FREEBIE Back to School Writing Center with REAL Pictures

#2 on my summer to-do list is do revamp enhance my writing center. One thing I really felt my classroom was lacking was REAL life pictures that could be used for inspiration. I have tons of clip art, but I wanted something different, so I've created some new writing centers that are delightfully lacking in clip art. I'm almost ready to upload an entire year's worth of Writing Centers with Real Pictures, but let me introduce the first two today. These two are must haves for the beginning of the school year and one of them is absolutely FREE for a limited time!

The Back to School Writing Center with REAL Pictures includes color photos of buses, a school, a teacher and her students, a classroom, a backpack and supplies, library, computer lab, art class, playground, and cafeteria. 

The Fall Fruit Writing Center with REAL Pictures includes color photographs of apples, an orchard, apple blossoms, parts of an apple (Granny Smith), yellow apples (Golden Delicious), apple juice, apple pie, apple sauce, candy apples, bobbing for apples, pumpkins, parts of a pumpkin, squash, vines, baby pumpkin, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, Jack-o-lanterns, pumpkin patch, and costumed children with pumpkin buckets. This center is perfect for September and October! 

I'll be back in August with a post about my completed writing center. I plan to print the pages with color photographs and labels at a small poster size. I will hang the posters above my writing center so it can be used for inspiration and as a picture dictionary from across the room. I will also print and laminate about 5 copies to add to my picture dictionary basket which holds many thematic clip art picture dictionaries already. I can't wait to share it with you!

Organize Your Math Centers

Recently I read a post from Amy Lemons about how she re-organized her math centers. She created some really beautiful labels which inspired me to create my own set that complemented my classroom decor. If you have a brightly colored classroom, you'll love these labels. Check them out HERE.

Here the lables are taped in two Sterilite (14 1/4" L x 9 5/8" W x 6 7/8" H) and backed with scrapbooking paper. 

Here I laminated the labels so I could adhere them to the outside of the box. I think I like this way better. And, the hot glue will peel right off the plastic if I need to change the label!

Happy organizing!

Intro to Addition Math Games and Activities

This is week 3 of the TpT Seller Challenge! This week's theme is:

I'm late to the party because I like to make a grand entrance I spent the first half of the week beachside in a cozy cottage and it was fantastic! Now, about the challenge...

Last year my school district adopted the Pearson enVision MATH 2.0 Grade 1Texas edition. I wonder how it differs from the Common Core or Florida edition...or is it just a label? Before enVision, we used Investigations. My district does not require that we use or follow any program exclusively, but does provide a scope & sequence and suggests and references materials from the adopted programs. I like some things about enVision (like the short introductory videos for each lesson), but I still like to use many of the Investigations hands-on activities. So, I added hands-on math games and activities that complement enVision to my summer to-do list.

Even though, enVision does provide some math centers, they are generally a black and white worksheets. There is nothing wrong with back and white worksheet games, per say, but I like to promote engagement and buy-in and a "This looks fun!" mindset with colorful or thematic games and activities during math class. As a result, I've began creating math games and activities (perfect for the teacher table and math tubs) to supplement the enVision program. 

Of course, you do not need to use the enVision Math program to utilize these fabulous math activities! Here's a peek at some of what's included.

This is one of the games that will help students recognize the quantities of structured arrangements. Play with dots, ten frames, tally marks, or combine all three. 

The lighting in this pic stinks...that is a bright neon green paper, not the pea soup color seen here. 

Inside/Outside games are fabulous way for students to use objects to represent addition problems. Use the cut-outs included in the packet, or seasonal manipulatives, or snack foods, or whatever you have on hand. 

Use the cut-outs included in the packet, dollar store manipulatives, snack foods, erasers or whatever you have on hand. It is not lost on me that the fish out of water will die :-(

I love story mats. I have children tell the story out loud. My daughter prefered dinosaurs to birds, so the story sounded something like this, "5 dinosaurs were picking flowers. Then, 5 more dinosaurs came to pick flowers. Now there are 10 dinosaurs picking flowers." At the beginning of the year, we work on oral story problems. It helps us with writing story problems later. 

There are four different story mats included in the Intro to Addition packet, plus lots more!

Intro to Additon Math Games and Activites can be found in my store now for 20% off today through Monday!

Here are a couple of other masterpieces I've recently completed too!