Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 4 Down!

Whew! Even though we've been in school 4 weeks now, I still feel like I'm living a day or two behind! I always forget how crazy these first months are! We have settled into our routines for the most part, so we're digging in deep in reading and math!
This week, we focused on characters and sequence in reading. We used The Three Little Pigs to help us do this. I don't know why {I guess because I grew up hearing these stories}, but it amazes me how many children don't know classic fairytales! The one benefit though, is that I have a captive audience when I read them! We did lots of activities with the classic version and other versions of the story, but I only got just a few pictures of what we did {you can get these in my 3 little pigs pack}.
We sequenced the pigs and what they used to build their houses.

We compared the wolf from the traditional story with the wolf from The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.

We also very quickly compared the endings of all 3 stories we read {don't judge the chart...sometimes you gotta keep it real and show you didn't have time to make it fancy!}
In math, we focused on the number 4 and rectangles. We used our good friend Pete and his 4 groovy buttons all week to help us decompose, count on, and learn all we could about the number 4!

We also made our number 4 little guys and they turned out great! {these are part of my Nifty Numbers pack}
For rectangles, we sorted shapes and made our rectangle person. My kids look forward to these each week! {These are part of my Shape Up pack}

This week we're moving on to the farm and number 5. Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Learning with the Three Bears

Week 3 is in the books and I feel like things are clicking! I'm not having to repeat morning procedures ten times and the kids are getting adjusted to being in "big" school and not getting a nap everyday! {Those first couple of weeks are rough!}
Since we were learning about the number 3 in math, our team decided to use Goldilocks and the Three Bears in our ELA block {I love teaching thematically!}. I used the traditional version and Believe Me, Goldilocks Rocks!
Monday, we read the classic tale as a cold read. I was amazed at how many kids had not heard it! They were super engaged while I was reading! On Tuesday, we read the classic version again and sequenced Goldilocks' day.

On Wednesday and Thursday, we read Believe Me, Goldilocks Rocks and compared it to the original story.
We also made these cute little Baby Bears to hold our Venn diagrams. {and let me say my kids are already rockin' following directions for crafts!}
We also did a little porridge taste test {a.k.a. cream of wheat} and I was shocked at how much my kids liked it! The majority begged for more!
 We also started workshops this week and I was amazed at how quietly my kids worked and how on task they were! We need lots of practice with the alphabet, so they worked on matching letters {something about having the characters from the story kept them engaged!}
We also worked on tracing letters and letter strokes.

In math, we worked on the number 3 and triangles. We started the week by using the 3 bears and our ten frame to decompose 3. I didn't get to snap a picture of the kids being the bears on the big ten frame, but I did snap one of their individual ten frames and of these cuties with their equations.

We also did these cute activities from my friend Deeanna's pack. It really does make a difference to start making equations and using the addition and equal symbols early on in the year!

We also used the number bond mats from my new number pack to decompose 3. The kids loved using the little bears!

Since we were learning about the number 3, it was also the perfect week to learn about triangles. We learned triangles have 3 sides and 3 vertices and eating the vertices off pita chips really made the concept stick!

We also sorted triangles and cut the pieces to make our triangle guys {which I also didn't get a picture of yet!}. These are part of my Shape Up pack.

All of the ELA activities and the porridge taste test can be found in my newest pack...

This week, we're moving on to number 4, rectangles, squares, and The Three Little Pigs. I'm hoping to get back into a regular blogging routine now that school is starting to settle down! I hope your week is fantastic!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Little Math

We finished up week 2 and I can finally say I *think* the new littles are beginning to understand that this school thing is going to be happening for a little while longer, so they've hunkered down and really started shining with our routines and procedures.
One area we jump right into is math. We start the first week doing the numbers 0 and 1 and learning about circles. This past week, we worked on number 2. Let me say that we do not have a math curriculum that we have to use and it is HEAVEN!! My friend Deeanna does a great job coming up with creative math lessons and our kids learn so much with the way we organize math. We take a number each week and really focus on it...learning to write it, count to it, count from it, and decomposing it. Doing just one number a week really helps the kids form a great number sense!
Every week, we rainbow our number then glue cheerios or pretzels on it. {I love rainbowing numbers and letters!!}.

 We also always make a ten frame for the number. I didn't snap a picture of ours this week, but it looks like this. I let the kids use pictures of whatever theme we're doing {this week, they glued Jack and Jill on the ten frame}, then they practice tracing and writing the number.

Speaking of ten frames, we use this floor ten frame at least 3 times a week, if not more. It is probably one of my favorite math tools! For 0 and 1, the kids acted out Humpty Dumpty. We practiced making Humpty Dumpty go to the #1 spot {I am a stickler for making the kids use the ten frame starting at the top left - just like we read!}. Then, when he fell, we talked about how the ten frame now showed 0. The kids had a blast!

Starting with #2, we start decomposing. I have had sooooo many people question this, and when we first started the idea of doing it so early, I questioned it too! However, it works!! A lot of our kids come in with little numbers sense, poor handwriting, etc., but I am telling you, about week 5, magic happens and all the hard work pays off when you see them finally get decomposing! I strongly urge you to just give your kids a chance to show you what they can do! This week, we used Jack and Jill to decompose. I let kids pretend to be Jack and Jill going up the "hill," then we also decomposed another day where each child had their own hill and Jack and Jill to manipulate.

Something I've added this year to our math routine for each number is sorts. I made them this summer, and so far, I love them. I have large sorting cards that we use to sort whole group, then individual sorting pages to sort by number/not that number.
This week, we also started our number guys. I was so excited about these, but to be honest, I knew the first one was going to be a struggle, and it was. I helped the kids come up with the representations this week, and I probably will again next week, but I definitely think it helped them! They turned out so cute!
Because we take so much time with each number, I usually wait until we've taught #5 to start math centers so that the kids are comfortable working independently.
Along with numbers, we also teach shapes on the week that coincides with the number of side a shape has. So, the first week, we teach circles. One of our favorite things to do is use marshmallows to paint circles!
We also sort shape cards and do an individual sort {that I didn't snap a picture of!} and make a circle guy. For the shape people, the kids have to cut out the body, eyes, hands, and feet, so they get lots of good practice cutting a certain shape!
Next week we're moving on to #3 and triangles! Most of the above activities, can be found in these packs:
I'd love to hear more about how you teach math...are you required to use a series? Do you teach numbers slowly? Fill me in!