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## Free Printable Number Discs

With second grade right now, students are doing a lot of place value activities and are using base ten blocks as well as math discs.  I made these printable math discs for the kids to represent and compare numbers.  If you would like to use them they are available for a download.  I am copying the ones on white, the tens on red, and the hundreds on orange paper to represent the math discs.  Students are going to cut these out and glue them down to represent a number.

Math Number Discs

## How Do You Motivate Students to Learn Their Math Facts?

I am trying something new this year to help motivate students to learn their math facts.  I heard about doing Math Wars from another math coach.  Each class will give themselves a name for a team.  The team could even be alliterated for more fun.  For example, Mr. Bowers Brains or Ms. Elwick’s Elephants.  Having the students take ownership in what they name themselves promotes more motivation to work towards the goal of learning their facts.

For trophies I tried to think of something that would reflect the idea of math and that I could spray paint gold.  After brainstorming with several colleagues, someone suggested an abacus.  So now I have the GOLDEN ABACUS (angels singing in the background).   The golden abacus will be traveling to the winning classes and will go to follow the next champion.  I bought several abacuses so that each winning class could have an abacus for each WAR.

## Need an Engaging Way to Introduce Equations?

The first grade teachers at school absolutely love introducing subtraction and addition number sentences to their kids using the book Ten Flashing Fireflies by Philemon Sturges.  I discovered this book in a lesson recorded in a Math Solutions book entitled Minilessons for Math Practice K-2.  There is also a similar lesson (I think…not positive) in another Math Solutions book entitled Teaching Arithmetic.  In the lesson students model the action of gathering fireflies into a jar using snap cubes.  In the book there is a jar  printable to use  or the lesson suggests using a sheet of blue construction paper to represent the night sky.  Not only is this lesson good for introducing the action of subtraction and addition, but it is also good for discussing one more and one less.  Because this is such a beloved book that builds a great foundation for addition and subtraction, I worked on building this free SMART Board lesson to accompany the book this weekend, and so here is an example of this lesson.  Just click to download the SMART Board lesson for free.

## Wow, Cute Way to Chart Parts of Speech

I came across these posters in a fourth teacher’s room at my school.  She decided to display parts of speech on a shape poster to help students think about what types of words they use when they write.  She made a poster for nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.  She had displayed a house for nouns, a blob shape for adjectives, and the kite below for verbs.  For some reason my other pictures didn’t turn out, but the kite picture managed to turn out, which is my favorite.  Also, pictured below is another chart which she made entitled “RIP” for ‘dead words’ or words that are overused.

## Quick, Cheap, and Easy Share Chair

One of the teachers at my school made this share chair.  I thought it was clever and cute.  I had never thought of using a plastic lawn chair for a “Share Chair”.  She decorated it with stickers and the kids love it.  She uses it for not only literacy, but other subjects as well such as the closing of her math lesson.  I asked her permission to share it on my blog since I thought her “Share Chair” idea was such a great idea!

## Inside a First Grader’s Mind…

Today the secretary came to me and recounted the following story to me which had earlier occurred in the office.

‘Michael’ came to her with a scrap of folded up paper on which his phone number was written so that the secretary could change his personal contact information.  He read the phone number out loud to her.  As his eyes peered from behind the scrap of paper he read, “five, one, five minus six, two, two, seven.”

I am sure the secretary had a grin on her face when he finished.    I am just glad he can recognize his numbers.

## How Can You Use Literacy to Introduce Multiplication?

I have come across Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream by Cindy Neuschwanderin several of Math Solutions lesson books, however today is the first time I have read the book.  It wasn’t until last year that the book actually was ordered for our library.  The book is about a little girl who counts EVERYTHING.  She counts so much that she dreams about counting.  Her teacher and her mother encourage her to multiply because it works better for counting large numbers.  Towards the end of the book Amanda realizes that multiplying REALLY is better than counting everything.  This book would also work well for teachers who are  using CGI strategies with counting collections because on each page there are multiple illustrations of objects to count like squares in window panes, food, wheels, legs, sweaters etc.  Arrays and things that come in groups can easily be discussed after looking at the pictures.   Now I am going to recommend this book to all the teachers who are teaching multiplication.