Math Fact Ideas


Our first grade curriculum is a whole lot of addition and subtraction.  I continue to invest time in making activities that I think the students will enjoy during centers so that we keep our love of math!

Here are a few ideas to pump  up your math time!

  • Have you ever considered a math fact password/code to get in and out of the classroom?  The math fact is posted inside the room and outside.  The students whisper in your ear as they go in and out, and you are there to giving helpful hints if needed.  Math Code
  • While students wait in line give them a math fact, come back if they need to try again.
  • Make use of fun objects as manipulatives.  My students love when I bring in cars, beads from broken jewelry, plastic cocktail stirrers, coffee beans, cookie cutters, old buttons….well, just about anything!
  • Always play a game yourself before expecting them to play, it will help you find flaws.
  • Spin, subtract and color:  I saw 4-pack spinners in the Dollar Tree.  I bought 2 packs and got started.  I numbered them either 1 or 2.  On all the 1’s, I increase the number to teens by adding a one before the number (Differentiate by making higher numbers).  I left the 2’s alone.  This is a quick, easy and cheap game to make!  Spin, Subtract and color
  • My math centers are Facts, Sort, Movement, Game and Computer.  This allows the students to apply their knowledge multiple ways and works to meet all learners.
  • I work with a group during center time.  Allow your students to be the experts and help the other students when needed.  You will be amazed at how much they know. Math Expert
  • Get up and move!  Get yourself a beach ball, take the class outside and get into math.  Throw the ball to a student, give a math fact, have them throw it to another student.  There are many variations but sometimes you have to try something a little different.
  • Have a chart of different ways to solve….different students need different strategies!

Support your students in making meaningful connections


Some students readily make connections while reading and then their are the other students that need it pulled out of them.  We know they have it in them!  Here are some think sheets to help teach connections.  I hope you find them useful!

Text to Self Connection

Text to Text Connection

Text to world Connection

Responding to Literature by Making Books


My reading coach stopped by my room one day and I asked her to look around and offer suggestions.  When looking at my center board she suggested that my students respond to what we are reading by making books.  I thought this was a good suggestion, so I added it in.  The kids agreed that it was a good idea and they have been running with it. 

I made direction sheets for the center to help get the students started and also for them to start seeing writing prompts more frequently.



Enjoy the following and check back for more!


Respond to Literature, The Pain and the Great One

Respond to Literature, Alexander Terrible… 

Respond to Literature, Alice the Fairy

Respond to Literature, Farfallina and Marcel

Respond to Literature, How my parents learned

Respond to Literature, Knuffle Bunny

Primary Poetry


Check out for monthly poems…she provides one per week and the students love them!  I introduce one per week on chart paper and then the students read them during a center called Read and Write Poems (each child gets a copy to read again and again).  Here is my direction sheet for the students: Poetry, the student will recognize sight words and chunks, read independently and with a partner and illustrate the poem.

Differentiating Comprehension


Thinking about our reading is so important.  As a class we do our thinking together and I gradually release it to the students.  I have found that after the whole process some students are able to continue to do it on their own in our center called Read and Track Thinking but others need more support.  Keeping the students in mind that need a bit more I made the follow think sheets.

Retelling:  A snapshot of my book

Story Elements: My Story

Connections: Thinking about my book

Some students naturally think about a story.  Others are so busy decoding that their thinking doesn’t come right away.  I realized with those students I needed to get a bit more basic until they are ready for more.

The following think sheet was based off of a main idea lesson by Brandy Tackett and Kate Nordstrom, two brilliant teachers that I have the pleasure to work with.  I just changed it to fit my primary needs: Main Idea

Here are my other think sheets:

 Background Knowledge, New Learnings and Questions


 Important events in a story

 PostIt, Reminds me

 Sticky Note Retell

 Sticky Note, Tracking Our Thinking

  Text Features Examples

 Prior Knowledge

 Character Chart