Category Archives: Graphing

This Week’s Lesson Plans

Awhile back, I had a request to see what a typical page in my lesson plan book looked like, how I get everything in in one day or in a week.  I’ve completed my plans for this week (December 15th-18th, 2008) and I’m going to post them below.  They are very general, as this week is kind of a crazy one with a All School Holiday Sing/Convocation, Winter Party, All School Volley Ball Game, Polar Express, and anything else that is happening that I forgot to add.  I’m going to start saving all my plans on the computer, just for sanity’s sake next year and the following years–it will be easier to make updates that way! 🙂  Let me know if you have any questions–there are some abbreviations listed that mean something to me, but may not to you! 🙂


Also, our lunch time was switched from 10:40 to 10:30 so my schedule changed a bit from the one I posted at the beginning of the summer/school year.  I had to move Writer’s Workshop to the afternoon-right after recess/lunch, so you will see that change, but it did buy me 10 more minutes for Literacy Work Stations! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

The Gingerbread Man-day 2

We’re still running with excitement about the Gingerbread Man!  Today we finished our Predictable Chart, reread the Big Book, and learned a new math game.  We also sequenced The GBB using words and simple pictures in a pocket chart.




Tomorrow is the big day–the GBM will go missing!  (If you have a Kindergartener in my class this year–please play along! 🙂   )   Once he goes missing, we will have this package delivered to our classroom from “Mexico”.  Inside are 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 pieces of red construction paper, a letter from the GBM, and directions on how to make folded paper poinsettias.  

I plan to get the kids excited about tasting and graphing with the Pepperidge Farm GBM tomorrow afternoon and then mysteriously at lunch time, they will disappear.  Our school secretary will then come rushing down with an “urgent” package and this is what we will get:



This is the package from Brazil for Thursday.  I sent myself an e-mail with a Power Point all about Brazil courtesy of Pam (aka kinderdawg) on the KinderKorner yahoo group.  Inside this envelope are toucans (see picture below this one) copied on heavy card stock.  The children will watercolor the toucans and then we will “varnish” with a thin layer of vegetable oil. 



I’ll post more as I get things done.  I’m here at school late tonight–I had my hubby drive me to school because I don’t like to drive on the icy roads, which turned out to be just fine! 🙂


Kristen 🙂

Thanksgiving Week day #3

Sorry this post is a little late…you know Thanksgiving just got in the way of everything!  I was able to go to my sister’s house and then on to my in-laws house this year, so that was fun.  My hubby and son are both sick, so they’ve both been laying around like bumps on logs and I feel so bad for them–but they’re getting better! 🙂

Anyway….on with Wednesday!   We had an off schedule day Wednesday!  In the morning, we did our calendar routine, updated our binders and then we started working on our turkeys!  My son’s preschool class made these and I thought they were so cute that I made patterns for them on Tuesday evening and the kids traced, cut out and glued all the pieces on:


Here is the whole flock/herd/gaggle/what ever you call a group of turkeys:dsc000103

They were adorable!

We then wove Thanksgiving-y place mats: (I thought I had a picture, but no such luck!)

My new big book storage rack and big books (from my grant on Donor’s Choose) arrived on Wednesday:


(Sorry my computer is being difficult and will not rotate the picture the correct direction).  I love this stand though!  It will make Big Book Work Station much more organized and easier for the kids to find what they need and put things away.  I am going to add a plastic shoe box to the front of the stand so that the envelopes with task cards in them can be stored there.  Otherwise, they tend to get wrinkled and lost from the area!


Again, I’m sorry it’s the wrong direction!  This is a graph we made about our favorite Thanksgiving foods.  We talked about what the pilgrims ate (or what we thought they ate!) and listed some of those foods as well as favorites today.

