Friday, July 25, 2014

A Freebie And Ten Black Dots!

Hey Kinder Friends,
I started today off thinking about counting in Kindergarten and I started thinking about some of my favorite counting things...dots. And I thought what a great day to talk about counting! Ever since I was a little girl I loved to count. I counted anything and everything. I just always wanted to know how many! I wanted to know the number for anything around me. In my earliest childhood memories, I can recall guessing how many of this or that and counting it out just to recount to make sure I was right the first time! I can remember counting in my head when I was bored or when I was waiting...I hated waiting and I hated being bored. I just always wanted to be thinking of something, so for me counting kept me busy.
When I began teaching Kindergarten, I started collecting counting books and that obsession has never ended. I honestly do not think you could have too many counting books when you teach Kindergarten anyway but who's counting, right? And you know Ten Black Dots is at the top of the list!
As a child I can also remember creating my own mental images in order to help me solve simple math problems. For simple math, it was easier for me to remember a snapshot picture or image in my head instead of actually counting.
As a child I do not recall any teacher teaching me any strategies to be more efficient in math. In fact, the only thing I remember about my childhood math instruction was the right and the wrong. And I have often wondered if I had been taught math strategies and if the focus at times could have included understanding my mathematical thinking or the mathematical thinking of others, then would I have a different perception of my own mathematical abilities today?
Even after 14 years of Kindergarten, it still amazes me that children have a natural ability to understand numbers at such a young age. I often wonder where did they pick it up if Kindergarten was their first school experience? And if they come to Kindergarten with very little number sense it makes me wonder...why.  
My love for teaching math continues to grow from that tiny seed that was planted somewhere within me years ago... I am now surrounded by wonderful mentors that push me along to teach math better than before. And as I was digging around looking for a little inspiration I ran across Ten Black Dots. On a whim I decided to create some printables to go along with the book so that the next time around I would have a go to file for some print and go math fun on the run.
This download helps to build the foundation for meeting the standards:
CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.A.3 Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4a When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4b Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4c Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.5 Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
This download was created to use with the book Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews. The printables enclosed are simple print and go resources that can be used along with the book. You will notice that there are several pages that contain the same images but in different configurations so that the children have multiple opportunities to identify the dot arrangements. The objective is that the children will be able to instantly recognize the dot arrangements. The multiple pages allow for many opportunities to work towards meeting those standards without having to count. The resources are meant to be able to be used over time and throughout the year as needed.
Grab your copy of the My Number Book freebie by clicking on the image above!
Not only do I love dots...I love organized dots too. Simple visual organization of dots to use when talking about numbers in Kindergarten. And you know ten frames have to be some of my favorite tools. Ten frames help to create those mental images that I remember as a child. I created these Ten Frame Playdough mats to use in class because they are a staple in the classroom. I wanted a print and go file that I could use year after year. Usually by the end of the year I have to print them again because they have been used so much. No big deal...just print, laminate and go. I guess the hardest part is just deciding on what color to print them on or if I want to bind them and make books or just keep them as mats...or both! Click on the image above for more information!

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Hey Kinder Friends,
It's quickly becoming that time of year again. You know the "crunch" time of the B2S dash we all do. And we get busy and it is hard to get it all done. I was thrilled to be able to squeeze a little time in and update this little resource. If you have previously purchased the Math Wall Teacher Resources please download again from TeacherspayTeachers. This resource has been updated and I want to be sure you get it all. So now you get not only the 0-10 very large math wall size number line, the very large 0-20 math wall size number line and 0-20 ten frame math wall cards and now you get math strategy posters and shape posters as well. These are simple black and white so you can customize yours and print them on any fantastic color you choose. I love that!
Oh, the choices for this year... What color? What combo? What border? Who knows? We can't get back in our rooms for a while due to construction so there still is time to ponder...and ponder.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Take A BITE Out Of Teacher Prep!
Hey Finder Friends,
Summer has given me a little time to sit back and think about the past school year and reflect a little bit. I think it is fair to say that I invested a lot of time communicating with parents last year. I spent more time devoted to communication than any other year and maybe all years combined. There were days that left me exhausted from it all. It did not take long for me to realize I had to streamline this process for myself and save myself a little time. I had always wished for a newsletter template but I always decided to devote time to the most pressing or urgent needs and I never got around to it.
This summer I was able to create an editable newsletter template that I will use for weekly communication with my class. In the past I have used several different types of letters to communicate but often times I would dread coming home and creating it and making it visually appealing at night after a long day of school. I wanted to spend my time communicating personal milestones and accomplishments instead of decorating a newsletter or focus on the content of my message.
Each newsletter has a front page and a coordinating back page that can be used if needed. I wanted to be able to write about what was going on in different areas of the curriculum so I created different spaces so I had options. I think I used just about every set of graphics that I had on hand so that I would have a newsletter for just about everything. I know this will get me motivated because all I have to do is add my content and print. No more searching for the creative clips...just add the content and print. I have included newsletter templates with graphics for birthdays, back to school, apples, pumpkins, fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, gingerbread, penguins and polar bears, snow, popcorn, cookies, Valentine's, Groundhog's, Saint Patrick's, Earth Day, spring, talent show, growing, garden, gumballs, lemonade, Mother's Day, bears and bee's, ice cream, rainy days, toys, superhero, summer, detective, art, pigs, graduation, robots and a template to add your own. No more searching or shopping for the right clip just add your content and go!
I also wanted a template that was black and white so that I had a few options... I wanted to be able to print these on colored paper and have them stand out in the parent-child communication folders. Let's be honest...I wanted to also hide from the color "ink police" as well and this gets my goal accomplished and keeps the "ink police" at bay. But I am a girl who loves options! So, because this is editable, I can add color to the text in the body of my content and have words or phrases stand out and look eye catching without the entire page being filled with color, which makes option two...color ink friendly. And best of all, it looks good with splashes of color here and there so much that it would be simple to jazz these templates up and send them to the parents through email. So option three is friendly!
And if you are a font lover like me you can use your favorite font because...all you do is add you content in the text boxes and print or hit file, save as, name it and send that little ditty on it's way! So simple and no fuss just good ol' communication. What the heck, go the extra mile and save or print a copy for your documentation of communication with parents...but you already knew that one I am sure. With over 36 editable, seasonal premade newsletter templates just ready to go you are going to look like you have it all together! If you need more information just click on the images above.


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