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Archive for November, 2012

Math Work Stations

This term we have spent a lot of time developing our number sense skills through whole group lessons, free play, and math work stations.  We enjoyed our Halloween themed work stations, and this week, the children will have a chance to explore our winter Math Work Stations.  Here are a few new ones!  Not pictured are the standard activities that the children always have access to, such as pattern blocks, dot/number memory, and patterning with manipulatives.  You can easily recreate favorite games at home, or perhaps they will give you ideas for other activities to play with your child on our rainy Northwest weekends.  

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Egg Carton Cover: The students take turns rolling a dot die, and cover the numeral rolled with a pom pom. The first person to fill an egg carton wins. Later, we will use two dice to fill 12-spot cartons (adding combinations of 1-6).

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Colour Stairs: Students take turn rolling a coloured die and a dot die. They then choose that number of snap cubes in the colour they rolled to build a staircase. Each “step” must be the same colour. The first person to build a staircase wins, but this can also be a cooperative activity.

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Roll a Rainbow: Students take turns rolling the two dice (one colour and one dot) and choose the correct number and color of beads to add to their rainbow. The goal is to fill the rainbow. Can be played individually, as a game, or cooperatively.

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Train Race: Two players compete to build a train that reaches the end of the yarn first. They roll a die, and add that many cubes to their ‘train.’

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Roll & Cover: A class favorite! Two or more players compete to cover the numbers on their game boards after rolling a die. Next term, we will play with larger numbers and two dice to practice adding. Another variation is “one less” or “one more” where the student rolls a die/dice and covers the number that is one less or one more.

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Tree Decorating: Roll the dice and add that number of pom poms to your tree. The first tree decorated is the winner, or can be played individually. The tweezers are added for some fine motor challenge.

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Roll a Gingerbread Man: Two players take turns rolling the die, and they add on the body part/clothing that corresponds with the number they rolled.

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Kindergarten In November

This month we will begin an author study of Robert Munsch!  He is a Canadian author with dozens of hilarious tales that appeal to the silliness of children.  You can check out his website here, and even listen to him read his own stories!  He usually has several books available for purchase in the Scholastic newsletter, so if your child comes home talking about Robert Munsch, ask me for a copy of the Scholastic order form–you can usually find his books for a lot cheaper than you would at other places.  

This month’s Busy Bee show n tell theme is “Mystery Item.”  When your child brings home the Busy Bee bag, please help them choose a favorite toy, and help them notice the “beginning sound” (first letter) of the item.  The class will need to guess based on the beginning sound during sharing time.  

In math, we are working on counting, one to one correspondence, categorizing items, and putting items in size and numerical order.  We have been doing several activities to help with number recognition, and we count every day, several times a day.  At home, you can count too!  Ask your child to help you with baking or cooking–if something needs to be stirred for one minute, encourage your child to count to 60 with you (or they) stir.  Brushing teeth?  Count to 60 twice while they do it.  They can count in their heads while they brush, and it helps to listen to you so they can hear the pattern of the counting.  

In Language Arts, we are writing in our journals a few times a week, practicing our printing, and talking about beginning letter sounds each day during shared, interactive writing times.  Encourage your child to “turtle talk” (slowly say a word) and write down the sounds they say as they write at home.  Maybe there is a far away relative who would like a post card from your child?  There are lots of authentic opportunities for writing, and children love to see their talk written down!  

I am always available after school if you would like to discuss how you can support your child’s learning at home.  Please pop by and say hello and take a look around to see what we are working on!

 

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Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

I hope everyone found some time this holiday weekend to reflect on the sacrifices veterans have made for our country, and to give thanks for those still serving in peace keeping missions around the world.

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Learning Through Play

It’s very exciting to see Kindergarten children constructing their own knowledge during open ended, self-guided play centers each afternoon. In our classroom, children are invited to play where their interests take them. If I am not working with a small group on a project at the large table, I try to circulate to observe the conversations and self-talk happening at various centers. The Felt Board center is a favorite of several students. In this picture, a student is re-enacting and extending a class game called “Hide Your Eyes, no Peeking,” where I line up numbers 1-12 and remove one while the students cover their eyes. When they open their eyes, they raise hands to guess which number is missing. It is interesting to see the different strategies at work–some students count up from 1 to the gap to figure out the missing number, others count backwards from 12 if it is a higher number that is missing. Some students can’t name their strategy and will say, “I just know!” which means they are using a strategy so quickly and efficiently that they answer comes to them automatically, which is the goal!

When I took this photo, K. was working very hard to place the teen numbers correctly in her number line. She asked for help and I encouraged her to look for a pattern. After a few minutes, she excitedly named the pattern herself: “there’s a one, and then a next higher number!” and then we counted the numbers together once she had them all down. This was a significant moment of knowledge building for her, and helpful for me from an assessment standpoint to see the ways she was using her knowledge of patterns (something we’ve been working hard on!).

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Halloween Recap

Halloween Work Stations

Treat Bags and Math Work Stations! We spent 2 weeks rotating through 11 Math Work Stations. These stations helped practice skills introduced in the first few weeks of school, such as patterning, recognizing an arrangement of items at a glance (without having to count), making five (eg. 2 and 3, 4 and 1), and matching quantities to numerals. 

We had a great time gearing up for Halloween!  We started a unit on spiders, which we will continue this week.  We are working on completing a research book using non-fiction resources, and this week we will use plasticine for the first time to construct a 3D model of a spider.  Last Monday, we headed to the Richmond Country Farms for a hay fight, wagon ride, and tromp through a very muddy pumpkin patch!  The next day our big buddies helped us carve our pumpkins, and on Wednesday our Jack-o-Lanterns participated in the school wide pumpkin carving contest in the gym.  They all looked great!  I loved seeing all of the creative costumes the children wore to school on Wednesday.  I took pictures of each person and we created a class book called, “Kindergarten, Kindergarten, What Do You See?”  If you have a chance, let your student invite you in after school one day to read it together and admire all of the characters that came to our class on Halloween.

Our room looks very bare now that the Halloween art has gone home, but this week we will discuss Remembrance Day and create some multi-media art around a poppy theme.  On Thursday after recess (around 10:30), classes will participate in a solemn Remembrance Day assembly, which parents are welcome to attend.  For a list of upcoming school events in November, please visit our school website.

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Two students work on Skeleton Bones, a Math Work Station in our Halloween rotation. Next week we will have new Math Work Stations that build on number sense skills.

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