Friday, January 30, 2015

Shine Your Little Light On . . .

I am so happy to introduce one of the nicest, sweetest and most generous bloggers I know to you all.  She is my classroom, techie go-to person, and her blog name 'Sharing Kindergarten' says it all.  She's here today to offer you a sweet Freebie and to tell you all about how she teaches her sweet kinders about 'lights and shadows.'  I am happy to call her my friend.  Please welcome Mary Amoson.
Hi Sweet Kinder Friends!
This is 


I am beyond thrilled to be guest blogging with you today to chat about
 Lights and Shadows science lessons that will turn Groundhogs Day
 into one of your favorite weeks of the entire year.

 Let's get going to chat about some science explorations fun...
and YES there is a freebie involved.

This week's lesson plans are broken down into 5 days...
Day 1- What is Light?
Day 2- What Does Light Look Like?
Day 3- What is a Shadow?
Day 4- What Makes a Shadow?
Day 5- Discovering Lights and Shadows

And all the lesson plans are written out for you will book suggestions 
and reminders about materials needed.

 Plus, this unit has a TONS of Printable Activities and Playable Games.

We started the week writing down what we THINK about light.
Nothing is wrong here from the minds of these
 I am picking their brains and seeing what THEY think about light.

These are the student printable to use with Day 1 and 2.

 Once we learn about what light is...
we refer back to chart to correct our incorrect thinking.

 On day two we really talk a lot about what light looks like...
because we actually don't KNOW what light looks like.
We start the lesson by writing and drawing a picture of what we THINK light looks like.

Again, we follow our plans and use MAGIC GLASSES to diffuse the light.
 This allows us to SEE what light really looks like... 
It is like truly looking into the minds of my
I always video the moment my students close their eyes, put on the glasses, 
and then open their eyes to SEE the colors lights make.
It is awesome.

Check out some of work showing what we learned about light in two days.

And this is an older version of the pack before I updated it...

I could easily see a teacher using this idea to create a STEM lesson how to make magic glasses or something to diffuse the light as well... just throwing it out there.

We also talk about sources of light...
or things that give us light.

This is usually pretty easy for kinders.
But kinders NEED to play with science ideas.

So I made a fun 20 Questions game.
{And it is FREE by clicking here.}
There are 10 sources of light cards and a mat.
One student puts on the headband and gets a card placed in it.
They don't know what card they have.

They use the mat to ask their classmates questions to
figure out what image they have on their headband.
I love this game for asking and answering questions as well as higher order thinking skills.

But, I have to warn you that your students WILL love this game so much, 
you will need to prep two of these for your class.

Since I always include Science and Social Studies into my Daily 5,
I had to make some sorts and ABC order printables.

Once we know all about light,
we have to investigate shadows.
{That groundhog is popping out of his burrow soon!}

And that means I have to cover up light from entering my room.
get excited every time we do a pocket chart sorting activity like this 
Shadow and No Shadow activity

We these cards we "predict" what objects will make shadows and which will not.
Then we pull out flashlights and as similar objects as we can find in the classroom 
to test our predictions out.
Remember kinders NEED to play with science ideas.

Check out these PERFECT shadow printables.

There is a matching science chart to write down their shadow predictions and results.
Can you see it on the left of this picture?
We also have some writing prompts and cut and sorts. 

One game I made sure to add was this...
 Object and Shadow matching.
I know Prek students would love it, 
it would make a fantastic memory game,
but I really made it to help my class pick partners.

Well, I print out all the cards and make sure I have a card for everyone.
{If we have an odd number of students, I play too! 
Woo Hoo!}

I hand out the cards and we all hide them so no one can see our cards. 
And we stand up.
On the count of three we look for our matching partner to do our shadow testing with!
Any way to add learning and an element of fun calls to me...
and my students.

All these ideas and printables can be found here...

 But I want you stop by my blog
by clicking {here}

to grab even more Lights and Shadows ideas...

like using a cheap LIGHT TABLE to learn with...
Shadow Dancing...
and more!

And don't forget to grab you FREEBIE 20 Question's Game.

Thanks for sharing, Mary!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Differentiated Kindergarten Winter Math Fun

Winter math activities (Ok, let's be honest, any math stations really . . . )are my favorite, because it just feels so much like game play to me and to my students.  I know that many of you worry about accountability with math stations in your classrooms, but I really believe that if the expectations are laid out, students understand what they need to do and use this time to practice, because, let's face it, it's fun.  And, when they don't, well they get to do not-so-fun stuff like writing their numbers from 1-100.  It only takes a couple of times of doing that, and they quickly know that it's better to use the materials and activities as intended rather than goofing off.  This time is really all about practicing their math skills, not producing a product necessarily.  Oh sure, there are times that I will throw in a printable recording sheet with an activity, but as a norm, I prefer them use dry erase markers and laminated sheets.  I can still monitor their activities with these as needed, and it means a lot less paperwork.

