Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween! Math Stations this Week!

Happy Halloween! We've been VERY busy this week with Halloween themed fun, but I've been taking pictures of everything to catch back up when I could! I wanted to give you all a little peek at my math stations this week. My students absolutely loved them!

1. Ghostly Ten Frames
Students matched up the puzzle pieces to each ten frame to show how many more dots they needed to make 10! This one was a bit tricky for them at first, but I had them first order each ghost card 1-10, and that helped them keep track to fill out the recording sheet correctly.

2. A Pumpkin Patch of Shapes
Students sorted pumpkin shape cards by 2D/3D shape and then sorted the pictures in their own pumpkin patch!

3. Trick-or-Treat Candy Count
They counted the candy cards and sorted them in each trick-or-treat bag by number!

4. Creepy Counting On
Students used the counting on mats to tell what 3 numbers came next after a given number by sorting the number cards that matched! And of course I just noticed that this was the ONLY mat that this kiddo didn't have in the right order... but she wrote it down correctly on her recording sheet! Oops! Well, it's the result that matters, ha... ;)

We did one math station a day, which is why we only had 4! We have early release on Mondays, so we don't do any stations on that day.

Since each station took different lengths of time to complete, I set up 4 fast finisher activities for them to do if they finished early. To avoid everyone rushing to the same activity, I assigned a crayon to each bucket that matched the table color they were at. That way, only the students at blue table could do the blue bucket activity, red table could only do the activity in the red bucket, and so forth. Each day I switch the crayon so that every student gets to do each fast finisher activity at least once.

Here are the details on our fast finisher buckets! The kids seriously could not get over these. They were so excited to get to these that they got straight to good hard work on their centers!

Trick-or-Treat Roll and Cover {I forget who made this, if you know, tell me and I'll give them credit!! It was a great freebie!}

Caught in the Web Spider Ten Frame Match {Freebie from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten!}

Halloween Roll and Color {Freebie from The Moffatt Girls}

Spidery Roll and Cover {From my Trick-or-Treat! Math is Sweet! Math Stations}

If you like what you see with these math stations, be sure to check them out in my Trick-or-Treat! Math is Sweet! pack in my TPT store by clicking on the picture below! I know Halloween is over now, but you can plan ahead for next year!

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One more day to go in this super crazy week! And I have my formal observation tomorrow... the day after Halloween! Ahhh! Hope my kids aren't too wild from all the candy! 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Trick-or-Treat! Math is Sweet!

I've been on Fall break this week and it has been so nice to just finally have a chance to breathe! Between assessments and parent teacher conferences and the general busy life of a teacher the past few weeks, I've been running around like crazy. With the time off, I got inspired to make some Halloween-themed math stations that I know my kiddos will go crazy for when we get back from break, and Trick-or-Treat! Math is Sweet! was born!

This pack includes 7 Halloween-themed math stations to supplement your October theme. Every station includes a recording sheet (or two!) and hits the common core standards with these fun activities:

-Spidery Roll & Cover {counting and number ID}
-Creepy Counting On {count on from a given number in a known sequence}
-Ghostly Tens {decomposing numbers and making groups of 10 w/ ten frames}
-A Web of Numbers {ordering numbers 0-20}
-Greater, Less, or Equal {comparing numbers 1-20}
-Trick or Treat Candy Count {counting objects 1-10}

-A Pumpkin Patch of Shapes {sorting 2D/3D shapes}

A sweet buyer already left some kind, wonderful feedback on the product -- thank you jauld! I so appreciate you.

And just for you taking the time to read this blog post, Trick-or-Treat! Math is Sweet! will be on sale in my TPT shop for 15% off TODAY only! Click on the cover page below to go straight to my store!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Apple Extravaganza!

Before it gets any closer to Halloween... let me FINALLY post about our Apple extravaganza we had a few weeks ago! It was the first time in my 5 years of teaching kinder that my team and I have done a big Johnny Appleseed day with our students. After it was all over I was wondering why we never had done it before! My kids had an absolute blast and loved every minute of it. We did little Johnny Appleseed activities throughout the whole week before we got to our huge day at the end of the week. First I made this little Johnny Appleseed schema chart (I was so proud of my drawing skills!):

Every day we did a little bit of research on his life using books and videos such as the fantastic one from Brainpop, Jr. By the end of the week our little schema chart looked like this! Every year I am so amazed at how much my kids love learning about non-fiction. They can't even get over putting their ideas on the chart!

On Johnny Appleseed's actual birthday, we made hats and the kids decorated the strip with different things we had learned about Johnny Appleseed. This friend drew Johnny putting apples in a basket next to his little knapsack and a tree he had planted! So cute.

