Wednesday, June 29, 2011

100th Post and a Sale!

As I was looking at my blog today, I noticed that I now have 100 posts! I can't believe how far this little blog has come in such a short time! In celebration of 100 posts, I'm throwing a sale in my TPT store. See the details below!



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Math Workstations- Chapter 5 with a FREEBIE

I don't know about you, but I am still just LOVING what I am reading in Debbie Diller's Math Workstations. This week the chapter was about Addition and Subtraction Workstations, and I've got so many ideas swarming through my mind again. I wrote them all down, but only had a chance to create one game so far. You can get the freebie at the end of this post.

When I think about the games I already have in my classroom for addition and subraction workstations, I think about how I can differentiate them. Most of my addition and subtraction games involve dice. That makes it easy to differentiate based on the strategies I'd like different students to use. If I want them to work on the strategy of counting on, I give them 1 number dice and 1 dot dice. If I want them to work on using a number line, I give them the number line along with 2 dice. If I want them to work on using mental math, I just give them 2 number dice.

The thing I struggled with last year was getting my students to the point where math facts are automatic. So, I created the following game to help students develop automaticity in adding to 5, 10 and 20. My students can work together to solve the problem or can work separately as a race. I have also included a couple of ideas for differentiation. Enjoy!

How Many to 10?

Let me know if this looks like something you would use. Since it's summer, I haven't had the chance to try it out on my students yet. 

Now, you should head on over to Primary Graffiti where Cheryl is hosting this chapter of Math Work Stations. There are lots of great goodies for you to pick up!

Be on the look out this summer for some new products in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. I plan on adding quite a few themed units with 8-10 math work stations related to the theme. I'm excited to get started and share them with you. Any suggestions for themes you'd be interested in?


Friday, June 17, 2011

Giveaway... you will want to check this one out now!

Have you been to Mrs. Kelly's Kindergarten? If not, you should! Today is the perfect time to check it out because she is celebrating 100 followers! Congrats, Mrs. Kelly! Guess what else... I am teaming up with her to give away everything from my TPT store! Yes... EVERYTHING!

Good luck!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Math Workstations- Chapter 4 with a FREEBIE

I am LOVING Math Work Stations. I hope you are joining in on this great book study. If you don't have the book, at least follow along and download all the freebies!

Chapter 4 is all about work stations for beginning number concepts. When I read the chapter, my mind was just overflowing with ideas of what work stations I could have going for my students. This book is completely changing the way I think about math work stations.

If you want to see a FABULOUS post about this chapter, you have to check out Fran's post at Kindergarten Crayons. She is the one hosting this chapter of the book study and BOY did she do a fantastic job! Lots of freebies over there!

Here is one of the work stations I came up with when reading the chapter. It was inspired by Debbie Diller's Odd and Even Ladybug. I call it Odd and Even Flower Power. If you download the game, you will see the directions for the students and for the teacher. I have also included ideas for differentiating and 2 vocabulary cards. Enjoy!

 Odd and Even Flower Power


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Read Aloud Library Organized... Check!

Hey bloggie friends! I hope you are finding time to relax and truly enjoy the summertime! I haven't been so great about relaxing, but I'm working on it.

One of the things on my to do list before I left school was to have my read aloud library organized. You may have seen a previous post about my teacher library (same thing, I just call it by two different names), and it probably looked organized to you, but not completely to me! Here is a picture to jog your memory:

What I still needed to do was get a few different baskets for the books that were too big for these lovely containers from Hobby Lobby. So, I got the baskets and now it's completely organized and EVERY book has a home with a label! That makes me very happy! Sorry, but I forgot to snap a picture when I was done. I'll post it once school starts again. If you want those labels, click HERE to get to the post where you can download them.

Here is the big job I accomplished... It may sound silly to some of you, but I could be called the "Excel Spreadsheet Queen". I cataloged my teacher books into a spreadsheet so I know what I have. Turns out that I had 10 doubles of books... so sad! The best part is, I organized them by category so I can search the spreadsheet for a certain topic and know what books I have and exactly what bin I placed them in! No more will I think after a lesson, "Oh I had the perfect book to go with that!" or "Why did I get that book from the library, it's right here!" Here is my spreadsheet if you want to take a look. Feel free to use it for yourself if you'd like. Just let me forewarn you... this is a very BIG job. Don't do it unless you have a lot of time to commit and your appreciation of the finished product outweighs the amount of time you put into it.

Read Aloud Book Spreadsheet


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Making Words... Summer Theme!

Well, since Saturday I have officially been on summer vacation. Now... if you ask my husband about my summer vacation, he would give you a different story. I just can't seem to stop and relax. Anyone else in the same boat?

I agreed to tutor this summer, and for part of the homework activities I decided to create some recording worksheets for making words. I got pretty excited about it, and made 12 summer themed recording sheets. Since you are one of my AMAZING readers that I appreciate so much, here is a freebie found only on my blog!

Summer Making Words Sample

You can check out the whole packet by clicking the button below! 

Click to Purchase

Also, stay tuned for my post about Math Work Stations Chapter 3. In the mean time, check out Mrs. Parker and all the bloggers who have linked up to her!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Check out Peterson's Primary Peeps

Head on over to Peterson's Primary Peeps to check out her adorable blog! She's having a giveaway that ends TONIGHT... hurry on over there!


Math Work Stations Chapters 1 and 2

I hope you have your copy of Math Work Stations and are ready to get the book talk going!

Chapter 1 was a bit of an eye opener for me. Our team plans mostly from Investigations and it is great, but isn’t set up to have stations. The way I’ve been doing it, my students play a game for a time or two then we move on. I really want to do a mix of Work Stations and Guided Math next year, though. I think the work stations part will be great! My goal for next year is to be better about differentiating my stations and letting my STUDENTS choose what they want to keep and what to move on. I am all about choice, and can’t believe I let it slip by me this time!

Now, on to Chapter 2… organization! This I can do! You may have seen my post in March about Math organization already, but here it is again in case you would like to see it. Click here!

I haven’t been teaching for too long, so I haven’t had to purge many things that I don't need.

I organize my math manipulatives like this:

I will be changing the way the unifix cubes are organized. I really like the idea of having them in rows of 10 :)

Here is a freebie for you! Below you can get your copy of the labels I use to organize the manipulatives.

Math Labels -   

The materials we use often for games are stored like this:

This will probably end up being my math corner.

Most everything else I use for math is stored in this container:

It has worked well for me so far, but I imagine as I get more materials for different topics, I will be buying bigger containers to stack in my cabinet oh so neatly!

This is the issue I have to tackle this summer… storing the math games we are using. I have a vision of having good sized containers under the place my students store their backpacks because that is typically wasted space in my classroom. I am not sure how well this will work for me, though. When I do figure out my storage solution for the stations we are using, I’ll let you know. This year I felt like I was wasting quite a bit of time putting games away then getting them out again the next day. I just don’t have a great way to store these yet. Any ideas?

One more thought to ponder… I will be teaching math to 2 different classes. Yes, you read that right! For one hour a day I will be teaching math to another teacher's class. She will teach science and social studies to both of our classes, and I will teach math. Our school has a Dual Language program that switches this way. It has worked out very well for them, and us monolingual teachers would like to do it as well. The issue I see is the choice factor. (Remember Debbie Diller suggests to get the students involved in choosing how long to keep stations and when to put them away.) How likely is it that both classes will choose to have the same math stations available? Any insight here?

For more, hop on over to Deedee Will’s blog to read what she and other bloggers had to say!