Math Lit: The Doorbell Rang

The Doorbell Rang
Pat Hutchins

I've blogged about this one before, but it's such a great book I'm doing a repeat! The Doorbell Rang is an awesome book to introduce the concept of equal shares. I use it every year when we are in our multiplication unit and looking forward to division. Actually, I used to use it when I taught Kindergarten, too. Equal shares is something students understand and relate to their own lives.

I like to have students act out the story as we read it, so I bring in some cookies for us to divide (and extras so that at the end everyone can get one). Those cookies really get the students engaged :)

There are quite a few characters in the story, so the majority of the class can be actively involved. I pass out cards with pictures and names for each character, and they join in when their character is introduced. I created a whole packet to go along with the story awhile back, and last year's group really enjoyed using it. It's still a freebie, so feel free to click below and download it.

You can pick up the book at Amazon for a reasonable price (it makes a great "reach free shipping" item!).



Number Bonds

On the first day of school I had a little addition assessment for my incoming 3rd graders. You know, basic facts that they supposedly mastered in 2nd grade :)

Only 1 out of 34 students had a clue. Sigh. This happens every year.

This summer I had already been thinking about this, and wanted to be proactive. One of the things I did was create a set of number bond cards for making tens. Every year I find that quite a few of the students have difficulty with these facts.

Now that we are into the second week of school we are beginning to put the pieces together in math; math rotations are beginning! I'm looking forward to using these first of all with my groups at teacher table. They will give me a quick view of who struggles with these. I have plans for more sets, but for now I want to see who really understands composing and decomposing the number 10.

I'm sharing my set of cards with you; perhaps like me you will have students who struggle with these facts. While I love my light green background, I realize that color printing is not an option for everyone. I made the set in both color and black and white. Please click the picture to download your own number bond cards; let me know how they work for you!

Picture of Free Teacher Downloads at Teaching Blog Addict

Math Lit: Betcha!

Now that we are back to school, I've tried to plan out some blog posts. I decided to try to do a series of Math Lit posts on Thursdays for awhile. I hope you will check in on this weekly. While I'm not currently planning a Linky, feel free to put links in the comments to your own math lit ideas!

BETCHA! is a book about estimation. In the story, two friends are on their way to enter a contest involving estimating the number of jellybeans in a jar. Along the way there are many opportunities to determine the number of things they see. One of the friends does it by counting by ones, the other has strategies for estimating.

In my class, estimating comes up in our first week of math lessons. This book is how I am introducing the concept and activating prior knowledge. I developed a little activity to go with the book and have it available for my readers. If you need a copy of this book by Stuart Murphy, you can get it through Amazon.

Click the picture below to download the BETCHA! activity.


First Day of School

Our first day is in the books! Sixteen students (one didn't make it today), one teacher, and I'm pretty sure we all went home very tired. I was hoping my 18th student would have enrolled by today, but I don't doubt he or she will be here soon.

Here's what our schedule looks like:
  • 9:00 - 9:45      Science
  • 9:50 - 10:40    Block
  • 10:45 - 12:15  Math
  • 12:20 - 12:50  Lunch
  • 12:55 - 2:15    Math
  • 2:15 - 3:00      Science
  • 3:00 - 3:30      Enrichment
Today, of course, a lot of our day was spent on rules and routines. I created a Smart Notebook file with lots of pictures to help us out with this part of our day. I included getting started with Whole Brain Teaching routines (they loved Class? Yes!).

My teaching partner and I decided to keep our homeroom classes with us through the morning (we normally switch and then have our homerooms in the afternoon). That way we could spend that time before block getting our supplies organized. I used every bit of my 45 minutes and still wasn't done!

I have a class of great kids; definitely a few talkers, and a couple had trouble with following directions, but it's going to be a great year. My partner's class was a little quieter; I had 17 of her 18 there today. The little girl who wasn't there was also not at Open House last Friday, so maybe she won't be coming. My students ALL came for Open House. I believe that is the first time I had 100% attendance!

Had to do a mini math lesson (hard to fit it in, we were so busy all day). Part of it was giving them two minutes to complete a little addition table. They couldn't do it! In fact, they were far worse at it then I expected. Makes for a great baseline for them, as I'll be asking them to compete again in about a week. It segued into talking about number patterns; when they looked at the addition table and found the patterns many of them wanted to take the little assessment again! They were sure they could improve a lot :) They will have their chance next week.

