Free Roll Say Keep Printable

I decided to “funk up” a very, very old favourite resource of mine: “Roll, Say, Keep”. “Roll Say Keep” is just one of those incredibly useful and versatile resources. All you need to play is a dice, relevant flashcards and a “Roll Say Keep” template per child.

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How to use “Roll Say Keep” in your classroom or home:

High Frequency word practice

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Phonics practice:

Here we were practicing phonemes and digraphs

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Here we were practicing “ee/ea” sounds

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Maths Facts:

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The list of uses for “Roll Say Keep” is pretty much endless!!!! My Differentiated Instruction Cubes are making another appearance in this blog post. They are one of my top 5 favourite teacher resources of all time. I swear that I’d be lost without them!!! You can purchase them here.

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I have inserted 5 Frame images in this instance to encourage “subitising” of number as well as literacy practice. Double whammy. Love it!!!

How to play:

Roll the dice and find the corresponding flashcards e.g Roll a 6 and you must read/answer the card in the number 6 dice box. If you can read/answer it you keep it.The card is removed from the gameboard and another placed in that box. The winner is the first to correctly win “X” number of flashcards. If the word/answer if unknown remove it from the board too and set aside for practice either/instruction.

You can download my free ‘Roll Say Keep’ template by clicking here: roll say keep.


Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂


Pocket It template for Combining and Partitioning Number

I posted some photos during the week of my Pocket It template on my Facebook Page. Please hop on over and give me a “like” if you haven’t already done so. I often post photos of what is happening in my classroom on this page. It’s a great way to see what I am up to on an almost daily basis.

Here are some of those photos:



I use my Pocket It template for Combining/Composing and Partitioning/Decomposing number. Apologies for the duplication of maths terms in the previous sentence. I am conscious that  different terms are used in different parts of the world. Here in Ireland we use the terms Composing and Decomposing. It seems that the U.S and Australia use the tees Combining and Partitioning. I thought I would use both terms as I like to be inclusive :)!

My photos generated some requests for the Pocket It template. It seems that when I originally created it I inadvertently forgot to save the copyright information for the clipart :(. I searched my computer and the internet, but alas they exact images eluded me…

I hate to disappoint so I created a new version of Pocket It, complete with copyright information. So… Here it is…

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I hope that you will love this version too! Click here to download Pocket It.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Preparing your Child for School: Sorting and Classifying Game

This is a follow on from a previous blogpost about sorting and comparing objects. Please click here to visit this post.

“What’s the Difference?” is my favourite online sorting and classifying game. It covers lots of different categories of sort: by colour, safe/unsafe objects, objects that float/sink, 4 wheels/2 wheel… There are 10+levels for your child to play and explore. Why not see if you can re-create some of the classifications using  my Sort It Out sheets from the previous blogpost?

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Click here to play What’s the Difference?

I hope that you have enjoyed using the sorting and classifying resources and games suggested in the last two post. Check back soon for matching activities!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂


Preparing your child for school: Sorting and Classifying Objects

Matching and Sorting/Classifying are likely to be the first maths activities that your child will explore in Junior Infants. I have to say that I love exploring Classifying. Its so much fun to see how kids will “sort” things out. I love giving them a “mystery box” a.k.a the contents of “the junk drawer” that never gets fully tidied. You know it, its the one with all sort of bits and pieces in it. Buttons, magnets, bits of lego, McDonalds Happy Meal gifts… The all sorts of everything drawer.

I would like to introduce you to some very dear friends of mine:

Meet the Venn Diagram:

It’s basically a circle. You can classify objects with your Venn Diagram in lots of different ways:

Sort by Colour: Here is a set of yellow bears:

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Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 09.54.47A more advanced form of sorting by colour: Here is a set of yellow bears and a set of bears that are not yellow:

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Now meet the Carroll Diagram. You can sort and classify objects in the same way that you did with your Venn Diagram. It’s a matter of preference as to which form of diagram you use.

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 14.05.49Here I used the Carroll Diagram to sort my shapes into two sets. The one on the left is “a set of square” and the one on the right is a “set that are not squares’

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These diagrams just as to help your child to organise his/her thought. I am sure that you all have lots and lots of bits and pieces that can be sorted and classified. If you would like to purchase some “counters” or “manipulatives” to use during the year then check out this link. I just LOVE Prim-Ed’s manipulatives. At a price point of 9,95 Euro,  for 144 plastic pieces, they are quite affordable. The quality of these counters is just fantastic. They are brightly coloured and robust.

