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Do I Add or Subtract?

Brain research suggests adding movement with words in order to help the memory.

Do I Add or Subtract? This post includes some brain based ideas for adding movement and gestures to help children figure out whether to add and subtract when solving math story problems.
Many children struggle to remember when to add or subtract when they read math story problems. I decided to add some movement to help the kids remember when to add or subtract.

When we talk about an addition story, I have the children gesture one arm out and reference the first set. Then they gesture the second arm out and reference the second set. Then while we ask the question, we swoop our arms together into a plus sign, and say "How many all together?" or "How many in all?" The motion of bringing both arms together into a plus sign while saying the words really helps!

Do I Add or Subtract? This post includes some brain based ideas for adding movement and gestures to help children figure out whether to add and subtract when solving math story problems.
 
For subtraction, we start by gesturing a set in one arm. Then the second arm swoops away part of that set, making a minus sign with the arms.

Do I Add or Subtract? This post includes some brain based ideas for adding movement and gestures to help children figure out whether to add and subtract when solving math story problems.

Finally, for a subtraction comparison story, we gesture being a scale, balancing a set on each hand while saying, "How many more?" or "How many less?"

Do I Add or Subtract? This post includes some brain based ideas for adding movement and gestures to help children figure out whether to add and subtract when solving math story problems.

These gestures seem rather simple, yet with a few repetitions, the children remember them when they are doing word problems. In fact, I've had children come back to me long after they left my class and tell me how glad they are I taught them these gestures!

 It helps if you have fun math stories for the children to practice with. Here are a few themed math story problems to make the practice a little more fun!

 
Do I Add or Subtract? This post includes some brain based ideas for adding movement and gestures to help children figure out whether to add and subtract when solving math story problems.

Learning About New Hampshire!


What better way to learn about your home state (and the nearby states) than reading in a fun book?

I've joined up with a group of bloggers for Booking Across the USA!
I was lucky enough to be involved in this project last year (See THIS blog post) and I couldn't wait to do it again!

For more about the Booking Across the USA Project, click the image below or click HERE:


This year is particularly cool, since we got to use these books, thanks to Blue Apple Books!
I shared Travelin' the Northeast with my class, and it's adorable! Each book represents a section of the United States, and has a page about each state, along with facts about that state. The best part? There's this cute little dog named Charlie that's on every page, and they absolutely LOVE searching through each state for Charlie!

Here are some of the facts we learned about New Hampshire from this book:

  • The first free public library was established in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
  • Tupperware was invented in New Hampshire.
  • The alarm clock was invented by Levi Hutchins in Concord, New Hampshire in 1787.
  • Alan Shepard, the first US Astronaut in space, was born in Derry, New Hampshire November 23, 1923.
  • Plus, there are some cool pictures on the map page of New Hampshire that give us more information about the state!
  • Brain research tells us making connections to the arts help children remember.
  • Most teachers have these around their classrooms:

If not, they're easy to find!
How about these?
Pipe cleaners are easy to find! If you put these two
materials together, you can make something like this:

Here's how it works:  Each time a child can share a fact about one of the states they've learned, they get a new bead for their bracelet. As they build up beads, they can go through the beads, remembering each of the facts they have learned. The beads are helping the memory!

Another way to use the beads: Attach another bead to the bracelet for each state the children can find on the map!


5 Resources for Earth Day

My Earth is pretty important to me! 

It's my home, and it's the home for my kids (both biological and students) and their children. If we make the effort, we can make our Earth and its resources last!
 
5 Resources for Earth Day - books, videos, freebies and resources to celebrate Earth Day in the primary classroom.

I plan to make the whole week all about protecting our Earth and its resources.  Here are some of my plans:

1.  Literature! I always use plenty of literature whenever I teach a concept.  Here are some great books that tell what happens if we don't take care of our Earth: (Click image for a link to Amazon for more information about these books.)
     

Here are some more books to bring Earth Day awareness:
 
         

2. Resources! Here's what I'll be using next week to tie Earth Day into reading, writing and math in my second grade classroom: Earth Day No Prep
 
5 Resources for Earth Day - books, videos, freebies and resources to celebrate Earth Day in the primary classroom.

These Earth Day Math Story Problems are a favorite! 
 
5 Resources for Earth Day - books, videos, freebies and resources to celebrate Earth Day in the primary classroom.
 
The above resources as well as a few others are included in this bundle at a HUGE discount!  Earth Day Collection
 
5 Resources for Earth Day - books, videos, freebies and resources to celebrate Earth Day in the primary classroom.

3. Videos!  Speaking of Youtube, there is a wealth of information out there, and some of it is pretty good!  Here are a few I've found that are great for Earth Day:







4. Be a Role Model! If you want the kids to do what they can to protect our Earth, you need to show them how! Let them see you reduce, reuse, and recycle! I always warn my students not to use more than their share of paper, not to waste materials, and not to let the water run. They see me being careful about using paper. I even print on both sides whenever I can! If a paper has print on one side, I save it and put it upside down in my printer to use again. We have a recycling box in our class for paper, and save paper scraps, especially construction paper that can be used again on other projects! I also make a point to mention when I see a child being conservative with materials.

