Monday, 22 August 2011

Classroom Set-up for 2011

Well I have been been working hard the last few days getting my classroom physically set up.It is always such a debate as to where I should situate things. With the moves towards more play-based activities in Ontario, I have been working hard to integrate some really great play areas in the classroom. I really wanted to work on the reading area as it was just not appealing last  year. I added in lots of stuffies and comfy furniture and a small keyboard from my son. You can attach it to headphones for a different listening experience. As well, I have been working on the art area, making more materials available for student use. I want them to become independent when it comes to finding what they need to make a certain creation. I hope you enjoy this collage of my classroom pictures!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Math Their Way

This program became popular in the 1980's and I must admit that I still use lots of their ideas. I love it because it  helps the students move from concrete to abstract with respect to math concepts. It works on the notion of math tubs that vary depending on the strand you are working on. All of the blackline masters are still available on the math their way website. At the beginning of the year it is essential to give the students tons of free exploration time with the math manipulatives. They must be given the opportunity to play with the materials so that when you do an actual task, they have the playing out of their systems. I especially like the pattern tub and number tub activities. This link will take you to the Math Their Way site:

Math Their Way

Here are some pictures of my kindergarten students doing some Math Their Way activities. They absolutely adore the math tubs!

 This student is using bread tags to make patterns. These little boxes are called junk boxes or treasure boxes. They are mostly collections of things you can find easily at home. Parents are a great resource for sending in these things.

Free exploration with pompoms!

 Exploring with coloured pasta. You can buy it already coloured, or make your own!

Seashell patterns

Kids love keys!
 Free exploration with keys. They are a great tool for teaching sorting.

Button patterns

 This is a number tub activity. Children place black squares on a geoboard and then transfer their design to a geoboard paper. It is challenging to glue it in the right spot!

This jewel activity is part of the number tubs activities.

 Unifix towers are constructed and then the design is coloured on a paper copy.

 Two-toned beans are put in a cup and dumped. The child colours what they see. Later on you can add an addition sentence to this activity....first you write it until the student is able.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Soup Soup Vegetable Soup

One of my fall activities the last couple of years has been to make vegetable soup. I provide the stock and the kids bring in all sorts of different veggies. The first thing we do is talk about the vegetables and which ones we have eaten and where they grow etc. I always have lots of veggies, so we taste the veggies raw too and then put the rest in the soup. It is amazing to see how many kids will actually try veggies they wouldn't try at home. This past year, raw cabbage was a big hit! Strange! Most kids will eat the carrots and a few are adventurous to try some of the rarer ones. We even had a purple potato last year. I had so many veggies that I put the cut up ones in the fridge and we ate them the next day too and used some for painting! I never pressure the kids to eat it, just simply offer it. About half of the kids love the soup and the rest well, at least they try it. There is always one kid who wants nothing to do with it!
Cabbage was surprisingly popular!

Talking about the veggies!

Most of the kids will eat the carrots!

This chopper lets everyone help!

Never had a purple potato!

Here is the soup!