Monday, 2 December 2013

Back after a loooong break!

Hello! It's been a long time since I've blogged I know... things have been ridiculously busy so my blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. My goal is to get back in to the swing of things now that the work year is winding down and I'll (hopefully!) have a bit more time!

I'm home with two sick kids today, so while they're both resting, I thought I'd pop up a quick post to share a little collection of Maths games that I put together for some of the teachers at my school.

These Maths games are designed for year 1/2 though you could easily adapt them for older students. I'm not really sure where I got the games from... they're just ones I've picked up over the years!

Here's a couple of the games included :)


If you'd like to download a copy, just click here.

If you're also winding up for the year... have a wonderful last couple of weeks! And for everyone else, enjoy the lead up to the festive season :)

Friday, 4 October 2013

A rainbow facts card game

We are on holidays in South Australia... this term they have felt so long overdue! My mind must've been super ready for holidays, it only took me a couple of days to forget which day of the week it was - I love it!
Today I thought I'd share a simple little card game that's great to  play with kids to develop their understanding of rainbow facts (or bonds to 10), it's basically a modified version of Go Fish.
This game is great to play in small groups (3 or 4) but it can work in pairs too. You'll need a pack of cards (Ace=1, picture cards removed) to play, and I also often give students a sheet with the rainbow facts on it for support if needed.
You can get a copy of this sheet here
The aim of the game is to have the most pairs at the end of the game, but instead of pairs being the traditional matching numbers, they are the numbers that go together to make 10. So for example, if I had a 4, the matching card would have a 6 on it.
The dealer gives each player 5 cards, and the rest of the cards are placed in a pile in the middle. Everyone then checks their cards, and sets aside any pairs that they already have. If a player ever has less than 5 cards, they will need to pick up cards from the middle pile, so that all players have 5 cards at all times.  Player 1 then chooses another player and asks them for a particular card.....

Start with five cards...

.....and make pairs....

..... 8 and 2 is 10
ie. Player 1 (who has an 8 already)-  'Sam, do you have a 2?'
If Sam does have a 2, she will give the card to Player 1, if not, they will need to pic up another card from the pile.
The game continues like this until all the cards are gone, then the person with the most pairs is the winner!


Thursday, 12 September 2013

A favourite Maths website... so useful!

Do you use the NZ Maths website? If not, I would definitely recommend checking it out!

Although its designed for NZ teachers, anyone can access it and it has a ton of amazing ideas and resources for teaching maths.

At the moment, I'm working with a lot of teachers at my school on problem solving, so I've been heading to the problem solving section a lot. There you can find a range of lesson plans around problem solving, sorted by level and strand... soooo handy!

I also LOVE the collection of picture books with mathematical content.... a really comprehensive list of books across the year levels that you can use to support kids maths understanding.

If you haven't had a chance yet, pop on over to when you get a chance.... it's one of those great websites that has awesome resources that you could just pick up and run with... and it's free!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Doubles game for Friday Game Day

We've had a huge couple of weeks at work... lots of prep for our open night which was on Thursday - it was a great night!

I organised a Numeracy display and shared some of the whole school focus that we've had in Maths... Problem Solving and Mental Computation skills. For Friday Game Day I thought today I'd share a quick little game that I had set up to practice doubles...

I normally play this game in pairs, but you could do it individually or in threes. Each player needs to write the numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 on  a piece of paper (or up to 20 if you're using 1-10 die) and each group will need a die (I start with a six-sided die and then move to a 1-10 die when kids are getting the hang it). I usually have a couple of ten frames and some counters available for kids to use to help them work out their doubles.

Player 1 rolls the die and then works out double that number. They then cross that double off of their list. The next player then has a turn and the game continues until one person has all of their doubles crossed off - they're the winner!

If I roll a 2, I would cover double 2 (4) on my board

I've linked this post up with Kerry and Paula (from iSURF Maths) Maths game Linky... click on the link to discover some fabulous maths games!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Bonds to 10... Friday Game Day

This little game is great for practicing Bonds to 10 (or rainbow facts, friendly numbers - they seem to have many names!). I haven't played it in my class for a while, but I was playing with a group of kids this week and they loved it, so I thought I'd share it with you too :)

Here is a little free Bonds to 10 poster
To play this game, you'll need a 1-10 die or a 1-10 spinner and each player will need a piece of paper (or little whiteboard) with the numbers 0 - 9 on it.
This spinner is from my freebie on TPT... click here to download :)

To play, the first person rolls the die/spin. Then, on their whiteboard/paper, they need to cross off the number that goes with it to make 10.
So, if I rolled a 3, I would cross off the 7. Then, the next player then has a turn. The winner is the first person to have all of their numbers crossed off!
I normally play the game in pairs... if the groups get too big it can get a bit tricky. Also, I often start off giving kids a copy of the rainbow facts to refer to, which I take away as they become more fluent with them.
It's such a simple game that doesn't need a lot of prep, but its really effective, and kids love it!

