Sunday, September 6, 2015

ABC...easy as 123...

It's so much fun teaching Kinders to write their letters, isn't it? If you're lucky you've got one of those Zaner Bloser handwriting books that your school bought you and you can just teach them to your heart's content. We weren't so lucky at my school so we had to get creative and think of something easier and faster than using highlighters on lined paper. So, I created these handy dandy handwriting practice pages. My kinders love them! There is a line for the capital letter and a line for the lower case. They can trace and then write. Once they write the letter they have 6 pictures to look at. They find the 3 pictures that begin with the sound that the letter makes and they color them in. It's a simple activity that can give you some great information about their phonemic awareness ability. It could be a good formative assessment for letter formation and letter sound knowledge. You can grab it here at my TPT store! (click the picture below for the link to the item in my store)

Building Number Sense

The first couple of weeks in kindergarten we work on learning our numbers and building number sense. We use lots and lots of manipulatives to do this. We count everything, play counting games, count daily, do math journals to practice number writing, and just immerse ourselves in daily number practice. On Friday we had a "no break day" and we needed a fun way to get up and move while working on our math, so we turned our colored rug into a giant graph and did a team building activity to practice counting sets of numbers up to 5. I placed dry erase boards with numbers on them at the top of the rug and gave each table group their own box of manipulatives. The task was to work together to count out one set to match each number 1-5 and bring them to the rug to place in one of the squares under that number. Once the task was completed we had what looked like a giant graph of manipulatives that we could then count. 

Another fun activity to practice number sense was a domino sorting activity. I found these chip and dip trays at the Dollar Tree and placed colored dots for numbers 1-6 in each space. I then gave the students the box of dominoes and told them to count the dots and place the domino in the section that had the correct number. I didn't remove the dominoes higher than 6, I just told them to place them to the side. That was just additional counting practice for them. They really enjoyed this activity. Very little prep and lots of time of the floor. Perfect kindergarten learning activities!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

There's a PLACE for us....the tens place, that is

It's that time of year again, the time we kindergarten teachers absolutely cringe thinking about...teaching place value. I don't know about you but I really think it's THE hardest concept for kinders to grasp. I've been doing a lot of researching and seeking of information to find ways and theories behind it to help me teach it in a more effective manner. I decided to be intentional with everything I did this year while teaching math to make sure students get it and enjoy it at the same time. So, I started with Calendar Math. Each day we do Daily Depositor and Paper Clip Collection where we teach place value. I honestly just did a lot of repeating of information. I also made one minor but huge change to my setup. I extended my hundreds chart to make it a 120 chart so they could see the extended pattern beyond 100 (which is the only 3 digit number on the 100's chart). Just seeing the numbers and counting to 120 has made big difference. They are extending their thinking beyond 2 digit place value, which is helping them to understand it better. I also did DAILY PRACTICE of the teen numbers in the fall when we were teaching number recognition. Each day we had a number of they day. We would write it, tally it, fill in the tens frame and write the number sentence to go with it. We did this every day in math journals for 2 weeks. By the end of the first week they were really getting it. Fast forward to this week where we are really breaking down the teen numbers and teaching the tens and ones. I decided to use the same thinking about teen numbers as I did with the 100's chart and extend their thinking beyond the teens in the hopes that it would help them better understand the concept. Each day in math journals we do a number of the day and it successive counterpart (11, 21, 31). I printed out tens frames onto Avery labels and gave each student 6 labels per day. We highlighted the group of ten and then put a label under the group. I started with 11. The students placed one label (group of ten) under the 1 (tens place) and then drew the extras in the ones place. We then counted using subitizing. Since we know that a filled tens frame is ten we don't have to count. We just touch it and say ten then count on from there to 11. We did the same thing with 21 and 31 to show that we are just building the place by adding one more group of ten. Here is a picture of what they look like.
During math workshop time we built upon this by building numbers beyond the teens using cube trains for our tens and buttons for our extras. I wrote a number and the students pulled in the correct groups of ten and extras. Then we counted each place and I wrote the number again emphasizing that, "43 is 4 groups of ten and 3 extras". The lights came on! It's amazing how helpful it is when we stretch just beyond the standard to teach a concept. I hope you find this helpful. You can get these pages and the coordinating labels for FREE in my TPT store under the listing PLACE VALUE FREEBIE FOR MATH JOURNALS. Click HERE for the link.