Sunday, June 30, 2013

Print Concepts FREEBIE!

Some years you get students who have great understanding of print concepts.  You can tell they have been read to a lot, they understand which way words go across a page and they understand the difference between letters, words and sentences.  But there are those years where your students really need some extra help with print concepts.  I've created this easy to use pocket chart activity that I am hoping will help my kinders that struggle with tracking from left to right.  It's designed for a pocket chart.  Check out the pictures below.

Hope it might be something you can use at the beginning of your year.  Get the freebie here

Saturday, June 29, 2013

FREEBIES for K.MD.B.3 standard

We are all moved into our new house- every box is unpacked and everything is put away.  It has been a crazy week and we're dealing now with record heat 118 degrees!  Too hot to go outside, and the boys went to see some zombie movie, so I figured I needed to catch up on some blogging.  I made some games to go with K.MD.B.3 standard- Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count. 
Here are some pictures of the activities. 

This activity is designed for a pocket chart.  Students put the headers at the top of the pocket chart and then draw cards and place them in the correct category- same or almost the same. Same or Almost the Same

This activity is designed for partners. In this activity, a student chooses two cards.  Then he looks at the cards and determines what is the same (if anything) and what is different about the cards.  He shares his observation with a partner, and play continues.  Same or Different

Hope these are things you might be able to use when you are teaching K.MD.B.3 standard!

Friday, June 21, 2013

We're moving today!

We're moving into a new house today!  We sold our house in March and had to move into an apartment for 4 months while the new house was being built!  It's done and ready!  We get our keys today and begin the move from apartment and mini-storage into the new house.  Think cool thoughts as we move in 107 degree heat this weekend...  To celebrate, I'm having a sale at TpT.  Everything is 20% off.  Stop over and see if there's anything you like. Kinder Karla's TpT Store

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Shapes and Positional Word Bump [FREEBIE}

Do you know the game Bump?  It's been around forever in one variation or another.  Well, here's one to practice positional words and 2D and 3D shapes.  You just print the spinner boards and game boards for every 2 students.  Gather a paper clip, a pencil and about 20 linking cubes (10 of two different colors) and you are ready to play.  It's my last shape unit activity I am making (getting bored with shapes- need to move on to something else) and it's a FREEBIE!!! Check out some pictures here and then head to my store to download it. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

More Shape and Geometry Stuff

Still hard at work on Positional Words and Shape stuff... only a couple of more ideas to share!
The first is a Shared Reading Book and Emergent Reader for shapes- one for 2D shapes and one for 3D shapes.  Here are some pictures and here the link to the product.

The other thing I've been working on is a positional word test for my kinders.  Here are some pictures of that as well as the link. It has 2 picture cards that can be used as individual assessments and 1 performance task you can use whole group.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Chapter 1: Teach Like a Pirate

I am linking up with a bunch of other bloggers to talk about the book Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.

Normally, I try to stay away from books like this because I think they are someone's gimmicky way to make money and probably don't have a lot of depth. So, with that being said, I couldn't help myself.  The title got to me!  I want to know why I should teach like a pirate.  So, I downloaded the Kindle version on my ipad today and read chapter one.  I can't say I am convinced yet, but it was an easy read and made me think.

Content Passion
It's really funny because I've gone through phases in my 20 year teaching career.  There were years where science and social studies was a passion of mine.  I was teaching the older grades where I could really go in depth in fun topics like motion and ancient Egypt.  Then, there were years where reading was my passion.  I loved doing literature circles and book clubs with my kids and really enjoyed the conversations we had about characters. Then I had my math years when I was deep in my learning about cognitively guided instruction and students' mathematical thinking and math was the best time of day.  And, I think I've always loved teaching writing!  Right now, as I enter my 3rd year straight of teaching Kindergarten I think I am back into my math passion.  I love teaching math- I love word problems and getting students talking about how they solved the problem and what strategies they used.  I love the A-ha moments the littles have when they finally figure out a math concept and can't wait to show off their new understanding.

Professional Passion
I love curriculum!  I love designing lessons, creating activities and sharing them with anyone who will listen to me!  My teammate always tells me that I should go work at district office writing curriculum maps and designing grade level curriculum- and that would be a dream job for me!

Personal Passion
My family would be my personal passion! I love spending time with them.  I love doing things with my 10 year old son and enjoy learning about the things that interest him.   

Guided Math
Guided Math is hosting this week's chapter so head over there and check out other people's thoughts.

Check back next week for Chapter 2.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Teaching Shapes Unit

It is at summer time that I feel the most ADD.  I seem to bounce from one idea to another, get obsessed with something and work on it for a while and then, either finish it or leave it for awhile and bounce to another topic.... See what I mean??
We teach shapes as our first math unit when we come back to school, so that topic has been on my mind.  I've got three or four different shape projects in the works, but here's my latest freebie.  It is a quick assessment for 2D and 3D shapes. Nothing super fancy or earth-shattering, but hopefully this will work!  Here's the TpT link.  Hope it's something you might be able to use too!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Number Sense Routines Chapter 1

Little Minds at Work

I am linking up with Little Minds at Work for a book study on Number Sense Routines by Jessica Shumway.

I was so excited I did this post about it before Tara gave us questions to talk about... so, skip to the bottom if you only want to see my answers or read the whole thing.

