Number Corner Grade 1 Advice for January

We’re on to Volume Two! The author told me long ago that the January-June challenges are more critical than what has happened so far in Number Corner.
For your calendar markers you have two choices this month. You can have your class make calendar pieces as described in the Teachers Guide or you can download or purchase the Supplement Set Set C5Geometry, 3-D Shapes Around Us.
I usually got to the penguins unit near the very end of January or early in February, so I found it suited me much more to make the penguin calendar markers in February or March. Either way, you may want to hold off on the penguin idea and think up something with a January theme if you choose to have your class make the markers. One year when school started immediately after New Years Day, desperate for a calendar idea, I came up with writing New Year’s resolutions as their writer’s workshop task of the day. So I had them write them in pencil on 5” X 5” squares, I proofed them, and they “inked” them with fine point pens.

We laid them out the next day and the children were challenged to figure out how they could use these 21 markers to make a pattern. They came up with the pattern of resolution, resolution, Happy New Year on their own, so we made the calendar on the spot. If I had thought of it a little more, I probably would have done the Happy New Year markers in a different color. This month instead of drawing a helper name to put the piece in the calendar pocket chart, the child who had written the resolution read it to the class and reported on how he or she was doing at keeping the resolution. By the end of the month the drop-off rate got pretty high! As you saw in the individual pieces, they had good intentions! If you use a different theme, send me pictures
Monday’s Money is all self-explanatory, and needs no elaboration. Tuesday’s Temperature is fun. Consider switching your Tuesday Number Corner time to lunch, when it is closer to the warmest part of the day. I picked up my children from the lunchroom, went into the library, read the temperature forecast for the day from the newspaper (internet works too!), then read the temperature from the weather station the fifth graders had gotten installed just outside the library. (Go outside and use your thermometer if you don’t have one.) Some children could remember both numbers after we trekked back to the classroom, where we colored in (or using your red strips) the graph. I included several comments the children made about the graph.
Wednesday’s Workout is a dozy! When you are conducting Penguin Probability, remember that collecting and analyzing data is one of your overarching goals, in addition to the probability involved. Read the notes closely on page 227 to help you in understanding the probability involved if it isn't immediately clear to you. As is pointed out, there are many different levels at which a child can access this experience. 
Don’t forget to save your record sheets from the student book both weeks, as you need to have them to analyze the data the third week.
Thursday’s Challenge 4 is an activity best recorded as illustrated in the text. It is well explained in the book. After we had developed a similar chart, I briefly referred to it for the next few days. Recording such observations helps develop a path to insights some children need as they begin to internalize the relationship between addition and subtraction.
I have attached an example of Friday’s Figuring from January. Be aware that if you don’t use penguins, you would have to make your own mini markers based on your calendar if you use this component. I included a few details so you could see the type of equations children can produce at this time of year. NOTE: You see Sea Creature calendar markers, as I was teaching a K-1st blend and we were using the Kindergarten calendar markers this month.