids really enjoyed the lesson and it was a great wrap up to subitizing, spatial patterns, counting in easy ways and counting in hard ways, etc… It was so much fun to watch them challenge each other!

ANNNNNd guess what?! All I did was put the chart together and facilitate the discussion…the kids did EVERYTHING else! Score! ANNNNNNND, little did they know… soon as they were off on their way home, the chart was laminated and placed in a bin for math stations next week! No excuses about not knowing what to do because… guess what?! They created it! Extended practice……deepening of understanding… we come! You can see the blank poster that was set into stations by visiting the FB page.


Before ending the day, we settled down and settled in to routines for writer’s workshop. Today, we completed the assembly of our folders and began to write across 3 pages for the first time. Because it was our first time, I simply stapled 3 blank pages together. No copies. No wasted ink. 3 blank pages of printer paper. Students used their pencils to draw a line across the page from the middle staple to divide their paper in half. Illustrations went above the line. Words/writing went below the line. We use that same routine in our morning work journals. It saves pages. =)

Reference resources are kept on the prongs that run down the middle. So far, we’ve added our heart maps and a mini-poster to practice the path of motion for forming our letters. Each student also has a personal word wall that is kept in the folder. The pocket on the left houses writings that are still a work in progress. The pocket on the right houses writing that is complete.

I searched all over and couldn’t find green and red coding dots….soooooo, instead we incorporated color coding plain white labels as part of our discussion about the use of our folders! Glad I never found them….

Well, friends…..that was our Friday. There’s been so much happening on the homefront since school started that I’d loved to share! One day that I don’t come home and collapse…we’ll play catch up! Until then, keep visiting…more fun stuff to come! Click the pic below to grab a little freebie for Making 10. Next week….beginning addition!


My favorite thing that has happened so far this year? One of my shy guys walked over and quietly asked…. “Is it ok if I put your name on my heart map?”….{heart melted}. It’s been just 9 days, but……..I think they like me!!!!!

Freebie Fridays


  1. Hey Tanya...How ya doing :) question what is your strategy for teaching appropriate voice levels??? I seem to never really to get it going...I'll model it but it never seems to stick throughout the year!

  2. Love how you separated space on your circular tables! GREAT idea!
    Rowdy in First Grade


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