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Matching Fall Sentences w/ Pictures

by Jill & Cathy on October 31, 2014

Fall Sentence Cards with Pictures for Beginning Readers FREE from The Curriculum CornerThese cards are designed to be used in various ways.  You can cut these into strips, leaving the pictures attached so that students have picture clues when reading the sentences.  Or cut the strips apart and have students match the pictures with the sentences.  How else do you plan on using this resource?

Fall Sentence Cards w/ Pictures


Strategies to Help Students Master Multiplication Facts

by Jill & Cathy on October 29, 2014

Free Big Foot Themed Multiplication Games from The Curriculum Corner PLUS Basic Facts Strategies with Multiplication Timed Tests

Most teachers will agree that mastery of math facts is essential in the upper grades.  When students can’t quickly mentally add, subtract, multiply or divide two one-digit numbers it impedes their progress on more difficult math concepts.  In previous posts we gave our thoughts on incorporating timed tests effectively.  Here we reiterate those ideas, but focus on multiplication facts and provide a multiplication fact game to help!

Scroll to the bottom of this post to find our free Sasquatch Watch Multiplication Games.

How to Incorporate Timed Tests

To incorporate multiplication timed tests into our classrooms, we have students begin with 0s and progress through each level all the way through 5s.  Then you can give them the mixed set of 25 problems (0s – 5s) so that they can prove they have mastered these lower levels.  Once the mixed set of 25 is passed with 100% accuracy, they may then begin work on 6s -10s.  Again, provide the mixed set of 25 problems (6s – 10s) for the higher levels to make sure they have mastered those.

At this point they would take the 100 mixed problem test three times (with a 95% or higher score) to prove mastery of all multiplication facts.

We have read that research supports allowing approximately 4 seconds per problem to prove mastery.  So, on the 25-problem tests we have created students would get 1 minute and 40 seconds to complete the test.  At “time’s up” we allow students to put pencils down and complete any unfinished problems with a crayon.  This gives them a sense of completion and also allows for a bit more practice.  The score would be all correct answers in pencil out of 25. Also, we try to give these tests three times a week if possible.  Because they are so quick, it doesn’t take up much of math time.  Below is the link to our timed tests for multiplication:

Multiplication Timed Tests

If you still have students who need help with addition or subtraction facts you will find our most current posts with games included below.  Both also have links to our updated timed tests resources which include both vertical and horizontal problem pages.

Strategies to Help Students Master Addition Facts

Strategies to Help Students Master Subtraction Facts

Keeping Timed Tests as Low-Stress as Possible

There is lots of debate about whether or not these types of timed tests are appropriate for all kids because they can sometimes create apprehension in students.  Here are some tips for how we help kids master math facts using these quick assessments and also to alleviate anxiety.

1. Keep it individual.  Give students sticker charts to keep track of their progress and encourage them to be private about their levels.  Be sure to emphasize that learning math facts is something that is mastered based on practice, but it is most certainly something in which students will progress differently.  As students pass different levels let them move forward, even as others have the need to take a level again and again.  One way to manage this in class is to write names on individual leveled pages before passing them out and place them face down in front of each child.   This certainly won’t keep individual levels a secret, but once you start the timer, students are typically more focused on their own pages.  **TIP: Don’t let students stop working if they finish early.  Tell them they need to double check as many answers as they can before the time is up.**

2. Keep it motivational.  Be sure to celebrate ALL successes with students when it comes to improving on or passing a level.  We like to give them a one-on-one smile, compliment and pat on the back the day after a timed test.  Of course we also pass out stickers for their individual charts as they pass a level as well.

3.  Keep in-class practice fun.  As much as possible, provide not only the time to practice in class, but make it fun by finding or making up games.  There are so many ways to practice math facts that are much more fun than “kill and drill”.

One quick and easy multiplication practice game involves decks of cards.  Give each pair of students a deck of cards with the face cards removed – but be sure there are at least two jokers in the deck to represent zeros.  Students sort the cards by suit (hearts, spades, diamonds, clubs) and then each student takes two of the piles, plus a joker.  The game is played like war.  At the same time both students flip a card over.  The first one to mentally multiply the two numbers and call out the correct answer gets to take both cards for their own.  (This game typically requires a time limit because – just like the real card game of war – it can go on forever!)

