Monday, 28 October 2013

Math Monday (Shapes)

I'm back again for Math Monday at A Burst of First.   I enjoyed looking through lots of the ideas last week.  While I do not see myself as particularly mathematically minded or great at Math, I do really enjoy teaching math skills to my Kindy group.  It's so rewarding watching their skills develop and there is such visible development in the early years. 

One thing I noticed earlier in the year was that when we were doing drawing activities and I asked, for example, my students to draw some windows on their houses, there were a lot of oval or circular shaped 'square' windows.

That's a pretty good self-drawn star on the right for a just turned five year old!

So I thought I'd get making and put together this little set of shape drawing practice cards for my students to use.  There are three different cards available and they cover drawing practice for circles, squares, ovals, rectangles, triangles, stars, hearts and diamonds.  There are three or four shapes to trace around and then a spot for the student to have a go at drawing the shape on their own.  It has really helped my students with their drawing skills!

I tend to laminate my fine motor skills sheets and we rotate them around first thing in the morning but you could just give them out as an activity sheet to take home as well.

This one is another freebie over at my TPT store.  If you head over and download it, I'd love it if you could leave me some feedback too!


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Math Monday (Graphing)

We're one week down in Term 4 over here in Australia and my Kindy (US pre-K) students are just gobbling up any learning I can throw at them. I've got a few students who have just started to 'click' with their learning and things are making sense to their little brains now. It's such an exciting time of the year and there are many proud moments as my students do things they couldn't previously.

Like graphing. We've been doing a bit of graphing now and again since Term 3, mainly whole class graphing. They had done one individual graph last term and then I decide to throw them in the deep end (or so I thought) in the first week of term with another individual graph.

We are learning about Our Five Senses at the moment and started the term off with Sight. So we went on an I Spy walk. Not only did I expect them to make their own graph but I also wanted them to do something we haven't done before, tallying. We didn't go with the classic tallying, instead I put the numbers 1 - 7 next to an object and each time they saw something they circled the next number.

Again, I was a little unsure how they would manage with this seeing as we have never done anything like it before but they followed the instructions pretty well.  Of course, everyone saw different amounts of the objects depending on where they were looking.  And after doing a great job on their tallying, they came back to class and did a brilliant job on their graphing.  I thought I would be doing lots of assisting but it was mostly just sitting back and making sure they were on track and discussing all their findings with them.

Such a proud teacher moment
You can currently get the I Spy Walk and Graph sheets for free at my TPT store.  In time they will become a part of my Five Senses package but that is still being worked up as we do the theme in the classroom.

Also, I can show you this sneak peak of something else on its way to my TPT store.  I really love how this is turning out, not only good learning opportunities but it looks so pretty!  Keep your eyes peeled...

 This is my first time joining in with Math Monday over at A Burst of First.  Hopefully I'll be back again with another resource or idea to share next week!

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Latest Pinterest faves

After obsessively pinning ideas for school, the house, my wardrobe and my hair over the school holidays I thought I might join in with Diving into Learning's monthly Pinterest Party and share some of my favourite things I came across.

found here
I like this idea for my Math groups and very easy to make up different mats for each theme.

found here
I am definitely planning to do this activity in a few weeks as part of our Minibeasts theme.

found here
I love this idea of cutting stickers in half and creating your own ladybug artworks.

found here
These are available for sale on etsy but I have felt and a sewing machine so I might just have to have a go at whipping up something similar for a post office themed home corner.

To check out some more pinterest faves head over here to join in the linky party!

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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Teacher Appreciation Sale

So I'm a bit late advertising this sale as it's halfway through it already but, over at TPT there's a lovely little sale going on.

I've got 20% off my products for the rest of today and tomorrow and for today only, TPT will throw in an extra 8% off on top if you use the code TAD13 at the checkout.

This means that you can get 28% off my two newest products that have just gone up this week! (As well as all my other products too of course.)

This Final Sounds Cut and Sort Booklet is just what you need in the Early Years to help consolidate your students learning.  And, bonus they get some extra cutting practice in as well.  The six pictures (there are two sets of pictures on each images page) are cut out and students have to work out what sound the word ends with, sorting it into the correct box in the booklet.

 So why don't you head on over and check out all the sales quick smart.  I just got myself some very awesome clipart packages from Little Red for a steal of a price, can't wait to put them to good use making more goodies for you all!


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Five for Friday

1.  I've been in the classroom getting things ready for Monday, including spending a little bit of time procrastinating from filing by making these cute bottle top bugs for a memory game.  I got the idea here.  I used permanent marker and found it was scratching off the lids a bit so I coated the whole bug in PVA glue to seal it well.  Nothing quite like a cute free recycled classroom resource!

2.  I've been taking advantage of the extra time during school holidays to do a bit of baking.  Last week there was banana and oat bread, ANZAC biscuits and a pistachio plum cake and this week saw these delicious pikelets (which I may have scoffed all of by myself seeing as no one else was home this week!)

3.  As mentioned in my previous post, I've got the first in my series of Cut and Sort booklets up in my TPT store.  It's all about Medial Sounds.  I'm currently working on the Beginning and Ending sounds booklets as well.  Click on the image to check it out!

4.  I've got my board all ready to hang up and my classroom is freshly set up after getting brand new lino flooring and all ready to go as soon as I walk in on Monday morning.  Love that feeling of organisation!

5. Lastly, and best of all is that after hunting and searching through what felt like every Two Dollar Shop and Red Dot I drove past for over a month, I finally found some plastic bugs.  So I bought them ALL!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Cut and Sort Series

It's been a while since I've posted - I've been so busy enjoying my school holidays that blogging has fallen by the wayside a bit. 