I also integrated a lot of apple activities into our math routine as well. Usually I save predictable chart activities for the reading/writing block, but I wanted to give the kids a little extra practice on subitizing and counting skills. I made these little apple cards with numbers 1-10 and then created the skeleton for the sentences the kids would be creating. One at a time, a student would choose a card, count how many apples they had, and then put it into the sentence stem with our sight word of the week (see)!

It also gave me a chance to see what kiddos need a little extra practice on those number reversals! :)

We've been loving using our math journal prompts from Deedee Wills.... seriously, if you haven't checked out her bundle, you are missing out! When we use our math interactive notebooks, we'll usually have one thing to do/glue in our journals based on what we are learning about that day; then we'll glue one of Deedee's math journal prompts underneath that practice skill and work on our word problem solving skills! Of course, we used one of her apple prompts from her September pack. I love seeing how differently all of my students' illustrations turn out!


The morning of our apple extravaganza, we had a big apple taste testing. I brought 4 different kinds of apples for the students to try. First, we used our 5 senses to describe things about a red apple. It was kind of a struggle to get these descriptive words out of them, but once we got a few on the board, the ideas came flying!

My super awesome apple slicer gave us a chance to really see all of the parts of an apple! They were using vocabulary such as "core", "seeds", and "flesh" the entire time! After we were finished, I let each student have an apple seed and they all wanted to go plant trees out on the playground "like Johnny Appleseed"! Haha!


After our taste test we created a giant class graph, then we used an amazing FREE graph from Teacher Bits and Bobs to record our results! I have to say, I was shocked that they liked the yellow apples the most.

In the afternoon, we had our big apple extravaganza where the students went to 4 different apple activity centers:

1. Stained Glass Apples
These were a total pain to make with only me, myself, and I in the classroom... but it was worth it, because once they dried and I peeled the wax paper off, they were SO adorable! Later on I added a piece of yarn at the top so they could hang it in the window at home.

2. Johnny Appleseed Birthday Craftivity (from The Bubbly Blonde Teacher)
I LOVED this! The fab Bubbly Blonde Teacher made this as a wonderful freebie in her TPT shop (link above)! We completed the "All About Johnny Appleseed" graphic organizer the day before so all the kids had to do was put together their adorable party apple craftivity!

3. Parts of an Apple Labeling
My students did SUCH a great job on this craft with very little direction from me... thank goodness, because I was running around like a crazy person during all these craftivities! What was I thinking?! 3 going on at once with no helpers in the room? The only reason I made it through was due to my gloriously small class size (which has never happened before this year!)

The fourth activity the kids did was a Johnny Appleseed sequencing activity... unfortunately I wasn't able to get a picture of it! The kids had an absolute blast... they still talk about Johnny Appleseed even now! I love it when they are learning in such fun ways that they don't even realize it's work. :)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

TPT 100,000 Followers Sale-ebration!

Hello, my dear readers! Have you heard the news? TPT just reached 100,000 followers on Facebook and they have decided to throw a flash sale in your honor! Using the code FB100K, you can receive 10% off any purchase! And to join in the fun, I've put my entire store on sale for an additonal 20% off through Monday!! So if you've got things burning a hole in your wishlist, now's the time to check it out! Click on the button below to go straight to my store! Happy 100K Followers, TPT!

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Currently October... better late than never!

Happy Fall, y'all!! Did we even have September? Sheesh. Went by so fast... but I love October! Cooler weather (at least in the mornings) and fun themes to teach with, too!

I'm linking up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for this month's Currently linky party!

{Listening}: One of my favorite bands, Jars of Clay, released a new album recently and it is on sale at Amazon for $5 this week... amazing deal! Loving this song, "After the Fight", from this album.

{Loving}: I have never, in 5 years of teaching, had anywhere near this small of a class size... 20 students! It is so incredible. I can't believe all the things I can get done with this group of kiddos just because there is less of them in there. If only people in charge of hiring teachers realized how important this is... I'm going to enjoy it while it lasts! Last year I had 28!

{Thinking}: I am having the worst time ever getting ahead of myself. Everything is piling up at once... lesson plans with a brand new reading series, assessments and benchmark testing, conferences, meetings, life, etc etc etc! I feel like I need to take a day off.... to work some more! Ugh!

{Wanting}: To piggyback on my last statement... Fall break cannot come soon enough! Who's with me?

{Needing}: Parent Teacher Conferences begin next week, and there's so much I need to get put together before then. Gotta finish assessing and put together their work portfolios... and then attempt to organize the piles in my classroom into some semblance of order! Ha!

{Trick or Treat}: I have a TREAT for you... Spooky Sentence Building FREEBIE! I just made it tonight and posted it in my TPT store! It can be used as a pocket chart station and includes 4 Halloween-themed sentences for the students to build and write. Click on the picture below to grab it!

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