Wednesday, January 29, 2014


It's almost here! The most dreaded of Kindergarten holidays.......that's right......Valentine's Day!!!!! There is more candy on Valentine's Day than on Halloween. The entire day is a wash because the kids are too excited to actually do anything productive. I face this dreaded day each year and think "How can I make Valentine's Day worth while?" Here is my first activity:
My students will cut the numbers apart and glue them in order. Grab it here.

Another activity we do is graphing candy hearts. A lot of Kindergarten classes do this, but I teach Transitional Kindergarten and wanted an activity even more lowest kid could be successful at. I mean, it's Valentine's Day. Share the love!
Candy Heart Graphing
Valentine Heart Size Activity
Just have your student color and put out the hearts and glue them in order, biggest to smallest....or smallest to biggest! They are a nice decoration in the classroom as well.

I like to make the Twinkie heart for a fun snack on this day. Cut a Twinkie at a diagonal, flip one side around and it makes a heart. Top with strawberries, cherries, or anything else you want!

Here is a picture of our Valentine Bulletin Board out in the hallway:
Happy Valentines!

Monday, January 20, 2014

100th Day of Kindergarten

The 100th day of Kindergarten is this Friday for our school! This is an especially fun day when we get to explore the number 100. Have a long list of activities (not sure if I can get them all done...) and we will be learning all day long.

-I begin the day with the story Miss Bindergarten and the 100th Day of Kindergarten.
-We will think about how much 100 really is. We will sing the 100 counting song and look at the 100 chart I have posted in the classroom. We will talk about what kinds of things we could want 100 of and make a list. Students will transfer this to their journal writing that we do each morning.

-We will talk about counting to 100 by 10s and how much faster it is to count by 10s, or skip count. We will do a dot-to-dot by 10s.

-We will then start our first craft of the day! When I am 100 years old....
This is a fun craft where students get to make their 100 year old face. We talk about wrinkles and white hair and glasses. We also finish the sentence "When I am 100 years old I will_______________." Students can make up their own ending. Grab the activity here.

-We will have a 100 snack before recess. (Many classes do the trail mix thing, but I get very frustrated with that much stuff around.) We make a 100 out of a pretzel rod and two mini donuts.

-After lunch we will go on our 100 Hershey Kisses Hunt!! This is always a big hit, year after year. Before the 100th day, write numbers 1-100 on the bottom of 100 Hershey Kisses with a Sharpie. (Yes, this seems like it would take forever, but I accomplish this in about 5 min, so it is not as hard as it seems.) Before my students come in from lunch on the 100th day I hide the Kisses around the room. Students find the Kisses (like an Easter Egg Hunt) and match the number on the bottom to the number on my 100 chart. I remove the 100 chart from the wall and lay it flat in the table so students can put the Kisses on top of it. Of course, there are rules.
1. No running.
2. No screaming.
3. You can only bring 1 Hershey Kiss to the chart at a time (to stop those kids that will grab as many as they can right away. This give everyone a fair chance to participate.)
4. No eating!!
If students cannot follow the rules they must sit out. (Yes, it happens.) We find all 100 and then divide them up between the class. Students are always surprised when they only get 4! 

-We make the Fruit Loop necklace....I am never satisfied that they all have 100 fruit loops, but oh well.
-We will paint 100 gumballs in our gumball machine (a super cute idea from Apples and ABCs.)
-The last activity for the day is doing 100 exercises. We have help from the 5th grade on this one. One 5th grade class comes up with 100 exercises to do with a group of Kinders. They teach them the exercises and they do it together. Not only does it get the Kinders moving, but it is an excellent math lesson for the 5th graders.

When I go home, I will be exhausted!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mickey Mouse Math

Mickey Mouse Math!

Every kid knows his face! Mickey can help you teach addition!
When I begin addition with equations I always start with Mickey Mouse Math. I give students small cubes. (They look like cheese, right? I tell the kids not to eat it.) I ask them to put 3 in one of Mickey's ears and 2 in the other ear. Then we swoop them down into his head and count how many all together. Once I have done this a few times, we get out the dry erase markers and start writing the numbes (as seen above). If you would like to try Mickey Mouse Math you can grab it here.
Here is a  couple of shots of my math focus board. We are using dice to add numbers together as a whole group. I want my students to see the dice patterns and match them to the numeral.

We are also using straw and base ten rods and units to count the days of the year. (We are almost at 100!!) We put up one unit a day and change them out for rods when we get ten. I want them to see the exchange between units and rods. We use the straws in the same way. I am introducing place value with my students now so that they can see the relationship between groups of 10s and 1s. If you want the base ten printables you can click here.

Snowmen at Night

Snowmen at Night Bulletin Board
We read Snowmen at Night and used our sight words to make our snowglobe craft. I gave my students a prompt (which they had to trace). I highlighted the spot in the sentence where they needed to insert a sight word to finish the sentence. Many of my students can think of their own word by looking at our word wall, but some needed concrete choices, so I gave them either "run, jump, play." They then chose their word and wrote it down. To grab this activity click here.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Base Ten

It is January. I have taught numbers 0-15 extensively. We can write it, count it, find it, etc. Now is the time to stop and really make sure my students hit those Common Core standards. We are going to dive into a lot of base ten work. We have done base ten over the course of the semester and my students have a very good hold on the idea. They love ten frames and understand what a rod is and what a unit it. But, can they use it to count larger numbers? Can they decompose? That is what I will be teaching this month in math. I have just added my Base Ten Number Cards to my TpT store as a request from another teacher at my school. Like me, this teacher has a limited amount of wall space and wants to use the time and space she has effectively. My Base Ten Number Cards show students the number, ten frames, and rods and units to make a number. They are great to use when teaching the numbers and when teaching Base Ten and Decomposition.

I am trying to think of a variety of activities to use for Base Ten. In My Base Ten Number Cards I have added a math mat that we use to understand the teen numbers. Here is what it looks like:
Students use the base ten manipulatives to make the given number. I also use other activities. I really like the Rainbow Base Ten sheet I got from Pinterest
I hope your class is doing well with this standard! We will work on it till we get it right!

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