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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Arctic Theme Number Order and Skip Counting Puzzles Freebie

Holy Moly! I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted. I'm still here; I'm still around. :)
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas. My parents came up for a visit. We had a wonderful time exploring Virginia Beach and Edenton, North Carolina, baking, and just getting to spend time together.

Big news: I am now a Grad Student!!! I start in January. It's been over 10 years since I was in college. Eek! I'm very excited and nervous. I hope this will help me feel a bit more connected to the teaching community again. Being out of the classroom has left me feeling a bit removed from all of the wonderful things I see in bloggy world.

Another big development is that my hubby and I BOUGHT A HOUSE! We close on January 30th. (I do nothing by halves. Start college again and move? Sure! Why not???) :P I can't wait to move into something of our own. OMG- we can paint! Living in base housing or rentals has left this gal a little tired of white walls!

Okay, enough about me. Here's something for you! I made a set of Arctic themed Number Order and Skip Counting Puzzles for FREE!
Click the picture for the link

I hope you can use them in your classroom. I just love it when I can tie 2 subjects together like Math and Science. This set also gives a little wink and a nod to our little buddy Social Studies.

The weather is certainly frightful this evening- cold, blustery, and rainy. I hope you and yours stay dry and warm! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gingerbread Ideas

One of my very favorite themes!

I made these last year when we lived in Hawaii. :)

Hubby said they needed a little something extra. LOL

Decorate a Gingerbread Man
Here's a link to a great Gingerbread Man pattern from Disney Family Fun. It prints 2 to a page! There's also a snowman pattern included on the PDF. Here's one with more detail to use as a guide for little ones.  
Print on brown construction paper and let the kids decorate with crayons, yarn, wiggly eyes... You could mix up a batch of colored glue to act as frosting. Just put a few drops of food coloring into each glue bottle. If the glue bottles are too large for little hands, put the glue in these. They are easier to handle. :)
These would look great on a bulletin board covered in foil. "We've got a great batch!"

Gingerbread Man Dramatic Play
Sparklebox has a great set of masks to place in your Dramatic Play area! In fact, they have a whole section of fantastic resources. Click on the pic below and thank me later! :D

3D Gingerbread Houses

This was great fun in my PreK class in San Diego!

Collect milk cartons, rinse, and let dry. Send a shout out to families for plain ole paper plates, canned frosting (vanilla looks like snow), graham crackers, and various candies such as M&Ms, gumdrops, candy canes (miniature), flaked coconut for snow, sprinkles/jimmies, etc. We used craft sticks for spreaders. Oh, and lots of wipes! This project is lots of sticky fun.
Let the kiddos have a ball frosting the cartons, sticking graham crackers to them to make their house, and decorating them however they choose. They work really hard on this and are sooo proud of their creations.
Handy tips:
Spread a little frosting on the bottom of the milk cartons to stick them to the plates.
Give each kiddo their own dollop of frosting on their plate so they can double-dip all they want. Ha! 
If you like, add a little food coloring to some of the frosting set out in bowls to add a little extra color to the projects.  
Be sure you have written the kiddos names on the plate edge beforehand and caution them NOT to cover it up. :D
Break up the graham crackers ahead of time into squares and small rectangles.
Be sure to set out small amounts of each candy rather than bowl-fuls of each type or the kiddos will decorate their houses by the HANDFUL!

Gingerbread Man Easel Art
Making Learning Fun has a cute step by step Gingerbread Man Easel Art How To.

Making Learning Fun also made a nice set of number/numeral assessments with a Gingerbread theme. For each correct answer, have the kiddos place a dot sticker or bingo dot the answer. You could also use these for Bingo games if you laminate them or place them in clear sheet protectors.

Gingerbread Playdough
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tsp vegetable oil
pumpkin pie spice, ginger, allspice, nutmeg
cocoa if you want to make it dark brown
Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium to large saucepan. I didn't give measurements for the spices- just keep adding until you get the scent you want. Mix the water and oil together and add to the dry ingredients. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Turn the dough out of the pan and (wearing gloves) knead the mixture until it is smooth. Be careful! It is hot. Allow to cool before storing in an airtight container. Place the dough, along with cookie cutters, rolling pins, cookie sheets, etc. in your fine motor/playdough area.

