Thursday, May 29, 2014

Five for Friday Time

13 more days people!

Don't even talk to me if you are on summer break right now....Not until June 17....Let's chat then.

This was a crazy, busy, hectic week!!

So here is my Five for Friday hosted by Doodlebugs!


1. Open House was Wednesday!

Thank goodness that is all done. I know the term Open House can mean different things in different areas. For us, Open House is close to the end of the year and is an evening event for current families to come in and see the classroom....with their little one.

I want to post more about Open House later... but for now here are a few pictures....



More on those shenanigans soon.


2. My poor hubby got in a car accident. He is 100% okay and not a scratch on him. But I can't say the same for our car. It all happened DURING my Open House!

No pictures for this sad item on our line up....

moving on...

3. Chicks!!! Our chicks hatched... technically that was last week. But my littles have been enjoying them all week.

We sit in a circle and let them run around...  This could literally last an hour if I let it. The kids are IN TO IT!
We take turns holding them....
And we watch them sleep, eat and just observe.

More on these friends on an upcoming post.

4. I am part of a fun new group called Weekend Warriors. Did you catch it last weekend? It was our debut weekend...with a post on both Saturday and Sunday with Marvelous Math ideas!

There is still a giveaway you can enter HERE or HERE for $10 in my TpT store!! Both of those clicks will take you to some fun math ideas too!

And if you head over to some of the other Weekend Warrior blogs you could also enter to win $10 from them too! But that giveaway ends VERY soon!

We'll be back the last weekend of June with TWO days worth of Pinspirational Ideas for you!


5. I am also proud to be a part of a book study this summer!
Our first post was yesterday {click HERE to read it}... it ALSO has a giveaway!! 

And can I say I am learning quite a bit from this Guided Math book by Laney Sammons

There will be a different giveaway every Thursday... and I am pretty sure one of them includes some Erin Condren action and a lot of other amazing treats.

That is all for me. I am off to read other Five for Fridays because it is one of my favorite linkys!

Guided Math Book Study: Getting Started

When I heard that the Primary Gal was going to start a book study about math I jumped right in.

Each Thursday we will be going chapter by chapter through Guided Math by Laney Sammons. I can't promise myself to feature every single week...dry your tears, I will be posting as much as I can...but this  little online book club is going for it...

Did I mention there will be giveaway EVERY single week that we do this?

And there are 9 chapters...

do the math...

we'll be coming at you every Thursday until July 24th.

You hear so much about guided reading and not as much about guided math or how to successfully teach math to reach all your learners. This book was published in 2009...BCC {Before Common Core} but it seems to have so many ideas and approaches that are perfect as I start to get deeper into Common Core....

Because right now I would say I have more than my tip toe Common Coring it... but am not diving into the deep end... yet!

But seriously... this lady was on to something back in '09.... she says students should dialogue about their learning and that the teacher should promote constructive conversation.

Students should work together.

Teachers should identify the "big idea"

So today's focus is Chapter 1.... just  slowly getting our math on.

I could throw a whole bunch of statistics your way from this opening chapter... you know, to be "mathy" and all...

But you can buy the book yourself for that... but one, yes, just one I must share:

Laney tells us that according to Phillip {2007} that "58% of adults can't calculate a 10% tip."

Um, can that be true?... I'm no Einstein, but this statistic is crazy to me.

Sidenote: Who leaves a 10% tip anyway?

People just decide, usually at a young age, that they aren't good at math. And that's it. They don't even try or expect anything of themselves....like being able to scoot that decimal over to figure out 10%!

This book also states... {dang, I said only one stat and here I go again!}

"By 4th or 5th grade children seem to have lost the problem solving skills they had when they began kindergarten." {Hyde, 2006}

And that is sad.

So today's post is like a goal setting thing for me. What do I hope to accomplish by the end of this book study? What will I be able to change/modify/adapt for next year?

I am planning on finding out ways to ensure my little ones stay excited, eager and wanting to problem solve.

I currently do see my little ones in small groups for math {check!} and I do mini lessons {check!} but I don't do it well....the small group part... my mini lessons are okay {I think!}

Part of the problem is that I have 29 kindergarteners.

