Saturday, February 25, 2012

Learning about coins

Last week we started learning about money in kindergarten. We're just focusing on the basics like naming coins and their values. We've also been counting pennies-nothing too challenging! I'm planning on adding some money games to my math work stations this week. Here are some freebies for you in case your students need some practice with coins too!

This game is called Coin Grab and it practices coin recognition. I fill a little cloth bag with an assortment of coins (you could also fill a paper lunch bag or little purse) and then students take turns pulling out a coin and graphing it on their recording sheet. They do not grab a whole handful of coins at once-this is important to explain to kinders. Once they reach the top of their graph with one of the coins, the child stops and records how many of each coin they had on the bottom of the recording sheet. You can laminate the recording sheet and let students fill it in with a dry erase marker, or what I usually do is just copy it in black and white so students can fill it in with a pencil (and it is not a big deal to the kids that the coin pictures are not in color).

In case you're still studying teeth for dental health month, here is a simple little tooth math game that works on money skills. Students spin the spinner, count how many cents they spun, and move that many spaces on the game board.

I'll be back later this week with pictures of all my current math work stations. I'd love to hear what you're up to this week!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February Math Stations

Valentine's Day may not be until next week, but we are already celebrating with lots of heart themed activities. My kinders have definitely gone valentine crazy!

We've been practicing measurement, counting, graphing, patterns, and addition this week with our math stations. Most of these station activities are meant to be done using candy hearts, but I decided to save the candy for Valentine's day and we have been using foam hearts, plastic hearts, and heart erasers instead.

The kids have been LOVING these stations-my class loves using manipulatives and I guess all the cute little hearts are hard to resist!

Station 1: Candy Heart Patterns
(Students make a pattern with candy hearts (we used foam hearts) and then color in their pattern on the recording sheet. You can get this great freebie from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten.)

Station 2A: Counting Hearts
(I wrote numbers on a bunch of those little heart containers from Target, and then students had to put the containers in number order and fill them with the correct number of heart erasers. Simple number and counting review!)

Station 2B: Valentine Clip Cards
(Students count the monsters and then clip a clothespin onto the heart showing the correct number. Such an adorable activity! The heart clips are from Target and the monster cards are a freebie from Amy at The Resourceful Room. This is a pretty quick activity so that is why I had this game in the station 2 basket along with the heart containers counting game (above). Both games give great counting practice!). 

Station 3: Race to 50
(Students take turns rolling the die and covering up that many numbers on their game board. My kiddos used heart erasers to cover-up their game boards. First player to get to 50 wins. This fun freebie is from Shari Sloane's Kids Count website.)

Station 4: How Many Letters Graph
(Students took a conversation heart out of the bag, counted how many letters were on the heart, and graphed it on their paper. This station snuck in a little literacy too! This fun freebie is from The First Grade Parade.)

Station 5: Cupcake Addition
(Are these cupcake erasers not the cutest thing? Thank you Target! Students picked an addition card, placed cupcake erasers over the cupcake images on the card, and then recorded the addition problem and the answer on their recording sheet. This fun freebie is from Amy at The Resourceful Room and she even has cupcake subtraction cards if your kids are ready for that too!)

Station 6: Measuring Length with Hearts
(Students used hearts to measure the length of different classroom objects and then recorded their findings on the sheet. You can get my freebie recording sheet here.)

Station 7: Lovin' Addition Game
(I just love this type of addition mat. Students were given a bag with a mix of pink and purple plastic hearts (from Target). Then they put some purple hearts on the left side of their addition mat and some pink hearts on the right side of their addition mat. Finally they recorded the addition problem they'd made and the answer on the recording sheet. Even my struggling students were able to use the manipulatives successfully to do some simple addition problems! Grab this fantastic freebie from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten.)

Station 8: Measuring Weight with Hearts
(This was easily the most popular station this week-but also one of the more challenging ones too since it introduced a new skill. My students had never used a balance scale before, but now they are turning into pros! They weighed different classroom objects to see how many hearts they weighed. It took some real teamwork to count each heart as it was dropped into the balance's bucket. You can grab my free recording sheet here.)

Station 9: How Big is Your Heart?
(Students used little foam hearts to measure and then record how long different sized hearts were. You can grab the heart template and recording sheets for free from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten.) 

I hope your class is enjoying some valentine fun as well!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Candy Heart Fun

Looking for some fun ways to use candy hearts? I picked up a small box of conversation hearts for each of my students so that they'll be able to do some fun learning activities with them and then have a sweet little snack.

One way we'll be using candy hearts this week is in our math stations. I'll let students use the hearts to practice nonstandard measurement. They'll get to practice measuring how long different objects are and how much they weigh using candy hearts (you could also use plastic hearts instead of the candy).

Here are some freebie recording sheets in case you're interested! My kinders will draw/write the object they are measuring on the left side of the chart and then record the object's length (or weight) on the right side of the chart. This will be their first experience using our balance scale-should be interesting!

We'll also being using our candy hearts for patterning and then sorting, counting, and graphing by color. I've been doing this activity for years, but love the cute recording sheets Erin from Eberhart's Explorers made. I also like the idea of letting students graph how many letters are in the "conversation" on each of their candy hearts and plan to use the cute recording sheet from First Grade Parade (she has a cute candy heart probability game too!).

I bought the candy hearts at Target (of course!) where they were $2 for a set of 8 boxes. Not sure if they have them cheaper somewhere else. I was happy to find that Brach's candy hearts have not been processed with peanuts, since I have a peanut allergy in my class, and it seems most other candy heart brands like Necco have a peanut warning on the label. I also found a few other cute things at Target.

These cupcake and dinosaur erasers will be great to use in some sort of center activity and the little grocery bags are going straight to my dramatic play area. My fave is the "I love my farmer's market" bag since I am planning to turn my dramatic play area into a farmer's market later this spring!

Can you believe it's already February? Happy Valentine's Day!