Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I'm on Twitter!!!

I'm now on Twitter.  If you'd like to follow me there, come on over!!! 


Friday, October 31, 2014

Spider Webs

This was a little project that I made up in my head in which the end product turned out great, but the process was more difficult than anticipated.

So........I'm always trying to think of projects for the littles to do that incorporate cutting skills.  I had some black paper plates on hand and came up with the idea of having them snip the rim of the plate, then wind yarn across it to form a "web".  I planned this project for a day that I had a sub, so I was not personally involved in doing the project with the littles.  Mrs. DeNier and Miss Moritz informed me that they were quite surprised at how much difficulty the littles had in figuring out how to wrap the yarn.  To structure it, we had cut a long piece of yarn and taped one end on the back.  Apparently, even with a lot of prompting and guidance, this proved to be very difficult.  However, it was reported that the littles were still happy and enjoyed doing the project.  And since the webs look awesome in our hallway, I'm calling it a success!!  They also loved picking out spider rings to hang on their webs.  (Except for one little who supposedly screamed bloody murder when she saw the spider.  There is no spider on her web for that very reason.  ha!)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Circle Paintings

To add a little pizzazz to our hallway bulletin board and work on learning our shapes, we did some circle paintings last week.  I meant to take a photo of how we set this project up at the art table, but forgot!  It's super-easy though.  We simply set out various colors of neon tempera paint with a toilet paper tube in each color.  We then had the littles stamp circles using the colors of their choice onto half sheets of black construction paper.  The end products turned out pretty awesome!! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Trail Game

I just wanted to share one more game that is on our math shelf this month.   This is the first trail game we've had out in the classroom.  While it's a very simple game, it requires a much higher level of complexity than our grid games such as the apple game. 

To play, each child selects a game pawn and places it on the START circle.  They take turns rolling the die (I made this using a foam cube and drawing dots with a Sharpie.  It only has 1, 2, & 3 dots, each draw on two faces of the die.) and moving their pawn that many places.  This is difficult for some because they tend to say "one" before they move, move too many places or skip several places.  Even though we modeled playing this at circle time, I have tried to station an adult next to the children when they play for the first time so they can be supported as they learn how to move their marker. 

A special element of "fun" that I added is that when they land on a ghost sticker, they get to take a ghost eraser from the little tub and keep it until the end of the game.  Of course this has resulted in children trying to "cheat" to land on the ghost, but it's still a fun element of surprise and keeps the game going.    The "winner" is the one who lands on FINISH first on an exact roll of the die.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Graphing Game

This little game has been a HUGE hit in the classroom lately.  I found the printables for this game at 1+1+1=1.   They were part of a pumpkin printables pack which has lots of great materials.  I believe the original idea for this material was to print off the graphing sheet and have the child roll the die and graph each roll using a crayon or marker.  I decided to laminate a copy of the page and make it into a game for two children to play.

To introduce this game to the children, Mrs. DeNier and I modeled playing an entire game at circle time.  We took turns rolling the die, looking at the picture on top, finding the picture on the bottom of the graph, and placing a bat eraser in the correct box on the grid.  We continued until one of the pictures "won" or got 5 bats.  It was amazing how enthralled the littles were as we played this game.  They could not WAIT to see which picture made it to the top first! 

They have had great fun playing this game many, many times.  It has been interesting to see which children easily grasp the idea of graphing, knowing exactly where to place the eraser each time, and which children need more support to understand this concept.  There are so many spatial concepts and numeracy skills at play in mastering this very simple game.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Math Game

The littles have been having fun playing a little Halloween math game I created.  It is just like our apple game, but with jack-o-lantern and candy corn stickers and erasers.  The addition of two types of stickers and erasers adds another level of complexity to this simple game as they have to count AND match.

To play, two children each get a gameboard.  They take turns rolling the die.  They choose the correct amount of erasers to match the number they rolled and then place these on the gameboard.  The player who covers all their stickers first is the winner.  This is an excellent way for them to practice turn-taking, one-to-one correspondence, and counting skills.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Jack-o-Lantern Cutting Practice

I found some great pumpkin printables at 1+1+1=1.  I put out some jack-o-lantern cutting practice pages on the art shelf.  The littles have enjoyed cutting out their jack-o-lantern "puzzle" on the gray line and gluing it back together on a piece of construction paper.  This is great scissors practice and also gives them a lot of practice using their school tools such as a glue stick.