Sunday, August 26, 2012

Learning is Fun at Smith Elementary

My rockstars, Mrs. Rogers and I all made it through another great week of learning at Smith Elementary.  It's amazing to see all they have learned in just a couple of weeks.  I have decided that a kindergarten mind is like a sponge, it just soaks it in.  Amazing.  I've also been involved in some more Pinterest projects, and loving them.  Take a look below at what we are learning and my special projects for the week.  :-)

Pinterest inspired crate seats for the meeting area.  This has been modified from how it has been seen before.  Instead of making the boards that fit on the inside of the crates.....The K-Crew made the seats attached to the bottom of the crates.  You can still put things under the crates if you want to use them for storage. How they are made.... We used old marker boards that we had lots of in the classroom.  (These are boards that were cut up from a large marker board) Many of them had seen better days, so why not let them get a little more life out of them.  I cut up a foam mattress pad the size of the boards.  I put two layers for more cushion, but they can be make with one layer.  I then cut up up table cloths a little larger than the boards.  Yes you read correct table cloths.  The ones I used were less than $4.00 and were 84 x 64.  Several crate seats can be made with one.  I then duct tape the table cloth to the board.  If you would like to make it into a bench like mine are, use zip ties and tie them together.  I then used hot glue and attached them.  Now with hot glue they may come loose after a while and more glueing may be needed.  If you have something stronger that would be great or just be like me and glue when needed.  :-)

We have been learning so much about numbers using our math board.  We choose our number of the day by first putting the correct date on the calendar.  This number will be the number of the day.  We then look at all the ways we can make or "represent" that numeral.  We will also pick the number that is one less and the one that is one more.  With the new Common Core standards they are really focusing on teaching the children more than this is the number.  They want them to completely understand the number and how it can be represented.  I think in the long run we will have stronger math students using this method.

If you have never used dot cards, I highly recommend them.  We begin math each day by singing our "I can count to 100" song off of Youtube.  We always move into flash cards.  The dot cards are a big part of this time.  The purpose behind the cards is for the students to look at the dots and to quickly state what the number is.  Each child may see the dots different, but they all come up with the same amount. The dot card to the right is 7 dots, or many will see 6 and 1 that makes 7.  Others may see 2 rows of 3 and 1 more that equals 7.  However they see it, the answer is still 7.  These cards were made by using index cards and paint dotters.  They can also be made with 2 colors.  I will be using the 2  color dot cards soon.

Big Four.  For anyone who has tried to do Big Four in kindergarten, it is very hard.  I finally had a thought come to my head....Why not make one in word, save it as a PDF and then fun it off on our poster maker at school.  Well, it works.  We laminated the Big Four and use dry erase markers.  Finally an easy way to do Big Four in kindergarten.  Only took 4 years.  :-)

We are working on in language arts with from our new common core units.  This week we read the book Frog and Toad are Friends.  I think the teachers enjoyed the book even more than the kids.  We talked about what predictions are.  This is very hard for little minds to understand.  Each stay they would make predictions about the story for the day.  After reading the story, we put a check by the predictions that were correct and put an x on the ones that did not happen.  By the end of the week I think we finally got the hang of it.  Loved this book.

Looking forward to another great week in kindergarten!
Lisa Ring
K-Crew Kids Rock

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