Monday, September 30, 2013

Daily Math Routines Board

Since our curriculum not longer has any calendar standards in it I had to redo my calendar board and make into a daily math routines board. Here is what I finally ended up with.

All of the following daily routines that I have chosen for the board came from the book Number Sense Routines, Every Day Counts, and Melissa from Joyful Learning in KC. 

How Many Days? With Ten-Frames- We color in a dot each day we are in school. Once we fill a frame we move it to the tens. I used to do this activity with straws, but then I read Melissa's post about changing her straw collection to ten frames because they make a better visual for her young mathematicians. This made perfect sense to me so I decided to switch over too. (from Joyful Learning in KC

The Number Grid and Counting the Days in School- Use a number grid or hundreds chart to keep track of the number of days in school. Post the number grid then have the students move a circle (I created a frame using a Post-it note) to the next number each day. (from Number Sense Routines)

Manipulatives and Counting the Days in School- Add one pop cube or unifix cube to the "Counting to 100" bucket each day. The idea behind this is that eventually kindergartners will start to organize the pop cubes into sticks of ten as they play with and construct the beginning understandings of unitizing. (from Number Sense Routines)

In addition to adding a pop cube for each day of school (which eventually emphasizes our power of ten system), students also add one rock to a large, clear jar for each day we are in school. This gives a visual of the day's amount. Students can watch it grow and get heavier. Seeing physical amounts on a daily basis helps students further their sense of specified amounts. (from Number Sense Routines)

Today's Number or Number of the Week- This routine helps students expand their thinking about any given number in relation to different situations and scenarios. Pick a number and ask a variety of questions about it. For example: When is 10 big? When is 10 small?When is 10 a lot? When is 10 a little? For time and preparation sake I am doing a number of the week rather than a number of the day. (from Number Sense Routines) You can get small number sense anchor charts like the one I have posted for the number 5 here

Choral counting- is counting aloud a number sequence as a whole class. This allows children to hear and participate in the counting sequence without being put on the spot. Right now we are counting to 30. Eventually we will work up to counting to 100. (from Number Sense Routines)

Count Around the Circle- is a routine that involves whole-class participation with each child saying a number as your count around the circle. To begin, choose a counting sequence, for example: we are currently counting by 1's to 30. (from Number Sense Routines)

The Ten Wand- This is a way for students to become automatic with the combinations of amounts that total ten. The ten wand is made of 5 unifix cubes of one color and 5 unifix cubes of another color. Then ten wand can be "tricky" and it breaks easily. Students can see that the wand breaks differently each time but always has 10 cubes when the wand is put back together. (from Number Sense Routines)

Quick Image Dot Cards- These are pictures of quantities organized in such a way to encourage students to use, enhance, and build on their subitizing abilities. Show dot cards quickly while students name to the quantity shown. The Number Sense Routines book says it is important to use a variety of models for this routine. For example: Use dot cards for three days and dominoes for two days. (from Number Sense Routines)

The Counting Tape- Use a linear model to count the days in school. I used 10 sentence strips. I cut squares out of 10 different colors of construction paper. Add one square to the counting tape each day. Ask questions such as What number comes next? How do you know? What will the next yellow number be? How do you know/ What do you notice about our counting tape? (from Every Day Counts)

The Counting Jar- Put a set of objects into the counting jar. Have students visit the jar throughout the count and count the number of objects in it. Then have them make a set of their own and record what they found out. Read more about how to introduce and use the counting jar here. (from Investigations)

Here is a video of a teacher using the counting jar in her kindergarten classroom. 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

More Properties of Apples

Earlier this week I posted about exploring properties of matter and learning about mass you can check out those posts for more background on those concepts. Here is how we finished out the week.

We used primary balances to explore mass. I gave each table a balance, a small can of play doh, and some type of counter. I modeled again how to use the balance and how to take turns. Then I had my students work in a small group to place counters on the balance and balance the counters and the play doh. I had planned to have my students explore mass using several different objects during this lessons, but understanding how to balance the two sets of objects proved to be rather difficult for them so we ended up only using the play doh can.

