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Pumpkin Number Freebies!

It's Thursday.... it's Fall... yet down here in Texas, you wouldn't know by the 93 degree temps outside!  (I'm trying to be really patient to bust out my sweaters and booties for Fall!)
We did manage to have a pretty good cold front come through today though.... which may explain the unusual crazy wild behavior lately (and don't forget the full moon we had earlier this week!)

We are in week 9 of school (yes.... already!) and we are finally trucking along at a pretty consistent rate and *finally* into a good routine down here in Kinder World!

After working with students, small groups, one-on-one, analyzing student assessments and observing independent work.... it's safe to say that I officially have my students figured out and where I need to go (academically) to get these sweet babies truckin' through Kindergarten!

I posted about my most recent RTI pack (Mission Intervention - Alphabet Recognition and Identification) but with fall officially here... I can't help but throw in some themed-learning/intervention!  

Working with my math groups, I wanted to create some pumpkin-themed activities BUT .... make it beneficial for learning AND fun!  So.... I whipped up a few activities that I wanted to share with you (and if you hang around till the end.... you can grab them too!)

Let's take a look in detail;

These pumpkin picture cards include cards with 1 - 10 pumpkins.  

Options (but not limited to!)
1. simply count the pumpkins!
2.  Teacher calls a number - students find a pumpkin cards with more/less/equal to the teacher's number.
3.  Match the pumpkin picture with the number cards (next picture!)

I also use these number cards to help with the next activity:

I created FOUR different pumpkin number mats.  Each includes numbers 1-10, just in different variations on the mat.

You can either call out a number, or use the number cards to call out a number.  Students will need to identify that number that you call out and cover it on their mat.  We just use unifix cubes, but small erasers, pumpkin seeds, whatever you want!

The pumpkin to fill up first or with the most cubes "wins".  
Again, you can vary this up as well and say, " find a number more than ____"  or "less than ____"
Feel free to match it to what your students need most!

Last but not least.... these little pumpkin wagons are great for building the number!

I have included mats for numbers 1-10 as well as the pumpkins!  

Students will just pick a number wagon mat and represent the number using the pumpkins (or orange cubes if you don't want to cut out the pumpkins!)

The best part.... you can grab all of these pumpkin activities for FREE:

Have a great week!!

Mission: INTERVENTION ~ The Alphabet

Hello October.

September seemed to fly by.  Really fast.  Pretty sure I only blogged once during the last month and I really do apologize.  Lots of things kept me from blogging... you know... work and teaching, being a mom, staying afloat in the back to school madness, still having to cook dinner every night (really wish I could hire a chef the first month back to school!), watching the Cowboys now that football is back on, and just being really busy.  I'm sure you can relate.... right?!

It's no secret that our students will all learn at different rates, by different teaching styles and strategies, and by different activities in the classroom.  I'm sure you know by now that the students in your classroom are all over the place when it comes to what instructional level they are on. Some are above grade level, some are working right on grade level, and some are buckled in tight on the struggle bus! (and you could probably point each of these students out on DAY 1)

Wouldn't it be just flippin' fantastic if we would plan and teach a lesson and ALL of our students would show mastery on that skill and we could move on?!  Well.... I hate to break the bad news to you... but THAT.WILL. N - E - V - E - R .HAPPEN.

We of course want ALL of our students to succeed, but often struggle with WHAT to do with these students, WHEN we should do it, etc....

Do you have a specific time in your daily schedule for intervention?  If not.... you should!  There HAS to be a time devoted to meet the need of all of our students, including our students who are behind and need that small group or even one-on-one instructional time with the teacher. IT IS CRUCIAL!

For me as a kindergarten teacher, we are flying daily through the alphabet trying to get our students to master letter identification, begin development on their letter sounds and fixing to set sail on the cruise ship called READING.  If my students are still struggling and not mastering their letter identification, we can't even begin to move to the next step.

I have a few students who definitely fall into the category of needing some intense intervention right now!  I despise trying to come up with last minute activities for these students during my small groups and decided it was time to finish a product that had been on my to-do list for MONTHS!