So I thought I'd give you an idea of just a few of things we are doing in math right now.  You can click on any of the pictures to get more information on them if you'd like.

kindergarten math freebie

Ice fishing is a favorite in my class, and the best part is that it can be used for basically any skill.  For math I just happen to have a freebie for you to use.  All you need is a box, some white paper, some rods, string, magnets and either paper clips or brads to put on the ends.  Wa-la!  An ice fishing game!

Make sure you pick it up. (Just click the picture above.) It's free for goodness sakes. I promise your kids will love it.

kindergarten math stations

Self-correcting, independent centers are always part of my word work and math stations.  This differentiated math one has a several levels for addition and subtraction.  Students write the equation . . .

 winter math stations

and figure out the answer.  Then they open the card to see if they did it correctly.  I can hear, "I did it"  throughout the class.  It's music to my ears.  It's part of my Winter Sports Math Stations Galore pack.

kindergarten math

Number and addition Yatta is a stations that can go basically anywhere.  It's super simple to differentiate, and I love that my kinders police each other.  You have to complete the problem and be the first to find the answer, touch it and say 'Yatta.'  If you do, you win the playing card.  You'll notice that the playing mat has blue and orange tape on it.  This tells my friends who have an orange or blue math name tag that this is the mat that they use.  Colors change all the time but they always know which tiered activities they should be using with this color system.  This is also an item from Winter Sports Math Stations Galore.

 differentiated math stations

An oldie but a goodie, bump is so versatile and easy to differentiate.  This one from Winter Sports Math Stations Galore is for 2 dice and there is another is that pack for 3 dice, but I  also a spinner version in our spinner pack that works with doubles.  

kindergarten math

Non-standard measurement is one place where I often use printable recording sheets so that students can color the items and then use the back to measure other items in our classroom.  

non-standard measurement

By the time they have used a couple of these stations, they are ready and anxious to try out rulers like the 'big kids.'  This item is from Winter Sports Math Galore.

kindergarten math
I have many many many (did I mention I have many) kinesthetic learners in my class which means I am never without a write the room activity in either math or word work.  This set is tiered for students who are still working on number recognition to 20, plus there are tiered levels for addition as well.  

math activities kinestheticStudents travel around the room searching for the cards and record their answers on either a black and white or colored recording sheet whichever you prefer. It's included in my Cold Weather Math Write the Room packet.

 math play-doh mats

Fine motor strength has been a struggle this year so play-doh is absolutely a must as often as I can incorporate it into a station.  This one lets them work those little muscles while completing the making ten equation.  It's another activity included in Winter Sports Math Stations Galore.

math stations tens and ones
Hide and seek games work for ELA or Math activities and since we are working on tens and ones, this one is allowing us to get a little extra practice.  One student hides a torch while the other students close their eyes. Then they have to identify the card and number that they believe the torch is hiding behind.  Another Winter Sports Galore activity . . .did I mention there are like 13 activities included in that pack.  

Counting by 1s, 2s, or 5s is practiced by using linking chains and punching a hole in these cards from Winter Sports Math again.  

kindergarten math stations
Spinner fun is quickly becoming my classroom favorite.  I have done the differentiating for you and creating spinners can be as easy as adding a pencil and paperclip.  This one works tens and ones plus adding one more.  There are so many options in these packs.  This one is 143 pages and you can use either black and white printables or colored response sheets.  I had so many requests to bundle my math spinners that I went ahead and created a couple different options.  You can purchase as a full year, the first 5 or the last 5.  Just click on the picture below to see your options.

If you'd like to see more about the Winter Sports Math Galore packet, click below.  

Or you can find the Cold Weather Write the Room packet here.

What's your class' favorite math activity this time of year?  

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Spinning Up Math Fun and A Freebie for January.

I’ve had so many questions about spinners lately that I’m revisiting the subject and showing you exactly what a typical packet of math spinner activities looks like.  I don't know about you, but I want to see pictures of what I'm getting.  I want to see what it looks like in 'real life.'  

Not only that, but I thought you really should have the opportunity to get your ‘hands dirty’ with a little spinner freebie of your own.  So, I’m not only am I giving you the lowdown on January's math spinner pack, but I have a free activity for you to try with your own kiddos as well.

Included in the packet:
Spinner Math Fun Galore for January has a total of 18 different activities that you can use in your classroom, and to extend learning even farther, there are five different, tiered spinners that you can choose from to address the skills your students really need to practice.

Oh, and I need to make sure you all know this . . . even though I have printed my own sets out in color . . .


So you choose!  Personally, I like to provide color spinners, and I often print out colored recording sheets and laminate them.  It just depends on the activity.  

