Friday, February 28, 2014

2 Addition Fact Penguin Game FREEBIES for the iPad

This week I have been busy working on my penguin themed math unit.  Last week, I shared with you the computer game Place the Penguin which has been an excellent way to work on place value concepts and expanded notation.

This week as we have moved our focus a bit to addition and subtraction word problems in the penguin context, I noticed some of my students still need work on fact fluency.

Here is one of the penguin word problems we did this week

Here are two iPad apps I found by searching the app store.  What you see here is from the free version but both do offer additional levels for a small fee.  My students have been very happy with the free versions this week so I have not yet upgraded to the paid version.  We will see what next week brings.

Penguin Math

This simply shows a fact and gives 4 answer choices.  Students touch the iceberg with the answer and if it is correct, the penguin hops to it.  They do about 10 problems and then cross the finish line.  The free version includes addition facts to 10.  For a $1.99 fee you get all 4 operations and can set the max numbers used up to 10,000.  This would offer quite the range for skill practice in a variety of grades.  
The questions is 5+3 and 4 answer choices are provided

The penguin will jump to the 9 iceberg if the student selects the correct answer 

Math Penguin Lite

The free version of this game is also all about addition and increases in difficulty as you get more answers correct.  You get 3 lives (the three little penguins in the bottom corner) and are out once you use up all your lives.  You see a problem and 3 answer choices and hop the the ice that has the correct answer.  If you choose the wrong answer you fall in the water and use up a life.  
Level 1 is mostly facts to 10

Another look at level 1

Level 2 is mostly facts to 20

Another look at level 2

Level 3 includes an extension of addition facts to larger numbers

Here is what happens when you get an answer wrong.

I have not found any penguin themed freebies for practicing subtraction facts but my students have been loving this subtraction fact game!
This is a great way to practice subtraction facts.  It is a freebie at my TPT store!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Fantastic and Free Computer Game: Sum Add

Here is a quick and easy game to use with your students to practice addition facts to 20.  It is called Sum Sense and is easy to use and pushes your students' thinking to create an entire equation out of given numbers.  I have used this in grades 1 and 2 and can also see it being used at the beginning of grade 3.

Take a look at what it has to offer:
The home screen lets you set a goal.  I love this because I can change it to make my students feel successful regardless of their current level.  

Students are presented with 3 or 4 cards and have to arrange them to make a true equation.

Here 4 cards were given

This student has all but one card placed!

A simple screen when the goal is reached!

Here are some other free and fun computer games that are great for grades 1 and 2

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spring Theme Word Problems for Addition and Subtraction

I love spring time and all the energy it brings to teachers and students.  It is a time to start fresh and try new ideas.  It is also a time to make sure kids have the most essential skills required for success in the next grade and on state and local assessments.  For my second and third graders, I am looking to be sure they are VERY solid with double digit addition and subtraction and can read story problems and find the answers.  I created these Common Core aligned task cards to help me with this goal.
Here is a peek at my spring themed task cards.  You can grab this set of 4 for free here or check out the full set here!
 I looked closely at the Common Core Table 1 of different addition problem types.  Students in the grades 2 and 3 are responsible for being able to solve all of these different problem types.

A look at table 1 from the Common Core.  It shows the 12 different problem types that second and third graders need to be able to solve.

My students have been working on this super important skill all year and this time I really want to make sure all my students can be successful with these at an independent level.  If your students are just starting out or have not worked with all the different problem types, you might want to present them in a more supported way.

My plan is to use these on the first nice warm spring day.  We will go outside where we have a gravel track that runs around the soccer field.  There will be 3-4 task cards clipped to each of five different clip boards spread out around the track.  The kids will each have a clipboard of their own with a record sheet on it.  They will scoot around the track and solve one task card at each of the five clipboards.  They will go around and around until time is up or they have solved all of the task cards.

This will be a fun way to get the kids outside and getting a little exercise and enjoying spring while still practicing math!  If spring waits to long, we may end up doing the same type of scoot game right in the classroom or the gym.

As kids finish up, I will have them get with another student and compare answers.  On any problems where they disagree on an answer, they have to go find that task card and work out the answer together.  If they can't come to an agreement on the correct answer, they come to me for some help.  When they are done having their "math talk" and all their answers agree, I can quickly check their record sheet against the answer key.  Then if other kids are still finishing up, I often give them a blank task card so they can write their own problem.  Then other early finishers can solve their problem or we can use them for warm ups or homework over the next week.

Blank task cards help me further differentiate the set by allowing students who finish early to write their own problems.  I also sometimes have all students write another problem to add to the set or to exchange with another student and solve. 

My students (and me!) always have fun with task cards.  They are a great way to add variety to your week!

Don't forget to check out the free cards or the full set!

Celebrating Pi Day

Each year I have a great time celebrating Pi day with my oldest students.  In the weeks leading up to Pi day, we do a simple lesson on measuring the diameter and circumference of a circle that helps them discover Pi.
Here is the record sheet I made for my students to use.  Click here to grab this record sheet and my lesson plan from google drive (FREE).  

Here are some of the other ways we celebrate Pi day.