How To Eat a Gingerbread Man Writing
Be sure to hop over to Mrs. I's Class for her FREE mini unit on How to Eat a Gingerbread Man!

Gingerbread Patterning
Mrs. Wills Kindergarten has a very cute patterning book! FREE! Just scroll to the bottom of the post and click on the picture.

Gingerbread Man One to One Correspondence
The lovely Mama Jenn has made a Gingerbread Man grid game. While you're there, get ahead and download her other holiday themed grid games. :)

Christmas Cookies Number Order and Skip Counting Puzzles
These are on my TPT page. Hop over and check them out. If you like them, please leave some comment love!

Gingerbread Dissolving
Please let me know where I got this from! After reading the story, focus on the page where the Gingerbread Man is on the fox's back as they cross the river and he gets wet. The Gingerbread Man tells the fox he is "melting". Give the kiddos Teddy Grahams (or bake up a batch of Gingerbread men) and cups of milk. Have them dunk the cookies in milk to see if the Gingerbread men really melt. Talk about what the word "dissolve"means. Place one cookie in a clear container of water for students to observe and record (draw) their findings. Time it! How long does it take for the Gingerbread Man to completely dissolve?

That's all I have for now. I have to go to hubby's Holiday Party at work- I honestly forgot it was tonight! Eeek!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gingerbread Faves

Here are a few of my favorite Gingerbread Theme resources. What are yours?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Art Ideas

Here are a few Art activities I've gathered over the years. Hope you find something you can use!

Native American Sand Art
Here's a packet of images and background information on Sand Painting. You could also use the pages for coloring, watercolor painting, etc.
Click on Pic for link
Coffee Filter Turkeys
An oldie, but a goodie! Die cut (or create a template for children to cut and use as an informal circle cutting assessment!) a small and large circle. The small circle is the turkey head while the large circle is the body. Students use crayons to illustrate the features (great time to practice vocabulary like "wattle"). Have each child color a coffee filter with Crayola markers (because they are water-based). Then, using a spray bottle (great fine motor practice) have the kids spray their filter. I always assign them a  certain number of sprays (say, 10?). There's some 1:1  correspondence and counting practice! The colors will bleed together and create a stunning turkey tail! When dry, glue the turkey head and body circles to the coffee filter. These look fantastic mounted on a bulletin board decorated with yellow paper and raffia: Turkeys in the Straw! :) For a keepsake addition, have the turkey heads be pics of each artist's face.

Tie Dyed Shirts
This idea was adapted from The Mailbox Magazine. This will take a bit of planning, but it is an unbelievable learning opportunity addressing color, cause and effect, and social studies! Have each student bring a plain white T-shirt to school. Label the shirts with a sharpie. Have a volunteer help you tie each shirt into several knots or use rubber bands to gather several areas of each shirt for the design. Wrap a long piece of yarn securely around each shirt to use as a dipper. Obtain large 5 gallon buckets to hold the dye. This experience is best done outside! You can use Cranberry Juice, turmeric, a bag of frozen blueberries, etc. Be sure to add a splash of matching food coloring to each bucket of color you choose to use. Also, add 2 cups of vinegar to each bucket. Working in small groups, have each child dip their knotted shirt into the bucket of dye, then pull it out. You may want to supply gloves and an apron for the adult at this station. (Any item attached to string tends to swing wildly at least once!) Dry the shirts overnight on a tarp; untie them and allow them to dry further. The dye will not last forever, but what an experience!

Native American Vests
Boy, am I glad to see grocery stores offering brown paper bags again! Turn the bag upside-down and cut up the middle and around the bottom of the bag. The bottom of the bag is now a hole for the neck. Cut out the sides of the bag to make armholes and turn the bag inside out (it's smoother). You may want to cover the edges of the cut bag with tape (colored duct tape fun, anyone?) to keep those sharp edges from hurting tender skin. Have the kids decorate their vests with markers (the bright poster markers look great!) or paint. Fringe the bottom of the vest by cutting slits along the bottom of the vest. I remember making one of these as a child and I loved it! Be sure to talk about what materials the Native Americans used to make their vests and what symbols they included on their vests.  Not all American Indians wore vests, but men and women in many plains and woodland tribes did. The Sioux Indians, who lived in the western plains of the United States, made vests of deerskin that often were fringed at the bottom.

