January 25, 2015

Center Saturday

Hi all!
Are you ready for 

This is the weekly blog post where I show you are math centers from the week 
and tell you all about them. 
The goal is to inspire your center time activities to be more fun and engaging

This past week, we had MLK Jr. day off on Monday, so it was a short week. 
I also new our curriculum was full because I was teaching about MLK Jr. 
AND I had to finish up Winter Animals since we were not able to finish it the week before. 

I could not have long math centers.
But I could still make sure they were skill building, skill practicing, engaging and FUN.
And I had NO prep time to make fun centers so I had to grab some ideas from my friends. 

Check out our center time fun below.

The yellow table was dedicated to our time to the hour mitten matching.
{Yes, we still teach time to the hour.}
I look a time worksheet that had clock faces on it. I made a copy of it and cut the clocks out. 
I typed the digital time on my computer and printed it out too.
 Then I took these fun mitten accent pieces and glued down both the 
clock faces and digital time onto the clocks and laminating them. 
The mittens only add to the novelty of the game. 
But kids LOVE novelty and they will run to this station for this reason alone.
{And a smart teacher will make about 5 copies of both the analog and 
dial time and add it to 5 different accents to make 5 "different" games all at the same time.}

Our orange center hosted this fun Count and Graph Snowflakes graph made by Annie Moffatt.

This looks like it might be easy, 
but these snowflakes were sneaky and made my students concentrate
Plus we were working on building and reading graphs. 

The red table was close to my calendar time.
So I chose to let my students fill in the numbers on a January calendar.
I took this printable, also from Annie Moffatt, 
and added initial number and ending number for this year.
Then I let my students use the calendar pocket chart to help them fill in the rest. 

The purple table was a creation of mine.
 I used these polar bear cards and answer sheet to have my students count the base ten blocks.
Since the cards have polar bears and they write the numbers on ice burgs, 
this activity was a BLAST
Most importantly, my students were really worked with counting the tens 
and the ones to make a two digit number.
This activity can be found here.

The blue center was focuses on comparing numbers. 
So we used these simple snowmen notepads with numbers on them to compare with <, >, or =.

And lastly I grabbed the Number Mazes from Maria at Kinder Craze.
You can grab it {here.}
The were at our green table
I use these many times during the year. 
Since we finished our 100th day of school I knew these mazes would be awesome.
I copied two of the mazes back to back for differentiation.
I encouraged my students to try to 1-100 side. 
Some opted for the 1-50 side while many did the 1-100 side.
I was proud that some of my students did the 1-50 side and 
flipped the sheet over to complete the 1-100 side for the fun of it.
 I will do many more of the mazes with my class because 
it is a FUN way to practice counting to 50 or 100 AND identifying numbers to 50 or 100 too!

 I hope you loved this week's 

January 19, 2015

SNOW Much Fun... with a HUGE Freebie

This post is full of ideas to cover everything about SNOWMEN in a kindergarten classroom,
including an awesome Classroom Management idea
with a HUGE freebie. 
{Keep reading... it will be worth it.}

Each January, I get excited when I get to teach about snow, ice, and SNOWMEN.

Here in Georgia, we get snow maybe once a year. 
And usually that doesn't "stick" to the ground for more than a day.
{In case you remember the weather reports from last year, 
we actually got a snow storm and were "stuck" in the house for a few days. 
This almost never happens.}

 When we talk about snow and ice, my students know what fake snow.

This is my Instant Snow sensory station.

We use Be Amazing Insta-Snow in plastic bins.
Although this is cool, we have to add the educational element
and the fun element by adding Arctic and Antarctic toys to the snow bins.
I love the size of these Safari Ltd Arctic TOOB.
{I have larger toys in there too, but I don't recommend that size.
The smaller figures work better and last longer.}

And ice is something Southerns put in their tea...
Or it is in their freezer.

We love doing water science experiments like this one pictured above.
As a class, we predicted which cup of water would freeze first.
Since each cup had a different amount of water in it,
 it was fun to check on our cups over the entire morning.

{I believe it was actually below freezing outside on this day
so we placed the cups outside our back door to the classroom.
We also discusses whether the cups should be in the sun or shade.}
The idea of having enough snow to MAKE A SNOWMAN
 is something almost unreal to most of my students.
{Even last year with the storms, most of us had more ice than snow.
I saw a few snowmen, but not too many.
We didn't have enough snow at our house to make a snowman.
So my 6 year old has never gotten to experience snowman making before.}

Good thing we have some great children's books
to help bring alive the fun of snowmen to aid our lack of experiences. 
And one of my favorite books to use is There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow.

