Saturday, September 13, 2014

Solid Shapes Center and Search-O-Rama Freebie

If you're "facing" the challenge of teaching your kiddos about solid shapes, try this simple discovery center. My center included a set of plastic solid shapes, black markers, crayons and paper. The children traced the faces of the 3D shapes to discover the 2D shapes.

 We displayed their work with this chart. 

Here's a quick freebie! I whipped this up to send home on Monday. Just click it to get it. Enjoy! 

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

THINKING about Shapes

We "rounded out" our flat shapes unit with double-bubble Thinking Maps. I'm sure you already know that the Common Core geometry standards ask children to analyze and compare shapes (K.G.B.4). As a class we compared the attributes of two flat shapes.

After making these maps together, I let the children try it on their own. Each child picked two shapes for her double-bubble map. Here is an example from a child that clearly understands the attributes of both shapes, can tell how the shapes are alike and different and even did his own writing. WOW.

From left to right: "6 sides, flat, 4 sides, 6 vertices, 2D, 4 vertices, sides the same."
This child also demonstrates an understanding of the attributes of shapes. Some conversation about his map helped me understand his writing.
From left to right: "3 vertices, sides, 4 vertices, 3 sides, vertices, 4 sides"

As you can see, this friend is not quite there yet. Her double-bubble map shows me we need to keep working!
"2 sides, round"

Next week, we will compare and contrast flat and solid shapes using the double-bubble maps.

I'm also including some pictures of a sorting activity. After several days of sorting together, I asked the children to choose and record their own sorts. This one is "shapes with four sides, shapes with more or less than four sides."

This sort is "small shapes, large shapes." This child is not ready to sort by the attributes of the shapes, but he did get a sort completed!

This sort is "curves, sides."

I hope these lessons give you some ideas for working with your own smart kinders!
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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Thinking and Writing with Pictures Fun Freebie!

If you could have been a fly on the wall...

Yesterday I put this thinking prompt on the screen for my smart kinders. 

Ooooh! Ahhhh! The critical, creative and precious thinking of my kiddos.

Who is the owner of these shoes?

Pete the Cat! He already stepped in lots of things.

Pete the Cat's brothers and sisters. There are different sizes of shoes.

They belong to a farmer. That looks like the things in a barn. The stalls.

They are in Africa. Some people in Africa don't have shoes, so these are out so that people can come choose their shoes to match their shirts.

The shoes are in New York City. They are at a market. You can buy them. They don't have matches. See the price tag?

Clowns. Clowns wear them in a circus.

Now it's your turn to try this out with your kids. Go get your freebie.

I would love for you to leave a comment and share of your own students' ideas about this photo.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Extreme Classroom Makeovers...Three Rooms!

Seriously? Some of you lovely ladies are just now going to back to school?! For me that was soooo yesterday. Soooo last month. Yep, my room already has scratch marks, carpet stains and a broken lamp. But here is how it looked waaaay back in July. Can't you just smell the fresh wax and the dry-erase board cleaner?

Here it is after the room fairy came...yeah, right.

My room is a fairly small space for 25 kids. The year I had 28 I took out as much furniture as possible. Where do the kids sit? More on that in another post.

This here is Tex. He's outgrown his habitat, you might say.

Ready for open house night! Yes. That does say July 31. (The good news is we get a one week break every nine weeks.)

Homey autographed copy of an Eric Carle book along with art and gifts from former students. I even have a book of mine from Kindergarten. That might be an antique!

The walls look bare now, but they are waiting for anchor charts and thinking maps.

This is how I organize some of my guided reading group materials.

My diffuser for my DoTerra essential oils is one of my favorite things in my room!

I think my room looks clean, organized and inviting. But if you want to win some contests you have to go down the hall. Two of our first-grade teachers had their rooms ready before the rest of us tip-toed back in for the first time. Please meet a wonderful first-grade teacher Laurie Bradshaw!

We love Laurie, but we also love her husband because he put all of our Ikea lights up in our rooms! 


This is my favorite part of Laurie's room. You see, the teacher who was in this room before her (yours truly) took the doors off the cabinets. I mean WHO does that?! She has cleverly covered the holes.

Next door is first-grade teacher Kyrsten Haynes.

How about those cutie chair covers that Kyrsten sewed over the summer? And did she paint chalkboard paint on the cabinet doors? Oh, yes she did.

I hope you've been inspired by a peek into these rooms. If you're ever in Macon, Georgia, come on in!

For more extreme classroom makeovers, be sure to visit The Primary Gal to see the linky.

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