Monday, November 11, 2013

1st Grade Fall Addition and Subtraction Word Problems + Halloween Freebie

One of the skills I have to practice all year when I teach first grade is addition and subtraction facts (for automaticity) and solving word problems. Initially, my students need to act out and represent the problems in various ways so they can 'see' the problem and know whether to add or subtract.

I initially start with acting out and drawing pictures to represent the problem. But this is very time consuming! When students are ready, I show how 'mathematicians' use short cuts to become efficient at math, and we move onto using symbols to represent the objects in the word problem.

When modelling to the class, we always use 10-frames and different colors of cubes to represent the different parts of the problem. Finally, I move onto using number paths and recording in an equation. 

If you are looking for seasonal word problems for Fall, I have a pack in my TpT store. It has 3 types of addition and subtraction within 10 problems:

  • result unknown (20 addition and 20 subtraction)
  • change unknown (10 addition and 10 subtraction)
  • start unknown (10 addition and 10 subtraction)

What are the benefits of using this pack for your class? 


The pages in this pack all follow a consistent format to help in developing student independence. Each page has an addition or subtraction number story (or word problem). Students visualize the problem and draw a picture to represent it. This can help some students work out whether the problem requires them to add or subtract. In addition, students will complete a 10-frame (make it hands-on by using unifix cubes or counters), number line or track and number sentence (or equation) for each problem.


You can use the problems in different ways. For example, to start off the year you might project each page and complete whole class. Later, you might work with a small group before moving the pages to an independent work math tub.


I've included JPEGS of each word problem for you to upload to SeeSaw (or other password protected online app). This gives you complete FLEXIBILITY in how you upload the problems - addition OR subtraction OR both, number line OR number track, problem type, how many etc. Use the word problems how YOU want to use them.

If representing and solving word problems in multiple ways is something your class needs, you can find the pack here. Winter, Spring, Summer and a Seasonal Bundle are also available. 

On another note, the other week we were looking at probability and events that will, might and won't happen. I made up this quick little activity which you can download in Google Drive.

My kids had a lot of fun with it. I hope yours do too!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Five for Friday

What a week! I didn't take photos of most of what we did. I never seem to find time to pick up the camera!

I made these cute witches hats for a Halloween treat. Yum! They took way to long to make for such as simple recipe! They have chocolate crackles inside!

We used key details and inferred to work out  which witch was witch and whose things were whose using this cute unit from Abby at The Inspired Apple. I wish I'd taken more pics of this.... it was a lot of fun and the kids loved it.

We kept on learning about sound in science. And I know, the charts I make with the kids are not very cute! But to the kids I am the 'best illustrator in the whole world!'. Ahh kids, they can make you feel good about things you suck at!!

We finished our Halloween themed math centers. The kids had a hoot! We had grandparents day yesterday (and I took not 1.single.picture.!!). One of the activities we did was to share a favourite game with our grandparents. Many chose Witchy Brew to play. You can pick it up for free in google drive.

This pic was from a few weeks ago, but we are learning about procedures. We have made ice-cream sundaes and peanut butter and jam sandwiches this term using this pack from Natalie's Nook. 

I've linked up with Doodle Bugs for her Five for Friday linky

What have you been up to?