Category Archives: Math

February Problem Solving

It’s here!ย  I had lots of requests for a February Problem Solving pack after I shared the one I created in January.ย  You can click the picture below to get yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

This pack contains 25 problem solving activities that cover subtraction, measurement (length/comparing lengths), and decomposing numbers…the three big standard strands I’ll be covering in February! ๐Ÿ™‚

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The specific CCSS that are covered for Math are: K.OA.1, K.OA.2, K.OA.3, K.OA.4, K.OA.5, K.NBT.1, K.MD.1, and K.MD.2.

There are three basic sheets that are included in this pack and you can see them on the picture above.ย  This pack does require cutting, so make sure you have scissors available. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Dollar Tree Finds/Target Dollar Spot

You know how I love the Dollar Store and Target’s Dollar Spot!ย  (Who doesn’t??).ย  I found these great table scatter hearts at the Dollar Tree along with the glittery hearts.ย  I’m going to use them along with my I Love Math! pack to pattern and compose numbers on the ten frames.

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The hearts are thick plastic and there are 60 or so in each pack, plenty enough to split them up for at least two different activities.ย  I put them in one of my old Olive Garden plastic containers (LOVE them!!) and the kids will be able to pick out the hearts they need. ๐Ÿ™‚

I can also use the glitter hearts with the pack and I like that they can use either type of hearts. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also found these cute conversation hearts in the Dollar Spot at Target. Sorry that the picture is sideways. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I put a patterning activity in my I Love Math pack as well and these will be great!ย  They are stickers, so I think I might just not say anything to my kids about that and see what happens, but I might also mount them on paper and cut them out. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  100 hearts are PLENTY for a few kiddos to pattern with and to work on my “How Many More to 10?” game.ย  I might go get some more of these so we can decorate our Valentine’s Day bags. ๐Ÿ™‚

What else could you use these cute hearts for?

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Gingerbread Addition Workmats

I’ve just created some gingerbread addition workmats to use during the gingerbread season! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Included are 14 pages of manipulatives, a gingerbread house workmat, and 40 addition problem cards that your children can use to act addition problems on their workmat.ย  These would be awesome in a Math Work Station or for use in whole, small, or individual groups. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Click the picture above to learn more. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚


New Math WorkStation

Here is a picture of a new Math Work Station I introduced this week. In the past we played this game with 5 chips and I noticed that we were getting bored with 5 so I increased the game to 10. The children shake ten chips in a cup and record how many are red and how many a yellow.



Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Math Common Core Standards

I shared in a post last week, how to access the basic scope and sequence we are using in Indiana.ย  I created a document back in June last year that I carry with me everywhere to help me wrap my head around what I’m supposed to teach when.ย  When I created this document, we (I) had just attended some PD provided by our Math Coaches and had been given several new resources to help with the implementation of the Common Core standards for Math.ย  These resources are in addition to our adopted text of Math Their Way.ย  I’m going to share this with you below because it’s been working for me.ย  I know this is the order of the standards in Indiana, but I do not know if other states have chosen to follow the same order (it seems logical that they would considering how these standards build on each other–but nothing is ever logical!).ย  On the left side you will see the standards and on the right, activities that I found out of the resources we were given (they are listed on the last page of the document) that helped me to teach these standards.

I hope you find this helpful and can at least adapt this to your states.

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Kindergarten Common Core Standards and Math Their Way

Kathy Richardson’s New Book (Review)

I’ve just finished reading Kathy Richardson’s new book (I wrote about it in my last post) and I have to say I love it!ย  When I look at the current Common Core standards for Math, the idea of making my K students master addition and subtraction facts to five floors me!ย  It is not a developmentally appropriate practice for 5 and 6 year old children to memorize math facts unless they have a definite handle on the number concepts and what Kathy calls the “critical learning phases”. Throughout the chapters, Kathy discusses the process that children go through to develop number concepts and what the critical phases are that must be learned before the next critical phase can happen. ย  She shares that although we can make children memorize facts, it is completely useless to their future math development because children need to work through the critical learning phases on their own.ย  If they cannot understand that 3 is three and 4 is four and demonstrate their understanding in several ways, then children will not be able to apply that to math operations later on.ย  Kathy makes it clear that children must go through these phases and that children can not be forced into them, some children will understand them more quickly than others and progress through them more quickly than others, but we cannot as teachers force their understanding along.

