BIG News!!

Hi friends!  Notice anything different around here?  I am seriously in love with my new blog design.  If you are in the market, you need to go see Megan at A Bird in Hand Designs.  She is so awesome!  She was patient with me and gave me exactly what I wanted.  She walked me through every single step of the process.  I just want to stare at my blog page now because I am so in love!

Since I am so in love, I wanted to share the love with all my friends!  I am having a Blog Makeover Giveaway!!

Here is what you can win:

Just enter using the rafflecopter below.  I will choose a winner on Sunday, March 2nd!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And if that isn't exciting enough.....I have another announcement.  I am now a contributor over at Teaching Blog Roundup.  Click on the picture to check out the blog.  :)

But wait, there's more.........have you heard that TpT is throwing a HUGE sale this Thursday and Friday?  Well, it's true!  TpT is now 3 million teachers strong.  We are celebrating with a sale.  My WHOLE store will be 20% off and then you can receive an extra 10% off by entering code TPT3 at checkout.  What are you waiting on that button below and start filling your cart so you are ready for the sale!


Math Apps in the Classroom

I recently posted about some of the literacy apps I use in my kindergarten classroom.  If you are interested in reading that, please click {here}.  After that post, I had some people ask about the math apps that I use.  I am here to tell you all about it today!

The apps I am showing you today are all free.  Some have the option to purchase the full version, but for now I am just using the free version. 

Just as I do with my literacy centers, one of my math centers is the iPad center.  I choose which app the students are doing at that time, but on Fridays for Free Choice Centers the students have the opportunity to use any app on the iPad they wish. 

These are my two favorite math apps of the moment:

Animal Math

The three free activities included in this app are math activities with counting, sequencing & patterns, and addition to 5.

When students get on the app, this is what they will see:

They will choose which animal to “play”
Bessie (cow) – Counting to 10
Ralphie (cat) – Sequences & Patterns
Albert (zebra) – Addition to 5

For each game, the students will answer a series of questions.  If they choose a wrong answer then that answer will disappear and the student will choose another answer.  If they answer correctly (no matter if they have previously answered incorrectly), the app cheers for them.  I really like this because no matter the student’s ability, they can feel successful because the app is cheering for them. 

Here are a couple screenshots from the app:
(there is quite a variety of questions so I just included a small sample)

Counting to 10

Sequences & Patterns

Addition to 5

I have been using the addition to 5 section as that is what we are working on in math right now.  My students are seriously loving this app.  I think your students will enjoy it as well. 

Turbo Math

This app has a lot to choose from.  When the students get on the app, they will need to choose their name and then pick a lesson to do.  I like using this app to differentiate so I choose which "game" I want the students to play.  

You can choose from the following categories:  Counting I, Counting II, Number Sense, Addition, Subtraction, and Time, Money, & Geometry.  (The categories are on the left hand side)

Within each category there are many different skills.  Each skill has its own "game".  For example, in the addition category, there are 20 different skills starting with addition of 1 and ending with adding 3 single digit numbers - up to 10.  (Skills are on the right hand side)

As I stated earlier, we are starting addition so I had most of my students focus on that portion of the app.  Here is what the students will see:

They need to slide the number to the sea animals.  For this example, you slide the number 7 up to the seahorses.  

Here is an example from the number sense category:

Here is an example from the subtraction games:

Example from the geometry category:

I really feel that the Turbo Math is a great choice for differentiating with your class.  There are so many FREE activities that you can choose from and many different skills being covered.  My students LOVE this app and I am sure your students will too.

Do you have a favorite math app that your primary students use?  Tell me all about it in the comments!  I am always looking for new apps in my classroom.  :)

Math Interactive Notebooks

Wow.....this three day weekend really flew by!  We have today off for President's Day and it is snowing like crazy today.

I was extremely productive this weekend.  I cleaned the house, took care of a sick kiddo, and finished up a couple products that I have been working on for awhile.  (I also rearranged my classroom, but we are saving that for another post!)

The past couple of weeks our math focus has been on shapes....both 2D and 3D.  We learned about the shapes sides, corners.  We compared shapes.  We found shapes in the real world.  We even made our own 3D shapes.

Each day during our math lesson we would do a page in our math journal.  I have been using math journals for a couple years, but during this unit I decided to change this up a bit and turn it into an interactive math notebook.  This simple switch got my students EXCITED about math.  They were loving the activities we completed.

Here are some pictures:

Are you interested in having some of these activities in your classroom?  Click on the image below to grab these notebook activities for yourself!

This week we are started addition and subtraction.  I finished up this notebook just in time!  Click on the image below to grab some addition and subtraction activities.  This product is discounted for today only!

I know many of you asked about the math apps I use in my classroom.  I haven't forgot about that.  I will post about that later this week.  :)

Gave it a Whirl Wednesday

Did you participate in our Bright Ideas Blog Hop?  I loved hopping around and seeing all the great ideas.  I even tried a few out in my own classroom.

