Monday, October 14, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up -> Week 6

Today is Thanksgiving in Canada and I finally had a chance to post all about the fun activities we did last week!

Using loose parts, students were encouraged to build a letter in the picture frame.  I took pictures of each letter and will post them when the alphabet is complete!

I recently posted how we wrapped up our sorting unit in math.  I left these translucent buttons and sorting mats at the light table for students to use.  I have a whole bunch of button sorting mats that you can download for FREE by clicking on this post

I tend to put this provocation out each year as it's a class favourite.  I kept the materials simple - cork, large Popsicle sticks and 5 pumpkins (I found these a few year back from Dollarama).
You can add all kinds of loose parts!  Use whatever you may have in your class to set up this fun and easy provocation just in time for Halloween.

I wish I had posted this last week so that you could have used it for Thanksgiving!  My apologies!  But you can always save it for next year (or use it if you live in the USA!).  The cards were so easy to make - print, fold and mount on construction paper.  Have students use their fingerprints to add fall leaves to the tree and write "Happy Thanksgiving" on the inside.
*I found this idea years back on Pinterest.  I don't know who the original creator is but if you do please let me know and I will be happy to give proper credit.*

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Sorting in Kindergarten

One of the first big math units we teach at the beginning of the year is Sorting.  I find that students naturally gravitate to sorting all kinds of things in the classroom on a daily basis anyways!  For instance, they sort toys when cleaning up, place crayons by colour in the basket, blocks are sorted by size, etc.

Whenever I teach sorting, I like to provide opportunities for students to tell me how they think we can form groups of similar things rather than just give them a sorting rule.
Since I want to find ways to grab their attention, we start by sorting things hands-on!
I scatter a variety of "beautiful junk" in the  middle of our circle -> buttons, feathers, plastic animals, cork, whatever you have!!!  I also place a variety of baskets and muffin tins to use to sort.
I ask students to think of ways we can group the items...and I listen to their response.

I made a large QR codes poster that I display near my computer/iPad centre which has links to lots of fun, free online games for students to play all about sorting!
You can also use these online games as a while group lesson to reinforce a sorting rule!

Then we sort ourselves!  I lay out 2-3 mats and have students move to a spot based on their answer.  For instance: girls/boys, JK/SK (Pre-K/K), brown hair/blonde hair/red hair/black hair, shoes with Velcro/laces/slip on, etc.

If you don't already own this book, it's a MUST for teaching sorting!  A little mouse finds many ways to sort his beautiful junk and I love how students can chime in on each page and figure out how he does it!

As I introduce a sorting rule, I show students the corresponding poster.  I like to leave these up on my easel (or Math Wall) and refer back to them often during our unit.

We start by introducing (formally) the sorting rule "I Can Sort by Colour".
I like to use these sorting mats along with Unifix cubes, coloured teddy bear counters, or anything else you may have!

I scatter a variety of attribute blocks on the floor along with 2-3 hula hoops.  As I place a shape inside the hula hoop, I ask students if they can figure out how I sorted.  I invite students to come up and continue to sort the shapes.
In small groups, I use the sorting mats to reinforce the rule.
Sometimes I find it very overwhelming for students to see a variety of shapes in front of them so I narrow it down to only 2-3 shapes and ask them to sort those out.

When we focus on sorting by size, I like to pull out my plastic animals.  I bought a bunch over the years from Dollarama which tend to by a bit larger, as well as Toobs from Michaels, which are smaller.  
(If you don't have plastic animals, I have included a variety of cards to print and use.)
Again, I start by asking students how they think we can sort - and you will get a bunch of answers! - then I begin sorting, without talking, by size and see if anyone can figure out my rule.

I love using real buttons to sort!  They offer such a variety of ways to sort for students (i.e., holes, colour, shape, size, shiny/not shiny, patterns/no patterns, etc.).  
I scatter a bunch of buttons in the middle of my carpet.

After we do this activity, I read the story The Button Box.  A boy discusses the many different buttons his grandmother has given him and finds different ways to sort them out.  
*The reason I read the book after the lesson is because I want students to think of ways they can sort without the book giving them away.  I also love to hear students say, "Oh, that's the same way I sorted the buttons!" as we read.
We practice using these button sorting mats in small groups.

After we practice sorting by colour, shape, size and button holes, I like to play this interactive game on the Bright Links Board:
You can click on the picture above to play or here:

Now we are ready to learn more challenging ways to sort:  animals (land/water/sky), living/non-living, letters/numbers, uppercase/lowercase, etc.
Students love these because I make a big deal saying these are what Grade 1 students do!

We use these cards to match the sorting rule with the picture.

I discovered these attribute apples last year from the Scholastic Classroom Essentials catalogue.  They are a perfect tool for hands-on practice!

The apples come in 3 colours, different sizes, and some with a worm or leaf on them!
Sorting in so many ways!!!
 I scatter them around the table in my small group lesson and listen as to how students sort them.
You can also find them on Amazon.

All of our documentation goes up onto our Math Wall:

Another favourite online game to play is "This and That Shop" on TVOkids.
Click on the above picture or here to play:

You can find all of these activities (and so much more!) in my Sorting in Kindergarten pack on TpT.

Here are my 2 weeks of lesson plans for teaching sorting.
Feel free to click below to download your copy for free!!!

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Weekly Wrap-Up -> Week 5

It's beginning to feel like Fall in our classroom!

Students used these apple erasers I found at Target a few years back to count apples onto the mats.

I set up this provocation inviting students to choose a sight word leaf and write it in the coloured rice (you can also use sand or salt if you don't have rice!).

I like to have fine motor activities ready each week also and this was a hit!  Students used tweezers to pick up orange pom poms and fill the pumpkin!  You can also cut the holes out in the pumpkin mat and glue it onto a box so the pom poms drop inside.

Next week I've set up this centre as Thanksgiving is right around the corner for us!  Students match the coloured feathers to the turkey mats.

I've also got this activity prepped and ready to go as our Patterning unit will begin shortly.
I found these stampers at Oriental Trading - they are pumpkins, leaves, birds, apples, etc.  I've also seen them on Amazon, Michaels and sometimes even Dollarama carries something similar so keep an eye out!

You can find all of the above activities in my Let's Play - Fall pack on TpT.

Our Farmers Market is open for business at our Dramatic Centre!  Here students can order and make pies, sell fresh fruits and vegetables and even cook turkey for Thanksgiving dinner!

All of the printables you see are from my Farmers' Market Dramatic Play Center on TpT.

At our Sensory Centre, I added red and yellow food colouring to the water (to make orange) along with pumpkin and leaf jewels, a variety of scoops and sifters.  The students love collecting the jewels and making "Fall Soup".

I have students "poke" quite a bit!  Poking is simply using push pins around an outline of a picture or shape.  Once they push all the way around, the object comes out!  I have them glue it onto a piece of construction paper.  This is a great activity to work on fine motor muscles.  It's actually much more difficult than it looks!

The leaf poking activity is from my Poking - Fine Motor Fun! pack on TpT.

Wedgits have to be the most simple and fun toy out there!  They are these fun plastic-shaped objects in which students can stack and build.  I challenged the students to build as many different structures as they could, while documenting their work by taking a picture using the iPad.  I turned their documentation into a Pic Collage and posted it for all to see.
This challenge was such a hit I think I will leave these Wedgits out for a bit at our Blocks Centre. 

I have had many requests to share my 2019-2020 Long Range Plans.  I uploaded them to Teachers Pay Teachers as a free download!  
Click the picture below to download.