Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Math Adventures!

How I teach MATH in Kindergarten:

   To begin, I will redirect you to the beginning of yesterday's post about Chickadee's Early Childhood background here

  So now, I will pick up where that left off! Last year we used Confessions of a Homeschooler's K4  Curriculum. In this curriculum, Chickadee practiced number writing 1-20, beginning math skills, reviewed colors and shapes, counting to 50, skip counting, and a variety of other math related things! My favorite math component from this pack were the Add It! and Subtract It! games. These hands on games helped Chickadee to visualize what happens when we add to basic numbers or subtract numbers. She enjoyed playing them last year and we still pull them out from time to time for review and fun!
  Along with our purchased curriculum for PreK, we also watched Leapfrog DVD's (Math Circus, Math Adventure to the moon, etc) and used a variety of preschool leveled games to reinforce and teach math skills. 

  This year we are using Alpha Omega's Horizons K math curriculum. (Learn more about the complete Horizon's Curriculum here.) I love this curriculum as the teacher book is easy to follow and the student book is all in color! Chickadee LOVES math (and that's an understatement!) and loves to get to her math draw each day. We have our math curriculum in our 2nd work-box (after Calendar) because she looks forward to it and it helps us start our morning off right! We usually start our lesson with some oral counting (currently- up to 100!) and a few flash cards covering either basic addition to 10 or skip counting. Then, we sit together using whichever manipulative needed and cover the "new" concept of the lesson. For this time, we use a variety of manipulatives and other resources. We may use the chalkboard, play money, clocks, dry erase boards, dry erase books, pattern blocks, base 10 blocks, games, etc. Whatever we need to do for Chickadee to grasp the new concept. Then, she moves back to her desk and we go through her work-page together. The first part of her page is usually covering the new concept, so we talk this through together. The rest of the work page is review of previous concepts taught. We are at the point in our school year now that most days, I go over all the directions with her and then she completes them on her own. She usually tells me "I want to surprise you, let me do it by myself!" I will move back to my desk and find something to work on while she finishes her math! Then we check it together and go on with our day! 

  We also cover a lot of math concepts during our calendar time. 

This is the very first part of day getting us into "school-mode." During this time, we practice the months of they year, the days of the week, and the date (including the year). Chickadee then writes in the day's number in her monthly calendar we get from here. Then we graph the weather. (Find the graph we use here; "click on weather graphing"). Next, we do a tally mark count of the days of school for each month. (Find our tally sheet here.) After that, we do our place value number of days and keep track of how many days of school we have had. We do this two ways- the first is that we have a 100 grid that we are filling in to get to 100! The second way to keep track of how many days of school is writing down our number and placing them around the room. At the beginning of the year, I traced Chickadee's hand onto construction paper. Each day, we add a number to one of her fingers. When all 5 fingers are filled, we right the last number largely on the palm, and then hang it in the room. The next hand goes right next to the first hand and so on. This is a great way of keeping track of days of school as well as visualizing how to count by 5's! We have also done a different colored hand print for each month and we are getting a rainbow effect around the top of our school room! Chickadee gets practice writing numbers and we have a quick visual of how many days of school! Finally, chickadee does a number a week page to give her extra writing practice with her numbers. We use Confessions of a Homeschooler's Kindergarten Number Writing sheets. 
(Disclaimer: We use a lot of Confessions of a Homeschooler's math pages during calendar because we used this curriculum during her PreK year and it is what she is familiar with. Confessions of a Homeschooler offers most of these printables for free! Check them out, they are definitely worth it!)

Putting in the date card

Writing in the date

Counting in the Weather graph

Tally Marks

Place Value- 10's

Place Value- Ones!

Number Writing Practice sheets

 Other Ways to teach MATH:
  We also incorporate other math concepts and math practice through unit studies, like our Charlotte's Web study and our current Fairy Tale study. 
Measuring fire tools - Fire Safety Unit

Writing down those measurements!

Playing a game for Fire Safey- note the dice with number words instead of dots or written numbers!

We also use manipulatives during free play. I have quite a collection of math manipulatives and Chickadee gets time each day to choose different items for free play. I have listed some of these activities below:

Some of our Manipulatives
  • Geoboards
  • Pattern Blocks
  • Tangrams
  • Number Puzzles
  • Shape Puzzles
  • Alphie-Numbers
  • Flashcards
  • Dice
  • Games
  • Unifix Cubes
  • Base 10 Blocks
  • Math DVD's
  • Sequencing Cards
  • Fun workbooks
  • Themed units
These are the ways we incorporate and teach math throughout our school day in Kindergarten! I hope that maybe you saw a new idea and are encouraged to try something new with your students! Let me know if you have any questions!