Here are some of the books we read in the last 3 days! :






I thought it might be a good idea for both comprehension and math skills to make a graph at the end of a week like this; where all of the books are about a similar topic, to make a graph asking the children to pick their favorite.  They would need to be able to remember something from each story to be able to do that and explain why that book was their favorite.  It would also help us get in more graphing! 🙂

Last night, (Friday) my hubby, son and I went downtown to see the lighting of the World’s Largest Christmas Tree:


It would be way better if it were turned the correct direction, but you get the idea!  There were 100,000 people that came to watch it and amazingly enough–we actually saw people we knew!  Hope you’re enjoying your few days off!  The next break isn’t far away! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Rosie’s Walk

Our Big Book this week is Rosie’s Walk.  


We started our day by taking a picture walk through the book–I have never seen Kinder. kids so excited about a book.  They were very curious as to why some of the pages did not have words on them, so we had a nice little talk about that.  They were also surprised that there was no mention of the fox anywhere in the story.  The Kinder. kids hung on every word once we started reading the story!

Here is our Morning Message for the day.  



In January, the children will be writing it by themselves (I’ll be there to help!!).  We’ve moved our focus away from identifying letters (we all can do that and will return to it as needed) and on to letter sounds, studying words, sentences, punctuation, and finding sight words. 

We then had time for Writer’s Workshop where the children continue to do a great job at writing and using their knowledge of letters and sounds.  I’m holding off on teaching any new lessons at this point because they are all at a comfortable, successful level right now.  In January, I will pick back up with more structured lessons.  Now I am doing different mini-lessons with individual or small groups of children based upon needs.

We also started a new Predictable Chart titled, “I am thankful for…”.  I figured there would not be time next week to get it all in, so we’re doing this one this week.  We had a talk before we began the chart about what things we are truly thankful for and those things that are special (video games, extra toys, etc.).  We also talked about how some children do not have some of these things and they all became very thoughtful with their responses! 🙂

I kept the same poem from last week in our pocket chart station–I haven’t rotated everyone through it yet.  You can see it in this post: I Like Turkey Feathers

We also make Native Americans using math facts.  I differentiated this lesson by making three groups of children get the same answers in different ways.


One group matched numbers to numbers, another matched dots to numbers and a third completed simple addition facts to get their answers.  The answers all matched up to the same key, so in the end, they all looked the same:


After the children were done, we got out some of our Lakeshore Math Boxes and rotated around different stations:

Here are some various pictures from the children working on them:





Simple Addition



Although I think these boxes are fabulous, I think that you could make them just as easily and have them change or fit in with your concepts/themes.

I’ll be out tomorrow but my kids will be echo reading Rosie’s Walk, completing a Thanksgiving themed graph, reading our Scholastic News “Food In The Forest” and the usual things!

I am attending a Science Workshop tomorrow–what themes do you do for science this time of year?  We’ve already done leaves, we might do turkeys, and will head towards animals in winter.  I have to bring a theme to keep working on tomorrow. I was thinking of beefing up my seasonal changes theme–any great ideas you can’t live without for this theme?


Kristen 🙂

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie (day#2)

So the pictures I promised are at school–which I had to leave early today because I got my flu shot! 🙂  I will get them posted tomorrow (maybe–my assistant is out all day tomorrow! 😦 )

Today we choral read There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie and then I took pictures that I laminated many years ago that correspond to the images eaten in the story and the children helped me put them in order in a pocket chart.  Then we told the story together using just the pictures in the chart.  They did really well.

Tomorrow I will show the children the Little Old Lady props and tell the story using her.  I’ll take pictures of that for sure!

I also worked on sketching out more ideas for my Math Work Stations.  I think I have a pretty good handle on them already and have decided rather than overwhelm myself, I will change the stations out monthly and only worry about one topic at a time (or maybe two at a time–addition and subtraction could go together, and so could number writing and recognition).  First up is graphing and when I get the details worked out, I will post them! 🙂  Maybe this weekend???

We also checked out our compost today, and turned it–it’s working well, all the original organic materials we put in have “disappeared” and we keep adding more! 🙂

Monday, we planted our milkweed plants and I have them in the green house growing away!  I had to figure out a way to get a bulb in the greenhouse and figured that out, so they are happily getting toasty warm!

