Sunday, 20 March 2016

Hop and Stop! - Easter Math FREEBIE!

Hello friends!!

Here in sunny Queensland we have just 1 week left until the Easter holidays!! (and I don't know about you but they couldn't come soon enough for me - I am EXHAUSTED!)

Although this week is going to be jam-packed with our Easter Hat Parade, rewards day, cross country and our break up day, we will be continuing with our number work this week and I would like to share my resources with you TODAY, before the last week of school.

Our rhyme this week is an adorable little poem I found called 'Hop and Stop' about rabbits - perfect for Easter! You can click on any of the images throughout this post to download the packet...FREE.

Inside this packet you will find the rhyme ready to be printed and bound or placed into a display folder. Personally I like placing my rhymes into folders and in the back of each, placing the whole group resources to go with each rhyme in clippy bags. Works a treat for me!

Along with the rhyme you will find two whole group math activities - Counting Carrots and Hidden Carrot. I have also included instruction pages for each activity. 

Finally there are two follow up activities to match - Bunny Tens Frames - Roll and Fill (instruction included) and a Counting Bunnies worksheet.

I hope that you and your students enjoy learning numbers with this adorable number rhyme!

Looking for more number rhyme resources? Click on the thumbnails below to download more FREEBIE resources!


Until next time...

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Five Little Speckled Frogs Math - with a HUGE FREEBIE!

Hello to all my fabulous teaching friends here in Oz! We are definitely over the hump of Term 1 now and only 9 days away from our Easter break (but hey, who's counting??). 

Last week I shared with you how my little Cubs are in need of a bit extra work on the basics this year. Over the last few weeks I have focused my teaching on learning to read, write, count and build numbers to 6 through the use of number rhymes and songs. This week we continued with the song 'Five Little Speckled Frogs' and I would love to share some resources with you which I found very useful with my little kiddies. 

You can click on the picture below to snag all the materials you will need to use Froggy Math in your classroom!

To give you an idea of how I use my focus rhyme with my kids, this is how my maths lessons go.

Number Sense Warm-Up

We start every maths lesson with a number sense warm-up - If you have been following my posts you would know by now that I just LOVE this part of my day! It is a chance to play with numbers. At the moment I am keeping to working mainly with numbers 1-6 and trying to match our theme for the week. I have always found that this time of day is when my Cubs are the most engaged! We don't all get a turn every day, but for most activities I try to give everyone a whiteboard or blocks to keep them involved in the game.

If you would like to read more about my warm-ups you can check out some posts by following the images below.

This week our warm-ups were all frog-themed. First we played a fishing game where 2 children came up and used my magnetic rods to fish for frogs (laminated pictures with paperclips attached), while the rest of the class counted to 20. The children then counted up their number of frogs and built it with sports marked in a chalk tens frame. We then had an opportunity to discuss who caught more or less, and recognise same numbers.

Next we played another variation of our fishing. This time our goal was to practise reading, writing and building our numbers. One child at a time hopped up, fished out a frog and read the number I stuck to the back. The Cubs then wrote the number on their whiteboards and built it with their cubes. I usually set up whiteboards or blocks in a semi-circle ready for our lesson. This helps to smooth the transition from lunch to starting our activity (and takes the stress out of having them not know where to sit). If we are not using any of these things I draw a semi-circle on the carpet in chalk as a guide.

Another day we played a combination of the two games and had two Cubs fish out a frog with a number on the back and build it in the 5 frames. This was a very quick game play and I managed to get through a fair few more kids.

Focus Lesson

After our warm-ups we move on to our lesson. I have mentioned before how my Cubs are very wriggly and cannot remain focused for very long. This is why my math focus lessons rarely go longer than 10 minutes at this stage. Below are some photos of our number lesson activities this week. We acted out the song with ourselves, blocks on our arms, and my story prompts. We ordered numbers to 5, counted and sequenced collections and build and counted frog collections using my big pond. (The pond is just made from A3 coloured cardboard - green grass, blue water and a couple brown rocks scattered). 

You can click on the picture below to grab your own copy of these materials PLUS a copy of the story to print and read to your own children.

This week we have also (finally) moved onto sorting by attributes. This was another math lesson. During the week I have two focus number lessons, and two focus lessons on another strand - sorting this term.

Buddy Follow-Up Games

For the last 10 minutes of our Maths session we play buddy games. I have snap bags of activities in buckets prepped and ready with everything my Cubs will need to make it easy quick and easy to start. This week we built froggy towers with cubes, played a dice game to build collections, and practised sorting shapes and counters. For this part of the day, I hand out the bags of materials to pairs (who I choose) and the Cubs find their own spot in the classroom and get to work. We are just getting started with buddy games so are still learning how to stay on task and work together.  

Again, if you would like a copy of these cute frog buddy games just click on the picture below!  

I know it is very short, but at the moment, that is how my Maths lessons look in Prep. As the year goes on we will slowly be able to extend our sessions, but at the moment it is more important to me to focus on the quality of learning, not the quantity of time spent.

I also just wanted to show you what we have been up to in learning our letters. This week we learned the letter d and made some very cute dotty dinosaurs. We practised handwriting the letter d and then write words starting with d on our whiteboards. Slowly, slowly, slowly we are getting there!

I hope this has given you some ideas for your own early years classroom. Don't forget to snag your own set of Five Little Speckled Frog Math by clicking on the picture below.

Remember, you can also find me on facebook and receive updates of new posts, freebies and activity ideas as soon as they are posted! Click on the image below to follow me ;)

Until next time my friends :)

Friday, 4 March 2016

Term 1 Update - and a couple cute FREEBIES!

Well we have reached (actually surpassed) the half-way point of Term 1 here in Oz, and I thought I would share with you a little of what we have been up to in Prep C.

