Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Too Much Glue!

*Oh my word ya’ll. Flashlight Press sent me the CUTEST book ever to review for them. TOO MUCH GLUE! By Jason Lefebvre is the story of a little boy who likes glue a little too much. I know you can relate because we’ve all had that kid in our class one year or another. He gets himself into a sticky mess and needs some help from his classmates!

And can we talk about the illustrator Zac Retz for a minute? The back flap says this is his first picture book. I certainly hope it isn’t his last. Look at these beautiful, whimsical illustrations! You know how hard it is to hold a brand new kinders attention for even a hot minute, but I know they are going to love looking at the pictures in this book!

This book would be the perfect starter to a lesson on glue and the proper (and improper) ways to use it! It will be on sale in September and you can pre-order it here.

I know there’s a lot of controversy out there in teacherland about which glue is best bottles vs. glue. I’m firmly in the “use whichever works best for you and doesn’t give you a headache” camp, which also lands me in the bottle camp.

I have glue bottles on my supply list every year and the first thing I do when the kids bring them in is remove those orange twist tops that let out way too much glue! They. Are. The. Enemy. Best thing I ever did was invest in these little red tap & glue tops: 

No more twisting! The kids simply press down and the perfect dot of glue comes out! Not too much! Not too little! Are they a little pricey? Yes. Are they worth every penny in prevented headaches? Yes. I also use my supply money each year to invest in a gallon or two of glue and a glue pump to refill the bottles throughout the year. 

What about you? Which camp are you in? 

Let's Recap:
Pre-order Too Much Glue HERE
Get tap & glue tops HERE
Get a glue pump HERE
Get a gallon of glue HERE

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Getting Ready for Math Magic

Please, if you take anything from this post, take this: this is NOT my original idea. I was lucky enough to see Deanna Jump present at the Florida Kindergarten Conference last November, and this is one of the ideas I got from her fantastic Math session. I’m simply going to show you how I plan to implement the idea.

You may be wondering, what the hay is Math Magic? In a nutshell, it’s common core aligned math centers, by a different name. To run math magic in the classroom you need 5 math groups and 5 math centers or tubs.

Each tub gets a letter – m, a, g, i, c; and each of those letters corresponds with the Kindergarten common core strand that the activities inside align to.
m- Measurement & Data
a – Addition & Subtraction (operations & algebraic thinking)
g – Geometry
i – (numbers) In Base Ten
c – Counting & Cardinality

Your five groups go to one center a day, rotating through the five centers throughout the week. This way they are practicing every area of the common core all year long, and not just the one you are currently teaching in your series.I plan to make my groups with varied levels so that higher students can help lower students.

Now here’s where I throw in my two cents. I decided to take Deanna’s idea she shared with us and run with it. Here’s how I’ll be implementing Math Magic in my classroom.

For the tubs themselves, I purchased a 5 drawer organizer in green to match my room. It came from Big Lots and I believe it was around $25. I labeled each drawer with one of the center letters. I plan to put all the materials for each center into the basket so each group can simply take the whole drawer to a table.
 Photo: Math tub storage ready to go!
Next, I made a clip chart with the 5 rotations. I’ll use a clothespin with each groups symbol on it clipped to the chart so groups know which center they are going to that day. Clips will move up one spot each day. I plan to hang mini posters on the wall with the groups symbol and their names and/or picture so the kids remember which group they are in.
 Photo: Finally done!!! They're not perfect, but they're perfect for me!
You can get a math magic (and daily 5 too) clip chart, group icons, group mini posters, and tub labels for free on my facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/lifeissweetinkindergarten
Make sure you are a fan, then up at the top click on fan freebie! It is under there along with some other freebies.
 Photo: psssttt... there's a new fan freebie up!

Now, you might be wondering what is going to go into each tub! Here are some of my ideas, including some resources from TPT that are on my wishlist! (click on any picture to go to the resource's page on TPT)

M – Measurement & Data:
Many of my themed center packs have measurement games in them that I’ll be pulling throughout the year. However, for the beginning of the year I think I will make a nice, easy center where the students can build cube trains to represent the letters in their names and compare them to their groups.

Kim Adsit also has some wonderful Measurement game packs.

A – Addition & Subtraction:
Besides games from my themed center packs I plan to use some of these games:

Flip 5/Flip 10 from Growing Kinders

Funtastic Ten Frames from Sarah Cooley – It has a great activity where students spill red and yellow counters and count how many of each to make combinations of Ten.

G – Geometry:
I plan to start the year with Geoboards and these cute shape cards from First Grade Blue Skies. Students make the shape on the card, then record it.

I – In Base Ten:
I  love this fun (and free!) match up game from Ashley Hughes. I would only start with numbers 1-20:

C – Counting and Cardinality:
Deanna’s Math Magic Games pack has lots of fun games for this strand!

I’d love to know what you are thinking! How are you implementing math centers this year? Do you have any favorite math resources that are common core aligned? Drop me a note and let me know!