Regrouping: Adding and Subtracting Posters

In our math centers, we have been focusing on adding and subtracting two and three digit numbers. To help my kids remember the steps, they reference these posters at our centers.


anchor posters, chart



math charts, resources, anchor posters

Since students need different levels of support, counters, number lines, and pictures are used to help students understand the concept. In particular, I found that using a 0-20 number line was very helpful for my students who were having a hard time. The other number lines featured can be useful if you teach students to estimate their answer.

manipulatives, regrouping


Place Value Centers

What is Place Value:

To teach children the numerical value of a digit in a number, students need visuals, models, and manipulatives to help them understand why the placement of numbers matter.

Visual and Kinesthetic Learning Tips:

To introduce the concept, I start with tens and ones to help my students understand that numbers can be built with place value blocks. I teach them that ten ones (in yellow) equal one ten rod (in green). Students practice creating numbers with the ones, and then the tens and ones.

visual learning,

The board is also extremely helpful when helping students understand how many tens and ones are in a number. Students who are experiencing difficulty could build the number on the board and then easily transfer their results on the paper to help them understand the concept.

tips for teaching, visual learning

Another feature I love about this board is how it is color coded. This becomes useful when I write numbers since I can stay with the original color scheme when writing a number. Although yellow can be hard to read, orange can be used as a substitute if students are experiencing difficulty reading in that color.  Once I write the numbers, I then ask students to tell me the value of each number. This introduction to place value begins at the main teacher table (in my classroom, we have three to four rotating centers throughout our math period).

Greater Than/Less Than: Comparing Numbers

At station two, students practice comparing the value of each digit by comparing numbers. Since some students confuse the greater/than less sign, additional visuals of a gator can help students remember the meaning of the sign (the gator eats the largest number). At this station, students do a variety of activities to practice. One of my favorite includes a ‘roll and make’ game that has students roll the number, make the number, expand, and then compare the number. A free sample of the game is here.

place value, comparing, lesson ideas, visuals

Read and Write

At station 3, students practice reading and writing numbers. Students are taught to not say “and” when reading numbers. They can practice this over and over again with new numbers written by other students at the table. A great resource I love are the write and wipe boards featured below. This is a highly recommended resource when teaching place value!

elementary math tips visuals

math tips, read and write

First Day of School Plans

The start of a new year is here. I will be teaching 1st grade resource room ELA and math pull-out. I am excited to be working in the position and hope to share my stories and lesson plans along the way.

1st Grade Resource: ELA and Math

Day 1:

(My first day is Monday 9/8; students are staying in their homeroom on Thursday 9/4 and Friday 9/5 to help with the transition)

At the beginning of the day, I will stand at the door and greet each of my students. I will introduce myself and have the students share their names. I will help students find their seats. Each seat will have a nametag.

1. Introduction with Flipchart

  • My name, where I am from, why I love teaching, why I am excited to teach first grade
  • Will include pictures of me from 1st grade
  • Will share what we will learn together/books we will read

2. Ice Breaker Activity

  • Why are you excited to be in first grade?
  • About Me Poster Tee

3. Classroom Tour/Scavenger Hunt

  • Materials
  • Different centers
  • Books
  • Example: “Find an item in the classroom that starts with /p/. (informal pre-assessment) 🙂
  • Students will work together

4. Creation of Classroom Rules/Expectations

  • Do together as a class
  • Keep your hands, feet, and objects to yourself
  • Respect yourself and others (give specific examples of what respect looks like)
  • Show/Explain Sticker Chart (rewards/consequences)
  • Star Student (5 qualities-active listening)
  • “Look, listen, work hard” show hand movements
  • Effort and Attitude: the importance of a “I can” approach to learning
  • Shew
  • Slant
  • King and Queen Behavior

5. Review/Practice of Procedures:

Entering the classroom: At the beginning of the day, I will stand at the door and greet each of my students. I will introduce myself and have the students share their names. I will help students find their seats. Each seat will have a nametag

Bathroom: Two fingers crosses, teacher responds with two fingers crossed. Student signs out. One student (boy and girl) allowed out at a time.