My new mission is.... getting these students on grade level (or at least some significant progress!)

Mission:INTERVENTION ~ Alphabet Recognition and Identification was created so that I don't have to dig or try and find new activities..... they are now all in one place for me (and YOU!)

This is just a sneak peek into what this will look like!

I wanted to pop in tonight and share with you what you will find in this JAM-PACKED pack of activities (over 170 pages!)

I created a binder to hold all of the assessments and printable activity pages.

The cover is included, but always feel free to use what works and matches with you!  

Each activity in the packet includes directions and pictures... as well as the MISSION of the activity (the intended goal of the activity).

Each letter of the alphabet will have it's very own page!  I have included 4 rows on each page, which allows me to easily say during groups, " ______ read line 3"   This will give me 4 different lines to show mastery.  

Students can use their "eyes" to identify the letters, use a stick or pointer to find the letters, or even use a cube or manipulative to cover the correct letters.

A closer look at the alphabet pages:

My students absolutely LOVE this activity.  I can use this when focusing on specific letters with my intervention groups!
And they LOVE using these eyes!

This activity is from the "Does it Match" activity. 

Students will identify the letters on the card and determine they match (capital to lowercase).  There are FOUR different assessment pages like these shown above that you can use.  

Multiple ways to use it:
(1) Point and identify the pairs that match
(2) Use counters and cover the pairs that match
(3) Use TWO different colors - one color represents pairs that match, the other color is for pairs that do NOT match.

A closer look at the activity:

Use the cards and activity as a mini-lesson in your intervention group, then use the binder assessment pages to really focus on each student for mastery.  

Another FAVORITE activity:

This activity "Sort it Out" has students sorting the capital and lowercase letters.  Students do not necessarily need to identify the letters in this activity, but just recognize if the letter is a capital or lowercase letter and sort.

I have also included FOUR different assessment pages that you can put in your binder, also labeled by four rows on the page.  Again, this easily allows me to say, "Read line 4" etc....  after doing the mini lesson activity.

It's one thing to identify the letters, but I also think that writing the letters is equally important!

I have also included this activity in the pack, which is great to put into the binder!

There is a page for EACH letter in the alphabet, using the same format on each page.

The pages include:

(1) Trace the capital and lowercase letter with your finger
(2) Trace the capital and lowercase letters with your dry erase maker
(3) Write the capital and lowercase letters with your dry erase marker

This activity is a great step-by-step building activity for writing the letter!

This activity in the pack is a student favorite (and also great for literacy stations for ALL students!)

I have included a half page for each capital and lowercase letter that has the proper letter formation on the card.  Students can use their "eyes" to trace with their finger, use a dry erase marker, use Play-Dough, a dry paint brush, etc....

So many ways to practice the formation of the alphabet!

I have also included a few games that you can do with your students including:

"Stack it Up" is a fun game AND a great visual for you!  
All you need is the cards provided AND stacking cubes!

I turn the pile of letters upside down and one student will choose a card at a time.  If they can read the letter correctly, they will get a cube.  If not, no cube!  The group will alternate turns and stack their cubes each time they identify the letter correctly.  Once the stack is gone, the student with the highest stack... is the winner!

Concentration is fun and can be differentiated as needed!  Use all of the letters or just the letters you have focused on in small groups.  Lay the cards face down and students will select two cards at a time.  The mission is to find the capital and lowercase match!

We can't forget about putting the alphabet into order....

I usually separate the cards into the lowercase and capital piles, and give one stack at a time.  The students will work together (or individually) to put the alphabet back into order!

GO FISH... alphabet style!

You can print 2 sets (complete matches will included 2 capital and 2 lowercase of the same letter) OR print four sets and only use the capital cards OR the lowercase cards.

Students will ask the other player if they have a specific letter to help them build a set.  If so, the player will give it to the partner.  If not, the player will say "GO FISH".  

A fun little twist on the traditional fun-loved game!

This activity is great if you are only focusing on 2 - 3 letters at a time!

