Author Archive for Sydney

First Grade Addition and Subtraction

This resource set is geared toward teaching first grade addition and subtraction. Students can use various manipulatives and activities to help students understand the concepts of addition and subtraction and recall basic facts up to 10.

Text Annotations

1. Domino Addition Author: Lynette Long Illustrator: Gioia Fiammenghi

This book clearly enforces the concept of addition using dominoes. Teachers can guide the entire class or students can work individually to compute basic addition facts using the illustrated dominos.

2. Elevator Magic Author: Stuart J. Murphy Illustrator: G. Brian Karas

This book uses common daily activity to teach basic subtraction skills. The main character takes a ride on an elevator to various locations, and as he makes stops, teachers can work with students to compute subtraction equations.

3. The Hershey's Kisses Addition Book Author: Jerry Pallotta Illustrator: Rob Bolster
This children's book introduces simple addition concepts using Hershey kisses and miniature clowns.

4. Animals Onboard Author: Stuart J. Murphy Illustrator: R. W. Alley

This rhyming picture book tells a story including five simple addition problems that teachers can do with their students as they read aloud.

5.  A Collection for Kate Author: Barbara deRubertis Illustrator: Gioia Fiammenghi

Collection week at school has snuck up on Kate, and she has nothing ready to share with her classmates. She watches her classmates share their collections and counts their items in hopes that she can find enough of something to share. This is a great interactive story to read aloud to your students.

Web Annotations

1. Math is Fun: This website provides lesson reinforcement for both addition and subtraction. Students are provided with extra explanation on these mathematical concepts with this interactive website.

2. Cool Math 4 Kids: This website provides both lesson reinforcement and basic fact practice for students.

3. This website provides students with the opportunity to practice basic addition skills. Write how many worms are on two leaves, and how many together!

4. This website provides students with the opportunity to practice basic addition facts. The sumstacker game asks students to drag dies from stack to stack until the sums of each stack equal the sums given.

5. This fun game is sure to catch and keep students’ attention! Addition Eaters and Subtraction Eaters are two games where you eat the addition (or subtraction) problems if the sum (difference) is a given number.

Additional Resources
1. Popcorn Addition– Students match pieces of popcorn with addition equations to the popcorn box with the correct number. Great for centers!
2. Addition & Subtraction FIle Folder Game– Students match addition and subtraction equation feathers to the correctly numbered turkey. Great for centers!
3. Fact Family Activity– Interactive activity for students to explore fact families. Students cut out fact family roof pieces to glue on their houses and write the corresponding addition and subtraction equations on the house.
4. Breaking Numbers Apart– This introductory addition lesson introduces students to the beginning addition concept of breaking apart one number into two pieces to create equations.

Teaching History with Children’s Literature: 1607: A New Look at Jamestown


1607: A New Look at Jamestown, written by Karen E. Lange with photographs by Ira Block, is a National Geographic children’s book that promotes the rediscovery of Jamestown beyond the common misconceptions that have prevailed through the years. Lange captures the essence of what life was like in Jamestown by covering the strengths and weaknesses of the settlers in Jamestown and their interaction with the Native Americans and their environment.
Life in the brand-new Jamestown colony in 1607 wasn’t easy. The settlers arrived full of hope–then hard times brought despair.”

Curriculum Connections
1607: A New Look at Jamestown would be a great resource for teaching students about the first permanent English settlement in America and what life was like during this time (VS.3/VS.4). Teachers may integrate aspects of the English curriculum by having students write from the perspective of a settler about their experiences in Jamestown in 1607.

Additional Resources

Book: 1607 A New Looka t Jamestown
Author: Karen E. Lange
Photographs by:  Ira Block
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books
Publication Date: 2007
Grade Range: 3-5
ISBN: 1426300123

Teaching Economics with Children’s Literature: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie


If you give a mouse a cookie, written by Laura Joffe Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond, is a cute story about a little mouse whose wants and needs change as he performs various tasks throughout the day. The author takes the reader on a circular path beginning with “if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk…” and ending with, “chances are if he asks for a glass of milk, he’s going to want a cookie to go with it.”

Curriculum Connections
This book would be great for introducing the economic concepts of wants, needs, goods, and services. Students may identify different examples of these concepts within the story as well as in their everyday lives. It can also be used for the literary concepts of cause and effect, sequencing, and recall.

Additional Resources

  • Bake cookies! Create a poll as to what kinds of cookies the children prefer. Graph the responses for the children to see.

  • Literacy Activity: Story Sequencing

  • Interactive Activity: Learn numbers with mouse, letters with pig, and shapes with moose!

  • Cross curricular lesson plan-Economics and Language Arts: Introduce the concept of wants and needs while also covering cause and effect, sequencing, and predictions.

Book: If You Give A Mouse A Cookie
Author: Laura Joffe Numeroff
Illustrator: Felicia Bond
Publisher: Balzer + Bray; 1 edition
Publication Date: 1985
Pages: 40
Grade Range: K-2
ISBN: 0060245867

Teaching Physical Science with Children’s Literature: I Fall Down


I Fall Down, written by  Vicki Cobb and illustrated by Julia Gorton, is an interactive picture book that allows students to make important discoveries about the force of gravity. Throughout the book, students are asked to perform various tasks as they read, helping them to retain information both through literature and experimentation.

I Fall Down introduces the concept of gravity by encouraging students to observe what occurs when different objects fall. Where do they go? They always fall down! Whether it is a “spoonfool of molasses” dripping into a jar or a little boy who trips on the playground, all objects fall down. After explaining this phenomenon as being merely the ever-present force of gravity, the book then expands upon the concept of gravity by showing that gravity pulls objects at the same speed. If an apple and a paper clip are dropped at the same time, they both reach the ground at the same time. Scientific concepts that are often unrecognized though strongly affect our everyday lives are explored in this book. Students will more easily retain this information through the experimentation and real life connections that it provides.

Curriculum Connections
This would be a great book for first grade students learning about force and motion. Gravity can be introduced as an example of a naturally occuring force that is everpresent within our daily lives.

Additional Resources

  • This powerpoint can serve as a useful introduction to the concepts of force and motion. It introduces basic and essential vocabulary that needs to be understood before expanding upon this topic by introducing heavier topics such as gravity.
  • General Pre/Post-Assessment: This allows teachers to assess what students know about gravity before the lesson, as well as what take away from the lesson. The post-assessment asks students to dig deeper from what they have learned and hypothesize what they think the world would look like if gravity did not exist.
  • Experiment: Students can work in small groups to complete this activity which asks them to hypothesize which item will hit the ground first if dropped at the same time as another item. Not only does this evoke class discussion about why the results turned out as they did, but it also allows students to practice their writing skills.
  • Interactive Website: This is a fun, interactive online activity that creatively explains and illustrates the force of gravity. It is sure to catch and keep the attention of students.

Book: I Fall Down
Author: Vicki Cobb
Illustrator: Julia Gorton
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 40
Grade Range: 1-3
ISBN: 068817843X