KinderGals: Teacher Hacks and Organization with Working Mats

## Wednesday, March 28, 2018

### Teacher Hacks and Organization with Working Mats

How much time do you spend getting the kids ready for large group instruction? Passing things out, collecting supplies, "finding" the items needed, etc.....If you find yourself spending too much time just getting ready, this blog post shars one of my favorite ways to save time!
We love our working mats spiral bound book! I was recently in Adam's room (TeachersLearnToo), where I saw my working mats book in motion!
Here's what I did....I took all of the math mats, that we use for large group instruction, and bound them together into a book. I made a book for each child.
On each page, I added an animal clip art in the bottom right hand corner.  I use this for quick reference. For example, since there are two different mats with tens frames, I can direct the kids to the page with the double tens frame, the page with the "spider".  This helps those children who lack the vocabulary "tens frame" and helps children to double check to see if they are on the right page.
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The children keep their working mat book inside of their "carpet bag" (link below with more information). In the carpet bag, the children also have a pencil bag. You may wish to have children add a collection of counters into a Ziploc storage container to tore in the pencil bag.  In Adam's room he has a storage container. Each drawer contains a collection of erasers. As the children were coming to the carpet, Adam invited them to select one of the drawers.
The children gathered on the carpet with the container of erasers. Then, they turned to the double tens frame using the animal clip art to double check that they were on the correct page.
Adam was conducting a lesson on decomposing numbers 11-19.  He displayed the numeral 11. Then, on his smart tv he modeled how to decompose the numeral onto the double tens frame.
The children used their erasers and their math mat to decompose the numeral. He continued to model with several numerals. After modeling a few times, he displayed another numeral and invited the children to decompose the numeral independently. Be sure and read all the way to the bottom of this blog post where you can grab the double tens frame FREE.
The working mats also include a collection of graphic organizers. These organizers can be used across the content areas.
Adam had read "The Cat in the Hat" and "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" to his class.  He drew a Venn diagram on a piece of chart paper.  He modeled how he could point to the circle on the left and say something that happened in "The Cat in the Hat".
He invited the children to do the same thing. He continued to model by pointing to the circle on the right and telling something that happened in "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back". Finally he modeled how to point to the section in the middle and say something that happened in both stories. For each section, he invited the children to repeat his words as they pointed to the correct section on the Venn Diagram.
Finally, he invite the children to slide next to their elbow partner and think of other things that happened in the stories for each section of the Venn Diagram. Be sure and read all the way to the bottom of this blog post and you can grab the Venn Diagram for FREE.
We absolutely LOVE our working mats book. But then this happens! Does that look familiar? I prefer the spiral binding over the comb binder. But the constant uncurling drives me crazy!
My friend Kathleen Conn, went with me to Adam's room.  She shared this super smart idea and got to work fixing ALL of Adam's working mat books. Here's what she did: First, put hold glue on a pony bead.
Then, she glued a bead to each end of the spiral.
No more uncurling!!!
The working mats are from the Pack It Learn It unit. You can find that unit here. If you want to see more of the contents of this unit, this blog post has a full listing of the other items included.
Be sure and grab this unit quickly! There is a sale in my tpt store!