And here is a fun game we created for your kids to practice their facts:

Sasquatch Watch

More than anything, remember to keep things positive, hold conferences with students to discuss frustrations and ideas for better progress, teach differentiated strategies to help all kinds of learners, communicate progress with parents and help students set personal goals for mastery.

What are some ways you help students to master their math facts?  Share them with us!


Everything CCSS “I Can” for K – 6 Grades

October 22, 2014

From here you can access all of our Common Core resources for grades K – 6.  We have CCSS checklists currently available for grades 7 and 8 but do not yet have completed “I Can” statements.  Our hope is to have the “I Can” statements available for 7th and 8th grades by the end of […]

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Introducing the Scientific Method

October 21, 2014

As a part of our partnership with Variquest, we created a lesson and anchor chart for introducing students to the scientific method.  We are sharing this lesson along with the free printable materials below. Anchor Chart  Print on your poster maker for a great classroom decoration that is meaningful! Recording Page  This organizer is designed […]

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Frozen Inspired Fry Word Games

October 15, 2014

This collection of 10 Fry Word boards are perfect for the Frozen fans in your classroom.  Use at a center or, copy the boards best for each student and send them home to encourage at home practice.   All of the first 300 words are included.  Students need a coin and two markers to play. Words are […]

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Strategies to Help Students Master Subtraction Facts

October 13, 2014

(Scroll down to find the FREE Bump game shown above.) Recently we posted about how we incorporate timed math facts tests in our second grade classrooms.  In that post we focused on addition facts – provided a link to our addition timed tests and included a few addition math fact practice games.  You will find […]

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Author Study: Meet Gail Gibbons

October 1, 2014

A newer unit of study our district has incorporated into our writing workshop over the last couple of years is literary nonfiction.  Weaving facts with storytelling can be a difficult concept for young authors to  apply to their own writing.  We believe that the best approach is immersing children in good examples of this writing […]

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Fact or Opinion Sorting Cards

September 26, 2014

 It can be difficult for students to differentiate between facts and opinions.  We have created materials in the past to help with this skill.  (You will find those here:  Fact or Opinion.  This collections includes class games, a file folder game and more.) Fact or Opinion Sorting Cards Because it never seems like enough, we […]

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Fantasy & Reality Card Sort

September 25, 2014

Sometimes it can be difficult to find independent tasks to go with your mini-lesson focus.  One time when we run across this in the classroom is when we are learning about genres.  Finding independent tasks that give the students practice differentiating between genres can be difficult.  We created a fantasy and reality card sort to […]

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Pumpkins! Fall Fry Word Games for Words 1 – 300

September 24, 2014

Print and laminate the set of cards that is best for your students.  Or, to make for easy differentiation, print all three sets.  Assign students their just right level when they are at the center.  To play, place the cards in a basket.  Students take turns drawing a card from the basket and saying the […]

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Strategies to Help Students Master Addition Math Facts

September 22, 2014

We have had several inquiries about how we incorporate timed math facts tests in our second grade classrooms.  Here is how we choose to implement them. Students begin with 0s and progress through each level all the way through 10s.  At which point they would take the 100 mixed problem test three times (with a […]

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Spanish “I Can” Common Core Progress Checkboxes 3rd Grade

September 19, 2014

Thanks to a very hard working translator, we are happy to share our updated “I Can” statements in Spanish for 3rd grade.  Translated “I Can” statements for the other grade levels will be available soon.  Thanks for your help, Alicia! “I Can” 3rd Grade with Doodle Borders “I Can” 3rd Grade no Borders “I Can” 3rd Grade Cute […]

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Fall Fluency Phrases

September 17, 2014

These fall fluency phrases are just right for your students to practice fluency during literacy centers. Fall Phrases   Print the phrases on white paper or construction paper.  Laminate if desired.  You can put the phrases on a ring or in a baggie. Visualize    Use this page for students to visualize their sentence.  Have […]

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First Grade True/False Equation Sorts

September 12, 2014

 Use this for a fast-to-put-together math center.  Print in color and laminate.  (We are also providing the file in black and white just in case you don’t have access to a color printer.)  We have included cards labeled true and false along with 18 cards for sorting.  There is also a recording page which you […]

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Updated Common Core State Standards Checklists

September 11, 2014

We have pulled together all of our CCSS Checklists in one easy-to-find spot! You have your choice of an editable Excel spreadsheet to type your dates and/or notes in the boxes OR you can simply print the PDF and write in the boxes.  Because we have had so many teachers copying our working and selling […]

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