Saturday, September 13, 2014

What about Math?

Our school wide focus this year is Math!  We are changing the way we teach and the materials we use.
We are teaching Math by the Florida Standards this year.  For the first marking period we will be working on these standards:
CLUSTER – Identify and describe shapes, (squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres).
Describe objects in the environment using names of shapes, and describe the relative positions of these objects using terms such as above, below, beside, in front of, behind, and next to.
Correctly name shapes regardless of their orientations or overall size.
Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three-dimensional (“solid”).
CLUSTER - Know Number Names and the Count Sequence
Count to 100 by ones and by tens
Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1)
Write numbers from 0 to 20.  Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects) (through 10)
 CLUSTER - Count to tell the number of objects
a.When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object.
b.Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted.  The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
c. Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1-20, count out that many objects.
CLUSTER - Classify objects and count the number of objects in each category.
Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.
Basically we will be working on shapes and the numbers to 10.
So what does this actually mean?  We had been using the Envision Math Program and we followed this program from start to finish.  This year we are using the Envision program as one of our resources for teaching Math and not solely relying on that.  I am excited about teaching Math this year, it is harder to do it this way, it is a lot more planning on my part, but it will also give me the freedom to address the needs of the children better.
These math pages are from our Envision Math Program
So what are we doing?????
We are doing a lot of Problem Solving with our Problem of the Day.  This can either be a problem I present on the activboard, that we work through together orally, or it can be a problem that we put into our Math Problem Solving Notebooks.  In the Math Problem Solving notebook, we will be exploring different strategies to solve problems.  As Mr. Dragon says, "We will be thinking, talking and writing about Math every day!"
For kindergarten, we are also exploring new Math manipulatives.  These are those fun little blocks and cubes and teddy bears that we use when we do Math.  Of course for us, the first thing we do is just PLAY with them.  I am not afraid to say it, yes we actually just PLAY with them!  This helps us figure out what to do with all of these things and when I need to take them out to use for a lesson, they aren't as tempted to "just play" with them.  So here we are exploring our Math Manipulatives:
We have also worked on the numbers 1-10 while we made our BIG numbers at the beginning of the year.  This gave the students even more cutting practice as well as practice using regular glue.  They learned the class motto for white glue; Dot, Dot, Not a Lot!  We practiced this every time we used the glue.  But more importantly, making the big numbers gave the children practice with identifying numerals as well as counting and making sets.
We have also been doing some work with partners.  This gives the children a chance to work together and talk about their discoveries as we explore different Math topics.  Here the children are playing Match It!
We will also be working in  Math Centers and in small groups, more about that later!

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

I see children practicing cutting, that's what I see!
Who doesn't love Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  This book gives us a great introduction to Shared Reading and looking at the words in a book.  We practice "reading" the book, identifying color words and sequencing the story with our Pocket Chart activity.  But the biggest thing we do with Brown Bear is practice cutting, gluing and following directions.  We are also reviewing and practicing shapes as we make all of the animal characters from the book. Here are some pictures from when we were making Green Frog.  This is the fourth animal we have made and by this point most are able to complete this independently.  I usually will give the directions to the whole group, give them the paper, check how they are holding those scissors, and let the get to it!  We have already learned and practiced how to use the glue sticks correctly, so they are able to put it together without much help!
 See, I am holding the scissors the right way!
 I can do this!
 Using the gluestick to add the eyes.
 Now where is that black crayon???
 These feet are a funny shape.
 Adding the eyeballs.  I will use green instead!
 This is an awful lot of cutting!
 Sense of accomplishment when it is all put together!
 Keep your eyes on your work.
 Not a problem cutting out the circles for the eyes.
 Hold it steady and cut on the line.
Love that tongue out while he concentrates on cutting!
When all is said and done, I ask for some to hang on our board.  This lets those children who want to take them home right away do so and not have to worry about leaving their animals behind.

The Gingerbread Man Welcomes us to Southside!

I always like to start the year with The Gingerbread Man.  This gives us an introduction to folk tales. With different versions of the same story, it gives us a chance to make connections between the texts.  We discuss the different characters and settings in the stories, as well as the different endings.  We can make predictions based on what happened in other versions.  All of these are a good introduction to working with books and beginning comprehension skills.  The Gingerbread Man also gives us a chance to visit different places in our new school as we become more familiar and comfortable with our new surroundings.
 We start off in the cafeteria, where Miss Monica gives us the bad news that the Gingerbread Man has hopped out of the oven and run away.  He does leave a note behind which leads us to...
 The Library,  where Mrs. Graph has another note and more bad news for us.  He was there, but she was unable to catch him.  We read the next note which leads us to...
 The Clinic,  Mrs. Makenna hands over the next note and lets us know he cannot be found until the next day.  We should be able to find him in the office.
 Mr. Dragon gets in on the fun while we explore his office and finally find the Gingerbread Man.
 It is always fun to finally find that  Gingerbread Man.  I love how into it the children get.  They truly believe he has been running around the school and continue to look for him as we wait to go find him in the office.
 No one really ever asks how he gets back on the tray...ahh the magic of a 5 year old!
 We just know that we got him and he looks ready to eat.
 I always like to cut him up, but leave the head intact, just for fun! 
 Finally he goes the way of all Gingerbread Men...We get to eat him!
 Opinions on how he tastes are usually mixed, but I am encouraged because all of the children are at least willing to try!