Monday, August 22, 2016
Thursday, August 11, 2016
One of the most important parts of Open House (or meet the teacher day) is getting the vital parent info. In the past I've had paper the parents sit and fill out. Then I type their names, emails, phone numbers, etc. into my own spreadsheet. SO. MUCH. TIME.
Then I wondered, how can I let a computer do this work for me? (Isn't that the reason we have technology? lol) Then I made a Google Form. It is so easy.
But you won't have to do that, you can just use mine!
Here is the link: Click Here.
Step 1: click the crayon/pencil in the upper corner to edit the form.
Step 2: click the 3 dots in the corner and click Make a Copy. VERY IMPORTANT!! This creates a copy of the form onto your google drive. You don't want parents filling out information on my form, you want it to go to you.
Step 3: Go to your google drive and find the copy of the form. Rename it. Then click into the form to start making your changes. The form is editable, from the titles to the descriptions and the types of questions. Do what works for you! Google saves it as you work, so no worries about that.
FYI- If you don't like the flowers, you'll need to change the theme. Click the small Question Mark in the bottom right corner to return to the Old google forms. There is a button clearly marked, "Change Theme" at the top.
Step 4: Time to make the spreadsheet. Click the Responses tab.
Then create a new spreadsheet. All of the parent responses will be sent to the spreadsheet automatically! Afterwards, you can easily find the parent contact info you need.
Step 5: Now to share the form. Click SEND. Copy the link and go to your favorite QR code generator. Paste the link and download the QR code.
I like to put a note with the QR code at all the tables so parents can use the class iPads (or their iPhone) to scan the code. Find my QR note HERE. To make it easier for you, download the word document and right click on the QR code to change picture to your QR code. You may want to test it out to make sure you are linking to the right form!!
I hope this makes your open house a little easier! I loved getting the spreadsheet afterwards so I could quickly send mass emails to all the parents.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
WHY?! What have I done to deserve this???
Seriously, we have all had that kid. Usually in Kinder we don't know much about them coming in. But, every so often, we get a sibling we have heard ALLLLL about.
Pray for me. It is going to be an interesting year.
Friday, August 5, 2016
Teaching Kindergarteners about money is so hard.
I remember my first year teaching Kindergarten. I was so SHOCKED that my students didn't have the first clue about the coins and their value. They couldn't even identify the penny. And to add them up? HA. Not happening.
We had to teach and re-teach over and over and over again. And they still didn't get it.
Over time, we realized that this generation of students had no background knowledge on coins. Why would they? Their parents use debit cards for everything.
So just identifying the coins is new for them, which means that needs to be the first focus. So I made some fun games to help them learn the coins. In my research, to build background knowledge they need to use real coins. Play coins don't look realistic enough, and the size, weight, and texture of the coins help students differentiate between the 3 silver ones. Ok, enough talking - time to show you the good stuff!
I use a cup full of real coins and the kids take turns grabbing a coin. If they can tell me what coin it is (or later the value), then they can put it on their board. Great math station game! I used it as part of my guided math small group. Check out Coin BINGO HERE!
BAM! is a great game to practice identification of coins. Cut the cards and shuffle. Students take turns pulling a card off the top. If they can name the coin (or value) they keep the card. If they pull a BAM! card, they lose all their cards! Too fun! Again, great math station or small group activity. Check out the BAM! Coin game HERE!
Coin Pocket Chart Sorting
My students love to sort things. So I made a coin sorting station. Cut the cards, and put up the pocket chart and let them go! I love hearing them discuss where things belong and why. Great opportunity for them to practice expressing their thinking! Check out the sorting station HERE!
Counting with Coins
It took a few years, but we realized, to help students identify the coins, we could add them into our counting unit. So we slowly started introducing them for counting. Counting by 1s with pennies, counting by 10s with dimes, etc. By the time we got to adding the value of a collection of coins, almost all the students could do it. All of my coin counting and counting on activities come with a cute piggy bank counting mat.
Counting On with Nickels and Pennies
Students can start becoming more familiar with the nickel and pennies while practicing counting on from 5. Make an easy math station activity! Check out Counting on with Nickels and Pennies HERE!
Counting On with Dimes and Pennies
Students can start becoming more familiar with dimes and pennies while practicing counting on from 10. Make an easy math station activity! Check out Counting on with Dimes and Pennies HERE!
Counting by 5s with Nickels
Help students remember the nickel is worth 5 cents while they practice counting by 5's! Easy math center activity. Check out counting by 5's with nickels HERE!
Counting by 10s with Dimes
Help students remember the dime is worth 10 cents while they practice counting by 10's! Easy math center activity.Check out Counting by 10's with Dimes HERE!
Coin Values in a Collection
If it is difficult for Kindergarten students to name the coins, it is near impossible for them to tell the value of a collection of coins. They need lots of practice! Here are some great ideas:
Coin Flash Cards
In my district, we are talking a lot about students explaining their thinking. I made these Coin Flash cards so that students could practice explaining their thinking with coin collections. It also is a tool to help with mental math and subitization. Check out the coin value flash cards HERE!
Coin Value Math Station
My students love this station! They choose a card, add the value and then write it on the recording sheet. Great practice! Check out the fun math station activity HERE!
I hope these money activities help your students as much as they did mine! Leave a comment and let me know what works to help your students learn the coins!!
Monday, July 11, 2016
This year I had a weird schedule. PE at 9:45, Lunch at 11:56, Recess at 2:25. Nothing was a normal time. I had the hardest time remembering my schedule and when to transition my kindergarten class from one thing to the next. I was late for everything. Then I remembered I had an iPhone. LOL. I set timers on my phone for each transition time, so I wouldn't forget.
Swipe up on your phone. Touch the timer icon on the tray.
Touch Alarm at the bottom and then the current alarms you have will show up. I clearly have a thing for alarms. HA. Next click the + sign to add a new alarm.
Once you set the desired time then you can customize the alarm!
You can set it for every weekday, or only Wednesdays...whatever works for your schedule.
You can give it a label, so looking at your alarm list you can see which ones are turned on. I like this for when the schedule changes, I can easily turn off the recess alarm if it is raining.
You can even choose what sound the phone makes when the alarm goes off. I have started using music to indicate transitions (check out my post on it HERE), so I love choosing songs that match the transition happening.
Now you have a great reminder that it is time to line up for lunch! I am much better about sticking to the schedule when I have an alarm that reminds me!