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Goodbye laminator :( and some favs

We're nearly half way through term 3 now... time is flying! I have had such good intentions to blog in the last couple of weeks, but somehow it just hasn't happened!

The week started off with a bit of a laminator crisis...

I let my daughter put in a laminating sheet without watching what she was doing (WRONG move) and a sheet got jammed. It started making all sorts of not-very-good noises and then seized up altogether!
To top it off, I sat down to write this post tonight and my laptop has given up the ghost :( I'm just not having much luck at the moment!

But back to more positive things...I was having a look for different maths resources during the week, and I thought I'd share a couple of my favourites.

This first is my absolute favourite maths book - it's my go-to book for whenever I'm planning or have any questions about maths concepts and how to teach them.
Teaching Primary Mathematics.. (Booker, Bond, Sparrow and Swan)

This book is AMAZING! It's quite pricey (I think I saw it for $115 at a book seller stall the other week) but totally worth it! Written in a really easy to read but comprehensive manner, it covers the concepts that kids need to know, the sequence for learning, common misconceptions and examples of activities too. PERFECT!
Another resource that I love to use in the class, are the Targeting Maths Literacy books. There are four sets, each has a big book and 12 (I think) small books to go with it.
Here's one set of the small books
They're suitable for Reception-2 and cover a range of topics from Number through Measurement and Geometry. I love using the big books with the class as a part of our whole class focus time, but I find both the big and little books are popular with kids when they have free reading time. The little books are also fantastic for small group work - I use them when I have support staff in my room - they can take a book and a couple of kids and focus on a particular strategy or concept.

I would love to hear about some new maths resources....what is your favourite?

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Roll, add and colour... an easy dice game

This week's game is a little bit late for Friday game day..... but better late than never! ;)
This game is great for practicing addition, but it can easily be adapted for subtraction or multiplication... and it's so easy to differentiate. To play, you need two players, a couple of dice (0-6 to start with, or 1-10 for those kids who are more confident with their addition), a different coloured pencil each and a photocopy of the game board.
Player 1 rolls the dice and then adds the numbers together. they then colour that number of squares on the game board. Player 2 then has a turn and the game continues until all squares are coloured in. The person with the most squares in their colour is the winner!
For older kids, I use graph paper, and have them multiply the numbers on the dice - it's a great way to reinforce multiplicative thinking using Arrays.
This game is great for early finishers, as a Maths warm up or for those times when you have a spare 10 minutes before the bell goes (not that this happens very often in my class though... we always seem to run over time!)
If you'd like to grab a copy of the game board, just click here :)

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

'My House' freebie

I've been working on a resource lately - well, trying to, it's been a pretty busy time in our house with both my little ones hit with gastro :(  I thought I'd share a page from it with you.
It's basically a little activity to get students thinking about Number in the context of addresses and house numbers. As a part of History in the new Australian Curriculum, we look at families, so I thought this would be a nice little way to tie in some Number work with that theme.
Graphics c
If you'd like a copy, just click here :)

I'll be back with a game for Friday Game Day tomorrow (hopefully!)... have a great end of the week :)

Friday, 26 July 2013

Beginning of term Sorting Assessment

This has been first week back for the term for me, and it's been busy! I've hit the ground running... which is probably a good thing - otherwise the term is half gone before I realise it!
I'm working across classes R-7 and I thought I'd share the simple little activity we did in one of the Reception classes this week. We have termly intakes in S.A. (for the last time, we start annual intakes next year) so we've had quite a few new kids in the Reception classes this week. Perfect time for a simple little formative assessment activity to get an idea of where the newies are at, as well as seeing how the older kids are travelling!
We gave each child a copy of this sheet (enlarged to A3 so the pics were easier to cut out)....

Click here for a copy of this page, and one other :)

....and asked them to sort the shapes in a  way that made sense to them. We didn't give many instructions, as we really wanted to see how the kids went about it. It was really interesting to see the different ideas kids had, and to get an idea of their sorting and classifying skills.
To extend those kids who could easily classify the objects, we asked questions such as...
Can you count and record how many are in each group?
Can you order the groups from smallest to largest?
Which group has the most/least?
What other ways could you have sorted....?
Are there any objects that could have fitted into more than one group?
We recorded the conversations with students and their explanations on their sheet so we have a record of their thinking..... a simple but effective way to get a snap shot of kids' understandings!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Problem solving pizzas!

