Saturday, September 24, 2011

Huge Giveaway at the Moffatt Girls

If you love the Ready2Read program you will love the second level too. Please visit her website to learn more about this great unit!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

My classroom blog

Although I created this blog for teachers when I was doing my math workstations blog party, I do have another website for my classroom that I update weekly. You can find it here:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

30 Beginning Reader Giveaway

The Moffatt Girls are having a big giveaway. Who wouldn't want to win leveled readers. Please visit their blog for more information.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Math Work Stations Chapter 8

I'm sad that this is the last chapter of the book. I have thoroughly enjoyed learning from each and every one of you. Thank you for hosting this book study and thank you to all of the teachers who have taken time to contribute ideas and freebies. Think of the amazing math stations we will be doing this year! I'm so excited!!

I have been using Kathy Richardson's book for my measurement centers. She has many of the same measurement workstations that Debbie Diller lists in her book. I was happy to hear that I am following the right path from two wonderful authors. You can find these ideas in this book:

Although I have about 4 weeks to teach measurement, I do feel that it is something that I do all year long. The students love to measure their own height and weight in an All About Me unit. We measure pumpkins, apples, plants, shadows, rocks, elapsed time, just to name a few. When you think of all the science lessons that involve measuring, measurement is easily integrated into these science lessons. I took an AIMS workshop this summer that was absolutely amazing and it was one of the best workshops I have ever attended. It was a 3 day workshop and it teaches how to integrate math and science through fun hands-on experiments. Although their material is copyrighted, I would love to share a lesson that involves measurement and lead you to their website to purchase these units or books if you so choose.

This is an AIMS weight measurement activity called Balancing Bean-Y Babies. Students will make their own adorable bean-y babies out of a knee-high stocking. You stretch a nylon over a paper cup and fill with beans. Tie off the end and roll the top down to make the beanie, put a rubber band around the neck to make a head and add eyes and a ribbon. The students will use these on a balance scale to compare weight. They use their hands to guess whose beanie is heaviest and put them in order from lightest to heaviest with the other classmates they are working together with. They actually get the weight of their own beanie baby. Then they find something that is heavier, lighter and the same. Here is a picture of the beanie I made during the workshop.

I think the students will have so much fun making these. All of this activity and forms can be purchased for $2 at this link:

They also have measurement activities for sale here:

Another fun activity the children enjoy playing is from Bridges and it is called Frog Jump Measuring. The students pretend to be frogs. I even have a frog picture that I have made into a necklace that they wear during this station. They guess how far they can jump and then the jump from a line and measure their distance. They also can compare their distance to their partners. For some reason, the kindergartners love to play this over and over again.

Link up with Lory and other wonderful teachers for more great ideas.

Lory’s Page

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Math Work Stations Chapter 7

I love teaching geometry to students. I mainly use the Frog Street Press songs to help the students learn their shapes. We make many TLC art activities and talk about the shapes. We always end up singing about Suzy Square and how we can turn her into Cindy Circle by rounding the corners, etc. 

They love learning shapes and I use the Shape Song book and song from Heidi's Songs as a culminating activity. You can watch the YouTube video here: 

This is found on Heidi's Little Songs for Language Arts (which has many other wonderful songs and projects) and can be purchased here:

Ok, I am not making a commission from either one of these two, but I highly recommend them.

Here's a game that my kinder class really enjoyed last year. It is called Attribute Trains. You can download it by clicking on the picture below:

This game can also be differentiated by having them change 2 attributes before they play the next piece too. There is even an online game that you can play to include technology into the workstations and it can be found here:

For more great ideas, link up with Mrs. Patton

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Place Value Video

I found this video on another blog today and had to share. It goes right along with place value and it is a cool game to play, which goes right along with Debbie Diller's chapter 6 that we have been discussing. I'm wondering if you can't find the snack dish at the Dollar Store, what else might you use. I'm going to be on the lookout for this snack tray. I think this is an awesome game and I hope you do too.

Teacher Tipster Place Value Game

Math Work Stations Chapter 6

Place value was really not a chapter that I was looking forward to. I didn't feel like I really taught place value very well. We count the days we are in school and bundle the straws. We talk about ones, tens and hundreds in kindergarten. But, after reading Debbie Diller's book, I realized it can be a whole lot more. Ms. A has posted an awesome blog post about this chapter with tons of fabulous games. It has got me excited to try some of the games. They all look great and I realize that I can make place value fun for the kids now too and it doesn't have to be boring.

