Thursday, December 20, 2012

Math Centers....Holiday Style

I am so glad that all my kinders are it seems from the world.  I thank their parents who helped shield them through the tragedy of Sandy Hook.  Thankful that their happy spirits remind me to enjoy them and enjoy their excitement of this happy time of year.    I remind myself that is okay to have fun...and for them the fun is the same as before Friday.  So here goes....Let me share all the fun we've been having in math.  I love that math can be so hands on...I love that math can be so holiday/theme/season oriented...and I love that math can be so fun!!

I hid jingle bells in a small Christmas stocking.  The students had to feel the bells and try to count how many I had put into the stocking.  They were sooo quiet while waiting for their turn I did this game two days in a row.  I'm talking completely silent!  It was amazing, but then so was the math going on in their brains.  Four was easy and everyone counted correctly, but six was tougher.  They knew there was more...but not everyone counted correctly.  Lots of good discussion.  Now this is in center rotation.

Another game we played was to help us compose numbers and add and subtract fluently to five.  I had 5 jingle bells and hid some under a cup while everyone closed their eyes.  When they opened their eyes they had to figure out how many jingle bells were under the cup.  
We talked about how we knew, what our brains were thinking, and how we could think different ways to figure it out.  Then we practiced our math talk before I let them "play" in partners.  We worked on this twice as a whole group activity and twice as partners.  This week it is a center and I think they will do great...but my old-school, 2nd grade (I have to have something to grade) brain says what about accountability and writing something down?  I wanted to create a recording sheet....but tragedy and time set me back.  However I have been planning on same activity with snowballs in January, so stay tuned!.

Next up is a center using the small packages I purchased last year after Christmas.  I remember seeing a post and looking and looking, but not finding what I wanted, then one day there they were...on sale.  Now I don't remember what the center activity was.  So I have been thinking and I think they would be great for sorting and patterning, for putting the right number of presents under a tree, or the one we are using this week...sequencing the numbers to 20.  I just need to finish making the tags, and run off this sequencing page I got here from   Shannon Martin at Kindergarten Hoppenings.  She has such great ideas!

Christmas trees went up in my room this week (okay I'm a bit slow).  This one is for my counting and graphing center from Deanna Jump.  You can get her recording sheet and much more here in Christmas Math and Literacy Fun.

This little forest is on the bulletin board in the hallway.   It is strung with Christmas lights my kids made with one light-bulb for each letter in their name.

Can you tell we are graphing and comparing?  Just one little word...I forgot how easily kinders can be confused.  We spent some time with our math talk.  They were so cute with how they emphasized MATH TALK when I reminded them we needed to be sure we were using precise words, (number of letters and number of people, some were confused by there being more people with 5 letters than people with 7 was tough for some because seven is bigger than five).  We also talked about several strategies we could use to figure out which had more.Then we practiced making partners and graphing.

We needed a patterning center...I love these little pattern books made by Fran Kramer.  You can find them in her Holiday Joy with the Gingerbread Boy, here  We have been exploring all the versions of the Gingerbread this fit right in.

Do you need a quick game to play on Friday?  Think about Don't Eat Pete.  You can grab my candy eating fun right here and by clicking on the picture.

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