The mat has a blank circle that will allow you to put in the specific letters you are working on.  
I have included SIX letters (mixed fonts, capital and lowercase) for each letter.  I keep them each stored in their own baggie so I can easily grab the letter I am working on!

Students will sort (either 2 or 3 letters).  (Both mats included!)


This is where the binder comes into play!  I simply print all of the printables and place them into sheet protectors (which also are dry-erase friendly!)

I print all of the alphabet card activities and label into their own baggies for easy identification of what I need.

I keep ONE container that holds each of the baggies:

Now... when I meet with my intervention groups, I just grab my box and my binder!  

I got these boxes at Wal Mart and it's how I store ALL of my literacy stations and math stations as well!

The BEST part.... YOU can have ALL of this for your students too!   (It's on SALE!)

Just click HERE or on the picture below :)

Now... my next MISSION.... is:

Mission INTERVENTION: Number Recognition and Identification

Coming SOON!

Have an AWESOME weekend teacher warriors!

Back to School Assessments

Happy Monday!

It's the start of week 4 for me and it's officially time to get down to business!  The honeymoon stage is over (long gone!), the students are completely comfortable in the classroom, and we are knee deep into the curriculum now!  (with a few procedures and routines on repeat!)

I really (like Really Really) am ready to get to know each student on a deeper level (academically!).

 I have started pulling my kiddos back one-on-one with me during specific times in the day and I'm slowly but surely learning who is sailing through with ease and who is riding the struggle bus!  (Can I get an AMEN?!)

When I assess my new kinders (prior to any district wide testing), I don't use any formal or fancy assessment!  I just whipped up some simple (and student-friendly!) back to school assessments just to help me get the basics for my kiddos!   That pretty much includes (1) alphabet identification {capital and lowercase letters} (2) beginning sounds (3) Number Identification to 20 (4) color identification and (5) sight word recognition.

While I don't expect my students to master all of these, it definitely gives me a baseline and shows me what I'm workin' with!

Today was all about letter identification.   I created this simple form that includes all capital and lowercase letters (out of order!) as well as the same exact layout for the students in a colored version!

It looks something like this:

While I'm recording the student's response, the student has a color-coded sheet that is identical to mine.  I can easily say, "Read the orange row".   "Read the green row", etc......   
It is much easier than giving the students a complete white sheet... trust me (it's overwhelming!)

The color-coded lines help break it down and not seem so daunting while students are trying to show me their best!

If a student identifies the letter incorrectly, I simply just mark through it with the highlighter.  I write in the white space ___/26, and we continue with the lowercase letters.

I also created the same thing for the other areas of assessment that look like this:

(This is shown above in use!)
I have two forms (yes, they look the same!)  One is for letter ID and the other is for beginning sounds!

I included a color-coded identical copy (I say... read the red column/line.... read me the green column/line, etc....)

It breaks it up into small chunks of assessments and it's very student friendly!

This assesses the first 25 words and again, I give the students an exact replica of my teacher sheet, just in a more friendly version.  (Please read the green column, etc...)

It amazes me how many students come in NOT knowing their colors!  So.... just to make sure, I have this form as well.  The students receive the sheet on the right and just point and say the color!  


Just in case some of you are JUST now assessing (like me!).... you can grab these assessments for FREE!

Just click HERE!

Hope you all have a great week....

and if you have any questions on how to use these.... please let me know!

Fun with Decomposing Numbers!

Day 13 for me here.  Yes... 13 days of school already down.  I mean seriously, it literally seems like the first day was yesterday.  It's already flying by!

We all know down in Kinder-World that the entire first (and second, probably third, and even the 4th!) week of school is all about those precious procedures and repeating every single word until our throat hurts.

We are wrapping up week three here and I really feel that this week (even though shortened by Labor Day.... and I'm NOT complaining!) we are starting to get the hang of this thing called "learning".

Math is always one of my favorite subjects to teach because... well.... it's just so gosh dang fun and hands-on!  I LOVE (and I mean I really LOVE) seeing my kinder babies really grasp and understand math!  Teacher heart happy.... check!

