Math Centers for Kindergarten

I’m so glad you’ve stopped by my blog. Some bloggy friends and I have joined together for an old fashioned FREEBIE BLOG HOP! Not familiar with a blog hop? Here’s how it works…
Kindergarten Math Centers Freebie
blog hop      Kindergarten math centers

Each blogger has a “forever” freebie to offer you. That means it is not seasonal but can be used in your classroom at any time of the year. The freebies range from PK-5th grades. You start here and “hop” to the other blogs to download the resources that are appropriate for you and then end up back here at my blog. It’s a giant circle that will give you 23 awesome resources if you go to them all! There are 14 for PK-2.

Along the way, you will see pictures of and read about each freebie. You can download them all (to save for later) or only the ones that you need right now. If you don’t have time to go to all 23, click on one of the buttons below for your grade level.

Math “Salad Bar”

When I was teaching kindergarten, I attended a conference where someone talked about keeping a “Math Salad Bar” as a way to organize your manipulatives. You would take your manpulatives and keep them labeled and in one spot so students could easily find what they needed for a math task. I decided to take that idea and put it on steroids! I created recipe cards (task cards), used bowls for them to collect their materials, bought cafe trays and even had a rolling cart that the kids would roll to the middle of the room to begin the math centers.

Student Choice Works

Students would pick a recipe card that had the list of materials (ingredients) to complete their math activity. The card would say how many people it serves. The student picks partners if required. That group goes anywhere in the room to complete their activity. I would have several ways for students to learn one concept. So even though they all were working on the same standard, they were doing something different. They loved being able to choose their activity. My job was to observe, solve conflicts (which was rare after the first week) and take data on who needed more help in different areas.

Kindergarten Subtraction Math Centers

Math Center Problems

When we first began kindergarten math centers this new way, there were a couple issues to iron out. The main issue was how some students would react negatively if they were asked to join the activity. The person I called on would got to ask for people to join the activity, if needed. Some students were not happy about being called by certain students and it made a great discussion about feelings during circle time. After a week of students seeing that I would rotate who got to choose their task first, and talking about how sad it makes someone feel if you are rude when they were happy to pick you, they really took off and were begging for our Math Salad Bar time. Matter of fact if they had to do a traditional lesson and work alone, they were not happy about it.

Try these 3 center activities for FREE.

Why Kindergarten Math Centers?

You can still teach whole group lesson right before centers. Math centers frees you up to learn about what your students are learning. One task card is for the teacher to use called Teacher’s Table. This is where you can hand it to a couple students who you see are struggling with a math skill for remediation at your table. I never use the entire center time for remediation so they get some time to do an activity. If students finish one activity, they clean up and pick a new “recipe” card. There are assessments for the students for each nine weeks, data recording sheets to share with families and detailed plans for set up with suggestions.

What is Stopping You

What is stopping you from having math centers? I promise, if you try this you WILL LOVE IT!

Find the yearlong bundle here:

Kindergarten Math Centers YEARLONG BUNDLE

Watch a tutorial VIDEO about my set up here: How to Set Up Math Centers for Kindergarten

If you need EVERYTHING to teach Kindergarten, you can get the Kindergarten Curriculum which has ALL SUBJECTS Bundled for the entire school year. Homeschoolers love this bundle!

 

Do you do anything special for math to celebrate the 100th Day of School? Read about my ideas.

If YOU Give A Mouse A Cookie STEM Challenge | Build a MOUSE HOUSE

Laura Numberoff’s book are my FAVORITE of all-time books series. I was so lucky to meet her years ago when I first began my teaching journey in Orlando, FL. Her and Tomie DePaolo were speaking at a teacher conference. I bought all of their books, got my autographs and read them every year religiously to my class during author studies.

In 1985, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie was finally published after she received nine rejections. Her story inspired me to teach students how they should never give up on their dreams. I had a lot of fun using her books as companions for other lessons in my classroom.

One of my favorite lessons was for students to build a mouse house the character. It had to have all the rooms that were in the story. I tied in counting square tiles for the little ones while they created a floor plan with square or tissue paper tiles. They used lincoln logs or blocks to build the walls of the room and I would challenge them to complete the task in a certain amount of time. Students also had to make sure their paper mouse would fit inside the house they built. During centers, student made up their own adventures about the mouse with the house they built while writing stories. The students loved it! Of course we ended our unit with COOKIES!

