Busy Baskets and Snowmen All Year!

Well, we finally got some snow and a snow day!  I was so thankful for this three day weekend! 

I had told you earlier that I am incorporating "busy baskets" this year in math.  These are my baskets:

I picked them up at Ikea the last time I was there.  Each table has a basket.  They basket is filled with 5 or 6 different math games that we have played before in class.  Each week I will try to fill you in with a different math game you can use in a busy basket.

The objective of the basket is to keep students engaged during downtime.  If they finish early, they can pull the basket and play the games.  They are so into it!  This is also super easy management for the teacher.  I change out the games every two or three weeks.  It's so much easier than changing centers weekly.  You can just throw centers in the baskets and switch them around.  

Their favorite so far is "Salute."  You will need a deck of cards per basket with the King, Queen, Jack, and Joker removed.  The ace has a value of 1.

You need exactly 3 players.  One player is in the middle holding the deck of cards.  The other two players draw a card from the deck.  The middle player says, "Salute!"  Each of the two players hold the card up against their foreheads without looking at their own card.

The player in the middle says the sum of the two cards.  By looking at the other player's card, they can figure out the value of their own card.  They are basically finding the missing addend.  If they guess wrong, the middle player is to say, "try again."

This has helped my students so much!  Like I said, they are absolutely in love with this game!

We have another game that helps with missing addends called "SNAP!"  You need two players and a train of 10 linking cubes.  You could differentiate by adding more or less cubes.

One player puts the train behind their back and says "SNAP!"  They snap the train into two parts.

The player keeps one part behind their back and show the other player the other part.

The player has to guess how many are behind their back.  

I keep the smaller pieces in a little container from Dollar Tree inside the basket.

I got that little game from Mrs. Lirette.  Thank you!  

On another note, I am pumped for the big TPT sale on Sunday.  I'm also pumped for my parents' Super Bowl party-but not for the game-they're getting Chuy's!  My favorite!  Gotta have my creamy jalapeño fix!  But my cart is overflowing!  My store will be 20% off on Sunday plus you get TPT's 10% off for a total of 28% off.  You can go to my store by clicking the pic below.

Thanks to Ashley Hughes for this super cute graphic!  If your store is having a sale, be sure to link up with her.

I hope to have my Sock Hop Centers posted tomorrow in time for the sale and Valentine's Day coming up.  

And I got my Activities to Accompany Snowmen All Year packet posted tonight.  You can see it {HERE}.  It's full of several writing activities, literacy centers, and math centers to go along with the stories Snowmen All Year and Snowmen at Night.  The first three to post about what your students love to do during downtime in the classroom will get it for free!  Be sure to leave your e-mail address in the comment.  Have a great weekend!!!


  1. This is so adorable! Love it :) My kids love to read a book from their seat sack!! :)


    1. I wanted to be one of the first three so I was typing fast! I love your busy baskets. They look so organized! One of the things I have really wanted to implement during "downtime" is BOGGLE. I think it would be awesome :) Your Sock Hop Centers look adorable and I LOVE the Snowmen books! :)

  2. My students like to write in their journals and tell stories. That is the best writing with free writing. Mjhalbardier@gmail.com

    Love Snowmen books! Have you seen the latest one Snowmen At Work?

  3. My students love to read and draw! Would love a copy! I have both books!


  4. Hey ladies! I just e-mailed your copies! I hope you enjoy them! Thanks for participating!

  5. Awww...missed it..darn! ;) My students love to read and draw on their downtime!


  6. Those are some awesome math games! I will definitely introduce them to my class! Thanks for the idea! :)

    Diary of a First Grade Teacher

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