Thursday, March 29, 2012

Math Time!

My school uses Everyday Math and one of the recent activities had to do with place value. Each morning during calendar time, one of our daily activities is counting the days we have been in school (today was 141!) and we use straws and number cards to show place value. Even with this daily routine, I realize I always do that part and my kids aren't really getting it. So, to get to the point...I was talking with my husband (high school teacher) and got this idea from him:
Using dimes and pennies to represent the tens and ones, respectively. (Why couldn't I come up with that?) All I knew was I didn't have base ten blocks to use and I wanted the lesson to be meaningful for my kinders. I just hand- drew the tens and ones mats (or you can grab this simple Place Value Chart here) and let my students work in pairs. We did this as a whole group on the carpet. I gave each set of partners a mat, ten dimes (I used plastic ones from my math center), and nine pennies (I used real pennies because we had \$12 worth after the Class Collection activity from two weeks before!).

On the board I wrote a number (example: 43) and showed the class how to make that number with 4 dimes (counting by tens) and 3 pennies (counting by ones). As a bonus at the end of the lesson, I asked students to show me how to make the number 100. About half got it right away :), however several tried to count out the pennies and realized it wouldn't work. *In case anyone is curious, I only gave 9 pennies to ensure their success in using only dimes to represent tens.

This little money chart is also part of our daily calendar routine. As we count the days of the school year and use straws for place value, we also use this cute chart (I got it on clearance from Really Good Stuff!)When we got to the 100th day, we traded all those pennies for the dollar! (What a big deal!) Now, when we count, I remind students that while there are only so many pennies on the chart, the dollar represents the hundreds place.

I couldn't resist sharing this photo. Kids have a tough time with tally marks (just like money!) and we do tally marks each day with our weather routine to try to really give them time to grasp it. This little angel used his string cheese to make tally marks! I love it when kids take what we teach them and make it their own! These are the moments teachers treasure! :)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dr. Seuss Activites

For Dr. Seuss week, I found a glyph (I think it came from The Mailbox  years ago) to use to decorate the classroom door! (Glyphs are great following directions activities!)
On March 2nd, the class got to wear their Cat in the Hat hats to lunch!
"What would you do if Thing One and Thing Two were loose in your house?"
I got this idea from a Pin on Pinterest!
Left: "I will feed them and kick them out!"
Right: "I will play with them and sleep and kick them out."
Here they all are in the hallway!

Kindergarten Memory Book

Each year, I like to save certain things my students do that parents may want to keep to look back on as their child grows up. I also understand that many parents may not know what to consider "important" as far a milestone in kindergarten and what they might regret losing throughout the year.
So, this year I put "3-ring binder" on my class supply list. Many parents were concerned about their 5 year old needing such a notebook in kindergarten, but others willingly sent in a binder filled with notebook paper!
My plan was to use these notebooks as memory books or scrapbooks for each child's kindergarten year!
Here is what he have so far:
I keep the notebooks arranged like this in alphabetical order by first name in the back of the room on top of the blanket cubbies. They are out of the way, but easily accessible when we need to add to them.

Here is a peek inside one of the "scrapbooks:"
The first day of school, I read "The Kissing Hand" to my class (as I do every year - I love that book!). After reading the book, we discuss it a little bit and then I have the class color their own "Chester Racoons." We also ask them to write their names on these if they can. This gives us a really good idea of who is where. Some kids cannot write their names, while others already have pretty good handwriting! We can also tell a lot from the way the children color - color choices, staying in the lines, etc. I also make sure to date everything that goes into this binder. This way the parents (and kids when they get older) can see the progress throughout the year!
This is an activity after we read the Big (Rigby) Book, The Monster Pet. Each child got to make their own monster. We put these in a sheet protector since they used pompoms and feathers. (We  didn't want any part of the creativity to get lost or messed up!)

The first predictable chart I do is "My name is.." I write "My name is" on large chart paper and have each child use the complete sentence to tell me their name. I also ask them to spell their name if they can. Then I cut the sentences into words and have them put the sentence back together, glue it to a piece of construction paper and illustrate. (We do this with other predictable charts as well, and later I have them copy their sentences to work on spacing, capitalization, and punctuation!)
Beside the name page, I added something that this girl did in the art center. She found pictures of butterflies and made a collage! This hung in the room for a long time before I placed it in her memory book!

Next, I added the page the children completed about apples. They colored this sheet and then wrote a sentence about apples. I also let them choose one apple to add glitter glue to! (This picture doesn't show that very well, I know.)
When the fire department came to visit our school, my class had the most guests - parents, grandparents, etc. who came to the school to learn about fire safety with us! The school guidance counselor took a class picture and made a copy for each student to have. This is one of those things I thought might get lost throughout the year if we sent it home the day we got it, so we put the photos in the memory books. This way every child has a class picture!
Left: Our class pumpkin patch! Each child brought in a pumpkin for our life cycle of plants unit in the fall.
Right: Hand print turkeys for Thanksgiving! Each child also wrote what they were thankful for.

For the new year, we made resolution hats!
Penguin unit - we made booklets! The cover page is the penguin and we stapled that to the writing paper that is the same shape! Very cute!

For the 100th day of school, we made self portraits from the future!
"When I am 100 years old..."

For President's Day, each student wrote about what he or she would do as President!

This all we have so far. As the year comes closer to an end, I will let each student decorate the front of their memory book. I think this is will be a great end of year gift for the families!

100th Day!

I have found lots great site for 100th Day activities, the problem was that I found them late in the year...
So I only had time to do a few things this year (but I have so many great ideas for next year!)

This is a packet of activities I came across on Pinterest and I used a few things from it.

And here are some pictures of  my class using these 100th Day resources as fun activities!
This was our 100th Day Trail Mix activity. We set out 10 sets of snacks and the students came back in small groups and counted out 10 of each for their bags. They also had to write down the name of each snack by copying the word from a place card next to the bowls (we used different cereals, Skittles, M&M's, gumdrops, popcorn, goldfish crackers, animal crackers, anything small would work!).

I saw this idea on Pinterest as well and it really came out well! I did the craft part in small groups while the class wrote their "When I am 100 years old..." stories at their seats. My assistant walked around helping students with the writing portion and I guided the craft part. [We alternate on this kind of thing. :)]

Above: Our hallway display.
Below left: "I will be a policeman." Below Right: "I will walk slow and be a grandma." (How sweet, right!?)