Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Common Core Math & Literacy Fun

This post will give you easy, fun ways to work with your students on cardinality, one-to-one correspondence, counting, odd-even numbers, addition and subtraction and with working on cvc words and spelling.  And you can use recyclable materials too!

How many of you love your Keurig Coffee Maker?  I do!  I was sorting out my coffee when all of a sudden I had a great idea of what to do with the little cups that are left over.  You know teachers turn trash into treasures don't we?  Here is just a small preview of what we've been doing.

Counting, Cardinality, One-to-One Correspondence, Putting Together, Taking Apart

1.  You can use these cups for counting by rolling a dice then counting out the cups.  Say your student rolls a 5.  Then that student would count out 5 cups.

2.  Put the cups in numerical order.

3.  After putting the cups in numerical order, divide the cups by odd and even numbers.

4.  Draw a domino and put the cups in order to make the number with 10's and 1's using place value. Bump up the level and roll 3 dice.  Use the cups to build 3 digit numbers.  Or roll 2 dice.  The first dice represents the tens number and the second dice represents the ones number.

5.  Use the cups to teach the counting on method.  Roll 2 dice.  Determine which dice is the larger number.  Put a cup to represent that number.  Use the second cup to represent the smaller number by using the side with dots.  Students say the number "5" and count up to six.

6.  Differentiate by having dots on one side and the numbers on the opposite side to provide the supports your students need.

7.  Make combinations of 5. Add using the dot side.  Use the the darker cups for addition and subtraction signs.

8.  Make fact families.  We turned it around to make a fact family using subtraction.

Flip it and finish the fact family of 5.
9.  Use a cookie sheet divided into 10 equal parts to create a 10 frame.  Put numbered cups in each frame.  Use for manipulatives on a 10 frame cookie sheet.  Roll a dice.  Subtract that many off of the 10 frame.

This student rolled a 2.  Teach them to start at the bottom right corner to subtract.  This will leave them with the answer.  Have them record their number sentence in a math journal.  

This student rolled a 5.  

10.  Use the cups to spell CVC words.  Programs the ending word family with the same color to help students remember the word family.  On the other side on the "n" cup, I have other letters such as "t" and "p".  Students can turn the cups around and build other words.

Students can stack the cups on top as they build more words.  How tall can they build their word tower?

Students continue making new words and recording them on a recording sheet or in a word book.

11. Have students use the cups as manipulatives to practice blending the sounds together to make words.  Students can push one cup forward at a time to blend the sounds.  Ex:  "m" "a" "t" = mat

12.  For fine motor practice, let your students play "stack the cups."  

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. These are great ideas, Kathy! Wonderful post! But for some reason it came up on my blog without a title!
    Heidi Butkus

    1. Heehee that is called posting while you are sick. I guess I deleted the title accidentally, and then it posted on your Face Book. I noticed it didn't have a title on yours, so I went back and corrected it. Maybe I should have slept one more day:-) Thanks Heidi! I made all of that before I went to present at the Alabama Conference. I am having so much fun with all of my cups!

  2. I've blogged about your "I've Been Working on My Silent e Rule" today. I'm certain I will post about your other songs soon, but I wanted you to know I'm excited to help spread the word about your fabulous songs. You can find my first post at http://www.officiallyafirstgrader.blogspot.com/2013/02/word-work-and-phonics.html. I can't thank you enough for making phonics fun for my firsties! You're the best!

    1. THANK YOU Corinna! That is so sweet and considerate of you. I am glad your students love my songs. That makes my heart happy:-) Thanks girl! I am heading to your blog now!

  3. Finally a great way to recycle my little k-cups!

    1. I'm glad you found a way to recycle your k-cups. Now we can drink more coffee:-)

  4. OMG! I have an adjustment primary class and this is what i've been looking for all year. How perfect.
    Thank 'you' for sharing!

  5. Sounds like an idea with potential............how do you see this working with special education high school students at diverse math levels?

  6. Another idea I came up with was for certain science units as well. Especially if you teach erosion and need a cup to spout water out of a small hole at the bottom. :)

  7. I was wondering what those little cups might be good for! My poor husband is not too pleased that we are now collecting yet another bunch of containers! :)