KinderGals: June 2017

## Sunday, June 18, 2017

### Using Counting Bears to Teach ALL Math Standards

Are your math manipulatives gathering dust, sitting on a shelf? Do you want to be able to engage your students in fun, meaningful activities that will allow them to expand their mathematical thinking and grow in confidence as mathematicians? This blog post shares our favorite ways to use counting bears to teach ALL of the math standards.
We wanted activities that our kids could do independently with the counting bears. We started with a mini lesson. The minilessons help our kids gain independence through scaffolding. The mini lessons follow this format: demonstrate (I do), students to try it on their own with our support (We do) and try it on their own (You do). By providing this scaffold for our kids, they gain the support they need in order to be more successful when they are working independently. After you teach the lessons and you feel your students are ready to work independently, place all the materials, the “I can” chart, and the recording sheets with the counting bears.
Here is one of our favorite counting bear activities for teaching the measurement standards.
Collect several clip art images of things they are great for measuring length....pencil, key, marker, etc.
Invite kids to measure two different images using the bears.
Count how many bears it takes to measure each item.
Compare.
Recording pages are always optional. I usually use them for "have to" centers, but not for "can do" centers.
On the recording page, the kids write the numeral to represent how many bears it took to measure each item.
Then, they circle which item is longer or shorter.
Here is one of our favorite counting bear activities for teaching the counting standards.
Invite the children to spin the numeral spinner and the color spinner.
Count the number/color of bears to match the spinners.
Put the bears on the grid.
Spin again. Continue to spin until the grid is full.
Once the grid is full, invite the children to sort and count the bears.
Record the number of each color of bear on the grid.
Here is one of our favorite counting bear activities for teaching the shapes standards.
Invite the children to spin the spinner.
Select a counting bear to cover that shape on the game board.
Spin again.
Continue to spin until the game board is full!
Here is one of our favorite counting bear activities for teaching the addition & subtraction  standards.
Invite the children to select a cards (1-5).
Count bears to match the numeral, and place them on the fives frame.
Use a second color of bear to fill in the remaining squares.
The children color the fives frame on the recording page to match the bears on the fives frame.
Record the number sentence.
You can also play this game on a tens frame.
Here is one of our favorite counting bear activities for teaching the composing and decomposing standards.
Give the child a double tens frame.
Invite them to put 10 bears, one color, to fill up the first tens frame.
Now, grab a handful of a different color of bear.
Add those bears to the second tens frame.
Color the tens frames on the record sheet and decompose the number!
Here is one of our favorite counting bear activities for teaching the data standards.
Invite the children to make a pattern using the counting bears. (Cut the strips long enough so that there won't be more bears than can fit on the graph!)
Once the pattern is made, move the bears to the graph.
Record the graph on the recording paper.
Analyze the data.
Simple is Best!
We made these games SIMPLE! We want our kids to be able to play these activities totally by themselves! You might have noticed that the games are similar to some of the ones in our pattern blocks, linking cubes, and colored tiles units. We change the manipulative and play the same or similar games! This makes kids very independent and successful!
These activities are a sample of the activities in the Counting Bears Unit.

You can watch a video preview of all of the activities from this unit here.

## Wednesday, June 14, 2017

### Literacy Games for the WHOLE Year and A FREE Game

Games are wonderful! Not only are they highly engaging, research shows that playing games actually grows brain power! But, let's get real...sometimes we spend so much time teaching children HOW to play a game, that not much time is left to master the intended standard.  That's when I developed the idea of my "go to" games.  I have a handful of games that I teach the kids. Then, I just change the clip art, change the standard and...just like that a whole new game! Here are some of my favorite "go to" games for literacy.
My kids love "Roll, Say, Keep". It becomes a class favorite.  Here's how you play:
• Make a game board with six boxes. In each box, put one of the faces of the dice.
• Make a set of cards that can fit in the boxes.
• Invite the children to put a card in each box.
• Roll the dice.
• If the dice lands on five dots, the children find the card that is in the box with the matching dice face.
• They read the word, and move the card to the right side of the game board.
• Add another new card to the empty box.
• Keep playing until all of the cards have been moved to the right side.
Now that they know how to play, I can use this same game all year. I can use it for letters, words, numerals, shapes...you name it! If you can put it on a card...you can teach it with Roll, Say, Keep! Be sure and scroll to the bottom where you can snag a FREE ABC Back to School Roll, Say, Keep Game.
Another easy game is called "Roll a Word". This is great practice for blending cvc words! *** You can also make this a long vowel game by making the game board have 4 columns instead of 3!
Here's how you play:
• Make a game board with 3 columns/6 rows.
• Put a clip art image and a letter in each box--consonants in the first and third columns and vowels in the middle column.
• Give each child 3 game pieces, I used unifix cubes.
• Invite the child to roll a dice.
• Move the first game piece (unifix cube) up the first column the number indicated on the dice.
• Repeat for columns 2 and 3.
• The children write the letters on the recording page, and then write all 3 letters together to make the word.
• Be sure you have the children read the words when they are done!
See how easy it is to play this game all year? Great practice for blending and segmenting cvc words!

