Thursday, June 30, 2011

TpT Trouble... Sale Extended

Hello my blog friends!  I have heard that many of you have been unable to purchase my newest TpT items... some sort of technical glitch.  I am so sorry!!!

I have emailed the fabulous TpT techies, so I hope they are working on a fix for it.  I will extend my 15% sale through the 4th of July!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Back to School Letter Attribute Sort and 15% off TPT SALE!!!

I just loaded my Back to School~ Letter Sorting Station on TpT.  Sorting letters by their attributes is a great way for students to critically look at the way letters are formed.
Click on the image to go to my TpT store

For D'Nealian Back-to-School letter sort click here.

It includes 26 uppercase and lowercase letters with the paths-of-motion, sorting cards for 8 different types of sorts, and 8 different student response pages.  This can be introduced during your whole or small group then easily moved into an independent literacy station.

What a great way to start off the year!!!
Tomorrow only ALL of my TpT products will be 15% off!  

Monday, June 27, 2011

Maintaining Math Stations

Like you, I have been thinking a lot about math this summer.  I have had a lot of questions about how I keep my math stations going AND pull small groups.  How can I keep kindergartners working independently?  Well... I think the key is keeping the stations familiar, but changing them enough to keep them engaging and self extending.  Little Miss Kindergarten has created some great math stations that support this idea.

Little Miss Kindergarten

She has some great math stations that can be maintained throughout the year.
This is her FREEBIE:
Click on the image for your FREEBIE!!!

And this one can be purchased at her store
Click on the image to go to her TpT store.

You can differentiate them by changing the dice you have your students use.

Finally... I am so excited that I got my BINGO stampers (thank you Fran for the Dollar Store shout-out) because her counting book is going to be PERFECT!

Click on the image to go to her TpT store.
There are sOoO many great ideas out there!  Keep um' coming!!!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Math Work Stations Blog Party Chapter 6 Place Value

The new common core standards ask kindergarten students to compose and decompose numbers 11-19 into tens and ones.  Chapter 6 of Debbie Diller's book addresses this standard beautifully.

Here is a little game your kiddos can play to practice just that!
Click on the image to grab this from my TpT store-FREE

Here is another activity that was discussed on p. 138 of her book.  Students will count, sort, and  discuss numbers 11-20.
Click on the image to download this from Google Docs

This chapter is filled with practical ideas.  I liked the idea of creating a 100's chart puzzle... So simple!  This is explained on p. 141.  If you need a 100's chart... Here you go!!!
Click on the image to grab it from Google Docs

Thank you Ms. A for hosting this week's chapter!  Please go check out her AMAZING post and see what other teachers have added!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Assessment! Assessment! Assessment!

The ever-sweet Miss Kindergarten is giving away goodies!

You can win my

Kindergarten Communication Arts Assessment Pack

and my

Kindergarten Math Assessment Pack

Help get yourself ready for the Common Core Standards with these aligned assessments!

Hop over to her blog for more information.  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Math Work Stations Blog Party Chapter 5 Addition and Subtraction

Chapter 5!  Woo-Hoo!!!!

Debbie Diller says to provide your kindergarten students many opportunities to solve story problems.  

One of my students favorite math stations last year was Domino Math.  This station stayed constant from January to the end of the year.  It was fairly simple:  My students would select a domino and write the equation on this page.  I can differentiate this by sorting the dominoes I want my students to use.  Some students will use equations to 5, others may use equations to 10.  The same paper can be used for addition and subtraction.

click on image to download from Google Docs
I love the Math Story Cards Ms. Diller included on p 245- 247.  However, last year I used Kathy Richardson's Math Story Cards from this book.

This includes 10 different math story cards.  I copied them onto card stock, laminated them, and clipped them together with a book binder ring. (I wish I had a picture to show you).  I let my students decide which story card they wanted to use.  The AMAZING Fran at Kindergarten Crayons also created some WONDERFUL ones on her sight.  You can grab them here and here.

I also created  another FREEBIE
Click on the image to go to my TpT store to get your FREEBIE!
This FREEBIE has over 130 addition and subtraction cards (working with numbers to 10).  For younger students (kindergarten)  they will use manipulatives to solve the problem.  Older students (1st or 2nd grade) can use the cards to build math facts fluency and automaticity.