5. Freebies! Here are a couple more Earth Day freebies!

Here's a freebie for students to write about their Earth Day plans: EarthDay Writing Paper
5 Resources for Earth Day - books, videos, freebies and resources to celebrate Earth Day in the primary classroom.
 
This freebie is a song to the tune of Take me Out to the Ballgame! Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
 
5 Resources for Earth Day - books, videos, freebies and resources to celebrate Earth Day in the primary classroom.

Can you tell Earth Day is important to me? 

Happy Earth Week!


5 Resources for Earth Day - books, videos, freebies and resources to celebrate Earth Day in the primary classroom.



Signs of Spring Resources

It has been one long cold winter here in New Hampshire!

 
From what I understand, it's been a long cold winter all over the US!
 
Signs of Spring Resources - Are you and your students ready for spring? Here are several ideas and resources to make sure that fun learning is happening!
 
Spring in New England doesn't really show up until mid April, but as I was driving to my hair appointment this morning, and I saw a couple of signs of Spring!

I saw buckets on maple trees!
 
Signs of Spring Resources - Are you and your students ready for spring? Here are several ideas and resources to make sure that fun learning is happening!
I know Vermont is the big state for maple syrup, but we do it here in New Hampshire, too! The maple syrup tapping is actually late this year, because the weather's been so cold. They need cold nights and warm days for the sap to flow. We've had plenty of cold nights, but today, we had a warm day. The temp actually went up to 50! I actually took my coat off in the car, and didn't even button it when I was outside! It was fabulous!

Here's the other sign of spring I saw... 
a little something green:
Signs of Spring Resources - Are you and your students ready for spring? Here are several ideas and resources to make sure that fun learning is happening!

Yep, McDonald's Shamrock Shakes are definitely a sign that spring is coming!

I have a few things about spring up my sleeve. I always make sure I have plenty of books about the subject.  Here are a few of my favorites:


      

            
  I always make sure I read a few to the kids, but I also make sure I've got them in the book tubs so the kiddos will explore them.

I think videos are great to help the children understand concepts, especially things like how seasons work.  Here are a couple I've found!
 
What Causes Earth's Seasons: (10:48 min)

How Seasons Work (58 seconds)
 

How Equinox's Work: Beyond Our Earth (2:24 minutes)

Try them all and see which one you like best!

As most teachers know, squeezing in science and social studies topics are tough, since most of our time is dedicated to reading, writing,and math! In my attempt to keep some of the fun stuff in the classroom, I've included signs of spring in with important literacy and math concepts in this set of No Prep Printables: Signs of Spring Printables: Literacy and Math. I've got some math story problems, popular fact games, word work, writing, and comprehension work, all somehow connected to Signs of Spring. 

Check out Signs of Spring No Prep Literacy and Math Worksheets and Printables.
 
Signs of Spring Resources - Are you and your students ready for spring? Here are several ideas and resources to make sure that fun learning is happening!

Spring is a great time to teach about life cycles! Here's a bundle of crafts and activities for the life cycles 9 different plants and animals, at a huge discount! 

Signs of Spring Resources - Are you and your students ready for spring? Here are several ideas and resources to make sure that fun learning is happening!

Here are some other games and activities with a spring theme:

Some of my students are struggling to remember the +9 and -9 Facts, so I made this game to make practicing fun: Adding and Subtracting Nines: Spring Flower Theme 
Signs of Spring Resources - Are you and your students ready for spring? Here are several ideas and resources to make sure that fun learning is happening!

My kids are working on using mental math for adding and subtracting. This game board has a set of cards for addition mental math, and a set of cards for subtraction mental math. Plus, it's got built in brain breaks! It's a favorite in my classroom: Mental Math Addition and Subtraction: Spring Board Game.
 
Signs of Spring Resources - Are you and your students ready for spring? Here are several ideas and resources to make sure that fun learning is happening!

Finally, this is a collection of 6 different games that are related to spring. It has word work, grammar, and plenty of math games, all made for second graders, but are also appropriate for high firsts or review for third graders. See the image to take a closer look at Literacy and Math Games Spring Bundle.
 
Signs of Spring Resources - Are you and your students ready for spring? Here are several ideas and resources to make sure that fun learning is happening!

Happy Spring!


Signs of Spring Resources - Are you and your students ready for spring? Here are several ideas and resources to make sure that fun learning is happening!


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