Monday, May 18, 2015

May Activities

8 days left!
I can hardly believe it!
Usually by this time of the year I am so exhausted and ready to sleep in.  But for some reason this year, I'm still going strong.
I think it's because I'm worried that this may be the end of kindergarten for me.  I love teaching kindergarten and feel so passionate about it.  But we only have room for 5 kindergarten teachers next year, so someone has to move.  And I'm afraid it's going to be me.
Like really afraid. 
I want to throw up every time I think about having to move away from my awesome team of K teachers, my classroom, and the sweet little babies that come into my room and heart every July.  And then I remind myself to be thankful that I have a job and get to do what I love everyday.  And tell myself that moving grades is not the end of the world.
And then my stomach gets in knots and I want to throw up again. 
We are all anxiously waiting to see what happens.  I just hope it happens soon before I give myself an ulcer from stressing about it.
So anyway, I think I am subconsciously making sure that I enjoy and savor these last days because I'm afraid they may be my last hurrah as a K teacher.
Now that I've made myself sick to my stomach again, lets talk about what I've been up to this past week.

I had been trying to think of a cute photo concept for the last page of my year end book.  And this is what I came up with.  I thought it was super cute!

I blogged a little last week about introducing my rekenreks.
My kids love these things!!!
So I thought I'd share a little more about how I'm using them.

Number Talks are only supposed to last about 5 min.  And this is super hard to stick to when your kids are engaged and learning.
But I just had to remind myself that a little each day will help keep them excited and engaged with the rekenreks.
So this past week I started choosing one number each day.  I started with 5 on Monday and ended with 10 on Friday.
First I had my kids show the number of the day with green beads or pink beads, not both.  After they counted out the correct number of beads, they hold their rekenrek to their chest, with the beads facing them, to show me they are ready, and so that no one else can look at their beads.

Then when I say "show me," they flip their boards around while still holding them to their chest, so that I can see everyone's.  I do a quick check to make sure everyone has the correct number of beads.
After we show the number of the day with one color of beads, I have them show me the same number again.  This time using a mixture of green and pink.
I do have 2 kids who consistently get confused on this part.  If I ask the class to show me 6 using both pink and green beads, they show me 6 pink beads and 6 green beads.  So I have been strategically placing these students right in front of me so that I can quickly remind and correct if needed.

Then I remembered something that we talked about in our Number Talks meetings.  (The elementary teachers in my county did a book study on Number Talks throughout this past school year.)  It was recommended that we record what we are talking about in case we need to reference it later and so that the kids can have another visual representation.
So since we've been studying addition and subtraction we made our mixture of green and pink beads into addition sentences.
I pulled out my math journal, yes I have an example one for myself, and started recording the different ways we made each number.
The kids loved this!!
We made the beads on top the first number of the sentence and the beads on the bottom row were the second number in the sentence.
They loved coming up with different ways to show the number that no one else had thought of.
I thought this would also be a good way to start laying the groundwork for the commutative property because I'm pretty sure first grade now teaches addition properties.

Then we counted up all the ways we made each number.
Yes, I purposely left out the addition sentences with 0.
Next week I'm planning on writing some sentences and having the kids show me the beads to match.
Also, I may move onto teen numbers.  I want them to see the entire top row, the green beads, represent the 10 and then the pink beads to represent the extra.  Similar to a ten frame.

We've also been learning about the ocean, so we made fish!
They drew and cut these fish out all by themselves.  I did an example first, but each child created and colored their own.
I love how different they all are!

We also drew some seaweed and coral for our fishies.

And we cut a lighter blue to represent the sky, and the wave pattern.  So we drew a sun and seagulls to go with our sky.

 And we also celebrated our very last classroom birthday!
I love these little birthday books, they've been quite a hit this year.
I love seeing how much our birthday books have improved since our first in August.
Check out my blog post on celebrating birthdays here.

This birthday book is a freebie in my TpT store.  Check it out here.

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