Kindergarten 2-D Geometry Pack

Happy holidays, readers!  I had a wonderful Christmas with Mr. Lilypad ūüôā but am already dreading going back to work (just a little bit)!  I think that once Christmas is over, I inevitably start thinking ahead to what’s next.  Fortunately we don’t go back to the 7th, so I really should just enjoy my time off and leave the worrying till later!   

For some entertainment during a car trip to visit Mr. Lilypad’s family, I started working on a geometry pack for my kiddos for the spring.  The new Common Core-based curriculum we’re using doesn’t really cover geometry till toward the end of the year, but hopefully I can sneak in some extra practice before then.

I just finished up the materials, and can’t wait to use them with my students!  I love having printables ready ahead of time, so I can just print and laminate when that unit comes up.  Here’s what the pack includes:

– 3 pages of colored shapes to print and cut OR the same shapes in black and white (you could also definitely use this pack with pattern blocks, if you have them).  Included are squares, circles, rectangles, triangles, ovals, and hexagons.

– 11 pages of shape sorting mats, so your kiddos can sort by shape, shape name, number of sides, and vertices (corners)

– 1 “parts of a shape” diagram

– 4 pages of practice for identifying and counting sides and vertices

– 3 pages of practice for writing shape names, using smaller shapes to form larger shapes, and for tracing and drawing shapes.

Grab it here for some easy, printable fun!

Math center freebie!

It’s freebie time!  Here’s a free math game called Ten Frame Flash that my students are loving right now (click on any of the images to be taken to the download)

Player 1 has a stack of ten frame cards, each with dots for the numbers 1-10.

Player 2 has a blank ten frame (laminated), a marker, and an eraser.

Player 1 quickly flashes the ten frame card (for 3 seconds), and then hides it.  Player 2 must draw the number of dots that he/she saw.  Player 2 must also tell Player 1 how many dots there were.

Then, Player 1 and Player 2 check Player 2’s work using the original flashed ten frame.  Player 1 can give positive feedback to Player 2, or give help to correct the drawing.

Before sending your kids to play this in independent math centers, play it in a small group a couple of times.  Explicitly discuss strategies the kids can use for quickly noticing how many dots there are (counting the dots quickly if there are just a few, noticing how many blank frames there are, noticing how many more/less there are than 5 or 10, etc.).  If there are nine dots, for example, you might say, “I knew right away that there were nine dots, because I saw one blank frame.  One less than ten is nine, so I knew to draw nine dots.”


Winter Math Centers

Oh my goodness! ¬†It’s been so long since I blogged – so much to do lately for work and grad school. ¬†But, today I was stuck in the house all day, so I finally had time to create a new product: ¬†a winter math centers pack for kindergarten and first grade! ¬†Check it out¬†here. ¬†It’s got 4 different games/activities (really 8, since there’s a version of each game for kindergarten, and a version of each game for 1st). ¬†Winter’s coming all too soon, so keep your little learners engaged and warm with these centers! ¬†Here’s some images from the pack:

Table of contents and list of games, with Common Core Standards Addressed:

Each game has instructions designed specifically for the teacher…

…as well as task cards for the kids:
Sample pages:

Click on the picture below to grab the pack!


Celebrating Fall with Fall Math Centers for Kindergarten!

Happy fall, everyone! ¬†To celebrate my favorite season, I’m putting my fall math pack for kindergarten on sale! ¬†It includes a list of 14 different games and activities, organized by Common Core State Standard, and complete materials for all these games and activities.

This pack works for autumn, Halloween, and Thanksgiving Рthe designs include apples, acorns, fall leaves, pumpkins, and turkeys.  Here are some of the number cards:

Even if you don’t print in color (I didn’t, because our laminator destroys color print jobs!), they still turn out cute and the kids can see what the design is. ¬†Here are some of the other materials included (fill in the missing number, which I have for counting forward and backwards by ones, by twos, by fives, and by tens; as well as materials for number memory with ten frames):

There’s more included than the photos here! ¬†Grab it on sale today only by clicking¬†here. ¬†Enjoy and click below for more linky party fun!!


I Survived Math Centers!

If you read¬†my last post, you’ll know that I’ve been a little nervous about introducing a¬†new way of doing math centers. ¬†Today I’m sharing how it all went!

My new system relied on kids knowing their group number and being able to use the SmartBoard to figure out where they were going next, even if the other children at that station were not all going to the same place. ¬†However….it worked! ¬†The kids did super well with their playdough number mats (click¬†here¬†to get them for free) and their Unifix cube and pattern block patterning mats (click¬†here). ¬†The materials made for really easy¬†independent centers, and the kids really enjoyed them. ¬†

So, here’s how my new system works:

1.  Instead of multiple math centers, there are 3 (teacher table for small group, rug for iPads, and tables for manipulatives/games).

2. ¬†Choice is involved – although the kids don’t choose where to go, they get to choose what iPad app they play (I choose 2 that address the same skill), and they also can choose to play a different game/do a different activity after completing the primary activity at the tables.

3.  Kids are grouped heterogeneously for independent work and homogeneously for work with the teacher Рthis way, they can work with kids from other ability groups, but receive attention from me that is directed at their needs.

4.  The kids only visit 2 stations a day (so the activities need to be relatively open-ended).

5.  Groups 1 & 2 are low, groups 3 & 4 are average, and groups 5 and 6 are high.

6.  Average and high kids visit my station 3 times a week, and the low group sees me 4 times a week.  Of course, they get other math instruction in other parts of the day Рcalendar, sometimes a mini-lesson, etc.