Here is a game that I would like to share. It can be played a couple of ways. You can have a student choose a domino. They can make two different numbers with this domino depending on how it is turned. If there are two dots on one side and six on the other, the number can be either 26 or 62. The child draws the dots on the blank domino and writes the numeral in the blank. Then the child can circle the number on the 100 chart. This can also be played in reverse. You can have students circle numbers that are on the 100 chart and then draw the dots to represent the number with dominoes. For example, circle the number 47 and then the child would draw four dots on the tens side and seven dots on the ones side.

For other wonderful ideas, link up with Ms. A and other great teachers here:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Math Work Stations Chapter 5

I continue to love Debbie Diller's book and am excited to have some of my kindergarten team on board with math work stations for next year. It's nice to have people to bounce ideas off of and I'm hoping to bring them to the world of blogging next.

My games have mainly come from Kathy Richardson's book. I love this book because they games are easily differentiated.

I also got a lot of games from Shari Sloane's website (click on math centers and games once you reach her webpage):

One of their favorite games to play was the dice in dice game which can be used for both addition and subtraction. You will find lots of games and resources on her website. I have met her at a couple of workshops and she is one of the nicest persons you will ever meet.

I recently have found another resource for games at this website below.

In my district, we are lucky to have a wonderful resource, Brian Mowry. I am going to share a game that he has created too. This game involves Making Ten and you will need to buy some of the bowling games as pictured below. The students can bowl down the pins on a small tray and fill in the sheet below with combinations of ten. Click on the link to download the game.

Another game involves making combinations of five using two sided counters and spilling them from a cup.

Lastly, I want to share a resource that I have found extremely helpful and fits hand in hand with Debbie Diller's book.

I first learned about this book on Ms. A's website, Oceans of First Grade Fun. You can read more about it on her website here: 
and here

What I love about this book is that it breaks down how you should teach addition and subtraction and it tells you the order to teach things. It starts by teaching Plus 1 and Plus 2, then Adding Zero, Adding Ten, Doubles, Making Ten, Using Tens, and Using Doubles. Each chapter is filled with tons of games to use to teach each of these and it comes with a CD that is done in Microsoft Word, so you can edit to differentiate or put your student's names in the problems to personalize. Ms. A has a wonderful way to store these games in gold envelopes. She has already started making cover sheets for the games on her website and has told me that she plans to post the other chapters within a few weeks. It's definitely worth the investment.

Thanks for hosting us this week, Cheryl. For more great ideas, link up with us here:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Math Work Stations Chapter 4

Wow! Fran really outdid herself with this chapter. Just when I thought I couldn't be any more excited, I was thrilled to find all of the wonderful games she created here. I can't thank you enough for sharing with us. You rock!

I loved chapter 4. I have been sending e-mails to my teammates encouraging them to get on board and buy Debbie Diller's book. There are so many great activities in this chapter, it is better to have your own copy. 

I will be using a lot of Kathy Richardson's number games for this chapter, in addition to the many wonderful games being posted by fellow bloggers and ideas in the book. One thing that stuck out in this chapter for me was the rekenrek. See page 79 for a picture. This reminded me of CGI training and it reminded me that I need to make these for my class. They are really quite easy. You string two lines of 10 beads (2 different colors) on a pipe cleaner and you can attache them to an index card. See the picture below for a better idea.

You can also find more information at this math learning center website

I'm still trying to get the hang of blogging and uploading documents. I am going to try to post a document that you can use for number recognition and counting. Just another way to match up numbers. Click on the picture below to download.

I hope you find this useful and I hope I get the hang of uploading, so that I can share more. For more great games and ideas, visit Kindergarten Crayons by clicking on the button below.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Math Work Stations Chapter 3

I think after reading chapter 3 the first time, I was sold on math work stations. It seemed to be the missing link when trying to implement Daily 5 math. Since there isn't a Daily 5 math book out yet, I tried my best to model guided math and implement work stations based on the sister's information from their website. However, when I read chapter 3, I realized that I don't need to be doing Daily 5 math, I need to be doing Debbie Diller's work stations, then guided math will come easily. 

