Sunday Safari - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

Sunday Safari

I am sorry this is so late, but I was a little preoccupied doing a lot of this...

For this week's version of Sunday Safari I knew I was going to be off my A game so I enlisted the help of a great blogger named Mary! She has written a FABULOUS post for us complete with some freebies!

Hello there!  I am Mary from Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives.  I am so excited about guest blogging for Katie!  When she asked me if I would share something math related with you I knew just the thing!  My district adopted a new math curriculum last year and one of the most difficult skills for our kiddos was understanding the "part-part-whole" concept.  Sure, we all teach our students how to create number sentences and how to fill in the missing parts....but this terminology and number frame was unfamiliar to them.  This year I plan to use the "part-part-whole" model from the beginning so it won't be quite so confusing when we get to it in the curriculum.

Since this is the 1st Grade Jungle I thought it only appropriate that I create something jungle-themed!  Here is a look at the work-mat for one of the station games I made this week:
I should mention that I did change the frame up a bit.  The frame our math series uses for modeling "part-part-whole" is rectangle with the "whole" on the top.  I found it really beneficial to flip the frame around in the beginning until they really understood that a whole is made up of two parts.
Basically, the student rolls a die and places that number card in the first section of the frame {the "part"}.  He/she (or a partner) rolls again and does the same thing for the second "part." The student should then add up the parts to find the whole.  I've included jungle animal counters too just in case the child needs the help of manipulatives.  You could always use jungle animal figures too!
I also plan to use these animal containers as dice shakers.  You can find these in the baby aisle at The Dollar Store.  They have several different kinds that would work nicely for this game like the hippos you see in the picture below or monkeys.
You can have your students write down the number sentences they create on a white board or in their math journal.  That way they are getting practice with number sentences in the written form a well.  Plus, you can keep tabs on their accuracy with addition.  :)
If you would like to download this activity {for free}, click on the cover image below:
Another math skill I think you can never have too much practice with is learning number words!  In kindergarten you learn to recognize them.  First grade builds on recognizing and writing them.  You'd be surprised how many 2nd graders I've worked with that still can't spell a number word from memory.  EEKK!  I whipped up some practice cards that I plan to put in one of my math tubs or a math station.  Just laminate, cut apart, and place them on a ring or in a bag for storage.  Add a dry-erase marker and you've got an easy activity that practices number word recognition, spelling, and handwriting!
Click below to grab your copy:

I hope these activities come in handy for you this year!  I'm working on a few more jungle-themed math and literacy stations that I hope to bundle together and place in my TpT store soon! 

Thank you for reading my post and thanks to Katie for letting me take over for a bit!  :)

Thank you so much for taking care of us today Mary! It is a rough life lounging on the beach, but someone has to do it (you aren't allowed to hate me...solely because tomorrow is my BIRTHDAY :).

your photo name


  1. There's nothing like summer beach therapy!
    Happy B-day tomorrow!

    Yearn to Learn Blog

  2. Mary and Katie,

    You are right. This is a difficult concept for the first graders to grasp. I love your animal container idea. I plan on going to the Dollar Store tomorrow to pick some up. Thank you for the ideas.

    First Grade Schoolhouse

  3. Mary, thanks so much for sharing these perfect beginning of the year stations!! And Katie, I can think of nothing better than a birthday on the beach :) Enjoy!

    Falling Into First

  4. These are so cute. I love them.

    Happy birthday Katie :)

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

  5. Those animal containers are too cute! Love the idea :)
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  6. It looks like you had some fun distractions today Katie! I'm jealous! I need to make it to the beach soon.

    I want those animal containers. I need to go check at the dollar store now! Thanks for sharing such great ideas :)

    Dirty Hands and Lesson Plans

    1. I hope they have them at your Dollar Store too, Katie! They come in a 2-pack and are cute as can be!

      Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

  7. Haaaapppy Birthday Katie!! Enjoy your special day!
    Mary,I am loving those animal containers!! You have such wonderful ideas!! :)

    Learning Is Something to Treasure

    1. Thanks, Lisa! I remember picking up multiple sets of those animal containers long before I had a child or a purpose for them in my classroom....just in case! :)

      Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

  8. What a wonderful posts! Makes me think I'm going to have to do many themes this next school year, everything is sooo cute!

    1. I'm right there with you Melissa! But I don't think there are enough weeks in the school year to cover all the fantastic themes! :)

      Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives

  9. Happy Birthday tomorrow, Katie...and you are simply enjoying some much-DESERVED time with those precious babies:) NO ONE holds that against you! Thanks for the awesome freebies, Mary!!

  10. Swoon . . . more pictures of those cute kiddos of yours. If you ever need a break, drop 'em on my doorstep :). Loved today's post. Mary is fantastic - great choice. Been followin' her for a while now. Happy birthday bloggy friend!

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

  11. Great ideas!! Thanks for sharing them. Love the hippo containers.


  12. You have really great ideas! Thanks so much for sharing them.

  13. Great blog!! I am glad to see you are having some summer fun with your beautiful children! We are your newest followers! Check us out if you have some time! Thanks!

  14. Great blog. I really like the ideas (freebies) especially since my class theme is "wild Things." Summer is always fun on the beach time. Thanks for sharing and have a great birthday.

    "The Wonderful World of Kindergarten"

  15. Great job! These are SO cute, and I love the jungle theme. Thanks for the freebies :)

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