Saturday, April 12, 2014

Organizing the Chaos of Math Centers

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

Well, let me tell you, it's been hectic over here, but more about that in another post!!

It's that time again!! Time for more bright ideas!!!



Today I thought that I would talk about organizing math centers.



For me, I think I do a pretty good job of organizing and managing reading centers.

It's basically done like this:

I use one of these,



some of these, 


and voila, there you have it!!!



Math centers, on the other hand, look something like this....


.....I mean, there is just stuff everywhere!!!  

No rhyme or reason, just math manipulatives and good intentions!!

In these types of baskets!! And they don't hold too much!


Sigh..............

One day, I decided to see if I could make the process any better. 

I really don't do a rotation chart of any kind for math, so that was out. 

I sat and decided to make math tubs, that had some kind of order to them,

and that idea gave way to this:


I bought these in the plastic tub & what-not section at Wal-Mart, and I just numbered them. 

This way, I could know what was in each tub, and it also helped me to plan

for math centers more easily, because I'm planning for the tubs. 

This is in addition to centers like iPods, the interactive whiteboard and computers, 

plus whatever centers are required for our math curriculum. 


I also rotate the baskets around each day for math workshop, and these tubs

help me to keep track of that.

For instance, if I know that starting on Monday, group 1 had tub 1, group 2 had tub 2,

and so forth, I know that on Tuesday group 1 gets tub 2, group 2 gets tub 3, etc. 

It has made my life so much easier, instead of the chaos that I had resigned myself to!!

This little project has gone so well that I think I'm ready to maybe add tub 7 & 8!


Hop around below to find some more bright ideas!!!




Sunday, March 16, 2014

Getting Ready for St. Patty's Day!!

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

This week is going to be seriously crazy, I can already tell!

For those of you that don't know, 2 years ago my school was

hit by a tornado, so we've been housed at our

feeder pattern school in the meantime.

This happened right around the time I started blogging!

For my post on that experience, click here and here


Even though we don't have an exact move-in date, we've been told to start packing!!

Needless to say, even though it will be hectic moving at the end

of the school year, I'm ecstatic!!!

The sad news is, I won't be able to do all of my St. Patrick's day centers. :-(

Besides teaching reading and math, this is what I've been doing.



I had to go through all of the boxes, because I realized that I'd packed up my St. Paddy's day books!!

That would never do!!!

However, I did leave out the essentials, especially when they come to get our stuff, 

and I'm all alone with 21 kiddos and nothing else!!


Anywho, one thing that I am using this week is this little freebie

that talks about a few symbols of St. Patrick's Day, 

such as the leprechaun, clover and the flag, and what they mean. 

Click on the picture for yours!



Talk to you guys later!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Working with Numbers

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

Last week was such a busy week, with it being

Dr. Seuss week, not to mention all of the report card

testing we have to do!!

I'm linking up once again with some pretty amazing bloggers for...




I enjoyed the last one so much, that I couldn't wait to be able to participate again!!


Today I'm talking about working with numbers. 

I especially use this when I'm working with the teen numbers. 

Teaching place value to kindergarteners can be hard,

and having visuals are oh so important!!

The best way to do this is a Number focus wall!



At my school, we use something called What's My Place?/What's My Value?,

WMP?/WMV? for short (seriously). 

Anywho, it doesn't matter what you use, but I have found that whatever you use,

it's better if it's something that the kids can manipulate, so it

is easier if you just put some velcro on the back of it, 

(velcro makes everything better, but the way), and get some felt to stick it to, 

and you're good to go!  



Now, I've hot-glued my felt to my board (shhhhh.....), but I've also used a tri-fold board in the past. 

Sometimes, I like to start it off by shuffling everything up!

I tell them that when we went home for the night, or PE etc.,

everyone went and had a party and they can't find they're way back home!!

And then, I tell them that it's our job to help them to find their way!


So, we go through the steps of putting it back together,


and then here comes the fun part. 

I like to call this our number focus wall. 

By using this layout, we're able to review place value,

ten frames, tally marks, decomposing the number and even/odd.


Here is a look at some of the earlier versions of this wall.

It basically changes depending upon what type of skill we are working on. 




I love this because it covers the necessary academic conent,

and it's totally easy to create and use!


 Next year I'm sure that it'll look totally different, I want to change

draw it to sketch it, and I want to change expanded form to decomposing numbers,

or something like that!  I also want to add a space for 1 more, 1 less!!

The possibilities are endless!



Hop on over and visit Ashley at Primary Teacherhood for more bright ideas!!!

Click on the picture below!










Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spring Math Journals for Kindergarten

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

I tell you what, it's been crazy over here!!

Having 2 snow weeks and 4 day weeks

 have put this teacher seriously behind!!

We've been working our tails off!!



Well, in all of that hustle and bustle, 

I realized that Spring is right around the corner!!

So, I got to work and ta-da!!


I finally completed Spring Math Journals for Kindergarten!!

Wa-hoo!!!!

Click on the picture for more info. 



On another note, can you believe that TPT has reached 3 million teachers?!?!?!?!

In celebration of that, they are throwing a sale and so am I!! 

I'm going to stock up my cart right now, and don't forget to use the code!!!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Data Notebooks in Kindergarten

Hey guys and dolls, how's it going?

I have great news for you this morning!

Welcome to the Bright Ideas Blog Hop!



I'm so excited to be a part of this awesome blog hop,

which is all about bright ideas for the classroom!


Today, I want to talk to you about data notebooks.

What are data notebooks? I'm so glad that you asked!!

As teachers, we are accustomed to keeping up with,

and analyzing data for everything!!!


Data notebooks provides students with the opportunity to keep up with their

own data, and through this process they become responsible for

setting goals!! When they reach certain goals, they are able to check

them off, so to speak!!


We were snowed in this week, so I didn't get a chance to take pictures of their

actual notebooks, but I've re-created what's inside.


At my school, we have white binders that students keep their agendas in.

I also have a take-home folder for school-to-home correspondence.

We also have the sheets for maintaining data.

The first sheet is behavior data.

I do it by the month, but I've also done a bi-weekly format in the past.

This helps myself and the student to have a discussion about their behavior,

and they have to earn so many greens in a week to earn Fun Friday.

Also, no reds!!!


Moving on to the academics, each sheet contains an "I Can" statement. 

This one contains the data on counting to 100 by 1's, and by 10's. 


For the students that need it, there are also pages for upper and lowercase letters. 


The last page contains the high-frequency words.



Data notebooks can be as complicated or as easy as you like. 

This is also a great tool for conducting parent conferences. 




For more bright ideas, please hop on over to Amy's blog!!

Math, Science, Social Studies...Oh, my!



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