Sunday, June 26, 2011

Math Work Stations Chapter 6

As I read this chapter, I was amazed at all the wonderful suggestions to help students understand place value and number. Last year, our school worked a lot on teaching our children the Base Ten System.  In the process, we had to "unlearn" many of the "old" ways we taught math.  In the beginning, it was a challenge.  Why did children need to know how to get to 10?  Visualize quantities instead of count?  Well, it is all starting to make sense, as I dive into this blog study.
Math Routines:
One of the math routines, I used daily in my classroom in kindergarten was this simple Ten Frame chart which I had posted next to my calendar to correspond with the date.  Each day, we discussed how many ones and tens we had based on the date.  Later in the year, we talked about how many more we need to get a ten.  It was amazing how well the children began to understand quantities from 0 to 30 because of this.
Sing to Learn:
I used this song everyday as we were working on counting to 100.  Although many of my kids knew it, this was always one of our math routines.  I love the song but this visual is just perfect for all learners.
Goodies to Share:
Speaking of visuals, a while ago, I blogged about my Place Value Robot.  It really was a spur of the moment visual,  I created for my kiddos.  Well, I gave it a MAJOR update.   Here it is now.
And, thank you, Ms. Arnold.  I am so glad that I was not the only one who thought the Monopoly money game mentioned in this chapter was pure genius.  As I was creating this, my husband said why make fake money when you could go buy it.  Well, I guess he just doesn't understand teachers, does he.  Tell me, I'm not the only one. Please.  
Hope you enjoy! If you do, please, leave a comment.  I am getting close to 500 Followers.  I have a great giveaway planned to finally kick off my summer vacation.  Three more weeks of school.  

Happy Teaching and Learning,

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Math Work Stations Chapter 5

Using Literature To Teach Math
Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed Big Book

As I read this week's chapter, I could not help but to think about how children need to practice the concepts of addition and subtraction through hands-on activities. Music and familiar stories came to mind.
Here are two ideas you may want to use in your classroom.

I created this to go along with the Five Little Monkeys series. Any of the books will do.  I imagine my students acting out the story at the big book center early in the year but later working in a math tub writing math problems with a partner.  One of my favorite math routines is to listen to this song by CJ - FUNdamentals CD.   This rhythmic song really gets the kids moving!

There Were Ten in the Bed (Big Book) (Sing and Read Storybook)Another favorite story that children love is There Were 10 in the Bed.  Usually, I have enough dog stuffed animals to have the children act it out as they read the big book.

As I was thinking, I feel like I don't have enough literature to teach addition using story.  Do you have any suggestions? Leave a comment and let me know what you use.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Please note:  As of 8/20/2011, these are no longer freebies.  The artwork can only be used for items that are purchased.  

On Safari to Africa

Each year, our school hosts a multicultural fair.  During the fair, students "travel" around the world, learning about a particular place.  For the past month, my students have learned about the animals, people, culture and stories of Africa.

 We're on Safari!  Inspired by this awesome blog, I created this jeep.  
The kids  and I love it!  
 My special ed students made these animals from Deanna Jump's zoo unit.  
 I worked with them on writing a simple sentence.  
Whereas, my other students read and researched native animals.  
They kept their information stored in their Safari Journal.
We created these beautiful African masks.  
The masks are made out of chipboard which they painted to look like wood.  
I helped them to cut out the shapes for the mouth, nose, and eyes.  
The students added details.  It was very labor intensive but well worth it.  
 During the multicultural fair, students "visit" to learn about the country.  
We performed two Reader's Theatre plays based on African Tales; 
The Royal Drum and Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain.
The culmination will take place this Friday with a school wide performance based on that grades' learning.  We will perform 3 African songs and a dance.  It will be a fitting ending to a long unit of study.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Teaching ELD Learners

At my school, every student receives English Language Development instruction because frankly, every student needs to improve their oral and written grammar.   Classes meet for ELD instruction three times a week for 50 minutes.   Our grade level has chosen to "split" the kids based on English Proficiency Level.  We use this exam to make our classes.  Lately, we have begun to use ELD instructional time to help prepare students for their upcoming writing assessments.  We continue to work on listening and speaking but focus the lessons on grammar used in relation to the writing prompt.

