Your Mission…Should You Choose to Accept…

When I presented in Chicago, I shared some fun {to me!} math activities that my kids really love{d}.  I figured y’all might be able to use a few of them so I wanted to share some of them here, too!  The best thing about these activities is that they can be used in all different ways…whole group, independently, dessert tubs, etc.  Just a few really simple ideas to keep your kids engaged in hands-on learning!

One of my favorite ways to keep my kids engaged is with this little “Beat the Timer” notebook.  This would work for anything…not just math.  I have a tub in my room that holds my little sand timers and this little notebook.  Basically, the kids will take a timer with them to a “dessert” tub {fast finisher activity}…puzzles, write the room, etc.  If they finish the activity BEFORE the time runs out, they get to sign their name in the “Beat the Timer” notebook.  Simple. Easy.  And the kids absolutely go NUTS for this!  You could use any kind of timer…I just happen to have a whole class set of these, so it’s what works for me!  I love that the kids are SO serious about their work when they’re timing themselves.  Definitely keeps ‘em focused & engaged!

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Here’s another fun, SIMPLE little activity that gets used A LOT in my classroom.  My kids like to “build” houses.  I have a set of these little Home Depot aprons and these plastic hard hats.  My kids get to don an apron and a hard hat and then head to the “Make 10” takeaway tray and start building their houses.  I just cut a little roof out of scrapbook paper and glued it to a little tray {Dollar Tree, of course}.  Then my kids get to pick two different color popsicle sticks out of the box.  I keep about 4 different colors inside.  They can only use 10 sticks to build their houses and show me how many different ways they can construct it using two different colors.  Then they have to record their work in their Math Journals.  Y’all.  They die.  Seriously.  Something so simple!  Maybe it’s the aprons and the hats.  Whatever it is, they LOVE “building” houses!  And it really helps to build their number sense, too!image

 

This last idea was one I received several emails about from sweet girls who wanted to know if I’d add these to my little shop.  Math Missions!!! 

MathMission PreviewTpT

I made these for my “fast finishers”, but this quickly became a class favorite!  My little math detectives would anxiously wait for me to introduce their new “mission” and couldn’t wait to finish their work so they could earn a little fingerprint.  Confused yet?!  Let me explain…

Before sending my kids to Math Tubs each day, I’d introduce a new “mission”.  The missions were math tasks my kids would complete independently and at their own pace.  All of the “missions” were simple review activities I wanted my kids to practice.  Here are some examples of the tasks {these are divided up by the CCSS domains}.

MathMissionCardPreview

They recorded their work in their “Top Secret Math Mission” notebooks and it was a great way for me to quickly assess understanding.  It also gave me some great teaching/reteaching points for math conferences.  Each time my kids CORRECTLY completed a Math Mission, they got to stamp their little fingerprint on their Math Mission Tracking Chart.  They thought this was the bees knees {does using that saying make me old? or lame? or both??}. They keep their little tracking charts in their mission notebooks…just taped to the front cover. 

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Once they earned 10 fingerprints, they got to color a little Math Mission badge and glue it inside their Top Secret notebooks :)

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I loved that these little missions were pretty versatile, too.  Depending on the day, I might introduce the mission{s} at the beginning of the day and let my kids work on the tasks whenever there was time or just wait ‘til Math Tubs and let them work on the task{s} during their Dessert Tubs {after the main course :)}  There were many days I didn’t introduce a mission because of time restraints, but that just made my kids that much MORE excited to get to them the next day :) 

If you’re interested in implementing these Math Missions in your class, just click on the pic below and grab ‘em from my little shop.  These were created for my Kindergarten classroom, but they’d also work for beginning of the year 1st grade {review}. 

MathMissioncover

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For those of you who came here this week to link up with my little Throwback Thursday & Favorite Pins Friday party, so sorry they were non-existent!  Now that Kacey is back with the Five for Friday linky party, I won’t be hosting Favorite Pins Friday.  It’ll be moving to a new day!  We’ll be hosting “Marvelous Pins Monday” every Monday starting next week.  Throwback Thursday will make a comeback, too!  Just in time for a new school year!  Woot!

37 comments:

  1. Great, clever ideas! Love the house idea. I think I'll try that one out next week with my soon to be first grade son. Thanks!

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  2. Hi Cara! Girl!!! I love EVERY idea in this post!!! Love it! Thank you!!

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  3. I LOVE these ideas!! I wish I was teaching math this year!!!!!!

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  4. LOVE this! Can't wait to get it printed!

    www.elementaryexpedition.blogspot.com

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  5. Great math ideas! Thanks! Loving the hard hats while building houses - I can just picture the cuteness! :)

    Mallory
    Sprinkles For the Teacher

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  6. The math missions are amazing! I wish wish wish you had this for third grade ccss.... its too wonderful to pass up. I must create my own version. You're incredible, Cara!