Native American Drums
We used to use coffee cans, but now baby formula canisters and Quaker oatmeal canisters work great! Have kids decorate a sheet of construction paper with symbols or whatever they like. Use the paper to cover their canister and secure with a small amount of glue or tape. Use the drums to create rhythms during Circle Time or a special Drum Circle.

Origami Turkeys
This would make a great 3rd Grade buddy activity.
Directions from origami swan photo tutorial at Marcel’s Kid Crafts.
Use brown paper and stuff the tail with colored feathers. These look great as place settings for your table!

Pumpkin Pie
Simple, simple, simple. I love the way these make the classroom smell! You can make slices or whole pies. For slices, cut a paper plate into "slices" (you may want to draw out a template on the plates for the kids to follow. For whole pies, either use small, dessert sized paper plates or copy a circle template onto orange construction paper for students to cut out. If you use paper plates, be sure they are not waxed so coloring them orange will be easier. I had my kiddos color the bumpy rim of the plate brown for the crust. What a sensory experience that was; a good fine motor workout, too. :) Next, paint glue onto the plates, slices, or circles and sprinkle Pumpkin Pie Spice on top of the glue. Pull a cotton ball out a bit (to fluff it up) and place in the middle for whipped cream. My, my, Pumpkin Pie! :)

Spices as an Art Medium
Use ground spices mixed with a little water (to make just less than a paste) and paint with it! This is a great open-ended, process-oriented activity.
Set out whole spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for the students to explore and scrape on sandpaper. I drew letters and shapes on the sandpaper with a sharpie marker to make this a fun ABC Work center. This is one the kids went wild over!

Step by Step Easel Art
Making Learning Fun has step by step instructions for painting a Tee Pee, Pilgrim Boy, and a Turkey. I love this site!

TLC Art Pilgrims
This project can be found in the TLC Art Fall Book. These are adorable! You could provide paper to match each child's hair color for this project.

What are some things you like to do for art during this theme?

Mark Your Calendars-Cyber Monday Sale on TPT!

Simply click on the link below on
November 28, 2011 to save BIG on all my products!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall Harvest and Thanksgiving Skip Counting and Number Order Puzzles

Half-price sale on my Fall Harvest Skip Counting and Number Order puzzles and new Thanksgiving puzzles! Hop on over and check them out. If you like them, please leave some comment love. :)

Boo- trouble posting pics of the items. :(

Hop on this link to check them out!

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thanksgiving Resources

Check out 2TeachingMommies for their FREE PreK Unit, Tot Pack, and a great All About Turkeys powerpoint! You can find links to all of these here.

Veteran's Day Books, Songs, and DVDs

That's me and my hubby after he came back from a long deployment. I had to share. :)
Here's a few things I like to use for Veteran's Day- some are holiday specific, some can be used for an American theme, Memorial Day, etc.. Hope you find something you can use- if so, please leave some comment love!

The Pledge of Allegiance by Scholastic
America the Beautiful by Scholastic
Star Spangled Banner by Scholastic
In Our Country by Susan Canizares
Red, White and Blue by Susan Canizares
Veteran's Day by Jacqueline S. Cotton- Rookie Read About Holidays
Veteran's Day by Rebecca Rissman
The Wall by Eve Bunting- Reading Rainbow Books
Start Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key
My Country Tis of Thee by Samuel Francis Smith
Clifford Goes to Washington by Norman Bridwell
I am America by Charles R. Smith, Jr.
L is for Liberty by Wendy Cheyette Lewison
America's White Table by Margot Theis Raven (This is a great activity tie-in! Set a table in your cafeteria or in your Snack Area. Better yet, let the kids practice setting the table!)
Pepper's Purple Heart: A Veteran's Day Story by Heather French Henry
H is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian
Tomb of the Unknowns: Historic Monuments by Julia Hargrove

What books do you like to use for Veteran's Day?

Celebrate America on Jack Hartmann's Colors All Around CD
Patriotic Songs & Marches by Kimbo
Patriotic Morning Time Songs by Hap Palmer
Sing to Learn by Dr. Jean Feldman (several songs)
 Nursery Rhymes and Good Ol' times by Dr. Jean Feldman
Happy Everything! by Dr. Jean Feldman
Holidays and Special Times by Greg & Steve

Do you have a favorite song for Veteran's Day?

