game · math · topic

Pumpkin Bump Game

This week we will be looking at pumpkins! Who doesn’t like to learn about pumpkins? Here is a fun pumpkin story to listen to: Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White. What would you do if you had too many pumpkins? Well listen to what Rebecca Estelle does with all the pumpkins she finds!

Today you are getting two stories… How Many Seeds in Pumpkin by Margaret McNamara. The children in Mr. Tiffin’s class learn about estimating, sizes, counting and more by counting the seeds in three different sized pumpkins.

Time for some pumpkin math! I encourage you to do some math/investigations with real pumpkins at home.

  • How much does your pumpkin weight? How much does it weigh after you take out the seeds and the pulp? After you carved it?
  • How many lines are on your pumpkin?
  • How tall is it?
  • What is the circumference of your pumpkin?
  • How many seeds are inside?
  • Will it sink or float? Does it sink or float after you took out the seeds and pulp?

Now lets play a game!

Bump is a fun dice game to play with kids. I will teach you how to play and then share how to easily alter the game to work on different skills.

I will show you the simplest version first. Create a gameboard, I drew pumpkins (sad looking pumpkins I admit!) for mine. On the gameboard write the numbers 1-6 since we will only use one die for this version. Each player needs 10 counters, transparent counters work best, but aren’t necessary.

Directions:

  • roll the die
  • put your marker on that number
  • next player rolls and they put their piece on that number
  • if you roll a number that the other player is covering, you can bump them off that space
  • if you roll a number that you are already covering you can double cover and lock the space.
  • First person to use all 10 counters wins!

Easy and Fun!

Variations on the game:

use two dice and add them together

use one die and have the children add one (I would write _____ +1= on the board and have the children put the die in the blank space to remember to add one

double roll one die but cover it’s double (roll 2 but cover 4, roll 3 but cover 6)

use three dice

older kids you can use the dice to multiply or practice place value… so many options!!

game

Beginning Sounds Game Boards

Children love playing games! My newest uploads into my Teachers Pay Teachers Store are four game boards to help your child practice and review recognize beginning sounds. Each game includes a game board and a set of pictures.

Players will choose picture cards. Look at the card, name the picture on the card. The first sound of that picture tells you where to move on the board. Move around the board and see who gets to the end first!

Beginning sound board game Dd, Jj, Pp, Ss— help the duck get to the pond ($1.50)

Beginning sound board game Ff, Hh, Mm, Qq, Vv— help the mouse get to the cheese($1.50)

Beginning sound board game Cc, Gg, Nn, Tt, Ww— help the race car get to the checkered flags($1.50)

Beginning sound board game Bb, Kk, Ll, Rr— help the butterfly get to the flower($1.50)

Whole set— this includes an extra board game (Aa, Ee, Ii, Oo, Uu, Qq, Yy, Zz) helping the octopus get to the seaweed and a blank board to help the cat get to the yarn ($5.00)

Parents… you too can order from Teachers Pay Teachers! All you need to do is create an account. It is a great place to locate items to help your child will all types of learning. They serve pre-K-12th grades.

game · phonemic awareness

Syllables Counting Game

Syllable counting board game

Recognizing and breaking down words into syllables is one of the important phonemic awareness skills that children need to develop in the process of learning to read.

Syllables are the “beats” you hear in words. We typically teach this to students by having them clap as they hear the syllables. For example the word head only has one syllable and the word alligator has 4 al-li-ga-tor.

Today I posted in my Teachers Pay Teachers store a board game to practice this skill. In the kit, you will find: a game board, picture cards and the rules. The children pick a picture card. They say the word that corresponds with the picture, then determine how many syllables in the word. The child then moves forward that many spaces on the board.

This can be used at home as easily as in a classroom setting!

game · letter of the day · math · STEAM · story · teaching thoughts

Letter of the day- Tt

Tt is a great letter! Tigers, turtles, turkey, typing…. so much more. But today we are going to learn…

Tt song by Jack Hartmann

Printing Tt

Capital T– start at the top, straight line downnn, back to the top (but, on the left of the line), draw a line across the top past the center line

lowercase t– start at the top, straight line downnnn, up to the middle (but, on the left of the line), draw a line across the middle past the center line

Today’s activities: Transportation!

Before you even start, talk about the word transportation. Ask questions:

What form of transportation would you use to travel to Disney World? School?, Grocery Store?, Alaska?, the mailbox? … When asking these questions, ask why. When children answer questions they will often give you a one word answer, but we need to push for the reasoning…. why would you choose that? Why did you not choose ______? Why would you not use an airplane to go to the mailbox? Why would you not use a cruise ship to go to the grocery store? Encourage your child to think beyond the one word response!

graph of vehicles you see on a walk

Modes of transportation— this video shows various modes of transportation that are used on land, sea and sky.

