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3 Simple Math Ideas for the First Weeks of School


Looking for math ideas for the first weeks of school? These activities are perfect for kids in 2nd and 3rd grade. Includes activity ideas, free printables, and tips for implementing. Click to learn more!
Hey Super Teacher!

Back to School time is upon us! Whether you go back this week (I'm talking to you Colorado friends) or not for a few (lucky Michiganders), here are 3 math activities you can use on the first weeks of school (recommended for 2nd-3rd grades). 
1. Pentominoes - These are my go to Day 1 math activity!  I would HIGHLY recommend purchasing a class set if you are able.

Show students the book Chasing Vermeer (this mystery book has a pentomino by name chart and hidden pentominoes on the cover) and then see if students can figure out how the pentominoes are named (spoiler alert: it's by letters of the alphabet).

Then let them try to make squares and rectangles using as many pieces as they can. (Amazon affiliate links above)
Pentominoes are a super fast finisher that all students can use (and love), so not only do you have a fun first day math activity, you are also introducing a fast finisher students will have available to them all year.  During these first weeks of school it's pretty much priceless to have a "go to" fast finisher ready on Day 1!

Having a bad day? Go to Australia. A Simple Classroom Management Idea

Need an easy classroom management idea for the elementary classroom? Use Australian Flags along with the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day as a classroom management strategy.  Would work great in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade.
This idea goes along with the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and comes from a fantastic college professor of mine.  In his room, he had a table reserved as "Australia".  If one of his students was having a bad day they could go work at the Australia table for a few minutes until they were feeling better.

Don't have room for an entire Australia table?  No worries! Just use mini Australian flags.  You can either stack them on a counter or put them on your white board.  Not much room needed at all. 

Not only is this a simple management tool you can use all year, it's a perfect mini-lesson and read aloud for the first week of school! 2 birds one stone!
 Need an easy classroom management idea for the elementary classroom? Use Australian Flags along with the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day as a classroom management strategy.  Would work great in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade.

Here's what you do:

Differentiate for Advanced Learners with Exclusive Math Challenges

Hey Super Teacher!

It's time to start talking about school again.  If you're up for some back to school talk or even if you're not (I totally feel ya), then you might be interested in checking out this exclusive math freebie.
Challenge your advanced mathematicians without breaking a sweat! Use these FREE math challenge and brain teaser activities to challenge your elementary students. These versatile problems can be used as math centers, morning work, centers, small group activities, problem of the week, or as part of a larger problem solving unit! Perfect for advanced kids in 2nd and 3rd grade. Click over for the free printables!
Back to school time is always tricky, attempting to meet every students' needs while you're just trying to get to know the kids and teach bathroom procedures.  I've found that math challenges can be a simple solution for advanced math kiddos who start looking bored on day 2. {or whose parents approach you at Back to School Night telling you their sweetie will be bored on day 1} #youknowtheones #happybacktoschoolnight

This exclusive freebie includes 5 math challenges and brainteasers you can't find anywhere else that can help you get started personalizing math instruction for your advanced mathematicians
 
Sign up below to get the exclusive math challenges and an e-mail series with some tips and tricks to start differentiating right out of the gate.  PLUS there just might be another cool editable freebie in your future (hint, hint).  Just sign up and then check your e-mail for the freebie!



Have a fab day Super Teacher!

The Birthday Committee - Manage Student Birthdays with Ease

Never forget a student's birthday with the birthday committee! A simple and creative idea to put students in charge of birthday celebrations so you can keep teaching!

Truth:  I have a secret teacher fear that I will forget a child's birthday.

By the time you finally get your class list (Doesn't it feel like it takes forever?!) birthdays are the last thing on your mind!  You're scrambling to label popsicle sticks, job boards, folders, cubbies, coatroom hangers, mail boxes, desks, and basically anything else that will sit still.  #mustlabelallthethings
Never forget a student's birthday with the birthday committee! A simple and creative idea to put students in charge of birthday celebrations so you can keep teaching!
While you're fretting about fonts, creating curriculum calendars, and sweating bullets about Back to School Night bulletin boards, there's always one or two cuties with August birthdays that are just ready to sneak up and make you feel like an absolutely awful human!

No more worrying I say!  The birthday committee is here to save the day!

Getting your birthday box ready for the birthday committee is one super easy way to feel productive this summer!  You can get everything you need during a grocery trip to Target or from your couch on Amazon.
The birthday committee!  A super  simple strategy to put students in charge of birthday celebrations.  Get The BIrthday Committee started in your classroom and never fear forgetting a childs birthday again!

End of the Year fun with Wonka Week

Ideas for Wonka Week using golden ticket freebie - perfect for the end of the year!
A Golden Ticket Freebie PLUS Ideas for Wonka Week integrating Wonka and candy fun into instruction.  Great for any time you need to mix up your classroom management!
Wonka Week is my favorite go-to end of the school year activity, but it works equally well the week before Spring Break or any other time you're anticipating squirrely children and need something a little different to calm the masses.  

If you have extremely excited kiddos and need a little something new, try out Wonka Week using Golden Tickets for Classroom Management

Here’s what you need to do:
Buy: a bag or two of small wrapped candy bars (not the vacuum sealed kind – the wrapped in foil-lined paper kind), and 10-15 candy bars or other "big" prizes.  I get my candy bars here on Amazon and buy the large prizes at a Dollar Store.
A Golden Ticket Freebie PLUS Ideas for Wonka Week integrating Wonka and candy fun into instruction.  Great for any time you need to mix up your classroom management!
Print: the Wonka Tickets on yellow/gold paper.
A Golden Ticket Freebie PLUS Ideas for Wonka Week integrating Wonka and candy fun into instruction.  Great for any time you need to mix up your classroom management!