If you like what you see, you may want to "follow" me at my TpT store. That way you will be notified when I add other teaching resources.

Thank you Cheryl for hosting Chapter 5.  Hop over to her blog to see what the smart bloggers had to say about this chapter.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Traditional Calendar or eCalendar

My good blogging friend at Oceans of First Grade fun asked the question: Calendar Board or Promethean Board?  I do not have a Promethean Board, but I do have a SMARTboard.

I love to use my SMARTboard, but I find that once the SMARTboard is closed the students are unable to reference it.  I love Growing Kinders idea of students having their own Calendar Book, so I am considering this option for next year.

My feeling is that you will want to use both.  What do you think?  Link up to Ms. A's page.  I really would like to know.

If you do have a SMARTboard, you may be interested in these FREE SMARTboard calendars.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Letter Sorting Activity and Girls RULE!!!

 Click on the image to hop over to TpT!
Here is my newest Literacy Station~Friends Letter Sorting Station.  When students sort letters by their attributes, they will begin to take a critical look at the way letters are formed.

It includes 26 uppercase and lowercase letters with the paths-of-motion, sorting cards for 8 different types of sorts, and 8 different student response pages.

OK! This has AB.SO.LUTE.LY nothing to do with teaching, but I had to share a photo of my girls!  Today I picked up these 15 little ladies.  T-minus 6 months and counting for beautiful brown free-range eggs!

Name suggestions???

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kindergarten Common Assessments-Math

I have loaded my Common Assessments Pack to TpT.  These are aligned with the Common Core Standards.
Click on the image to hop to my store... Just $4.00!

It has forms for quarterly benchmarks.

*Numeral recognition

*Numeral formation

*Rote counting (1's, 5's, 10's)

Additional Assessments include:

Counting with 1-to-1 correspondence

Counting forward

Comparing numbers of objects

Composing and decomposing numbers 11-19





Addition and subtraction

Making 10

These assessments are teacher tested and help you keep track of your student's math skills. Data is organized with these simply tracking forms.

Kindergarten Word Study Pacing Guide

Our district has been working hard to formulate pacing guides for our word study.  We do not follow a basal, so we had to create something on our own.  Creating this guide was a collaborative effort.  I then typed it into this document.

Grab a copy by clicking on the image.

For our letter/sound study we use Fundations by Wilson Learning.  I'm not really in love with it, but one benefit we have is that our entire building uses it.  This is helpful especially for our fragile learners, as the key word for a is apple /a/, b bat /b/...  This is the same key word the students see in kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade...

For my sight words and word families I like to use a variety of resources.  However, the bulk of my explicit instruction comes from Word Explorers.

I am curious... How do you decide your scope and sequence for word study?  What resources do you use in planning and teaching?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Math Work Stations Blog Party Chapter 4

So, if Chapter 1 and 2 was the "Why", and...Chapter 3 was the "How", Chapter 4 must be the "What."  What do we do in these Math Stations?

Ms. Diller states, quite clearly, that these activities should be familiar and routine, but you keep them going all year long by adding new materials.  

This makes sense with the way I do things already in my literacy stations.  Those of you who are familiar with some of my literacy stations, know I have a few predictable formats.  However,  I change the words and/or clipart to keep it engaging and appropriate for my students.

Some of you in the blog-o-sphere expressed your worry over losing your themes if you switch to Math Work Stations.  So last week I posted this FREEBIE.  If you missed it, you can grab it by clicking on the picture.

These stations are designed around summertime... Yipeeee!  But you can image having the same activities with a different thematic set of graphics.  In fact, I am already creating some Back-To-School Math Work Stations centered around the concepts in this chapter.   Back-to-School?  Bite my tongue!!!

Here is another FREEBIE for ya! Click the photo to download.
Your students will illustrate the sentences in this counting book.

Thanks to Fran for hosting this week's chapter.  I honestly had more ideas... then I saw her post and scrapped them.  Her post and resources are A.MA.ZZZZING!!!  Please hop over to her blog to check them out!

AND... If you are not already following her... you MUST!  Seriously!!!  She is a very generous and thoughtful blogger.

I also linked up with:

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summertime Math Work Stations-FREEBIE Beginning Number Concepts

Sometimes I just get so excited about clipart!  Must have an intervention soon...