I recently got the Vegetable Counters. I have some plastic fruit in my classroom . I think that sorting fruit from vegetables is going to be a nice maths/science lesson. I will be using them in lots of other lessons throughout the year.

I made a set of corn on the cob (my absolute favourite vegetable!!) and then a set of corn and a set of other vegetables.I’m pretty good at classifying, don’t you think?! Image 2


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You could add some yellow apples to the corn on the cob and make it a yellow set. Think of the possibilities!!!!

Here are the objectives as laid down by the Department of Education and Science for Junior Infants:

Strand: Early Maths Activities         Unit:  Classifying

  • classify objects on the basis of one attribute, such as colour, shape, texture or size
  • identify the complement of a set (i.e. elements not in a set)

Here are some free sorting mats that I have created for you all to use. Click here to download.


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If you have older children then  print out the mats, pop them in polypockets and send them out to the garden on a scavenger hunt. How can they classify their findings? These “early maths activities” are not just “child’s play”. They prepare your child to collect, describe, assess and analysis data. Perhaps you could have a future scientist or engineer on your hands as a result 😉

Have fun sorting and classifying,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Monthly Maths: Sequencing and Ordinal Language

I am getting in nice and early with my Monthly Maths Topics and freebie! “High 5ing” myself for my efficiency 😉

You may have worked out that I have been teaching “Time” as a my maths topic for the last while. I have already blogged about Literacy tie-ins and created a Seasonal Poster freebie for you all.

Here are the curricular objective for Junior and Senior Infants that relate to sequencing and ordinal language:


Strand: Measures  Unit: Time

  • sequence daily events or stages in a story

Strand: Number  Unit: Comparing and Ordering

  • use the language of ordinal number: first, last
  • use the language of ordinal number: first, second, third, last


Stand: Story Unit: Stories

  • display storyline pictures showing episodes in sequence
  • discuss the chronology of events (beginning, middle, end) in a story

One a side note, I actually cover “first, next, last” and “1st, 2nd and 3rd” with my Junior Infants. I don’t know of any 2 step sequencing resources. Everything I have purchased starts sat 3 step instructions and works up from there. We are teaching them to count to 1o and add to 5 so it really isn’t too hard!

This week I have been exploring sequencing and the language associated with it. I am pleased that my kiddos are doing so very well at it. I have a commercially purchased set of images called Sequence Rummy that gets used year after year. We sequence 2 step images using my pocket chart rather than playing it as a card game. Where would I be without my pockets charts, LOL!  I purchased Sequence Rummy years ago and still love it. Here is a link. I have no idea where I purchased it from. If anyone knows where Trend Enterprise products can be purchased in Ireland please leave a comment below. I would  love to source more of their products!

T24011LRGI also find this  sequencing book indispensable. I  love that it covers 3-scene, 4-scene, 6-scene and 8-scene sets of images. I have used the same book with Junior Infants and Senior Infants. It gives me the option of differentiating and giving children harder or easier sequencing activities depending on their ability levels. Again, I have had it for years and am not sure where I purchased it from. My name is taped to the from on what appears to be masking tape. I am guessing that I might have purchased it from a Rep visiting the school. Here is a link if you want to find out more information about it. Here is a link that shows you the entire Make and Take Sequencing Fun book.


I have created the following headings for use in my pocket chart and decided to share them with you. I have covered the following language:

  • first, next, last
  • an extra page of “last” headings for those of you doing more than 3-step sequencing
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd
  • first, second, third

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Click here to download

I kept the colouring of the headings consistent in the event that you wanted to use the written words and the numerical representations in one lesson. If any of you need 5th to 10th as a resource for 1st class please let me know and I can make them. I don’t actually need them so I did’t create them.

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Maths Journal for Mental Maths

I have had a great response to my “Maths Journal” photos on my Facebook page and on Twitter. In response to lots of questions I have decided to write a blog post in it!

Maths Journals are a wonderful teaching and assessment resource to have in your classrooms. They cost almost nothing and do not take very much time at all. I have used them with both Junior and Senior Infants in the past. I am currently teaching Junior Infants and we have started journaling. I am a huge advocate of challenging children with mental maths and oral maths problems. I mean why else do we need to learn maths if not to use it in our everyday lives!

