Friday, March 29, 2013

Freebie Friday Flyin' Fact Family Puzzles

I am linking up with Freebie Friday.
As promised in my post here about my Spring Things Math Bundle. I have one more Spring themed Math activity for you - puzzles with math facts. Each 4 piece puzzle contains a part of a fact family (addition/subtraction). Two piece puzzles are included for doubles facts. Two versions are included as well as accountability sheets. Graphics by Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah and Creative Clips. Get the freebie from my TPT store or my new TN shop. My TPT store is 20% off this weekend.

This freebie coordinates with my Spring Things Math Bundle (which includes April/May Calendar Pieces Plus, Spring Things Clip It, Spring Things Math Write the Room, Spring Things Cards and Game Mats, Extra Cards). And the pic below (graphics by Krista Wallden of Creative Clips, photo by Jenn Myles).


Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Techy Teacher Tuesday Link Up

A very simple post about changing how you print in PowerPoint. Linking it up with Queen of the First Grade Jungle. (And yes, I know it is already Wednesday but Spring Break is running me a little behind :)  ). Enjoy, Jenn

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Things Math For April

What's more fun in April Math Centers than bugs, flowers, chicks and kites...Spring Things. I have been creating, creating, creating  around fun with my kids and a sick boy. In my store, you can get several Math Spring Things units separately or in a discounted Bundle (zipped file). The bundle also includes an extra set of addition and subtraction cards. I also have a freebie set coming up that goes with fact families, Spring and puzzles. Keep an eye out for that. Don't forget I am having a mini giveaway. You can win 1 item from my store including my new bundle.
If you can use the centers or any of the smaller units, let me know what you think!

Included in the bundle:
April/May Calendar Pieces Plus
(also listed separately)
Vivid calendar pieces in a variety of patterns.

Spring Things Clip It!
(also listed separately)
Self-checking center for addition and subtraction. Divided into several color coordinated sets focusing on addition, subtraction, mixed + - within 5, and teen + -

Extra Addition & Subtraction Cards
(only available in the bundle)
These match the Clip It cards but without answer choices. They are great to use with the game boards in my Spring Things Math Games below.

Spring Things Math Games
(also listed separately)
This set contains cards for games like memory, four card, and hide the flower as well as for use with the game mats included. These cards have expressions, dominos, and ten frames. Also, included are game boards, spinners, dice, roll and cover boards for subtitizing, addition and subtraction, and roll, say, keep.

Spring Things Math Write the Room
(also available separately)
Three different styles of write the room including counting, adding and subtracting. All come with accountability sheets including one with one more and one less.

These mainly use graphic sets by Creative Clips with additional graphics by Ashley Hughes .

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Linky - Noun Game & New Math Center

Time to Link Up again with Flying into First Grade. This week, it is the noun game: person, place, thing and animal.

Person Magdalyn, Mathew, Sydney, Christopher (say it really fast like it is one name because my husband and my kids are my FAV people).

Place Temple Grove Campgrounds in Transfer, PA - I spent a week every summer from 7mo to 17 yrs visiting there.

Thing Dr Pepper : ) No really, my favorite things are those that I have from my grandparents.

Animal Fred: our very hyper, very small, white and curly dog
Although I love visiting the National Zoo and the Aquarium with my kids.

I just added a Spring Clip It unit for Addition and Subtraction that coordinates with my April & May Calendar Pieces. Check It Out.

Paper Plates Aren't For Eating

A sweet and short post because I actually took pictures!
What kinds of things do you like to use paper plates for?

