They always say you spend the beginning of the year setting up routines that will allow your students to thrive throughout the school year. While establishing routines can be daunting it does not have to be! Read on to see how I use simple no prep activities to help my students fall in love with math while mastering our class math routines!
Click here to read all about (and get a freebie!) my "no prep" beginning of the year packets for Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade Math!
Let them Explore!
What kid or adult can resist tinkering with new objects put in front of them? I sure can't! We know that if we want kids to use the manipulatives to solve math problems in a specific way, we first need to give them opportunities for open ended play with the same materials.
Students are inherently interested when they see math manipulatives. While an adult might look at a pile of unifix cubes and think they are for counting or learning math concepts, kids see so much more. I have had kids try to build towers taller than a friends, sort the cubes by color, build a "staircase" of rainbow cubes, and so much more! All of this "play" is actually the foundation of many math concepts.
By investing a small amount of time into open ended manipulative play you are allowing students to explore so that when they need to complete a concrete task with the manipulatives they can, the novelty has worn off somewhat.
Open ended play is also a great opportunity to practice classroom routines like cleaning up, answering to a call and response, moving around the room. It also allows for practice of social emotional skills like sharing and problem solving!
Moving On to Paper and Pencil Tasks
While kids can learn so much from manipulatives the reality is they also need to be able to complete paper and pencil tasks. However, these don't have to be boring worksheets filled with endless equations. I like to start the year with beginning of the year themed worksheets that are accessible to most students. I find that by giving them math worksheets that they can successfully complete I am building up their math confidence! This plays dividends as harder concepts are introduced throughout the year.
I like to use math centers or rotations so I can pull small groups. As my students become more comfortable with math manipulatives I start dividing the class-- some completing paper and pencil tasks and some exploring manipulatives. This allows kids to keep practicing their independence and the classroom routines and leaves me to float around helping anyone who needs it! I rotate activities so every student gets to experience both sides.
Eventually, I will add a third group- one working with me! At this point the paper and pencil group and math manipulatives group are working independently. This allows me to start on the formal math curriculum, knowing that my students have mastered the routine. Throughout the year the manipulative and paper and pencil tasks get more complex but the structure stays the same!
Check out my seasonal math worksheets here!
Read more of my tips for center organization here!
Check out how I use digital math centers for virtual and in person learning!
Click here for my Eureka Math centers!
It's that time of year- the count down for summer break is on! It's always one of the craziest times of year for me between squeezing in instructional content, end of year testing, packing up the classroom, organizing the end of year celebration, and enjoying the final days with my students!
I always send students home for the summer with books and a packet of summer themed activities and worksheets to keep their mind sharp over the summer. I hope that the summer activities will prevent the summer slump!
I have created summer activities and worksheets for Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade. Each grade level has 20 summer worksheets- 10 summer math worksheets and 10 summer literacy worksheets. Worksheets are Common Core aligned and designed to review standards from the grade students just finished so they are ready to be all-stars in the upcoming school year!
Click on each picture to see the grade level summer activity packet! Scroll down and enter your email address to get a free sample of my summer activities and worksheets!
Check out some of my easy, no-prep End of School Year activities!
It is almost Earth Day! A great day to teach students about caring for the planet, recycling, etc. Also, a great reminder for us as teachers to save paper and recycle that huge pile of graded papers that has a way of piling up!
I created Earth Day Math Activities for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade! The worksheets are all Common Core aligned but can be used in any classroom. Each packet covers a variety of skills including word problems, comparing numbers, graphing, etc.
Click on each grade level to see the Earth Day activities. Scroll down and enter your email address to get the Freebie!!!
Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest are filled with Easter activities but have very few Passover activities available. As someone who grew up celebrating Passover and not Easter I feel like there should be more Passover activities.
I made a packet of Passover worksheets for kindergarten, first, and second grade. There are Passover math worksheets and Passover literacy worksheets. The worksheets are Common Core aligned but can be used in any classroom.
I hope these worksheets make more students feel included in the cultures celebrated in the classroom!
Put your email in below to get the Passover Freebie Worksheets! Check out the full product here.
Spring Break is great break to gear up for testing and end of year activities. Plus, then the countdown to summer can officially begin!
I wanted to make it as simple as possible for teachers so created packets of Spring Break worksheets by grade level! Each Spring Break packet is filled with Common Core aligned ELA and math skills so all you have to do is print and stick in backpacks on the way to enjoy your spring break!
I have a Spring Break Worksheet packet for Kindergarten, First Grade, and Second Grade! Click on the pictures to see the full Spring Break pack.
Enter your email below to grab a free sample!
HAVE A GREAT SPRING BREAK!!!
Somehow I think teaching in the spring feels like there is so much to teach and so little time and like time is passing very slowly. I like to fight the drag by using seasonal resources that liven up our classroom routines.
Now that Mardi Gras is over I am moving my attention to St. Patrick's Day!
For Math I made some No-Prep Worksheet packets! There are packets for kindergarten, first and second grade. Each packet includes 20 worksheets tied to grade level standards. These are so simple to use and could work perfectly in homework, morning work, or your math lesson!
For ELA I have made a Word Family Bundle with 2 different sorts (sorts are my favorite center and worksheet activities because they are so engaging)! I also made a STEM and writing response that can be used with the book "How to Catch a Leprechaun."
Click on the pictures to go to the product! Scroll down and enter your email to get a St. Patrick's Day Math FREEBIE!
Miriam taught kindergarten and first grade for 5+ years in New Orleans.