Susan Jones Teaching
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Free Hands On Addition Activities!

Hands-on math. I love it, I live for it, I believe in it.

Nothing keeps my students engaged more than getting their hands on a piece of the action. I spent this past year focusing on math and trying to come up with tons of engaging activities, lessons, and games for first grade students. 

Even though my first grade guided math curriculum is complete, I still had a bunch of ideas buzzing around in my head, so I thought I would offer you all a FREE 15 page addition unit with activities and ideas you can take right back to your classroom.

If you want to just head straight to your free activities, click the "grab them here" button below and enter your email!
If you want to see more about what's inside, keep on reading.

 Roll, subitize, & add!
This game has students practice their number sense skills with a little subitizing action before they use manipulatives to add two numbers together.
There are 2 different boards.

  Addition Grab Bags!
Students put their hands in each bag and see  how many different items they can grab. Simple, cheap, and effective. My favorite ;)

 Fix it Cards!
Fix it cards are my favorite math warm up, and while the cards themselves aren't "hands-on" I like to make my students illustrate or use manipulative to prove to me why the card is wrong and also how they can fix it!

 Print & Play Math Games!
I love love love making print & play games as I am sure you may know if you follow my blog, so I decided to add two addition games to this little free unit. The one above has students racing to fill their grid first. There is a 2 digit and 3 digit version.

 Print & Play Math Games!
This game is called tower races and each student has their own game board. Students roll 2 dice, find the sum, and cover that many blocks in their tower. First to fill their tower, wins!

Story Problems!
We have to add a little problem solving to our math skills and what better way than through some story problems?! There are 6 different problems in this free unit that touch upon different addition skills. Students must illustrate to show their thinking and find the sum!

If you didn't already grab all these activities, you can do so by clicking the big, yellow button below:

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Beach Day: End of the Year Fun!

It's time the last installment of my Countdown to Summer activities! I have another whole day of FUN ready for you! To read about my other themed days, click the links below:
[Camping Day]
[Friendship Day]
[Sports Day]
[Memories Day]

Today, I bring to you an entire day of the beach:
All these activities are part of a fun new product I came out with for the end of the year called Countdown to Summer! This is a 5 day all-encompassing unit which includes lessons and activities for every subject area! There is MORE than enough for you to have boatloads of fun during the last days of school while still reviewing and learning!

I wanted to show you a little sneak peek of the new activities I included for Day 5, Beach Day:

Focus skill is place value
Students practice their place value knowledge by adding, gathering, and exchanging base 10 blocks to see how many cubes they get to build their own sandcastle!

Focus skill is beginning digraphs
Collecting seashells! Students play against a partner to try to collect enough words with beginning digraphs to fill all the seashells in their pail. First player to fill their pail, wins!

Focus skill is character traits and changes
I love the Scaredy Squirrel books. I think they are funny and smart at the same time! In Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach Squirrel prepares his own beach at home so he can avoid thee crowds at the real beach. Along the way he ends up needing to go to the beach to collect sand and devises a plan to get in and out without getting noticed. Students will laugh along with the story and answer some questions about Squirrel.

Also, no worries if you can't get your hands on this book! I wrote a short story about a boy and girl who head to the beach with response questions to focus on the same skills!

Focus skill is realistic fiction
Students create their own character, problem and solution when writing a story at the beach! We focus on realistic fiction so I remind my students that it needs to be something that could really happen at the beach! After we brainstorm some possible problems and solutions, students write their own stories to share!

Science/Social Studies:
Focus skill is making hypothesis and recording our findings

Students learn about salt water and buoyancy in this fun, science lesson! I bring in 3 eggs, some water, and salt and students make their hypotheses about whether the egg will float or sink in the regular water. Then, we see what happens to the egg with a little salt in the water. Lastly, we stir a lottttt of salt in the water and see what happens to the egg!

Students make their own little handprint beach scene for the art project this day! Their hands can create fish or jellyfish, while they can use their fingers to make little seashells along the beach.

I recently came back from a cruise where they used this banana dolphin as a garnish on some fruity drink and it was just too cute not to share! All you do is cut a banana in half and then cut the stem right down the middle to create a mouth. I put a little Swedish fish in the mouth and drew on some eyes with a marker. You can put blueberries or goldfish in the cup to make it look like the dolphin is coming out of the water!

