01 09 10

Thursday, January 21, 2016

{Pre-K Mathematicians}

So, I'm already gone from my sweet class to student teach but I had this post hanging around about some of the great math we were doing in Pre-K over the past few months that I wanted to share!
One of our favorite things to do in Pre-K is math workshop. The peas love it SO much in fact that during our free centers, often I see things like this happening: 
Which means they are doing math for fun and that is the most fantastic thing ever. #winning ;)

It all started with ten frame math! We  learned about ten frames at the beginning of the year and we have been learning many ways to make ten so that we can develop a sense of "ten-ness" as we develop number sense. Understanding how ten is made and how it fits into other numbers will really help the peas in their future math endeavors. Here are a few pictures of one of our ten frame math workshops below!
During math workshop the peas all have a "turn and talk" partner to discuss ideas with. They work together during the workshop. In this activity, they decided how many dots each partner needed to make to fill up the ten frame. After they finished, the partners came to the front and "read" their ten frame to the class!
 We are also learning to compose numbers! We used our journals to compose numbers using red and yellow counters. The peas could choose any amount of counters ten or under and then they got to shake, shake, shake them in a cup and spill them out. They drew a picture representation of what their chips were and wrote a math sentence. They did fantastic!

One of our favorite ways to bring math to our classroom is by using something that really interests the peas....matchbox cars!
 Every week I buy a handful of cars and we add them to the car box. We have been adding them since the beginning of the year. I did this last year, too, so we had a good number to start with, but I noticed last year that it was such a good way to make big numbers relevant to the kiddos. Every time I would bring the new cars in on Mondays, they would line up ALL the cars to count them. Gradually the whole class began looking forward to this every Monday morning. They would count them, add the cars to the tub and write a new number.
 We would also spend time sorting them by make, model, type, color, etc. As you can imagine, I began to get many specific requests. ;) As we got closer in our number circle to 100 (we sit in a circle and count sequentially as high as we can go!) we got closer to 100 in our car tub until....drum roll please.....
Well, that is just a little peek into math in Pre-K. I already miss your sweet faces every day. Keep counting mathematicians! Hugs!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

{Fall at the ECDC}

It's been very busy over the past few months, so I haven't posted in a while, but I wanted to give you all a peek at the fun we had in October and November in Pre-K! We started by reading some fantastic scarecrow books:

During math workshop we worked with our turn and talk partners to create a scarecrow out of shapes. We counted how many of each shape we used and compared them with other groups.

 We read this fun story...
 After reading the story we put our critical thinking skills to use and thought about problems and solutions. We are all about solving problems in Pre-K! :)
 Next, we broke into groups and worked together to make a cooperative scarecrow! Each group worked on one part of him, and then we assembled the parts and hung him up in our classroom.
We even made some crows and corn for our sweet scarecrow to keep him company!
Ms. Leslie had a fantastic idea to paint some fall leaves with tools from outdoors: pine needles! It was a gorgeous day and the peas loved doing art outside with Ms. Leslie.

 Over the next few weeks we discussed apples and pumpkins. First, we talked about apples. We peeled, cored and sliced apples we brought to school with a very cool contraption. Then we made our own applesauce! It was seriously delicious. You can check out the recipe here.

When we talked about pumpkins we had a pumpkin morning message where everyone decorated a jack o' lantern.
We also added jack o' lanterns to blocks which inspired some fun play.
We decided to make our own jack o' lantern. We learned how to use tally marks to take a vote and voted on how we wanted our jack o' lantern's face to look!
Next we read my all time favorite book:
We decided to make our pumpkin a "Pumpkin Jack" and when he started wilting and becoming wrinkly we added him to the compost pile. We have been keeping track of his decomposition. This is what he looks like now:

Gross! But also...cool.
Our little pumpkins painted pumpkins. :)