I've had a relaxing holiday mostly, a bit of shopping for the classroom (and for me), catching up with friends for brekkie and lunch and I've lounged around reading four books.  I even managed to spend a bit of time tidying out some cupboards in the kitchen and outside catching up on weeding the garden!  A pretty well rounded holiday I think.

Of course, I've also spent some time working on my new TPT products.  I'm in the process of putting together a series of booklets to use during my literacy sessions. The first one I've finished is the Medial Sounds Cut and Sort Booklet.

I've worked a bit backwards, obviously in my Kindy classroom I'll be starting off with beginning sounds and then moving on to ending sounds before going to medial ones but this is just the way it panned out.  I'm hoping to have the other two booklet packages up in the next few days, in time for the Teacher Appreciation sale on TPT!

I'll be using the beginning sounds booklet this term.  We'll be cutting out the pictures in our fine motor skills activity time first thing in the morning and then later on in the day we'll be doing the sorting and gluing activity during our literacy centres.

This activity will be a consolidating one as we will also be doing this activity with objects beforehand, sorting them into hoops or having Mr Monster chomp the objects beginning with a particular sound.

I'm curious, what sort of activities do you do with your students to help them hear the sounds within words?


Sunday, 31 March 2013

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall

Remember the Humpty Dumpty pieces from last week's Five for Friday?

Well, the kids have finished putting them together with some concertina folded legs, arms, cute hats and bow ties - and they look pretty amazing!

I am really loving the uniqueness of each one.  While same same art has it's place in teaching the process and following instructions, I have to say I prefer the students' personalities to shine out and show their different creative and imaginative skills. 

They're hanging up in our classroom now, next to our sheep, and there has been a lot of comments from the parents about how great they look. 

To make your own with your childen you need to:

- prepare some 'bricks'.  I measured the paper and planned the rectangles to fit three across and the squares to fit six across to make it work out easily without gaps.

- get your child to build a wall on their piece of paper.

- get your child to draw a Humpty Dumpty.  We practiced first on mini whiteboards, mainly to make sure we ended up with an oval of relatively large size, although as you can see  we still ended up with some small ones.

- cut around your child's Humpty or get them to do it if they are capable.

- decide what you are going to use for arms, legs, hat and bow tie.  You could do the same as us or something different, it really is up to you!

Really, the best part that makes the whole thing to awesome is the child's drawn Humpty Dumpty.  Imagine them looking back at that in 20 years time!


Sunday, 24 March 2013

Book Love #1

I am a big fan of picture books, along with all other Early Childhood teachers that I know.  I love seeing the different books you guys use for your lessons or just to read to the students. 

I thought I'd share a great Easter book I found at a second hand bookshop a couple of years ago.  I've always found Easter books have been hard to find, although there are a few more coming out now.

The version I found, for just $10, is a lovely hardcover, lift the flap with metallic art works.  The animals are searching for a golden egg and throughout the rhyming story they find a lot of different metallic sparkling eggs hiding behind things.  Perfect for a colour reinforcement activity as well for your young ones and a nice rhyming story is always a popular capitivator, at least for my students.

Aren't the illustrations adorable as well?

Do you have a favourite Easter story book?  I'd love to hear what it is!

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Five for Friday

It's my first time to join in with Five on Friday, a perfect week to do so with Easter on its way.  Our class has been doing Nursery Rhymes at the moment, which works great with Easter.

Little Bo Peep's sheep.  The kids cut out the oval body shape themselves and we used a mix of shaving cream and PVA glue to get the wool-like appearance.  My EA and I had a great time looking at how the students had placed the legs, head and eyes and the different sheep personalities that shined out from their placements.

 My Easter Roll and Cover game met with great success, the kids loved it and begged to play it again next week.

 We made walls out of squares and rectangles...

...and drew Humpty Dumpty's body ready to put together with hat, bow tie, arms and legs and seat him on his wall next week.  I can't wait to see and show you all the finished product!

And finally, my favourite Easter craft project - Easter foil eggs.  We cut an egg template from cereal boxes and cover with alfoil.  The students paint the foil and while the paint is still wet, use a cotton bud to draw patterns on their eggs.  We have been practicing zig zags, bumpy lines, squiggles and straight lines as a pre writing activity so it was lovely to see the students put them into play here.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Easter already?!

While hot cross buns have been available in the shops since January here in Australia, Easter has still managed to creep up on me.  It's been written on my term planner since the beginning of term but somehow, Week 5 is already here and that means Easter is just a couple of weeks away. 

Today is a Public Holiday in Western Australia and seeing as I only work Monday, Wednesday and Thursday that means I am in the middle of a five day weekend.  Ahh yes, it has been bliss.  Up until today I've very much just been lazing about, with a bit of retail therapy thrown in on Saturday.  Today however, it is school work and house work day.  I use one to procrastinate from the other and that way I at least get something productive done.  Clearly, it's not much of a house work day because I've put together two new Easter games for my TPT store.  Both for Math Centres.  I'm looking forward to printing and laminating them this week ready to use soon!

This first one is a subitising activity.  Subitising is big in Australia but I'm not sure about other countries so I'll quickly tell you that subitising is the ability to see 'how many' of an object there are without the need to count.  For example, on a dice - we all recognise the dot pattern without having to count.    Obviously however, young students don't so this game is for them.  Over here, this is considered a very important numeracy skill to learn.  As you can see on the eggs, the dots are set out in different patterns to challenge the students.  Click on the picture to go to my TPT store.

This second product is used with a dice or two and has two different game boards.  One has numerals 1-6 and is used with one dice and the other has numerals 2-12 and is used with two die.  Students have to match the number to the sum on the die and cover them as they appear.  Click on the picture for more info.

I'd love to know what activities are your favourites to use each Easter in your Math and Literacy Centres!