A little bit of this and that!

I am linking up with Erin from Mrs. Beattie’s Classroom this week.  It has been a few weeks since I have linked up but I am back to share some of my awesome moments.  I have been commenting to my colleagues that I think this group of Firsties has finally figured it out and is settling down.  We have had two really solid weeks.  I think having said this I might have jinxed myself, as you will find out as you read on. 

For the past several weeks in Math we have been working really hard on recognizing and representing our numbers to 30 using 10 frames and base 10 blocks as well as pictures, tallies etc.  We are practicing in lots of different ways but I have shared some of our favourites.  The students LOVE using whiteboards so we use them all the time.  On this particular day I slipped a 10 frame sheet in a page protector and called out numbers for them to show in the frames.  Pictured below is the second part of the activity where they flipped their “whiteboards” over and drew the base 10 blocks.  I love how they all get comfortable and are working so hard.  Another great activity is to simply put a pile of number cards on the table and have them  use the blocks to build the number and have a friend check.  I truly feel like most kids have this concept mastered. 

Later in the week I challenged the students to solve a problem for me - I wonder how many tables there are in our classroom?.  I told them they could take a clipboard and the “whiteboard” ten frame or blank side and see if they could figure it out.  They were excited for the challenge and I wanted to see if they could represent a  number greater than we had worked on.  It was very interesting to watch them go.  Some students had a plan right away they touched each desk and made a mark in their tens frame some wrote a number, some a dot.  Others stood back and tried to count all the tables from a distance.  Their answers were very telling.  At the end of the task they shared their answers and I wrote their numbers on the smartboard.  We discussed the answers that were less than 20 (we have 20 students) and talked about why that wasn’t a possible answer.  The math talk that followed was great to hear.  On day two we repeated the task but with chairs.  This time all of the answers were above 20 and many were right on.  It was great to see the kids apply the skills that they have worked so hard on.

During our word work this week I added 5 new words that the kids all decided needed to go to the word jail.  We practiced them daily and then on one of our practice days we did “find and print’ using just our new words and the word jail.  These two little guys often struggle but when you mention that the words are in the Word Jail they light up and start searching right away.  As you can see, they spelled them perfectly (barring reversals).  They were so proud of themselves AWESOME!

Another highlight of our week was our Character Ed focus around kindness and using our WITS.  WITS is a program that our school adopted to teach children how to solve small problems on their own. For foyr days we reviewed each choice:  Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out and Seek Help.  On the fifth day we worked on our door.  We read some great read alouds but the favourites were probably The Recess Queen and King of the Playground.  I think the kids could really relate to each book.  We had a great discussion about how to use our WITS to handle kids like Mean Jean the Recess Queen and Sammy from the King of the Playground.  We used a Venn Diagram for the first time and compared the two books.  The kids figured out how the planner worked right away and had some great contributions. 

Midweek we took a break from the WITS focus to decorate our door.  If you ask any of my students they would say this is the AWESOME highlight of the week.  The reason being is that we made Minions!  I found this craftivity {HERE}.  I had intended it to be a surprise but I left my sample out where one very observant student spotted it.  He loves to make crafts and was beyond excited, which got everyone else excited.    Unfortunately I didn’t get to make them with them because I had a Collaborative Inquiry group meeting at our board office but they had a special supply teacher Ms. Makinson!  She taught many of them last year.  They were excited to see her.  The minions turned out AWESOME.  Now the question of the day is “when do we get to take them home? “ 

As the end of the week approached the tide turned in the classroom and things started going seriously off the rails.  I am not so sure whyearly Christmas fever, snow who knows.  When Monday rolls around it is time to rein them in again so that we can make some more awesome moments in our classroom.  Next week is filled with a number of great extra-curricular activities so stay tuned.

On a totally different awesome note:  I finally got my Christmas data management centers uploaded to TPT!  I already had posted the fall, winter and math manipulatives sets and have been anxious to get this set posted.  If you are going to be teaching graphing to your students in the next month you will want to check these sets out.  


  1. I love reading The Recess Queen! Such a great read-aloud! Your door turned out so cute! I can see why the kiddos are so excited to take them home! :)

    Thanks for linking up!

    1. According to Kim the door is very popular with parents as they are entering the school to pick up after school. They will come down soon enough so we can deck out our door for Christmas

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