Let me tell you how excited I am for this book study!  I read this book for the first time back in January and started implementing some of the ideas right away in my classroom.  I am kind of a math geek and my teammate teases me all the time because I will happily get into these deep mathematical conversations about students’ thinking and my philosophy of teaching math if someone doesn’t stop me.  We often have PLC meetings that focus on math and many times I am apologizing for  monopolizing conversations or getting on my math “soapbox”, so I will apologize ahead of time if these posts ramble a bit or it’s hard to find the point I am trying to make.

What I loved about Chapter 1

I absolutely loved Box 1.1 What’s the Math and the Early Number Sense Learning Trajectory.  I loved the clear descriptions of subitizing, magnitude, counting, one-to-one correspondence, cardinality, hierarchical inclusion, etc…  As a teacher of little ones, I think we know these things and we see the progression in the students.   But up until a few years ago, I had never heard the word subitizing.

“The more we as teachers know about these big ideas in students’ mathematical development, the better we are able to support students’ numerical literacy by planning appropriate routines for their mathematical development.”  I love this quote- I think too often, and maybe it’s just where I teach, teachers don’t spend the time in math that they do in literacy getting to know the student as a mathematician.  For example, I think at my school, if I asked a kinder teacher to tell me what a student is like as a reader, they would tell me lots of information.  They would tell me whether or not they can blend and segment, if they know all their letters and sounds, how many sight words they know, what their guided reading level is, etc…  But if I asked the same teacher to tell me what the student is like as a mathematician, I am not sure what I would get.  I think the answer wouldn’t be as in depth.  I am guilty of this too- I’m working on it, but nowhere near there yet.  We spend the time to get to know students as readers and we group them according to their needs during guided reading groups.  I think it’s equally important to do the same in mathematics especially with our little ones.  But I don’t think teachers are given as much professional development in the realm of math- anything extra we know, we’ve learned ourselves through books like this.  And, I think the nature of our math programs that districts adopt is not conducive to this kind of in-depth understanding of students’ mathematical thinking.   That’s why we have to read books like this during the summer!

Students with strong number sense:
Have a sense of what numbers mean- they have a visual model and concrete understanding of quantity
Have an ability to look at the world in terms of quantity and numbers and can understand relative magnitude of an amount
Have an ability to make comparisons among quantities using landmark numbers like 10, 50 and 100
Have flexibility, automaticity, and fluidity with numbers and can apply this knowledge to solve problems and reason through number relationships
Have an ability to perform mental math

Have flexibility with problems

Have automatic use of math information.  They readily use what they know to solve problems

Have an ability to determine reasonableness of an answer

Have an ability to decide on a strategy based on the numbers in a problem.

This list is pretty extensive and nothing that we can truly say the students mastered in kindergarten, but we can definitely give them a good start on their path toward strong number sense.

Teaching for Number Sense: A process leading to understanding

Lately, I am hearing a lot of bashing of the Common Core from “informed” parents who are worried about their child’s educational future under the Common Core Standards.  I can see some of their concerns, but they are overlooking some really good pieces to the Common Core.  Love it or hate it, I feel like, particularly in math, it has our students starting off on the right path.  I feel like if you take the Kindergarten standards, especially the Counting and Cardinality and Operations and Algebraic thinking standards along with the Mathematical Practices standards, it really has our students building a strong number sense.  I feel that if it is done with fidelity and teachers go to great lengths to move beyond their adopted math series and really teach the standards, I think that our students will leave second grade with a strong number sense that will help them in the rest of their mathematical education.

As Chapter 1 concludes I really like this quote:  “In order to get to that point (numerically literate students) a student needs multiple opportunities to bump into number sense ideas, use number sense, and discuss number sense ideas and strategies with peers.”
Here are the answers to the questions Tara asked over at Little Minds at Work.

1.  What is your current comfort level with teaching number sense?
 I feel like last year I really grew a lot in terms of my comfort and knowledge about number sense.  Overall, I have a better idea of where students are coming from and a better sense of where I want to take them with regards to number sense.   But I am nowhere near an expert and I know I have so much to learn, but I feel more comfortable with the topic than I have in past years.
2.  What have you already started in your classroom to build number sense?
I did a lot with subitizing and unitizing this year.  Early in the year, I created slide shows in Power Point- dot cards, ten frames, tally marks etc... and I would do some of those cards each day with my kinders.  They were "Tell me Fast" cards where students would need to quickly tell me how many were there.  They also had to explain their strategy for finding how many.  When students came up with a new strategy for knowing how many, we added that to our anchor chart.  Some examples around mid-year were things like, "Presley's Find Ten and Count the Rest" or "Cora's Group What You Know and Count On".  We also implemented the "Count Around the Circle" routine that is talked about later on in the book, but I will save discussion for later.
3.  What have you considered adding to your classroom that will give students that much needed "multiple exposure" component?
 The Tell Me Fast Cards will definitely have a place in my classroom.  I will continue the Count Around the Circle routines and my daily math journals.  I also like Number of the Day and saw that at the end of the year, my kinders really gained a lot of valuable insights into numbers when we did this as part of our math time.  There's so many great number sense activities and I can't wait to read everyone's ideas.

Can’t wait to talk about Chapter 2!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Colors with Cat

In my continuing obsession with shared reading books that I can project onto my Smart Board, I've created one that focuses on colors.  It loosely connects to the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh.

Here are some pictures from my latest TpT product. Click here to find it at my TpT store. It includes the shared reading book, a pocket chart put the sentences together activity and a black and white copy of the book for students.