Each activity in this packet comes with an 'I Can . . .' or student activity instruction card like the one below.  It provides a visual reference so that students remember how to play.  My spinner activities are pretty consistent from month to month which makes students become independent very quickly with them.  While the skills may change, they are very familiar with the activities and games.  Of course, this means . . . INDEPENDENCE . . . which I love.

Each instructional card also references the Common Core Standard that the activity reflects.  That way when your administrator walks into your classroom and says, 'why are all these kids laughing and having fun with these spinners . . . they can't possibly be learning anything,' you can just grab your 'I can' sheet and refer to the CCSS.  It's all good. 

There are so many spinners for you to choose from in this packet.  Here is just a quick look of how many spinners and their tiers.  

There are two tiers of counting spinners.

There are 4 tiers for numerals and tens frame numbers.

There are two tiers each for addition, subtraction and tens and ones spinners. 

The Activities:

One Less Number:  Teachers choose the spinner skill you want students to use and the tier, students spin the spinner and use the number to find one number less than the number they had on the spinner by subtracting one.

One More Number:  Like One Less Number, but this time students add one number to the number on the spinner.

Hot Chocolate Number Yatta:  Students spin the spinner and try to be the first to find the number on the playing mat.  When they find it, they say YATTA and can place their playing piece (or you can use a colored dry erase marker to mark your cups won) on the mat.  This is a classroom favorite for sure.  

Snowball Smack Down:  Students spin the spinner (use whichever skill you'd like) and 'smack' the snowball ( I use bingo dotters to dot them.) with the number.  You can play against a friend to see who is the first one to fill their sheet, four in a row or play by yourself.

Spin and Subtract:  Choose the tier your students should use, students spin, write the equation and find the answer.

Spin and Add:  Like Spin and Subtract, teachers select the tier and students spin, write the equation and find the answer.

Spin and Win:  This fun board game can be played with any of the spinners.  There are several tiers from which to choose.  Teachers select the spinner for their students, students spin, locate the corresponding number on the game board and move their playing piece.  

Spin-it, Say-it, What Comes Next?:  I especially like this one for students still struggling with teen numbers and number identification.  Students spin the number, identify the tens frame, count or figure out the number in tens and ones and write it in the box.  Then they write the numbers that come after.  There is also a version for numbers that come before and before and after.

Spin and Color:  Students spin the spinner, solve the problem or identify the number and then color the corresponding number on the picture.  You can play with a friend and see who can color the most or finish their picture first.

Spin, Read, Show:  This activity will have students showing how they represent numbers as ten frames.  Students spin the number, write it it in the box and then show the number as a ten frame.

Spin and Find the Missing Addend:  For my high fliers, I have find the missing addend.  They spin the spinner, write the number in the box and use the number line to find the missing addend.  This is great, repetitive practice.  They like figuring out the 'mystery number.'

Spin and Make Ten:  For those students not quite ready for missing addend, I offer Spin and Make Ten.  This concept, using the ten frame numbers, seems a bit easier to grasp.  Students spin the spinner, find the number, write it in the box and indicate how many more are needed to make ten.

Spin, Read and Write:  As with all the activities in this packet, this one is also tiered for difficulty.  Students spin a number and use the word bank at the bottom of the page to write the corresponding number word.

Snowy Doubles Bump:  My students have been obsessed with doubles lately so I created this doubles bump game for them to use.  They spin a number, double it, and place their playing piece on top of that number on the playing mat.  Of course, if someone else gets that same number, they can bump you off unless you have secured your spot with two playing pieces.  My kinders love any kind of game play so this station is always a hit.

Spin and Graph:  Teachers choose the spinner and level of difficulty.  Students spin, find the number and then write the number on the recording sheet.  I like this activity especially when I use a tens and one spinner.

Spin and Compare:  There are actually a couple of versions of this.  This one is for equal and non equal numbers, and there is another for greater than/less than numbers.  Students spin one number and write it in the first box.  Then they spin again and write it in the next box.  They then go back to determine if they are equal or not equal (greater than/less than). 

So there you have the majority of the activities included in this pack.  You can see it's a pretty hefty packet.  There are so many activities to use in so many ways.  It's really packed full.

So are you ready to try it out in your own classroom?  Great!  Here's a little freebie to get you started.  All you have to do is click on the picture below.  While you're there, make sure you follow my TpT store so you get notifications about all my new products and freebies.

Now remember, you don't HAVE to use transparent spinners like I have here.  You can use a pencil and paperclip or poke a brad through the middle and attach a paper clip. 

 Those are both great ways to make cheap and easy spinners.  However, if you would like to get a hold of some good spinners, lately I have been using these.  

They are very reasonable.  That's a pack of 5 for $12.32, and, if you have Amazon Prime, you get free shipping. I simply tape the spinner to the top of a cd case that I purchase at the Dollar Tree and place the spinner card inside the cd holder.  It's a simple change out system.

I hope you enjoy this little sample activity from my Spinner Math Fun Galore for January.  Leave me a message and let me know what you think.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...