This year I added a way for older students to get in on the fun! They use grid paper to make a blueprint of the floor plan. Then, they have to solve the area in square units and measure the walls with rulers. Here is an example of a mouse house for 2nd-4th graders:

Kindergarten and First Grade

Don’t worry, I added all the printable to this unit to keep it simple for the little ones and still tie in math elements. Teachers who teach multiple grade levels love the ease of differentiating the material with their students!

Animated Series

Not only can you explore all of Laura Numeroff’s books, she has a new Amazon prime animated video series that is amazing to share with students. Check out #IfYouGiveaMouse Videos to see all the characters in her most popular books!

Valentine’s Day FREE Teacher RESOURCES

Elementary Teacher Valentine's Day FREE Lessons

Feel the Love

What better way to show teachers some LOVE this valentine’s day than to give you some FREE teacher resources to use with your students! Holidays are the best time to use themed resources to get students motivated to learn in class.

If you are a elementary school teacher or a homeschool mom, we have some amazing printables for you that are FREE! I teamed up with a few other teacher-authors to bring you my favorites! You may even find a fun Mardi Gras resources. Just Click the images of the resources you want below and DOWNLOAD.

FREEBIES

FREE Valentine's Day Activities

Valentine Treat Bags Freebie Craft
Valentine's Day Activities No Prep Fun and Writing Pages FREEBIE
Place Value Color by Code Mardi Gras Picture Activity FREEBIE
Valentine's Day Math Worksheets: FREEBIE
FREE Patterns | Repeating and Growing Pattern Center | Hearts
CvC Word Work Worksheet Free Sample Heart Theme
Candy Hearts Graphing Fun
Valentine's Day Sound Boxes (Elkonin Boxes)
Boom Cards Ten Frames up to 10
Valentine's Day 2 Digit Subtraction with and without Regrouping Free
FREE Valentine's Day Party Pack
Valentine's Day Printables FREE Teaching RESOURCES Valentine Ideas to Keep your Students Busy and Engaged!

Student Classroom CHALLENGE – MAKE a COMMERCIAL – Win $100

So yesterday I had a crazy idea to offer $100 to the classroom who makes a 15-30 second commercial and uses the hashtag #TeachersBrainChallenge to share it with me on social media. There are rules to follow and a FREE download with lots of printables to get your class rolling with this idea. My mission in life is to help YOU create a fun educational environment for your students. If you are watching the Super Bowl like so many others, this will be a great way to get your students engaged in writing and teamwork activities in a fun way. PLUS, your class could win $100 for your classroom to decide how however they want to spend it!

GO HERE to find the FREE #TeachersBrainChallenge download. You need to hurry because the $100 will be given out on FEBRUARY 14th, 2020. I can’t wait to see how creative your class will be during this activity. I will share all of the commercials on my Teacher’s Brain Facebook page and my Instagram account, if your class or school followed the directions. HAVE FUN and good luck!!!!

#TeachersBrainChallenge Make a Super Bowl Commercial

You must follow the rules. The winner is subject to my discretion. You will find the rules, the rubric and printables to help students learn about target audiences and advertising strategies. Any grade can join in the fun. Feel free to share this #TeachersBrainChallenge with other teachers. Use the hashtag when posting to social media.

Summer Olympic Sports Activities for Kids

Summer Olympic in Tokyo

Athletes from all over the world gather to compete in the Summer Olympic Games every four years. In 2016, they were held in Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. The 2020 Summer Olympic sports activities will be held in Tokyo, Japan. 2020 will mark fifty-six years after having organised the Olympic Games at the Japanese capital for the second time. This is an exciting topic to bring into your classroom with lots of opportunities to create classroom discussions about summer sports. As a result, families like to watch the games with their children, so your lessons and discussions can easily be reinforced at home.

Summer Sports Activities

The 2020 Olympic Agenda will use many existing competitions such as judo, equestrian events, gymnastics, archery, swimming, baseball, boxing, surfing, field hockey and volleyball just to name a few. There are 47 sports being represented. You can check them out on their web site. The Tokyo National Stadium will be revamped and replaced by a new area for the opening and closing Ceremonies. You can find a great video about Olympic Facts for Kids on YouTube. Why not have an entire unit on Summer Sports during this special time in history? Students can get some physical fitness, learn about the history of sports and have fun while incorporating all subject areas.

