Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Humpty Dumpty Maths

Hi :)

Just a quick post tonight... I wanted to share an activity that I'm using with my class this week. For the first few weeks back, we are looking at Nursery Rhymes - one of those is Humpty Dumpty. I thought I'd quickly share a 1 - 10 Maths activity that we'll be doing, you can download it here

I'll print a copy for each of my kids and then they can cut out the Humpty Dumpty, match it with the correct wall and then glue the pairs in order on a large piece of A3 paper. This way they can take their work home to share with their parents... I find that especially in the first week or so, kids want to take everything home to share with their family! (I love how keen they are!)

We've got quite a few Humpty Dumpty activities to do, so later in the week I'll post some pictures with some pics of our work :)

I hope you're all having a lovely week, my thoughts go especially to those of you in Queensland and New South Wales who are caught up in the terrible floods - I hope you are keeping safe and well.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

1 - 20 Freebie :)

Today is our last 'official' day of starts in South Australia tomorrow! 

I thought I'd share a little freebie that I'm planning to use with my littlies in the first week back. It's a simple 1 - 20 pegging activity, but is one that's always popular! I think it the tactile nature of pegging that kids seem to love... and it's a great way for me to get a snapshot of their understanding about recognising numbers 1 - 20, counting collections to 20 and ordering numbers to 20.

Graphics c 2012 KPM Doodles
Graphics c 2012 KPM Doodles

To use, you simply need to print off the sheets (which you can download here) and laminate them then grab some pegs and write the numbers 1 - 20 on them and you're ready to go!

You can either keep the sheets whole (so that kids are practicing number recognition and counting collections) or cut them out so that they can be ordered once pegged, to add another dimension to the activity.

With my brand newies, I will only use the 1 - 10 sheet, but for those kids I had last year (so they've had 1 - 2 terms of Reception already), I'll use both sheets (which means they'll be pegging 1 - 20).

Also, I just had to quickly share one of my (many!) purchases I made when I went to Spotlight yesterday. That store is SUCH a dangerous place! So many things to buy! Luckily I had my two little ones with me so my trip there was fairly short... not to much damage to the hip pocket!

I saw these little cut outs, they're only $1.95 a packet. I thought they'd be perfect for matching games.. I've already made a 1 - 10 matching game (To go with my number focus for this week), but really the possibilities are endless! I'm planning to make an Uppercase/Lowercase Letter Match, skip counting cards and a number pegging game (have the numeral on the card, the student pegs that number of pegs to it).

To make, I simply glued the number/ten frame on..

 ....laminated, and cut out... all ready to use! I made one set where the pairs also had matching characters (simpler version)

... and one set that didn't have matching characters (more difficult)

I'm really looking forward to this week... beginning of the year is such an exciting time! I hope every one has a wonderful week too, whether it be your first for the school year or not :)

Friday, 25 January 2013

Friday Game Day

Hello again :)

I've just finished my two days back at school. We go back for the Thursday and Friday before the kiddies start back - they are always such busy days, filled with meetings, planning, setting up classrooms etc... I know you know what its' like!

For today's Friday Game Day game, I thought I'd share' Pass the ball'. This game is great for practicing skip counting, or simply counting by ones and catches kids interest as there is a ball throwing involved!

Pass the Ball

Students stand in a circle, with one person holding a ball. They start by saying ‘Zero’. They then throw the ball to another class member, who, upon catching the ball says ‘Two’. They then throw the ball to another student and the skip counting continues until a person gets the number wrong. The counting then starts again from zero. Alternatively, you can have the person who said the wrong number to sit down, with the game then continuing until there is only one person standing (this can make for a very long game though!)

As you might have guessed from my previous posts, I like easy to set up games that can be easily differentiated - this game fits that bill to a tee! It is takes 30 seconds to grab a ball and get the class in a circle (or as we say to be mathematically correct, make a perimeter around the mat!). It's great to play when you've got a spare five or ten minutes at the end of the day too. 

This game can be modified to practice a wide range of maths knowledge. Instead of counting by twos, you could count by ones, threes, fours etc, say the days of the week/months of the year,  count backwards or start counting by 10 off the decade, or a combination (counting backwards by twos etc)

Let me know how you go if you give it a try with your class!

Monday, 21 January 2013

A few easy Maths activities and a freebie :)

Well, there are two days left of holidays... staff at my school head back on Thursday though my mind is already well and truly at school!

I'll be teaching Receptions again this year (love it!) and I'll have a combination of brand newies and kids who have already been at school for a term or two. I've been getting some Maths games organised so lots of laminating, cutting and sorting.... my hands are already sore! Our Reception classes are quite small to start with, so its a perfect time to teach kids how to play games that they'll be using throughout the year. It also means I can get stuck into the formative assessment...  I learn so much about what the kids know just from watching them playing.

 Because there we quite a range of abilities, I want to have simple games that can be easily differentiated for the kids' ability levels. I love it if I can use the same equipment with all (or most) of the class and just tweak the activity to suit the individual... so much easier than setting up ten different activities!

