A few weeks ago, I was able to attend the kindergarten SDE conference in Austin, TX. I had the privilege to listen to Julie Brinkley present a few sessions and absolutely loved some of the things that she shared. My biggest take away has revolutionized my whole group math time. She talked about how she uses a math folder and math songs during her whole group time that includes a 100 chart and a few other pages that the students use every single day with a variety of songs. When I got home, I was so inspired, I downloaded the songs that she recommended and made math folders for all of my students! The next day back at school, taught my students our new math procedure. We have now been using this structure for about a month and by golly they LOVE it!
Here is a glimpse at what my whole group math time now looks like.
In my classroom, math happens right after lunch. My students come in from lunch and sit at their carpet spots. While they are getting situated, I play the song, “I like to count it, count it” by Shari Sloane. While this song is playing, my students get out their red math folders and take out their 100 chart.
Once everyone is ready, I play the song, “Zero the Hero” by Shari Sloane. During this song, my students touch every single number they sing. This practices SO many skills!
After this song, they flip this sheet over and on the other side I have a page with the numbers 1-20 scrambled around the page. For this, I play the song, “Alien Counting” by Ron Brown. They have to think fast as they try to find all the numbers!
After this song, we practice a skill together. Lately, we have been working on making ten in my classroom. One way that we practice this, is using the song, “Ways to Get to Ten” by Hap Palmer. I give each student a baggie filled with ten counting bears and they set their bears up in a row of ten.
If they are missing a bear or have an extra one by accident, they raise their hand and we quickly fix the problem. Then, I start the song.
I charted the song and refer to it as it is playing.
“Let’s find some ways we can get to ten
Again and again
1 + 9 works just fine
2 + 8 there’s no debate
3 + 7 has always been
One more way we can get to 10
4 + 6 fits the mix
5 + 5 and we’ll arrive
6 + 4 we all adore
‘Cause it’s one more way we can get to 10
7 + 3 works perfectly
8 + 2 will surely do
9 + 1 gets it done
And it’s one more way we can get to 10”
While the song is on, my students move their bears to make the combinations they are singing.
After this song, we generally take a break and play a game.
Last week, we played bears in a cave a few times to practice our “make ten” facts.
To play this game, I partnered my students up and gave each group one cup to use with one of their baggies of ten bears. One student then closed their eyes and the other student hid a certain number of bears underneath the “cave.” When they finished hiding their bears, they tell their friend that they are ready, and their partner tries to figure out how many bears are missing to make the combination of ten!
We spread out to play this game all over the classroom to give us some space!
After a few rounds, I called my students back to the carpet and we finish our whole group math time. Some days I teach a lesson here and other days we go right into our BUILD time. To dismiss my students, I use Julie’s idea which I love! I play Hap Palmer’s song “Let’s count to 30” and my students take out their number writing page, a dry erase marker, and practice writing their numbers 1-30. (The song signals them to get ready for this activity. ) Then, they quickly get to work writing their numbers.
Once they have finished writing their numbers, they bring it to me to check them and they make their BUILD choice for the day. To keep track of this, I simply tape a piece of paper that says BUILD on the front of their folder.
They choose one choice each day. In my classroom, BUILD stands for:
B- buddy math games
I set the buddy math games on the top of our math shelves. Students can pick any game they want from this shelf during their rotation at buddy games. I change these out about every 3 weeks.
Students are allowed to use ANY of our math manipulatives during their rotation at “using manipulatives”.
This includes our math provocation table.
I- interactive math notebook
On the shelf with their math journals, I also keep their interactive math notebook page for the week. My students simply take the page they need to complete for the week, their notebook, and complete it independently.
L- learning through technology (iPads)
D- do math (a lesson with me) Since our BUILD time lasts an hour, I typically meet with half of my class each day. Therefore, I meet with each student 2-3 times each week.
My students LOVE this structure and it is a great way to practice many skills quickly every, single day. I am so glad I was able to attend Julie’s sessions, and if you ever have a chance to listen to her present, make sure you do! You won’t regret it!!