Sunday, December 1, 2013

Counting by 5's

" Make a straight line over, then a strait line down, then a nice big curve half way around!  It's a real cool  number, come on let's try, sing along with me and COUNT BY 5'S! "  So goes the count by 5's song on Jack Hartman's Math All Around Me CD.  To enhance this song, and make the numbers more meaningful I made count by 5's gloves.
I acquired 5 sets of orange rubber gloves and 5 sets of blue rubber gloves.  I wrote the numbers needed to count by 5's in a pattern on each pair.  For example, 5 and 10 are on a set of blue gloves, 15 and 20 on orange and so on.  I did this so that if I had a small class, each student could have a pair of gloves but the numbers would still be in order.
To use the gloves, we stand in a circle and I pass out the gloves in order.  Some students get 1 glove, some get a pair, depending on class size.  As we sing the song, the student displays the number we are counting.  (I stand behind the correct number the first few times until the kids get used to holding up their number.)  I point out that each glove has 5 fingers, so we are counting 100 fingers by 5's.  A whole lot faster than counting 100 fingers by 1's!
Later on I will let the students use the gloves independently to put in order and count by 5's.
This also makes a great small group math game or center.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April the Snowman

April 15, 2013
I am a big fan of thematic units and come April, I want to delve into spring and all the learning opportunities therein, but this year the weather is not cooperating!  My students had 1 day of recess with no snow pants, boots, hats or mittens, just regular shoes and jackets.  They were free, racing around the playground with glee!  We spend the learning day talking about the change in season, writing about the weather changes and signs of spring, reading about spring weather and doing spring related math activities.  The next day, snow!  One of my students came to school and exclaimed "Teacher!  Winter came back!"  What is a teacher to do?  Roll with it, modify and keep on teaching!  We are still keeping a tally chart of how many robins we see.  We used the snow to make clouds for our science experiment on rain.  (See science activities)  We connected with the weather by writing about what we like to do when the weather is rainy or snowy and read about characters in similar situations.  I did my best to stay optimistic and promise that spring will eventually get here.  After our 2nd snowstorm of the week another dear little learner said to me "Isn't it a pretty day!?  I'm a snow bunny, I love the snow!"
Well, this is a spring for all the snow bunnies out there.  Hang in there, the flowers are coming!