December Frugal 14th Sale

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January Math and Literacy Centers~Common Core Aligned

If you are looking for math and literacy centers for your classroom for the month of January, your students will love January Math and Literacy Centers.

 Each common core aligned activity comes with a station or center label. Place the labels on a white board or in a pocket charts and students will have a visual of what they need to do at each center.
The centers also include an activity information page for the teacher, to better understand the activity.
To foster independence an instruction page is included.  This can be placed at the center.

Frugal 14th Sale for Pre-K and Kindergarten

To become a member of our TPT Kindergarten Collaboration Group click here!

What Math Concepts Should I Teach in November (Kindergarten)?

It is hard to believe that November is here!  For a lot of schools, they are getting close or starting quarter  2.  For many of you, your hard work is paying off and the students are starting to follow rules and routines a little more independently.  
In November, I start to introduce a lot of new concepts in math.  Although my school implements Everyday Math, the small group activities are not enough to help students learn concepts.  So I have created centers that will help build these important skills.
If your school is like mine, Kindergarten teachers are responsible to create their own timeline of when important concepts should be taught and implemented in the classroom.  I created this blog post to share the math concepts that I introduce and use in the month of November (click on any picture below to see the unit).
Number Identification and Writing Practice (1-10) (1-15) (1-20)
I think their are a lot of teachers that believe that if they introduce something a few times that students should just get it.  Kindergarten has changed so much in the last five years that we are under the assumption that students come into kindergarten with a good number sense.  I have found this to be untrue.  Some students are able to count to 100, but because their fine motor skills are so low they are unable to write the numbers 1-10 in the correct manner.  This is something that needs to be practiced consistently.  We write numbers on a weekly basis.  We have moved on to 1-15.
Ordering Numbers.  In November I expect kids to be able to not only write numbers 1-10, I am looking for them to order numbers 1-10, 1-15.  
Missing Numbers to 10 is another activity that really helps students visualize a number line from 1-10.  Believe it or not students are still mixing up numbers at this point of the year.
Matching numbers to sets is another favorite in the class.  The boys and girls like to use colored pencils (twistables) to represent each number.  It ends up looking like a rainbow write.  Numbers to sets is another good activity to remind students the purpose of numbers.

In November we start to compare objects.  Some of the students are ready to compare numbers alone, but most students are only able to compare objects at this time.
Ten frames are always a good idea.  I still use ten frames at this time of the year.  Ten frames are great for overall number sense.
Estimation can be a hard concept for students.  Kids always want to have the right answer.  This activity is a simple way to practice estimating.  This is a concept that we have done in a large group setting throughout the beginning of the year, but the first time independently.
I like to use this measurement activity in the fall.  I feel that real blocks can be too open-ended for the first half of the year.  The boys and girls will determine "how tall" each fall item is.
In November the boys and girls are able to compare several items at a time.  They love little graphs that they can do independently.  Up until November we usually do graphs in a large group setting.
The Pan-Balance has been a staple in our sensory table.  Students have been using it to weigh cor, beans and anything else I place in the table.  This is the first time they are using it to record an answer.  Sometimes I pair students up or ask other teachers to borrow their balance.  This is the center I keep an eye on or place an assistant at.
Dice games are great for helping students develop quick number recognition.  I try to have one dice game a week.
In November I still use objects to help students add.  Subtraction is similar.  This helps students visualize.

Kindergarten Rocks 2015

Forest Math and Literacy Centers

I am excited about our new unit Forest Math and Literacy Centers.  50% off for the next 24 hours!

Why Should you use Interactive Sight Word Notebooks?