Thank you to everyone for following our Math Work Stations Blog Party!  I know some of you were worried about losing your themes by going to math work stations.  I created a FREE download for you to show you how I will use some of the concepts in chapter 4 in a thematic way.

Click on the image to get your FREE download!
These stations are designed around summertime... Woo Hoo!  But you can easily image having the same activities with a different thematic set of graphics and it is new again to your sweeties.

With most of my stations (literacy), you will notice that the game format remains very similar.  I can not spend time teaching a new game EVERY time I change themes... whew!  
How would I ever get to my small groups?

Since kindergartners can't read through a list of instructions, I keep the games familiar.

I will be back with more "Summertime" math stations next week, but you can grab these for FREE at my TpT store.  If you like what you see, you may want to "follow" my store, so you will be notified as I add other products.

I Can... and Math Talk Cards

Love this idea from Heidi at Swamp Frog First Graders.  She is sOoOo SMART!  Hop over to her blog to grab these wonderful templates to go with your Math Work Stations!  So simple... LOVE IT!!!

Tell her I sent ya!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Math Work Stations Blog Party Chapter 3

Chapter 3 of Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller is all about making it work.  I have had a lot of questions about how I fit it all in.  Let me show you.

Daily Schedule
Click to download
Math Workshop Schedule
  • Mini-lesson (core curriculum, whole group guided practice)~15 mins
  • Math Work Station #1 (I meet with my intervention students)~15 mins
  • Regroup/Refocus (student clean up and meet me at the carpet)~5 mins
  • Math Work Station #2 (I meet with a small group)~15 mins
  • Regroup/Reflect (student share time)~5-8 mins
What is my regroup/refocus?  I used to move my students directly from station #1 to station #2.  However, I feel this quick refocus time has really help the overall flow of my stations.  At the close of station #1, I immediately set a timer for 3 mins.  The students have 3 mins to meet me on the carpet.  I can then eyeball the stations to be sure they were put away "neatly and completely" before starting the 2nd rotation.  I also ask the students "Is there any problems I need to be aware of in your math stations?"  This allows students a chance to report issues (maybe a missing material) or a partner issue (AKA:  Ratting their partner out).

During my "Regroup/Reflect" time I ask the same question and, historically, I've also asked, "Who did something today in their math stations to be better with numbers?"  I am excited to add the "Sharing" cards from p. 224-229 to my reflection routine.

Speaking of Routine...
We are ALL about routine in kindergarten.  At the beginning of the year we co-create a chart that looks something like this:
I will insert pictures from my 2011-2012 class
Ms. Diller suggests that these charts be made with the students, but I like to know what my chart will look like in advance.  I have to make sure I keep it SUPER simple.  Here is my what my math stations chart will look like:
I will add photos of my 2011-2012 students demonstrating these behaviors.

I really, REALLY wanted to pre-make "I Can", "Math Talk Cards", and "Math Word Wall Cards".  However, as I reflect on my students' past engagement with these pre-made items, I have to agree with Ms. Diller (AGAIN) that students tend to use the items they had a part in creating... So I will wait and do them with my kiddos.  Wow!  That was easy!

Math Management Board
Here is my Math Management Board:
Click on the photo to go to Really Good Stuff
I LoVe this board.  I have it mounted to my wall.  There are pockets on the front and the back.  One side is my literacy stations and the other holds my math stations.  I just flip it over!  SiMpLe!

You can see I have students in pairs (3 is a crowd).  My students are mostly heterogeneously grouped... and boys are partnered with girls.  If I have an odd number of students next year, I will have a group of 3.  This will have to be some thoughtful partnering.

Student Work

Students place their finished stations (literacy and math) work in one of these magazine organizers.  The color on the organizers corresponds with their table color.  Once a day, I select a child from each table to grab their bin.  The students then sort their papers onto their desks.  I can then quickly look through their work.  They get a happy face (made with a SMELLY MARKER~Woo Hoo) on their paper if they have the following:

  1. Name on their paper
  2. Letters, words, numbers, and pictures (we approximate at the beginning of the year)
  3. Careful coloring (colors that make sense)
  4. Their best effort at completing the task
If they get all of these, they also get a chart stamped.  They collect these stamps for a reward.  I also put "WOW" papers up in our hallway and in the classroom.   Next year, I will put the "WOW" paper next to where the students will do that particular math station.  This will give them an exemplar to refer to.

Having said that...  Not all stations have a product (paper/pencil activity).