How to Maths Journal:

Each child needs:

  • blank copy, non-lined type, per child
  • optional Maths Journal cover
  • glue
  • mental maths challenges
  • a 5 minute timer

How do I start?:

From their very first maths class my class are exposed to problem solving and mental/oral maths challenges. It is just a normal part of our day. I “maths talk” and show children how a problem can be solved while illustrating it it on my whiteboard or with manipulatives. I ask for children to suggest and model how they would solve a problem. By the time we come to our “Maths Journal” enteries my class have already developed problem solving skills.

About 2 weeks before children are given their journals I begin to work more formal on recording their answers. I write a question on the board  and “maths talk” what I would do. Demonstrating how to illustrate and record my answer. I try to do this daily during that two week preparation period.

One their first day with their Maths Journal I explain my expectations and the practicality of where they glue the question and how long they have to answer the question. What are my expectations?

  1. That children try to complete these challenges in 5 minutes.
  2. That they focus on the maths rather than the colouring. Its about good maths thinking rather than beautiful drawings.
  3. That it is a maths challenge so they will probably have to write a number to show their answer. That they do not look at another child’s work and if they do to remember that there are often multiple ways of solving a problem so both of them can be correct even if they look different 😉
  4. That the task is completed without talking to their friends about it. It is their challenge to solve

I will sometimes read the question and sometimes not, depending on the age of the children and their literacy levels.  That is as much help as my pupils are given. I ensure that the prompts relate to an aspect of the curriculum that we are currently studying or have already studied. Therefore the challenge should not required modelling. That is the beauty of these journals, I can see thought processes, strenghts and weaknesses at a glance. To my mind they are worth their weight in gold! I used handout last year and regretted it. It is so much better to have a running record.

Here are the Maths Journal covers that I designed for this year:

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Click here to download

Here is a photo of what they look like in real life:

maths journal cover ImageHere are some images of our very first journal entry. It was a revision page for the Number 3. I told my class that there was a “secret number” on their prompt. That number would tell them how many apples to draw. They had to draw that many apples, number them and colour them.
Image 1Image 3Then I set my 5 minute timer and wait to see how they would solve the problem. Click here for a link to the timer.
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That is pretty much it! I aim to complete a minimum of 2 entries per week. In an ideal world I would favour daily entries. With severe curriculum overload those 5 mins/day can be very, very elusive!!!

To encourage you to give it a whirl here is a Junior Infant, a Senior Infant and a 1st Class prompt 😉 Click here to download

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Ghost Blaster II: making 10

Ghost Blaster II would make a fantastic game for any 1st Class pupil to play over Mid-term. It would also be a great warm-up game on the first day back after Mid-term. Ghost Blaster allows you to revise adding numbers 0-10 which was covered in Senior Infants. The curriculum links are shown here:

Strand: Analysis of Number              Units:  Combining & Numeration

  • explore the components of number, 1-10
  • solve simple oral and pictorial problems, 0-10

I love maths games that allow the teacher/parent to select exactly what numbers are being explored. It is great to be in control and know that children are exploring exactly what they need to explore. No sums that are outside of the curriculum remit will appear. Ghost Blaster ll does not disappoint in this regard. You are in complete control.

Simply type in your selected number in the “practice the sums of…” box. I selected 10 but you could choose any number family you want from 0-10. 

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You can select either 1 or 2 players. Imagine the fun of 2 children or two teams playing against each other in a classroom! It would be tonnes of fun!

A pair of ghosts will briefly flash up on the screen. You need to be fast to play Ghost Blaster II !!! Click “z” on your keyboard if the sum of the two ghosts makes your choosen number. It’s a simple as that 😉

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Click here to play

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh

Halloween Themed Data Handling

Do you love teaching Data Handling? I just ADORE it!!! It is one of my absolute favourite maths topics to explore. It is so much fun and serious cute too!

I always block my data handling and tie it into  fun, seasonal themes. I did a graph a week for the month of October on a Halloween Theme. We created  Halloween themed graphs about spiders, ghosts and bats.