That wasn't a typo. 29. But I can't change that and rather than complain I think it is better how to, "Make it Work!" {Thank you Tim Gunn}

So as we venture into the "meat" of this book I hope to find ideas to share with you... definitely some freebies and hopefully {fingers crossed} a way to manage this with 29 {never mind the whole assessment piece which I didn't even mention... don't worry that chapter will be on the line up.}

So come back next week for ideas to create a classroom environment of numeracy. And really next week gets this party started... for reals :)

Before you go....
I will say that I started smiling from ear to ear when I read one of her ideas was something I JUST BLOGGED about... what? Isn't that crazy? You can read that post HERE.... and guess what there is a Giveaway for $10 to my TpT store at the end of that post... so check it out.

And don't forget this giveaway fun too!


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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekend Warriors: Incredible Equations

Weekend Warriors: Part Two. What you didn't know? Yep, this is a two day affair.

In case you missed it- yesterday's post Counting Gloves was the debut of Weekend Warriors. Each month we are posting with TWO days of tips and tricks.... we can't use the word "Warrior" in our title for just one day... right?

Today I am sharing an idea that I shared once before on this blog back in February of 2013. So if you read it already I am sorry... but I am guessing this is new for most of you  all of you, but a small few.

Incredible Equations! This is something I use as a time filler or as part of my calendar- I've done this in both kindergarten and first grade.

The little ones tell me equations that match the number for the date. For example, on May 20th, the number we used was 20.


In the beginning you really have to model it A LOT, but they get the hang of it quickly.

I usually add this to the game in about January - but if I were to try it out between September and December I may just keep rotating through numbers 1-10 rather than adding the higher numbers, but now they impress me every single time with how well they can deal with the larger numbers!

Right now they are really into these types of equations: 20+100-100=20. One clever friend figured that thing out and now they all just think it is the best... and really, I think it is too!

I like this because ALL the kids can participate. I have some throwing out equations without any hesitations and others who can't create their own but after they hear "9+1=10" they can tell me "1+9=10." I mean, this is the commutative property of addition, isn't it?

And as you can guess, after seeing "15-5=10" one little friend may try "5-15=10" and this leads to a great conversation and pretty soon they get it. Some years subtraction doesn't show up on the scene for a while, but that is all dictated by what the class is ready for.

Sometimes we add the tally marks and/or the tens frames to help them build equations. Sometimes we fill the paper up and sometimes time only allows for a few equations. Really it is up to the kids what goes on here.

Oh, I do have one rule... and that is the good ol' "1+1+1+1+1+1 etc" can not be used on any numbers greater than 10, but on the 1-10 days it is almost always the first equation thrown out there.



Have you ever bought the packs of stickers (or punch outs) and you use the letters, but what do you use the numbers for? They just seem to accumulate over time...... well, that is why I use the stickers. Sometimes I just keep it simple too, though:

Crayons and Whimsy Incredible Equations kindergarten math

This is on a clip board on my calendar wall and each day I draw a name to take home the Incredible Equation from the day before. They love taking these home.

Crayons and Whimsy Incredible Equations calendar math kindergarten

You can make your own or download it from my store as a Freebie for today!  Just click {HERE} or on the image below.
Crayons and Whimsy Incredible Equations chevron math kindergarten

And don't forget to enter the giveaway for $10 in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
  
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And of course you must read all the great math tips from these Weekend Warriors too! 

Don't forget to come back the last weekend of June when Weekend Warriors is back with some "Pinspirational" ideas for June!


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Weekend Warriors: Counting Gloves

People! I have been waiting for this day! The first installment of Weekend Warriors! This has been a long time coming and I am so glad it is finally HERE!
So, yep, I am proud to be one of the Weekend Warriors...which is a good description of a girl who will be in her classroom at some point today...but that's nothing I want to think about yet.

Here's the low down... Weekend Warriors is a FUN group of bloggers {if I do say so myself} who are using the last weekend of the month to share some tips, tricks, ideas... a freebie here and there and maybe a giveaway too!

So let's get right on to today's action....Counting Gloves! This is a little warm up, game, trick for your kinder classroom.
Crayons and Whimsy Counting Gloves math kindergarten
I have to tell you this was not my idea.... but my little ones think it is. Shh! Let's not tell them otherwise.

I observed another teacher early in this school year and watched her use this technique and literally drove to Target that same day and purchased my own little gloves.

Sidenote: Even as I am just about to close out my 15th year in the classroom...the most valuable thing I do to grow and learn is to observe other teachers IN action... followed by a close second of reading blogs..but watching another teacher TEACH is my favorite.... try to find a way to make that happen as often as possible for you too!