This is America, Charlie Brown (this is an 8 part series to pick and choose from)

Do you have a favorite DVD, computer program, etc. you like to use for Veteran's Day?

To all who serve now, have served, or will serve, THANK YOU!
To all the spouses, you are appreciated!

Fairy Tales Probability

Castles and Crayons made a great Spin and Graph activity for Fairy Tales. Hop on over and check it out! While you're there, you might as well go ahead and become a follower because it's a great blog. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall Center Freebies

Musings of Me- such a great blog!- has graciously shared SEVERAL fall freebies for centers. Hop over and download to your heart's content. Her Pumpkins on the Vine activity would be a great go-together with the Pumpkins on the Vine activity 

I made that's on my TPT page. It's also free, so be sure to head over to my TPT page and download it as well. If you like the activity, I would love some comment love-hint,hint. :P

Have I mentioned I love Fall?

Monday, October 31, 2011

New Number Order and Skip Counting Puzzles!

I just finished 2 new sets of Number Order and Skip Counting Puzzles- one for the Veteran's and Memorial Day holidays and a Zoo Cutie set with adorable zoo animals! The super cute clipart is from DigiWebStudio.com. Here's a couple pics so you can get an idea of the items:
Click on pic for the link

Click on pic for the link
Hope these can help you in the classroom. If you like these, please leave me some comment love!

Happy Counting!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Grid Games Galore! Your 1 to 1 Correspondence Station is Set! OR Use them for Addition and Subtraction!

Have you checked out Mama Jenn yet? You're gonna love her! She has a blog and a site so be sure to check out both.

Mama Jenn

She has a gaggle of grid game mats on her site for FREE! Themes galore! Hop on over and get to printing! Be sure to check out the education cubes that go along with each mat. (A little more fun than regular dice, but not free :/ ). The information is included in the game mat download.

Easy Cheesy Differentiation Options:

  • Cut the mats to concentrate on smaller groups of numbers. 1-5, 1-10, 1-15, 1-20...
  • Roll and fill the mat using only 1 die for counting and 1 to 1 correspondence work.
  • Roll and fill the mat using 2 dice for early addition practice.
  • Roll and fill using 2 dice for early addition practice; once filled, roll and subtract to empty the mat for early subtraction practice.
  • Roll and fill the mat using 2 dice to make double digit addition problems.
  • Roll and fill the mat using 2 dice to make double digit addition problems; once filled, roll 2 dice to make double digit subtraction problems to empty to board.
Do you have additional ideas for using these mats? I'd love to hear your ideas!

Happy 1 to 1-ing!

Welcome To School- Songs

I got this adorable Hello Song book from a teachers.net post (click on the picture for the link). It is based on a song from www.drjean.org. It was written by her "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" talented daughter, Dr. Holly. Please be sure to got over to the site for tons and I mean TONS of incredible stuff!

Friends on the Bus Song Book
I got this idea from Shari Sloane over at KidsCount1234- lots of great ideas there! This is a great little book to help your kiddos learn each other's names. It's sung to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus. I tried to upload it as a Word document, but the font went all weird on me, so I went ahead and put it up as a PDF. If anyone has a tip on how to get the font to stay intact while making it editable- please, let me know!


Friday, October 21, 2011

Letters in Our Names Sort

Here's a Venn Diagram sort I made for a Partner Station during your Literacy Block. This can go with a Welcome to School theme, All About Me, Friendship, or you can tie it into the book, "We Are All Alike, We Are All Different".

Students can grab a name strip (you make) and cut their name apart into individual letters to glue onto the page. This would make a nice Bulletin Board display or just laminate the mat and use letter tiles for a reusable option (just stick a label on to cover the directions) :).

Click on the image to hop to the link

Happy Cross-Curricular Sorting!


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Unlined Writing Paper with Story Elements Checklist

The fabulous Mrs. Wills Kindergarten blog posted a great collection of freebies for Parent Teacher Conferences, but I digress. In the same post, she also gave us great writing paper! Hop on over and get your FREE unlined writing paper that includes a great checklist for including story elements like characters, setting, and words. Yay!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin ABC Work and Poetry Center

Check out this post by Aloha Kindergarten!

