Sunday, October 27, 2013

Comparison Subtraction and a Candy Corn Overdose

If your fall has been anything like are running on overdrive teaching super crazy rigorous Common Core standards, while trying to fit in fun fall activities, while wearing a scarf and sipping on a pumpkin latte.

This time of the year always brings the dreaded COMPARISON SUBTRACTION train to our math unit. ugh. gross. It is honestly one of the most difficult concepts to get 6 year old students to grasp.  They can easily tell me who has more or who has less, but ask them how many more or how many less...blank stares, crickets, cute "I don't know" smiles. I can see their frustration...I can feel their frustration.  Its just one of those things. But giving up is not an option in first grade!!!! So, we bought stock in bags of candy corn @ Target, made an entire bundle of small group games, and practiced until our heads (and stomachs) hurt...and in some cases, we fell asleep.

If you are having the same fall dilemma with these tricky skills, hop on over to my TPT store, or click below, to purchase. 

This pack includes: 

-Candy Corn Comparison Subtraction word problems with work mat
-Bobbing for Apples Comparison Subtraction Match Up (students will play concentration to match comparison word problems with the corresponding subtraction equation)
-Candy Corn Grab Bag (Students draw candy corn numbers out of a bag and decide who has more and how many more)
-Caramel Apple Hunt Match and Record (Students match a comparison subtraction word problem with a subtraction equation and record on the recording sheet)
-Roll and Compare 
-Comparison Subtraction Homework Sheet

Enjoy your last week of October friends! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

I Think I'm Catching On!

Hi friends! I hope you are doing well...I feel like I can finally breathe again because the semester is over and I have two whole months (COUNT THEM) two whole months without college!!!! College kind of sucks the "I am on fire with blogging, creating, sharing, etc." life out of me.  So I apologize for being a "sporadic" blogger.

We're off today, as are all MD teachers, due to the MSDE conference taking place.  Yesterday, we had an all day, countywide inservice that focused mainly on CC ELA.  Now I have to admit, my nerdy self actually really enjoyed this inservice....and yes partially because Shafer was a presenter....but still!   Common Core professional development started my first year of teaching, and I didn't listen...AT ALL. because I was too overwhelmed with what I had to teach that day, I couldn't even begin to think about what I'd teach the following year. Then last year, I was forced to listen because we were knee deep in this thing and really still didn't know what I was doing....something wasn't clicking.  I had the "fake it till you make it" mentality until finally I got in a groove and realized Common Core was a good thing, it was working, and I could do this. However, I will admit, I left in-services last year frustrated, angry and stubborn.  They want us to do what?  How can I do that with my group of kids?  Really Common Core?

Now, in the midst of my third year, the pieces are falling together.  I see the methods behind the madness.  I know the standards. And I'm implementing CC more naturally and without a lot of thinking.  Is this done seamlessly?  NO. Am I a pro yet? NO But, I will say I left the in-service yesterday excited to use tools I learned about.  More close reading strategies....yes, I need those!  Videos on how to conduct text talks....sweet, give me more!

This morning, I was up early (God knows why) and immediately picked up my computer to get some planning done for the upcoming week.  As I was tweaking an ELA lesson, without thinking, I created a new writing prompt for the read aloud that day.  Curious, I went back to look at the writing prompt I had already created my first year of teaching and used again last year.  There was no "I'll just use the old one because its already created" honestly, there wasn't even much thinking put into changing the prompt.  It had to be done.

Can you see the difference?  If you can, you're catching on too!!!


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