Saturday, May 30, 2015

Buggy Fact Families and A Freebie

The countdown is on. I have eight more days of school... and two teacher work days... then school is out for the summer. Whoo hoo! I have some big plans this summer, so it can't come quick enough. :)

Getting my students to focus during the last couple weeks of school are always tough. The weather is beautiful and the kiddos know summer is just around the corner. It is always a challenge to keep them engaged and still learning for chunks of time.

One of the big math topics in first grade is addition and subtraction. We've worked with number lines, missing numbers, counting on, hundreds charts, etc. Fact families really bring it home to show how numbers are related in facts. If you know one fact, you know the rest of the family.

We have revisited this concept a few times over the year, so I decided to come back to it again... one last, final time. The only difference is that we made the numbers a little larger. 
First we practiced completing part-part-whole models on the board to offer a visual of how to relate addition and subtraction. Then I demonstrated how to use the information on the model to write a fact family. I find that my students seem to forget how it all goes together. They can chant PART - PART - WHOLE, and they know what each section is, but when it comes to writing facts from it, we keep needing practice. I hope this time sank in (we still have to cover fractions next week - EEK!).

Once I told my class that they would write fact families on insects they were very excited. I even had a little one who made me promise he could color it afterward. What? Are these the same kiddos from the beginning of the year?

Each of these insects is part of my Addition/Subtraction Spring Pack that you can get {HERE} or scroll below the pictures for a freebie of the butterfly templateMy kiddos did such a wonderful job! This activity kept them engaged with math facts for a good 1/2 hour. Score!
 I was able to choose which numbers I wanted each kiddo to work with based on their independent levels. We practice our fact fluency pretty regularly (Do you use It rocks!) so I have a good idea of who is able to handle what.
 I even love how they chose to color their insects afterwards. When I tell you I had someone argue with me about not wanting to color every day in the beginning of the year, I am not joking. It was such a struggle. Now look. Check out this little guy with swirls and dots. WHAT?! So awesome!
I love when the kiddos in my class enjoy math. The best part is when they tell me how much fun they are having. Things like that make my teacher heart happy.

If you want to try it out, {click here} or the picture below for a sample of the butterfly fact family
template. Enjoy!
Best wishes!

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