During our Math time today, we worked on patterns.  I put out a variety of materials on the tables and the children made various patterns with them.  I wrote patterns (ABAB, ABCCABCC, ABBCABBC, ABCABC, etc.) on cards and put them one at a time on my visual presenter.  The children would work on a pattern and when I switched the card, they switched their pattern to match.  It was very interesting to see what the children with the tiles came up with versus the pattern blocks and the unifix cubes and links.  The up/down patterns were the most interesting.

See you tomorrow!

Kristen 🙂

Apple Day (day 5)

Here is what we did on day 5 of apple day…

We predicted whether or not we thought the apples we had would float or sink.  Before testing the apples in the water, we talked about why or why not the apples would float or sink.

We then made a graph to show our predictions…

I was going to use a huge galvanized tin bucket I had, but then decided that for a 15 minute lesson, it would take just as long to fill it, wasting their time and mine!  I went with a dish pan instead, and so everyone could see the experiment, I had one row of children sit, the next row sat up on their knees and the third row stood behind them.

I asked the children in what order they would like for me to test the floating/sinking abilities of the apples and they decided upon size, so in went the small red apples, then the small green apples.  They floated!  In went the medium sized and then the large apples.  They were very sure that the larger the apples got, the more likely they were to sink–a common misconception!

After we concluded that all the apples were going to float, no matter what size, we talked about why they floated.  One child said that the apples floated because they were pretty lightweight in comparison to rocks.  Another child said that the apples floated because the skin and the fleshy part of the apples weren’t very heavy.  We then compared the apples to bird bones, talking about how they were hollow, and because of that it was easy for the birds to fly.  We looked at the apples up close and determined that we thought that there might be tiny holes in the fleshy part of the apples, making them full of air and giving them the ability to float.  The children wanted to know why they could not float when they swam.  We talked about our lungs and how they help us do that and then discussed some materials that would help us float and stay safe near the water.

After that…, we made our pattern block graphs (we made the pattern block apples on Day 4).

I purposely gave each of the tables different options for filling in their apples.  Some had lots of hexagons, some had none, other tables had only blue diamonds and green triangles.  I wanted them to see that it was possible to fill in their apples different ways.  When it came time for us to do the graphing portion, we talked about why each graph would look different from the others.  I modeled a graph for the children, asking them to put a light “x” on each shape once it has been counted, so that it is not counted twice.

Next week, we will do a quick overview of Pumpkins, so that we can learn about both apples and pumpkins before our trip to Stuckey Farm in a few weeks.  Stuckey Farm is an apple orchard, pumpkin patch, farm, and store where you can purchase all the apple products, pumpkin products, and honey you could ever want.  We will get to see how they press apples to make them into apple cider, and get to taste several varieties of apples and apple cider.  We then take a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch were I get to pick a pumpkin (we will do lots of things with it, so check back next month for that) and then we watch how corn meal is made (we will then bake corn bread from it and make our own butter to go with it).  We also check out the inside of a beehive and talk about the jobs of the different bees.

See you Monday!

Kristen 😉

Apple Day (day 4)

Today we got to make our Apple Happy books.  I had each child read with either me or my assistant and we stamped their books when we were done.  It was also very cute to hear them–some of my more vocal children were very quiet when reading and some of the soft spoken ones were very loud and proud that they could read.  It is interesting to see those levels of certainty even at this age! 🙂

On to Apple Day…

We read our “I like ______ apples.” chart again today and this time I cut apart the sentences for the children to read.  I write them on a sentence strip and cut them apart.  I then ask the student belonging to the sentence to pick “x” number of boys and girls to hold the other words in their sentences.  I mix them up pretty good and we have to put the sentence back in order.  The children love to hear the silly sentences read aloud when they are all mixed up.  I love this activity because it has so many wonderful literacy skills embedded in it, but also at the beginning of the year, it’s a great way to get to know each other’s names.  In my classroom, we use the children’s names to tell each other the children that need to switch places to get the words in the correct order.  “Susie has “like” and needs to switch with Jon, who has “the””. 

I also have the children use necklaces occasionally to hold their word cards if I see they are getting to mangled being held. 