We revisited properties of matter, this time focusing on color. I sent a note home with my students earlier in the week asking them to bring a apple. Each child was assigned a specific color of apple to bring. We sorted our apples by color. Then we changed out the real apples for picture representations of them. 

This activity was more for our fine motor skills than for science. We still need lots of fine motor work! I found these super cute apples from First Grade Blue Skies. You can check out the rest of Jennifer's apple week plans here

Friday, September 27, 2013

Halloween Book Countdown

I found this idea on Pinterest last year, but it was after Halloween so it was too late to use it. I loved the idea though so I have pulled it out to use this year. I have already pulled all of my books and gotten my bucket ready.

This idea came from simply kierste and can be found in her Countdown to Halloween blog post. Just for the fun of reading we are going to countdown the days till Halloween by reading a fun Halloween read aloud every school day until Halloween. This is a picture of Kierste's book bucket from her post.

My Halloween Book Countdown List








Digging Deeper With CAFE/Daily Five and Characters

Here is my weekly daily five/CAFE update...

This week we focused on characters and on the CAFE strategy "retelling a story using the characters". We also added the strategy "recognizing sight words since" we have started adding words to our word wall. 

We used the book Crazy Day at the Critter Cafe this week to talk more in depth about the CAFE menu and how we are going to use it to become better readers. We compared it to the menus they see at places like McDonalds or Chick-fil-a and how sometimes they might want nuggets, fries, and a drink and other times they may just want fries. It is the same with reading strategies- sometimes we use more that one at a time to figure out how to read a word and other times we use just one. 
Every day when I start the comprehension piece of my CAFE/daily five block I get up and physically touch and point to the CAFE wall. I review past strategies we have learned as well as the new ones we are working on. I physically go to the wall every time I am trying to point out a specific strategy. I do not just refer to the board. I physically walk to it and touch it. 

To help us learn about characters, I used lessons from Kim Adsit's reader's workshop unit Digging Deeper
We learned what characters are and what they can do. Then we made an anchor chart to help us remember what we learned. We did not get to the lesson on making connections to the characters yet, so we will add that point to our chart next week. 
We learned that characters can talk and that when characters talk we call it dialogue. We learned that you can tell when characters are talking because their words are in speech bubbles or quotation marks. Jan Thomas books are great for showing your students about speech bubbles. We read the book Here comes the big, mean dust bunny! for this lesson. 

Swim! Swim! by Lerch is also a great book that uses speech bubbles. Kids love this book!
We learned that characters can change their voices to show how they are thinking or feeling. We pretended to be the characters in the book and we practiced changing our voices. We also learned that we sequence characters to retell a story. We used pictures of the characters to retell Chicken Little.  

We read The Three Little Pigs. This time we made a list of the characters to retell the story. We used interactive writing to write our list. Then we made pigs by cutting lots of corners and rounding. We are finally starting to get better at cutting!!
We worked on describing characters by paying close attention to what they look like and what they do. I had to work at getting them to think beyond "bird". They got there though. 
I begin my CAFE/daily five block with a read aloud. This is the comprehension part of the CAFE mini-lesson structure. The character work we did this week was also part of this time and in some cases part of our writing time too. During my accuracy and fluency time I am doing activities that center around letters, sounds, nouns, compound words, rhyming, and word wall work. Here is one reading activity we did this week during fluency time. We used the reader from Kim Adsit's Five Speckled Frogs unit to work on the word wall words "like" and "to". My students worked in pairs and used magnetic letters to make the words "like" and "to" on each page. Then they used their "reading super powers" to read the rest of the text. The idea for "our reading super powers" came from Mrs. Jones Kindergarten and Everything Primary

We are doing lots of elbow partner talk. I try to "lean and tell" or "turn and talk" at least once each morning. Our anchor chart came from Kim Adsit's Blasting Off With Reader's Workshop unit. 

We are still working to build stamina. On good days we are up to 5 minutes and on bad days we are down to 3 minutes. My students are getting their book boxes and choosing where they want to read now. I am using popsicle sticks to call my students to get their boxes and choose a spot to read so that everyone gets a turn at going first and getting one of the "prime" reading spots in the room.