In Math we start off pretty basic.... like REALLY basic.  We work on numbers 0 - 5 for FOUR weeks!  Building number sense and a good understanding of numbers is the main goal.... so I will take as long as I need in order for my students to really grasp this!

This week has been all about Decomposing.... and in this case... up to the number 5!

I wanted to share a variety of activities that you can use for decomposing....whether it be decomposing the number 5, 10... or whatever!  These activities can definitely be used for the larger numbers as well.

This chart gets created early on in the decomposing unit because it really gives students a visual of breaking down a number.

This chart stays hanging up in the classroom throughout the unit.  We create it as a whole group and as it begins to come along, the student's eyes light up with understanding!  All you need is POST-ITS!  

The first activity we always start off with (and it's a student favorite!) is making their decomposing bracelets!

All you need is pipe cleaners and pony beads!  
Since we are decomposing the number 5, they each get 5 beads.  

The best part of this activity.... I get to integrate literature!!!  

We choose from these books throughout the week:

As we read through the book and one of the characters "goes away", the students will move a bead on their bracelet...... decomposing the number.

Many of my students LOVE this activity and decomposing really begins to "click".... they even wear them the rest of the week! 

Another favorite activity is the "Dump & Decompose"

Depending on what number you are decomposing, this will determine the number of two-sided counters you will have in your cup! 
For us... it's still about the magic number FIVE!

They shake and "dump" their counters and then they decompose.

In this example... it shows that the number 5 is decomposed into 2 and 3.  (2 red counters and 3 yellow counters)

We shake and "dump" again, questioning each time (is it the same as last time?  what is different?  is it still 5? etc...)

Need a quick activity (and some fine motor skills thrown in the mix?!)

Just grab some popsicle sticks and clothespins!

Simply move the clothespin and decompose!  

This is a great hands-on activity to use as you create the post-it chart from earlier in this post!

Do you need an activity to get your students up and moving?

I found these ADORABLE little bowling sets at the one and only DOLLAR TREE (I grabbed a few packs!) and immediately thought about decomposing numbers!   
~ The pack does have 10 pins and 2 balls!

The great thing about the bowling activity.... you can use it for decomposing TEN... or any number less than that by removing the pins!

I set up the five pins... and I also give my students a dry erase board and marker (but this is totally up to you!)

I make a template on the dry erase board and then have my students roll the ball!

The number of pins knocked down represent the first number and the remaining pins that are standing represent the second number.

The students then just fill in the boxes with the two numbers!

After that student has a turn, the next student goes!  This is great for whole group or small groups!

One of my favorite decomposing activities.... is getting LIFE SIZE!

I picked a package of yellow and red paper plates at the Dollar Tree (I go a little crazy in that store!)
and these plates represent the two sided counters that we already are familiar with and use in the classroom.

Our classroom is half tile and half carpet!  These tile squares are the perfect place to set up a life-size FIVE FRAME!  (you can do a ten frame as well!)

Use the plates to show a visual of decomposing within a five frame.

While not all students can do this at the same time, I made these little Five Frame pages that will allow students to use the small counters and represent the same visual as shown on the large five frame.

You can grab this little FREE five frame sheet by clicking the picture above or by clicking HERE.

The font in the activity from Babbling Abby!

Last.... but definitely NOT least.... you have to have FOOD involved with Math!

I made these little picture mats using Krista Wallden's clipart!  I grabbed some goldfish... and WAH-LAH... we were decomposing!

I give each student 5 fish... but again, you would give the number that you are decomposing!

We start off with all five fish in the water....

As we decompose.... we move "some" fish to the cave!

Again... I want the most exposure to writing the numbers as I possibly can... so they get to write on their tables with dry erase markers.... and yes... they absolutely LOVE it!  (it comes right off with clorox wipes!)

So..... there you have it!  Our week of decomposing the number 5 (but you could EASILY do this with decomposing 10!)

I'm off to bed.... ready to rock Friday tomorrow!

Happy Teaching friends!!!

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