Last week of holidays for me (and it's rained ALL week long!), so I've been busy planning for the term. I thought I'd share a little problem solving activity that I'm planning for one of the classes that I'm working with this term (I'm working as a Numeracy Coach for the rest of the year). It's a simple little activity to develop problem solving skills using a pizza theme. The class is a multi- year level class, and there's a pretty wide range of abilities, so I wanted to make an activity that could be easily differentiated, using the same material.
I'm going to give each student (or pair) a paper plate (which will be their pizza) and a set of pizza toppings (thanks Scrappin Doodles!). Basically, all kids are going to be working on a question relating to making pizzas, just at different levels.
Level 1:
Design a pizza for your friend/parent/teacher. How many pieces of topping are on there? What is there the most of? Least of?
Level 2:
I'm making pizza for me, my husband and my two kids. We each want pineapple pizza. Each will need pieces of pineapple, can you help me work out how much pineapple I will need?
Level 3:
Each pizza needs 5 pieces of pineapple and 6 pieces of tomato… how many pieces of topping altogether?
Level 4:
My daughter's two friends are going to join us for dinner. How many pieces of pineapple now? If a can has 15 pieces in it, how many cans will I need?
I asked my daughter to have a go at the first question - she really enjoyed it! Hopefully the class does too!
I'll let you know how it goes! :)

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Friday Game Day - The Tens and Ones game

It might be holidays but I've remembered its Friday.... I obviously need a few more weeks holidays! I love it when I forget the day - a sign that I'm truly relaxed and enjoying holidays!
Today I thought I'd share a game that was actually taught to me by one of my Prac teachers when I was at uni... it's a game I've played with so many classes since and it's always really popular.
I call it the Tens and Ones game - not very creative, but it does the trick!
The game is played as a whole class, and is great to use as a 'warm up' game with your class at the beginning of you Maths lesson.
To start, you will need a pack of cards (Ace=1, picture cards=0) and you'll need to draw the following groups on the board:

The aim of the game is to get one number in each group before getting three strikes. One student takes two cards from the deck of cards and then makes a number from them (for example, if I pulled a 2 and a 4, I could make 24 or 42) and writes it in the correct group.
The next students than takes two cards and does the same, if you can't make a move (the group already has a number in it) a strike is recorded. you continue playing until either all groups are filled (game won!) or you get three strikes (game lost!).
An easy, fun card game that's great for developing place value concepts as well as strategic thinking :)
Which cards games do you like to play with your class?

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Farm Freebie

Hi! I fell like it's been AGES since I've posted anything... the end of term has been pretty hectic, but I'm now on finally on holidays :)
Just a quick post today, I wanted to share a little game that's great for Receptions... Pigs and Chooks. I've mentioned before how I like to get the kids to play noughts and crosses to help develop their ability to think strategically, and this game is basically a prettied up version of that!
Basically, kids play in pairs - one person uses the chook cards, and another the pigs. the aim is to get four of your cards in a row, either horizontally, vertically or diagonally, just as you would for noughts and crosses.
You just need a game board....
Graphics c

...and a copy of the cards for each pair.....
....and they're ready to play!


You can grab a copy of this game here if you'd like :)
Happy holidays to everyone on school holidays!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, 21 June 2013

Friday Game Day... I love Maths!

Happy Friday! I can't believe we're nearly half way through the year... only two more weeks until end of term!
For today's game, I wanted to share a game that a colleague told me about just the other day, and I thought it sounded really great!
It's called 'I love maths' and is a really simple game for practicing fluency in a fun and active way.
The game is played in pairs, and it's similar to Rock, Paper Scissors. Each player makes a fist with a hand and shakes their hand three times, as they say '!' On the third shake, each player holds out some fingers. The players then have to find the total number of fingers and say the answer out loud as quickly as they can.
Here's an example of me playing with my daughter :)

Both players shake their fist and say 'I....
....(shake fist again) love.....
.....Maths!' (and hold out some fingers)

For the example above, we called out '3!'.

The game can easily be adjusted to practice other number facts.... you could subtract the smaller number from the larger number, multiply the numbers together, make the smallest fraction possible with the two numbers, make the biggest two digit number... and I'm sure there's many more alternatives!


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Awesome teacher resource... Scootle!