Counting gloves ask kids to use their fingers to count in a systematic way. Basically you need to grab some gardening gloves... mine are from Target... and yes, they are from the $1.00 bin {and I just saw that they are still there now.}

Grab a Sharpie and number your gloves 1-10. Start with the right glove because you want it to mirror for the kids- so when the kids count they are going from left to right just like with reading. {Confused? Scroll down and check out some action shots!}

Crayons and Whimsy Counting Gloves math kindergarten

I started this only using one glove and working with numbers 1-5- maybe you could even do 1-3 if needed. I tell the kids to get their counting hands ready!

Now.... let me say.... I never really post "action shots" of me teaching... not sure if this is a treat or a punishment for you.

But this just shows you how I use this whole group... when I have a random extra few minutes here or there.... we also use it in small group as a warm up to start our math lesson.
Crayons and Whimsy Counting Gloves math kindergarten
I am saying things like, "Show me two, now three, now back to two, now three, now four" etc etc....

The matching headband was not planned.

The kids are supposed to have their back of their hand facing them- as all of them do in this picture except for my one friend right in front of me.

It is strange at first to start counting with your pinky.... BUT over time they get used to it. They like to tell me how four is the same as always.

Then I will get faster... "show me seven, now eight, back to seven..." fast, fast, fast... They LOVE it.
Crayons and Whimsy Counting Gloves
Not only is this good listening and counting practice {and fine motor which I will discuss in a bit} this is teaching them to use their fingers as a tool... in a good way. I feel in the past counting on our fingers was taboo and seen almost as a weakness. I also feel like kids would do some strange things when using their fingers to count.

So if they are going to use their fingers regardless... we should teach them how to be effective when doing so.

Now they have a plan. They count from left to right just like they read. One could argue this is the beginning of a number line... I mean, they are going to the left to get larger numbers and back to the right to smaller ones.

Let's briefly talk about fine motor skills... not math related, but crucial for little ones. Not only for their handwriting, but some studies have shown a link to their reading and math abilities.
Kids in this generation are on the iPad. They can swipe, they can tap the screen, but they sometimes lack strength in their fingers.

Well, let me tell you that Counting Gloves is a great way to build strength.... in fact, when you first try it you may be amazed at how some of your little ones can't hold up their pinky on their own... or the hardest one... pinky and ring finger. So this little game works on that paramount skill too.

Oh... and some will complain when you announce it...."Ahhh it makes my hand hurt!" but the rest are cool with it and for those others... well, that is how I feel when I leave the gym...horrible, but it's good for me.

Lastly, {sorry- but just one more thing to share!}once they are good at Counting Gloves. I will say, "The special counting way to make 5 {or whatever number} is this" ...and show them... "but can you show me another way to make five?"

And I may see this:
{hmm, sorry for the quality of this picture... hard to hide their faces AND show you their combos of 5!}

And how about another way? Now turn to your partner and show each other how you make five. Explain it...compare it... etc. I will hear things like: I have three fingers on this hand and two on another.....and this my friends is the beginning of subitizing and addition facts to five {Two Common Core Math Standards for Kinder}

So that is my trick for you today... come back tomorrow for more! And......     to help kick off this Weekend Warrior Extravaganza I am offering $10 in my Crayons and Whimsy TpT store!
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Don't forget to hop on over to all these other Weekend Warriors- who also have some Mathematical action for you.... and their own giveaway too!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Easy Mini Anchor Chart Holder

A few months ago I was walking through Staples and I spotted these....
Crayons and Whimsy Easy Anchor Chart Holder
And I thought these "stand-up sign holders" as they are aptly named could be just what I need to hold mini anchor charts and samples.

And that, my friends, is just what they do.

I love them.... mainly because they are so easy- just slide something in and right out. No pins, rings or anything else. And much easier than a real frame where you have to take the back off....etc etc... and ain't nobody got time for that!

Sometimes I have little mini anchor charts or posters inside:

And other times it will have my work sample....

Sometimes at my independent centers they will just have clues to let the little ones know what they are supposed to do.  For example, by having the picture of Gertie Goose {this is an Alphafriend from our Houghton Mifflin Language Arts Program} the kids know that they will be about to sing Gertie's song at that listening center.

And as I am sure you have noticed they come either vertical and horizontal.... so of course, I got two of each!

It does appear that when photographed there is a good amount of glare, but that is never an issue in class.

I got these for $6.00 each and I have to admit I thought that was a bit overpriced {even though that was the sale price} ...... but now I would have paid a lot more since I know how much use they get.

I may even snag a few more before next school year starts!