Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mrs. Bindergarten Freebie!

PhotobucketCheck out she has a great freebie for the beginning of the Kindergarten school year! She has a Miss Bindergarten Unit!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chapter 5 Addition and Subtraction

I have taught for 28 years and never taught math using a math series. I have been trained in Math Their Way several times over  the years and use the book that Mrs. Wills mentioned on her page

I think this is why Debbie Diller's book is making so much sense to me. The philosophy is similar to Math Their Way. Though I am learning a lot about how to make the activities much more meaningful than what I have been doing. I do, like I have read many of you do, begin addition and subtraction in the spring and that does not leave much time fot the children to become fluent with the skill. I believe I will begin additon and subtraction earlier in the year next year.

Story Mats
I do use story mats and have a lot of manipulatives that go along with them. What I am going to add next year is math talk cards and more story problems. Along with a lot more modeling.

Math Games
When I use the games and activities next year I will group my cards by what math facts I want the children to focus on (8 + , 9+ and so on) or what strategy I want to focus on (doubles, doubles + 1...)

Math Observation Notebook
I will keep a notebook next year as well. Noticing what children are doing and what they are talking about during stations. This will help me know when I need to change some activities and when children need to move on to other skill areas.

Introduction Activity
I begin my addition unit using egg cartons with the numbers 1 - 12 written in the egg sections in order. I roll a large soft die (or roll one on the Smartboard) and the children put that many objects into the egg cups (I usually start out with cereal or goldfish crackers. Food seems to grab their interest) Then I roll the other die and the children pick up that many more objects (I make them put the second set of objects in their hand before adding them to the cups) we then put them in the egg carton with the other objects and then we count to find the answer.

Find out more by visiting
she has some great ideas and super freebies!
Thank you for hosting Chapter 5

Chapter 4 Number sense

My math stations for Numbers have always focused on recognizing numbers and being able to make sets of a number as well as putting numbers in order.

Here I covered cds with contact paper and wrote numbers from 1 to 10. The children put these in order and put the correct number of clothespins on each cd.
While I think these activities are still important in understanding numbers I will add some elements to my stations next school year.

I will turn some of these into games where the children after drawing a game piece and counting out the manipulatives will have to tell which is more or less. I will add the math talk cards to go along with each activity to create math dialogue.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A little bit now A little bit later

Chapter 4 has sooo much information. As I read it I began making my daily schedule out and writing down what stations I want to create for next year.  I use my calendar to emphasize many of the number concepts like before, after, more, less, tens, ones , and combinations of numbers to make other numbers.  I like to use playing cards to play partner games to work on more and less. I like the activity in the book using playing cards to make 2 digit numbers and comparing the numbers.

As we learn about each number I have the children make a journal about the number. For example if the numer is five the student will create 5 in a different way on each page of the journal.

The children use pattern blocks to create numbers, 2 blue blocks and 3 yelllow blocks make 5.

I really like the  math talk cards and will add those to my stations.

I will take some pictures and be back to continue chapter 4 tomorrow.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chapter 3 Getting Started

When and where do I begin?
I use math stations in my classroom and have for many years so I feel pretty good about beginning in the fall. I do have exploration in the fall so that the children get all of the "play" out of the way. And I do model how to use the materials before putting them out, but I do not think I do enough modeling.I like the mini-lessons on how to use things and letting the children model how to work at the station. Another area that I need to work on is the sharing time. Sometimes the next day in my math lesson a child may talk about their station work. I want it to be more meaningful so I will plan a sharing time for next year.

I plan about an hour and a half for math each day.
My lesson is about 15 to 25 minutes and then I introduce math stations which now will include a mini lesson on how to use materials. And then I usually have 5 stations at the beginning of the year one of them being me. We rotate centers every 15 - 20 minutes. The children clean up and move around the room to the next station. As Debbie mentions in her book there should be some independence during stations. Next year I will add more stations as the year goes on and children can choose a station.

I will also be adding the I Can cards and the Math Talk Cards for my stations.

My main focus is going to be organization. I have taught for 28 years and my math stuff is still all over the place. Below is a picture of what my room looks like all packed up for the summer...

These are just some of the areas filled with stuff. It all has a place during the school year but packing up for the summer messes up any organization I might have had.  Below is a picture of a blue rolling shelf that I plan on using as my math station for current math stations.

The next photos are of boxes that I use to store my small manipulatives like buttons, chips, golf tees and so on. They are Chubs wipes boxes. These were the brand of wipes that were out when my children were young. They came in a box that looks like a large lego and I kept  them to store manipulatives.  They have held up for about 20 years.

Well I am excited to get started on chapter 4!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Study

I joined a wonderful book study!
I am already excited about getting my math area organized for next year after reading the first two chapters.
I differentiate my stations  by using materials that the children can adapt to their own level. For example unifix cubes may be at the pattern station at the beginning of the year. One child may be making an ABABAB pattern on his own while another student may need a card that models the pattern to be made. Other students may be making a more complex pattern.
Right now I keep them on shelves along the wall but I set the materials out and the children use what they need at the station. I add materials after we have used them for a math lesson. We are moving into a new building fall of 2012 and I am hoping that I have a space that I can dedicate to only math.
Organization is where I struggle. I have a lot of STUFF. I have taught for 28 years and cannot stand to see thing thrown away. I do use most of everything but I am not sure if it is used to it's full potential because I other STUFF to replace it with quickly.
After reading these chapters I have been motivated to organize and purge!!