Video segment about me, by the school district

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Last Minute Thanksgiving Ideas

I really can't believe that Thanksgiving is already here!  This year has just gone so incredibly fast.  With that said, this morning I was making and gathering up all of my Thanksgiving work and realized that I could share these ideas with all of you.

To start off with, I posted a carousel at the top of this post with six delightful books that all capture the meaning of Thanksgiving in some way.  Thanksgiving Day by Anne Rockwell is going to be very helpful for me to read to my kindergarten students, because it talks about the first Thanksgiving.  I haven't found many books that discuss this topic in an age-appropriate manner.  I also like this book because it shows pictures of Native Americans, pilgrims, the Mayflower, etc. in a kid-friendly way.  Students in a class are acting out the story.

My students lately have been asking me how to spell words when they're doing writing projects, so I thought I would make a Thanksgiving Folder specifically for next week.  This folder is like my "Things I Can Read" Writing Folder and my Fantasy Folder that I already had up on TPT.  It sells for $1.00 and has three different writing prompts added to it.  I make these folders because it allows the kids to be totally independent.  I read them their writing prompt and they can go and write completely by themselves at their tables while I'm working with another reading group.  I love it when they can work independently!

Some fabulous songs that I use at this time of year are

"Friends and Family" by Jack Hartmann:  The children do a little drum beat and sing to this one
"Tommy Turkey" by Mar Harmon:  This song is SO cute - the kids get to shake their tail feathers as they dance and sing
"Going on a Turkey Hunt" by Mister Q:  This song and dance is very similar to "Going on a Bear Hunt", and my kids beg for it every day in November
"Five Fat Turkeys" by Francyl Gawryn:  A really cute subtraction song
"Five Little Turkeys" by Bill & Tammy:  This is a nice rhyming song that counts up using ordinal numbers

I made these turkey number lines so the children could move their fingers along the number lines as they're singing the last two songs in the list:
Number Response Strips Turkey

For guided reading next week, I'm going to be using this book.  It's really for my high kids; they're ready for more kindergarten sight words.  My low group is still struggling with letters.
Where is My Turkey 2

In math, to keep with the turkey theme, I'm going to be doing this number fill-in-the-gap paper using turkeys.
Number Fill in the Gaps Turkeys 1 to 15

I would really enjoy hearing about what you all are doing for Thanksgiving, and if you are using any special materials.  Please leave a comment below.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Comparing Numbers and Amounts

"Five Creatures" by Emily Jenkins

I recently did a math lesson for my principal to observe, based on the following three goals.

1. The students will compare two numbers using sets and 1:1 correspondence, and be able to explain and express the relationship verbally, through pictures, and in writing.
2. The students will analyze a number line to find out if written numerals are in correct sequential order.
3. The students will use deductive reasoning as they problem-solve scenarios in books related to "more" and "less".

The first two goals were specifically math content goals.  The third one was a literature goal integrating the math concept.

During language arts, we read the book Five Creatures by Emily Jenkins.  This was a great book for several reasons.  It lent itself really well to using the vocabulary words "more" and "fewer".  For example, on one page it said that there were three humans and two cats.  So I would ask the students "Were there more humans or more cats?"  On another page, it said four of them liked fish and one did not, so I asked "Did fewer of the creatures like fish, or more?"

I started off the math lesson by having the children look at the Visualizer, which had number lines that were each incorrect in some way.  The students had to turn-and-talk and figure out what was wrong with the number line, and then we discussed their ideas.  This worked really well.  Here are the number lines that I used.

Number Lines Missing

One of the next things we did was to use this "Number of the Day" poster to practice writing our numerals:

"Number of the Day" poster
We all wrote the numbers with dry erase markers on individual whiteboards as the "Number of the Day" student wrote them on the poster.  That way, the children had a model to go by.

Since Common Core focuses much more on numbers, I think it's important that my students know how to identify numerals, count, match quantities, and understand how amounts look on ten frames.  Our county's module assessments also incorporate ten frames, so I made these books to help the children have a frame of reference so that when they saw the question on the test, they wouldn't be confused.

My Ten Frame Book 2

My Ten Frame Book 3

For differentiation purposes, I made two levels of books.  I used the first book with my lower students who still need to match numerals with amounts.  The second book was used with my students who do understand matching numerals with amounts and are now ready to compare numbers.

We also played a game with large flip-circles (yellow and red) on a giant ten frame mat.

Single Ten Frame
Double Ten Frame

I used the back of a Twister mat to make the ten frames sturdy and durable enough for the children to crawl on.  This game can be played in several different ways, depending on the level of your students.  I had children place flip-circles on the ten frame with some red-face-up and some yellow-face-up.  Then they had to tell me which color had more, which color had less, and how they knew that.  For a variation, we played "Are there more squares empty or are there more squares filled?"  That was a little tougher.  We've also started doing addition with problems such as "If you have five red flip-circles and you want ten, how many yellow flip-circles have to go on the board?"  This game is mostly for my high group, which is composed of eight kindergarten kids.

I found a real treasure at Really Good Stuff.  They're ten-frame dry-erase boards that are magnetic, and you can purchase flip-circles that are also magnetic.  I think these are fab for any pre-k, k, or 1st grade classroom.

Magnetic Ten Frame Boards from Really Good Stuff
Please let me know what you are doing to compare numbers.  I'd love to hear what you think of these ideas. Also if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in a comment.