Common Core Math Kindergarten Style

Math Storage

Keeping math organized has been one of my goals this year.  To help me, I try to house all our math learning tools in one place.  Some items are kept on the shelf for easy access.  These are manipulatives which we use often.  The colored boxes; scrapbook containers, house manipulatives which I have a bulk of such as linker cubes and tangrams.  The numbered boxes are our Math Work Stations.  

A Peek into Our Learning

This year, my teaching of math has shifted towards the Common Core.  As a result, our work during math time differs greatly than in the past. 

The Santa Count and Scoop center works on counting teen numbers and learning about the Base Ten system.  In the past, we would still be working on counting from 0 to 10 at this time of the year.  

Another major shift is introducing addition and subtraction much earlier than before but with a greater emphasis on thinking about number and number relationships.  We have been working on number bonds for the past few months.  I love to use the red and yellow counters for this.  A simple game we play is "Shake and Count."  I give them a set number of counters and they just shake and count how many red and how many yellow.  We, then, record, the different ways to make the given number. In November, we worked on making 5 using turkey feathers.  

This month, we are using Christmas trees to show number bonds which we decorate with red and yellow ornaments.  Grab a copy here.   Santa's Sleigh Drop is from Mel at Frog Spot.  The center focuses on subtraction.  The kids select a card and then, problem solve using counters as presents.  They are doing great with this.  I have never taught subtraction this early but through hands-on learning they are learning about this concept using a timely subject matter which piques their interest. 

And, just in case you missed it, I posted this on my Facebook page.  
Our new book box.  Formally known as a Kleenex box.

Isn't this what teaching is all about?  
Finding meaning and purpose in all we do.

Happy Teaching!
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QR Codes Tutorial

Many of you wondered, how to create QR codes.  Today, I am going to share how I create them.  This post shares how I use them in my classroom.  

To follow along this tutorial, you will need a mobile device such as a smartphone or iPad with a QR app installed to scan the QR codes within the tutorial to "see" the difference.  If you are interested in creating QR codes, I use this website.

As you can see in Box 1, Data Type, QR codes can be embedded from many sources.
Scan to see what it looks like.
The above QR code was created by simply typing in Box 2, Content.   If you like, choose a color (Box 3).  Finally, click Download QR Code.  This is effective and easy to do.

Since, I am creating these for Word Work, I wanted to create a "fancier" image.  To do so, I created my document in Power Point.  Then, saved the file as a .jpg file which I uploaded it to Google docs.  I add the website address in Box 2, Content, and selected the URL shortener to create a "less busy" QR code.

Scan image.
Did you "see" the difference?  

I am going to use this next week during our Word Study.   I am sure the kids will love it.  You can grab a copy for free.  Yes, free!  I hope that you'll love it.  
Click image for your copy.

I hope this tutorial inspires you to give QR Codes a try.  If you do, let me know.  I think my next QR post will be on Tips and Tricks.  Anyone interested?  

Happy Teaching!
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Thanksgiving Retell

Click here for your copy. 

My students did such a great job learning about the first Thanksgiving.  They were able to retell the story to their families using their retell necklaces.  I was so proud of them.  To help, I made a simple text version of the Thanksgiving story.  I printed it out and glued onto colored scrapbook paper to match their retell bead.  The visual helped my students tremendously.

We also watched the classic Charlie Brown, The Mayflower Voyage.  You can find it on this DVD or access via YouTube here (Part 1) and here (Part 2).

My little one and me
As Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded that I have so much to be thankful for this year; my health, loved ones, school family and for the collaboration and learning I have found via blogging.

From my classroom to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
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P.S. I hope to share more about QR codes this week.

QR Codes and Word Work

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to learn from fellow teachers about integrating technology into the classroom.  What I liked about this conference was that the teachers were "real" teachers who taught in "real" classrooms.  Best of all, they were kindergarten and first grade teachers!

One of the sessions I attended showed how to use QR codes in learning applications.  I must admit, I had seen QR codes before but really never knew why or how to use them.  Now, I do.

This week, I taught my students about QR codes and how to use them as part of our Word Work.  First, I showed some advertisements that I collected to show the real world application of their use.  Then, I modeled them how to scan the code using my iPhone. (Yes, I let them use my phone as we didn't have anything else to use.)  In my classroom, we used this app, although, there are many free ones.

I guided them through this activity.  It was a QR code scavenger hunt around the room.  We talked about how to safely handle my phone and camera as Mr. Parker would not be buying Mrs. Parker a new one anytime soon. :) Each child had a turn scanning the code and seeing what the code said.

Using our dry erase boards, we wrote the high frequency words.  As I worked with each group, I had a chance to observe which students knew the words and which needed additional practice. I plan on doing this activity more frequently as an engaging way to practice skills but add 21st learning to the skill.

Happy Teaching!


Our Week in Pictures

I saw these wonderful shape turkeys and wanted to try them.  Let's just say some of us still need to work on spatial relationships just a bit more. 

This week, we used QR codes to practice our sight words.  The kids were very excited to use the camera to scan the QR code.  This was a guided activity that I hope to incorporate into our Word Work study.  Of course, we spent some of the week discussing the election.  

Inspired by HeidiSongs directed drawings of Pilgrims, we made our own version.  I did get them started by providing them with a U shape for the face but all the other details they did on their own with my modeling.

In other news, my blog was featured in Carson-Dellosa's Facebook page.  Don't forget to enter my giveaway.  A lucky winner will be announced soon.


It's November!

November is finally upon us.

Here are a few books that I hope to read throughout the month.

Click here to read the original post.
I love to teach nutrition this month since Thanksgiving centers around food and family. We launched the unit by going to our local grocery store.  The kids toured the store, met many workers from various departments, and took home a bag of donated groceries.

Our team is planning a Thanksgiving feast.  We will sing It's November to our families.  I hope to teach my students the story of Thanksgiving using this retelling bracelet.  I did this a few years ago with my first graders.  That year, we feasted on more traditional foods of the first Thanksgiving.  

Some new additions, I hope to accomplish this November will center on the upcoming election and I hope to make Stone Soup and bake bread with my class.  I've been busy planning these ideas; well, at least virtually, pinning.  To see more, follow my Pinterest board

Many of these ideas were from earlier posts. Thus,

Happy Teaching.
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