Thursday, April 5, 2012

Classroom Math Wall

One of the most important daily activities that we do in my first grade classroom is our morning meeting/calendar time/math wall. During this daily period of time we cover so many math concepts and practice math activities that I feel are so crucial to first grade math development. Just a few of the daily activities that we do include: skip counting (by 2, 5, 10, odds, 25), daily patterning, tally marks, counting to 100, counting on fingers, and showing the date using coins.  At some point I hope to go into further depth on some of these activities, but for now I just want to share with you my Daily Piggy Bank.
(piggy bank #1)

Here is a snapshot of my current wall.  I have had so many other teachers ask me about my "piggy bank" that I decided to create one to share.  I have been trying to post it in my TpT store but am having difficulty right now because it is so photo intensive. Since I have it ready to go, I wanted to be able to share it here, in case it takes a while for me to figure out how to upload it to TpT (as many of you know, when it comes to technology -- I am roadkill on the proverbial Information Superhighway!).
In my file you will find 2 kinds of piggy banks to choose from. I couldn't decide which one I liked better (my friends were split between the two) so I just decided to include both of them.

                                              (piggy bank #2)

My download includes the two types of piggy banks, and a couple of pages of large realistic coins.
To make either (or both)  of the piggy banks, print out the two halves of each on cardstock, trim and overlap the pieces so that you have a single piggy bank.
(If you decide on doing the kind of pig directly above, make sure that you draw the coin slot on before laminating.)

After joining the halves together, I glue the whole thing to sturdy posterboard for durability.
After laminating and trimming, add velcro dots to the pig. I use the clear craft dots that you can find at WalMart or a craft store. They are wonderful, and you can hardly see the dots on the pig. Here is a close up of my pig with the dots attached.
See how you can barely see the dots? On the back of the coins I use the other heavier kind of velcro as it seems to be easier for little hands to manipulate.
Everyday a different student is chosen to show the date on the pig in coins. So on the 15th of the month the pig will have 15c showing.
It is wonderful reinforcement for coins and later in the year, students learn to exchange coins or use different denominations of coins to make up the dates.
I hope you find this useful in your class. In addition to printing out the coins for the date, you might want to print and laminate extras as they are very handy for math lessons, or for Board Math for those of you who do that.
Here is the link to my Coin Counting Piggy Bank. Enjoy!