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You can buy all the activities above as well as the other 4 days of fun in my Countdown to Summer end of year unit below:

Diphthongs Activities and Games

Diphthongs! What in the world is a diphthong!? I remember very clearly asking myself that question in my Foundations of Literacy class in college. Diphthongs can be tricky to read since the letters shown in these words don't make their usual sounds - the sound is an entirely new one that isn't necessarily represented at all in the word. /oi/ for instance. I spend the whole beginning of the year year teaching short and long vowel sounds for o and i, then you put them together and they make /oi/?!? Way to get tricky language!

Anyhow, I put together 6 new Print & Play Phonics Games to focus solely on those tricky sounds, diphthongs and I thought I would share a few with you up close:

In case you are unfamiliar with my Print & Play Games, all the games only require dice, crayons, cubes, a paperclip, and a pencil! They are designed for ease! I wanted teachers to be able to quickly print out a game from their computer and teach it so they can get back to efficiently teaching the other students in their classroom. The directions on the games are simple for students to understand and many of the same game-playing concepts are seen throughout all the games.

Spin & Sort:
 This game can be played cooperatively or independently as students simply spin the wheel and find an image with the matching diphthong sound. There are 2 different versions of this game with different sounds!

Diphthong 5-in-a-Row:
This fun partner game has students rolling the dice to find the diphthong image at the bottom of the page. Students must find a word with the matching sound in the grid and place their block there. The goal is to be the first player to get 5-in-a-row! There are some fun additions like skip turn or the ability to remove another player's cube that make this game a bit more challenging!

Roll, Read, & Tally:
This game is all about fluency. These sounds are hard and students need lots of practice decoding, reading, and re-reading these words! In this game students simply roll the dice, read the word they rolled, and put a tally mark next to it. Students play until one player get 5 tally marks in a row first!

I have 3 more games included in my Print & Play Diphthongs Games and I also added this unit to my Print & Play Phonics Games Bundle which includes 6 games for each of the following phonics skills:
Short Vowels (CVC)
Long Vowels (CVCe)
Long Vowel Teams
Consonant Blends
R-Controlled Vowels
and now, Diphthongs

You can see those games and download a FREE phonics game by downloading the preview below:

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End of the Year Memories!

At the end of the year we always created a memory book of some sort. I love to reminisce with my students. 180 days together is no joke and should be celebrated before they head off to their next teacher! Instead of just filling in a memory book on the last week of school, I thought another fun way to share our memories would be through an entire Memory Day!

All these activities are part of a fun new product I came out with for the end of the year called Countdown to Summer! This is a 5 day all-encompassing unit which includes lessons and activities for every subject area! There is MORE than enough for you to have boatloads of fun during the last days of school while still reviewing and learning!

Here is a little sneak peek of what I included for Day 4, Memory Day:

telling time to the hour and half hour
The main game included for this day is "memory" where students match the digital and analog times! However, with all the themes in this unit, I include a black and white, little-to-no prep activity as well which is shown above! This game practices the same skills as students race to fill their clock tower first.

r-controlled vowels
Students take a walk down memory lane with this fun memory poem. As they read it, they will try to identify as many r-controlled vowels as they can find. There is also a nonsense/real word sorting sheet afterwards that they can complete. This is set up exactly like all my phonics poems, so if you already own that your students will be very familiar with this set up!

Comprehension and connections
Students listen to Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox and answer text-dependent questions using the read aloud one-page guide. There is also a reading response sheet for them to compel tee afterwards to show understanding of the text!

opinion writing
Students share their opinion of their favorite activity from their year. They must provide three reasons why it was simply the best!

Social Studies/Science:
Learning about our brain
This fun lesson has students learning all about their brains! Students learn a bit about the lobes of our brain before they complete a fun puzzle activity. Students will learn that in order to complete puzzles they are actually using their frontal lobe which is important for problem solving. After the mini-puzzles are put together, students must share a memory that is brought to mind by the image. This uses their hippocampus which stores long term memories!

Memory munchkins and a memory frame
I went super simple with this snack - Memory munchkins! I always provide breakfast on our last day of school and I would give each student one munchkin. We would go around in groups and before they could eat their donut hole, they had to tell their group all about a favorite memory of theirs. Since an entire breakfast isn't provided here, I went with 3-4 munchkins and provided a few guidelines to sharing their memories with one another! I also opted for a memory frame instead of a whole book since students would be sharing their memories all day long!

There are 5 days filled with lesson and activities total with the following themes:
The Beach

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You can grab all the activities seen above as well as 4 more days of FUN all in my Countdown to Summer unit seen below:

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