Thursday, February 17, 2011

Is your suitcase unlocked?

One of my favorite things about teaching first graders is how much they make me laugh. This morning was a great example. As all teachers know, the things we teach, especially in math, build on each other. I would get so frustrated when we would start a new unit and the students would seem to forget everything we'd done before it. One day while trying to explain that we need to hold on to everything, I came up with an analogy that seemed to make sense to them. I told them that their brains are like suitcases and we pack all of the things we learn and do into our suitcases and bring them with us everywhere we go. Sometimes we take things out and use them, and then we put them back. They really seemed to get that and I hear them saying funny things to each other like, "Get it from your suitcase!" and sometimes I see them touching their heads and "packing things" when we're doing something new. Well, this morning one of my sweet girls looked up at me very seriously and said, "Miss Griffin, I have that in my suitcase, but my suitcase is locked today and I can't get anything out!". I HAD TO LAUGH. I mean, we all know what that feels like, right?

And... here's a completely unrelated math share. We've been working with coins and this is an activity I'm going to use to reinforce counting groups of coins. Our kids only count sets of like coins, but you could use this with mixed sets too. You just need 10 sets of coins in baggies labeled A-J, and this recording sheet. The students record which coins were in the set and the total value. At the bottom they fill in some information about the sets and there's even some writing tied in. Just click on the picture below and enjoy!


Mrs. Claborn

I can't wait to use this!!! My kids are going to love it! Thanks for making it and sharing!!


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