7.  The SmartBoard gives directions about where to go first and second (I changed up the way the board is organized a bit Рthe blue box on the left indicates where each group goes for the first rotation, and then the blue box on the left for the second rotation.  The green box has small screenshots of the iPad apps the kids can play):

I’m curious to see what kind of results I get with this in terms of my kids’ math skills – hopefully this different way of doing things will be worth the craziness of changing everything around! ¬†

If you use math centers in your classroom, click on the image below to follow my “Math Centers” Pinterest board – I’m always adding new ideas that may help you out! ¬†

Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 2.24.04 PM

Starting Math Centers in Kindergarten…and Not Sure What to Expect

This week, I’ve planned to spend our math block¬†acquainting my Kindergarteners¬†with our math centers routine that I intend to use all year. ¬†I think I need to get acquainted with our new routine as much as they do, though! ¬†I’m completely changing the way I typically do math centers in Kindergarten. ¬†In years past, I had six different centers, and the children rotated through them (typically visiting about 3 centers per day). ¬†I worked with students in small groups and individually to complete each center task. ¬†I noticed, however, that because there were so many different activities (6 per week, though I often had repeats), the children often forgot what they were supposed to be doing at a center. ¬†I spent too much time reteaching the centers, and the children still weren’t able to¬†consistently use all of the centers materials correctly.

So at the end of last year, after we got some iPads to use, I decided to change it up a bit. ¬†I grouped the students into 3 homogeneous ability groups, and designed three stations within the room: ¬†on the carpet, with iPads; at the tables, with hands-on math activities, and at the teacher table for a small group math lesson. ¬†This seemed to work relatively well and was easier for the kids to follow. ¬†The noise level in the classroom was much lower, too, since the kids weren’t all grouped together at their tables. ¬†However, what I didn’t like about this setup was that the students were never working in heterogenous groups, so struggling students couldn’t benefit from the knowledge of more proficient students.

This year, what I’m going to do to remedy this is to stick with the 3 different math stations (carpet with iPads, tables with hands-on math activities, and teacher table), but I’ve divided my students into 6 different groups. ¬†There still is a low group (groups 1 & 2), a medium group (groups 3 & 4), and a high group (groups 5 & 6), and they still will receive differentiated instruction with me in those groups. ¬†For example, groups 1 & 2 will always come to my teacher table at the same time. ¬†However, when they work with the iPads and math manipulatives, I’m mixing the groups. ¬†For example, group 2 might work with group 5 at the math manipulatives station. ¬†

This seems like it’ll be more complicated than before, but I’m going to try it and see what happens. ¬†I’ll be using the SmartBoard to help the students see where there are going (here’s a screenshot):

On the left hand side, in the blue, it shows the two different rotations we’ll go through each day. ¬†In rotation one, for example, groups 4 & 6 will be on the carpet. ¬†Then, in rotation two, group 6 will be at the tables and group 4 will be at my teacher table. ¬†On the right hand side, in the green, I will put a picture/description of what the students will be doing on the rug (screenshots of apps) and at the tables (pictures of math materials). ¬†

I really like the idea of just 3 stations, differentiated math instruction, and heterogeneous grouping for other activities…let’s just hope it pans out in practice. ¬†I’ll have the kids wear nametags with their group numbers for the first week or two, until they get used to the procedures. ¬†At first, I’m going to keep it super simple – playing with blocks, making numbers out of playdough (grab the playdough number mats¬†HERE¬†for free), etc. ¬†I definitely won’t teach a small group at the teacher table; I’ll be up walking around and helping the kids. ¬†After a few days, I’ll teach the kids how to problem-solve independently and try to just WATCH them work at their centers, asking one another for help as they need it. ¬†Ultimately, I’ll be teaching a small group and hopefully they will be used to working without asking me for help every 2 seconds. ¬†We’ll see how this goes tomorrow!!

To¬†keep up with these and other¬†classroom activities, follow me here on Instagram. ¬†If you’re in need of math centers activities, here are a few different options I have available in my TpT store:

Geometry Pack.001

Kindergarten Fall Math Centers Pack.001

Kinder Halloween Math Centers.001

Valentine's Day Math Centers for K-1.001

Teen Number Board Games for Winter.001

Kindergarten Winter Math Centers PREVIEW.001

Kindergarten Spring Math Centers.001


Happy teaching!

Patterning Activities – MIA from the Common Core?

Having taught Pre-K and Kindergarten for several years, I was surprised to notice that the Common Core standards for Kindergarten math don’t include patterning. ¬†Perhaps the authors intended to later create a set of Pre-K standards that would include patterning? ¬†Regardless, not all students attend Pre-K, and I’ve noticed that many students need some practice with AB, ABB, and ABC patterning activities when they begin Kindergarten. ¬†With all the exploration of materials (linking cubes, pattern blocks, etc.) that we do at the beginning of the year, it seems like a perfect time to me to squeeze in some patterning practice! ¬†
Some students can create patterns independently, but some need some support at first.  Support can be provided in the form of patterning mats like these:
These patterning mats make great math centers!
Linking cube patterning template.007
Linking cube patterning template.008
Linking cube patterning template.013
You can grab a complete set of these patterning mats (which include AB, ABB, and ABC patterning for use with linking cubes and pattern blocks) here.  The materials make for a SUPER simple and fun math center!  
Happy patterning!