We also FINALLY got around to making our pattern block apples:

These are the trays I keep the shapes in:

Tomorrow we will experiment with apples to see if they sink or float and if there is a difference between colors and sizes.  Of course, we will make predictions first and then see what happens.  We didn’t get to use the balances today, but I’ve penciled in time to make it happen tomorrow!

Kristen 🙂

Apple Day (day 3)

Well we didn’t get done nearly everything I wanted to get done because my kids found out it is my birthday today and they were more interested in that!  They made me write about myself in our Morning Message today–I feel so selfish doing that! They said that because I write about their birthdays in the message, I have to write about mine too!  So I said, fair enough–and wrote about my b-day.  I’ll post pictures later today or tomorrow about what we did, but here it is in a nutshell….


We looked back over our tasting graph from yesterday and talked about what we could write about it.  They came up with some great ideas and you will see those in the pictures later.  We also put an apple in our balance scale and estimated how many 1 inch cubes it would take to make the scale balance.  We wrote down the estimates and then checked them.  It was a great way to introduce the scales for this year and it got the kids excited about using them–like they aren’t already!  🙂  We will use them tomorrow with a variety of math tools.  We then wrote about our estimates, who was the closest and furthest.  We also read The Apple Pie Tree (Big Book) from Scholastic–it was in one of our old reading series.  

We were going to do the pattern block apples, and the Apple Happy book that I made, but I guess that’s for tomorrow!  It’s also exactly why I do my lesson plan book in pencil! 🙂



Here are the photos:


Kristen 🙂

Apple Day Activities (day 1)

We began our study of apples by guessing what I had hidden in my Science Mystery Box.  After a few questions, the children guessed that I had an apple and so it began….

During our math/science time (it was brilliant of me to put them together in the same time block, because of all the overlap in concepts!), we each got the apple that we brought.  We then sorted them by color into rings that I have for making actual Venn Diagrams. I labeled the circles for my friends who are visual learners: 

We then took those apples and made them into a real graph:

We then moved our real graph into a picture graph:

We then wrote about our graph.  The thing I love most about graphing is that it allows me to meet the needs of so many kids at a time.  I can ask the lower students to tell me what the colors are, and to show which column is biggest or smallest.  I can ask the middle students to tell me how many of each apple there are and which are the most, least and equal.  The higher students are asked to tell me what I would get if I added two columns together or if I took one column away from the other.  

Tomorrow, we will taste apples and graph which ones we like the best.

Here is the big book we read:


And here are the read alouds for today:

Stay tuned…..all week long we will be doing other apple activities that I will share!

Kristen 🙂

Pattern Block Shapes

For each seasonal “time” in our year, I have my kids complete a pattern to display.  These go along with the Pattern Block Graph I created (under the Math tab and in the PDF files).  I have an apple, pumpkin, (the turkey is in progress!) scarecrow (on the PDF page) ,a snowman, snowflake, heart, shamrock, and I hope to make an egg or bunny, and get the flower posted soon too!

Basically, what I do with these is this: When I had 1/2 day, the kids would glue the pattern block shapes on one day and complete the graph the second day.  Now with Full Day, I think we could get them totally done in about 1 hour–they take a lot longer than you think! 🙂  The kids complete the shape and then count and graph the number of each shape that they used.  Sometimes, I only put out a few shapes, and leave the kdis to problem solve (What can we do if we don’t have any trapezoids?), so that each graph will turn out a little differently! Each table might also get different shapes and some of my more advanced children will notice and go and borrow from another table! 🙂

I like these because even though it looks like a “crafty project”, I can justify my students matching shapes, problem solving, and graphing.

I use those vegetable party trays to put the shapes on the tables.  Each little section gets its own shape.  I keep pattern block shapes in the trays all year long.  I get the veggie trays at the Dollar Tree! 🙂  I purchased a class set and we use them all the time for sorting and for when we have special create a character (gingerbread man) felt store days—much more on that later! 🙂

I am posting them here and will convert them to PDF and have them there under the letter P.

Kristen 🙂

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