It’s so much easier to get children buzzed up about data handling when you explore it thematically 🙂 I also feel that children understand more fully the use of graphs and graphing when it is linked to something meaningful in their own lives.  Because I am mildly OCD on linking lessons I also  try to tie my Data Handling into the story that we were reading for the week e.g. Aaaaargh Spiders and a graph about spiders.

Here are the Representing and Interpreting Data Curriculum Objectives for Junior Infants, Senior Infants and First Class:

  • represent and interpret data in two rows or columns using real objects, models and pictures

Below is my ghost themed pictogram freebie :

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Click here to download
Screen Shot 2013-10-19 at 13.43.16  Click here to download

I simply cut out the title and stuck it to a sheet of poster paper. Pupils stick their ghost under the column that applies to them. My class seem to be particularly brave. Not one of them said that ghosts were creepy!! Mind you, I think that the ghosts above are particularly cute. They are from the Enlightened Elephant.

Data Handling naturally lends itself to making comparisons and naturally creates language rich Maths Talks. We stopped periodically to predict which column would win and why, what the difference was between columns, what difference one more vote would make to each side… Lots and lots of math talk was generated. I also love it when children spontaneously use maths language in their response. “I predict that creepy will win because it has more” or “I predict that cute can’t win now because only 2 children are left to vote and that’s not enough to win”. Talk like that just blows me away!!! Oh yeah, the use of the word “predict” ties in with the Reading Comprehension Strategies we are exploring.

I hope that you like my Ghost Themed Pictogram Freebie and manage to squeeze it in next week. It would make for a great maths lesson on the day of the holidays 😉

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Senior Infant Maths: revision of Sorting & Classifying

This sorting game is a fantastic way to review EMA strategies for Senior Infant Classes:

  • classify objects on the basis of one attribute, such as colour, shape, texture or size

It’s a great lesson opener or transition activity. Really simple, clear and child friendly. I like the fact that you can cover a huge variety of classifications and comparisons in one game. It covers: size, number, letters vs numbers, colours, shapes, spots vs stripes… I also like the way that it integrates letter sorting. Sneaky and clever at the same time!

It also covers “half” and “whole’ which are part of the 1st class maths curriculum:

  • establish and identify half of sets to 20

“Sort” does cover “odd” and “even” numbers but you can easily skip ahead if not applicable to your class grade.

If you are teaching Junior Infants or the parent of a Junior Infant child then I would encourage you to bookmark it. This sorting game would be fantastic for an end of year review/assessment.

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Click here to play

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Matching Socks Game

Here is a fantastic resource to demonstrate or have children engage in the Early Mathematical Activity Strands of Matching & Sorting. The objectives below are for both Junior and Senior Infants:


  • compare objects according to colour, size and design


  • match equivalent and non-equivalent sets using one-to-one correspondence

In the  “Sock Pairs Game” simply drag the matching socks to the basket. It is not as simple as it first seems. There are only subtle differences between some of the sock pairs. Children need to concentrate carefully when comparing socks to create a matching pair.

Sock Pairs is very simple and quick to play. It is a really good teaching tool to introduce children to the concepts of Comparing and Matching. It is also a great Oral Language Lesson as I ask my pupils to describe the socks that they are matching in terms of size, colour, and design. There is also a small amount of Algebra involved in the patterning of the socks: pink, blue, pink, blue…

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Click here to play

Why not get your pupils to bring in a pair of socks, mix them up in a laundry basket and have them match them. Who knew that doing the laundry could have such a profound effect on a child’s mathematical processes?!!!!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Junior Infant Maths: Sorting & Classifying

Here is another fun Sesame Street game to help develop sorting and classifying skills. The Early Maths Strand (EMA) asks children in Junior and Senior Infants to:

  • classify objects on the basis of one attribute, such as colour, shape, texture or size

In “The Laundry Game” Elmo asks children to “sort” or collect his laundry according to colour and shape attributes e.g. the white socks or t-shirts with red circle on them. Children need to pay close attention to detail in order to find the correct items.

It is also a great way of including Oral Language in your maths lesson. Through the “Developing Cognitive Abilities through oral language”  strand unit children in Junior and Senior Infants are asked to:

  • focus on descriptive detail and begin to be explicit in relation to people, places, times, processes, events, colour, shape, size, position

I played “The Laundry Game”  it with my class the other day  and ticked both boxes in my schemes of work :). My class loved it. We will definitely be playing it again. Check out the underwear on the line. Hilarious…!

