Monday, May 19, 2014

A Garden of Numbers

Number sense can be a tricky thing to teach. Identifying numbers and being able to count with one to one correspondence in Kindergarten varies so much with each child. It's one of those areas that you can have two children who are the same age and at the same level on one area but are at completely different ends of the spectrum in this.

We're nearing the end of the school year and that means assessing how far our kids have come with their number sense.

I decided to make a spring game; flower pots with dots on them (numbered 1-30) and flowers with numerals on them (1-30).

The idea was to choose a flower pot, count the dots and match it to the flower with the corresponding numeral.

You get the idea.

This was a fantastic activity for all of the kids, at all levels of understanding because the children who were better with their one to one correspondence and counting past 10 were challenged to choose pots with many dots while the children were are still developing their number sense skills were encouraged to choose pots with less than 10 dots. And because the children glued their pots onto construction paper I was easily able to write my assessments right on the back of their papers.

Our math board is beautifully decorated now with a garden of numbers.

Opposites

My class has been working with opposites for the past week.

It's funny how concepts that seem so simple to us are so much more difficult for them. And trying to explain the meaning of the word opposites without using the word...

"What is an opposite? Well, it's the opposite."

Um, yeah, that's not going to work.

So to facilitate this we brought out the opposites pack. Anchor charts, right the room, matching games, and create your own opposites books.

The children had a blast with the set and the concept was more easily understood with the hands on activities.

You can download the opposites set at my TpT store and my TN shop

Friday, May 2, 2014

Red Wigglers the Cadillac of Worms...tee hee

I'm probably dating myself with the title of the post.  Anyone who was old enough to have watched WKRP in Cincinnati will get it.

Anyhow...a few months ago I bought a table top compost bin from Scholastic. It's pretty nifty, it has three different compartments so that you can compare the rate of decomposition of different items.

When we read the story The Day Mother Earth Got Sick and the children talked more about it we decided it would be a good idea to see for ourselves what happens to garbage we through on the ground.

Isn't it wonderful when the children take themselves down the very path you hope they will. The whole reason I bought the compost was in preparation for reading that book in hopes the kids would naturally find their way down this road.

We did some brainstorming and decided to put food in one compartment, paper in another and plasticine in another. We buried them in the soil and documented day one.

A few days later we were lucky enough to be given some composting worms (red wigglers...the Cadillac of worms!)  so we put them into the compartment with food. The children insisted the worms not be put into the compartment with paper or playdough since those items were trash and would make our little wormies sick.  I think the story really made an impact on them.
We've been documenting the changes every few days. We now have mold. Yuck! But it's also a good sign that things are decomposing. The children are excited by the changes they are seeing.  I just hope the worms are eating it!