Spring Calendar Pieces Plus


It is Spring Break- the next day of Kindergarten will be in April & that means the dreaded calendar change. I changed my concept board before I left Friday but I wanted some fresh calendar numbers. And once I started, I created multiple options to choose from for my April and May calendars. Click on the image above or here to get them from TPT. Very cute Spring and Earth Day clipart from Creative Clips. What’s the plus mean, you ask. Games, of course!
Some possible activities: 1. Match the numerals. Play memory or go fish. Practice writing the numerals on whiteboards.
2. Draw a card and count on from that number. Practice printing the numerals that come after.
3. Put a set of numerals in order. You can differentiate by  giving a set of numerals that start at any number or ones that do not increase by 1 (ie all the flowers but not the birds). You can have the students sort in a pocket chart or use velcro on a long strip of tagboard or sentence strip. I have some of these made for visual schedules for students with special needs and they work great for sequencing numbers and stories.
4.Put the numeral cards in a bag or clean juice bottle. Shake. Pull a card and make that number using base ten blocks. My son had the delightful idea to use two paper plates to shake. He came up with it as a way not to lose the die in board games but it works here as well. You turn one paper plate upside down on the other and put the item to shake in the middle. Seasonal containers work as well. Spring baskets with butterflies on them from Walmart’s  Easter section, perhaps?
5. Put a selection of cards in a pocket chart and play guess my number. Differentiate by giving clues using Math vocabulary (greater than, between, 2 more than) or having students lead. Turn cards over to help students who have difficulty keeping track and to show that greater than means all the numbers greater than. Hide a picture behind the mystery number to find the secret flower or sleeping bee. 
See I told you...once I get started. : ) What other ideas can you think of for using numeral cards?

Friday, March 22, 2013

Daisy Does and Doesn't Add Up Freebie

I spent forever last night looking for clipart (color and outline) for a beaver and possum that matched what I already have to make cause and effect and sequencing activities for It's Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler for Freebie Friday. Alas, I tabled that and went to do school stuff (we are changing units over the break) and Mommy stuff (homework, food, bedtime). Not to mention cleaning my classroom today while my own kiddos played in it.

Then I saw Michelle from The 3am Teacher posted a Daisy Frame freebie today. When I saw it, I knew I had to create something for Friday Freebie with it. We have been working on showing addition and subtraction with manipulatives and drawings & matching the number sentences/equations to pictures. In April, we are going to work on deciding if equations are true or not. We are going to draw cards and use models to check if they are equal. Today's freebie are equal and unequal cards. There are a variety of headers with different vocabulary. You can have the students sort the cards on a mat or two part foldable. Students can use manipulatives or draw pictures to verify that both sides are equal. They can record their answers on whiteboards, in journals, or using a recording sheet. Click here to download from TPT.

So I am linking up with TBA to share it with you. Click below to see freebies from other bloggers.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Life Cycle Puzzles

Everything always seems to happen on the same day...and yesterday was one of those days. When I made it home from meetings, teachignand Math Night, my daughter made me a Welcome Home Sign. :) and then even later on I checked my email and I was one of the winners in this Hop to It giveaway from a list of lovely bloggers. So I needed to give back. Here is a project I have been working on recently. Life cyle puzzles uses graphics (life cycles and puzzle pieces) from Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah. Included are butterfly, frog and pumpkin. You can print and cut out the puzzle pieces for the entire life cycle or puzzles for different steps. It is great for introducing a unit, keeping at developmental centers and enriching vocabulary. Use this link from Google Drive - available from March 20th to March 27th free. Thank you to everyone who downloaded. This is now available in my TPT and TN stores & I used a puzzle format for my March 29th Freebie with fact families. If you download and use, please let me know how you like it. I am planning to expand the pack with other life cycles.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hungry Bunnies Math with a Freebie & Spring LinkUp

Check it out in my TPT store for $1 and download a sample mat in png for free. I am also linking up to celebrate Spring with Mrs. Kelly's Klass.
This item has been UPDATED. It now includes a series of cards for centers like Write the Room and Memory. Additional recording sheets included. There is still a png free in the preview download. The price will increase to match the additional materials on March 27, 2013. It remains $1 until then.

Monday, March 18, 2013


Our unit right now is that there are changes and cycles in nature. After weather, seasons and oak trees, we come to the sunflower. I adore this book Sunflower House by Eve Bunting -it relates how flowers grow with the seasons.
It is about a boy who plants sunflower seeds in a circle. As the sunflowers grow, they create a clubhouse for the boy and his friends. Until one day, when they start bend and the petals start falling off. The children in the story decide to harvest the seeds and grow a new "sunflower house" the next Spring. Then we used a Mailbox Magazine activity where the steps in the sunflower life cycle are on the petals and when put in order form a sunflower. When we wrote steps for how to grow a sunflower, the class was sure to add "take seeds from the dead flower to grow more sunfowers".