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Click here to play The Laundry Game

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

11 Ways a Parent Can Help with Maths

I came across this really interesting poster online and felt compelled to post it for you to read! It is one of the best summaries that I have seen.

How many of these 11 Ways a Parent Can Help with Maths are you using already?! I especially love the closing statement 😉 Point out ways that maths is part of real life!!! Isn’t that why we teach maths anyway? It should never be seen as something that belongs between the pages of a textbook. Maths is all around and a hugely important life skill. Just a thought….


Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Junior Infant Maths: sorting & classifying

I am so excited to be teaching Junior Infants again! Junior Infant maths is so much fun. Next week we will be exploring the Early Maths Activities Strand (EMA) of Classifying. We will learn to:

  • classify objects on the basis of one attribute, such as colour, shape, texture or size
  • identify the complement of a set (i.e. elements not in a set or the “odd one out”)

We will be making closed sets where the teacher defines the sorts and gives the category by which the items will be sorted. Once children are familiar with the concept of classifying objects we will move onto open sets. Children will decide for themselves how to sort the objects in front of them. This encourages divergent thinking, problem solving and logical thinking.

When teaching all maths topics is it crucially important that we move from the concrete to the abstract. Children need to have lots and lots of hands-on -experience physically sorting counters, bottle tops, buttons, counters, animals, transport items… The list goes on…

Here are a few ways that you could suggest if you are making closed sets:

  • by colour (red set, green set and yellow set or  red things and things that are not red)
  • by size ( big and small, big animals and small animals, small red car and small green cars)
  • things I eat and things I play with
  • thing we find in the sky, on land, in the sea.
  • zoo animals and farm animals
  • spotty socks, stripy socks, plain socks or my socks and Mom’s socks (help with the laundry anyone?!!!!)

There are a staggering number of ways that things can be sorted into sets. Sometimes children amaze me with the classifications that they create during open sets. Often they see ways of sorting that I had never thought of!

Here is a really fun Sesame Street game that encourages children to sort animals by colour, big/small, long ears/short ears… It’s called Zoe’s Pet Shelter

Can you guess the rules for the set below?!!!

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Click here to play Zoe’s Pet Shelter!

I am crossing my fingers and toes that my school laptop will be replaced by Monday so that I can play these with my class. It completely died on Friday afternoon and I am frantic. I use my Interactive Whiteboard all the time. Last year it was out of use for a few months when the bulb went. Then my laptop went shortly after the bulb was replaced. The computer memory was wiped and returned to me minus my work!! I have way, way too much to back it up on a USB! Now its gone again one day into the new school year! I am cracking up!!  Sorry for the rant. It might not have fixed the computer but it sure make me feel better?! Anyone else in the same boat?

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

Even more Roll and Cover Games!

I have been asked to create some Roll and Cover Games that are in full colour. It seems that lots of you have colour printers at your disposal. Lucky you! I am still living in black and white land with my printer at home and at work.

Here are some Roll and Cover Games that are full of colour and summer fun!

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                                                                                                                                                    Click here to download

  (scroll down past the B&W ones to find the images above)

I hope that you have lots of fun playing  my Roll and Colour Games. Any requests? What theme are you using this year? Please leave a comment below!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

ps: the cute bee and apple graphics are from

Roll and Cover Maths Game

I am super excited about going back to school! I am really looking forward to teaching Junior Infants again!!! I loved every minute of Senior’s but it was time for a change.

I have been planning my theme for the last while. Gosh it was hard to choose. I have been conflicted for a while now. I finally settled on it when I found the right props. Poor Mr. H ended up spending part of his Sunday shopping for school. I found it so hard to decide and to keep to a reasonable budget. Bless him, he didn’t complain at all.

Following on from our shopping trip I created these fun “Roll and Cover’ maths games. I think that they will be lots of fun to play! It will encourage number recognition and one-to-one correspondence.  They are in black and white as we don’t have a colour printer :(.

Just print and colour. Roll the dice and cover the number. The first person to cover all of their numbers wins!

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Click here to download!

Have fun,

Miss Mernagh 🙂

PS: The flamingo is a colouring sheet from: The coconut tree is one that i have had for years and don’t know who to credit it.