I really like how she introduces math stations. It is very similar to Daily 5. You model and teach the students what it looks like, sounds like and feels like and create anchor charts. It is important in kindergarten to have pictorial representations, especially at the beginning of the year. I like having mini-lessons to teach how to use the stations. Although I did this last year, I released them to try the stations immediately after modeling one time, so next year, I will be sure to model at least a day or two in advance of releasing them to a new station. I especially liked the "How to Solve a Problem" section so the students will know what to do when trouble arises. 

I also liked the I Can statements and think it is important to make these together with the students so that it is more relevant. This will help them if they forget what they should be doing in a center and will help them to stay on task. I like the idea of the math talk cards, but find that hard to do on a kindergarten level. Once again, there will have to be a lot of pictures to help those emergent readers. 

I'm still trying to figure out how much to put out. I will have 24 students and realize that I will need at least 10 stations, but this chapter made it seem to me that I didn't have to put out quite so much at the beginning of the year and that I can add to the stations later to give them choices. 

I think I got most excited about seeing the wonderful management board from Really Good Stuff, but then I saw the price tag :(  I will have to put it on my wish list and hope for a miracle. This was my management board this year. 
Once again, the problem that I had was trying to give the students choice in where they wanted to go. I never really implemented a work station board and boy, did I pay for it. I had students choose to go to the same stations all year long. It was hard trying to get them to go someplace else, so I think assigning them stations daily will be so much better for me and for the students. I have a ton of math games that are differentiated. I use Kathy Richardson's games and love them, but they are only for number concepts, addition and subtraction, so I will need to beef up my other games. I listed their choices on this board, but there was no accountability for who was going where and that was my problem. This was taken before school started, so there were not any game choices listed yet.

Sharing time is something I always aim to do, but usually it gets cut due to lack of time. I will try harder to implement this daily. I feel it is important for the children to share what they learned and to solve any problems that might have occurred. 

Link up with Mrs. Parker to join the discussion on Math Work Stations.
Learning With Mrs. Parker

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Math Work Stations Blog Party

I am so excited to be participating in the Math Stations Blog Party. I even created my own blog for this event after being a blog stalker for months. I hope I can get the hang of things because there is a lot I would like to share. We are reading the book, Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller.

click on book to order or view online

Chapter 1
I think what I learned the most from this chapter was the importance of modeling and not expecting your class to be able to play games on the SAME day as you introduce them to the game. I have been trying to do a Daily 5 Math where I do a whole group lesson, introduce a game and let them go to "centers". They are given a choice where to go and they tend to choose the same games over and over. Now I realize that we need to be doing stations and I need to be modeling how to play the game at least a day in advance of them going to stations. So on to my checklist:

1. Materials used by the teacher first, then placed in the station: YES
2. Materials do not change weekly, but rather changed to reflect the students learning objectives:  I changed the materials when we learned a new skill, which wasn't weekly. But, I am guilty of keeping materials out too long as I was packing up this year and still had pumpkin activities in the stations.
3. All students go to stations daily:  YES, as long as we didn't have something that made us skip our math time (library, counselor, computer lab, etc.)
4. Materials are differentiated: Some have differentiated materials and others didn't. Need work here.
5. The teacher observes work or meets with differentiated math groups: No, I wasn't always able to meet every day with students. I tried, but sometimes other things came up and this is the place where the sacrifice was made.

Chapter 2
Organization....I need lots of work here. I have been purging, but obviously not enough. I think a big mistake I made this year was taking away a place to store math manipulatives in order to put out math games. 

The tubs above held games for the categories (strategy games, fact games, paper practice, math tools, number games) and the only ones that actually held math manipulatives were the yellow number tools. I had game pieces, dice and spinners in the containers to the right and they are not labeled (which they will be next year) and most of my math manipulatives were stored in my closet, not accessible to the children. It was hard to put games into the above categories and the whole Daily 5 Math did not work well for me. After reading Diller's book, I realize I need to have math manipulatives and work stations out at the same time. The tubs above are perfect for holding math manipulatives and I plan to add a shelf with numbered tubs to hold the math stations for next year. The tubs did not work well for the games because they are smaller than a sheet of paper. I will get tubs that are deep enough and wide enough to hold games and work mats and number them. I will put them on a separate shelf for the work stations.

So I plan to spend some of my summer going back up to the school and cleaning out and organizing my closet to make things easily usable for math time.

Link over to Mrs. Wills to attach your post or printable item!