Many students are able to route count long before they enter the school system. However, every once in a while there may be a student or two that enters your classroom that counting was something they've never been introduced to. Or maybe for one reason or another they are just unable to. 

There are a few students in my classroom this year who had not yet mastered counting. Some of them could count to 10, but they didn't understand and hadn't yet grasped the concept of one-to-one correspondence. Meaning when counting a group of objects, and prompted to tell me how many, they would count one, two, three, etc and not count each actual object. 

Once they had the route counting down, we practiced touching and counting each object. They became bored with counting and counting and counting. So I wanted to make it fun for them, so I came up with the idea of Color and Count! I currently have this Freebie available:

Each page has a color key with 5 different objects for the students to color, and then count. This has helped my students feel successful at counting, while doing something they enjoy-coloring!

First grade is such a monumental year. So many new skills these young learners acquire, in reading and math, and the opportunity to watch first grade students grow is something I don't ever plan on changing!! 

I have taught 1st grade for the past 4 years. This year I have 1st and 2nd graders, so it's been a little bit different than in years past. I also only teach math to two groups of kiddos. I share these kiddos with my teammate that teaches them reading and writing. 

So one of the most IMPORTANT skills in math in first grade is comprehending place value. Without a solid base of understanding place value, it is really hard to move past that and build on it.

This week we have been working on place value. My highest group of kiddos have been working on adding within 100. 

We start out the lesson by reviewing the I can statement and focus poster. Both these hang on the clothes line that is directly above my small group table. I teach my math lesson based off what the students needs within a small group setting. I find that hanging these up on the clothesline is convenient and practical!

My students have really connected with using base ten blocks to build two digit numbers, as well as solve a 2 digit number plus a multiple of 10. Even when playing these spin and add games, my students used the base ten blocks to successful help them out.

These games are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, you can find them by clicking HERE! You can also find the I can poster and focus wall poster for 1.NBT.4 HERE :)
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!

With it being the infamous Dr. Seuss week, and me being a primary school teacher, doctor Seuss' birthday doesn't go by without mention. My dilemma being that I teach Math, but yet wanted to read one of his books.

I was in Target checking out the other day, and they had many different Dr. Seuss titles, but when I saw Ten Apples up on Top I thought of an activity for the kiddos to do to go with the text!

After reading the story we discussed how each page an animal added another apple trying to out-do the other animals. I teach 2 different classes of math, so I differentiate this activity by having my one class write equations with different color apples, and my other class count and label the apples stacked on top of their head in their picture.

Kiddos love Dr. Seuss and I didn't want them to miss out on it in my room just because I teach math. I love integrating fun read-alouds into our math lessons! They enjoyed it as well!

What fun activities did you do in your classroom to celebrate Dr. Seuss and his birthday?

You know it never gets easier. Call me Debbie Downer, or Negative Nelly, but it's the truth, watching our babies grow, it is sooo bittersweet. I am getting ready to return to work after having my fifth and final baby, after 75 days of being able to stay home. It has been amazing. Like parts of me wish I could stay home. I made lunches daily for my older school children, I made these wonderful meals at night, my house has been clean, my toddler and I have played games and done crafty things! I mean really, real-life, this kinda stuff doesn't happen when I'm working, which makes me feel like a terrible mother, but it's the truth! But I have truly enjoyed my time off.

And even though I know when I return to work I won't be making meatloaf on school nights, or vacuuming my living room daily, I know that my babies will be loved. They know I love them, and if there is one thing I've always done that is to make time for them. We talk about their days. We laugh about funny things that have happened. Sometimes we even get a pick up game(baseketball) in before dinner. I come to their games and baton competitions and parades and concerts and cheer them on. I pick them up from practices. I help them with their homework. I make sure they brush their teeth (although not nearly enough I'm sure). I make sure their clothes are clean. I make sure we have food in the house (even those not so healthy treats they love, along with fruits and healthier choices, of course ha ;). I sing to them at bedtime and we pray every night. My children know that I love them. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't tell them each MANY times how much they are loved. And I'm sure you are the same way, you do many things for your own children. Thank you for raising your children in a loving home :)

I always knew I wanted to teach. It was something that was bigger than me. Even after dropping out of college, getting pregnant, fighting all the odds of being a single mom, getting married, having 2 more kiddos, I earned my bachelors and masters degree and got my certification to teach. I truly believe I was put on this Earth to teach. 

And teaching in today's world is so much more than teaching fractions or poetry or chemistry. I mean yes, of course, we all have curriculum we have to teach our students, but we teach so much more than that. Students come to us from broken homes, they may be unwanted or feel unwanted, they may have no concept of how to act socially, or how to handle their emotions. Our students may come to school without food in their homes, or even without homes. They may have different last names than their family members, they may be being raised by no one they are related to. They may have seen things you or I couldn't even imagine. They may have dealt with loss, more loss than a child should even deal with. They may smile while hiding a closet full of secrets. I choose to teach to reach these babies, even if it's just 1 baby a year. I choose to teach to make sure that 1 student that needs to feel loved, feels it, and knows it.

Those who stumble upon this post that aren't in the education field, please know, and don't judge me, that I do love my own children. BUT I know that the children put in my classroom also need me, and I love them as well. And that's what keeps me in this profession. 

Thank you teaching mommas (and teaching daddys) who choose to stay in our profession and teach. With behavior issues, parental issues, administration issues, curriculum issues, testing issues, and all the other issues, THANK YOU for continuing to not only raise your own children in a loving home, but also help raise your students in a loving classroom :) YOU are making a difference in our world, and the future is truly in our classrooms. 

P.S. Thank you for reading, this was more of a pep-talk for myself, but hopefully it helps other teaching parents as well:)

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