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Dice, subitizing cards, center tubs, number lines – oh my! Our 1st grade math routines require so many resources and manipulatives. While Donors Choose, Go Fund Me accounts, and school funds are great options, homemade math tools can be a simple, inexpensive way to stock our math toolboxes!
Guided Math is a structure for organizing your math block that involves mini-lessons, targeted small-group instruction, and opportunities for spiral review through math workshop. Like guided reading, guided math offers us, as teachers, the opportunity to intentionally group students based on skill and to carefully target specific skills. So often I'm asked - "What materials do I need to request to get started?" So today, I'm sharing some of our team's go-to math materials! 
When math mini-lessons turn into mega-lessons and your small-groups seem dull, photograph-based stories are the perfect way to 'hook' learners and connect your learning to the real-world! Today I'm sharing some of my favorite strategies for engaging students during our mini-lesson and small-group times.

Teaching 1st grade, I feel like I am always looking for simple centers that are easy to differentiate. Using a Guided Math model for instruction, we use A LOT of centers every school year. I love pulling board games during math centers because the materials are always really durable and my students immediately consider them fun! We've started using Connect Four during math centers so I wanted to share the details, visual directions, and affiliate links for easy set-up!
Using math centers during Guided Math each day, I feel like I am always looking for simple centers that are easy to differentiate. This idea for using Connect 4 to add to 10, 15, and 20 is so smart and EASY to do! Plus, she has the FREE visual directions ready to go.
Scholastic found that in 2014, the average teacher spent $750 a year on his or her classroom during the previous school year. I read this number and laughed. While I am blessed with a pocket of classroom money (from our PTO) my classroom investment is definitely more than $750 a year. In the past few years, I have been blessed to turn to Donors Choose to help fund some larger classroom wants and needs.
Tired of spending hundreds of dollars each year on your classroom? Check out ways to use Donors Choose to fund the materials your students need to learn!
Do you ever feel like there is never enough time in a school day? That you are always behind schedule? <all teachers everywhere raise their hands> Sure choosing to extend an activity or bask in the moment is one thing, but consistently being behind is SO frustrating. As a class, we learn about, engage in, and begin DOZENS of activities every.single.school.day. So making every moment matter is critical! Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite tools and strategies for keep our classroom moving and our day rolling ahead.
5 awesome ideas for managing time in the classroom! I especially love the iPhone alarm idea.
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