Saturday, November 24, 2012

Ginger Math Stations, A Freebie, A Guest Post, Bundles and SHOPPING-EEE GADS!!!

Ok, I have a lot to cover so stay with me and forgive me in advance if this seems entirely too disconnected.  First of all, if you need to get your 'things' for the big sale early, my sale is starting today. You can check out my sales by clicking HERE.  Of course, it's a better deal to wait until Monday, but I know alot of you wanted to get a jump start on those specific things you need for next week.  So go ahead!

Secondly, please head on over to PreK and K Sharing and check out my guest post for today.  I'm trying a new approach. I'm on a quest to establish some good habits of 'kindness' in my kinders and would love to hear what you think. 

There's a couple of freebies over there to get you started if you want to join me on my quest.

Next, there is the matter of Math Stations.  I know, I know . . . the holiday weekend isn't even over, but I have to get started on this and plan or I'm gonna be way behind.  I have a pile of printed and laminated materials about 2 inches thick that need to be cut apart.  Luckily there aren't a ton a little pieces to cut up, but there's enough.  In any case, I was asked to get my plan for stations posted so I'm gonna go ahead and do it.  I'll have pictures of the kiddos doing them later but for those of you wanting the plan, here it is.
Just click on the picture and it will take you to a google document with all the hyperlinks if you're interested.


Hold on to your hats.  This is gonna be a quick rundown and it's probably not gonna be pretty but I promise better pictures when my kinders start using them.  I'd make the boys come out and play school but they are all tucked in their beds.  So crummy pictures will have to do. Sorry.


2. Sweet Addition (Part of Sweet Ginger Math Stations Galore)
This self-correcting activity includes two tiers for addition to 5 and 10.

Seven Stations Included In This One Packet

Also included in this pack (Sweet Ginger Math Stations Galore) are stations:
3. Gingerbread Spin and Color--This activity is a ten frames number recognition activity with a tier for numbers 0-10 and 10-20.

4.  Roll Say Keep 2D and 3D Shapes--This game is a spin off of the traditional roll-say-keep, but with a few twists and turns.  Print and laminate the roll-say-keep mat along with all the gingerbread shape cards and ‘special’ cards that go along with it.

5. Give Me Your Sweets--For this game, students can use either ten frame numbers or numerals or both.  Only use what is appropriate for the readiness of your students.  Cards are divided between two students.  Without looking at their cards,  each student places a card on their space.  Once cards are placed, use the spinner (place a transparent spinner or make one with a brad and paperclip) to determine if the bigger or smaller number gets to say ‘give me your sweets!”

7. Ginger Order-Self-Correcting Ordinal Number Practice--There are two different self-correcting ordinal number activities for numbers 1-10. 

8. Bumping Around the Gingerbread House--There are three different tiered playing mats for this game.  Numbers 1-10 (Tier 1), Numbers 1-15 (Tier 2) and Numbers 1-20 (Tier 3).

9.  Catch the Gingerbread Man--Number recognition.  Can be tiered for numbers up to 30.

So that leaves stations:

So that's the quick and dirty on planning for my next round of math stations. 

Now on to Bundles!  I'm seriously working my tail off this weekend.  Some of you have asked me to bundle some items and I accomplished bundling another Early Learning I-Spy Bundle Too.  So many of you liked the first set, I thought I would go bundle a second set. 



It's my hope that I'll get a free minute to put a Sight Word Bundle for I-Spy as well.  I'll try!

And now onto shopping. . . Yes! I am STILL adding things to my cart.  I've found such great stuff, I just HAVE to get it.

This is Krissy Miner's Popcorn Word Bundle.  You know how I love her and her products.  I have pokey pin letters, shapes and numbers.  I'm all in for anything with a pokey pin element.  So excited to try this.


I want these Sight Word watches too from Annie Moffatt (I think she's a long lost cousin).  I think my kinders would love them.
I'm going to get Caitlin, from Kindergarten Smiles, All Wrapped Up pack for right before the holidays

And because my kinders love 'The Old Lady . . .' series, I'm picking up Mary's, from Sharing Kindergarten:



I'd love to hear what's in your cart.  If you find something you can't live without please drop me a line.


Friday, November 23, 2012

I have a license to shop and now so do you!


Who needs Black Friday when there's Cyber Monday . . .(and Tuesday!) 

I'll be shopping for some of my favorite 'wish list' items. Wanna see?