She has made a great Pumpkin ABC Work center to match letters to sounds.

She also made two versions of the Pumpkin Happy poem- one with dots and one without dots below the text to aid in tracking print.
Write out each line of the poem on a sentence strip and place the strips in a pocket chart at your poetry station.
Place the mini books at your poetry station for your kiddos to make/illustrate and include in their Poetry Binders.
You could also include craft sticks and foam pumpkin stickers to have them make pointers to reinforce the tracking print concept. A little glue and glitter would be enticing. Or, if you're nervous about an independent glitter station, some wiggly eyes would be fun!

I love Fall!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Welcome To School- Science

Hand Washing Lesson: This lesson was inspired by an idea I saw in The Mailbox Magazine. Grab a loaf of bread, a paint brush, and a container of cocoa powder. Discuss with your students why it's important to wash your hands- especially before eating! 
Dust the kiddos hands with a small amount of the cocoa powder to represent dirty hands. Give each child a slice of bread and have them knead it for a minute or so. This should prompt lots of discussion! What happened to the bread? What if the cocoa were real dirt and germs? What would happen to the dirt and germs if we ate the bread? Next, have the students wash their hands. This is a great intro. to teaching your procedures for washing hands.
Here are mine:
  • Use the student sink. (This dramatically reduces the germs you and other adults are exposed to!)
  • Do a quick cleanup check to see if you can help keep the bathroom sparkling!
  • Turn on the water and put 1 squirt of soap in your hand. (I wrap a rubber band around the pump so it's actually 1/2 a pump of soap for those tiny hands!)
  • Sing the hand washing song in a bathroom voice (this changes seasonally- I post the laminated song poster in the bathroom. This keeps the print on the wall from blending into the background, helps promote print awareness, gives a little focus in the bathroom, and builds excitement about reading). Singing a short song also helps to ensure your kiddos are washing for at least 20 seconds. A bathroom voice is a soft, level 1 voice. Otherwise, the kiddos will really put those fantastic bathroom acoustics to work! :D
  • Leave the water on and get a paper towel. (I know, this wastes water, but according to NAVFAC (Navy Health thing) we have to teach the kiddos to turn the faucet off with a paper towel).
  • Dry your hands and turn the faucet off with the paper towel.
  • Throw the paper towel in the trash.
Now, give the students another slice of bread to knead. Compare the two slices of bread. Which is cleaner? Why? What can we learn from this?
**There are lots of different versions of this lesson. Some use glitter, oil and cocoa powder, brown tempera paint, etc. I like this one the best. It gets the point across in the simplest way for me. :)**

Sneezing/Coughing Lesson:

This is another idea adapted from one I saw in The Mailbox Magazine.
Use the nose shaped cutout below to tape onto a mist-type spray bottle. Go around the room pretending to sneeze and cough without covering your mouth and spray water from the "nose" onto common surfaces such as doorknobs, the water fountain, table surfaces, toys etc. This looks extremely funny holding the spray bottle to your face like it's your real nose! As you make your way to your seat in the whole group area, your little ones are sure to be cringing and giggling. :) You may want to "sneeze" once you get settled in the whole group area and give the little ones a spray of water, though some schools may not like this, so be sure to check first. :/

Another option is to pretend to sneeze into your hands while holding a handful of pompom germs. As you sneeze, release the pompoms onto the children to illustrate how germs spread through the air when you sneeze. Be sure to take a moment to gather the pompoms germs or you have lost them for the real message in your lesson! This is my reasoning for not using glitter as the germs as well. Impossible to gather back up and impossible to focus the attention back on you. :D
Next, "sneeze" spray into your hand and offer your little ones a handshake or high 5. Discuss how wet sneeze germs are spread so easily in school and how we can do some things to keep the germs from spreading and making our friends sick. Talk about sneezing into your elbow and washing your hands with soap after sneezing/coughing.