As a teacher I always felt a little guilty about how much paper I used on any given day.  And now as a parent, I see so many papers coming home and I have a hard time determining what is important and what is "busy work." 
 That is what I love so much about Interactive Sight Word Notebooks.  By the time students have completed the book they will have a fun eye-catching "treasure" that they will be able to enjoy with their families for a long time (which is great for review:)).
(Click any picture below to find the unit)

Anyone who knows me or has purchased my materials know that I am not into repetitive "same-old" materials.  We are in competition with ipads, PX2's, computer games and television.  I believe if you make, even the most boring and repetitious materials to look and feel more like a game, students will enjoy learning and look forward to the activities.  I really believe that the Interactive Sight Word Notebooks have accomplished this.

A lot of interactive notebooks can be tricky for young learners in kindergarten.  Whenever I used them I ended up doing most of the cutting and it ended up being a lot of extra work for me.

  This unit was created with independence in mind.  Students will be  able to cut and paste all of the materials themselves after an adult demonstrates the first few times.
(each set comes with a pre-primmer list of 10 words)
There are many ways to use an interactive notebook.  Several teachers have told me that they choose several sight words and have the notebook at a students desk when they arrive in the morning.  It takes the boys and girls around 15 minutes per activity.  

This would also be useful to use during literacy rounds as word work each day.  There is a huge variety with the unit so students never get bored!
I use small composition notebooks for students (that I stock up on before school starts).  I copy all of the pages on regular paper.
The activity below incorporates rainbow write with the sight word.  I use thin markers or colored pencils.
Students are working to identify the word, but with fun-cute graphics.
Many of the activities can tie into themes that you talk about through the year-and yet do not have to be theme-specific.
Students practice writing and identifying the words in sentences.

When students are first learning new words it is important for them to concentrate on the word and the letter order.  

 "Whatever gets them to write."  I am sure you have heard this before....  I love to use a variety of writing mediums to encourage students to write.  I make sure that it is a different medium every time to keep it fresh.  Throw the old-school thinking that students should always write with pencils out the window.  What does it matter as long as they are writing?

Copyright Kindergarten Rocks

Let's Get Organized!

I have taught for over 11 years and I don't think I have ever thrown anything away:)  So this year I decided is the year that I was going to get organized.   I started with centers and activities that I use in the classroom.

I spend a lot of money on laminating all of the center cards and information sheets.  I also spend a ton on plastic tubs and I CANNOT handle one more bin in my classroom.  So this year when I discovered the awesomeness of binders I had to share it with all of my colleagues and fellow teacher friends!

I like to use 2 inch binders and I have the binders broken down into months.  The one shown is for November Math Centers.  

What Do I Put in the Binder?
Recently I went through my math center bins and I couldn't believe how much I saved.  I have a hard time wasting paper, so I would sometimes keep 20 recording sheets when I only need one.  So from now on, I am only keeping the master copy.

I purchase heavy duty paper sleeves (from target) and then let the organizing begin!

The first page I place in the binder (after the cover) is the table of contents.  I buy so many TPT products that I cannot possibly get to all of the activities, so I make sure to place the table of contents in the front, that way the following year I can try new activities to keep everything fresh and exciting for the kids (and myself).

The next page I place in the binder is the teacher information page.  This gives a brief overview of the activity and materials needed.  When I am searching for activities I am usually looking for specific skill areas and the common core standard at the top of the page makes my search a lot easier.

Next, I place in the student directions.  This page is nice, because it fosters independence within the center (which means less interruptions for the teacher).  

Next I clip together all of the center task cards.  I always double check to make sure I have all of the pieces before I clip them and place them in a sleeve with center and bin labels.  I place an extra paper clip (binder clip) at the top to prevent them from falling out!

Finally I add ONE recording sheet.  It feels so good to have everything in one place!  I feel like I am less wasteful and I am more than happy to donate my bins to Goodwill!

The unit above is from My November Math and Literacy Centers Bundle.  November Math Centers is the first of many of my centers to receive a makeover.  All of my new units will contain, a teacher information sheet, student "I Can" page, bin and center labels.  Click on any of the pictures above to check it out!

Fall in Love with Kindergarten

Living in Wisconsin, fall is a huge theme in my classroom.  We start talking about fall in September and end December first.