Tissues: Can take when needed; will show where I keep extra tissues to replace when empty

Nurse: Student raises hand and explains what is wrong. I encourage students to try to wait until the end of a lesson.

Absent Folder: Students are expected to make up work when absent. All papers will have the student’s name on it and be in a specific folder waiting for them when they return.

Where to put homework: When students walk in, they will put homework on desk before they start their Do Now.

Materials: Sharpening pencils (pencils will be pre-sharpened. No sharpening during a lesson)

Emergency Expectations: Firedrill, lockdown

Entering/leaving the classroom: Do Now and Exit Ticket

Ways of getting attention: “Class class” “Yes Yes”, claps, Hands on your heart if you know…, “Rejoice” -Say when someone says what you were thinking

Transitions: Magic Word (changes every month, thought of together as a class) students do not move to the next activity/pack up/line up until they hear the magic word

6. Read book and discuss “First Grade Jitters”

Management Policies:

Work Time: Students are expected to be thinking and working when given independent work. Students should always be working on the given assignment of the teacher and always try their best.

Questions: Students are expected to ask other students what to do before coming to the teacher. Instructions will always be explained and will most likely be on the board or on the sheet students are working on. Procedure: 1. Look up on board 2. Ask people on each side of you 3. Raise your hand for teacher help

Homework Policy: Homework is expected to be completed on time. Homework is graded on content and effort.

Small Group Time: When a teacher is working with a small group, other students are not allowed to interrupt the teacher unless there is an emergency. An emergency consists of someone feeling very sick or if a dangerous situation needs to be reported to the teacher. When the teacher is wearing a Hawaiian Lei, students cannot interrupt.

Respect: Respect teacher, peers, and classroom material. Put materials back where you found them. Make sure all covers are on glue sticks and markers.

Nonverbal Cues:

1. Crossing of 2 fingers—indicates the need to go to the bathroom

2. Hand on your heart—indicates you know the answer

3. Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down

4. Clapping of hands-classroom attention (clap, clap clap, clap clap clap)

Student Expectations:

  • Come to class ready to learn
  • Come to class with an open mind
  • Respect teacher and students
  • Respect classroom materials and furniture
  • Follow instructions
  • Listen to directions

Teacher Expectations:

  • Work hard and be prepared
  • Come to class ready to learn
  • Come to class with an open mind
  • Be respectful and kind to all students
  • Be willing to listen to students
  • Set a good example for students in actions, speech, and attitude!

Transition Time:

Any time there is a transition; students will need to wait for the teacher to dismiss them. To do this, students must wait for the teacher’s magic word that will change each month. Students will be able to pick the magic word as a class from the beginning. This will help students feel important about policy-making and will reflect the interest of the class since students will have a say. Students will learn this at the beginning of the year (the first day of school). Reminding the students to wait until they hear the magic word will reinforce what I am trying to do. Eventually, students will be reminding other students if they forget to wait. The magic word is important since students in my class can be impulsive. To avoid students getting up before a lesson is officially over, students need to wait until the teacher formally dismisses them. The magic word also helps the students listen and stay engaged until the end of the lesson.

To get students attention before the magic word is said, one thing I will do is to do a special clap (clap, clap clap, clap clap clap). For example, when I clap once, the students clap once. Then when I clap twice, the students clap twice. When I clap three times, all students should clap 3 times back. At this point, all students’ eyes should be on me. Then I can tell the class our next transition and use the magic word to dismiss the class as a whole.

If some students are already looking at me, I can use a non-verbal cue such as pinching my fingers together to indicate that I want complete quiet. Students will do the cue back. My hope is that other students who are talking will realize that I have stopped talking and am doing my cue. Other students doing the cue indicate that they have seen my cue and have stopped talking. This will help the class regain attention and hear my instructions before the magic word is said for them to be dismissed.