What are some of your favorite books to read with life cycles?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Short Vowel Races & Sale Linky

AEIOU, You can name them, too! I love word families - they rhyme, they chunk, and they help you read and spell more words. I have been creating a ton of activities with short e and u recently. There are so many ways for our kinders to play with them and so many skills they develop. We segment the sounds and compare how two words are alike. We substitute sounds to make new words. We learn new vocabulary. We practice listening and speaking skills. Slowly, I'm adding some to my TPT store for you. I created Short Vowel Races. For these games, the students spin a word family and move to the next space (picture or word) that is in that family. They either segment the word from the picture or decode the word. Then, they try to use it in a sentence. My rule is that if they don't know the word or picture, they can ask another player for help but then they must use it in a sentence. I like to play with my students before moving it to a center to introduce any new vocabulary to them and practice our speaking skills. You can have the students complete a follow-up activity like the ones I've included or write and illustrate 1 sentence they came up with during the game. The pictures and words included are mainly cvc words. How is this beneficial to those kinders who are already reading the cvc words? They can still play with the other students but they work on the complexity of their sentences.

If the leprechauns can share their gold (see my post here), so can we so I am linking up with Bedford, Love and Teaching for a BOGO sale. This is just for St Patrick's Day (Sunday, March 17, 2013). The terms are: 1. Purchase an item from my store. 2. Be sure to rate it. Feedback is great! 3. Pick an item of equal or lesser value from my store that you want to receive free (but do not put it in your cart). 4.Email me at prlhrbr at yahoo dot com with your TPT username, the name of the item you purchased and a link to the item you want free. 5. Enjoy!

The Gift of Gab and Math Practices

What do I love about the green holiday other than the color? Storytelling. My favorite story to tell (in an atrocious accent, mind you) is about the leprechaun that tricks the farmer by tying ribbons to all the shrubs so he can’t find the pot of gold. Even more, I love when the students get into the storytelling. They love making up stories about leprechauns, pots of gold and rainbows. This is a great day for the author's chair. Everyone can participate whether they are emerging or established writers. What a natural next step … to create addition and subtraction story problems.

Students can use “gold pieces” they cut out or yellow counters. Have them draw a pot on a whiteboard or use a familiar classroom tool like part-part-whole mats. Each partner takes a turn telling the other a story problem. For some, it is as simple as Put 5 pieces in the pot. Take 2 out. How many are left? Others put the story in story problem. The partner showing the problem then tells the addition or subtraction number sentence.

Another fun game with the pieces is to have 1 partner put out a handful of coins. (They can choose the problem, roll a die to get the starting number or rely on the size of their hands.) They count the coins. Then the other partner closes his/her eyes. The first partner (leprechaun) hides a few pieces. The second partner solves to find out how many were taken. What strategies will they use? If there are only a few coins to start with, do they use their fingers to count down? There were 5. There are 3 left. I fold down three and the leprechaun took two. Do they hold the number left in their heads and count up? There were ten so I have to count up to ten. There are 7 left. 7 in my head. 7, 8, 9, 10. The leprechaun took 3. Do they visualize the pieces in their heads? Do they use math tools? Do they persevere in solving?

With all this fun, do they even know how many mathematical practices they have engaged in? It is a piece of gold in itself.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Freebie

I am joining up with Friday Freebie.

Here is an Easter Monster Roll and Cover.

One mat with monsters and Easter eggs is for subtraction. Either roll and subtract from 10 or use the cards. Print and cut apart the cards. Put them in a bag or basket to shake. Pull one and cover the difference. The other mat has monsters dressed as Spring things (bunnies, chicks, and flowers). You roll 2 dice and add or use the cards. Get it here from Google Docs or TPT.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Get Moving During Indoor Recess

Are your Kinders ready for Spring Break? Or maybe they are stuck inside due to cold weather? Or both?
For indoor recess today, we practiced our gross motor skills and snuck in some reading. We played Heidi Songs. Love them. Click here to visit her blog and here to visit her website.
We use the DVD. We get to stand in a U so everyone can see. As soon as the music on the menu starts, the kinders get excited. As they finish one song, they try and guess what the next word will be. Shouts of the word and cheers follow. They sing and dance along. With it being March and our weather unit, of course, we had to sing along with Sing and Spell #2 for Color Words. Other favorites include come and here which have been heard during writing. I've had a set of the DVDs 1-3 for a few years now and they are always a hit with the kinders...and my own three kiddos. So when I got home and my own children were wanting to go out and run around, what did we do?

