Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Shape Hunt Freebie :)

Hi :)

I just thought I'd pop up a quick post to share a little Shape activity that I've used as an intro to teaching 2D shape.. its a good way to get an idea about the shapes that kids can identify. 

The kids love it too... anything that gets them up and moving! We also take our shape hunt around the school and see what shapes we can find in the different areas of the school. We get a new intake of kids from Kindy every term, so its a great way for the newies to feel more confident about being at school and learning where everything is - all while learning Maths! :)

If you'd like to download a copy of the Shape Hunt Recording sheet from Google Docs, just click here

Hope you're having a lovely week!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Noughts and Crosses with a twist

Today's game is.......
Noughts and crosses with a twist!

I learnt this game from a lady who has a ton of Maths games and ideas, Sandra Knox. I tried to find a link to her web site but couldn't, if you ever get the chance to go to a training session with her though, jump at it!

It has the same idea as normal noughts and crosses - you have the grid and the aim in to get three in a row but this is a game the whole class can play!

Start by drawing a grid on your board, the larger you make it, the more complex and longer the game. For my Receptions, I usually start with a 4x4 grid. You then label the grid, either with coordinates or with a small number in each box for the younger ones.
This is the format I use for my littlies

I use this one with older kids.. from about Year 2
I divide the class into two teams as they sit on the floor, one team is 'noughts' and the other 'crosses'. Each person in the team takes turns in saying where they would like their nought (or cross) to go, and I draw it on the board for them (great for practicing coordinates and number recognition)

Just a tip- I usually give each team a glue stick or something to pass on so that we know who's turn it is... I learnt this the hard way after getting TOTALLY confused about who was supposed to be having a turn!
Mid -game!

We play the game until the board is filled, and the winner is the team with the most lots of '3 in a row'. At the end of the game, we work as a whole class to find all the '3 in a rows'. I ask kids to tell me where on the board they can see them (using coordinates or numbers) and I circle them. We keep a tally so that we know how many each team has.

Tallying up the score... my class gets very 'enthusiastic' about this!

If you have older kids you can make the game more tricky by giving one point for 3 in a rows, 2 points for 4 in a rows and 3 points for 5 in a rows... it can make for a pretty complex and fun game!

So there you go, a game with heaps of Maths in it and one that I find kids love! Thanks Sandra :)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A handy Maths idea.....Maths Toolkits

Today I thought I'd share a really handy teaching tool that was shared with me a few years ago... its one of those ideas that are so simple yet brilliant... 
Maths Tool kits

Basically, a Maths Toolkit is a little bag/box/container that each student has which contains the basic Maths 'Tools' that they will need for their Maths Learning. They're also a great way to teach kids to keep track of their resources - because they each have their own box with their own maths tools in it, I find they're really keen to look after it (yay!)

Here's a picture of the tool kits for my Reception class...

I've just started with 1-10 cards, 1-6 dot die, 0-9 die, 1m piece of string, a blank ten frame, 10 flip tiles (I find the two colour flip tiles more useful than ordinary counters, as you can use them for two part patterns and decomposing numbers as well). We add to the tool kits throughout the year, as the kids learn more and need more equipment.

Other things you might went to put in could include 100 chart, measuring tape, card with shape names on it, dominoes, pack of playing cards, calculator/compass etc (for older kids).. the list is endless!

This year I've just used plastic containers for the tool kits, though you can use anything really... old VCR cases are great, thick cardboard boxes with lids can work too (and look really colourful!). The VCR cases are great if you can get them, as they're really sturdy and you can slip a cover in for the kids to decorate and personalise.

I also teach the kids easy to play maths games using dice/cards throughout the year so that they can play them not only in Maths time, but whenever they have some free time. It's great for early finishers! You can also make a poster/booklet showing all the games to remind kids about the games they can choose from. Its a great way to squeeze a little extra Maths into the day!

Do use something similar? I'd love to hear about it :)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Chinese New Year!

What a busy time of year! This week our class learnt about two celebrations, Chinese New Year and Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Day). As a part of the new Australian Curriculum, we are looking at all different celebrations throughout the year, it just so happens that two are in this week!