Activities and Videos

Mathematical Pi Song

Lose Yourself in the Digits of Pi


This is a fun book from the Sir Cumference Series.  It is a picture book that the students love and it reinforces the idea of the circumference being a little more than three times the diameter.  My student love this book so much that a few years ago I had a group of students who re-wrote the book as a play and ever since there has been a group of students who perform the play as part of our Pi Day festivities.  

This is a book I share with interested students.  It answers many of the questions my students come up with about Pi.  It is written in an easy to read way and tells some about the history of Pi, stories about people's obsessions over Pi and different ways Pi has been used. 

Novelty Items

Over the years I have collected and made with students many novelty items for Pi day

This was a gift from a student several years ago.  It is fun for making a pi day dessert.  It can go it the oven so when I am ambitious I have used it to make a pi day cake.  When I have less time and energy I have used it as a jello mold.

This is my Pi Day t-shirt.  It is awesome!  It really lets out my inner math geek and who doesn't love an excuse to wear a t-shirt to work?

These are a necessity when we do make your own Pi day t-shirts.  I have students bring in a light colored t-shirt from home or purchase a large pack of white undershirts.  Then they decorate their t-shirts with a giant Pi symbol and facts about pi.  Everyone wears them on Pi day and it makes fpr a great group picture.

Digits of Pi contest

Every year, we have kids who are super interested in reciting the digits of Pi.  I share a quick video like this one

Then I print and copy a list of the first few hundred digits of Pi and the kids who are really interested spend a lot of at home practicing.  

How do you celebrate Pi Day with your students?  Please leave ideas or links in the comments below! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Teaching Math With You Tube Videos: Area and Perimeter

Recently I posted some of my favorite songs and videos about shapes, counting, multiplicationcoins and telling time.  Here are some You Tube videos I have been using with older students to teach area and perimeter concepts.

Math Rocks! Perimeter and Area

This is a catchy tune about where to measure for area and perimeter and how to find area and perimeter of rectangular shapes.  Great for grades 3-6!  This is my students' very favorite area and perimeter song

Mr. Olian: Perimeter/Area

My third and fourth grade students have loved this.  It is harder to hear the lyrics but the kids love watching other kids

  Perimeter Rap

This is a quick one that I like to do during transitions. 

Perimeter and Area Rock

Any other recommendations for great area and perimeter songs or videos?

Looking for a great math literature book about area and perimeter?  Here is one your students will love!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Math Literature Volume 32

If you missed last week's post about my favorite skip counting and multiplication books, you can check it out here!

In the past, I have shared a few of my favorite counting books and today I want to show you a few more.

This is book is a fun way to introduce counting by ones to young children but I find its real power is in helping Kindergarten and first grade students understand counting by 10 numbers.  I use it to help kids see that there are 6 tens in 60 and 9 tens in 90.  The pictures on the count by 10 pages are clear and organized into groups of 10.


This book focuses on numbers up to 20.  I love to use this book with Kindergarten children who need more work with numbers in the teens.  I also love the pictures in this book!

This is a neat double sided book including two stories One story is about the dirtiest pigs in town and if you flip the book over and start from the opposite cover it is a story about the cleanest pigs in town.  I use this in early Kindergarten and with any kids who need more work on numbers to 10 or one-to-one correspondence.

Head over to volume 33 to see a wonderful penguin themed story about finding a million.  

Friday, February 21, 2014

Place the Penguins Place Value Game

My first graders recently finished up their unit on geometry and fractions and we have moved onto working on place value and numbers with our penguin centers.

One of my favorite penguin activities has been these two games we use to work on place value, reading and writing numbers to 120 and comparing numbers using the >, < symbols.   

A fun two pack of games to work on important first grade skills!
I have noticed that some of my students need a little more practice with these skills and some are ready for a challenge.  I did some searching and found this fantastic and free penguin themed game to work on place value.  

The game is called Place the Penguins and is a great way to work on place value.  It is offered at 2 levels as well.  Level 1 was great for my students who needed a little more practice with numbers under 100 and level 2 challenged some of my students to work on numbers up to 1000. 

A look at the welcome screen.  Here is where you select your level.  
Level 1: I have placed one penguin on 50 and still have to place the other penguin on a number to make 54
Level 1: I have placed a penguin on 80 and a penguin on 7.  My students made some great connections between this game and our arrow cards.  
Here is a look at level 2.  The first penguin is selected and ready to be placed on a number in the hundreds.  
Level 2 after all three penguins have been placed
Level 2:  After placing all the penguins where they belong they get off the mat and squish themselves together to show the number that they make.  This is a great game to use to introduce the idea of expanded notation which is something second graders are responsible for under the Common Core.
Next week I will use the penguin version of I have who has? to see how kids are doing with reading and writing numbers.  It is a fun game that makes a great formative assessment!

I also got a few new books this week to add to my penguin book collection based on some recommendations from blog readers.  I can't wait to use these with my students!

This book is adorable and will be a great way to challenge some of my most capable students.  I am sure the entire class will love this story and it will expose students to some bigger math ideas like multiplication.  Some of my students are so ready for this challenge! 

Every year my students fall in love with penguin chicks.  This is a great non-fiction book that many of my students will be able to read themselves.  We have a big push in my school to add more non-fiction to our literature collections.  This is a great way to do that and tie it in with our math theme.  
I am excited to spend the next few weeks on this penguin theme and am very much looking forward to spring!