Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Math Unit 1: Numbers 0-5

The first month of school we worked on the following:

Count to 100 by ones and by tens.

Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.

Count to answer "how many?" questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects.

Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).

Here are some of the hands-on activities we did!

1. We played Count Around the Circle. This is a simple game where we sit in a circle and pass a ball around while taking turns counting. I say 1, the next student says 2, etc. We start out just going around once, but by the end of the year, we get to 100 pretty quickly.

2. We wrote the numbers 1, 2, and 3, and glued craft pompoms onto them for number recognition.

3. We created our own number cards from 1-10.

4. We made a counting fish song chart like this one I found on Pinterest.

5. We danced and sung along to the counting songs by Have Fun Teaching. Another favorite Count-to-100 video is Let's Get Fit.

6. We made our own 10 Black Dots class book.

7. We also made a class number book with tissue paper squares.

8. We played 10 Frame BINGO, available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

9. We played NCTM's 10 Frame Game on our SMART Board. First, as a whole group, and later, as an independent center.

10. We used crayon to write the numbers 1-10, and then painted over it with watercolor.

11. We practiced writing the numbers 1-10 on whiteboards while saying the Number Writing Chants.

12. We rainbow wrote the numbers. Kids who needed more practice spent some extra time with me and a whiteboard.

15. We read and acted out counting books, like Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Art Education

"Every child is an artist." ~Pablo Picasso

Open-ended art is one area in which ALL children can learn to feel confident and successful. With all the pushing down of curriculum, our poor incredible kiddos who can't meet the standards "on time" are left feeling down about themselves and school. We're killing their attitude toward learning!

One of my solutions this year is ART. Everybody loves art! I picked up this book this summer and didn't put it down until I had typed up lesson plans for all the activities.

This beautiful book is available through Amazon (click the picture for a link). The more of these activities we do, the more I see the benefits! For example, some of my boys hate writing, but when it was time for messy charcoal or pastels, they went nuts! GREAT fine motor practice!

So far, we've learned to use oil pastels, soft pastels, hard pastels, charcoal, scratchboards, q-tips and black tempera!

In addition to fine motor, here are just a few more of the benefits of doing more art in the classroom:

    Shape and Color
    Following Directions
    Using New Vocabulary (A Common Core Standard!)
    A Positive Attitude Toward Learning!

Here's a great article if you'd like to read more!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hands On Alphabet

One of my goals this year has been to try to eliminate worksheets. One area it just seems unavoidable is in meeting the Common Core standard L.K.1a: Printing Letters. Here's how I've been doing it.

1. We get together in the circle area and say the letter formation poem, that I get from this great website. We do this while drawing the letter in the air with our fingers.

2. I model how to make the letter with a novel manipulative. Then they try.

3. Finally, they work on their letter either on a whiteboard or on a workpage. Manipulating the letter before writing it seems to make a huge difference!

We've started doing the same with sight words as well. Below, the kids are working on THE with playdough and LITTLE with shaving cream.

And if you'd like a complete list of the manipulatives I use, and the work pages I've created, go to my TpT page, where I have the entire unit posted:

Teachers Pay Teachers

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Blueberry Playdough!

To conclude our tundra studies, we made blueberry dyed playdough today in class!

We had a ton of fun, and there was so much math (measurement) and new vocabulary involved.

We used the wonderful recipe from The Imagination Tree. The only thing we changed is that we did not microwave and strain the berries. I just had the kiddos mash them up in a plastic bag and dump them in.

Smashing them was way more fun!

We worked in groups of three so that everybody had a turn to do something. The first group smashed the berries, the second group added the flour and salt, etc.

After mixing, I added the boiling water, let cool, and then we kneaded. Wal-lah, blueberry playdough!

It turned out better than I expected, and surprisingly, doesn't turn your hands purple!