KinderGals: June 2012

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Friday, June 29, 2012

Illustrations: Teaching Kids How To Use Them

Last week I was on vacation and linked you over to DeeDee’s website to get in on the action! Today, I am back with some of my own thoughts and connections. The second section of this marvelous book covers the 50 illustration techniques and how the relate to the qualities of "Good Writing."
Although Katie Wood Ray suggests book titles, she invites teacher to take books that they already know and look at them through a different lens.
I love how she has organized each illustration technique:
1. Something to Notice-Names the illustrative technique
2. Illustrative Example-Provide an example of what this looks like in a picture book.
3. An Understanding for Young Writers and Illustrators-Involves the kind of thinking you might do with the technique.
4. In a Teacher's Voice: An Idea for Trying it Out-This is just what it says. There is a little script that you might use when discussing the use of this technique with your students,
5. A Writing Connection-This section helps make the composing connection between writing and illustrating. For me, this is the "Aw, Yes!" moment. This is the section I want to understand and internalized. This is the justification for conducting illustrative studies.

Chapter 7: Ideas and Content
In this section Katie Wood Ray talks about 10 different techniques illustrators use such as distance perspective and crafting the background.
I totally made a connection!
My friend from Chicago has been at my home this week. We have worked really hard all week getting things ready for next school year. Yesterday we said, “Play time!” I took her to a truly southern tea house for lunch and then we went to the store and purchased “beverages” and hit the pool—something else you do when you live in the south! To let all my friends know what was going on, I took this picture with my camera.  I chose to only focus on the beverages, not the pool or the sun or any other background except the container of drinks and the brick pavement around it! But, anyone looking at this picture with the caption: Hello summer! Pool, sun and can wait! could create the scene around the photo. You can also see another technique Katie talks about—perspective. The shot is from overhead as if you are going to reach right in and pull out one of those cold drinks on that hot summer day! How cool it would be to add a hand going down into the container!
When I think of illustrators that depict these techniques I think of Dory Story. 
Technique #4: An illustration may show two sides of a physical space simultaneously: inside and outside; above and below... See the photo where Danny is in the boat, but you can see the fish below. Why do they think the illustrator decided to include both sides of the scene?
Technique # 1: Illustrations have distance perspective: a central image may be pictured as far away, close up, or any distance in between.... See the photo where Danny is pulling himself up on a rock. The bulk of the page is the vast sea and it creates the feeling that his is really isolated and alone.
Technique #2: Illustrations have positioning perspective: a central image may be pictured from the front, the back, the side, about, or below... See the photo where Danny is viewed from above. You could have a conversation about why the illustrator decided to draw this image in this way. How would the feeling of this page be different if it was illustrated a different way?
Technique #3: Illustrations carefully craft the background in their pictures. They may have lots of background behind it, just a little, or hardly any at all. Last week my friend Michele and I were working on our Reading Workshop Unit 3 Digging Deeper (Not quite done with it yet!) We were working on characters and settings. One thing we talked about was illustrators who use little or no background, but let the characters be front and center! Of course, one of our favorites is Mo Willems. Piggy and Elephant are the focus of the story. Why do you think Mo Willems decide not to add a background? Is it important for the reader? Do you know the setting without even seeing it? By the way, do you see another technique in this photo? 
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Thrifty Thursday-Counting Games, Number Bonds, and Tens Frames

Going to the Dollar Store is always an adventure. But, when you go with a friend.... Kathleen and I recently headed to the dollar store and found some great things to teach math. Here are some of our favorites.
Be sure to check out the paper good section. These monkey plates are perfect for counting games. Instead of writing the numerals on the plates, I give the kids a set of number cards to place on the plates. This way I can also use the plates for addition and subtraction!
 These cute monsters were party invitations for a monster birthday party. I just cut off the backs of the cards, added some wiggly eyes and I am ready to go! Another easy, peasy counting game. 
These cupcakes were also birthday invites. That means that I got 8 game boards for $1! You couldn't buy the ink for $1! Again, I just cut the fronts off of the cards and added a package of birthday candles.
These divided plates are from the baby section in the dollar store. Here's what we did.
  • Start with all of the buttons in the large section. Say, I have 7 buttons (or whatever number you are working on.)
  • Divide the buttons between the two smaller sections. Say, I have 3 buttons, I have four buttons.
  • Move all of the buttons back to the large section. Say, I have 7 buttons.
It is important to return them to the starting place. We want kids to see that just be dividing the buttons, by spreading them out, we do not get more buttons.  According to Piaget, conservation of number doesn't happen until developmental age 7. This mean that we need to provide the children with many meaningful, concrete experiences!
Love pinwheels. We use them for everything! Here's how we play this How Many to Make 10 game.
  • I wrote the numerals on each of the blades.
  • Spin the pinwheel.
  • While it is spinning, grab one of the blades.
  • Using counters, the children count that many objects onto a tens frame.
  • Ask, How many more do you need to make 10.
If we do not allow children to use manipulatives, we are expecting them to solve this problem at the abstract level. We want to give children many opportunity to solve problems at the conceptual level!
I love placemats. How excited when I saw this idea on another blog!
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Making a 10 with "10 Flashing Fireflies"