From Donna over at  Kinderglynn:


And from Mandy in the Great White North of Canada:


And from Mel D over Suesstastic, her reward coupons:


Listen, I've only just begun to shop.  I'll be back tomorrow with more great finds, bundles I'm putting together AND a guest post you're not going to want to miss.
Hope you're enjoying your Black Friday festivities...I'm still in my PJs!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I'm sporting a brand new differentiated Gingie freebie.

Everything's coming up Gingie lately! My classroom is no exception.  I've been working on some literacy and math gingerbread themed activities and thought I'd put a little freebie together for you all to use with your gingerbread activities too.

It's differentiated and aligned so you can WOW your administration when they come walking through and gander over at your lesson plans.  (Make sure you include that information.  It's what they're looking for . . . and when it's all laid out for you it's easy to transfer over to your plans.)
If you're looking for some other gingerbread themed activities, you can click on the pictures below to check out some other products I have available.

Sweet Ginger Math Stations:  7 Differentiated and Aligned Activities

Ginger I-Spy Letter and Sounds: Differentiated and Aligned


 Ten Frame Ginger Fun Build-Differentiated and Aligned
 Gingerbread Write The Room Math Fun:  Differentiated and Aligned
 Holiday I-Spy Sight Word Fun:  Differentiated and Aligned
I'm still working on a CVC CCVC/CVCC word I-Spy Write the Room by request so that's coming up in the next little bit, and I have a few more freebies up my sleeve so pop back in and don't forget me.



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Building independence and saving my sanity.


I knew that when I saw a class list of 26 little kinders, it was going to be everything I had to keep things under control.  In order to keep things sane, I would have to keep my centers and stations small and in order to keep them small I would have to have more stations and centers.  But with one of me and my allotted aide time, how on earth could I make it happen?  I had to try and give my kinders the opportunity to be independent and take control of their own learning. 

I had to quickly figure out what my go to strategies to move them towards taking control over their own learning. 


I CAN sheets have been a blessing.  Most of kinders can look at these by now and know exactly what the expectations of the activity are because they are familiar activities (some routine centers/stations are an absolute must when you have 9 of them going on at one time).  For instance, even though we do I-Spy centers all the time, you can easily see that this one is for letter sounds and they know how to complete it.  You know I was actually beginning to think that no one was using these but me when I got a request from some readers to keep adding them to my letter/sound I-spys.  So I put them back in. (I guess I'm not the only one, huh?)

I also have found that by putting my answer keys in one location on a hook, students, when finished with an activity, can check their answers themselves.  We have some basic rules.  You can't go look unless your activity is completed and you need to go with a friend (if possible) to have them help you check.  If you have some areas that aren't correct.  You need to go back and redo it.  You can't just change your answers.  It's worked pretty well and everyone knows, in the wise words of Junie B Jones, there is no 'sneaky peaky spying.'


And then of course, there are those self correcting activities!  I will use any and all I can find or make.  It took some training and a couple of trips to Walmart for clothes pins, but by being able to complete a task and checking it themselves, they are getting immediate feedback.  In the past, immediate feedback was them poking me and saying, 'Mrs. McGuire...(poke poke poke) Mrs. McGuire (poke, poke, poke) but these kinds of activities have really saved me this year. I am a fan of all clothes pins, plain and fancy, that have allowed me to provide my kinders with self correcting activities. 

So I'm sane for the time being anyway.  But please tell me, what are you're secrets for moving for students towards more independent learning?  I need a full arsenal and would love to hear all your secrets.






Saturday, November 17, 2012

The sweet sound of success.

I know! It's been a week right? Life is happening all around me, and it's been a crazy week of trying to keep up. And all those little moments we use as teachers to try to get 'something' done, moments like 'rest time' for instance, well those moments are gone since my kinders have decided that rest time is 'Top Bananas' 'Ball Words' '100s Club' time.  They're yapping at me before they even hit the door after lunchtime recess . . .'Mrs. McGuire, I know my Baseball Words.' 'Mrs. McGuire I can count to 100' 'Mrs. McGuire can I am ready to be a Top Banana.'  Darn kids. It's a HORRIBLY WONDERFUL problem to have.

I'm not sure what it sound like on the other side of my walls, but inside my classroom, it is a buzz with students who have passed Soccer Ball Words working with those who are trying to pass Baseball Words. And when someone passes a level . . . all you know what breaks out.  They cheer, they dance, they hug and high five each other.  They are their own best cheerleaders.  (Deep sigh of happiness.)  It never fails to amaze me how happy they are for each other.  This is why I teach 5 and 6 year olds.