You can close the lesson by singing this song to the tune of "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" (I have no idea where I got this song. If you know, please leave me a comment so I can give proper credit!)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Welcome To School- Developmental Centers

Puzzles and Games
I set out a few, very simple and sturdy wooden puzzles in the beginning of the year. I make sure to explain that if a puzzle is unable to be completed before cleanup time, the pieces should be placed on the puzzle base they belong to and placed on the shelf rather than attempt to slide it in the puzzle rack. Poor little things can get so frustrated with this task! They try so hard to do it "just right". :)

Sparklebox has a fantastic visual step by step for how to complete a puzzle! Sparklebox also includes directions on how to shrink their items so you can print multiple pages on one sheet. This is very helpful if you want to conserve ink and paper. Their items are fantastically full color! I sized this one to print two to a page so I can post them above the puzzle shelf for reference. I may also go ahead and print them full size to make into a book to include in the center for reading across the curriculum! :D

Sand Table
Love me some Sparklebox! They have a set of sand table rules and reminders. Oh yeah!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Welcome To School-Math-Number Formation

Making Learning Fun has a fantastic set of Pattern Block Number Mats. They are so beautiful, not only am I placing them in my Math Work Stations, I'm thinking of using them as a reference display. So pretty! Here's a partial pic so you can get an idea:

The set is also available in black and white for open-ended exploration- and to give your printer a break!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome To School- Literacy

Morning Message

I start off Morning Message REALLY simply in the beginning. I love the examples provided on the K-Crews website for their Buzz Book. I really like having the morning message in a flip chart format so the students can go back and revisit the messages. It's so empowering for them to look back and see how much they've learned!

Another idea I saw somewhere on the internet and really wish I knew where! This teacher made up a Morning Message color code key. She has a color for everything! Black is used for the message, green is used for the beginning of a sentence or capital letters, red is used for punctuation, yellow is used for popcorn words, orange is used for spaces between letters (she called it spaghetti), brown is used for spaces between words (meatballs!), blue was used for interesting words, and purple was used for things that didn't follow the rule. What a great way to spark and mark discussions on grammar in your Morning Message. Of course, you would introduce each of these one at a time and slowly throughout the year. :)

Pointer Patterns: I like to change up the pointer I use while reading the Morning Message to match my theme. For Welcome to School, I just die cut and laminate a school bus, crayon, glue bottle, or pencil to stick on the end of a short dowel or even a themed unsharpened pencil. A little hot glue does the trick or a velcro dot would work if you want to reuse the same dowel as you change themes. Just another way to keep things interesting!

A classic and a must for any student having trouble saying goodbye to family- and there's ALWAYS at least one!

What better way to ease little one's fears than to read a simple, soothing rhyming book that describes the new adult in their lives? I saw this and many other great first day ideas on KinderKorner.

Meet the Teacher Book: This book would transition nicely into an introduction of yourself. You could make a "Meet the Teacher" book by gathering several photos of yourself and adding simple captions. Be sure to include a picture of yourself at their age! Include information such as your kids, pets, family (husband, mom and dad), favorite sports team, favorite food, etc. Print, place in page protectors, and put in a binder for an easy class book. This would also be a great story to read or make available at Open House or Meet the Teacher for parents!

Welcome to School Books WordleHere's a little list of some of my favorite read alouds for Welcome to School. :)
Wordle: Welcome To School Books Wordle

Pocket Charts and Poetry
I absolutely LOVE to use KinderKorner's pocket chart activities from her Back to School theme. The predictable text and humore make the activities enjoyable for all skill levels.

Making Learning Fun has some cute Friends Holding Hands stationery. This would be nice to include in your writing center to entice little authors or you may just want to use it yourself! The options include with and without lines; color and black & white.

Reader's Workshop/Daily Five
Sparklebox has a beautiful collection of posters to introduce book terms.

I use the following songs to help reinforce the roles of Author and Illustrator:

The Author Song
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
The Author writes the words
The Author writes the words
The Author writes the story, oh
The Author writes the words.

The Illustrator Song
(Tune: London Bridge)
The Illustrator draws the pictures
Draws the pictures, draws the pictures
The Illustrator draws the pictures
For the Author.

