Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring Word Problems!

Hi!  I am Julie from Fun! Fabulous! Firsties!  I am so excited to be a part of this group! 

A little about me:

I am in my 21st year of teaching.  I taught multiage grades 1-4 for 4 years in a small Lutheran school in Nebraska, 1st grade in a bigger Lutheran school for 5 years in Wisconsin, and now I am in my 12th year of teaching first grade in Northern Illinois.  I teach in a Title One School with the majority of our students living in poverty. 

The past two years I have had the opportunity to have a first grade "homeroom" and I teach math pretty much all day to our first grade students.  Reading and Writing are taught by my teammates.  We enjoy a very team oriented approach to teaching our students.  Most days it feels like the three of us team teach our 50 students.  I can honestly say that the past 2 years have been 2 of the best years in my career. 

I have been married 12 years and I have 2 children. My third grader, Brady, is our miracle baby.  He was born with a Congenital Heart Defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  He has had 3 open heart surgeries and 3 other heart procedures.  He has always handled life like a champ and is always making lists for our cardiologist of things he wants to be allowed to do.  His latest list included zip lining!  He got the doctor's okay but we are waiting until he turns 10.  I am pretty sure I will need some kind of meds to restart my heart after he goes!
Brady being greeted at the airport by Darth Vader and Storm Troopers for his Make-a-Wish trip to Disney last year!

My kindergartner, Emelia, is our little diva.  She watches hair styling channels on you-tube and dreams of having her own channel someday!  She likes to "create" hairstyles of her own and explains them to me in great detail so I can do them in her hair such as the Twisty Tornado hairstyle. :)  She adores her big brother and they are just so cute together!
Twisty Tornado Hairdo! LOL!

I love this time of year!  As the snow melts, we {finally!} get rid of the snow pants, and at last our little first graders are all blooming into the learners we have been working to be all year!

One of the most exciting changes that I see in my students is in their math sense!  They came to me knowing the basics of how to add and subtract and after working on strategies all year I get to see them being able to apply their knowledge of addition and subtraction into word problems. 

We do tons of word problems in my room and we do them often.  To me, is the most authentic way to see if students can use the math that they have been taught or if they are only memorizing facts and procedures. We do problems with unknowns in all places starting in the beginning of the year.  I love how using number bonds to solve word problems really makes it so easy to find the answer, no matter where the unknown is found.  You can read about how to use number bonds for word problems here.  Today I am giving a sample of my word problems units! 

You can download it from my google docs by clicking here.

or if you prefer to keep it in your TpT downloads,

you can download it here.

I included three different formats, so whether you prefer doing word problems whole group, in an interactive notebook, or in journal form you are covered!

Thanks for stopping by our blog!


  1. Julie! Great Job! My "baby" ( I have 4 kids ) is my only girl! She adores her big brothers, too! So funny, she was a little diva (I always had her in PINK...) But her fav wa PINK CAMO...because her brothers wore camo! Silly kiddos..Great post! Happy Spring! Wendy 1stgradefireworks 1stgradefireworks

  2. Hi Julie! Thanks so much for your free sample. This will be really helpful for me to use with some of my class. Half "get" word problems, 1/4 sort of get them, and the rest look at me like deer in headlights when I give them a word problem! I can pair up the totally gets and sort of gets to work independently, and pull my deer in the headlights to work with in a group all on the same task!

  3. HI, Julie! I enjoyed your post and getting to "meet" you! Thanks for the word problem set - very helpful!
    Linda at Primary Inspiration

  4. HI, Julie! I enjoyed your post and getting to "meet" you! Thanks for the word problem set - very helpful!
    Linda at Primary Inspiration

  5. Thanks for the wonderful sample! :)