A Special Send-off!

For the last three months, I have had a little girl in a wheelchair. She had been ice skating and somehow fell on her leg. The fall caused enough damage that she was in a thigh high cast for 6 weeks and needed to have some accommodations to manage the school day. So since spring break, she has been using a walker around the classroom {when she started using it the hallway, we found the tennis balls were leaving marks on the floor, so some apologizing to the custodial staff was in order} and slowly not even using that to get around the room. When her dad picked her up from school, one day, I told him that she wasn't really using the wheelchair anymore, but it didn't look like she was ready to give it up yet. He agreed. Hence, the wheelchair good-bye party was formed!

This little girl was very excited to have a send-off party for her wheelchair! She dressed-up for school on Friday and her family brought in treats. The mom congratulated the class on being such great helpers and so supportive during this challenging time for her daughter. This party was the high-light of my week and I'm sure hers too.

Here are some pics that we had of the party!

 It was so great hearing the rest of the class talk about why they would miss having the wheelchair or why they wouldn't miss it.
There were a variety of cards that I didn't take pictures of, but they included  feeling sad because they didn't get to sit in the chair or feeling happy that she would be able to go outside and play again.
 It was great to help this little girl make sense of the changes that were taking place and offer closure to our whole class. I can't wait to see her running around the playground again!
Until again, I wish you well :-)

Regrouping? Is it the hardest concept ever to teach or does it just feel like it?

My firsties and I have been working on addition and subtraction to 100, with and without regrouping for about a week now. For the most part, addition is going well. It seems like the trickiest thing is keeping everything in line in the ones and tens column. Well, I take that back. Having students rewrite a horizontal problem, like 32+6, into a vertical format and actually write the 6 in the ones column, well that's a feat of it's own!

Then there is subtraction...with regrouping...to 100... Wow... I did a quick check on Monday to see how everyone was doing with that. I use my little baby whiteboards that the Mr. made for me for pretty regular math quick checks. Anyway, all but 3 students had the SAME incorrect answer! Here they were subtracting the tens first, first mistake, and then they were subtracting the top number from the bottom number! Yes, we had a big talk about NOT flip flopping in a subtraction problem.

I have a good chunk of firsties who have moved out of the concrete stage and into the pictorial stage...yay! But I didn't have a good way for them to practice. Then it hit ME! I needed to create math mats that had a little extra visual cue!

We introduced them today and WOW! They were so ecstatic to hold up their mat and show me that they solved the problem, without Base 10 Blocks and independently!

Anyway, here are the pics from todays rocking regrouping lesson!

First up, addition with regrouping to 100! {Pics were taken of the television, while we worked out the problems during whole group. Gotta love the document camera!}

Next up, subtraction with regrouping to 100!

After our group instruction using these math mats, I told my firsties that I had a surprise for them! They were elated to see that they each had their own double-sided board (addition on one side and subtraction on the other) and dry erase markers with the pom-pom glued on erasers! It's so exciting to hear their cheers for math!

Do you see that bottom photo? I messed up and gave them a problem slightly bigger than 100 and you know what? More than half of my firsties figured it out correctly and wrote it correctly! When it comes to math this year, I am on cloud nine :-)

These math mats and more are available in my TpT store. Thank you for 'poking' in!

All Sorts of Math Mats

Happy Regrouping!

Until again, I wish you well!