All but one of my kiddos are now Top Banana (and that lone one is soooooo close to making it. I can just about taste those banana splits that I've promised them.  Remember this is JUST recognition of letters not sounds . . . we're along way from that mountain top but slowly and surely making our way towards it.). And with all the ball word activity going on, it means that my poor Ball Word posters ( the ones I thought I would have plenty of time to replace because there was no way they would be passing them this early) are starting to line my wall and names are appearing on them.  I have a couple of friends that are on Volleyball already and reading like a maniacs. Looks like I'll be pulling out my Sight Word Phase Speedster activities sooner than I anticipated.



Ok, so that's it for today.  I'll be back tomorrow.  PROMISE!




Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankful for A Week In Pictures

So there is only a week and a half left before Thanksgiving, and I'm packing them full of Thanksgiving goodness which isn't easy when I have a half day off for Homeland Security PD and then another day off for . . . wait for this . . . Opening Day of Firearm Deer Season.  It's true.  In Northern Michigan, they figure half the school would call in sick so they might as well have it off.  It's a cultural thing.

So in any case, I wanted to let you see some of the fun stuff we've been doing.  Of course, I've linked the pictures when possible to the activities so go ahead and click away.


If you know anything about me, you know I LOVE my sensory table.  I wish I had a bigger classroom for it but I make do because I refuse to get rid of it.  Activities in this table are generally a favorite of my naturalist and kinesthetic learners.  This week it's just shucking corn, measuring and weighing it, but next week or so I'll put in a literacy component to keep it going until I change it over for the holidays.  Do you still have a sensory table in your classroom?


Write the room for ten frames and CVC/CCVC/CVCC words too.  I have both going at the same time.  They are both differentiated so that some students are working with smaller numbers or a different skill (perhaps making ten for instance versus just counting or counting on) but they are all working on the same activity...writing the room.  The reading write the room for Turkey time are the colored little turkeys you can see posted.  For a different twist, this time I hid pictures in the turkey and had the kiddos search for the turkey and then search the turkey for the hidden picture.  When they found the picture within the picture, they either wrote just the beginning sound, beginning and ending sound of the entire cvc or ccvc/cvcc word depending on their readiness.  If you want to check out that write the room activity, just click HERE.


After making his Thanksgiving Story bracelet, this little guy is now is going to try his hand at writing with a turkey feather.  This center appeals to SO many intelligences.  It's a class favorite for sure.



What's for dinner? is one of seven math centers in my Thankful for Math Galore pack.  In this game students get to use a SPINNER (what kid doesn't love a spinner) to determine if the BIGGER or smaller (I also have an odd and even spinner for those students who are a bit more advanced) is the winner.


In my art center we are making "Indian Corn" using pointillism pinkies.  They are turning out soooooooo sweet.  I just love 'em.


Gobbling Up Missing Numbers I Spy is a new I Spy math station.  Here one of my students is using the 0-20.  He spies two consecutive numbers such as 11 12 and then writes the missing number that comes after. There are options for numbers that come before and numbers that are between in 0-10, 0-15 and 0-20 to align to common core and differentiate base on readiness of your learners.  I also have a letter and sounds I-Spy for Thanksgiving if you're looking for an ELA I-Spy.  Go ahead and click HERE to check that one out.


My kinders are loving Deedee Wills' Thanksgiving Writing Center.  I have it for every month.  It's easy peasy and ready to go.  One less thing for me to plan.  I love the word cards that they can grab and copy, and they love the choices they have.  Thanks Deedee.  Love it. 


Counting on Turkeys is another game from Thankful for Math Galore 7 Math Stations in One Packet.  Students grab a turkey from a bucket, write the number and then write the numbers that come after.


Turkey Trot is another game from Thankful for Math Galore.  This one is self-correcting (I love it when they can check it themselves!!!) 


And this is what it looks like when all my 26 little ones are working away.  I know that these pictures make my room look big, but I promise you it's tiny.  

But by spreading them out and getting them working independently, it certainly doesn't look like I'm sporting that many little bodies does it? 

Hope your finding lots of great activities for celebrating the season of Thanksgiving.  I can't wait to post pictures of our kindergarten wide (that's 75 in my little school) Thanksgiving Feast.  I'd love to hear what kinds of activities you have planned.