Tuesday we have to start operating on our regular routine; hopefully we got enough of our foundation in today to make that work well.

I know some of you started back today also; looking forward to reading about it!


Back To School Sale

Yes, of course I'm joining in on the big back to school sale at TPT! Everything in my store will be 20% off, plus you can use the code BTS13 when checking out. That gives you 28% off!

This is a great time to purchase your wish list, or some of those pricier items that caught your eye:

ELA Sub Pack for August and September     Mega Sub Pack for August and September    A Bouquet of Fractions

El Gato's Hats   Black Friday Shopping: Adding Money   Math and Money

Science and Social Studies Sub Plans for August and September   Math Sub Plans for August and September   Multiplication Go Game Mega Pack

Elapsed Time: ET Goes Home   We Love Candy Bar Fractions!

Happy Back to School Shopping!

My First Five for Friday

My first time to link up with Doodle Bug Teaching!



One thing I've learned over the years is that I am way too tired the first couple weeks of school to think about what is going in my lunch bag. Now I stock up a bunch of stuff in my freezer ahead of time. Don't laugh at my Uncrustables! Last year when I broke my arm right before school started they were the one thing I could handle by myself!

How I love my Classroom Friendly pencil sharpeners! I had just one last year, so at the end of the year I ordered a bundle of 3. One for each of my tables! They will be on the tables before school so my kids can sharpen their pencils.

It has taken me all week to clean up the mess in my room! Here's a little of what I've been working to organize.

What's better than having a personal laminator at home? Having a second one for school! I happened upon this one on a clearance rack at Walgreens for $20.99. With my $5 coupon it was a great deal.

Today is Open House! I'm sending my students home with a bag of microwave popcorn and a balloon. Monday is the first day of school!


One Last Fiction Friday: August 16th

Thank you Amanda (The Teaching Thief) for the wonderful linky this summer! While I know last week was the last official link-up, as promised I have the last of the 2013 - 2014 Sunshine State Young Readers Awards books to share.

Glory Be

Glory Be

Augusta Scattergood

I just have to start with the author's name. Is it weird to think she's a Harry Potter character?! Actually, she is a former school librarian and this is her first novel.

Glory Be is set in a small southern town in the 1960's. You are probably already making inferences about the plot! Gloriana, or Glory as everyone calls her, is about to turn 12. She is looking forward to her traditional birthday party at the community pool, but hears rumors that it is going to close, ostensibly for repairs. There is nothing wrong with it, but some people in town would rather see the pool closed than have the "wrong sort of people" using it.

I'm planning to use this book as a read aloud in February for Black History month. I think it will engage my students and make them think.

As always, I have a brochure to share! I've really enjoyed creating them this summer, and I hope you will let me know if they are useful in your classroom.

Monday Made It: August 12th

It's here! August 12th teachers report for work -- we have pre-planning for the whole week, with elementary schools Open House Friday from 3 - 6 PM. I've been in my classroom enough so that it's fairly organized, but of course there is still a ton of stuff to get done! Thank goodness for Tara's Monday Made It so I got lots of things done this summer.

My "thanks for poppin' in" bags of popcorn were a hit last year, so I decided to do them again. I have a big popcorn tub that I fill up and then hand them out to all my students who come for Open House. The labels I use came from Fun in First.

These are the signs I made to hang above my tables. I'm starting out with three tables which will seat 6 students (class size for 3rd grade here in FL is 18 students). I saw the idea on a blog I follow, but can't for the life of me remember which one. If you know, please comment! I loved the idea of calling for the "awesome" table instead of the blue table, etc.

Subitizing plates! I'm planning to work a lot with my kids' number sense at the beginning of the year. Looking forward to carrying these as we transition around school for some extra practice. If you are not familiar with subitizing, may I recommend this post at Math Coach's Corner to help you out. While there, you may want to pick up Donna's dot cards also.

My scratch-off reward cards! I'm so excited to use these when my students reach set points levels in Class Dojo. They have things like "extra recess" and "prize box" under the scratch off paint. I read about this idea on For The Love of Teaching Math, and thought it was something kids would love. The cards were laminated, so once they are used I'll re-paint them and put them back in the box.

And last, but definitely not least, I made a quilted wall hanging for my classroom to match our school theme! Can't wait to get this hung up today (and show it off!). I also made one for my teaching partner:

Thanks for browsing! What did you make that I'm going to need to put on MY list?

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