When I read all of the blogs out there, I feel bad for my kids. My district has a curriculum guide we are supposed to be following and it doesn't leave much room for "fun stuff". I had to give a reading and math benchmark test last week, plus stay caught up with the curriculum guide. It left no room for anything Thanksgiving. We did make some Turkey in Disguises that I will share with you tomorrow.
Last year I would do little reading and math craftivities for morning work which let me fit in seasonal art. This year my state came up with a new grading system and our score was low. So now each teacher meets with our principal once a week to show her the mini assessments we've given, writing samples from the week, samples of the morning work aligned with low areas from the benchmark tests and samples of our academic vocabulary notebooks.
We are using Core Knowledge (not to be confused with Common Core). It comes from the books What Your First Grader Needs to Know (there is one for every grade level). There is a guide set up telling us which units to teach each week. So for the last 3 weeks we were supposed to be teaching about the Incas and the Aztecs while everyone else is teaching Thanksgiving. In December, we are supposed to teach about plants...in December???? "That should make for some great plant experiments." the teacher said sarcastically.
I actually like Core Knowledge, but one of the frustrating things is we do not have literature to go along with it. I think there are some trade books, but there is just one copy. So I am using Treasures and while I am supposed to be teaching about the Incas and the Aztecs, we are reading The Fun Kid's Band, On My Way to School and Kate's Game. Of the 3 stories, one is realistic fiction and the other two are humorous stories. Do those stories sound like they would support learning about the Incas? I haven't even taught any of the Core Knowledge for probably over a month. Now during our meeting with the principal, we are supposed to telling her what we have been doing for Core Knowledge. Yikes! Hmmm.... let's see....cough, cough....nothing. I didn't realize it until this year that I am rather rebellious.
We started using Everyday Math, which, so far, I do not like. I know it is supposed to keep spiraling around, but so far, I feel like I have a lot of kids that just aren't getting it and I am constantly trying to reteach while EM is going on ahead and throwing out more. I personally don't think EM spends enough time on one topic before it goes to another topic. Any Everyday Math users out there? What's your opinion? I like to teach the topic thoroughly and then continue to revisit it the rest of the year.
OK, so if you have read all of my complaining, you deserve a reward. here are a couple of math freebies for you. The first one I used as an assessment for Tally Marks and Ten Frames.
Here is the link.
The next freebies is a little book for making tens. It goes along with the idea from Pinterest of using the Unifix cubes in 2 colors to show the different way ten is made. I added the hands to go along with the EM penny grab game. Note the first two pages have the page twice so only run 1/2 of what you need, page 3 and 4 you will need to run a full set.
I'm sorry each page is separate, the old program I use won't let me do more than one page at a time. I hope to get a new program soon. My kids loved this book.
Sorry for the rant,