## Wednesday, September 21, 2011

### Finding My Groove

It feels like it has taken me forever to really get into my groove this year.  It may be due to our late start and already having 2 inclement weather days (after the tornado we experienced last year, we're probably a little over cautious about weather).  I also tend to forget what the beginning of the year is like.  After spending a couple weeks on rituals and routines and modeling various math tasks, I finally got to start my math work stations yesterday, and it was WONDERFUL!  Everyone was on task and, for the most part, knew exactly what to do.  I'm not going to meet with groups for a couple of weeks during this time, so that I can walk around and work out any potential problems.

Of course the ipads were a huge hit.  I cannot believe my secret hidden stack of papers to file made it to my blog.  I hide it under my computer paper to make me at least look organized:)

One of my favorite activities is my place value scavenger hunt.  In this task students choose a card that asks them to find a number with a particular digit in a particular place (ex:  7 in the thousands place).  Then, students have to skim through the World Almanac to find any number that has that characteristic.  They absolutely love Almanacs and really have no clue that they're developing math and non fiction reading skills during this task.

I was shocked to discover that my students had the most trouble with filling out hundreds cards.  I thought it was just going to be a easy little task that I could use until I had modeled more elaborate activities-I was wrong!

In the activity, students have to fill in the missing squares on a 100s chart.  I think that it helps students develop number sense skills and mental math.  I quickly learned that many of my students really struggled with 10 more and 10 less, and some even struggled with 1 more and 1 less.  It really opened my eyes to some conceptual gaps with my students.  You can click on the picture for a few sample 100s charts, and I have added 24 charts to TpT if you're looking for a larger set of cards.

I have so many more activities that I can wait to try out.  I love having a new project to keep things fresh and exciting.

1. Ashleigh, I just love your lesson ideas! The place value hunt is brilliant. I feel a little boring math-wise sometimes...I am going to try your ideas. Thank you so much, I hope the weather stays nice and you enjoy the rest of your week!
Kristen

2. I love your blog...so I've nominated you for the "I Heart Your Blog" Award! Thank you so much for inspiring me in my teaching. Please visit my blog to accept your award.

Anita
http://mrsbremersk.blogspot.com/

3. I really like reading your blog and seeing all of the things you do in your classroom. That is why I am giving you the Versitle Blogger Award.

Nannette

4. I so gave you the same award!! Come on over and grab it up!
Julie

Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher

5. Me too! I love your blog and awarded you as well! Check it out here: http://firstgradeowls.blogspot.com/2011/09/are-you-versatile.html

Nicole

6. I've nominated you for the Versatile blogger award. Come by my blog to check it out. Thanks for all that you share.
Beth
Thinking of Teaching

7. I love the place value hunt! Do you have those cards to download?

8. Hi! I have the same question as Jen. R did about a year ago. Do you have those place value scavenger hunt cards to print? Thanks! :)