Letters in Our Name Class Book. Cut up an alphabet line or poster to make a page for each letter of the alphabet. Title each page, "Look who has a (letter) in their name!" Then type each corresponding student's name on the page and highlight the featured letter. Be sure to include a picture of the students for those very emergent or ELL readers. If no one in your class has a particular letter in his/her name, still include the page, but leave it blank!
You could make this book interactive and include it in your ABC Work Station by including a magnifying glass and a deck of letter cards to pull from. The kids have to search through the book (great beginning "reference book" skill practice) and find the students who have that letter in their name. For older kids, you could have them record their findings on this sheet:

Making Learning Fun has a great little flip book for the kiddos to match upper and lowercase letters! Here's a partial pic so you can get an idea.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome To School- Math

My math folders are organized according to area of study/standard on my computer. Since I am extremely visual, this helps me fill in the slots and easily see if I am missing an activity for a certain standard or study area.

So, this area of my post will flow just like I have my folders organized on my computer. I'm not saying it's the right way. I'm just saying it's the way that works for me! :D

Some items may be "filed" under areas that you would classify differently and I may end up moving them around later, but this is what I have so far.

Confessions of a Homeschooler has a bunch of great stuff! Her pattern block printable task cards are great to use as a Welcome to School Math Station for patterning. They allow for exploration of the wooden pattern blocks while focusing those "idle hands". Really great quality printables.

Making Learning Fun has a set of really cute school bus themed shape pattern clip cards. I plan on printing them out and placing a sticker on the back of the correct answer to make this station self-checking. This station is also double duty since it deals with shapes AND patterning. :) Not to mention the fine motor benefit you get with the clothespin action. Sweet!

Check out 2TeachingMommies for one stop shopping! You can get all their school themed resources in one easy cheesy download! This is another site you'll want to clear your calendar for- great stuff! I plan on using their school tools pattern task cards and printable pieces.

As a formative assessment or cumulative activity to go into student portfolios, you can't go wrong with Kindergarten Crayons. She made the cutest pattern strip book for kiddos to create their own school themed patterns.

Data Analysis and Probability
Another great resource from that one easy download at 2TeachingMommies is their School themed Roll and Graph Activity. Partners (or individuals or even small groups as an intro lesson) roll the school themed die and color the coordinating box on the graph. Laminate or stick in a page protector to use with dry erase markers and save a few trees! :)

I do a lot of the activities from The Mailbox resource book Gotta Have Graphs. I couldn't find it on their site, but it is available on Amazon. Some of the graphs we do from this book for this theme are: Are you a Lefty or Righty? and How Many Letters In Our Names?

Gotta Have Graphs

I saw this idea somewhere on the internet: a teacher posted a vertical age graph in her classroom. She listed the ages of her students along the bottom of the display and pictures of the students formed the vertical bar graph. As students celebrated their birthday, they got to move their picture over to the next age level! I don't know about you, but I have a TERRIBLE time remembering the age of all my kiddos! I love the visual display and the fact that the students get to celebrate another milestone on their birthday. :)

Play2LearnPrintables has a nice crayon spin and graph race game on their school theme page.

This is one of those tricky "How do I file this?" activities. I kinda want to file it under Algebra, but for now I am placing it here. Hmmm.... that may change. Anyway, I got this from Education.com. It's a worksheet that is a VERY easy, VERY beginner level school themed sudoku.
I LOVE it! Great logical and spatial thinking skills. I plan on cutting off the directions, laminating, and adding velcro dots to make it a little more interactive and a little less worksheet-y. :)

Positions in Space:
Mrs.Wills Kindergarten made a SUPER freebie game just right for Welcome to School. It's a Positional Words Backpack Hunt. Such a great game!

Childcareland.com has a nice song poster covering Five Little Shapes. This would be a nice focus activity or felt board option.

I cannot get by without my Frog Street Press Sing & Read Colors CD with Little BooksPosters, and Reproducible Books, the Shapes CD with Little BooksPosters, and Reproducible Books, and the Numbers CD with Little Books, Posters, and Reproducible Books. This is one of those "you gotta have this!" purchases you should make if you're a first year teacher. You won't regret it!  :) Pics and links are at the bottom of this post. :)

Making Learning Fun has a Shape Match Flip Book. Here is a partial pic for you.