This would be a great book for a PLC or book study to help understand how children learn and develop number concepts!

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Kathy Richardson’s New Book

I received a copy of Kathy Richardson’s new book this week in the mail from the nice folks at Math Perspectives.ย  It is titled: “How Children Learn Number Concepts: A Guide to the Critical Learning Phases”.ย  You can order it now!ย  I love their website and visit it often for ideas on using the Math Common Core Standards.ย  I’ll be reading this new book this weekend and letting you know what my “AHA!” moments are when I’m done. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Thanks to Sheryll for sending it to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Math Work Stations Organization

I’m in a mood to organize things lately…I like to start getting things cleaned up near the end of the year so that my new year will be uncluttered and happy!ย  Ask me how that’s going the 2nd week of January!! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I came up with a way to organize my Math Work Station materials after they have been removed from the tub (thanks to Debbie Diller for her MWS ideas!ย  She’s my American Idol–can you tell?? ๐Ÿ™‚ ).


I got a big 3 inch binder and filled it with a bunch of clear sheet protectors.ย  I then divided the sections up by when the materials were introduced into the tubs (Sept/Oct, Oct/Nov, etc.).ย  If the lid had a picture in it to remind the children what to do, when I switched out those materials, I put that picture in the right sheet protector section and wrote on the back what supplies I needed for next year–small things like numbers written on index cards were put into the sheet protector also.ย  Next year, I’ll be able to see what I introduced in each “round” of tubs and what I need to quickly put them together.ย  You could also organize this binder by the Common Core Standard that it addresses.ย  For the tubs that I did not take a picture of, I included the page that gave directions–just something to help me remember what I put into the tubs.

Math Common Core Standards

For the last day and a half, I’ve been attending workshops about the new national common core standards for math.ย  In our state (IN), Kindergarten will be implementing them in the 2011-2012 school year and a grade will be added every year there after for the next few years.

This caused us to have to re-think our math assessment and our report card–anyone else out there having the same things come up?

I am busily going through my teacher math books finding games and activities that go along with each of the CCS that need to be taught.ย  It looks like we have a huge emphasis on Number Concept and Geometry in Kindergarten.ย  The books I’m currently searching are:

Developing Number Concepts by Kathy Richardson

Developing Number Concepts with Unifix Cubes by Kathy Richardson

Math Work Stations by Debbie Diller

Teaching Student Centered Mathematics Grades K-2 by John A. Van de Walle


Does anyone else have any other books to suggest or how are you dealing with the transition to the CCS?ย  Are you switching all subjects or just math?ย  That’s all we know about at this point…I do have another workshop tomorrow with our Math and Literacy Title 1 staff. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Stack, Tell, Spin, & Win

We’ve been playing this game to help us learn about more and less than.ย  It’s from the Math Their Way book and also the Developing Number Concept book by Kathy Richardson.

Basically, the children start with 10 cubes (or 20 if you want to make it harder, 5 if you want it to be easier).ย  They put the stack of cubes behind their back and say together, “1, 2, 3 Break!” and they break their stack in two parts.ย  They then choose which stack to present out front to their partner.ย  They hold them up to compare:

The person on the left would say, “so and so, I have less cubes than you” and then the person on the right would say, “so and so, I have more cubes than you”.ย  They would take turns spinning the more/less than spinner to determine who gets to keep the other persons cubes plus their own.ย  If it lands on more, the person with the most cubes would get all the cubes showing and likewise if the spinner landed on less, the person with the fewer cubes would keep both stacks.ย  The kids play until one person has no cubes.ย  They then re-stack their cubes and start again if time permits.

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

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