In the meantime, I've had a bunch of readers write and make requests for specific holiday items for December.  Thank you so much.  It helps me to know if you are working on specific skills or themes.  I promise I'll have a couple of freebies for you too.  So stay tuned.  Here's one thing I have done so far.  It's for sight words, but I really need to make another for letter sounds and identification still because some of my kinders are still not as fluently as I would hope.  How about you guys? 
I also have a couple more projects in the works for after my boys go bed tonight so check back.















Saturday, November 3, 2012

Planning Differentiated Math Stations For Thanksgiving

Crazy busy week.  Halloween is always like that isn't 'it. As soon as it's over, I'm scrambling to pull
everything down and get ready for Thanksgiving.  It's less than tree weeks away you know! 

So while I have had every intention of getting these stations printed out, laminated, cut up and ready to go . . . here is my pile of laminate.  Actually at the time of this blog, my husband and brother-in-law are cutting these all apart.  I still have some time to pull it all together before Monday. I think I can . . . I think I can.

I don't usually like to post this stuff out there without pictures of the activities actually being used, but some of these are oldies but goodies and, for my own kinders, these are stations that are independent and expectations are understood by now so perhaps it's the same for you.  I'll be sure to get some pictures out this week for you all to peak at in anycase.

Until then...here's the plan.  You can click on the picture to get a copy with hyperlinks. 





Station 1:  Thankful for Ten Frames Write the Room Fun  There are two different sets of cards that can be mounted throughout your room and numerous recording sheets.  Students can count items in a ten frame (or 20 frame), count on, or even identify what number is needed to make 10 (my kinders are really getting the hang of this one).  All aligned to common core.



Station 2:  Number Writing Practice Book From Fran, some of kinders are getting close to finishing this great freebie from Fran at Kindergarten Crayons.  When they finally do finish, they'll be able to do a
 Positional Thanksgiving Book that I'm making...stay tuned for that one. 

Station 3:  Turkey Trot (From Thankful For Math Galore)  This is a self-correcting activity.  I loves these for independent learning.  Students take a card and place it on their mat.  They will write the numbers shown and figure out which number is missing.  We're really hitting these hard.  I want my students to really be fluent with what is before and after and between which I find really helpful when it comes time for adding and subtracting.  I always feel like if I take the time and really get it down now, it saves me so much more time later in the year.


Station 4:  What's For Dinner? (From Thankful For Math Galore)  This game is played similarly to your traditional 'war' game.  However, there are numeral cards and ten frame cards in this one.  Instead of 'biggest' number always being a winner, in this one, students will spin a spinner to determine whether the biggest or smallest number wins.  I also added odd and even number spinner because I have a couple of students who are ready for that skill and can handle the challenge. 



Station 5:  Turkey Hunt (From Thankful For Math Galore)  Here is a class favorite and fun game for number recognition.  Number cards go in a small pocket chart and one student hides the turkey.  Students take turns trying to find the turkey by identifying numbers.  The student that finds the turkey gets to hide it next.

Station 6:  Gobbling up Missing Numbers I Spy  Students use magnifying glasses to find number sets.  There are sets with a missing number before, after and between numbers.  When they find a set, they record the numbers on a recording sheet (black and white or colored versions available) and determine which number is missing.  There are tiers for 1-10, 1-15 and 1-20.

Station 7: Counting on Turkeys (Thankful for Math Galore) Students pull a turkey from a bucket, box or festive pail and write the number on the turkey located on either a black and white or colored recording sheet.  They then write the numbers that come after by 'counting on.' Use a recording sheet with or without a number line for more or less scaffolding.



Station 8: Gobble Gobble (Thankful for Math Galore)  Playing cards are placed in a pail or bucket (place the appropriate number and level for the readiness of your kinders) and students take turns pulling a card.  If they can identify the card they can keep it.  However, there are some special playing cards added to make play even more interesting.  One card 'gobble gobble' requires the player to gobble like a turkey in order to gobble up a card from each of the other players. 



Station 9:  Stamping Stations - Lovin' Mrs. Miner's Stamping 0-20.  I can easily differentiate these for those who are still struggling with mastering numbers 0-20 and appeal to those needing something a little more.  Plus my kinders LOVE stamps. Click on the picture below to check out her stamping unit.


You'll notice quite a few of these activities are part of Thankful for Math Fun Galore.  There are actually seven activities in that packet.

That's it.  Sorry for my rambling.  Now it's time to get them all put together and ready for Monday.  Stop back later this week.  I plan (if all goes well) to have a little something for all you guys. 




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