Another class favorite for building cvc words is "Spin a Word".  Here's how you play this game:
• Create a game board with a spinner. Put a vowel in each section on the spinner.
• Create a second game board for consonants. Select 5 consonants that occur most often in cvc words.
• Invite the children to spin the consonant spinner.  Find a "tree pot" with the letter where the spinner landed and add it to the first tree.
• Spin the vowel spinner, add a "tree pot" with the vowel to the second tree.
• Spin the consonant spinner again, add a "tree pot" with the consonant to the third tree.
• Invite the children to write the word on the recording sheet.
• Remove the "tree pot" letters and repeat to make more words.
When first introducing any of these "go to" games, I play them in large group. Then, we play again, as I pull them for small groups.  When I can just "watch" as the children play, the game is ready to be a center. So the first few times we play, they play with supervision. This is why I love to play the same games, just changing the theme of the game! Once the know how to do it, I can concentrate on my small group and they can work on the skills independently!
This is a great large group game. Here's how you play SWAT!:
• Make a deck of cards. They can be words, letters, pictures, etc!
• Make two fly swatters with a picture to match the theme of the game.  In this game, the farmer is on the fly swatter and the animals are on the cards.
• Spread the cards on the floor.
• Show the children the letter, word, etc. that you want them to look for.
• Two children have the fly swatters.
• They look at the cards laying on the ground.
• When they find the letter, word, etc. on the card, the farmer SWATs the animal.
• I tell the kids the farmer is catching his animals!
Here are a few other versions of the same game!
Here is another game, Bang!, that is perfect for large group times! Here's how you play:
• Make a deck of cards with letters, words, etc.
• On a few card write the "gotcha" word. In this game it is, SWAT!
• Put the cards in a container. I used a bug box from the Dollar Tree for this one!
• Pass the container around the room.
• Invite each child to draw a card from the container.
• They read the letter, word, etc. on the card.
• If they don't know, they can ask a friend.
• We put the cards in the center of our circle as we read them.
• When someone pulls out the SWAT card, all of the cards go back in the bug box.
• Begin again and play for as long as you like!
Here are some versions of the same game. When they pull out a card with a picture, it could be that you ask them to tell you a rhyming word. Or, they might have to tell you the beginning sound. Or, it might just be language and they are just naming the pictures.
There are many skills that we teach for a few weeks, the kids master it, and we move on to the next skill. Syllable sorting is one of those skills.  However, it also easily forgotten! I use syllable sorting as a center quite frequently. The kids just sort the pictures according to how many syllables.
As the year progresses, you can invite the children to stretch out the sounds as they record the words in each column.
I love how easy this game is! The kids catch on easily and do not require much assistance!
Here is a bundle of all of the Literacy Game Packs.  Not every game is in every pack, but the games are repeated throughout the year. For two days, and two days only, this bundle is GREATLY reduced!  This is a better bargain than you will get  with a tpt site wide sale!

