Thursday, October 30, 2014

Calendar Confessions {making it work}

I have a confession.  It's really bad.  Especially as a kindergarten teacher.

I am awful at calendar.  And because I'm awful at calendar, my students' number sense was lacking.  Ugh.  Major confession.  Don't tell anyone.

There just never seemed to be time to do calendar first thing in the morning {last year we went immediately into workshop and this year we have specials right away} so I always have to fit it into math.  And I forget.  Last year I was lucky to even get the date changed so one of my personal goals this year was to make my calendar better.  I use this set that I put on magnets to keep on the dry erase board.  You could also use these pieces with velcro dots on a bulletin board or in a pocket chart.

So we do it in a routine...the same way every day.  It's the only way to remember.  We figure out the date and say it all together.  We sing our Addam's Family Days of the Week song.  We sing our Macarena Months of the Year song.

We look at yesterday's "___th day of school" number in the pocket chart and figure out what comes next.  We check to see if it follows the patterns {starts the same as the other numbers in the row & ends the same as the other numbers in the column}.

Then we use our number of the day to count by 5 with tallies.  We whisper count until we get to the fifth slash number and we say those loud.  Then we add sticks to the pocket chart and talk about place value.  We add a dot to our ten frames and practice counting by 10s.

Then we figure out yesterday, today and tomorrow while the meteorologist checks the weather.  We color in our weather graph {by Cara Carroll}, hang our weather photo and sing the weather song.

Whew!  Then it's time for lunch!!!  :)

I'm feeling fairly confident that we're going to know our two-digit numbers this year!!  Woo-hoo!  :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

fun {and meaningful} number sense activities.

You've probably seen those number anchor charts on Pinterest.  I LOVE them.  I thought there was no way under the starry heavens that my kids would actually be able to make them.  Yes, I have half 1st graders this year which makes a big difference but I also have half ESL students.  And it's still basically the beginning of the year.  {I feel like this until Valentine's Day.}

But I tried it.  On a day when the Superintendent was visiting.  And was supposed to specifically visit my classroom.  Ha!  Sometimes I even amaze myself with my crazy antics.

After lots of modeling, though, it worked beautifully!  My kids worked cooperatively.  They counted accurately.  The superintendent never made it to my room - remember, my luck is that I'm only visited while on Pinterest ;) - but these anchor charts are lovely and I encourage you to make them for your own classroom!  I have them hanging in my room because my kids still refer back to them.

In my hunt for number sense activities I also found this packet by Vickie Plant.  {I love her.}  These number mats are just part of the awesome packet.  I used them as a scavenger hunt.  I passed out all of the representation cards {tallies, fingers, ten frames, shapes, number words, dice, dominoes} and put the number mats on different tables in the room.  The kids had to figure out their amount then find the number mat it belonged in.

Check out the whole packet and Vickie's blog, Primary Press.  She has the best ideas.  You're welcome.  ;)

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Apple Math {limited time only FREEBIE}

I love fall.  And not just because of pumpkin spice lattes.  Because I've only had two.  I love apples, leaves, pumpkins, cake, Thanksgiving, the smells of it, the weather...everything.  {I'm not sure how cake ended up in there but hey, let's go with it.}

My K-1 teammate and I are doing an entire integrated unit of all things fall as we compare urban and rural communities.  Starting with every content area.  That's right!  All. the. subjects.

I found these awesome apple workmats from Life Over C's.  We used them a few days, just practicing making number sentences and adding numbers together with "apples" {pom poms} on the workmats. They recorded their number sentences which helped me know who was getting it and who wasn't.

After practicing, I gave them a number sentence to glue down.  They had to tell me the answer before finding the basket with the answer on it.  Then they finger painted apples to show the amounts.  For the kinders who struggled with adding {the few that haven't mastered number ID or rote counting} I gave them a mat without the number sentence.  I just chose two numbers that I knew they needed to work on and they practiced counting the amount on individual trees.

I also used 10 Apples Up on Top for our math mentor text.  Since one of the 1st grade Common Core objectives is to order 3 numbers or amounts from least to greatest, we used this cute math activity from Kindergarten at Heart but added two more friends to help balance the apples.  We gave the students 3 number cards {primary number cards from the Investigations curriculum} for the kids to order.  Then they made fingerprint apples to represent the amounts.

For a non-math idea, I've started poetry notebooks this year and am so excited about it!  Like I an apple poem.  Obvi.  I got this one for free from What's the Buzz in First.  I'm going to make these much more interactive as we go on but for now, we're keeping it simple.  Read the poem {maybe add some hand motions if it's long or complicated}, highlight sight words {or letters, depending on ability}, illustrate it, practice reading it in all kinds of voices and then do something fun with the content.  Our fun project this week was the apple finger painting.  We'll also be sampling some apple products next week.

You're almost to the freebie.  First let's check in with Farley.  ;)

For a limited time only my brand new, literally just finished, haven't even used it yet Apple & Pumpkin tasting sheet is your treat.  I wanted to punch it up this year and do more than just graphing our favorite flavors.  Download, try it out and let me know what you think.  I'd love some great feedback on the TpT posting in return for your treaty treat.

Now I want a big ole mug of apple cider.  And a dress made of neoprene...thanks, Project Runway.  Happy October!
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