Tuesday, October 16

Place Value Games - Base 10 Blocks

I've had Place Value with Base 10 Blocks on my mind...

My district implements the Everyday Math program. Some days the core lesson is super meaty. Other days, not so much. Hence, the games/centers option. :)

Something we are toying with is trying Math Workshop with our Everyday Math for grade 1. Do you do Math Workshop with EM for grade 1? If so, I'd love to hear about your general structure and any tips you would suggest.

Anyhoo - back to the games...There are three different ones - a dice game and two versions of concentration...

Thanks to the fabulous Ashley Hughes for the great clip art images! You can find them in her TpT store right here. :)

Dice Game (3 versions)...This can be played individually, with partners or in small groups. Set up a "bank" of base 10 blocks. Kids roll two dice and follow the action on the page and record their roll & running total. Depending what they roll, they'll either add to their collection from the bank or remove from their collection to the bank. They'll keep a running total after each roll. Winner is whoever has the most (or least!) at the end...you decide.

Concentration/Memory - Yellow/Abacus
Arrange cards upside down. Students take turns flipping over two cards to try and match the number with the corresponding base 10 block image.

Concentration/Memory - Blue/Right Triangle
Arrange cards upside down. Students take turns flipping over two cards to try and match the equation with the corresponding base 10 block image.


Friday, October 5

Embarrassing Moment!

Why is it so fun to hear about one another's embarrassing moments? Maybe because we can all relate to cringe-worthy embarrassment? Here's one of my most embarrassing teacher stories!

So, a few years ago, I had this awesome kiddo - his family was equally awesome and stunningly beautiful. 

Beautiful as in, both kids modeled for Kohl's ads. The mom and dad may have modeled in their past, as well. 

A super sweet, kind, generous, wonderful family who you wanted to just keep staring at all four of them because they were so attractive. 

Sounds a little stalker-y, but true. Everyone who knows them would agree.

They would die of embarrassment if they knew I was posting this because they are just.that.nice.

At any rate, I was going to Kalahari (a water park hotel in WI Dells about two hours from where I live) over the weekend with my family and so were they. 

We ran into each other a few times while we were there. 

Me in my bathing suit with any kiddo is kind of embarrassing. With super-model (but soooo kind) family? 

A.W.K.W.A.R.D., but oh well. 

My suit was a two piece...skirt on the bottom and loose tank-top on top. Important detail to note.

I decided to give the boogie boarding or surfing (can't remember) a try in this pool thing that shot water at you like a wave would and you could boogie board/surf. It has a very thin layer of water flowing at you really fast so you could do your thing. 

The worker explained that the best spot to do it was the middle because off the sides the water wasn't as strong and you'd go spinning and flying (super fast water on part of you and slower water on the other part created the spinning.)

Welllll, I aimed at the middle. I really did. 

Yet I went over to the side. 

Which created the spin. 

And the water up my nose and the swimsuit going every direction. 

Exposing my white, pudgy belly. (I would say the pudge was from having had my second baby six-ish month prior...but the same pudge still occupies my belly. Said baby is now four. Years. So, that wouldn't be right to use baby as an excuse.)


I finally look up and straighten myself out and yep...super cute family is there. 

With their parents. 

Meaning, the grandparents of my student. A group of six people watching my demise. 

The mom didn't make eye contact with me right away. As in, "I don't want you to think I saw all of that so I'm going to look away to make you think maybe I didn't." She's sweet like that.

My little student said "That was so awesome, Mrs. Mattes!" He really is so darn sweet and probably didn't think it was a big deal AT all.

On Monday he walks in and says, "Mrs. Mattes, my dad got that fall recorded." WHAT??? 

I'm sure they were recording it not to be mean but because their little boy told them to. 

They didn't know I would make such a fool out of myself. 

And, they're so nice I'm sure they deleted it.

I still cringe when I think about the moment I realized my embarrassing moment was witnessed by people I knew. But it's hilarious, too. :)

And, it taught that wonderful student (whom I still keep in touch with several years later) that wipeouts aren't all that bad!


Thursday, October 4

Personal Narrative Writing Workshop Unit

This Personal Narrative Writing Workshop Unit has been SUCH a blast to implement! 

My sweet little writers were very productive in learning that their lives are FILLED with stories just waiting to come out on paper in personal narrative (small moment) writing. 

Having students not be stuck on "What do I write about?" has increased their volume of writing and drastically reduced their (and my!!!) frustration!

In order to make it as easy as possible for you to teach, I've included teacher AND student samples for as many pieces as possible!

It is available individually and also at a greater savings in my Writing Workshop Bundle.

Rave Reviews on TpT                    Friendly Letters on TpT

The unit encourages students to think about four main places in their life that they have stories to tell...

Then, you spend a while going deeper into each of those four parts...

Students LOVED writing stories, too. After we spent time on each 3 box planning page, kids would choose one story from one of the boxes and write a story.

I teach first grade, so the samples are from first graders since that's what I teach. If you have second grade samples from implementing the unit, I'd LOVE to hear from you!!!

Here's a sample that a student wrote after we focused on Places for a few days...

When you do mini-lessons on adding details, this anchor chart can come in very handy...

There are three different types of writing paper, too...
No editing circles...

With Editing Circles...


 Beginning, Middle End...

Here's another planning page for you to use, too. My class loved writing and sharing their embarrassed stories! I SOO wish I'd taken pictures...
Hoping your students love this unit as much as mine!

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