Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sweet Fold & Learn Fun

Hey, Friends! How are ya? I’m stopping in to share a little peek at our weeks that led up to Christmas. While we ended up having a great time spreading Christmas cheer, it didn’t come without a struggle. One friend shared a cough and achoooo and our whole class was through! Even me! It’s no fun being sick at Christmas time!

When we’re all well, we like using fold and learn activities to make the rigor of math a little more fun! With Christmas just around the corner, we baked up a little gingerbread fun to explore number foundations. Can I share a secret with you? We’re friends, right? Wellllll, I tried my hand at interactive notebooking at the beginning of the year and guess what?! I didn’t like it! {Gasp!} I know……shhhhhhhhh….don’t tell anybody! Those notebooks have collected nothing but dust since Septemberish…

I love all of the awesome products I’ve seen for interactive notebooking…..and I tried! We tried! We REALLY tried! BUT….glueing, cutting and pasting with firsties…in a notebook...nearly drove me bananas! It just didn’t work for me. Now….what did work for my little class of mathematicians is foldables…crafts, 3D graphic organizers….so, we’re getting our interactive learning on this way!


Check out our latest interactive adventure!


I always prep the basics, the bones. Doing this, allows for us to focus on the content of what we’re learning and on following directions to prep the inserts. Here, students reflected on counting forward and backwards by increments of 1. I thought this would be a snap because the numbers are the same, but as students completed this little task…you could almost see steam coming from their ears as they really followed directions to start from the right and move backwards. Counting backwards isn’t as easy as you think…especially, when you’re 6! They absolutely LOVED the novelty of the accordian fold. Did it make ‘em a little wonky? Just a few….my crew of Dwyer Jr’s (the little teachers to-be) stepped right up to help friends that needed a little assistance.


Do you have dice in dice? If not, go get some! They’re a lot of fun and students don’t need two dice to play games…just one. To make numbers, students rolled their dice and used the number of pips on the outside for the digit in the tens place and the number of pips on top of the inside dice for the ones place. Students worked in pairs to roll a number, record it, then used comparative language to describe it as greater than, less than or equal to.


Color coding ALWAYS comes in handy when you’re working with firsties! The first thing we did as we prepared to do a little mental math, was to color code the place for each digit. The tens place was outlined in red and the ones place was outlined in yellow. By doing this, when students were given a specific number, we could check to see if it was put in the correct place according to its value. After recording our numbers, we then practiced naming numbers that were 1 less and 1 more. Easy peasy, right?

We cut the graphic organizer down the middle and placed glue under the ten less strip to glue it down. Then, we placed glue under the ten more strip and glued it down. With one quick snip, we cut each of the horizontal “tens” or red lines….followed by one quick snip to cut the horizontal “ones” or yellow lines. Under the tens digit, students recorded the number that was ten less. Under the ones digit students recorded the number that was ten more than the number named on the outside.


We did the first two numbers together and then they were off and running to practice independently to complete the rest.


We try to focus on solving story problems every Thursday. Here, each student had a single story problem to read and draw a picture to solve. If you look verrrry closely, you’ll notice that because we used a mailing envelope, under the area for the story problem is also a storage pocket. This comes in handy for friends that work at a slower pace that may need to store extra pieces or materials if we have to stop working or have to move on to something else before they’re completely ready.


On the back, we prepared for working with greater numbers. We’ll be working on these same skills when we return in the new year….to 120. Here, students cut and glued to compare numbers to 100 using the math symbols for < and >. This is a picture of the cover…front and back!

Last summer, 2 of my creative co-workers led a training on using mailing envelopes to create graphic organizers. I left so inspired and excited to try them, but knew I’d have to wait until my firsties were ready to handle them. Well, folks…..they handled creating this little gem like champs! Second semester is gonna be so much MORE fun as we bring lots of concepts to life using these interactive, fold and learn activities!

Sadly, the flu bug took a huge chunk out of my sanity during the hustle and bustle leading up to the break. Bad for me….GOOD for you! I’ve listed this little activity in my TPT store for F-R-E-E, BUT just until Friday! Sooooooo, grab it while you can to add to your files for next year. On Friday, it will be priced for sale. Check it out….there will definitely be more to come!

Thanks for stopping by! Have a sweet Christmas!

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