Monday, May 22, 2017

Math Centers: Money Counting Cards

As part of my math instruction I like to have Math Stations to reinforce our daily instruction.   
My students finish their class work at different times and begin Math Stations.  I try to introduce at least one or two new stations a week.  I generally have five to six stations going at one time.  
When they complete the lesson, I do a quick check of their work and then the students go to the Math Station they were working on until it is complete.  When they complete that station then they can move to the next one.   With Money Counting Cards, it is really important to me that each student completes each color level correctly before he/she continues to the next level because each level get a little bit harder.  

When all the students complete a station then I introduced a new station. 
Once in a while I have a few students who take forever to complete a station.  I generally pack up that station and they take it home for homework so the class can move on.  Or if I know they are the type that will not return it,  I have them do it during recess. 

Generally I have the stations set up around the room so my students are busy working in different corners.   I like to use these tabletop pocket charts because they are easy to set up and fold during the Math lessons.  
If you want to see more details about the Math Station activity please go to my TPT store and check it out.  

Monday, May 8, 2017

Author of the Month Eric Carle

 Spring is the best time of the year to read Eric Carle's books.  Caterpillars, butterflies, clouds, flowers, ladybugs, fireflies and crickets are all things that make me think of Spring.    The kids love listening/watching stories on the ipad and that is why I like to have the Listening Center fresh and new each month.  I put something new in this pack.  There is a clip from youtube on how Eric Carle creates his illustrations.  I think it is important for the children to see the authors and illustrations as real people.
 What I like about this layout is that the posters make a nice display with the covers of the books that Eric Carle wrote.  I have them hanging low on the door where the students can reach and scan them in the Reading Center.  
I have some follow up sheets as well.  There are three different levels of sheets so you can pick what will work best for your students.  

You can pick this up for FREE at my TPT store

Happy Spring! 

Monday, May 1, 2017

Stick Bang or Kaboom

 Stick Bang or Kaboom whatever you call this game it is something you need to have in your teaching bag of tricks.  It is so popular with all of the students I work with.  They love this game in fact they beg to play this game.  I first found this game in a sight word packet I purchased from Reagan Tunstall.  It was the best $5.75 I spent on TPT. 
I have made so many games based of her idea and at a variety of grade levels.  
This year I made several different versions for different students. 

For the little four year olds I work with I made:

  • Capital Letters
  • Lowercase Letters
  • Number Awareness to 20
  • Shapes and Colors
For the five year olds I made:

  • Number Awareness to 30 (for the beginning of the years)
  • Number Awareness to 100
  • CVC words
For the first graders I made:

  • sight words at different levels
  • CVC words
  • CVCE words
  • Blends/Digraphs
  • vowel team words
For the advanced math students I work with I made:

  • Fast Facts for Math Fluency

I keep all the different games in plastic quart size baggies and then have my large pails for games.

I have to admit with the four year olds we had to take the BANG stick out of the bucket.  There were way to many tears and the little ones were so happy to collect sticks.  

Another bonus to this activity is that I can easily put this together the night before.  You can use simple markers, stickers or pre-made materials to make the sticks more colorful.  Here is a link to Pinterest for more ideas.    

Monday, April 10, 2017

Egg-citing Activities for Easter Week

It's Easter week and I am looking for some quick and easy activities to do with my students.  For the little fours I work with I made the simplest activity......matching alphabet eggs.  It's so easy.....write a capital letter on one side of the egg and the lowercase on the other side.  

The boys absolutely loved the activity.  They had so much fun.  

 For my advanced math students I created some story problems with and without grouping.   I cut out the problems and put them in the eggs.  The boys picked out the eggs from the basket and opened the eggs and read the problems and solved them in their math journals. 

You can put any story problems in your eggs.  Or if you want I have my challenge problems available on my TPT store.   
I set up this packet up several ways.  There is a power point in case you want to do the problems as a whole class. 
Then I typed up all the problems on a worksheet so the students could work these out.  Or you can cut them apart and put them in eggs and they can put the answers on the recording sheet.  

It's up to you. 
Happy Easter

Monday, March 27, 2017

Easter Listening Center

Keeping the boys and girls in kindergarten and first grade interested in reading all year long can be challenging.  That is why I have been working so hard this year to find stories the kids will be motivated to listen to.  It is more work than you think.   Creating an engaging listening center is a lot different these days, my students prefer to listen and watch stories on the ipad.  
When I first got my ipad I was able to find lots of story apps for $1 however that has not been the case lately.  In fact many of the stories can be costly or the apps are confusing for young readers to manage on their own.  So I have turned to youtube and the generosity of the wonderful people who are reading the stories and recording them.  

I find links on youtube and filter out the surrounding advertisements and create my own qr codes. My students use this center on their own as part of my weekly reading block and I want to make sure the links are safe for them.  Each week my students are required to listen to one story on the ipad and complete a listening form.  I use all sorts of different forms I have collected over the years on Pinterest and various other sources during the first two quarters. 

However, once third quarter starts I have the students start to complete the forms attached to the unit.  We start with the simple ones and work our way to writing our own letter on lined paper. 

I like to print out the listening cards on card stock and laminate them.  I punch a hole in the corner and gather them together with a ring.  I keep the cards in the ipad basket.  Another teacher at my school hangs the cards up on the students’ lockers.  Another organization idea might be to keep them in a small binder or create a bulletin board with the cards in your reading center. 
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