English Crafts

This Term we have been reading a story a week. Each week we read, discuss different themes, read a sentence and write, but my favourite by far is our craft time! Have a look at the crafts we have completed so far. While we have been completing our crafts we have also been discussing colours, which has been made rather easy by my choice of texts - Hattie and the Fox (orange), The Pout-Pout Fish (blue) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar (green and red).

When we complete our crafts I try to make them as simple as possible. This year I have a very tough class who take FOREVER to do anything. Most pieces are pre-cut and ready to stick together. Last year I had my kids do much more cutting on their own. This term I have just had to make a few changes to this so that things can be completed within a day.

Hattie and the Fox - Paper plate faces, orange crepe paper squares, black white and orange paper for the eyes, ears and nose.

The Rainbow Fish - Template from Google images, and coloured patty pans cut into thirds with one silver piece per child.

The Pout-Pout Fish - Painted paper plates, fins and tails cut from blue paper (free hand), black and white paper for eyes, and purple crepe paper squares for spots.

Stellaluna  - Black paper/card, paper stars (pre-punched), yellow paper circle, bat picture (from Krista Wallden's Creative Clips.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar - Sequencing activity with scrapbook paper circles, red circle, green paper grass, yellow circle sun, gllgle eyes and matchsticks, black and white fruits to sequence.


Over the first few weeks I have learned that my darling Cubs (who yes are a challenge), are going to need a little - well, a LOT - more work on the basics than I had hoped. So this term I have taken everything back to basics. Colours, shapes, numbers to 6, directions - everything we will need BEFORE we can progress to learn further maths skills.

Last week I shared this adorable colour sort in a quick post. We used it in class to verbalise colours. Each child was given a card (and reminded politely to not to bend them, put them in their mouths or tear them) and had to identify the colour shown and then match it up to the cards on the carpet.

This week we moved onto talking about 2D shapes as well. We reviewed 2D shapes, talked about what makes a 2D shape, named, built and drew shapes. We made adorable 2D shape monsters and talked about what shapes we used. I also make up a similar sort for 2D shapes which I have also uploaded.

Along with taking things back to basics, we have been spending the last few weeks focusing on numbers 0 to 6. So the question I hear you asking is "How do you keep it fresh and engaging when you are doing the same thing for 6 weeks?" Well the answer is with stories, rhymes, songs and games!

The last 2 weeks of number work have involved reading and singing "Five Little Ducks"and "Five Cheeky Monkeys."

For "Five Little Ducks" I cut and laminated some sets of ducks to act out the song. See the picture on the right? Those are my collections hidden behind my whiteboard. As we sing, the little ducks wander over hills and behind the board, where they are swapped out for the next set - MAGIC! (or so my kiddies think) My Cubs were so engaged for this!!!

These are some follow-up activities we completed throughout the week to consolidate our learning. We ordered our duck collections and practised writing numbers to 5; we used snap cubes to act out the song, removing one cube each time a duck disappears; We used laminated ducks to build collection, and matched numbers to collections.

If you would like a copy of the cute duck collections you can grab a copy for FREE by clicking on either picture.

When we read 'Five Cheeky Monkeys' we read the story I put together and acted it out with our hands. Next we used these cute bed cards and snap cubes to act it out as well, then sequenced our monkey cards from 5 down to 0. Again, If you would like a copy of these materials (story, cards and monkey beds) you can click on the picture below.

As follow-up activities we also played these monkey games with our cute monkey mascot, Styrofoam bananas, sports markers and our animal number posters. For our first game I placed collections of bananas in 6 different buckets. The kids helped me sequence our numbers on the markers and then I invited a couple of kids up to count the bananas in each bucket and match them to the numerals. Our second game was for number recognition. I hid a banana underneath a number cone and had my Cubs try and find where it was hidden by calling out numbers. Fun and simple.

So other than our story games and maths, we have been playing all sorts of games and activities to work on numbers to 6. We have played our tower and dice games, matching cards games, and our new favourite warm-up - Apple Toss. We sequence the numbers to 10, then one student at a time comes up and stands on an 'x' and throws 10 apples (scrunched up red paper) into a hoop. They then count the number of apples which actually landed in the hoop and stand by the numeral.


Man this is a long post!! If you are still reading - thank's so much for hanging in there! I promise I am nearly done.

So this term in science we have been learning about plants and Australian Animals. We have learned all about life-cycles, plant and animal needs, what living things are and animal habitats. Each week for the past 3 weeks we have talked about a different Australian habitat - rivers, rainforests, and the bush. As we learned about each habitat we created a display (Well the kiddies looked at pictures and told me everything they could see to be a feature of each place, and I painted our windows overnight). They they coloured in or collaged different animals who call that place home and we added them to the display. We discussed how the animals needs are met in each place, and learned about butterfly life-cycles, platypus needs and how to draw and label a koala.

We also did these super cute crafts for our 5 senses and plant parts which turned out pretty well. At the end of our unit, the kiddies all created their own habitat collage on A3 card for an animal (I am still yet to finish this off with some kids - that is Monday's job!). Yesterday we were lucky enough to meet an Australian animal too! One of my parents have a Southern Bearded Dragon at home and waws kind enough to offered to bring her in for 10 minutes to show the kiddies (NO TOUCHING ALLOWED - My kids have very rough hands!). I was absolutely amazed at how much they learned in this time! After 'Phoebe' left we brainstormed everything we had learned on my board and my goodness, they filled the whole board with ideas!! Amazing how something so small can help them remember a thing or two, isn't it?

Anyway, I think that is about it from me for today. Next week we will be moving on to History and learning about families - sure to be interesting with my class! I hope you have had a great week with your kiddies and are enjoying a lovely relaxing weekend :)

Until next time my friends...