I teach the lowest level of ELD speakers.  The students are a mix of native English speakers and non-native English speakers.  They are also some of the most fragile learners at our grade level.  Many of these students are frequently in trouble, have home issues, and are struggling in their classes academically.  They are a high need group who is yearning for attention.  I must admit, that at times, we had our moments but overall, I enjoyed these kids.  I also admit, I have a lot of admiration for their teachers.  Boy, they are a handful!

Here is a glimpse of our learning during ELD.
We made rainbows, watched raisins dance, made oobleck; all in the name of science.  The kids kept asking to watch something explode.  I kept saying no for fear that they might try it at home. 

Translation: #1 spicy, #2 candy, #3 coffee, #4 chocolate, #5 Mrs. Parker for perfume
We discovered our senses.  Students had a blast rotating through our senses centers.  Great vocabulary building activity.  
 This led to our learning of adjectives using a familiar story.  
We wrote our own version of the story.

Lastly, we used all our knowledge about describing people, places and things to become superheroes. Students had to read their writing using Superhero voices.  

This was my favorite picture of the day! It is from a little boy who when he discovered he was going to be in my ELD class, the first thing he asked was would we make police hats. I had made them with my kinder ELD class the previous year and he wanted one. Well, no police hat is in sight but we did manage to come up with something better.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Understanding Number

Wow!  Did you read this week's blog post on Math Work Stations? If you haven't, click on over to Kindergarten Crayons.

As I read this week's chapter, I could not help but wonder how this would relate to the California Common Core Standards.   Here is an overview of what math may look like in kindergarten.
To read the entire document, click on the image.

I created these Number Cards which you could use with your class as part of your Math Routines.  They work well when teaching Counting and Cardinality.  Give students individual ten frames (located in the back of the book) to count and practice with you.  Show students two cards and have them compare the numbers.  When you feel your students have mastered these place them in a Math Work Station along with your classroom created I Can Chart.  
Who doesn't love puzzles?  Inspired by the number cards, I made Number Puzzles.  All you will need to do is print onto card stock paper, laminate and cut.  Wondering where to cut?  Well, that is up to you.  For students who can read the number, you will make them a 3 piece puzzle.  Great for early first grade students.  Or if they are just beginning to understand number, make a 2 piece puzzle instead by cutting out the bottom third. 
I'm planning on copying onto different colored card stock paper so that I can have more than one student working on this concept but a different work stations.  

Happy Teaching and Learning!

PS-  Is is just me? Or isn't this blog book study the greatest!  :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Math Work Stations Chapter 3

Math Work Stations: Independent Learning You Can Count On, K-2
Getting Started With Math Work Stations
This chapter focuses on how to manage effective math work stations.  There is so much to share!
Key points from this chapter are:
Mrs. Diller suggests that we "think clearly about how you want students to work in each station before you even begin them."   This will help to ensure that math work stations run smoothly.  Math work stations should fit the needs of our students; which change year to year and at times, week to week.

As you begin to use math work stations take time to model each work station; perhaps that day's mini lesson.  Talk about what math work stations should sound, look, and feel like.  As a class, create an anchor chart(s).  As well, create I Can charts.  These charts let kids know what to do at the center.  For examples of anchor charts, check out this site.

Early mini lessons will focus on universal behavior management strategies.  (See pages 50-51) What struck me as I read is that I already have many of these systems in place.  I just had not thought to use them this way during my math time.  (A lightbulb moment for me.)

