Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Addition Games

Here's a fun math game that both my first grader and pre-k students can play together.  It is from KidsCount123 I've used a few games from this site and I really like them.  Today we played a version of yahtzee.  It is called kindergarten yahtzee but like I said it worked fine with my first grader and pre-k student. Take turns rolling 2 dice.  Add the numbers and color each rectangle as you go.  The player who has all the numbers colored first wins.  It gets hard at the end.  And my kids' attention span was starting to wane.  So we decided to role 4 dice but still only add two of them.  That made the game end a lot faster.

We also played "Bump"   This is another fun addition game.  My kids enjoyed "bumping" each others' game pieces off the board.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mastering Addition Facts

As part of our routine my daughter has been doing XtraMath for about five minutes first thing in the morning.
To learn addition facts try I am going to print out:
Say it, write it, repeat it  I recommend circling the ones your student does not know and only having him or her do those. I also found some great math worksheets for pre-k or K

Saturday, October 20, 2012

How to Teach Cursive

Ready to teach cursive?  I wanted to get a bit of a jump start for my first grader.  To start with I made my own pages of connected swirls and cursive letters using a highlighter.  Then my students traced in pencil.

One of my favorite places I found for free cursive worksheets was  KidZone cursive
I found though that it may be better to begin with the letter "e" when teaching cursive.  Kidzone starts with "a."

Handwriting workshops is great if you what to type your own paragraph, sentence or words in cursive for your student to trace or copy. 

You can also print out whole themed cursive workbooks for free. The first one that I'll probably do is the copy work on the Ancient Greeks.

I am also going to print and laminate a page each of the upper case alphabet in cursive and lower case alphabet in cursive.  Then my kids can practice over an over with a dry erase marker.  Here's the laminator that I use.  I've put this to lots of use.  It is super convenient and small.


Whole Lower Case Alphabet in Cursive

Whole Upper Case Alphabet in Cursive

For Zaner Boser style:

Upper case

Lower case

I prefer D'Nealian I think because it looks closer to what I was taught.

You can also print out entire pages of one letter in cursive.  (Or just write it out yourself in yellow and have your student trace in pencil--if you only have one student.)

I got some of my ideas from Teaching Cursive

Maybe you even what your kids to do some handwriting practice in Spanish.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Free Online Math Practice with XtraMath

Thanks to my friend/neighbor Cathy for introducing us to this free online math practice site.  I love it.  It is called XtraMath.  A non profit organization dedicated to math achievement runs this site.  It is an individualized math practice program.  Once a week it sends me a progress report, although I don't necessarily need it since my daughter is working on it right there with me in the same room.  It is part of our daily routine.  In fact it is the first school thing my daughter does in the morning.  So much better than traditional flash cards.  It keeps track of her progress.  Plus it only takes about 5 minutes per day.

Here is what we see when we sign in.  The green boxes mean the student is answering that fact correctly in under three seconds. A yellow box means the student is answering the question correctly in three to ten seconds. A gray square means the student is answering that question incorrectly or is taking too long to answer that question. A white square means the student has not started practicing that fact. 

Here is a video about how to get started at home with XtraMath to watch with your kids.

Here are some first grade math ideas.

Math U See or Saxon or Both?

We are finishing up first grade Saxon math and I already have been using Math U See simultaneously.  I'm still somewhat torn about Math U See.  I like it for a lot of reasons.  I like the manipulatives and the way that concepts are explained.  I like the video although it is pretty dry for the younger kids.  It does the job though.  My kids watch it so it really isn't a big negative for me.  So far the big difference I can see between it and Saxon is that Saxon includes a lot of review in every single lesson.  Math U See does not cover the standards at the same time as a lot of other math programs do.  Because of that I will continue to use another program at the same time.  My daughter knows what to expect with Saxon and does well with it so I am going to continue to use it.  We also use a Singapore Math workbook.  She is finishing up level 1A which says it is appropriate for students in 2nd grade.

Today I printed this addition worksheet to help practice adding within 0-10 with a missing addend.  I also like this addition exercise where the student has to add 3 addends.  Students are instructed to add those in the brackets first (which all add up to 10 by the way) and then add that with the final number.  This was great practice for making 10.

For something different try  Fact Monster.  Basically glorified online math flashcards.  Students try to get as many stars (correct answers) in a row as they can.