Next year I will plan my stations using these sheets:
Click on the image to download your copies

I will copy the stations planning sheet and common core standards back-to-back.  This way, I will keep these standards handy and in my mind!!!  Some stations never change... just the materials (computer and reading about math).  I modify the stations on a weekly basis (odd stations one week, even the next).  Sometimes I change the activity, but most of the time the activity remains similar, just the materials get modified.

I know a lot of us like to teach thematically.  I think this can be accomplished without too much trouble as long as we keep the activity familiar.  I will show you more on this during Chapter 4, so hang in there!

Whew!  This was a HUGE chapter!  Thank you Sylvia for hosting it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

E-Mail Woes and Chapter 3!!!

My goodness!  Thank you everyone for linking up and checking in with us during our first 2 chapters!

If you are waiting for your book... you can view it on-line (the whole enchilada) by clicking on the picture.

I am getting the impression that we all (present company included) need to be thinking about differentiation as we begin to develop our math stations.  I have loved taking a tour of your classrooms and hearing your reflections. Please continue to link up once you have answered the questions.  I suspect blog stalkers will continue to check in for more ideas.  The link will be open for weeks and weeks so you still have time.

Get ready for Chapter 3 which will be posted by Mrs. Parker on or around June 6th

E-Mail Woes
I am once again having trouble with my district's emails.  There are smart techie people (certainly NOT me) looking into it.

I had a string of Math Work Stations emails on Wednesday, but ZIPPO on Thursday... my first clue that I had a problem.  If you emailed me, and I did not answer you (I am not ignoring you).  I'm not sure if they will be able to recover the emails once the problem has been fixed or if they are gone.

Would you consider trying me at this email?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Math Work Stations Blog Party Chapter 1 and 2

click on the book to order or view on line!
Welcome to our Blog Party!  I first heard about this book 2 years ago when I was attending one of Debbie Diller's workshops in Ozark, MO.  I was so excited to learn she was going to guide and challenge my thinking around math stations the same way she did literacy stations.  So here we go...

Chapter 1
This chapter defines what a math station IS and more importantly what it is NOT.  Page 16 provides an excellent table comparing "math stations" with "math centers".

I would like to say I have been doing "math stations", but after really dissecting her table, I have to admit my "stations" look a bit more like "centers".  Based on her table, here is my checklist:
  1. Materials used by the teacher first, then placed in the station: YES
  2. Materials do not change weekly, but rather changed to reflect the students learning objectives:  Well... sort-of...  I do switch out some of my materials weekly, but the concepts and tasks remain consistent... Does that count? AND my materials are a little theme-y. I could do better.
  3. All students go to stations daily:  YES!  Yay!
  4. Materials are differentiated: Whoops!  Need to work on this.
  5. The teacher observes work or meets with differentiated math groups: YEP on both!
So clearly, I need to work on differentiating my math stations better... I can do that!

Here is one easy way for me to differentiate.   The FABULOUS Mrs. Diller suggests (on P.13) to have some students work with smaller numbers, while others extend their learning with larger numbers.  So... in this domino addition station I placed 3 Ziplock bags with colored stars on them.   Some students will work with numbers 0-5 (orange star), some with numbers 6-10 (green star), and others will work with  numbers 11-15 (purple star).

Chapter 2
  1. Sort
  2. Purge (this is a tough one... read and re-read Step 2 on pages 23-24)
  3. Containerize
  4. Label
My math materials were pretty organized to begin with.... but I am likin' my new labels.  Click here to grab my labels.
I use empty Crystal Light containers for my game pieces and dice....LOVE IT!

In each of these bins I keep a math station.  I have 12 in total (one is the computer station).  I keep the directions and the black-line master in a plastic page protector.  When I am ready to store the activity, I slide the materials into the page protector.  It can then go into a binder {Thanks Fran}.  The manipulatives (like Unifix cubes) go back into their container.

This is one of Kim Adsit's math activities.

Ok... Now it is your turn!  
Link up your blog post with reflections and resources from Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 to my post. 
In your link... Answer these questions:
1.  How do you (or will you) differentiate your math stations? {I added this from the bookmark...sorry}
2.  How and where do you keep your math stations?
3.  How do you keep your math materials organized.?

Don't forget to grab my button to add into your post.
Click on the "Add Your Link" below. 

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