We also learned about our 5 senses and did some fun activities about our senses. We had a sweet, salty, sour and bitter taste test.
And we made mystery egg shakers and smelly boxes to explore.
During our writing time, we popped popcorn and wrote words that described the popcorn. Yum!
Before thanksgiving we did a lot of Turkey talk! We made turkeys in our journals:
Then we read one of my favorites. Here's a video of it....it's totally worth it!
We made turkeys at art with disguises to they wouldn't be eaten on Thanksgiving!!!
We also made a canoe with some Native Americans that we put in numerical order 1-10. We've been discussing 10 a lot lately. You can see more about it in my next post! Look at this concentration below!!
Well that wraps up a small fraction of the fun and learning we did over the last several months. Be looking for an upcoming post about math!
 Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

{Building, Engineering & Design} Part II

This post is so overdue! I apologize for the delay in posting this, but I promise it's definitely better late than never. There are some precious pictures of our class and we did hard work and deep thinking. :) We did the second half of our building PBL over several weeks and it was so much fun! The school's themes were "Plenty of Pigs" and "Houses and Homes", and we started with the story of the 3 Little Pigs. We read my all time favorite book to start the week:
For our morning message we graphed who we believed....the pigs or the wolf?
Then we read some great variations of the 3 Little Pigs!

The peas used wood blocks, bricks and "straw" (yellow builders) to construct homes for the pigs in our block center.
We added some pigs, a wolf and building supplies to the sand table.
We also made these adorable piggy hats for a big experiment we were planning.
After we were transformed into little piggies, we broke up into six groups for our building challenge. Each group was given a different building material as you can see below. The challenge was to build a structure that couldn't be blown down by the big bad wolf! (aka the blow dryer!)
The pigs won against the 'stick' house!
The paper house-constructed of file folders- did blow down, but it took a lot of moving around! This group did a fantastic job stacking their paper in the strongest structural way.
The pigs beat the wolf with 'bricks'!
And of course, the pigs won with their block house, too! Yay for the piggies!
The following week was all about houses and homes, so we continued our building PBL. We learned about blueprints and drew some in our journals.
We found out that one pea's dad is a structural engineer. He offered to be a visitor for our class and talk about building. I was out at SFA when he came, but I heard ALL about it when I came home! They really enjoyed it! 
He brought projects he has worked on and they were incredible! We loved looking at all the amazing architecture and we studied the lines and the light in each picture. Our visitor left us pictures so we made a book for our block center.
Our building book inspired some pretty involved block structures.
As they built we noticed something and pointed it out to them. They began building structures that had some symmetry to them. We showed them what symmetry was and they thought it was super cool.
Ms. Leslie had a great idea, she told the peas they could make symmetry art! They loved the idea and it helped them understand the concept even better!
Since symmetry was all the rage, we added tangrams and rulers and showed them how to make a symmetrical design.They loved it.
My teenager even downloaded an app that made our pictures symmetrical!! They thought this was hilarious! ;)
We added a tunnel to the block center as they built. They experimented with force and gravity. They figured out quickly they needed to raise the tunnel if they wanted the cars to move down it quickly.
In art, Ms. Leslie helped us construct structures with pretzels and marshmallows. Mmmm...edible art!

Since we were talking about houses and homes (and that third smart little piggy) we constructed our own brick house! First we examined the bricks outside to see how they were laid. We noticed that they were laid in a pattern!
Then we used bricks and mortar to build our own house.
This is a great investment if you are interested. The teifoc bricks can be built with the mortar, and afterwards, you just soak your house in water, the mortar dissolves and you can start over!
During houses and homes week we read a fantastic story about several pigs, a moose, a bear and a ton of beavers! I chose this book because it mentions several types of animal homes (den, hut) and then it describes how the animals build a big house where everyone can live (with stairs!) You can check out this awesome story here. We put out an APB for animals and we weren't disappointed. We added our pigs, moose, beavers and bears to the block center and our friends got busy recreating the book.

That wraps up a fantastic Building PBL! We learned so much and I can't begin to describe how much more elaborate the peas building structures are now. They are officially little engineers.