Saturday, April 21, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up (April 20) ... Earth Day fun (with a FREEBIE)!

Since Earth Day is celebrated this weekend (April 22) we spent the week discussing ways we can care for our Earth and did a few activities to display our thinking.

I created these posters and displayed one at our Science and Discovery Area.
Students were invited to use up-cycled plastic to create a piece of art which we turned into a class mobile.

You can download these posters for FREE by clicking {here}.

I love the way these little artists show how much they love the earth!

We read many books on Earth Day including my personal favourite...

And here are more...

I included a whole bunch of stories about Earth Day in my QR Codes Listening Center - April that the students loved reading!

You can see all the books included (there are 24!) by clicking on the picture below.

We also invited the students to use watercolour paints to represent what Earth Day means to them.
They know to draw in pencil first, trace over with black permanent marker and then paint.

Our Dramatic Centre has now turned into a Flower Shop (how fitting for Earth Day!).

You can find this Flower Shop Dramatic Play Center by clicking the picture below.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up...sight word towers, our Spring Inquiry and "Ten-frame" drop game {FREEBIE!}

I loved playing Jenga as a child. 
I remember how fun it was to build a tower and choose a piece ever so carefully without making the tower fall.
So when I saw this Sight Word Towers game I knew it would be a hit!
 Our students loved it so much, in fact, that they wrote the words they knew down and invented their own game to play!
*You can find this product at Wintergreen Learning.*

Our focus this week was on Number Sense and we began exploring in more detail the concept of making and breaking numbers to 10.
We used this rekenrek in small groups.
Then we played the game "Ten-frame" drop - where you scatter ten-frames around (you can do this on the table or carpet) and call out a number.
Students have to pick up card(s) and make that number.
For example, "8" - could look like "8 dots" on one 10-frame, "4 dots and 4 dots" using two 10-frames, "6 dots and 2 dots" using two 10-frames, etc.
There are so many possibilities!

You can download this game for FREE by clicking {here} or on the pictures above.

Our bird inquiry is still going strong!
Students researched a variety of birds they were interested in and began drawing and painting them (life-size!).

Our Spring Inquiry is also happening in the classroom!
We went on our Outdoor Exploration walk earlier this week (before the snow and freezing rain hit!) and noticed many signs of spring!

Students have also been using the green playdough to create their own spring scene and share what they know about spring.

We have lots of provocations planned for this coming week to support our Bird Inquiry!  
Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Teaching and learning about 3-Dimensional figures in Kindergarten

For the past few weeks we have been learning about 3-dimensional figures.
We set out a few different provocations to have students reflect on both 2D (flat) and 3D (fat) shapes through hands-on activities (picture coming soon!).  We concentrate primarily on 6 of the 3D figures (cube, cone, cylinder, sphere, rectangular prism, pyramid) but we always have other figures out in our activities for students to explore.

There are a couple of math resources that are my absolute favourites!  If you haven't already read them, you should consider it (I have read and re-read them many times!).

I have had some people e-mail me asking where I bought the different 3D figures I use.
These smaller plastic ones are from Wintergreen Learning and they are, by far, my very favourite to use!  They are perfect to play games with and leave out for students to explore (see below).
I also like these larger foam 3D figures.  These are from Scholastic Canada - if you have bonus coupons I would suggest using them to purchase several of these sets (you can't have enough!)

I also like to read this book to the students and having them think about 3D figures in our classroom.
It's a great book to explain the concept of 3D figures that can roll, slide or do both!
The we test the theories of the children by using ramps and foam solids.

We also begin a co-constructed anchor chart together and learn how to describe each figure.

This song by Harry Kindergarten is catchy and definitely a favourite in our class!  The students asked for it again and again!

Once the children are comfortable with identifying 3D figures in the world, we send a parent letter home asking to send in items from home (recyclables are the best!) so that the students can sort them out.  We put them all in our sensory bin and students sorted them on the shelves behind.

We sing this song during whole group learning time to review the names of the shapes.
I hand out 6 of the 3D figures we are learning about (cube, sphere, rectangular prism, pyramid, cone, cylinder) to some students.  If they are holding the figure that I sing about they have to stand up.
They love it!

In addition to these fun songs, we read a book based on the well-known poem about 3D figures.

I turned this poem into a larger teacher book and read it with the students.

Then the students could make their own smaller books based on the predictable sentences...."A ___ is like a ___."

I made this teacher book (seen below in colour) as a flip book, meaning that a few clues are given and the students have to guess the figure hiding under the flap.
The students enjoyed this riddle book so much that we invited them to create their own lift-the-flap riddles!

In small groups, I like to play the game "What's in My Bag?"  I use the smaller plastic shapes and put a whole bunch in a bag.  You can play this in various ways:
*  Have a student reach into the bag.  Before pulling out the 3D figure, he/she must describe it and record their guess on the worksheet shown below (I have various worksheets based on the level the students are at.  Placing them in a sheet protector is the easiest so we can just wipe clean and start again!)
* Same idea as above but you play with a friend and have that person guess what 3D figure it is.

We had students use these clip cards to identify shapes and they could easily self-correct as there was a star on the back.
Note: I realized after printing that there was a picture of a tent instead of a teepee and it has since been corrected.*

At one of the smaller provocation tables in the class, we set out this question, "Can you build a tower using 3D figures?"  I also included smaller 3D figure clip art so that students could document their creations.

Here's another provocation we set out:
"Can you build it?"
Students choose a card and, using the small 3-D figures, try to build it! They must figure out if they are able to build it or not.

This made for an excellent assessment tool!  
Students could explain why or why not using language such as:
"The tower won't stay if the sphere is at the bottom because it makes everything roll off of it." A.D.
"The rectangular prism is the best to start a tower because it can stack both ways!" M.S.
"The cone is good on the top.  It's like a real castle.  They have points on top!" O.S.
"This one won't work - it started with a cone on the bottom and you can't put anything on top because it has a point and nothing stays on the point." G.A.

We added these to our pocket chart and had students build simple sight word sentences using 3D shapes and examples.

My students love playing games - they never turn down an opportunity to join a small group if there's a fun game I have introduced!  So I created "Capture 6" - a game played similarly to the well-known game Capture 4 but you have to cover 6 spots next to each other on your game board to win (forming a rectangle).  They loved this game!

Here's another game we played - this time as a whole group...

You might have seen these before - it's called "I have...who has..."  
Students say "I have..." and they say the colour and 3-D figure they see on their card and say "Who has..." and says the bottom icon (i.e. purple cone).  The student who has that figure (i.e. purple cone) is next.  The game continues until it gets back to the person who started.

You can find all of the above (and more!) in my 3-D Figures (Hands-On Games and Activities) pack on TpT if you are interested.
(Click on any of the pictures to take you there.)