Greetings from 1st grade!
I come to you today with a practical idea you could use for your Explore ZONE. For whatever reason, this has always been the hardest ZONE for me to come up with activities. I understood the importance of it, I understood what it could look like at higher grades, but I couldn't figure out what it looked like in 1st grade.
With the curriculum our district adopted (Engage NY), I felt that my students were missing the chance to really develop their sense of numbers through 120. Being that this is a CCSS and is integral to their math learning, I needed to figure out a way to beef this up during math time. Then I figured out that's exactly what ENGAGE could be for in 1st.
The Explore ZONE in my classroom is built around the students identifying numbers (through 120) in different forms, looking at their relationships and manipulating them.
Explore right now is focused on reading numbers and putting them in order from least to greatest. This ZONE stays in place for 6 weeks and each student does a puzzle a week. Because all of the puzzles are very similar, it doesn't take much training. (And they always amaze me at how smart they are . . . they pick up on everything so quickly.)
When they go to their Explore ZONE, they students find this . . .
Fancy, I know.
I have 6 puzzles out at a time. Each envelope is numbered on the back so I know what numbers they have worked on and what cards should be in the envelope. Then the students pull out all the cards.
The numbers cards are from this packet on TPT. Completely worth it!
The students now have some options about how they want to show their learning. They can put the cards in number order and then take a photo OR they can take a picture of each of the cards and arrange them in number order on Pic Collage.
To turn it in, they use Seesaw. (Check it out!) They upload their finished photo, use the recording feature to record themselves reading the numbers, and then they turn it in. Easy!
I am 1:1 iPads in my classroom, but this would work if you had only 1 iPad in your classroom. It is a fun and easy way for students to show their learning and thinking.
Hopefully this has inspired you for some more Explore activities!
Happy ZONING! :)
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