Thursday, June 28, 2012

Race Car Game and Good Finds

Have you ever been to Carl's Corner?  It is a fabulous website made by a retired teacher who has wonderful ideas and is very generous!!

Click on picture and then scroll down to find game.
I found this game on her website a while back and I thought that it would be really cute to use little cars as the markers for the game but I couldn't find any cars.  Well, the other day while at the Dollar Tree I found these:

I think that they are perfect.  I love the game boards on this website (there are so many!!)  because you can program them any way that you want to.  I think that I will have the children draw a card with a sight word on it and if they can read it they move two spaces and if not they stay where they are.  I am not sure yet but I was so happy I found the perfect cars...little things make me happy:)

While at the Dollar Tree I also found these:

The little containers with animal faces on them are only about 2 inches tall and I am thinking about using them for math manipulative holders for math stations during my zoo unit.  They are really cute!  They are snack containers for toddlers and I got the monkeys, hippos and dogs.  I love the mini tub like containers, they are 2 for a dollar!  And of course I love the marbles for counting. 

I also made it to the 99cent Store and got these:

I love how simple they are and how they do not have any writing or decorations on them.  They are perfect for counting jars.  I am not sure why I would need three counting jars but I liked all of the colors and couldn't decide.  They are about 4 inches tall.  I actually bought more things at both stores but I already dropped some off at school.
Sunday, June 24, 2012

Daily 5 In My Room

I have seen that some of you are doing a book study on the book The Daily 5 by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser.  I read this book a few years ago and I really liked it. I also got a lot of information from the website called The 2 Sisters.  I started implementing the routines from the book into my classroom after I read it and I was so happy with the way the children reacted to it.  I should call it the Daily 3 in my room because I only use the first three components; Read to Self, Read to Someone and Listen to Reading. I actually called it Reading Choices.  I introduce 'read to self' first and we work hard on modeling and we make a stamina graph to record how many minutes we were able to read each day.  At first the books in their book boxes only included the paper books that we had made in class.  After I taught the students about "good fit" books I let them pick two books to go along with the paper books.  I usually choose where everyone sits until they get a feel for picking a good spot.  They can sit on the floor or at a table.  I have "reading rugs" for the people sitting on the floor (they are actually cheap bath rugs that I found at Target). 

After working on this for a while (each group of students is different in how fast they get this part down) we move to 'read to someone'.  Read to someone is their favorite!  They love reading to a friend.  I take my time modeling this one to make sure that they understand how to listen to someone read. This is a hard skill for some of them.
Then I add 'listen to reading' to the mix.  I use cassette players with headphones, cd players with headphones, the computer with headphones, and whisper phones.  I need to update my technology and get more cd players or mp3 players because the cassette players are not easy for the kids to work and they are getting old.  For the computer I use websites that have online stories read to the students with pictures of the book for the kids to follow along.  Some that I use include:

One More Story 
-you have to pay for a subscription

-Phoenix Public Library, you first click on ebooks + digital media and then scroll down and on the left hand side there is a link to Tumblebook Library

Storyline Online
-actors read the stories

-you will need a subscription if you want to see all of the books but there are many stories and songs that are free

I am hoping that I will still be able to fit this into my half-day schedule somehow!  When I was full day kindergarten I did this before our center time 3 times a week. I didn't use it as my center time so that is why I only used the first three components.  I felt like the word work and writing was already in center time so I didn't need to do it twice.

When we worked our way up to using the three different types of reading I would have the children choose where they were going.  I have a chart on my smartboard and I would just write in their names as they chose (when I didn't have a smartboard I just used pictures in a pocketchart with the students names on index cards).  There were only so many slots for 'listen to reading' so when it filled up they had to pick something else. If they chose 'read to someone' they had to ask someone if they could read with them and then that person had to say yes or no thank you if they wanted to pick something else.  Then I let them read for 10 minutes and then we came back to the floor and did one more rotation of 10 minutes.  They could pick something different to do this time.  The students loved Reading Choices and I noticed how focused most of the students were during this time.  I think giving them choices really helped!

You can get more ideas for Daily 5 by going to A Differentiated Kindergarten and Sharing Kindergarten and check out their Linky Party!
Thursday, June 21, 2012

Half-Day Kindergarten Schedule

How many of you teach half-day kindergarten?  Next school year my school is changing from full day kindergarten to half-day kindergarten!!  I used to teach half-day five years ago but now with the common core standards and higher expectations I am struggling with trying to fit it all in!!  I have looked at so many blogs but it seems like many of you are full day.  If you teach half-day I would love to hear what your schedule is like and how you manage your time! 
Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ABC Mouse

Image result for abc mouse image

My students love this site!!  It is probably because they get "tickets" when they have competed an activity and when you collect so many tickets you get to buy things (all kids love collecting tickets).  ABC Mouse is geared towards preschool to kindergarten students.  It is a lot of fun and can be done at the computer center or on the smartboard as whole group lessons.  The kids love the different activities and they can manage it as a center because it is easy to use.  There are puzzles, games, drawing activities, and they can even trace numbers and letters with a cool rainbow pen.  As the teacher you can create subgroups within your login so you could make a group and add the specific games you want that group to do.  It is free to schools only. Click on the picture above to go to the teacher subscription page.
Monday, June 18, 2012

Number Talks: Mental Math

I got the book, Number Talks Mental Math Computation by Sherry Parish, last week in the mail.  It comes with a dvd which is very helpful!  I love it because as you are reading the book there are references as to which part of the dvd you should watch to go along with what you are reading.  It makes things easier to understand when you see someone demonstrating it!  The first chapter introduces number talks and explains what they are and the teacher's role.  They are short (5-15 minutes) periods of time to focus on a math concept.  In kindergarten number talks include three things; dot cards, 5 and 10 frames, and rekenreks.  I use all of these materials but I was kind of all over the place with the numbers or concepts I used.  In the upcoming chapters they lay out specific lessons to do with the materials.  I know that Pat over at Simply First Grade Fun has already created smartboard lessons to go along with this book.  You have to see her lessons they are great!!
Saturday, June 9, 2012

Number Talks

I just ordered this book on Amazon.  I have been wanting this book for a while now and this is the cheapest that I have seen it so I grabbed it!  We have a copy at our school but I need something to read this summer and I also like to have my own copy of books:)  Has anyone else read this?  Last year my colleagues and I used number talks in our math lessons and I really liked the idea but I feel like I need some more instruction on how to use them more effectively.  I have the dot cards,  5 and 10 frame cards, and I even made rekenreks last year (if you are unfamiliar with rekenreks read my previous post on them here).

  • Do you use "Number Talks" in your classroom?
  • If so, for how long and what kind do you use?

I am hoping to get a lot of great information from this book.  I cannot wait to read it!!

This is a rekenrek.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reading Street Resources

Click HERE to go to the Reading Street Resource Page!
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