## Monday, June 12, 2017

### Math Games for the WHOLE Year!

Are you trying to figure out how to run math centers, pull small group, and keep everyone busy and happy all at the same time?  If you are, you aren't alone.  We are all seeking new ways and ideas to manage it all! One thing I do that I think helps is the way I develop the math games I use during centers. This post shares my thoughts and ideas about math games.
Here's the biggest problem, kids don't know how to play the games in the centers! That means they are interrupting your small group for guidance, or they are finding "creative" ways to entertain themselves---neither of which I want! So here's my plan...develop some math games that can easily be used ALL year simply by changing the dice, cards, and clip art! Then, once I have taught the game, the children can play it in centers and think they are playing a new game.
For example, this Racing Math Game is perfect! Here's how they play:
• Create a game board with 3 columns.
• Make 3 game pieces. I made mine stand up by creating a stand with a paper clip.
• Invite the children to roll a dice.
• They move the pieces towards the finish line.
• The object is to get all three pieces to the end.
• The children may move one piece all of the moves, or they may split the move between the pieces.
• As the year progresses, invite the children to record the number sentences to represent their moves.
Once I teach the game during the first few weeks, the children can now play this game over and over using new game boards. All the time is spent practicing the standard, not learning the rules to yet another game!
Who has more is a perfect game to use with any deck of cards. I created this deck for my back to school unit.  Here's how you play:
• Create a game board with a more and less spinner and a more and less section.
• Put the cards in a pile, face down.
• Invite two children to draw a card.
• The children compare for more and less and place their card on the game board in either the more or less section.
• The child with less, spins the spinner.
• If it lands on less, they get both of the cards.
• If it lands on more, their partner gets both of the cards.
• This teaches kids that more isn't always the winner!
As the year progresses, the rules for playing the game stays the same.  However, you could have kids turn over two cards, add them together, and compare the sum. You could also have the kids write the numerals to represent the sets. The game stays the same, only the standard is changing!
Children love this measurement game! Here's how they play:
Each child needs a partner.
One child uses the clip art pictures to measure how tall their partner is.
Then, they swap.
On the recording page, they draw a picture of themselves and their partner to show how many buses it took to measure each of them. Then, they fill in the sentences to answer the questions.
As the year progresses, the rules---once again--stay the same. I only change the sizes of the clip art nonstandard measurement!
This game is so simple, the kids catch on really quickly. Here's how you play:
• Create a game board by making one long strip of clip art.
• Make a game piece. I made mine stand up with a paper clip.
• One child sits at each end of the long strip.
• The first child rolls the dice.
• He move the game piece that many spaces towards himself.
• The second child rolls the dice.
• He moves the SAME game piece that many spaces towards himself.
• It is the same game piece that is moving back and forth on the game board.
Throughout the year, not only do I change the clip art, I change the dice (or what they do with the dice.) I could give them a numeral dice, and they recognize the numeral and move that many spaces. I could give them a dot dice, they either subitize or count the dots and move that many spaces. I could give them two dice, they roll the dice, add them together and move that many spaces.  Just by changing the dice you are changing the standard, BUT no more time is wasted teaching yet another game!
This game is a crowd pleaser! Here's how you play:
• Create a number line. Mine is 1-20, but you can make it 1-10 or 1-30! (Or really whatever you want!)
• Collect little trinkets to place on each of the numerals. I use clip art pictures.
• Make a game piece. I made mine stand up with a paper clip.
• Invite the children to roll the dice.
• They move that many spaces down the number line and remove the trinket on the number where they land.
• Next, they roll again.  Starting from where they are, they can either move forward (add) or backwards (subtract) on the number line.
• The object of  the game is to remove all of the trinkets from the number line.
Here's the cool thing---as they play this game throughout the year, they become much more strategic with their moves! A great hands on experience with probability and statistics! Scroll to the bottom to snag up a Back to School Number Line Mystery Game for Free.
Here is a bundle of all of the Math Game Packs.  Not every game is in every pack, but the games are repeated throughout the year. For two days, and two days only, this bundle is GREATLY reduced! It is normally \$75, but  is on sale for \$35 for 2 days. This is a better bargain than you will get  with a tpt site wide sale!

## Sunday, June 4, 2017

### 10 Easy Alphabet Intervention Activities and How To Organize Them!

Alphabet recognition is expected at the beginning of kindergarten in many areas. The days of kindergarten being about abc's and 123's are gone. It has been replaced by more rigorous standards that often leave kids feeling overwhelmed and defeated--before they even begin! There is no time for a letter of the week approach, not to mention research shows it isn't effective in the first place! So how do we do it? How do we ensure that all of our children develop a level of alphabet understanding that allows for application? Here is how we organize our alphabet intervention program so that all of our kids are feeling successful, happy, and empowered to tackle the more rigorous standards to come.

## Easy ABC Interventions

Here's how you play Roll It! Lay the cards on a flat surface. Model how to take a piece of the dough and make a long rope or “snake” by rolling it on a flat surface like a table or desk. Then show how to take the snake and form the letter on the card by manipulating it and laying it on the card. You can pull off a piece of the snake to form the straight, connecting lines of some letters. After the letter is made, show how to trace over the letter with your finger while saying both the letter name and the sound it makes.