Well, I know its winter for sure now.... everyone in our family has been sick for the past week... no fun at all! Finally, everyone is on the mend and I have time to a) catch up on all my favourite blogs (Which I've really missed!) and b) do a bit of blogging myself!
It's a crazy, busy time at school too... I'm not in the class so I don't have all the sick kids (except mine at home) or the reports to write so I'm considering myself pretty lucky! Last week I spent a bit of time trying to get some Interactive Whiteboard resources together for Maths and spent quite a bit of time on Scootle.... such an awesome resource!
Scootle is jam packed full of digital resources... bets of all, they're all designed to use with the Australian curriculum! At the moment, nearly all Australian teachers can use the site, I think NSW teachers can't yet, but they'll be able to later in the year. If you haven't had a chance to have a good look through, I really recommend it!
I use it mainly for the Learning Objects, which are great to use on your Interactive Whiteboard, but it has a ton of other resources - videos, audio clips, teacher lesson plans and assessments as well.
I've taken a few screen shots of Learning Objects that I use.....
Number Trains- for ordering, recognising amount and numerals, skip counting, place value
Pirate Treasure Hunt.... great for Problem Solving
Garden Symmetry.... finding objects with one line of symmetry (there's also a Learning object for 2+ lines of symmetry)
Do you use Scootle? I'd love to hear about any Learning Objects that you find useful :)

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Play dough Maths Monsters

Wow.... Winter has finally hit with a vengeance... We had such beautiful weather on the weekend, but now I'm snuggled up next to the heater - it only reached 15 today!

My four and a half year old is obsessed with play dough at the moment, so we have been doing a lot of playdough making/playing. A LOT. Maybe too much (well, for my liking anyway!). The other day we were making some play dough monsters which gave me an idea for a little maths activity for practicing measurement and number concepts.

Basically, they're little task cards that you can give your students - they need to make a maths monster by following the directions on the card. I'm thinking they'll be really handy for those tactile learners who enjoy using play dough.
Here's some examples of the ones I've made.....


....and a pic of my little girl making the 5 eye/3 feet monster :)

Feel free to download a copy if you'd like :)
(Just click here to download)
Have a great week :)

Friday, 7 June 2013

Clipart Challenge!

Several fabulous clipartists and bloggers have come together for an amazing Clipart Challenge hosted by Primary Possibilities!  Each blogger is featuring a clipartist and a product they made using that artist's images!  This is a great way to discover new clipart creators for your summer creations.   So keep reading and following the linky at the bottom to head on to the next post!  You may even pick up some freebies along the way!

Today I'm linking up with Primary Possibilities for the Clipart Challenge! When I heard about this Linky I was so keen to join.... it seemed like such a fun way to find new clip artists!

I teamed up with Heather and Traci from The Meek Moose... I was so excited when I headed to their store - their graphics are amazing... detailed and colourful (which I love!)

You can find the Meek Moose blog here

I had a hard time choosing which set I wanted to use... I LOVE the seasonal sets... there's one for all four seasons and they include grapics and papers.
The Continents and Oceans pack is amazing too!

In the end, I chose their adorable Aquarium clip art, you can download a sample of this pack here.

I decided to use these gorgeous graphics to make a Maths Centre pack... it's free if you'd like to download it here

It has three maths centres for K/1...

.....a Write the Room Activity for practicing doubles....

 ...a Roll and Trace....

and a Patterning activity (my favourite because of the beautiful bright graphics!)

You can check out a ton of other fabulous products and clipartists by clicking on the links below :)

Loading InLinkz ...

Friday, 31 May 2013

Friday Game Day... practicing fluency

This week, I had a couple of training days, one of the sessions I went to was about Peter Sullivan's six principles for teaching mathematics... it was an awesome session!
One of the principles that the presenter (Matt... I'm not sure of his last name, sorry!) talked about was fluency.... and a great way to develop fluency with number is through short daily tasks that require mental computation or manipulating number.
He shared one of Peter's games with us... it was so easy, needed no prep and can be easily differentiated, just the sort of game I love :)
So, I thought I'd share it with you too...
Students work in pairs, they'll need a piece of paper to share and a pencil each  (we have individual whiteboards for the kids, which I'm planning to use instead).
The first person writes down either a 0 or a 1 - the second person can either add on 1 or 2, then the first person has another turn. This continues until one player can write 10 - they are the winner! Super simple, super easy, and you can play 5 or more games in a few minutes. This is really handy for developing fluency because kids need to do the +1/+2 quickly in their head, but also, they'll soon realise that they need to plan ahead and predict moves, which involves even more mental computation and strategy. 
(Spoiler alert..... there's a number quite early on in the sequence that you should try to get because it can guarantee that you'll win..... it's interesting to see which kids pick up on this!)
To make the game more difficult, students can play first to 20 or 50, or they could add 3 and 4 or 5 and 10 - any numbers really... there are so many possibilities! It can also be played to practice fractions (first to 5 1/2... adding 1/4 or 1/2) or decimals or even units of measurement (first to 1 metre... adding 5 or 10 cm). I'm really looking forward to trying this with some of the classes I work with... I think the kids will love it!
I'd love to hear about how you develop fluency in your classroom too :)