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. 

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. 

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?  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Alphabet QR Code Bracelets

I LOVE using QR Codes with my class. They are a great resource to use within the classroom but I have found they are a valuable resource to send home with students as well.  I teach ELL students, so families may not know English and be able to provide support to their child at home.  I found that sharing QR Code videos can be so helpful at home for my students and parents are so grateful!
I recently created QR code Alphabet bracelets as a resource to send home with my students while we are studying the alphabet

Each bracelets has the letters, tracing arrows to show how to correctly form the letter, 2 QR code videos and 2 pictures that begin with that letter...You can grab the letter m and letter a bracelets as a free sample at the end of this post!
The QR Code videos link to StoryBots and HaveFunTeaching videos, which are very popular videos among my students. These bracelets are a great resource for ELL students, students needing more practice with a certain letter or just as a little review of each letter to send home with students as you teach the alphabet.
They are super easy prep for teachers too!  Each page has 8 bracelets on it so all you have to do is print a few pages for your entire class and you have a valuable resource to send home!

I copied my QR Code bracelets on bright and colorful card stock. 
I then cut them and we were all ready to go!
This would be a great resource to give to students at end of the day during clean up time!  If you want, students can trace the letters and color the pictures.  While they are doing this, you can quickly ask the students one more time to identify the letter and sound (great last minute check for understanding) and then tape it to their wrist!
I also have included a letter for parents, explaining the bracelets and QR Codes.
You will also find other suggestion for parents to help their child learn the alphabet (you can also grab this "Some other ways to practice the alphabet at home" as a free download in the sample pack)
You can grab the sample here:  QR Code Alphabet Bracelets Sample
You can find the entire resource in my TPT store here: QR Code Alphabet Bracelets
I hope that you enjoyed this resource!  What are some ways that you extend learning at home?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Pool Party Blog Hop and Giveaway

I am so happy to join Celeste from The Education Highway for her Pool Party Blog Hop and Giveaway!  
Summer is finally here!!!  A time to relax, refresh, and rejuvenate Pinterest, plan for next year, and get new ideas!  I am so happy to join some other teacher bloggers to share summer ideas, freebies and recipes!
All teachers need some downtime and my favorite fun thing to do during the summer is to travel and go explore new places.  Whether it is a 60 mile day trip or a 2000 mile vacation, I love to visit new places.   
I live in Phoenix and Tonto National Bridge is one of my favorite day trips!  It is a short drive, a nice little hike down and absolutely breath taking!
I have been on summer break for a week and have been so fortunate to have been able to spend my first week off in Columbia for the BMX world event in Medellin.  We were able to get some amazing sight seeing in as well!
This picture was taken 2 hours outside of Medellin and a 750 stair climb up Piedra El Penol.
And a jersey swap with a Columbian racer!
I have included a little freebie for your students to help plan for summer.  We are often using 3-2-1 exit tickets in our professional PD, so this is like a little summer exit ticket to help students think about their summer and summer plans! 

Students (or your own little one) can either write their ideas or draw pictures of things that they want to do this summer.  You can grab this freebie here: 3-2-1 All Ready for Summer

Now to help you prepare for next year, Celeste has organized an amazing giveaway to celebrate her birthday!  You can check out all of the sponsors in this ebook:

You can see all of the other great teacher-bloggers that are participating in this giveaway here: Giveaway Sponsors E-Book
Prize packages are:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
You can join in this amazing birthday celebration and check out the other amazing blogs that have linked up with summer ideas, recipes and freebies!! 

An InLinkz Link-up


Thursday, May 26, 2016

End of the Year Coloring Memory Book

I wanted to create a memory book for my students but with pictures that they could put their little hands on.  I have done slide shows in the past, but I love giving my students things that they can see and hold!  I have had so many former students come back to me and show me pictures and books that we created in kindergarten that they still have that I decided to create a coloring memory book... After all who doesn't love to color and it gives them another activity to do during the summer!  It was such a hit with my students!
It was so easy to make and took about 20 minutes total.  My students enjoyed it so much that I wanted to share how I made them.

I started with the app Pic Sketch.  This is a free app that I downloaded on my iPhone.  I selected pictures from throughout the year and it turns them into a pencil sketch.

I used PowerPoint to make it into the pages of a book.  I made the PowerPoint slides the size of a normal piece of paper so it was easy printing.  Doing this is pretty simple.  You select "File" and "Page Setup."  In page setup, I changed my paper size to 8 by 10.5, which is about the size of normal printer paper.
I added the pictures to the slides and enlarged them to the size of the slide.  I tried to find as many group pictures as possible because the students love seeing picture of themselves.

I printed and copied these pages.  I selected about 15 different pictures.  This gave us a variety of pictures and different events and activities that we did all year. 
I added this adorable poem as the first page, with a picture of me and the students on the top:
I found this poem here: and retyped it for our book.
I bound the pages, but you can easily staple them and added a simple cover.
You can grab this cover as a freebie here:Coloring Memory Book Cover

I loved seeing the students looking through them and talking about them.  It was such an easy end of the year memory book that I know they enjoyed.
What type of end of the year gifts do you give to your students?