In class, we love spelling sight words using motions no matter what time of day. Our most recent was Wind. We wave our hands in the air like the wind blowing while we spell the letters and mix them together for the word (like in the book The Wind Blew). Another March favorite is basketball where you dribble the letters and shoot the word. Do you have any favorite cheers, motions, songs or games for sight words?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

St Patty's Math Freebie

February is always full with holidays, celebrations and special snacks. March is trying to catch up. March 1, Read Across America, March Madness, St. Patrick's Day and this year a week off for Spring Break before Easter. In Kinder, we are growing plants for the Science Fair which means learning about the scientific process, rocks/soil, and plant life cycles. Then I decided to start a TPT store and blog which meant polishing and completing units I make for myself so others can use them. I don't have a unit for St Patrick's Day in the store (growing slow here) but I just loved this graphic set from Kari Bolt. So I had to make a few St Patty's Day sheets for Morning Breakfast work to share as freebies. Check out the freebies on TPT here.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Linking Up Alliteration Style

Hopefully I can get this one. I'm glad I learned trial and error as a Problem Solving Strategy because I'm learning widgets and gadgets and linkys and so much more.
I am linking up with Flying into First Grade.

Her Linky Party this week is things you like or like to do with your initials. Hmmm...M is the easiest because Mommy starts with M and so do 2 of my darling children's names. I love being a mommy and love, love my 3 kids. They make me smile, laugh and even fret but I love them unconditionally.
J could be jog or juggle or jump but alas I'm more likely to walk or sit. :) I do love January and July because they are in the middle of summer and winter. I love the changing seasons. They remind me to stop and reflect.
L is for learn.  Life is about learning - through play, friends, books and yes, mistakes.

Some growing I observed this week...I put a Spring jacket on my not quite two year old and she took hold of the zipper and tried to zip it up. I wasn't expecting that.
What big changes have you seen lately in your own kids or your in your classroom?


Sunday, March 10, 2013

March Madness Subtraction Style and a Freebie

What kinder doesn't love manipulatives and games? Check out my new TPT store to download a subtraction roll and cover freebie and my bundled subtraction unit just in time for March Madness.
This is one of the differentiated roll and subtract mats available in the freebie. To introduce the mats and the concept that they were subtracting from ten, I phtotocopied the mats in black and white for each student. (That way they have one to take home to play with their family.) I'd say hold up ten and we'd all get our fingers ready and up in the air. One kinder would roll the die and the rest of us would fold down that number of fingers. How many are left? Then together we would say the subtraction sentence. We would all cover the difference (the number left on our hands). Then another kinder would get to roll. We practiced the language of Math. The next step was to partner up. If one partner rolled the die, the other held up their fingers. I moderated and helped different kinders. Did someone say assessment? Yep. Now I knew who I needed to work more with and introduce the a mat like this:
or who could use a different subtraction die. I have a special set of different colored cubes I wrote numbers on to differentiate. My bundle also includes dice and spinners to match. Now my kinders were ready for the game to be placed at centers. They quickly made it their own. Two players each took their own game mats, rolled, said the subtraction sentence and cover the difference on their own mats. The winner was the one that covered all the places first. Ready to grow - they started recognizing that if they rolled 4, it was 10-4=6 and if they didn't have a 6 left to cover they could say your turn. :)

To celebrate the opening of my TPT store (and blog) not to mention joining up with the March Madness sale of other Kinder bloggers, I have put the TPT store on sale 20% through March 11th.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Growing together

I love being a kindergarten teacher and creating materials and sharing ideas with others. After over a year of reading & following blogs, I'm creating my own. I decided on the blog name almost a year ago. One of my favorite things about working with kinders (and watching my own children at this age) is to see how they grow. Sometimes the growth is slow and steady. At other times, things click and they blow right by us. Here is to a wonderful journey of sharing and growing in blogland.