﻿
Here's how to play Clip It! Show the student one of the letter cards. Let him or her know that all the cards feature one letter- the letter in the middle that the child is holding. Let the student know that he or she will place a clip on the matching letter. Tell the student that they will need to listen to see which type of letter you want them to clip- uppercase, lowercase, or both. Show them the three choices on the side of the card. Model how to place the clip on the card.
Here's how to play Build It! Lay one letter card on a flat surface and model how to use the building pieces to build a letter.
Afterward point to the letter and say the letter name, the name of the picture on the card, and the sound the letter makes. Now ask the student to do this with the letters he or she is working on.
Here's how to play Maze It! Show the student the letter at the top of the page and the picture in the center of the maze. Show the student how to start at the uppercase letter and then find their way to the picture in the center by following all the matching upper and lowercase letters.  After the center picture is reached, take your finger and trace back over the line you made and say the letter each time you touch it, finishing in the middle of the maze by saying the name of the picture and the beginning letter sound.
Here's how to play Find It! Choose a card and show it to the student. Ask the child to tell you what letter is in the upper left-hand corner and what sound that letter makes. Then ask the student to look at all the letters on the card. Some of them are written in fancy ways! Tell the student that their job is to find all the letters that match the one in the upper corner of the page. Show the student how to say the name of each letter and decide if the letter matches the letter that is in the upper corner of the page. Show the child how to mark each letter that matches.
Here's how to play Find It-Pictures! Choose a card and show it to the student. Ask the child to tell you what letter is in the upper left-hand corner and what sound that letter makes. Then ask the student to tell you the name of all the pictures on the card. Be sure the student knows what all the pictures are. This is a good opportunity to build vocabulary as well! Show the student how to say the name of each picture and decide if the picture starts with the same letter that is in the upper corner of the page. Show the child how to mark each picture that matches the letter.
Here's how to play Trace It!Show one letter card to the student. Identify the letter on the card and ask the student to notice that there are rows of uppercase letters and lowercase letters. What sound does this letter make? Tell the student that today they will get a chance to practice writing with a magic pen! Show the student the object you have chosen for them to trace with (finger/chopstick, etc...). This is a magic pen because it writes with invisible ink. Tell the student that they will be tracing over the letters today. Remind him or her that we always write letters from the top down. Model how to trace the letter using the correct letter formation strokes. As you trace over the letters say the letter name and sound aloud.
Here's how to play Trace It! Show one letter card to the student. Identify the letter on the card and ask the student to notice that there are both uppercase letters and lowercase letters on the sheet. What sound does this letter make? Tell the student that today they will get a chance to practice writing the letters they are learning. Show the students the writing implement he or she will be using. Remind the student that we always write letters from the top down. Model how to write the letter using the correct letter formation strokes. As you write the letters say the letter name and sound aloud.
Lay the letter cards on a flat surface. Model how to take pipe cleaners to form the letter on the card by bending them and laying them on the card. You can use a shorter piece of pipe cleaner to form the straight, connecting lines of some letters. After the letter is made, show how to carefully trace over the letter with your finger while saying both the letter name and the sound it makes.

## Storage and Management

Here's how Michele and I organized the interventions. We purchased a hanging file folder box. (Yeah, I found this one in a clearance bin!) Make a hanging file folder for each letter. We made these letters tags and glued them to the folder.
Reproduce the intervention cards. Since I want to have several sets of the "b" interventions, I ran each set on a different color of paper. That makes it easy to keep them organized inside the "Bb" folder.
Make a folder for each child to hold the alphabet intervention cards. Place a green dot on one side and a red dot on the other. As the child completes the activity, they move the card from the green side to the red side.
Make a pencil bag for each child. The bag should hold all of the supplies they need to do the interventions.
Store the folder and the pencil bag inside of a 2 gallon zip-top bag labeled with their name.
Assessment and RTI
Ask students to read the letters on each row from left to right. You should point to each letter and ask them to say the letter name or sound. Use a plain piece of paper under each row to keep a student’s focus on the row you are asking them to say and to keep them from becoming confused by all the letters on the page. After assessing a student on the uppercase and lowercase letters, use the lowercase grid to test students on letter sounds. Point to each letter and ask, “What sound does this letter make?”
Record the results of each assessment on the teacher recording form. You will use the results of this assessment to determine which letters your students will need to work on.
Look across the grids on the teacher recording page to decide which letters to target. If a student correctly identifies the uppercase and lowercase letter and the sound it makes, no intervention will be necessary. If a student missed one of these things, that letter will need to be targeted for intervention. Choose no more than 5 letters to target at one time. Record these letters on the first chart on the Student Response to Intervention Data sheet. Work with a student on these letter and sounds for a two-week period and then assess and record the data on this sheet.

Another alternative, is to use ESGI’s alphabet recognition test.
Assess each child on the alphabet simply by clicking yes or no as you show them the letters on the screen.
After the assessment, you can easily see how the child preformed.

You can also administer a subtest. This allows you to determine which 5 letters you wish to work on. Return to the testing menu.
Click on the “run a subtest” tab.
Click on the letters you wish to use for your subtest. You can use this assessment after administering the interventions to check to see which letters the child mastered and which ones need to be carried over for more practice.
The activities and paper pencil assessments are included in this unit. You can try ESGI for FREE by clicking the image below.!

Pin It button on image hover