What do you do when you go to Florida with your teaching buddies only to have it rain the WHOLE time? Eventually you end up at Hobby Lobby, Dollar Tree, and Walmart! My good friend, Kathleen, found these flyswatters that we in the shape of a fly! How perfect for "10 Flashing Fireflies"! We bought 10 each and some other supplies and headed back to the condo for a crafting afternoon.
First, we cut some wings from foam. To glue them on you MUST use Foam Glue. I've tried hot glue, E600, and rubber cement. None of them work. The foam glue works perfectly! Then, we used foam circles and wiggly eyes to make the eyes.  Use big eyes! Small eyes just don't give you the same effect! Last, we add the yellow "shape" to make the flies look like fireflies.
We can use our "10 Flashing Fireflies" as puppets. After reading the book, call 10 children to each come and hold one of the flies. As you reread the story, the children will buzz around the room as they are caught and put in the "jar".
This is the book that we used. You can pick one up on Amazon. I also found a youtube video of someone reading the book.
Then, we headed to the computer to make this fun manipulative. Scroll at the way to the bottom to pick up this FREE file. Why? All math learning should be at the conceptual level. Conceptual means "manipulate". You and the children need to be able to manipulate the pieces for true understanding to occur. When we read a picture book, the learning is at the pictorial level. This does not allow for manipulation and can lead to misunderstandings. For example, when you turn the page, children who are at the conceptual level of understanding on this standard, think there are 10 NEW fireflies. They do not understand that these are the same fireflies from the previous page in a different configuration. As I am reading the story, I display the jar and the night sky. Using sticky tac or double sided tape, put all of the fireflies in the night sky. As you are reading the story, move the flies to the jar. Each time you move a jar ask the children how many in the jar? How many in the sky? How many fireflies?
Last, we made this work mat for the children. Scroll all the way to the bottom to pick up this FREE file. Reproduce each child a work mat. I copied mine on cardstock and laminated them so that they will last longer.  Give each child 10 fireflies and a recording page. Feel free to use plastic fireflies that you might have, but these clip art ones work well too since the children are still able to manipulate them. As you read the story, the children can manipulate the fireflies and record in the number combinations on the recording page.
Be sure and grab this FREE file below.
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Friday, June 15, 2012

Are You a Domino Hoarder?

How many sets of dominoes do you own? Are you a domino hoarder? Every time I see dominoes at the Dollar Tree, I have to get them. They are a different size, or a different material, or a different color....AND they are only a dollar! Dominoes have to be the cheapest manipulative out there! Here are some of my favorite domino games!
Domino and Playdough Sets
Kids love this one because they love playdough! Invite the children to roll a dice to get a number. Select one of the domino game boards. The children determine how many playdough balls they need to make so that the domino has the number of dots indicated on the dice. Want to build set for more than 6 dots? Make your own dice with numerals to 10!
Before, Between, and After
To play this game, turn all of the dominoes face down. Invite the children to select three dominoes. The children determine how many dots are on each domino and sequence them from least to most.
Load the Train
To play this game, give each child a train game board and a set of dominoes. Invite the children to select one domino at a time. Then, they determine how many dots are on the domino. Place the domino on the train car with that number.  Repeat with all of the dominoes. Reproduce a recording page for each child. Collect all of the dominoes on the"1". On the recording page, under the "1" write all of the combinations on the dominoes. Repeat for each number.
These games are some of the many games in this unit!
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