Monday, April 30, 2012

Math Mondays: Estimation

Have you seen this pin floating around Pinterest? PhotoSource

I saw it and LOVE this idea!  Usually when you think estimation you think jars of different amounts of items.  Estimation is such a necessary skill for kiddos to be successful later in their education and sometimes I think it is so easily overlooked!  In my experiences, I have seen students get frustrated and confused when it comes to estimation because there are no real rules to it.  Really when they practice estimating you are ultimately also teaching reasonableness.  For example, it would be unreasonable to say that there were a million trees on the paper on the left in the picture above.  But, we take for granted that students don’t realize this might be unreasonable.  So, giving students an environment where they can practice estimation in many different ways is key!  At first they might give unreasonable answers and that is OKAY! It’s an opportunity to discuss how they came to that answer and how they could come up with a more reasonable answer.  It’s an opportunity for them to learn! Smile I could go on and on about how key estimation is to a firm foundation!  It also relates to spatial awareness and beginnings of repeated addition and arrays, etc. Smile

So, I created a simple little estimation math center.  Smile FREE to you! 


It comes with six cards with different candies.  Students ESTIMATE, not count, how many they think are on the card and then record it.  Then they identify which card they think has the most and least.  There is an answer key included as well!  Enjoy!






I’m linking up with:
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Click above to go check out some AWESOME freebies!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Freebie Friday!-End of Year Class Book

So the end of the year is drawing very, very near!  And I wanted to share something that I love to do at the end of the school year!!!!
Do you find yourself talking with your kiddos about their favorite days of the school year?  Or overhear them talking about them?  Well, I’ve got a great class book idea for you!!
Our Favorite Days of…  Students can write about their very favorite day of kindergarten (or whatever grade you teach)!  Now, I suggest a little brainstorming and discussion so that kiddos don’t struggle to decide on a favorite, but they love love writing about it!  Then we all shared ours (I even wrote one Smile).  I did this my first year of teaching and it may have been my favorite thing from the end of the year.   I haven’t even told you my favorite part!  I saved their writing and compiled it into a class book.  Then, the first couple of days of the next year (with my new class) I read the class book!  My new kinders loved getting to hear about the fun things they might get to do, and it was a great discussion too about the writers they would become by the end of the year! They ATE IT UP!  And, I loved going back and reading and reminiscing…so everyone wins, right!?
I’ve created a little freebie pack for you all!  It includes cover pages and writing pages for K-5 plus one that uses just “school” instead of a grade level so that multi-grade classes and special ed classes could also utilize it.  I included a half page with picture space and a full page of writing paper for you to choose from!

Get it here!

Enjoy!!! I would love to hear about how you use it in your classroom!! Smile

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Math {Supposed to be…} Monday!-Subitizing & Ten Frames

Okay so I had really good intentions.  All last week I planned out this idea to start a “Math Monday” feature and was excited about the first post.  Well…Monday came and the weather was gorgeous…and I just couldn’t pull myself away from the pool Monday afternoon/evening!  So here is what was supposed to be Math Monday on a Wednesday…sorry!

In a lot of the math materials I create and use I utilize ten frames.  I am a HUGE fan of them!  I’ll be honest…I didn’t used to be.  But there are so many ways to use them to teach and reinforce math concepts. You have probably seen them in some of the things I've created, like…

I have gotten a lot of questions (which are wonderful!) about the way the ten frames are filled.  The “traditional” way to fill a ten frame is to go from left to right on the top line and then start on the bottom line going left to right.  Like so…


I think it is so important for kiddos to be able to recognize ten frames that are filled in traditionally, but I also think it is extremely important to be able to recognize numbers no matter what formation they are in.  The fancy name for this is subitizing.  Basically subitizing is recognizing a set and being able to name that set quickly, without counting.  So, I love to use ten frames like this…


You see, the first thing your kiddos will see on this ten frame is that there are 2 dots on the left and 3 on the right.  But, a kiddo who has the skill of subitizing down pat will automatically see that this is five!  And without realizing it they also know that 2 and 3 equals five…and there is the beginning foundations for addition.  Incredible, huh?

There is also another way I use ten frames…


This ten frame was filled two at a time.  So I filled the top left corner then the bottom left corner, and so on.  This one is incredible for a visual on odd vs. even!  If you teach kiddos that every top dot has to have a “buddy” bottom dot for an even number they will be able to look at a ten frame quickly and know if it is odd or even.  Another way that I reinforce this is having kiddos use their fingers.  For example, if we were talking about the number 7, kiddos would start by holding up two fists in the air (and I would be doing it also to model).  We would start counting, 1…hold one finger up on right hand, 2…hold one finger up on left hand, 3…hold second finger up on right hand, 4…hold second finger up on left hand, etc. until we got to 7.  We would end up with 4 on one hand and 3 on the other.  Then we would put our fingers together (only the ones standing up) to find their buddy (pointer finger to pointer finger, etc.).  Then students would realize the same thing they did with the ten frame…there is one finger without a buddy (the odd man out) so it’s an odd number!  If all fingers had a buddy then it would be an even number!  The kiddos catch on to this really fast!

