Wednesday, April 30, 2014

So, I know it's the last day of April, but....

So, I know it's the last day of April and all, but this month was somewhat crazy and I JUST now uploaded my April sentence builders pack to my TPT store. Better late than never, right?! To atone for my lateness, the product will be 50% off through tomorrow, May 1st! Snag it for just $3 for the next 2 days and you'll get 83 pages of printables, sentence building activities, and predictable sentence centers for Easter, Earth Day, Plants, and Spring! Here's a peek at what's inside:

The sight word list I used to create this pack comes straight from the HM Journeys reading series... so it will fit perfectly with those of you that use that curriculum. But even if you don't, every word is from the Dolch lists as well, so it can be used with any sight word curriculum! My kids absolutely love the sentence building center. Here it is in action from one of last month's themes:

Click on the cover page below to go straight to my store! After May 1st, it will be back up to full price!

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Subtraction Action! Fun Games to Play in Your Classroom...with a FREEBIE!

Hello, poor, neglected little blog. It always inevitably happens at various busy points during the school year. We've been super busy here in our little kindergarten class, working hard at learning how to do subtraction! I've got a sharp bunch of kiddos this year, so they've picked up on it fairly quickly. One of my favorite videos to show to introduce subtraction is "When You Subtract With a Pirate" by Harry Kindergarten. They LOVE this song... and so do I! My neighbor teacher and I can never get it out of our heads once we start showing it in our classrooms. I love how he uses subtraction vocabulary in his song and includes some fun pirate word problems as well. If you've never seen it before.... it's your lucky day!

My students were literally singing the chorus at the top of their lungs on Friday. It was the cutest thing.

We started out by doing some activities to help practice taking "one" away from a certain number. I paired the kids off and we played a game called "Lose a Cube!" To play, one student has a train of cubes with a specific number.

Then, their partner says, "Lose a cube!" and they take away one cube from the train.

After that, the other partner writes the number sentence to show and solve the subtraction problem they made with their cube train.

They continue to play the game with different numbers of cubes on the train; taking away 1 every time. My students enjoyed it so much that they asked me if they could play it as a fast finisher activity later in the week if they ever finished their work early! Music to this teacher's ears!

After a few days of putting our subtraction skills into practice, I was feeling a bit stagnant in how we had been practicing creating and solving number sentences, so I came up with a fun little game called Flower Power Subtraction! I made a flower with 10 petals and labeled each one with numbers 1-10. Then I created a stem and made 10 leaves to go it. 

Every number sentence created with this game is taking away from 10. One student throws a beanbag onto the flower. Whatever number it lands on, that's how much we subtract from 10.

Whoever threw the beanbag removes that many leaves from the stem. Since this one landed on 8, this student is taking 8 leaves off of the flower to see how many we have left over.

Then, using whiteboards, they wrote the number sentence to show their work! (I realize this isn't the number sentence that matches the picture above, but you get the idea).

They had SO much fun playing this game... they begged me to play it again! So for the next day, I whipped up a quick little recording sheet to go with it. You can download it for free by clicking on the picture below!
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To switch the game up a bit, we also played it so that one student threw a beanbag on the flower and another rolled a dice. They had to decide which number was more, then create a subtraction problem using the 2 numbers we landed on. It was a quick little mini-lesson on how the bigger number always has to come first in our subtraction problems!

I'll probably roll this game out a few more times during our math time this week. I love when a new idea works out with the kids so well! They are getting faster and faster at solving their number sentences. Happy Sunday, everyone! Hope you have a great week.