Size Seriation/Sequencing/Ordering... whatever you call it. :) :
2TeachingMommies and that handy dandy all in one download has school themed sizing cards. Kiddos can put them in order from Big to Small or Small to Big; Short to Tall or Tall to Short. I made some simple task cards to go with this station. Students can pull a card and place the cards in that order, then pull another card and place the cards in a different order.

Click on the picture for the link
Numbers and Operations
1 to 1 Correspondence:
Kindergarten Crayons made a super cute counting dots book for the kiddos to make using stickers, stamps, or bingo dot markers.
Check out Pre-KPages under the math and math printables sections for lots of ice cube tray and muffin tin games. Roll a die and place one object in each compartment to match the set. Also, check out the grid game mats. Roll a die and place one object on each square. Continue until the grid is full. This can be easily differentiated by cutting the mats to smaller sets of numbers or pairing the die to have students add the dots before placing the objects on the mat.

Addition and Subtraction:
Making Learning Fun has a great Roll and Color School Bus for Addition. Use a pair of dice to roll and count the dots on both die. Add the numbers and color the corresponding sum. As a partner game, the first to color their picture completely wins.

Counting and Sets:

We practice counting on skills by counting in the round starting with very low numbers. We stand in a circle and count off to our target number (3, 5, etc) the 3rd person sits or is dismissed if I used this as a transition activity. Play continues with the next person beginning the counting sequence again and again, the third person sits or is dismissed. Play continues until all are sitting or are dismissed. If you do a sitting version, I highly recommend you keep it upbeat by changing counting voices and keep it moving! :)

Kindergarten Crayons made a set of number dot cards for kiddos to make their own set of number flash cards by using bingo dot markers. After making these, I can see partners playing teacher all while increasing their number recogniton fluency!

2TeachingMommies has a set of school themed count and clip cards. Count the set of school themed objects on the card and clip a clothespin on the correct number listed at the bottom of the card.


Number Lines and Ordinal Numbers:

I have a set of School Themed Number Order and Skip Counting Puzzles on my TPT Store for $1.50. There are 5 puzzles in the set. Print them and mount them on different colors to eliminate confusion

This idea came from The Mailbox Magazine: Invite 5 students to line up in front of your group one behind another. Announce an ordinal number; then encourage the rest of the class to look at the line and notice who is standing in that position. Next, sing the following song:

(Tune: "Oh Where, Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone?")
Oh who, oh who is the {ordinal number ex.: first} child in line?
Oh who, oh who can it be?
Can you tell me that name of the {first} child in line?
Oh who, oh who can it be?

Repeat the song substituting different ordinal numbers and students/groups. You could make up a set of ordinal number cards to hold up or offer during independent choice time.

Numeral Formation:

I like using large number stencils made from posterboard on the chalkboard. I just die cut them in large enough squares for little hands to be able to hold them while they trace.
I also hole punch the numbers that are left over from these die cuts so the kiddos can make glue dot numbers. This gives great practice at making "just a dot; not a lot" and gives little ones a tangible model of the number for their very own. Clip the number to the paper with a binder clip to keep it in place. :)

Gel bags are great as well. Students pull a number card and form it with their finger. Just take some hair gel, food coloring, and maybe a little glitter to make it extra snazzy and fill the bag about 1/3 to 1/2 full. Seal the bag and tape it extra well with clear packing tape. Be sure to teach students how to handle the bags gently so they don't pop or tear. :)
Place sand, rice, oatmeal, baking flour, cornmeal, salt, shaving cream, etc. in a lidded flat container. Students pull a number card and form the numeral in whatever medium you choose.
Dr. Jean's numeral songs on her Sing to Learn CD and Frog Street Press' Sing and Read Numbers series (mentioned above under Geometry) are also great resources.

Sing to Learn

"Sing & Read" Numbers, Poster Pals, 8-1/2" x 11", 20/pkg"Sing & Read" Number, Reproducible Little Books, 10 books"Sing & Read" Numbers, Little Book Collection

"Sing & Read" Colors, Poster Pals, 11" x 17", 10/pkg"Sing & Read" Colors, Reproducible Little Books, 10 books"Sing & Read" Colors, Little Books Collection

"Sing & Read" Shapes, Poster Pals, 11" x 17", 10/pkg"Sing & Read" Shape, Reproducible Little Books, 10 books"Sing & Read" Shapes, Little Books Collection