Monday, March 12, 2012

Word Walls and Leprechaun Subtraction Work Mats

Happy Monday!  Thanks to Daylight Savings Time and an action packed weekend (going to the Counting Crows concert with my man) I had to drag myself out of bed this morning.  How is everyone else holding up with the time change?

Now on to kindergarten fun!  At this point in the year my kinder cuties are on a roll memorizing sight words.  Most sight word memorization is done at home with my  Rainbow Sight Words Homework Program.  In class we use the Houghton Mifflin Language Arts series to learn sight words in order by theme.  These sight words, along with any other commonly used words, must be made visible in the classroom for student reference.  Unfortunately, bulletin board space in my classroom is limited so I had to get creative.  First stop was Michael's craft store for cute ribbon and velcro.  At Lakeshore I purchased the sight words bulletin board set.  Attach velcro to the back of sight word cards and ribbon.  Next, hang the ribbons from cabinets.  Today we focused just on Houghton Mifflin sight words(see picture below).  During Writer's Workshop I velcro all words on the wall.  If a student is stuck spelling a word I pull it off.  The student now has the word at their seat for easy reference.  Students love recording words from the word wall during 'Read the Room' time.   The velcro feature allows me to sort words with students, pull words off and hand them out, play word games, and focus on specific words.  Word Walls that are stapled do not allow for this flexibility.  

Up close and personal.

Have you found a successful way to make your word wall more interactive?  Do you think this word wall strategy could work for you?

Today we kicked off subtraction Unit 7 in enVision math.  To start the unit on a fun note we made leprechaun subtraction work mats.  Students cut out their face and glued it on white paper.  Then they turned themselves in to a leprechaun.  I stapled the cut leprechaun puppets to a craft stick.  Then they made a large pot of gold on a piece of white construction paper and decorated the background.  Each student received 10 yellow coins I cut from construction paper.  On the back of the mat I stapled a ziplock bag to keep the coins and puppet.

Here are some pictures of the work mats and leprechaun puppets.

Once everything was assembled we were ready to have fun with subtraction!  Students used mats in pairs of 2 or 3.  One student was responsible for recording the subtraction equation on a white board and the other student acted out the leprechaun subtraction problem.  I made up the word problem and had students provide me with the numbers.  By the end of the week students will work together and make their own word problems.  In the picture below I told students, "Once upon a time their was a leprechaun skipping through the grass.  He stumbled upon a pot of gold.  How many coins did he see in the pot?"  Students chose the number 10.  They placed 10 coins on the mat and wrote 10 on the white board.  "The leprechaun snuck three gold coins in his pocket.  How many are left?"  Students had the leprechaun puppet pick up 3 coins.  They would shout, "7 are left!  7 are left!"  Subtraction has never been so fun!

A sneaky leprechaun ran away with ALL 10 coins!

We will use these mats all week to practice subtraction. This activity exposed students to word problems, story telling, math vocabulary, symbols, writing a math sentence and much more!  At the end of the week students will take home work mats and teach parents leprechaun subtraction!

Click HERE if you want some more adorable and educational St. Patrick's day lessons.

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Sheila Chako
Sprinkle Teaching Magic