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Silly Story Starters - Cupcakes

Who wants a dull writing block? Not you and especially not your students. As teachers we are constantly thinking new and creative ways to engage our young writers. Here is one new activity that I love to use with my students, just be sure to have some real cupcakes on hand, because you'll be hungry! You can fins this Silly Story Starters by clicking on any of the picture or by clicking here.


Students begin by picking different elements of a cupcake (story elements) that they want to build.

 They will begin with a cupcake liner which lists characters to be used in their creative story.


 Next, students choose the cake (chocolate or vanilla) to be given a problem they will write about.

Last, a frosting flavor is chosen to give the story setting place.


An optional topper is offered for differentiation which adds to the setting by giving the time in which the story takes place.

Now the fun begins! With the given setting, characters, and problem students begin to create their own story. Using character traits and setting, how will the characters solve the problem? Having an astronaut in space may be helpful, but how is a frog going to help you get gas in your car?

You can fins this Silly Story Starters by clicking on any of the picture or by clicking here.

With over 6,000 different options, this activity can be done time and time again. Included are story writing papers for students. Such a fun activity for students to share with one another and their families!


You can fins this Silly Story Starters by clicking on any of the picture or by clicking here.


Happy Silly Writing!



How To Use Problem Solving in Math Everyday



One of my favorite times of the school day is when my students and I begin our math problem solving. These 15 minutes are packed with not only mathematical skills and higher order thinking skills, but also with speaking and listening skills. Students love it, I love it, we are all happy.



I begin my math block with problem solving by using math journals that students keep at their desk or table. We all open up to the next problem and read it together. We underline key words, act out the problem, do a "Mind Movie," among other various strategies together. These beginning activities are done to get students thinking about the problem by using analytical skills. Through the year this is scaffolded down to being done independently or in small groups. We take about 2-3 minutes to get our brains ready to solve.



A key to underline or note is "What is the problem asking?" and "What do you already know?" These two ideas are crucial to learning to solve problems. 


At this point students begin to solve the problem independently using strategies such as drawing picture, using a number line, using manipulatives, etc. Students almost always write an equation (when appropriate) and answer the question using a sentence. They usually work independently for about five minutes. Find First Grade Math Journals Here. 




Students need to answer the question being asked by the problem.

At this point we begin to break down the problem together using some math talk. Two separate students are chosen to present their way of solving the problem. The presenting student is not only using math talk to explain their mathematical reasoning, but also practicing their speaking skills. It is important the class is listening because when the presenter is done two different students are chosen to ask the presenter a question about their problem solving.




Questions such as "How did you know that was your answer?" or "Why did you add instead of subtracting?" are great ideas to discuss as a whole class and bring up main teaching points. 

Find these First Grade Math Journals Here
After discussing the problem in depth through presenting and question & answer we finish our problem solving and move into our math lesson for the day. The process takes about 15 minutes and is simple to incorporate into your daily math program. Find First Grade Math Journals here. 


You can find any of the math journals discussed in this post by clicking on any of the pictures or by clicking here.

Happy Problem Solving!


5 Ways to Use Task Cards






You can find these Math Task Cards here.


This is the most frequent time that my class uses task cards. Task cards are perfect to use during centers time because students can navigate them independently while the teacher is working with a small group or other students. Simple to use, low prep task cards uses a variety of tasks that students can work on with a partner or independently.

You can find these First Grade Measurement and Data Task Cards here. 

You can find these First Grade Geometry Task Cards here.

You can find these Comprehension Task Cards here. 
Sometimes I have students turn in response sheets so I can check over their work and also to hold students accountable for their independent or partner work.

You can find these NBT Task Cards here. 


You can find these Comprehension Task Cards here. 





Task cards make differentiating students a breeze. Creating appropriate tasks for varying levels of students and small groups is simple by using color coding, group folders, or group baskets. During centers or group rotations, students can easily find the task cards meant for their learning level.


You can find these Comprehension Task Cards here. 


You can find these First Grade Geometry Task Cards here. 


You can find these First Grade Operations and Algebraic Thinking Task Cards here. 

You can find these First Grade Fraction Task Cards here. 


Using a response sheet with task cards makes a simple exit slip for quick formative assessment after or during a lesson. Mid-lesson post a task card on your projector or pass our several cards to tables/desks with student choice, and see how your lesson is going. For q quick on the go assessment, task cards can be a great tool.


You can find these NBT Task Cards here.


You can find these First Grade Operations and Algebraic Thinking Task Cards here. 


We all have those early finishers that complete their work or need to be challenged further. Task cards are a great tool for student who finish work early. Students need more of a challenge? Give them the next set of task cards that they can work on independently.


You can find these First Grade Operations and Algebraic Thinking Task Cards here. 


You can find these First Grade Measurement and Data Task Cards here.


You can find these First Grade Geometry Task Cards here. 

You can find these First Grade Geometry Task Cards here. 

Task cards can also be used for a summative assessment using multiple task cards and response sheets. As the teacher, you can pick and choose which standards, tasks, or ideas you want to assess. It is also great to show parents during conferences!

You can find these Comprehension Task Cards here. 


You can find these NBT Task Cards here.
As you can see there are many ways to use task cards in your classroom. I would love to hear your ideas in the comments below! You can find any of these task card sets by visiting my store here.

Happy Tasking!


FREE Valentine and Friendship Cards

Happy Valentine's Day! To show some love during this season I have brought you FREE Valentine's Day and Friendship Day Notes. Each note comes in two versions. A: Happy Valentine's Day and B: Happy Friendship Day. These are perfect to print out and give to students who can't buy notes. Find them by clicking on any of the mages or clicking here.


Here are some examples of what is included. You can find this freebie by clicking on any of the images or by clicking here





You can find these FREE Valentine's Day Notes here!

Need more Valentine's Day resources? Fall in love with these Valentine's Day Math Bingo.

Find addition and subtraction within 10 here.


Find addition and subtraction within 20 here.


Want even more Valentine's Day Math Games? Find the packet here!





Happy Valentine's Day!


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