Now, I’m a clipart/theme-aholic! Smile So I created some fun themed ten frames to use throughout the year.  They include all three different types of ten frames I talked about above in each different theme.  The kiddos love the variations!


You can also download the preview on TpT and get the black with dots I showed above for free!  Check it out!






Teacher's Notebook 2





If there is something you would like to see featured on Math Mondays, please let me know!!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Technology Tuesday: Storyline Online!

So there are LOTS of websites out there that have books being read.  Some require memberships, but I found one that is completely free!  And, they are read by some pretty neat actors.  It’s called Storyline Online

There are currently 24 different titles offered.  Some include, A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon, Stellaluna by Janell Cannon, Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco, The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and many many more!!! 
But, my very favorite one they have is….The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister!

Sometimes kiddos just love to be able to see a book in motion!  I hope this is a useful tool you can utilize in your classroom!


Monday, April 23, 2012



Congratulations Jennifer @ Keys4Education! I’ll be emailing you shortly!


I planned to do a “Math Monday” post but spent too much time by the pool this afternoon (The weather is BEAUTIFUL here!) and not enough time being productive!  So check back on Wednesday for some info and discussion about subitizing and ten frames for young learners!


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

200 Follower Giveaway!!!

Now to announce the details!  Click on any of the product pictures for a link to more info about each thing!

200 Follower Giveaway

One very lucky winner will win:

image  AND Dice Games Thumb
from me!! Who doesn’t want a little TpT cash to spend on anything!!! Smile


An ADORABLE graphics set


A wonderful worm pack
Pocket Full of Kinders

And a fantastic place value pack

One very lucky winner will win all of the items above!!! A value of over $20!!  Now for the ways to enter! 

1. Follow my blog, TpT store and Facebook page and comment below that you did!
2. Follow the 3am Teacher’s blog, TpT store and Facebook page and comment below that you did!
3. Follow Pocket Full of Kinder’s blog, TpT store and Facebook page and comment below that you did!
4. Follow The Hands-On Teacher’s blog and TpT store and comment below that you did!
5. Blog about the giveaway with a link back and comment with the link!
**Please leave your email in all comments!

Giveaway ends at midnight on Sunday, April 22nd!

Happy entering!  I’ll announce the winners Monday night!  Thanks for following!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Technology Tuesday! and Dollar Tree finds!

If you’ve been here long you know I LOVE LOVE using technology in the classroom!  I especially love it when technology can drive a concept home in a different way.  I’m a firm believer in presenting the same information in many, many ways.  In our classrooms (whether you have 15 or 30 students) we are blessed with a variety of kiddos.  Not a single one the same.  This is obvious in personality, prior knowledge, etc.  But, it is also true about their learning styles.  Some kiddos learn by using hands on activities (i.e. manipulatives), some learn from visual aids (i.e. posters, etc.), some learn by listening, some learn by writing…the list could go on and on.  I have found that especially in the younger grades, hands on activities and visual aids are HUGE.  Not that the others don’t exist, because they do.  But, often in the younger grades you are that child’s first experience with that concept or topic…they don’t have prior knowledge.  Providing them with memorable activities and visuals will imprint that concept/topic and allow them to be successful later.  To me, technology many times combines hands on with visual in a beautiful way.  This is especially true if you have a SMARTboard or a Promethean in your classroom!  So, today I want to share with you an incredible math resource that can be used in all grades and all math concepts.
McGraw Hill Education has an online interactive “Math Toolbox” (as I like to call it).  You can select your grade level (PreK-8) and then there are various game boards, story boards and workmats.  There are also various manipulatives to use!
There is also a text tool so you, as the teacher, can provide a problem for the students to work out.  Here is a simple addition one I made.  Then students can use the bears on the left to show their thinking.
Students can even use a pen tool to write the equation.  There is SO much available here as a resource.  There are also different backgrounds with ten frames, etc.  I LOVE this resource and it is hugely beneficial if you have any kind of interactive whiteboard as well!  This is one of my many go to resources!  I would love to hear how you find it useful in your classroom!  Please don’t take my word for it!  Go check it out HERE.
Now for something totally unrelated to technology, but I think you all will appreciate it!  I went to the Dollar Tree today and I walked in and saw this:
     photo (1)     photo
I’m sure most of you share my love of plastic containers!  So I thought I would share the abundance.  Hit up your local Dollar Tree and see what you find!
I also found these adorable color books! 
photo (2)

photo (3)

They are made of thin cardboard so I think they would hold up pretty well in a classroom library. They are perfect for beginning of the year kinders!
Just thought I would share these great finds with you!  Hope you enjoy!
Also…I have reached 200 followers!  I have a great giveaway that I’m announcing tomorrow, so stay tuned!


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