Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Interactive notebooks-math

I have shared my love for interactive notebooks in poetry, so now I'll share how I have become attached to them in math.
Math is and needs to be a very hands on subject for young children.  I would only use these notebooks after a hands on activity and as an added resource for children to look at.

I started to make my own math notebook pages that matched the TEKS but still had a bit of fun in them.  I love all the great people on Teacher Pay Teacher that make clip art.  I have been able to take their art ability and use it to make notebook pages more fun.  I only use black and white clip art to save on ink and to make copies clear.  I have loved making these math notebook pages.

Numbers 1-5 if free at TPT

Math Notebook Numbers 1-5
Since I am now teaching K,1, and 2 math, I have found as I learn a new TEK,  I can easily make a new notebook page to introduce it to my classes.  I hope as I get better at using the program the pages will become more creative and interactive.

This fraction math notebook unit is fun and free.  Who doesn't like pizza.  This notebook activity is set up to be a cooperative learning activity.  The kids do the first activity with their group.  Then as a class you talk about it.  They go back to their group and learn about the next fraction.
Math notebook fractions pizza

Play dough mats for second graders?  Yes!  These older kids never get to play with play dough, but these mats help them practice the array technique for multiplying.  Even older kids need kenesthetic activities.  Just print and laminate and give them play dough.  Right now there are only 2's and 3's facts, but as I do more, I will add them to the stack.  So purchase them for $1.00 now before more are added and the price goes up.  If you purchase now, you will always be able to download and get the new mats.
Sweet Treats playdough arrays

I am now working on a more and less than unit that introduces the alligator technique. I will include a station game too.  So keep and eye on my store if you teach more and less with the symbol.

Math notebook more or less plus center
I will do future I will be posting other centers that I find that go along with the math notebook pages.  I love using centers, lessons, and notebooks to build that firm foundation of the TEK.  So follow me or have my posts emailed to you.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Empowering children through names

Children come to school with one important word in their mind.  Each child has a unique name and it brings ownership and self pride when you use there names.  It also helps children learn each other's name and builds a community.  

This is why starting with their names as the first letters and words they learn is so important.
 I always start everything with the child's name

Word Work center-previous post with lots of fun ideas
Art center- invisible name

Label-label everything with their name, point out their names as you walk down the hallway

Say it- Add their names to poems, fingerplays, and games.

 Here in a previous post, I made Name Stick Puzzles for all the children in my child's class.

Letter work center-
Rowdy in Room 300 has this free printable you can use with letter pasta, magnetic letters,letter beads, or any other manipulatives you can find.

This could also be used with your sensory tub that is filled with beans, rice, shredded paper or whatever.  Add letter for children to sort.

What about the older kids?
You can use their names too.  collect words that start like your name or end  the same.  I have made their names with bubble letters and they decorated them as decoration in the classroom. 

I will be using their names to do math. 
 This worksheet will be great for first and second graders at the beginning of the year.

Or what about graphing our names.  Kids love graphing.  It would be a great time to measure and graph them also.  It makes for a great keepsake for the end of the year.

Here is another one that compares names.

I can't wait to find out the names of my new kidos.
Do you do something special with their names?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Math and Science Centers

     Because we have been so focused on teaching our children to read at such a young age, I think we do not do enough math or science with our young children.  There are days, while subbing in a class, that I have seen no science and only a cut and paste worksheet for math.  Just as we teach pre-reading skills we also need to teach pre-math skills.  The skills necessary for adding and subtracting and figuring out word problems don't start in first grade.  Unlike letters, left to right, one to one corespondence, math skills come more natural to young children.  Also the math skills we teach, such as one to one correspondence, patterning, and trial and error, are some of the same skills needed in reading.

     Therefore, I believe we need to offer more than just practice counting to our students.  I have chosen to split up my reading centers from my math centers to give the same amount of focus on pre-math as pre-reading.  This will give multiple opportunities and address multiple skills throughout the day.  Most of these centers do not need there own special table or area.  I put some out and call them table toys.  Other centers need there own defined area like the light table or sensory tub.

     My math centers are presented below with many wonderful links of great ideas I want to introduce to my kids.  Please visit them.  If you have a fun math center activity, please share the link.  I would love some new ideas.

Math related printables

Construction-Rotate types of blocks to keep kids interested.  Keep some materials always available such as cars and people.