Summer Olympic Sports Activities for Kids

Summer Olympic Activities to do with Kids

Teaching young students about history can be difficult. However, it’s not that hard. Here are some summer Olympic IDEAS:

  • Compare and Contrast Summer and Winter Olympics
  • Make Shadow Puppets for Students to Guess the Activity
  • Write About Being a Sponsor
  • Write to Persuading Parents to Attend The Games
  • Create a Torch and Discuss the History of the Flame
  • Graph Student’s Favorite Summer Sport
  • Make Medals for Different Sporting Events
  • Design a Shirt or a Hat for The Summer Olympics
  • Keep a Journal of Each Sport Discussed
  • Use STEM Activities to Represent each Sport
  • Write the Room with Summer Sport Vocabulary Words
  • Watch Re-plays of the BEST Moments in Class
  • Read Books like Elympics by X.J. Kennedy (Exposes both Summer and Winter Olympics)

Summer Olympic Interactive Notebook

Love using Interactive notebook in your classroom? I do too! There are some great printables to support teaching about Summer Sports. Don’t just cover the sports, but add the rich history of the Summer Olympic Sports. These lessons can lead to easily fitting in adjectives during activities. Let students describe the sports. Lead students to writing activities about various summer sports by keeping data in a daily journal with your students.

Summer Olympic Sports Interactive Notebook for Kids

Have fun sharing the Summer Olympics with your class! It is an exciting sporting even that doesn’t happen often. Summer Olympic sports activities will provide a lot of great experiences for your kids!

Number Sense Build A Superhero Activity

Students grasping a good foundation of number sense is essential for future success in math. This cute activity helps students build that foundation while building a superhero! They won’t even know they are learning with this activity!

Numbers in Different Ways

It is important for children to see numbers represented in different ways. This activity requires students to determine the meaning of the number by showing the numbers with tally marks, buttons, on dice and in ten frames. They must match the number parts.

Number Sense Activity for Kids

This is a great math center activity or small group activity for you to take a quick observational assessment of the students’ knowledge of number sense. There is a recording sheet provided for students who are completing the activity in a center so they are held accountable.

Number Sense Center Activity

Support Creativity

There are a couple printables to help students create their own NUMBER SUPERHERO. The pack contains 10 superheroes representing numbers 1-10. You will also find an extra activity for TEEN NUMBER SUPERHEROES for those students who have already mastered the single digits.

Directions

Cut the pieces out of card stock. Laminate the pieces to keep them protected for future use next year. Students will match the parts in order to create a number superhero. Then, students record their findings on the Recording Sheet. For a new activity with the same theme, use the “Design a Number Hero” printable.

Number Concepts

Find the BUILD A NUMBER SUPERHERO HERE.

Brevard Times SHAMES Teachers Attending Educational Rally

Brevard Times, a Florida newspaper, posted the names of teachers who have used paid PERSONAL leave to attend a rally Monday in order to gain support for our education system. They accuse these teachers who advocate for students of “skipping work” and not providing “adequate supervision.”

These teachers who dedicate their lives to their students are not skipping work! They are using PERSONAL leave to fight for their students’ futures. They planned this in advanced with the approval of their school district. Teachers who put their careers on the line to make the Department of Education listen are heroes in my book! They are not going to the beach for the day. They are not spending quality time with their family on a vacation. Matter of fact, these teachers are going to have to leave their family just to attend. They are crying out for help in the classrooms and for their profession. If there weren’t problems in Florida’s education system, there would not be a huge shortage of teachers.

What was the purpose of the newspaper putting some of the names of the teachers attending in their paper? The paper says, ” Parents can then follow up with their child’s school to ensure that their child has adequate supervision during the school day on Monday.” Not every teacher attending is on the list.

This is a sick way to bully our treasured teachers by violating their privacy. If you plan on calling the school to find out about “adequate supervision,” consider calling to say THANK YOU to these teacher heroes and schools for supporting your child. If you are going to read their names, read them because they are honorable.

Did you know that Florida ranks 46 in the nation for teacher pay? There is a shortage of teachers not just because of the pay, but the lack of respect and resources for students. Newspapers like Brevard Times are part of the problem for not supporting their teachers in their county. It is important to point out that the school district has been very supportive of their teachers. It is Brevard Times who has failed the community.

SUPPORT THESE TEACHERS and let Brevard Times know they are the ones who need to be shamed!

