Monday, April 16, 2012

Bug Math

We played a bug math game today. I found the idea for this game somewhere on the web, but I can't figure out where it was. The kiddos were absolutely crazy about this game. (To be fair, it did include BUGS!) 

Each child has their own jar. I drew mine on paper, but if you have real jars it would be even cooler. 

I used a die I made from a free pattern on the internet. I used the numbers 2,3,4, and 5. I also included a picture of a fly swatter and bug spray. The goal of the game is to fill the jar with bugs. If a number is rolled on the die, the child adds that many bugs to their jar.

If the fly swatter is rolled, one bug goes back in the jar.

If the bug spray is rolled, all of your bugs go back in the middle.

After we ran out of bugs, I had the children count how many bugs were in their jars. We talked about who had the most/least bugs. For my kiddos who were ready, I used this activity to encourage beginning addition and subtraction. At the end of the game, my kiddos were begging to play more. So we will be having some more bug fun tomorrow! 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Caterpillar Patterns

We had a great time incorporating math into our caterpillar theme this week with caterpillar patterns.

The original idea came from pinterest (of course!). Except it was for fractions. Fractions are above the pre-k level, so I modified it to work for my kiddos. It was way too cute to pass up! Check out the original idea here, at The First Grade Parade.

My kids are very strong in continuing patterns, but still need practice creating patterns on their own. This activity was perfect for strengthening their patterning skills. The best part about it was it took NO prep, wasn't messy AT ALL, was simple, quick, and FUN! My kiddos love any reason to get out the colorful, fuzzy pom-poms and caterpillars are all the rage in my class at the moment. Look at how cute and colorful our finished work is! 

This activity was a great reminder of how adaptable so many activities can be. So next time you see an awesome idea, make sure to think of ways to adapt it for your kiddos! 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It Looked Like Spilt Milk

This book is a classic! The students love reading this book. I use it for shared readings, because the book is so repetitive. After only one or two readings all of my students are reading along. The simplicity of the book builds confidence in my emerging readers. I've also found this book is great for a writing prompt.

First, we started with cotton balls and white paint on a blue background. I encouraged the students to make their clouds in the middle of the paper. (to leave room for the sentences) Some of the kids dabbed their cotton balls and made fluffy clouds, others dragged the cotton balls and made wispy clouds. When they were satisfied with their clouds we stepped back and studied them. After deciding what the clouds looked liked, we used the pre-printed writing prompts to add sentences to the clouds. I read the sentences to the students while they were writing their words, and emphasized the wording that mirrored the writing in the book.

After the child was finished, I encouraged them to read me the sentences on the picture. The finished pages can be put together for a class book or put on display. Since I still had Dr. Seuss on our bulletin board, I opted for displaying our current work for parents to see!