KinderGals: July 2017

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Activities to Develop Early Math Understanding

Developing Early Math Concepts doesn't have to happen on a worksheet! Math concepts can be taught through play, songs, and art! This blog post shares some ideas on using dendrite producing activities to teach early math concepts.
Graphing is a great tool to help children organize data for analysis. While graphing might not be a "standard" by itself, graphs are used to make sense of number. For this fun back to school graph, the kids made a fun face using wiggly eyes and pompoms. They used yarn to make long or short hair to match the length of their own hair.  In a later activity, I gave each child their face. One by one, they added their face to the graph. As each child added their face, we talked about how our data was changing.  (I saved these faces to add to their end of the year memory book along with their first day of school picture!)
Another great "first" math concept is sorting. Sorting is essential in many number standards. The kids need to be able to sort for counting, comparing, adding..... For this fun activity, I used a collection of cute kids clip art and a sorting mat. We talked about ways to sort--boys and girls, long hair and short hair, pig tails and no pig tails..... The real challenge is in coming up with the sort categories. Encourage children to generate sorts while you model how you select categories.  Is it more important to sort a few kids many ways, or to sort many kids a few ways? No need to provide the kids with large number of clip art kids....the power is in how many different sorts they can generate.  For extra fun, use actual photographs of the kids in your room! Be sure and scroll all the way to the bottom. I have add a fun, free animal sorting activity for you to use with your kids!
How long have you been teaching kindergarten? Do you remember when we didn't give them pencils until after Christmas? Or as long as they knew the names of the letters they were ready for first grade?  Those days are gone!  Kindergarten curriculum has become more rigorous and is standards based. But, does that mean that we have to throw out all of the things that are based on appropriate practices? Does that mean we can't sing, or paint, or dance?  Does that mean that we need to get kids in desks and start pushing worksheets disguised as printables or no prep activities?   We can still dance and sing and all of the other fun parts of kindergarten, because that is how kids learn best!!!! How do we do it? We need to look at our songs and activities and be sure that the standard is clear and evident! "Five Little Goldfish" is a perfect example! (sang to the tune of Five Little Speckled Frogs) What is the math standard? Is it counting, is it adding more more, is it addition, is it number combinations for 5? You decide! Then, as you sing the song, simply add in the words to link it to the math standard! Easy Peasy!
We always chart our songs on poster board using sentence strips. Putting them in a pocket chart always ended up in lost pieces!  The fish and the numerals are attached with Velco so that they can be manipulated.  Now we need to decide on our language arts standard. Is it print moves left to right and top to bottom, is it there are spaces between words, is it author's craft, is it some word we can read really quickly (sight words)? Once you determine which ONE concept you are going to teach, use your interactive chart as a shared reading while you explore the wonderful world of print!
I'm at Frog Street Splash again today! These are the items I used to plan the session ABC's and 123's.

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Math Manipulatives-Revisit

Are your math manipulatives collecting dust? Ours were! Michele and I teamed up to create some activities that would put the manipulatives to use! Here's a blog post that shares all the different activities we made for each manipulative.
Today I am in Dallas, TX at the fabulous Frog Street Splash! Guys, if you have never been to this shindig, you need to put it on your bucket list! It is full of fun and learning! I am presenting a session called, Making the Most of Your Math Manipulatives.  Here are some of the ideas I am sharing in that session.  Be sure and scroll all the way to the bottom so that you can snag a Counting Bears Math Game for FREE!
 If you are looking for ways to use colored tiles to teach any math standard, read this blog post!
 See how we repeat the same, or very similar games, but change the manipulative to create a new game! No time is wasted learning new activities. All the time is spent engaged in learning! Be sure and scroll to the bottom to snag one of the Counting Bears Games as a free download!
Unifix cubes, linking cubes, or multilink cubes....they can all be used to teach any math standard. This post shares some of our favorites.
Pattern Blocks are a staple in any classroom.  This blog post shares easy print and go activities to put them to use!
Here are the resources I used to plan this session.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

3 Easy Tips to Fit It All In (Day 3 in Vegas!)

There are a few questions that teachers are constantly seeking to answer? How can we keep them quiet in the lunchroom? What is the best way to dismiss kids in the afternoon? And, how do we fit it all in? I'm still waiting on the answers to lunchroom behavior and dismissal, but I do have some ideas on how to fit it all in.

1. Think Science or Social Studies First.

One of the Social Studies units that we teach is "Community". As part of our standards, the children have to be  able to identify the helpers and things they use.

In this Label a Firefighter activity the children are learning about the clothing a firefighter wears to protect themselves.  In language arts, we are learning about labels. We are learning that authors use labels to help the reader! Now we are covering social studies and language arts at the same time! Time saver!
2. Plan Activities That Can Be Used More Than Once.
During our Thanksgiving Unit we read our recipe to make Turkey Soup. Recipes are a great way to teach procedural text-part of nonfiction text.  As we were reading the recipe, we counted the vegetables to make the soup.
The next day, during math, we revisited our soup pots.  I divided the children into small groups, depending on their number sense. As I called each group, we counted or added the vegetables. This saves tons of prep time. If you are spending more time prepping than the children are doing.....
3. Teach Games and Activities that Can Be Recycled.
Plan activities that can easily be adjusted by changing the clip art and the standard.  Our kids love the spin a graph activity. They simply spin the spinner, tally the results, make a graph and analyze the data.  I can repeat this same idea throughout the year, changing the clip art and the number of columns. No time is wasted teaching the children a new activity! All the time is spent learning the new standard. 
This race game is another idea that can be used over and over. To play, the children roll a dice. They move the firetrucks towards the house. They can move one firetruck the whole number, or split the number between two firetrucks. You can race children to school, squirrels to trees, etc.  If you want to make it more challenging as the year progresses, invite the children to write the number sentences to show how they split the number between the firetrucks. Here are the resources I used to plan this session.
I am doing two other sessions in Vegas today. Here is a little about those sessions.
For the Love of Reading
This post shares some of the retelling ideas that I shared during the session. Be sure and scroll to the bottom to grab the retelling activity for Snake Supper.
First, I made a puppet from a sock--keeping it old school right here!!!  I cut a slit in the sock to make the mouth. I found clip art animals to match the characters in the story. After laminating the animals, I taped them to a piece of fishing line.  As I tell the story, I feed the animals inside the snake.
Now, it's the kids turn. They made a snake from a craft stick. They colored their animals and glued them to clothespins.
As the children retell the story, they clip the animals to the craft stick! Grab the color and black and white animals at the bottom of this post! Here are the resources I used to plan this session.
How Did You Get That?
Thinking and Writing About Math
In this session, I shared how we use glyphs. You can read all about it in this blog post. Here are the resources I used to plan this session.

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