I am linking up with Nicole from Mrs. Rios Teaches for Gave It A Whirl Wednesday.

Kathy Griffin posted about Brain Breaks in the Bright Ideas Blog Hop.  We love brain breaks in our classroom especially since the weather has made it impossible to get outside for recess.  She gave some great ideas for brain breaks, but I chose one in particular to give a whirl......Just Dance on youtube.

My kiddos love to dance and get up and move around.  They also love "What Does the Fox Say?"  Lucky me, I found a Just Dance version of this song on youtube.  Here is a fun pic and a short clip of my students following along.

After doing a little dance or two, my students are ready to calm down and work.

Kathy didn't mention this one, but since we are talking about Brain Breaks I thought I would share another great youtube video to use if you like brain breaks, yoga, and stories.  :)

My friend Elizabeth from Kickin' It In Kindergarten shared Cosmic Yoga with me.  My students and I are in love!

What do you do Brain Breaks in your classroom?  I would love to hear in the comments below!  :)

Literacy Apps in the Classroom

Do you have technology in your classroom?  Are you looking for some apps to use with your kindergarten kiddos?  I am here to tell you about some of the apps my students use and love.

I posted about how I letting my kinder babies use iPads during one of our literacy centers.  You can read about that {here}.  Needless to say, its a big hit.  I love it because I can easily differentiate the activity.  At this moment in time, I am choosing the app the students use during literacy center time.  (On Fridays at the end of the day we do "free choice centers".  One of those is the iPads and they are able to choose which apps/games they can play then.)

All the apps I am showing you today are FREE!  Some have option to buy the full version, but for now I am just using the free versions.

Here is a great app for letter identification:

Photo Touch ABC

Students will see an image like this:

Then they are asked to touch a particular letter.  If they touch the incorrect letter it makes a little sound.  If they touch the correct sound, it tells them something positive like "You're great!"  I used this app for my students who were still struggling with letter identification after the rest of the class had mastered that skill.

Here is a great app for letter/word/shape writing:

Little Writer

This is what students see.  They make the whale eat the fish in order to make the letter v.

What I love about this is that it takes each letter one step at a time.  Therefore, the students are not overwhelmed.

You can also use this to write numbers, words, and to draw shapes.  I use the shape writing during math center time.

Here is what the students see when they are drawing a shape:

This time the crab is eating pineapples. :)

Great apps for word building:

All the Spelling Magic Apps.  I have Spelling Magic 1, 2, 3, and 4.  I choose which app my students use.

My students who are just beginning to do CVC words use Spelling Magic 1.  This is what they see:

It is a picture of a map, the letters with boxes, and the iPad will say the word.  As the students move the letter to the box, it will make that letter sound.  They are not able to put the letter in the box unless it is correct.  If they try, it will move the letter back to its original position.

Spelling Magic 2 has consonant blends.  Here are the categories to choose from:

Spelling Magic 3 has multiple syllable words.  There are also categories for the students to choose from.  Spelling Magic 4 has silent e words.

Apps for sight words:

I have two sight words apps on my iPad.  My favorite is called Endless Reader.

The students choose a word.

Put the letters back into the word.  As they move the letters, they make their sound.

Then the students put the words in the sentence.

The app will then read the sentence to the student with a little animation of the sentence.

The other app we have is called Sight Words Grade 1 & 2.

This app has many different games to choose from.  I use this one with my students who need a little challenge. :)

These are just a few of my favorite literacy apps I use in my classroom.  There is also another one that we have on our school's classroom set of iPads, but I can no longer find it in the app store.  It is a phonemic awareness game and I love it!  If you have recommendations of apps we should try, please comment below.  We are always looking for new ones!

I will be posting this week about the math apps we use during math center time.  :)

Five for Friday

I was so glad to see Friday this week.  It has been a busy one and next week is even busier!!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs again this week.

We are using iPads during our literacy center time.  My students are loving it and I am noticing a difference in their blending and segmenting from using this phonemic awareness app.

{I will post about the apps we are using later this weekend.}

My students are working on a writing sample that I can show at conferences next week. They are doing great!

We started learning about the winter games this week.  We made a web of events at the winter games, wrote about a winter game we would like to try, and even read an emergent reader all about the games.

When we read our emergent reader books, the students "butter" popcorn words, circle punctuation with red crayons, color the pictures, and then they read it again and again!

I was so excited by this little kinder babies writing.  He has always struggled and usually won't even try to write (just ends up scribbling), but today he completed our writing prompt.  I was so proud and he was beyond thrilled with himself!

{"I want to play hockey because it is cool"}

We had our own winter games today with an opening ceremony and math games.  Every student won either a gold, silver, or bronze medal.  :)

{This was our "torch" that our leader carried during our opening ceremony.}

I unfortunately couldn't get any good pictures of the kids while they were playing our "games".  We used dice and whoever got the highest number won the gold, second highest won silver, and smallest number won bronze. 

The Winter Games activities in this post are all in my "Winter Games mini-unit".