Over the weekend, I made a trip to China Town and got a few bits and pieces from the Chinese grocery shop for the New Year celebrations in our class... it was absolutely packed! China town is such a fun place to be this time of year, so much colour, so many decorations, such as festive atmosphere!

Anyway, back to my class :)....

I set up structured play sessions with a Chinese New Year focus...I took pics of the different stations, but I left my camera at school so I'll need to post them later :)
Here's an overview of the stations...

We rotated the stations over a couple of days, which seemed to work well. They had about 25ish minutes at each station, but with pack up and change over it took the whole afternoon! It was so gorgeous to watch the kids on the New Years Feast Station! They all sat around the table and cooked and served each other food, while trying to use the chop sticks to eat 'noodles' (cut pieces of thick cord). I was so impressed with their turn taking!

For Maths, we read the story about the the Chinese Zodiac by Gabrielle Wang and talked about the twelve animals of the Zodiac. We discovered that most of the class were born in the Year of the Rat, with a couple being born in the Year of the Pig (...and I was born in the Year of the Horse!)


The kids then all made pattern snakes to celebrate the Year of the Snake.

First we talked about patterns....

....and we made our snakes (most did a really great job of patterning - I was quite impressed!). They LOVED adding the googly eyes (I got these from Big W... so much cheaper than the ones in the school-supply catalogue!)

We also counted how long our snakes were, which was an eye opener... there a few kiddos who I'll need to work on their one-to-one number correlation and Trusting the Count - it's given me some ideas of what we need to focus on in the coming weeks!

Here's a copy of the snake heads and the writing card that went with it, if you'd like to use this with your class :)

I hope you had a lovely week with your classes... I'd love to hear of any Chinese New Year activities that you did :)

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Pancake Day

I thought I'd write a quick post to share a little Maths activity that we used for Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday). I know.... not so useful for this year, but I thought I'd share it in case you'd like to keep it for next year :) I need to get better at posting early so that I'm not sharing things after the fact :)

There are two sheets so that you can differentiate the activity for the kiddos in you class, using the same equipment. I'm a  big fan of differentiating using similar activities, as I think its easier and more effective for everyone involved! It means I'm not setting up too many different activities/using heaps of resources, but most importantly, I don't need to have rigid groups. We start our lessons with whole group work on the floor, and if we're all doing similar tasks, it's easy to swap kids between activities depending on how they go in the whole group work, or how they go when they start the activity.

Anyway, back to the activities....

The first page is for practicing writing and representing numbers to 10. Each child just needs a die/spinner (we use 0 - 9 dice) and a copy of the worksheet. They simply roll the die and then draw that number of strawberries on the pancake (or they could do banana pieces/choc chips etc... whatever topping they like) and write the numeral in the box below.

The second sheet is useful for practicing decomposing numbers. Just get your kids to roll the dice and write the number in the squiggly box. They then take that number of counters/blocks ('strawberries') and share them between the two pancakes. They can then draw how many strawberries on each side and write the numerals in the boxes below.

If you have any kids that are up to it, you could also ask them to write an equation for each.

If you'd like a copy, you can download it here

I hope you and your class are having a great week :)

Friday, 8 February 2013

Friday Game Day... Alphabet Fruit Salad

It's Friday again!

Today I'm going to mix it up a bit and share a literacy game :) Well, actually it could easily be adapted for Maths or any other subject area, but it was originally a literacy game, so here goes....

Alphabet Fruit Salad

This game was introduced to me by my lovely colleague who I team teach with, and is a great way to get moving and practice Alphabet name/sounds at the same time.

It's based on the traditional game Fruit salad, but instead of using fruit names, you use letters (or blends/digraphs/sight words/bonds to 10, one more/less than.... the list is endless)

All of the children sit in a circle (or you can get them to place their chairs in a circle, but I find this is a lot of prep and a bit of a headache with new Receptions!). Choose 4 or 5 different letters (or blends etc) and go around the circle, naming each child a letter.

