Sunday, February 19, 2017

Predictable Sentences To Support Beginning Readers And Writers

I love using predictable sentence in my classroom.  They are such a great way to support my kindergarteners in reading and writing by reinforcing a variety of concepts including sentence construction, sentence writing, and grammar skills. 
I usually do a new predictable sentence each week in my classroom.  It is a way that we practice our sight word of the week so I always make sure that the target sight word is included in the sentence starter.    
I prep this activity by having our sentence starter written (one time for each student) on large chart paper.  I usually write the sight word in a different color, so it sticks out for my students.  
I have a 5 day routine for our predictable sentences that looks like this:
Monday: Introduce our new predictable sentence.  Model how to complete it and provide examples.  Students share examples and share their sentence with a partner.  I have half of my class individually share sentences to the group and I scribe for them on our chart.  
Tuesday: Several students from the previous day read their sentences.  I usually cut the ones that we did on the first day and put them in our pocket chart.  Students can use our pointer and track the print as they read, which is a great way to reinforce concepts of print. 
Once we have reviewed our sentences, students share again with a partner.  I also have the remainder of the class individually share sentences to the group and I scribe.  
Wednesday: Prior to this day, I cut the rest of chart paper into sentence strips for the students.   Students each have their own sentences and practice reading them to a friend.  We practice reading our own sentences several times and students also practice reading their friend's sentences.  I love this because students practice reading the sentences with our sight words multiple times. 
Thursday: This is the day that we really interact with our sentences when we mix and make the sentences.  Each students is given their own sentence, but I cut between each of the words.  All of the words are mixed up and the students put the words back in order to make their sentences.   We remind each other before beginning that each sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period.  
Once they make their sentences they check that the words are in the correct order by reading them.
We switch around the classroom and have fun mixing up the sentences of their friends and putting them back together.  This gives students multiple opportunities to practice making and reading sentences.  
When we are done, I have the students put their words back in a pile and I store them in our pocket chart to use the next day. 
Friday: On Friday, students glue their sentences in the correct order on a paper and each student illustrates their sentences that they have been working on all week. 
I will sometime collect these and bind them to make a class book to put in our library.  The students love this and will read it over and over again!
By Friday, each student has the opportunity to practice reading these sentences many times giving them multiple exposures to the sight words.  I have found that using these are also a great support for beginning writers, since I am modeling the correct way to write a sentence and they are interacting with them so many times throughout the week. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Learning Game With Decodable Phrases

I just wanted to write a quick post on a game in my classroom that my students are loving!  It is so simple and a quick review of facts or skills that gets your students moving.... What 5 and 6 year old doesn't LOVE to get out of their seat?
For this game, students are divided into groups.  We have tables in our classroom so we just use our table groups.  I provide the group with a question or activity for each member.  They have the questions at their table (one for each student) and then I place the answer or match across the room on the carpet.  Right now we are working on reading decodable phrases so we practiced matching a phrase to a picture.
The students each picked a phrase card and read their phrase.  It was great because since students were working in groups, their friends were helping to make sure they could read the words.  I have taught my students if their friend is having trouble to coach them by prompting, what are the sounds....
Once the student reads their card, they run to the carpet and find the pictures card that matched their phrase.
The students brought their match back to their table and then the next person in their group would pick a card and they would do this until all of their friends in their group read a card and found their match.  
There was so much fun and excitement during this game and the best part is, the students had a fun way to practice a skill that we were learning. 

We have used these game with other content as well, which makes it even better!  For some more ELA ideas, students can match upper and lowercase letters, find rhyming pairs, match pictures to word.  For some math ideas, students can match numbers to tens frames or solve addition and subtraction problem.  The possibilities for content in this game are endless!
The phrase cards that I used are available in my TPT stores here and includes 35 different phrase cards with matching pictures for students:
 Decodable Phrases
I hope that you enjoy this game in your classroom!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Developing Number Sense in Kindergarten

In kindergarten I think it is so important for students to have concrete understanding of numbers.  I love to teach math in a very hands on manner, giving students to opportunity to count real objects.  Most students in my class begin without having any number sense so I always begin with the very basics.  These are a few of my favorite ways to teach number sense in kindergarten. 

Identifying and Writing Numbers 
Quiz Quiz Trade
My school is very into Kagan strategies and cooperative learning and we played quiz quiz trade to practice identifying our numbers.
Each students begins with a card.   They find a partner, quiz their partner what number they have. Their partner does the same for them and they trade cards and then find a new partner.  It is great to get your students moving and I always see so much engagement!  I love playing teaching this game early in the year because we use it for so many concepts as the year goes on but it is important to teach and review expectations with students when playing this game.   