After reading this book, we used our pocket chart to sequence the book.

During our Daily 5 time, we use the student copies of the books and 
these pictures to complete these sequencing sheets independently.

For word work, we used these labeling sheets to label the parts of the snowman.

Do they all get it right?
{If you missed it, check my friends work on the right side.}
But for some of my little ones, I am happy if they TRY each and every time.
Since this is an independent station, 
I have to assume that some students will not get the work done correctly. 
I reteach and use these moments to learn what my students NEED to work on.
And I also can document this incorrect work in their SST folders. 

My aid worked with my students on their writing station.
They completed this writing activity. 

I wanted them to recall one part of the story, 
then remember why she ate them...
or make up a reason at least.

Then I want to draw a picture that matches it.

Here is another one...
and she DOESN'T KNOW why she swallowed the snow in the book.

I love seeing happy, engaged students completing meaningful activities to cover content.

And I was very happy to find out I was up for my long eval this upcoming week for our new state requirement eval system for teachers.

{Honestly, I haven't had admin in my room every much over the past 10 years. 
I am kinda excited to get the chance to show off how awesome my students are doing.
My admin are usually in and out and around all the time,
so they know what we are doing.
 I am not use to the requirement stuff.}

I took some time this weekend to update my whole Snowman Unit 
to make sure I was more than ready.
Here are our fill in 100 charts for math centers. 

There are 4 different versions with an completed chart to help those who need it.
I love using different charts. If a student struggles with one, they can try again with another. 

 We also have this fun Fill the Ten Frame activity made with all the parts to make up a snowman.

We role the die and fill in one box in that ten frame to match the image on top. 
They keep going until one of the images has all ten frames.
Then, they count all the totals and place it in the box.
I check them and ask them comparing numbers questions.

I also have these FUN How to Make a Snowman cards.
{They match the reader in this unit too!}
We can use these cards to predict how we could make a snowman,
 then test it out in our sensory table. 
We also can use marshmallows to do this in a fun STEM activity!
{I will post pictures when we do it.}

I also have matching sequencing sheets.
Again, we do the sequencing sheets independently in daily 5.

 Since one of our standards is informative writing,
 we can also use the idea of a snowman to cover this.
We can write about things each snowman has, using the provided prompts.
These prompts work well in independent writing station.
We also write to describe the snowmen using a the second set of prompts.
After using these, my students have all the tools they need 
to write some awesome informative writing.

 Some of additional activities we use are here.
We have an ABC writing activity, comparing numbers activity and printable
and an ABC order printable
All of these can and will be used during my Daily 5 stations this week.
And I know my principal will be able to see many of them in action!
{I think my eval has to last 40 minutes.}

By the end of the week, I have planned for us to use the book
Snowmen at Night to guide our learning.
 We have this FUN FUN FUN 
Reading Comprehension Game 
with 27 comprehension question and answers.

This is a class favorite.
My students RUN to this station at Daily 5.
And I laugh because I know how many great
reading comprehension standards this GAME covers.
My TA mans this game station.

And I will man this writing station.
We have a large variety of activities to choose from.
I will doing some causal assessments of my students' needs this week,
 then make a decision on what area they need to work on Thursday afternoon
for our Daily 5 time on Friday.

We can do a comparing activity, a name three things about the book 
{which could be characters, activities, or ordering events), 
a beginning, middle, or end writing prompt, or open ended writing prompts

Many times I mix and match these to ensure all my students are learning what they need to be learning.
And we all know kinders can always use lots of help with writing.

Snowmen are fun.
And thanks to Frozen...
Olaf is the most popular snowman I know.
So I was OVERJOYED when I saw this FUN idea...

It was marketed to me as a way cooler version of that creepy elf.
{That elf's eyes freak me out... just saying.}
And when I got the book I was pleased to read it wasn't Christmas or holiday based.
It seems to actually be a little more like a fun hide and seek game to play at home.
Well, lets fix that!
I am going to use this as a motivating game in my classroom.

So... Olaf is making his appearance in my classroom on Tuesday morning.
He will be hidden and none of the kids will know where he is.
The book is very general, which helps in some ways.

Here is my idea. 

I wanted to plan a specific way to use this Olaf 
as a Classroom Management tool in my room. 

My solution?
An AWESOME freebie to help you find 
and positive students in your own classroom. 

 When I read this book to my class, THIS letter from Olaf will "fall" out of the back of the book.

 This note gives my class an idea of what Olaf is looking for in his friends.
I plan to give this note to my weekly star student to start the game.
THAT STUDENT gets to find Olaf, who will be hiding in the classroom.
Once the star student finds him, that students gets to keep Olaf with him all day.