 I thought I'd share a couple of simple Maths games/activities to do with number that I'm planning to use with the kiddos in the first days back at school....

So... here are a couple of the activities that I've organised :)

Ice Cream Scoop

This simple matching activity is great for start of the year. Simply match the ten frame with the numeral and you have your ice cream!

Each kiddo will have a with a laminated copy of 1 - 10 Ten frame strip as a reference on their desk, so they can use this as support if needed.

For those kids who have been at school for a while and are confident with 
1 - 10, I will use the same cards, but ask them to make a number using 2 scoops (so simple addition to 10 with two addends) or even three scoops (3 addends). As for those kids who are fine with this, I'll ask them to show me all the different ways they can make 10 (using the 10 cone) or, use the blank cone to make a larger amount.

This next activity was Pinterest inspired - I saw the Lego blocks being used to make words for spelling and I thought I'd adjust it for Maths!

Lego Maths

Again, easy to differentiate... you could do skip counting, using larger numbers, counting backwards... ideas are endless!

Roll and Colour

And finally, a Roll and Colour game - two versions, one for practicing 1 - 10 (or 1 - 6 if you use a 1 - 6 die) and one for doubles.

You can download a copy of Roll and Colour games here, I have included an Australian and US version, with 'colour' spelt differently :)

I hope you find these useful, if you're heading back to school later on in the week, I hope you have a lovely last few days of summer holidays!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Friday Game Day

Hi everyone :)

I love playing games with my class... such a fun way to engage them in their learning! We always start our Maths lessons off with a game and often will have a quick Maths game when we have a spare 5 minutes -  its a great way to pack a little extra learning into the day.

So... I thought I'd start sharing some of these games with you every week. I'm calling it...

Friday Game Day!

For my first game, I thought I'd share an oldie but a goodie... no matter which year level I'm teaching, kids LOVE this game and ALWAYS want to play it! (Not just during Maths, but pretty much any time!)

Maths Chasey

This game is based on the traditional school yard chasey, but with a twist! The aim of the game is to be the last person standing, and you can 'tag' people by answering a question correctly. The rules are as follows....

 Students spread around the room. The teacher calls out a maths question, and students put up their hand to answer. The teacher chooses a person; if their answer is correct they may take a step and try to ‘tag’ others. If a student is tagged, they are out of the game. If they answer the question incorrectly, they are also out (though sometimes I don't use this rule, it depends on the group). This continues until only one person is remaining.... they are the winner!

I also play with the rule that kids can re-enter the game if they can answer a question that another student guessed incorrectly. I find this really helps keep those kids who were out early engaged in the game... they are busting to get back in!

I tend to just make up the questions as I go, incorporating whatever is relevant to the kids at the time. If you find this a bit tricky, you could easily use questions from a Mental Math book instead

 I have a Ten Minute Math Games pack on TPT, click here if you'd like to have a look at it :)

  I hope you find this game useful... let me know if you try it with your class!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Subitising Game

Hello again!

I was browsing pinterest the other day (as I tend to do - a lot!) and I found this nifty idea that got me thinking. It is from Mrs T's First Grade Class and is a really simple but effective and fun way that your kiddies can practice  subitising.

Subitising is an essential skill for developing number sense, we do so much of it in my class so I am always on the look out for new ways to practice these skills!

To play, you need two players. a game board and tiles/counters to cover each of the subitising patterns on the board. Once the board is covered with tiles, player 1 points to a tile and player 2 lifts the tile for one second. Player one then has to say how many dots they saw. If they get it correct, they keep the tile, if not the tile is replaced. Player 2 then has a turn. this continues until all tiles are removed, the winner is the person with the  most tiles at the end of the game.

You can find the link to the original game board here

This is the simpler copy that I made for my Receptions

What a fun and easy way for kids to practice subitising! I'm planning on adding this game to the list of activities that kids can play when they get to school, before the bell goes. I think it will be a winner!

I'm teaching Reception this year, so I think that many of the kids in my class will find the patterns on the original board too difficult, so I have made a board game that uses patterns up to 5 dots.   

Here is the simpler version (subitising to 5) that I have made for my class. 

I hope you find these games useful! Once again, thanks to Mrs T for the great idea :)

Friday, 11 January 2013

Math Resources for Students to Make

Well, it's getting to that time of year where I'm starting to think about the new school year (it's ridiculous how fast these holidays have gone!) I've been thinking about the things I want to do at the beginning of the year... one of the things I like to do is to get the kiddies involved in making resources for the class. Today I thought I'd share some of the easy resources that we make and use in my class.

Number counting sticks

We make a set for each child in the class, these come in handy right throughout the year! Each student makes a set of ten, which they keep in their Maths Toolbox. They can be used for developing number recognition, practicing addition and subtraction to/from 10 or for making bonds to 5 or 10 ... No doubt you could think of many more ideas! Very handy tools!