Playdough-  can be used with number cookie cutters or mats  also could use as game to add apples to trees or eggs to nest

Here are some neat recipes for playdo

Sensory table-  Made for exploring materials by using mainly your hands and by using your hands you can use other senses and explore (pouring) measuring, language, sharing. 
This site does a good job explaining why sensory play is important.
You can learn how to make your own sensory table at Teach Preschool.
remember when making a sensory tub to have atleast 2 inches of materials and enough extras to provide each child with one or more.  Remember it takes time to explore these skills, sometimes a child will pour something 100 times before they are willing to give up the item, so this center is not recommended to use as one to teach sharing, it just happens when they want something new, they might trade but probably wont take turns.  Children need to be reminded to keep the materials in the tub and to pic them off the floor when they do fall.  if you find children taking something out to play with it somewhere else, you should provide another one to play with. dont confuse the sensory tub with a place to provide a game- such as fishing game in water. Children need to use their hands to explore.
beans, rice(slippery), pasta rocks, shells, water, fake snow I found these cute plastic buldozer type car, real snow, easter eggs, easter grass, ice with salt, sand (slipppery), fake leaves
Things to include: scoops, tonges, measuring cup (i also use laundry detergent lids), turkey baster, egg beater, toys magnifying glasses
Here is something called cloud dough.  It looks like a good substitution for moon dough.
here are some cute ones to look at and each of these sites usually do a monthly sensory bin you can look at others they've made
space theme i love the shiny pasta.

rainbow garden its bright and uplifting

flower garden to this one you could add colored cups to encourage sorting

Another cute one.

Here are some other ideas for sensory tubs.

Here are some amazing and colorful sensory tubs.

If you have one you would like to share please leave your site on the comments section.  I love to see how creative people can be.

Science table

Number work

great number work

Fun and good for fine motor

This is cute, but I would use dots and numbers.

Fraction felt pieces- math is more than just numbers.  Introducing other concepts such as fractions is simple as this.


Katherine Marie Photography popsicle stick coin match craft
Neat popscicle stick game

cute tray ideas related to math plus more

Here are some cute coin sheets.

Here are some neat math center activities

Here is a cute coin caterpillar

Here are cute poems to go with the coins

Light Table
make your own light table or less find directions at Teach Preschool and then look at how she made light table disks.

Here is another mini version light table which might be more appropriate in the older grades.  If I could find one of these containers I would make one this size, maybe two.

ideas for light table including a cool Christmas tree

Pattern work

Patterning with Easter eggs

patterning on the pocket chart and other patterning fun.

Patterning doesn't need to be in a straight line.  You could find patterns everywhere.  What kind of pattern does your floor have.

sorting & graphing- one leads to the other

Sorting is natural for children.  We give children stuff to sort so that they can make comparisons which they will need to do later when adding and subtracting.

Graphing is the next step.  This is a process that makes comparing easier and is a skills some kids need lots of guidance.  This is why you start our with lined graphs that just need to be filled in.  Once children get the concept, they  can graph almost anything.  Then, we need to teach them to interpret data from the graph. 

Here  is the cutest colorful shape sorting printables and a colored paintbrush sorting file folder game.

colored egg sorting

january 0809 - 31
ask for milk lids and sort

easy to make clothspin matching, good for fine motor
 sorting color car mat

Tips for graphing

Graphing on the tray and other tray activities.

I like this way of graphing

back to school stuff spin graphing game

What a great idea for graphing numbers or all kinds of games

Geometry and shapes-

I love these magnetic shapes, the large pan is neat too.

puzzle box storage
I love this.

Here is a neat way to make magnetic puzzles out of pictures or old calendar pictures

here is a neat way to make a wooden puzzle more personal


Neat center ideas

Mrs. Miner's kindergarten has a cute idea.  Using a digital frame to show site words.  It would work with letters, numbers, words, or anything you want your kids to recognize.  She has her kids read, spell or write the words they see.  I think I would like to try it as a bingo game.  Children could stamp or cover up the symbol as they see it.

I love these math stations from Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business freebies

Differentiated Instruction, guest post on prek and sharing has printables for using nature in your centers.

No Time for Flashcards has a fun way to I spy letters  or anything maybe on a school walk or read around the room.

I like this idea from Kindergarten Crayons for a word work station, but I might have to adapt it a little for my kids.

Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational (such a great name)  has a fun game that will get kids up and moving and keep them thinking with very little supplies.  I am definately doing this one.

D I Y letter tiles
You'll love all the ways Classroom DIY has used these.

Make Take Teach has a free printable to go with this cute glass bead rhyming game.  I have made these and the kids love them.  My magnets did not stick very well and fell off some.

This kindergarten teacher has some great literacy center ideas.

New Teacher Begins

To begin again.

Each year teachers all over the country begin a new year in hopes of bringing the best education to a group of children.  We decorate rooms, move furniture, prepare lessons with a big smile.  As a teacher,  all I ever wanted to do is give children a positive belief in themselves and learning.  It has become difficult to do that.  All the pressure from standardized testing has been pushed completely through all levels of education.  Kindergarten included.  They need to be reading fluently or their is something wrong with you as a teacher or with the kid.  The 5 year old who just wants to please their teacher.  No matter how rediculous or inappropriate or boring the task is.  They aim to please.

Well I refuse to push kids so hard, they want to cry.  I want to encourage not enforce learning.  I will begin again with the belief that every child I see, deserves what I want to give them.  

I will push creativity and joy of learning.

I will show you.