Friday, January 23, 2015

Five For Friday!

Hey Kinder Friends,
Five for Friday is great especially on a week when your documentation of the week has been a little sketchy. I mean if it could go wrong with simple technology, it just did. Although I have carried cute bags of cameras, cords, back up cameras and a cell phone, it is still...just a bit sketchy. This linky party is just perfect for me and I fit right in because I am a little random at this point, so I thought what the heck, let's give it a go!

We started off the week with talking about the colors of us. We had a lot of good conversation when we got out the multicultural crayons and tried to find the color of each of us. This was the activity that really opened our eyes and helped us understand that it isn't and white. We are all really shades of the same color.
If you have some multicultural crayons and want to give this a try, just click here and get yours free! It goes perfect with one of my favorite books!
So, during the week we were able to do a little 100th day planning. And for the first time I will admit I am a little excited about it. Let's just be honest, this time we are celebrating that we actually have a darn good...plan. Yes, I just said that as if we didn't have a plan all those years just might have been a little half baked. So, if you have a half baked plan and need a little help, just click on the image above.
So, if you know me you know I love Science. And if you know me well, you know our Science time has been cut dramatically this year. And if you are close to me, you know I always have a little Science project going on. Late at night I have been working on this. I am so excited about Science this coming week leading up to Groundhogs Day. We are going to track some weather, research, write and report the weather. If you need a little inspiration just click on the image above.
We ended the week with a little MLK project. We worked on this on and off all week. And just to complete it was wonderful enough but in the middle of all of this, I had a moment in my classroom that I had waited on all year. Some years this moment comes as early as October and this year the moment came as late as the end of January... That moment when you see and hear and feel the sense of community in your classroom. Not just a few kids...all. All of us the same time working in harmony with a common goal. I live for that one single moment every single year. I got it today. I left feeling complete. I left feeling right with the world. My world. I snapped this picture as I was leaving to capture this moment of the year. It's not about a perfect project or picture. It's about our struggles to get to this moment and remembering the conversations and moments we shared to get to our moment.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Hey Kinder Friends,
You might be asking yourself why are we talking about 10 Black Dots now? Really there are a few reasons. And the first reason is that if you have previously purchased this I want you to be the first to know that the file has been updated and you need to download it again from TeacherspayTeachers and get the updated file. It really is that easy.

The second reason is that if you didn't see this freebie before you can still grab it by clicking on the image above it will take you to the download. This is one of those files that is nice to have on hand for sub tubs and homework folders. Not only that but it can look different at different times of the year with seasonal stickers or stamps and even dots!
And the last reason for talking about 10 Black Dots this time of year is because sometimes...we have to. Maybe almost your entire class is well beyond and that is something to celebrate. Or maybe there is just that one child that still needs a little support. Or maybe you are the teacher who just got two new children in January and you are their first teacher. You know it happens every year. And you know that you have no time to sit around and wonder how this happened. So here I am back to the tried and true file to print...again. I had my to-do list right beside me and added 10 more pages. I wanted to be sure that you had the updates too...just in case you needed them like me!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Number Talks With 100 Snowmen!

Hey Kinder Friends,
You know me. I am always on the hunt for a good book. My favorite books have always been math books. If it can be incorporated into any math discussion or discussion about numbers, I just have to have it. My books are carefully selected and planned and...treasured. A favorite book gets read more than once and I honestly hate thinking about putting a favorite book away and waiting until the next year to read it again. I am always trying to figure out new ways to extend the reading experience and make it an active engagement experience. One of my favorite ways to do that in math this year has been with number lines. I can't get enough of number lines this year.

When I saw the book 100 Snowmen I knew I had to have it. I wasn't sure how I was going to use it in the classroom but I knew I had to have it. Once it arrived, I realized that this is mainly a book about joining numbers 1-9. But what really caught my attention was that the last page all of the numbers were added together to get 100 snowmen. I knew that had to be a part of my discussion when reading this book. Although this was my intention, I wanted to read the book with the kids first and then plan for a more structured talk about it. When reading for the first time, we just read it though and we had a general discussion about the book. I used this time to just listen to what the kids are thinking and plan for the next reading.
When I read the book for the second time I like it to be an active engagement reading. With active engagement reading during math, I incorporate a familiar math tool.
Ten Frames
Number Lines

 For our second reading we used number lines and I paused throughout the book and they found the number on the number line. Throughout the reading, we went up and down the number line to 20. It was easy to see who was having difficulty and who was not. I also noticed most of the kids were confident in their movements and a few children were looking around to see if what they had was right. We put our number lines down at the last page and discussed the large quantity of 100 snowmen on the last page. As the children went to their math boxes, I just listened to the discussion and planned for the next discussion.
On the third reading we used our ipads and responded to the text. And out of curiosity the kids wanted to know how to create 100 with the rekenreks and one student was able to teach everyone including the new students. We talked about ten groups of ten and left our session at that. After listening and watching the kids during and after these sessions I was able to plan for my final reading of the book in the following days.
For the final reading, we focused on the last page and this framed our discussion or ...number talk.
What strategies can we use to help us count large quantities?
I pose the question and I listen to their responses and record their thinking.
We can touch each object.
We can touch and move each object.
We can line them up.
We can make groups.
We can use ten frames.
We can make pictures.
Our session this time without the book lasted about five minutes. Just five minutes. Not a big commitment. The sessions with the book readings took about fifteen minutes each.
Where do we go from here?
First, I never defined what "large quantities" were. I just wanted to know what their thinking was after seeing 100 snowman scattered on the page of different sizes and orientations. Honestly, at my first glace, when thinking about using this with kindergarten kids, it looked overwhelming. I imagine a table of scattered UNIFIX cubes looks the same way to a new kinder kid. So, in all reality, a large quantity could be 10, 20 or even 100 depending on each of us individually. Furthermore, a discussion about counting strategies is helpful to each and every one of my students including the two new students that collectively only have had four weeks of formal school when the rest of us have had a half of year of kindergarten and some a full year of prek before that.  It's like the easiest differentiation...ever!
 What are the next steps?
Everyone always what? Well, we could talk about strategies for accurate counting or even efficient counting strategies. I know we will have great talks about that. But listening to the kids I know right now they are interested in...story problems. Yep, snowy story problems! Which reminded me of these cute snowmen we made when we were dreaming of snow. If you want to check them out just click on the picture and it will take you there!
Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!


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