KinderGals: A little of this and a little of that…Centers, Math, and Journals

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A little of this and a little of that…Centers, Math, and Journals


This is going to be a rambling post….a little of this and a little of that. None of the ideas are enough for a whole post, so I just decided to lump them together.  So here goes…First ….centers…

This shelf holds the “have to” activities for literacy and math centers. Each week we have 5 have tos for literacy and 5 have tos for math. The kids are in groups and the groups rotate to the different areas of the room, one area each day of the week. While in the area, they complete the “have to” and then there are some “can dos”….activities that they can choose from until center time is over. Each group has a team leader. When it is center time, the group leader goes and gets the tub for their group from the shelf. When center time is over…they simply put the supplies back in the tub and return it to the shelf. I have done several posts on math and literacy centers so you can always search the blog for more information on how we organize our centers. Slide2

This is such an easy way to teach more and less. The kids roll a dice and glue down that many yellow. They roll again and glue down that many orange. Then, they decide which side gets more and which side gets less.  I was  thinking…maybe we need to add a place for the children to write the numerals and a place to use the >, <, or = symbols.


This center is a great way to build mental images of number combinations. The kids roll a dice and count that many yellow. Then, they roll the dice again and count that many orange. Then they complete the text box.  I was thinking…maybe give them a dice that has higher numerals. They roll the dice, then they could come up with a number combination for that numeral.


These number books are super easy for them to do by themselves. They are from Kathleen’s Pederson’s Number Unit.


Last week, I blogged about getting these cute boxes from The Dollar Tree and a fun game that you can play as a center for number combinations.

Here is another game you can play that works on cardinality. Put a determined number of bolts in the container. Turn on the music and pass the container around the room. When the music stops, whoever is holding the box spills out the bolts. Then, as they put the bolts back in the box, they count them. Now, that addresses the counting standard. But, how is that different than cardinality? Cardinality is..the last number said tells how many are in the set. So after they count them all back into the box, ask, “So how many bolts are there?” If the child says the number, they have cardinality. If they count them again, they don’t!


Here are a couple of other pumpkin activities that Megan did last week. After estimating the circumference of the pumpkin with orange string, they used the string to make a pumpkin. There is a recording sheet that goes with this, but I didn’t get a picture! Sad smile


Here was the recording sheet that Megan used for the float or sink experiment. She used several sizes of pumpkins, starting with the smallest. Each time she asked, “will it float or will it sink?” Of course they thought the bigger pumpkin would sink!


Here’s where they made their pumpkin glyph. The little book that is hanging from the pumpkin is where they did the interpretation of their jack o lanterns. Then, when they got back together as a group, they completed the class analysis sheet.


During literacy centers, one of the have to’s was a cut a sentence pumpkin book. Here I was showing a little girl how to find the word green in the ring of color words so that she would know what color pumpkin to glue down. As they finished and were reading them to me, I would ask them “How did you know that it said ‘green’?” Most of them could tell me that they looked at the picture. I would follow up with “Yes, that’s right. Good readers know to look at the picture first.”


One of their favorite can do centers is the overhead. I am sure that your school has plenty of these hidden in closets. If not, check with the district warehouse. I know they are hiding somewhere….


The absolutely love the pack by Deedee Wills. I put piece of white paper behind each type of transparency to take the picture. They love being the teacher!


We finished up the day working in their journals. I love these simple journal covers. Just staple plain paper behind the cover and they are ready to go. I especially love the word bank on the front. I made these for each unit. They are in the Theme Journal Cover Pack. This is the place where the kids can write whatever they want. They can explore with the different genre’s that they have learned! We allow them to write about whatever interests them. It sure makes it easier to keep them busy when they pick the topics!

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