Thursday, March 22, 2012

Differentiated Pinwheels . . .and a freebie.

Ok, so I'm always on the look out for interesting materials to use in my class as I'm sure all of you are.  I know that one strategy I can always use to differentiate is to offer different kinds of materials for students in response to their interest and learning profiles.  I knew my kinsethetic learners were gonna flip over these.

So when I came across these too cute Easter pinwheels at BIG LOTS a couple of weeks ago, I just knew I had to have them.  They were $2.00 each and while I'm typically a $1.00 or less kind of girl, I splurged and picked up 3 because they were just too fun.

I couldn't decide what to do with them.  The possibilities are really endless.  I could have had three different level of sight words on them and had students spin for sight words and record them.  Or do onset rhyming on them with different letters on the carrots to make different words within the word family.  But in the end, because my kinders have been working on subtraction, I opted for a subtraction activity.

I placed a different number on each of the outside spinner carrots and then put the common number to be subtracted in the middle. 

Students spin the wheel. It lands on a number from which, in the above case, 5 will be subtracted.  Students write that number sentence on the recording sheet and then either use seasonal (I have some cute Easter erasers and foam Easter beads from Oriental Trading that I use) manipulatives or a number line to solve the problem.

Of course you're gonna want to run out and get yourself a couple of these or any other kind of pinwheels you can find before everyone else does.  And, of course, I have saved you the trouble of creating a recording sheet.  Click on the picture above  or HERE to take your pick of either one with or without a number line.

Drop me a line to let me know what you think. 


  1. These are priceless!! I am going out to get me some pinwheels this afternoon ;)

    All Students Can SHINE

  2. What a great idea, so creative! I am a fellow TBTS member and I just wanted to come introduce myself. I am looking forward to chatting with you and learning a lot from all the teachers that have the same goal for their blog.
    The Picture Book Teacher's Edition

  3. Those are super cute pinwheels! I just posted about using pinwheels on Sunday. I used chunks and beginning sounds.
    Conversations in Literacy

    1. That's so funny Lori. I know I picked these up and an extra set for my neighboring kindergarten teachers a couple of weeks ago and couldn't decide what I should do. I really could have used a couple of sets for all the ideas I had.



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