Playdoh Numbers
We also practiced making the numbers out of playdoh.  What 5 year old doesn't love using playdoh!?!?  I would say a number and the students would make that number.  We can then trace it with our fingers. 

Sand Writing
A fun and quick small group or intervention warm up is sand writing.  I use pencil cases to store my sand.  They are keep enough that they won't cause a lot of sand falling out.  
This is a multi-sensory activity that your students will love.  You can either just say a number, pick a ten frame or roll a dice.  For this activity, we were working on number to ten so I used a dice with numbers 1-10.  I had the student roll a dice, tell me what number it was, and then write it in the sand.  

Race to the Board
My students loved playing race to the board to practice identifying numbers.  To prep this game, I have numbers 1-20 on two sides, one for each team.  I glue the numbers on butcher paper and that is our game board.  I prep it once and then I am able to use it all year long.   
I play this game with a little twist to get all of my students involved.  Instead of just saying a number, I stand behind my two students who are racing to the board, so they cannot see, and show the whole class a quantity on a tens frame.  The whole class would shout out the number that I was showing and then two students would run to the board to find that number.  This gave the students practice identifying amounts on a tens frame as well as identifying numbers. 
Although at the beginning of the year we only focus on the numbers 1-10, I have the numbers 1-20 on my chart because I use it throughout the year for different math activities and this just made it easier for me. 

Hidden Numbers
This was a fun partner activity for students.  Each group of students received numbers strip to 10 and 4 mini erasers (like the ones you get from Target Dollar Spot)  The one partner closed their eyes, while the other partner placed the erasers on numbers to make them "hidden."  The partner then opened their eyes and identified the numbers that were hiding.  

Number Jam
To teach number identification and writing, I am in love with number songs.... It has helped so many of my students correctly form the numbers.  You can listen to it by clicking on the link below.
I love using it as our number warm up.  I play the song and the students write the number on their white boards (or shaving cream) while listening to the music. 

Concrete Represention of Numbers

Ordering Numbers:
This is a fun partner activity.  I give each group of students numbers 1-5 and cubes.  There is 1 cube of 1 color, 2 cubes of a different color, 3 cubes of another color, etc.  The students order the numbers, sort the cubes and match them to a number.  It is a quick and fun hands on activity for them.   

Various Representation of Numbers
This was such a simple, yet effective small group or center activity that I did with my students.I found several objects in the classroom that they could use to show numbers.  We used number cards, counters, dice, dominos and magetic letters.  I simply placed them in a basket and the students would sort the numbers 1-6, showing it in different ways.  
Counting Containers
I found these cute little containers and stickers at Dollar Tree and I knew it would be an activity that my students would love.  They simply choose a container, identified that number, and then I had them use fine motor tweesers to count out that many pom poms.  This proved to be so helpful because it slowed them down with their counting.   
Counting Activities
Grab and Count:  
This activity was a favorite by my students.  It was so easy to differentiate, since depending on what number we were working on, I changed the size of the pom poms that were used.  I used larger pom pomfor students who were working to 5 (so less would fit into their scoopers), and smaller as they learned up to the teen numbers.  Students grabbed pom poms using scooopers.  They then counted how many they hadIf necessary, I had my students use a number strip or tens frame for support. They can also write the number on a white board of recording sheet. 
Counting Jars
These are another favorite of mine to practice counting.  I have several old baby food jars with letters that I wrote on the tops  There is also a recording page with these letters for students to record their answers.  I put different objects in each of the jars... pom poms, erasers, pennies, etc and students practice counting the objects and recording their answer.  This is also another game that is so easy to both use throughout the year and to differentiate.  It is so easy to switch out the objects in the baby jars so if students are more able, you can put in more objects.  
More Abstract Representation
Number Sorts:
We then transitioned to number sorts up to 10.  I love using these, because although the students don't realize it yet, it is exposing them to so many different representations of the numbers by using dice, dominos, tens frames, etc.  We introduced these sorts whole group and then they became a math center activity for my students.  
Individual Number Sorts:
To check my students understanding, I also had them complete number sorts for each number.  This allowed me to see how may need some extra support.  They counted and sorted examples and non examples of each of the number.
You can find these pocket chart sort and student sorts in my TPT store by clicking here: 
 Number Sorts

I hope you enjoying seeing different number and counting activities that I do in my classroom.  What are some fun activities that you use to teach number sense?