Monday, April 23, 2012

April Math Stations

Now that it's April my kinders can really do a lot in math! We just wrapped up our unit on measurement about a week ago, and have moved on to learning about addition, so our stations have lots of measurement and addition practice. Next month we'll study subtraction and then do some final review before the school year ends! I think my kinders are in great shape math-wise this year since they have gotten so much math practice each day from our work stations.

Here's some of what we've been up to at our math stations this month.

Station 1: Bug Jar Counting
(Each bug jar has a number at the bottom and students count out that many bug erasers into the jar. I made lots of jars so my students could practice with the numbers 1-31. I can't remember where I got my jar template, but here is a free mason jar template I found that is very similar.)

Station 2: What Comes Next?
(Students roll a die and write the number they rolled in the square. Then they write the numbers that come after that number in the carrots next to the square. Good counting and number writing practice! You can download this cute game for free from Kindergarten Hoppenings.)

Station 3: Adding Up Strawberries
(Students roll a die a place that many strawberries in the first basket on their workmat. Students then roll the die again and place that many strawberries in the second basket on their workmat. Students record the addition problem they have made on the recording sheet and then solve the addition problem. I got these plastic strawberries from Lakeshore, but you could also just use red unifix cubes and have the kids pretend they are strawberries. You can download my free workmat here and the recording sheet here. I copy the recording sheet back-to-back so they have space to do more addition problems.)

Station 4: Egg Addition
(Students open up a plastic egg and take out the erasers that are inside. Inside each egg I put different combinations of bunnies and carrots. Students write an addition sentence for adding together the bunnies plus the carrots and solve for the answer. My students used a recording sheet I got from Mrs. Ricca's April Math & Literacy Centers, but in the past I have also done this game with students just writing the addition problems on scratch paper. The mini erasers are from Target.)

Station 5: Hatching Numbers
(Students roll two dice, add the numbers together, and trace the sum on their recording sheet. This game, with the darling graphic of the very hungry caterpillar, is from Mrs. Wills' Incredible Egg Oviparous Math Work Stations.)

 Station 6: Best Cookies Ever!
(Students pick a cookie card and solve the addition problem written on the cookie. Students then record the addition problem on the recording sheet and set the cookie card on the cookie jar showing the correct answer. I let my students use unifix cubes to help them solve the addition problems as they played this game. This game is from Mrs. Wills' Frog and Toad Literacy and Math Stations.)

Station 7: Egg-cellent Measuring
(Students measure different sized eggs with unifix cubes and recorded the lengths on the recording sheet. This fun game is from Mrs. Ricca's April Math & Literacy Centers.)

Station 8: Picnic
(Students roll two dice and cover up the picnic basket with the sum on the game board. This game is from Mrs. Wills' Frog and Toad Literacy and Math Stations.)

Station 9: Domino Addition
(Students pick a domino, draw what their domino looks like, and write the corresponding addition problem for their domino. You can download the recording sheet for free here.)

Station 10: Measuring Weight With Carrots
(Students weighed classroom objects in our balance scale to see how many carrots they weighed. I found these little carrot erasers at Target and they were fun to use to weigh different things. If you bought these same erasers and want to have your students measure objects with them, you can grab my free recording sheet here.)

Hope you got a few new math station ideas! I'd love to hear what math stations your students are working on right now!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring is here!

I've been so busy lately that this is my first blog post this month- and now I log on today to find out that Blogger has completely changed! I just don't know if I can handle this-can I make it go back to the old layout?!

Well, moving on, my kindergarten class has been studying spring weather, insects, animals, and plants this month! We made these darling ducklings that I saw here. We also made umbrellas out of paper plates that we cut in half and added pipe cleaners to. I was brave and let my students get out their water color paints to decorate the umbrellas-they turned out pretty cute!

We have been learning about the parts of a plant and made these darling art projects as well. This idea is from April Larremore's All About Plants unit which I totally recommend!

We also made this cute carrot graph from the unit. I loved getting my kinders to eat some healthy carrots for a snack! I think next year I might go a step further and have them try eating all different kinds of veggies that represent the different parts of a plant (i.e. carrots for the root, celery for the stem, spinach for leaves, and broccoli for flowers). Then we could graph which part of the plant we think tastes best!

We did some fun experiments in science to learn about plants too. The students loved seeing the leaves of the celery change color as the celery stems sucked up different colors of water.

We are also growing bean plants in baggies on one of our windows. I sure hope they grow! Some years I have had great success with growing beans and other year the beans just rot- I have no idea what makes for successful bean growing-so I am crossing my fingers that things work out this year!

During shared reading this week we read a fun poem about plants. This poem can also be sung to the tune of "Row, row, row your boat." We have been working on highlighting blends in our poem. We also read the big book Jasper's Beanstalk which I love. It is a cute book about a cat that tries to grow a beanstalk and isn't very patient about it. My favorite thing about the book is that it is a day of the week book (similar to the book Cookie's Week ) and each page tells what happened on a different day of the week. I have been encouraging my kinders to try out writing books like this in writing workshop and some of them have made very cute books using this structure. 

We have also been doing some fun math activities to go along with our study of plants. My students enjoyed measuring different things using sunflower seeds-and of course they liked eating the seeds when they were done with math!

We also played the "Plant a Garden" game, which you can download for free here. Students take turns picking a flower card, and and using the number at the top to put the card in the correct spot on their game board. First player to get all their cards in the right number order and "plant their garden" wins.

I know I have not been great about updating my blog lately, but I do have several posts planned for this week to show what we've been up to in literacy and math stations and some center freebies too. I also have a tour of my classroom library coming up too-so please keep following my blog! I'd love to hear what you've been up to this month in your classroom!