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Saturday, October 23, 2010

October Math Stations

One of our "warm ups" during the month of October is an activity using the book, Ten Timid Ghosts. This is a great rhyming story about 10 ghosts who are scared away, one by one, by a wicked witch. Eventually, the last ghost catches on to her antics, and organizes a "take back" of their house! The kids love it and it is a great way to kick off our stations for the month of Halloween.
Each child has a "haunted house" made of black construction paper and 10 lima bean "ghosts". During the second reading of the story, the children retell the story along with me using their beans and house. This activity is a great way to cover combinations of 10, more/less, counting backwards, counting one to one, etc.
Extensions from the story include a flannel version I made for our Storytelling Center, which is always a big hit and a take-home version to play with parents. The take-home version includes goodie-bags I found at the Dollar Tree, 10 packing peanuts and note explaining the story and how to "retell" the story. This is always a favorite!

This was our warm-up to Math Stations this week.
"5 Crows All Shiny Black". Thanks Mrs. Lee for letting me "borrow" your pictures since I forgot to take my own!

I LOVE this game because it covers SO many math skills at once - counting one to one, combining two sets, various combinations of a number (1+3=4 is the same as 2+2=4, etc.), matching sets to numbers (1-10), number order, and identifying numbers by name (1-10). 
He is counting the combination of the dots and will discover that he has already covered his 6.

This game promotes many of the same skills covered in the previous game: instant recognition of sets, counting one to one, numeral recognition, and matching numbers to sets.
We investigated 4 pumpkins of various sizes. I lead this activity to introduce the scales and measurement vocabulary. Later, the children will do more this on their own.
He chooses a pumpkin and weighs it in our "baby scale" - that I found at a local thrift store for $2.00.
He then records the pounds on the matching pumpkin. Did he choose the biggest pumpkin of the 4? the smallest? 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th?
This game required the children to plant the pumpkins until all the pumpkins were in the fields. 
Scarecrow Measurement. We used the bigger squares to keep the number manageable.

This is the "Build the Crow" game - just like the "Build the Pumpkin" game.

This game also teaches steps to a project, spatial relationships, and page orientation.

Is she taller, shorter, or the same height as the scarecrow? 
She answers the question.
Then, records her findings on the paper.
I'm really into "building" things! lol The kiddos love it and get LOTS of needed counting practice.
We talk about the "key" - it unlocks the secret to the game just like a real key unlocks the door.

So close!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No time to complain...

This post really has very little to do with teaching, but then again it does. I am so thankful for my health. I complain a lot (mostly in my head) that I am still not "myself", but thank the Lord that each and every day I gain more and more strength. This week was hard - the effects of chemo still follow me around. I hate not being able to get in the floor with my kiddos and not having the energy to do my "normal". Just about the time that I was going into my one of my "pity parties" a local paramedic came into my classroom and brought me a pink shirt that the firemen are wearing this month. He is such a blessing to me for so many reasons, but as you can imagine I cried like a baby right then and there. I have been so blessed with so many friends and family that have lifted me up in so many ways that I continually tell myself TO STOP COMPLAINING! It's amazing that something as bad as stage IIIA breast cancer can be such a blessing. Thank you Lord for showing me that You do work all things together for good.

So many acts of kindness have definitely motivated me to "press on". So, I have posted more pictures and comments of some of my favorite activities from this week under "Math Stations". This little blog is also a motivator. Thanks, Julie H. for encouraging me to go for it!