The teacher then shows a letter (I use flashcards), and all children with that letter must get up from their spot, run (or fast walk when we're in the class!) around the outside of the circle and sit back down in their spot. the person who is last back to their spot is 'out' and must sit in the centre of the circle. The teacher then shows another letter and the children with that letter must do the same. Last person back replaces the person in the middle (so there is only ever one person 'out' and they're only out for one turn). The teacher can also call out 'FRUIT SALAD' and then EVERYONE has to run around the circle and back to their spot.

You can also play the game (when using chairs) so that you  don't have to run around the outside of the circle, you simply swap seats with another person.... this can be a bit easier if you are playing inside in a small classroom! 

Laminate and cut out the cards for ready made flash cards
If you'd like to download a copy of my flashcards (from Google Docs) that I use for this game, click here ... we use Jolly Phonics, so I have the letters and digraphs that we will be learning this year on flash cards.

I hope your class likes this game... mine love it! :)

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Building Humpty Dumpty's wall

Hi :)

I thought today I'd share another easy Maths activity we've done in our class. For the first part of this term, we're looking at Nursery Rhymes - at the moment, Humpty Dumpty. I shared a 1-10 matching activity that we did last week, today we built Humpty's wall for him! 

We started off as a whole class, talking about the types of things that walls can be made of and what types of features they had in common (I was heading towards them thinking about how shapes need to stack). I got out our box of shapes and we had a look at the different shapes and whether or not they could 'stack' Here's a picture of what we found out.....

We decided that shapes needed to have straight edges to stack and we sorted shapes into straight and curved edges.

Each student took a shape and sorted it into the correct group (I have a small class this term!)

Finally, we got the blocks/lego out and started to build!
Construction zone... work in progress!

We counted how many blocks were in our wall and looked for things that were bigger and smaller than our walls.

If you'd like a copy of the sheet that we recorded on, just click here :)

As an extension for those kiddies who have been at school for a bit longer, I also asked them to record how many blocks high and wide their wall was.

A simple activity, but a fun one, and a great way for me to get an idea about the kids' understandings of counting, one-to-one correlation, maths vocab and problem solving skills (when their walls collapsed!)

I hope you're having a fun week too :) 

Friday, 1 February 2013

Friday Game Day (with a little freebie!)

Wow! Friday again! This week has flown past... first week back at school for the year and first week of Kindy for my little girl too!

For those people who also had their first week back, how did it go? I know that no matter how much I prepare or how organised I think I am, I always feel as though I'm chasing my tail first week back! It was a great week though, I had some of the same kiddos from last year and some brand newies too... they are all such sweet kids.  We only have 12 in the class for this term which is WONDERFUL! It means I can really get to know the kids and where they're at with their learning, Though the class will quickly fill up with term 2, 3, 4 starters throughout the year!

For this week's game, I thought I'd share one that is SUCH an oldie, but a goodie....

Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

Its a great game to use as an ice breaker, as it encourages all kids to speak and helps students (and me!) to remember everyone's names.

One person is chosen to start the game off and be 'it'. The whole class joins in the following chant (we also make a clap hands/pat lap pattern in time to the chant)

CLASS :                   'Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?
                               '___(First person who is 'it')___ stole the cookie from 
                              the cookie jar.'
IT PERSON:              'Who me?'
CLASS:                    'Yes, you'
IT PERSON:             'Couldn't be'
CLASS:                    'Then who?'
IT PERSON:             '____(Chooses another class member)___ stole the         
                              cookie from the cookie jar'
2nd IT PERSON:       'Who me?'
CLASS:                   'Yes, you'
2nd PERSON:           'Couldn't be'
CLASS:                   'Then who?'
2nd PERSON            '____ stole the cookie from the cookie jar'

                                  .... and the chant continues!

I also have a small maths/literacy activity that I use with this game... you can download a copy of it here.

I get the kids to cut out some cookies and glue them in the cookie jar (that we glue on coloured paper). They then cut and paste the words in the correct order to make a sentence...

I put __ cookies in the jar.

And it's all finished! Simple, but effective and great for the beginning of the year!

If you're still reading this far down my loooong post - thank you! If you use this activity with your class, I hope they like it :)