My Aha's:
Have students work in pairs.  I do this during literacy centers and love it.  Less children = more productivity.  
Model how to use the math work station.  Again, something I do with my literacy centers.  My problem is that I do it all at once.  
Teach children how to problem solve.  This is part of our school culture, so my kids are pretty good with this.  
Have a place for lost items.  Again, I do this. 
Have a system for going to the next center.  In my classroom, I am the queen of the timer.  My students know that it is time to clean up and meet at the carpet area for further directions.  

2.  Go slow! Less is best!
Do not plan on having math work stations up and running the first week of school. Take that time to get to know your students.  Spend the first week(s) using the math manipulative, exploring them, playing with them.  Introduce one math manipulative at a time rather than all at once.  Use that time to observed students interacting with one another.  Remind students of the expected behaviors.  Once this is in place, you can begin to meet with small groups. Plan on fewer math work stations rather than many.
My Aha's: 
Change work stations only as needed.  Let student observation and content mastery guide you. In kindergarten, I change "centers" once a month.  In first, less frequently; once a trimester.  Somehow reading this, I felt comforted knowing that I did not need to change all the work stations because the seasons changed or my theme did.
Use math talk cards during mini lessons.  I have not done this but see how it is important to incorporate math vocabulary into the work stations.  My goal is to create a math vocabulary anchor charts in lieu of a math word wall due to space issues.
Plan time for sharing.  This is something I do not do either.  I need to get better at this.

3. Make Time:
In order to have successful Math Work Stations, children need daily practice; at minimum 30 minutes a day.  Remember math stations are "for reinforcement and extension of concepts and skills" you have taught. Here's my plan.  Since I loop, this is how in envision it would look like in kindergarten and first grade.
I have about 1 hour for math.  My have to's include: following the curriculum map to teach the same standard as my team, administer weekly exit slips about the standard taught, and an end of the chapter math test.  I am hoping to incorporate math work stations the first half hour and then, do the have to's.  This is a complete flip flop of how I currently do it.  Math centers are the extras; for the early finishers.

4.  Management Boards:
I loved the visuals provided throughout the book.  As I started thinking about my Management Board, I thought of all the different math strands that a k-2 teacher may need.  I created several labels to help label pocket charts, math tubs, etc.

I plan to differentiate math work stations by having different tubs specifically for my "proficient" or "at risk" learners.  My "at risk" learners may have more scaffolds (i.e. number line, counters) whereas my "proficient" students may have more tasks at the math work station.  I know that observation will be key to planning effective math groups.

Labels, Labels, Labels
I created my labels to match the management chart and the tubs.  Get yours here.  All you will need to do is print 2 copies onto Avery 8163 labels, mount onto card stock paper and laminate for durability.  (Graphics courtesy of Thistle Girl Designs)
Number Concepts                                             
Place Value                                                       

Whew! Now, it's your turn.  Post a comment or blog about it.  Don't worry.  This link will be open throughout the summer.  All I ask is that your directly link your post so that others may find it easily.  Please link up when the post is ready.  I will send out a reminder post occassionally.  So, as you set up your classroom, don't forget to check back here for ideas.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Money, Money, Money Part II

My kiddos continue to need a lot of hands on practice using money.  We have been working on this during our math time.  We have had lots of practice with these but need some new items to help us.

I created this Ice Cream Parlor Center to help them.  It seems that half of my kids are really good at counting money while the other half become confused when using pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.  Their level of confidence drops.  To help each this, I created this center with the purpose of having the children make the amount shown two ways.  This way, they can rely on a familiar method but still practice using quarters; their weakness.  To help them be successful, our mini lesson will focus on how to make 25¢.
Click to download

BTW- Have you joined the Math Work Stations Blog Party?  I began to implement Math Work Stations in my classroom.  Here is a Sneak Peek of the labels I am creating to go with Chapter 3 Getting Started With Math Work Stations.  Just copy on Avery 8163 labels and they will be ready to use.  Be sure to stop by next week!  In the meantime, don't forget to visit my blogging friend.

Happy Teaching and Learning!