Saturday, September 14, 2013
A Place For Everything...
Hey Kinder Friends,
It has been a while and we have been busy in class just getting to know each other. We have been making some progress on the changes that were taking place in the classroom but we are not quite done yet. Monitor and adjust has been the theme here as we have added to the math wall area and tried a few things and decided to change a few others. As new materials arrive and assessments come to an end, I have just a few more days to put it all in place.
One of my favorite new things this year has been my tractor seat from WalMart. Not only was it affordable it is a huge space saver for me when not in use. At times when we are in in our whole group math area, this seat tucks right under the easel you see here. And I love the baskets under the easel that hold some of my favorite math tools, the student sized Rekenreks and Magnetic Ten Frames. Both of these materials given to me by wonderful teacher friends.
Here you have it, all snug as a bug in a rug, all tucked in and out of the way. And this is so important when we are up and moving and working within our Math Block. And as all this has been going on by day, at night I have been able to spend some time reading and planning for instruction.
And I am still searching for books to add to my collection of books that will support Number Talks this year. One of my all time favorites has always been Count and See by Tana Hoban.
These books are perfect to use as you are establishing norms for Number Talks. And during this shared reading we get a chance to practice our hand signals before more formal Number Talks begin. I promised myself last year that in the beginning I would slow it down a bit and take a more relaxed approach to establishing this routine in my classroom so all of this background prep will pay off in the long run.
These books work well to elicit student response just based on simple observations from the wordless picture books. Because these books are based on real world pictures with many items on the page, it eases even the most reluctant children into the routine and provides multiple opportunities to share their observations and foster communication. And while the children are learning signals and how to respond, I get a chance to practice supporting these discussions with sentence stems and facilitating the discussions.
This also can serve as modeling how to read a wordless picture book which is one of our literacy goals. In other words...lots of bang for your bucks with these picture books. And the best part is that once you use these books for the ideas above, they are the perfect books to add to those independent reading boxes.
Check back with us and see the final results this week and see how we are doing!