Sunday, May 1, 2016

Yep, It's Free!

Hey Kinder Friends,
With Teacher Appreciation time fast approaching I wanted to give back something to all the great teachers that inspire and help me. I was thinking a lot of getting ready for the back to school season just as the year is winding up. I was copying and laminating some ABC cards and it made me think of a number card. I have searched forever to find what I was looking for and just never found it. So I decided to finally sit down and create on for myself. I finally have what I have wanted and needed for a long time. I can't wait to print these and laminate them and put them up for next year. I know when I see them next year I will be glad I finally took the time to make it. I can already think of a few uses for it. These would be great copied on cardstock and laminated and stored in math folders. Staple one on the math wall. Copy and laminate a few to be stored in independent math boxes. And a simple black and white copy for take home folders.
And as I was working on the number card my mind was also thinking of one more simple thing I wish I had for a long time. For so many different reasons I have needed a resource for letter and number formation that the font was large enough to see the proper path of motion that the children could use with dry erase markers. I decided to sit down and create it while I was on a roll and get it ready for the back to school season. Just getting the basics ready and prepared helps to ease the pain of the stress of a new school year. The font in this product would be considered large and perfect for independent math and literacy stations or centers. And what I love is that it is simply...
Handwriting Practice Print and Go!
I just love that. And if I have a few kids that need practice with a certain letter or number I can send one home in a bag and a dry erase. Lots of possibilities for such a simple resource and the best part is that it is ready to go! Wishing you a great end of the year and looking forward to the next!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Decomposing Numbers!

Hey Kinder Friends,
I have to say this year in my class we are loving math. We ALL love it. And we are moving right along and reaching our goals. Before our break we were hot and heavy into decomposing numbers. We took it slow in the beginning and worked with objects and manipulative mats.
In the beginning, we all worked on decomposing the same number. We would gather together and discuss what we discovered using our mats. Our discussions usually started off like this.
A 6 (or the number we were working on) can be...
It did not take long for everyone in the class to chime in with the various combinations. Using the mats, even the reluctant participant was able to chime in to our discussion. We noticed that sometimes we decompose numbers they same way as our friends and sometimes we come up with something different. You could see the wheels turning for a few of the kids as they were trying to quickly figure out just how many ways a certain number could be decomposed.
Our whole group session ended with reading a book. I picked an old favorite from the beginning of the year so that we could read the counting book and stop along the way and chart our understanding of what we had been talking about for the last few days. I was surprised to see the combinations that they remembered from the hands-on experiences we had. The light went off for some children as they realized that when two numbers were reversed, a new combination was created and they quickly realized that zero and the number they were decomposing was also a combination too! Charting our responses and checking for understanding along with our discussions, really helped everyone see the flexibility in numbers and how numbers can be made in different ways. And before long our discussion grew to talking about a systematic way to figure out all of the combinations of a number. So we moved on to talking about strategies and how to approach answering that question. And I was thrilled to find a new way to use and look at counting books...
We moved on to working independently and working with different numbers. We used mats and recording sheets. And as the kids were finished working with their decomposing mats they were off to make math choices of their own. And what I love about my class the very most this year is that they always, always see things in different ways. I walked over to listen to a group of kids using some beginning of the year counting mats. And I was happy to hear their discussion. Just like earlier in the year they were trying to extend the use of counting mats to include greater numbers, this time they were looking at counting mats to decompose numbers.
It did not take long for us to realize that we could actually use the counting boxes this way but we needed more counters! And considering that I have one million UNIFIX cubes it was easy to help them out with that. My kids have taught me a lot this year especially about looking at things in new ways and I have to say this new approach to using counting books and counting boxes that we all have is just about my favorite!
Just think of all the possibilities!


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