Yes, I know this won't be perfect, but it will be FUN.
And I know it will encourage the behaviors I want to be seeing in my classroom.
And the students who earn the right to hug Olaf all day 
are the ones who deserve something a little more fun.

And my idea isn't to use Olaf to reward those who are the BEST behaved...
but those who are kind, thoughtful, and positive.

I made some fun printable encouraging note for those that try so hard, 
but don't get to hug on Olaf that day.
I will print these and have them cut out and on hand to place on desks 
of those kind, thoughtful, and positive students. 

I also made a printable card that you can write in great student efforts to give them too!
They are the white ones in the back.
Please customize these with specific great acts "Olaf" sees through the school day. 

Olaf leaves the note for ONE new friend to find everyday.
But that friend has to FIND Olaf.
{I am thinking of having my friends who got Olaf to sign the back of the note each day too.
 So they leave Olaf and the note behind at the end of the day.}

You can also have Olaf hidden and watching your students all morning long,
but not giving out the note until after lunch.
Do whatever works for you and your needs.

I also wanted a way to encourage the class as a whole.
So there are two additional classroom note to encourage the class.
One is from Anna and the other from Elsa.

When the class earns these notes, they also get prizes. 
Elsa encourages the class to build snowmen so she will bring classroom supplies as a gift.
It is very general, so you can bring whatever supplies you can to your students.
Instant snow, real snow for those cold weather friends, or whatever else you think of. 
Anna bring a little class snack of her favorite treat... CHOCOLATE.

You can grab your Hide-and- Hug Olaf Here...


 I hope you LOVE this freebie.
I hope your students LOVE hiding and hugging Olaf too. 

Lastly, I hope you also take a peek at these snowman packs as well.

January 17, 2015

Center Saturday

Welcome to a weekly post where I show you and
 tell you all about my weekly math centers.

  have 5-6 math centers to practice those skills 
we have been learning about and building our knowledge about each week.
I encourage them to work on two centers a day, 
hopefully allowing them to complete all their centers before Thursday.
{This gives me time to review and help those who need additional help on Thursday and Friday.
When my students complete their work centers, they are allowed to play.}

And you can always check out more of my Center Saturday posts here.

My yellow table hosted this FUN 100's chart.
There are 5 different versions for my students to find the missing number and place it in their chart.
Here is a close up of one of the chart.
 This was made by Evan Moor from one of their Envelope center packs.

Our orange center was this cool coin counting activity.
I took a pack of penguin notepads which contained a 50 count of papers.
I tore them off, and divided them into 5 groups.
For each group of 10 papers, I added an amount using a different color marker.
Then I laminated them.
One set of penguins has the amounts written in red
while another has the amounts written in blue.
I place these penguins and a container of real coins at the station.
My students take the coins and make the number on the penguin.
This friend is loving using pennies to make her amounts. 

 When I check her work, I will encourage her to trade out ten pennies for a dime.
She probably already knows how to do this, but isn't comfortable doing it on her own just yet. 

This set of penguins has another color marker and therefore different amounts.
This set is slightly harder.
This friend is past counting just pennies and is able to count using dimes as 10s and pennies as ones.

I strongly feel that we should be teaching our little ones about money in Kindergarten.
My own kinder loves to count money and loves to buy things on her own.
Plus, this is another way we practice making sets with tens and ones

Red table was another huge hit. 
It was THE favorite center this week from my 
 So check out the walrus counting activity.

This activity has an answer sheet and 11 cards.
My students count the ten frame, then match the letter on the card to the letter on the answer sheet.http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Arctic-Animal-Unit-191611

Here is what the completed activity looks like. 

 Our blue table was home to these FUN snowman comparing sets.

 There were several different sets of snowman cards as well. 

One little learner insisted on doing ALL the snowmen sets.
Each set had different numbers, and yes, the numbers on these cards are LARGE.
Once we develop our number sense, these activities are actual just as easy for us to complete. 

Our last center was the green table.
enjoyed their NUTTY  ten frames.
 We do these often to practice lots of different ways to make these numbers, 
like making sets of tens and ones.

Plus, using these activities over and over again help my students
get faster and more confident with their answers.
These activities also make amazing evidence in SST folders.
I made this into a two sided copy.
And everyone had to complete both sides.
We had easier centers this week because our Winter Animal unit involved lots of artwork,
which could threaten some of our center time if it ran over.
We also had a special even on Friday during center time.
I try to take these factors into consideration so I can set my students up for center time success.

These are the units I pulled from this week. 

I wish you all great center time success...