Number Bonds to 10... 7 and 3 is 10
Number Bonds to 5... 4 and 1 is 5

 To make them, you just need 10 pop sticks per child, beads and craft glue. Simply glue one bead on the first stick, two on the second, three on the third etc. Just make sure the beads are glued on well... It is a pain if they fall off! You could also use dot stickers instead of beads.

Another resource I make with students are subitising cards. We have a class set that I use nearly daily, but I think it's great for them to also have their own set. They use these throughout the year, sometimes as a part of our lessons, sometimes when they have some free time. The kids work in pairs, flashing each card to their partner for one second and asking 'How many dots did you see?' This is a really popular game for early finishers and does wonders for their number sense well!

To make these cards, each child will need pieces of card (I use A4 cut into quarters) and dot stickers. Before they make their own, we look at the class set of subtitising cards and talk about how the dots are arranged - I really important step otherwise you can end up with all sorts of strange cards!

We also make Ten Frames. As with the subitising cards, we have a class set that we use all the time, but it's nice for everyone to have their own set to use as well. I print off copies of the blank five and ten frames and give kids black stickers to stick on. As with the subitising cards, it's well-worth being really clear about the type of patterns you'd like the class to make.

You can click here for a free copy of the frames that I use.

 I've used black dots in this set, as I think it's easiest for the kids to use but you could use stars/colour dots or themed stickers if you wanted to.

I'd love to hear any about any resources you make with your class :)

Monday, 7 January 2013

Bonds to 10 Craft


It's been so hot here the past week and we've been cooped up inside that my one and three yr old (and me!) have got cabin fever! We went to our local Big W yesterday and bought a whole heap of 'crafty things' for us to use while we're stuck indoors.

So... I thought I'd share a little maths craft that I made, my little bonds to 10 person (or Mr Bond ( -s to 10) as I like to call him!)

 He's a cute, fun way to reinforce Number Bonds to 10, or any part-part-whole number fact really. It might be a little tricky to see in this picture, but he has beads on his legs that represent the number fact he is holding.

He has three beads on one leg, and seven on the other - 3 and 7 is 10. The kids then write the number fact on a little piece of card for him to hold... Adorable hey?!

Here's the steps for making Mr (or Miss) Bonds to 10.....
You will need... a popstick, googly eyes, beads and two pipe cleaners.

First, glue two eyes on the pop stick. Then cut a pipe cleaner in half and use one half to wrap around the pop stick, to create the arms.

Then, fold the other pipe cleaner in half and wrap around the base of the pop stick to make the legs. Add the beads for each leg. In this one, I've put three on one side and seven on the other (I was making 3 and 7 is 10).

 Bend the two ends of the pipe cleaner to make feet.

Take a small piece of card or paper and write the number fact that you have made with the beads. Put the card in Mr Bonds hands and you are finished!

I'm planning to use this with my class when we get back to school... I think they'll enjoy them!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Interactive Whiteboard Resources

Wow! It has been SO hot here... we had 45 degrees yesterday! (That's 113 F!) It's a bit cooler today, about 33 degrees I think, but we are in for some more scorching weather this week.... but that's Australian summer I guess! It has been nice to get down to the beach in the evenings, but during the days we've been pretty much stuck inside.

So... this has meant I've spent quite a bit of time resource-hunting on the internet! It started me thinking about internet websites that I use a lot in my classroom and I thought I'd share a couple with you... and I'd love to hear about sites that you find useful in your classroom too.

A few of my favourites for Interactive Whiteboard activities are:

This site has so many links to activities for Interactive Whiteboards, all sorted by curriculum area and grade level.

Great for basic Maths concepts - I use this regularly with my Reception (Kindergarten) class.

We use the date chart from this site every morning in our class. It is so simple and easy to use, and you can also add the name of the day's Special Helper. I always print off a copy for the helper to take home... the kids love it!

I hope you find these useful... I'd love to hear about the web resources that you use in your class too.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Fly flips for composing and decomposing number

Hello again!

Today I thought I'd share a nifty but easy tool for using with kids when exploring composing and decomposing number.

Fly Flips can be found on the NZ Maths website - click here  for the the direct link....

If you haven't had a chance to get over to this site before - definitely make the time soon! It has a ton of awesome resources and ideas including these great fly flips! It also has units of work, lesson plans and some great counting/number songs in the per school section.

Anyway... Back to the fly flips..


You print them off and place the strips back-to-back, so that each strip will then have the number of flies that is written on the front.
So, the strip with the numeral 7 on it would have 

5 on the front  

and 2 on the back.

Hold up the side with the numeral on it and say 'This flip has 7 flies on it, lets count how many are on the front..1, 2, 3, 4, 5. If there are seven altogether, how many flies are on the back?'

(You can write 5 + ? = 7 as well)

Model how to count on from 5 (ie. 5, 6, 7.. so 2 more are needed) and then check on the back of the flip to count the 2 extra flies.

These are really great to be used as a whole class for a beginning-of-lesson warm up or whole class teaching time, in pairs or small groups, or, for support workers/parent helpers to use with individual kids in you class.

I hope you found this useful... the NZ Maths has heaps of easy ideas to teach number.. I use it all the time for my planning!