Sunday, August 25, 2013

First Week Math Centers

My kinders are off to a great start with our math centers! We have mainly been working on number recognition, counting objects, and patterning so far.

They have time for two math centers a day, and over the course of the week they have a chance to do all nine of the math centers with their partner. They get about 10 minutes for each math center.

I've been impressed that in just 7 days of school, they almost all know how to read our centers workboard to see which centers I've assigned them for that day. I'll try to snap a photo of our math centers shelf and workboard this week, in case anyone is interested.

Center 1: Making patterns with different colored bears.
 Center 2: Making pictures with pattern blocks.

 Center 3: Making numbers out of play-doh. You can download these free play-doh mats here from Peace, Love & Learning. I love how they even include ten frames for the kids to represent the number using little play-doh balls. 

Center 4: Making numbers out of wikki stix.

 Center 5: Cookie jar counting game. Students roll the dice, and then color in a cookie with that number of chocolate chips. You can download this freebie here, from Happy Teacher, Happy Kids.
 Center 6: Number puzzles. (I've built up a collection of different number puzzles from Target and the Dollar Store over the years. The kids especially like this foam one.)

 Center 7: Race to Trace. Students roll the dice and then trace the number they rolled on their paper. It's a race to see who traces all of their numbers first. You can download this freebie here, from Shari Sloane's website (lots of other great math games on this site too). 
 Center 8: Number Match. Student spin the number spinner and then cover up the box on their game board that shows that many items. My kids were trying to get 3 in a row for bingo. This is one of my freebies, and you can download it here.
 Center 9: Making patterns with Duplo blocks. You can download the free patterns here, along with some other great math games. 
I'd love to know what kinds of math games you like to start the year with- I'm always looking for new games to try with my kinders!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

First Week of Kindergarten!

Well...I survived my first week of school...although to be fair, the kids were only there for 2 days (and 2 days was quite enough!).

We had lots of fun on the first day, going on our gingerbread hunt all over the school. Of course we were thrilled when we figured out the clues and finally found our gingerbread cookie snack! We also read lots of gingerbread books, like: The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Girl, The Gingerbread Cowboy, and The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School.

We jumped right in day one and started to learn our routines for literacy centers and math centers. It was a bit scary and chaotic for me, but I think it is better in the long run to just go ahead and get started learning some of our daily routines. They only went to each center for about 5 minutes (thats all we could handle!) but it did give me a few minutes to pull kids to my table and begin some one-on-one assesments for letters, sight words, and numbers.

All 20 of my kinders this year are just as cute as can be, but wow did they tire me out! After teaching half-day last year, it was quite a challenge to make it through a full day with them. By the time we got to afternoon rest time, I wanted to take a nap! No such luck though, as I had to police rest time instead! I know I will be focusing big time on rules, routines, and behavior all this week!

Be sure to check back later this week for pictures of our beginning of the year math and literacy centers! Hope you all have gotten off to a good start with your students!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Monday Made It

I am so excited about my new sign! I had a picture frame that I used last year for the first day, but when I went to dig it out of my closet last week, some of the letters fell off from around the frame. So... I figured I better make something fresh for this year, and I thought a little sign would be even easier than a frame.

I plan to have each student hold the sign for a photo on the first day, and then I will give the photos to the parents at our curriculum night the second week of school.

Here are the supplies I used:

To make the sign, first I bought a wooden plaque (Hobby Lobby had them for only $2.99- Michaels was much more expensive). Then I spray painted primer onto the wooden plaque and let it dry (you might be able to skip this step, but I happened to already have a bottle of spray paint primer from some other projects I've done). Below is a picture of the plaques after they'd been sprayed with primer.

Then I painted the plaque with chalkboard paint, let it dry overnight, and then painted on a second coat of chalkboard paint in the morning. You could also buy chalkboard spray paint, but I just happened to buy a can of the chalkboard paint. Let the second coat dry really well for 3 days, then you have to rub a piece of white chalk all over the chalkboard to condition it and then you can wipe the board clean with a wet cloth and can begin to use it as a chalkboard (seemed strange, but the directions on the paint said to do this). I used some awesome chalk markers to write the message on my chalkboard.

After I wrote my message on the chalkboard with the chalk markers, I was pretty much done. Then the teacher part of me panicked that my students might accidentally rub some of the writing off the board when they held it for their photos, so I ended up spraying clear matte spray paint over the whole board to make the message permanent. This means it can no longer be used as a chalkboard I think I am going to make another one just like it to use as a little chalkboard in the classroom.

I can't wait to check out what everyone else has been busy making for their classrooms!You can check out the whole "Monday Made It" linky party over at 4th Grade Frolics.