FREE 100th Day of School Activities

The 100th Day of School is one of my favorite days of the year to celebrate! Students make necklaces with 100 Fruit Loops, play math games that equal 100, stack 100 cups to make a pyramid, make trail mix using 100 pieces of food and do 100 jumping jacks! I would request parents to send in free items for that week, if needed. My new favorite thing is the 100th Day Escape Room! There is a primary escape room and an upper elementary escape room. Students watch a quick video hook that has a mystery to solve involving saving a crime fighting pup! Students solve mysteries to escape open a box of surprises and escape their classroom to recess or the library! Sometimes, I couldn’t afford to purchase fun activities so I would search all of TpT’s FREEBIES.

100th Day Escape Room for Kids

If you are like me, you are always looking for some resources to add to fun celebrations that are easy on the wallet or FREE. This is why I teamed up with other TpT authors to give you FREE TEACHING 100th Day Resources at your fingertips! Click the photo of what you would like to download from TpT. Don’t forget to let the authors know how much you appreciate their hard work in your feedback on the product in their store so they are encouraged to keep producing freebies for you. Have fun!

FREE 100th Day of School Printables

100th Day of School Activity MOBILE FREEBIE
100th Day of School Activities Color by Number & Writing Pages FREEBIE
100th Day of School Writing Prompt (Before I'm 100 Years Old, I Want To...)
FREE 120th Day of School | Read and Color to Follow Directions and Math
FREE 100th Day Mini Activity Page Series Pack {Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs}

Click here for MORE 100th Day of School Ideas!

Sight Word Activities for Kids

What are Sight Words

Sight words are words that appear frequently in reading and writing.  Most of the words are learned by sight and cannot be easily sounded out.  When students automatically know these words, they can focus on more difficult words that can be decoded.  The more students see the words and use the words in activities, the more successful they will feel and be at reading.  The words begin simple and get more difficult the older students get or as their knowledge advances.  Provide students with both home and school activities to get the words to create automaticity.  These engaging activities will help students recognize the words, improve reading skills and show students how much fun they can have while learning to read.

Shaving Cream

This one is easy, helps clean desks and the students LOVE it!  Add some shaving cream to a table for students to spread around.  Call out sight words or have students pull sight words out of a bag to have students write the words in the shaving cream.  You can do this in small reading groups as well.

shaving cream.jpg

Pudding?

When parents ask what they can do at home, consider having them add pudding to a sheet pan.  The parent calls the words out.  The child will write the words in the pudding.  If they get it correct, they get to lick their finger! YUM!

Fly Swatter

If you have a word wall that is low enough for students to reach, this is a great game for your students.  Word walls are a MUST in elementary classrooms because there are so many great activities a teacher can do with words. Create two teams. Each team gets a fly swatter.  Call the word out and the “swatters” have to go swat the word on the word wall.  The team who swatted the correct word first, gets a point.  Play to 10 or 20 points.

Sight Word Necklace

My students loved to have sight word necklaces.  Basically they would have a ball chain necklace that could open easily. Once they knew a sight word, they would add the word to their necklace to share with their family at home that weekend.  Students would use the necklace during writing activities too.  Have them use the necklace to find their words in books during center time or small reading group time.

Long Pins

Paint It

Have students work pull sight words out of a box.  They would write the word.  Then, they would paint the word next to the word they wrote on paper.  They could use watercolors.  You can even use chalk instead of paint.  Want to have students think a little deeper about patterns?  Tell them they have to do every other letter a different color to create an AB pattern. Grab the FREE Sight Word Download Here.

Sight Word Practice Printables

STAMP IT

Find some letter stamps for students to work on spelling sight words using the stamps.  This will help with fine motor as well as spelling.  Provide some different color stamp pads for students to use during this activity to keep it interesting.

USE IT

This is a great way for students to build some comprehension while working with sight words.  Students will first write the word.  Next, they will have to use it in a sentence.  This way you can check to see if they understand what they are reading or see if they make need to be taught the meaning of the words.

STOMP it!

Print out the sight words you want students to learn for the week.  Scatter them on the floor.  Another student calls out a word while their partner STOMPS on it.  This is a great activities to do at home or in small groups. Need more activities? Click HERE

Hopefully these activities will give you some ideas when planning for future lessons using sight words.  I can’t wait to hear about your favorite activities for teaching high frequency words in your classroom!