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  7. Gah, these are some great ideas!! Now just to figure out how to make them work for 2nd!! I'm sure building houses at the BOY will work, but I might up the number of sticks or value for each stick as the year progresses!! The math missions are great too... just wishing they were 2nd! :) Always love your ideas!!

    Kelli
    Surviving the Little People

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  8. Cara, I am OBSESSED with your new blog design!!!!

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  9. Cara, I LOVE your new blog design. All of my favorite colors in one bright, inviting place. Thank you for the math game ideas. I'll definitely be using these. Your Math Mission unit looks so original! I can't wait to check it out. :)
    Sarah
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

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  10. Um... I LOVE your new layout!!! I can't wait to be apart of "Marvelous Pins Monday"!

    - Alexis at laugh-eat-learn.blogspot.com

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  11. Just LOVE the new design! Oh yeah and the activities too. LOL
    Mels

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  12. I love your Math Missions. What a great idea. I know that my kids would be completely over the moon for these activities too. Also, I absolutely love your new blog design! Totally adorable.

    Krystyn
    Ms Richards's Musings

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  13. I love your ideas, especially the Math Mission! GREAT JOB!

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  14. Neat ideas! I love that you call it the dessert tub.

    Mrs. Jones Teaches :o)

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  15. Cara, I love these ideas and your new blog design! I just have to tell you something as well, you have a twin in Australia - seriously! There is a school-mum (mom) that picks her daughter up at my school and I was looking at her every week trying to figure out where I knew her from - then I finally realised!! You! They say we all have a twin somewhere in the world! :)

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  16. Love everything about this post from top to bottom! You are an amazing math teacher.

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  17. I love your ideas! My kids are a bit older but many of these can still apply! My kids would love to play the house building game but I can just given them a set number of tiles and they can figure out how many "fat" and "skinny" houses they could make by creating different arrays with that set number of tiles!

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  18. Really brilliant ideas! I love the "main course" and "dessert" activities. Very clever. Can't wait to give the Math Mission a try! :)

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  19. Love these ideas! I wish you had a math mission set for second grade too! Thanks for sharing.
    Angie

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  20. You are simply wonderful! Where do you come up with all these fabulous ideas?! Can you please be a curriculum creator so that everything would be fun, make sense, and be darling! I love your new blog design by the way! I'm also very excited that you'll be starting Marvelous Pins Monday. I love Pinterest! Have a beautiful weekend!

    Rambling About Reading

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  21. Great ideas! Love the math mission. :)

    Your new blog look is adorable, too!

    Colleen Patton
    Mrs. Patton’s Patch

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  22. Such great AND cute ideas as always, Cara! Love them... I'm thinking of making the "Beat the Timer" idea work for reading in my room! :) You're so fabulous!

    Carly
    First Grade Fabulosity {2nd Grade}

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  23. Such creative ideas for Math! I love your new blog colors!! Very cute!!

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  24. Mission accomplished..Missions are in my cart! Love the house idea as well..need to find some hard hats.
    Thanks for the great ideas.

    Debbie

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  25. Hi There Cara! :)Your blog makeover is darling! I LOVE the "Make 10" idea... just wanted to leave you a love note! Enjoy the rest of your summer!!

    www.oursmartcommunity.blogspot.com

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  26. I'm loving your new blog design...super cute! And I'm adding your math missions to my cart, this is such a cute idea & the beat the clock idea. They definitely do love the challenge of beating the clock or someone else's time. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Stephanie
    PolkaDotPalace

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  27. really great post !

    http://voyagevoyagelamonde.blogspot.de/

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  28. I did come looking on Thursday...so I am glad it is coming back. I also love your new look. Merry Christmas.

    Terri Izatt
    KinderKapers

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  29. I would love it (and of course purchase it) if you had a 1st grade version of math missions!!!

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  30. Wow. That Math Missions business is fabulous. I teach 2nd, though, or else I'd be snapping it up! Brilliant idea. :)

    -Gayla
    Teach On.

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  31. I absolutely *LOVE* your math missions idea!!! I've been searching for something like this to use during my math block {...it's a little nutty how excited I am right now!!!} I can't wait to implement your brilliant idea with my firsties :)

    Once again, you've inspired the bejeebies {is that the word?} outta me! You're too stinkin' talented.

    Wish I was at your presentation, but thank you for sharing some highlights!

    Sam
    Fun With Firsties

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  32. Adorable! My firsties would love anything mission-related like this. Great ideas!

    Lindsey

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  33. Hello Cara,

    I'm a teacher from Singapore, and I absolutely love your Math Missions idea! I wonder if you would kindly allow me to adapt this awesome idea for my local Science syllabus?

    Best Regards,
    Alethia Leong

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  34. Thank you for sharing your awesome ideas! I love all of your ideas in this post! I simply can't get enough of how simple yet engaging and exciting they are. Thank you!!

    -Caitlin
    Table Talk with C & C

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  35. Do you mind sharing where you found your small accordion pouches? I love this storage idea but can't seem to find anything like it!

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