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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Snowflake Calendar Numbers

Merry Christmas everyone.  
I hope you are having a wonderful holiday. 

I thought I would end the year with a little freebie for you to start the New Year.

Besides using these numbers on your calendar, you can put them in your math work stations.  Have the children put the numbers in the right order.  There is also an AABB pattern.  Can the children predict the next colour?

If you make two copies of the numbers, you can play a matching game.  Use the numbers the children need to work on.

You can grab this freebie by clicking on the picture below.

Friday, December 2, 2016

How to make Christmas Trees

I love these Christmas trees.  They are so easy to make, require very little skills and are fun to do.  They also allow for a lot of artistic expression.  Children can decorate them with anything you have on hand.  String, stickers, sparkles, glitter, beads, sequins etc.  Put out a variety of items and see what they do.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Math Manipulative Monday - Snap Cubes

Snap cubes are a staple in our class.  We use them for everything.  Great for fine motor skills, they can be used in both math and literacy activities.

The one thing that I really like about snap cubes for children with disabilities is that you can feel the circle on each one.  This is important for children with visual disabilities because they can clearly feel the difference between each one.

Close your eyes and touch each one.  Can you feel them?

When measuring, I use the snap cubes for children who need to "feel" the different cubes to help them count.  Putting their finger in each hole as they count, helps some children differentiate between them.

Sorting can easily be done with snap cubes.  The various colours make them easy to see and the chunky shape is easy to handle.

I like to use them for our hundreds chart.  We make rows of 10 and because there are 10 different colours they are perfect for counting by 10's to 100.  Because they snap together, they won't fall apart when you are working with them.

The snap cubes snap together in different directions.  This makes them perfect for joining together to make numbers and letters.  This is ideal for children who need to "feel" what they are doing and it's a very "hand-on" way to make number and letters.

I've used the cubes as counters during math work station activities.

They are great for working on one-to-one counting.  Once the children have placed one cube on each item, I have them move them off the card and count them.

 I like patterning with snap cubes because they stay together.  They are sometimes hard for little hands to push together but with some practice most of my kids have been able to do it.

In my math work stations I have patterning cards.  I sometimes have children that have a hard time picking them up, so I taped a snap cube on the back of each one.  I put one colour on the bears and one colour on the skunks.

Now they stand up nicely.

When you turn them around, there is still a pattern.  This is great for self checking their answers.

How do you use snap cubes?  
I hope I've given you a bit of inspiration to "think outside the box" and see what else you can do with them.

Here are the other posts in this series

Monday, October 24, 2016

5 Little Pumpkins - Hands on

Halloween is fast approaching and I'm squeezing in some last minute activities.  I wanted to do the poem "5 Little Pumpkins" with the kids and I wanted it to be more hands-on than felt or paper pieces.  My lower kiddos really need the hands-on, "real" practice.

My original intention was to get some mini pumpkins for the kids to use but I couldn't find them in the grocery store this year.  I went to the farmer's market but I couldn't justify the price they wanted for the little ones.

Instead I ended up using a bag of clementines.  It was only about $4 for a bag and I got a couple of sets of Jack-o-lanterns out of it.  This way I could have a couple of children doing the poem at the same time.

Use a sharpie to add a face to the clementines.  Tip: Do this when they are warm.  The marker doesn't write well on cold clementines.  

I used a piece of wood for the "gate".  A large block from the block center would work too.

As I read the poem I had the children pick up each of the "Jack-o-Lanterns" in order.

5 little pumpkins sitting on a gate
The first one said "oh my it's getting late"
The second one said "there are witches in the air"

The third one said "but we don't care"
The forth one said "we are ready for some fun"
The fifth one said "let's run and run and run"

So ooooow went the wind and out went the lights.
And the 5 little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

At this point I push all the pumpkins off of the gate and have them roll on the ground.

After a few adult readings I found the children were able to do the poem on their own.  I placed all the materials in an accessible location for them to go to and act out. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Free Pumpkin Counting Mat

Do you have children who need to work on their fine motor skills as well as counting and one-to-one correspondence?  Then this is the perfect activity for you.

Print out the colour version and laminate.  I printed out a few of them and ran a group activity.

I used play-dough and had the children roll ten small balls before we got started.  If you don't have play-dough, don't worry.  Use blocks, counters, or poker chips. 

I had each child roll a dice and then put that many balls on their pumpkin.  The first child to fill their pumpkin is the winner.

I also included a black and white version.  This one is great for putting letters, shapes or numbers on. Use a bingo dabber or crayons and dice that you can put what you want on them.

Click on the picture below to grab it for free.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Free Kindergarten Halloween Alphabet Match

Halloween is just around the corner and we are working on the alphabet.

We have been putting the alphabet in order.


And lowercase

We have been matching the uppercase to the lowercase.

We have also been playing a matching game.  Depending on the level the children are working at, we have done this with matching lowercase to lowercase, uppercase to uppercase and uppercase to lowercase.

You can pick this up for free by clicking on the picture below.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Science Saturday - Bouncy Popcorn Kernels

For today's Science Saturday I thought I would highlight a science experiment that is easy to do, doesn't require a lot of items and is easy to incorporate some core vocabulary into.

Bouncy Popcorn Kernels  are fun to watch.

You will need:
A clear container - I used a vase
Baking Soda
Popcorn Kernels
Communication Board - this is one I used from Minspeak

I started by showing the children the items we were going to use and asked them "what", "do", "this"?
"What are we going to do with this?"

It's important to use a communication board yourself so that the children see one in use.
We can't expect children to do something they don't see us doing.

We start with the container (It doesn't matter that we don't have the exact picture of what we are using.  We use what the children have to describe what we are using/doing) and fill it with water.

We added a tablespoon of baking soda and stirred it up.

We talked about what we needed to use to stir the water up.

We "put" in the kernels.  Just enough to cover the bottom.

Then we added some vinegar.  I found using a small measuring cup easier than a spoon for children with fine motor issues (less spillage).

We "look"ed to see what happened to the kernels.

We took "turns" looking a the popcorn and seeing what was going on in the container.

Everyone said they "like"d it.

We let it sit and kept looking at it throughout the day.  After awhile, the popcorn stopped moving and most of it settled on the bottom.

Even an hour later, the odd kernel was still going up or down.

Keep your words simple and model for the children the vocabulary you want them to use.  Before you know it, they will be using some of the words on their own.  Try doing an activity of own.  What simple combination of words could you use to talk about what you are doing?

Have Fun!