Create a graph of different types of transportation. Have your child pick 4-6 types of transportation you might see in your own neighborhood. Take a walk and collect the data of how many of each type of vehicle you observe on your walk.

When you return discuss the graph. Which vehicle did you see the most? Why do you think that was the result? Which did you see the least? What else can you tell me about the graph? How many more cars were there than trucks? How many more planes would you need to see to match the number of bikes?

build your own vehicle

If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen– Jack describes all the things he would include if he

built his own car.

Encourage your child to create his/her own car (or other vehicle). They can use whatever they want… Lego, loose parts, draw it on paper, whatever. Encourage them to be creative… think outside the box. Then say “Tell me about your car”. If they can’t figure out how to start ask “What does this do?”

driving lazy eights

Crossing the midline is a skill that is normally developed by 4. Your body has two invisible midlines… down the center of your body and across the torso. Children need to be able comfortably cross the midline to correctly write letters, draw shapes and so much more. Your child needs to be able to fluidly move their limbs across the midline (move your left hand over to the right side of the body in one fluid movement).

There are many skills and activities that practice this skill. But, today I’m going to share one… lazy eights (infinity signs). Having your child draw these in the air or with materials is a great way to practice. But, you can also have your child drive the lazy eight. They need to do it in fluid motions with only one hand at a time. (children who cannot cross the midline will try to swap hands in the middle) The bigger (within a child’s arm reach) the 8 the easier it is for them to drive. This is a great sidewalk chalk activity… create a lazy 8 on the sidewalk and have your child drive their vehicles on the eight.

art · game · letter of the day · letter work · math · story

Letter of the Day– Dd

D is for Dots! I chose this topic for two reasons. One I had a few good stories to share that will get you and your child talking AND being creative. Two, this leads itself to math in so many ways. If you follow my blog on a regular basis you know the importance of dots and math skills. Children who develop a strong understanding of subitizing, the ability to perceive at a glance the number of items in a group, are able to utilize this skill in learning addition, subtraction and later math skills. The most common configurations are found on dice and dominoes… dots!

Jack Hartmann’s Dd song

Jack Hartmann’s subitize songs Subitizing up to 5 and Subitizing up to 10— these are more of an interactive game than a song as he shows sets and has the children yell out the answer, then the correct number is shown.

Printing Dd

Capital D– start at the top and go straight downnnn, jump back up to the top and curve right and down the bottom. (often times children make the curve too flat or curve in before they get to the bottom)

lowercase d– make a “c”, go upppppp and then straight back downnnn on the same line (this helps make that little tail that we think of when you see a lowercase d)

Today’s activities: Dots!

The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds

Dot by Patricia Intriago (I like this version too. They made the book active, which is cool, other than there are no words to see.

“The Dot” is about Vashti who believes that she can’t not draw. Her art teacher shows her differently by framing her “dot” just one dot. This inspires Vashti to show that she can do better than that, she can make better dots. Encourage your little artist to create his/her own dot pictures. These can be done in any medium (chalk, crayon, rocks, markers, watercolors, whatever). Then challenge him/her to try a different way. Each way should look and feel different, but they will all represent a dot or dots. Each time have your child explain their dot picture and then help him/her label it.

“Dot” takes the concept of a dot and changes it to show opposites. So, lets play a game with opposites. Say or show your child one part of the opposite and see if he/she can determine the other. I say hot, you say cold. I go in, you go out. Learning about opposites is the first step in learning to compare and contrast. What makes things the same and different… in the case of opposites, different.

Teach your child to play dominoes. While children love to set up and knock down domino trains, which is a great fine motor, motor planning and engineering activity, learning to play the actual game of dominoes is a great number sense activity.

Number matching– provide your child with sets of dominoes that add up to a few numbers. I drew out sets of 5 and 6, but you can choose to do more. Have your child count all of the dots and determine where to sort the domino. You can continue and test out additional sets or introduce addition in the sense of 1 and 4 more makes 5, 2 and 4 more makes 6. (if you do not have dominoes, you can make them out of paper for this activity)

game · phonemic awareness

Phonemic Awareness Thursday- I spy

To continue with our get out into the backyard theme this week, I will show you a few ways to play with words while you are outside. When we play with words, it helps children develop their phonemic awareness skills. These activities are totally oral, so you do not need anything but the ability to speak and hear.

Play I-spy (pick one of these skills to work on at a time. If you mix them up, you will confuse your child. When his/her phonemic skills are strong (ready to read) then you can mix them up a bit more)

I spy something that begins with the sound /g/- grass, green, groundhog (beginning sound practice)

I spy something that ends with the sound /d/- bird, seed (ending sound practice)

I spy something that rhymes with tie- fly, sky (rhyming words)

I spy a /c/ /a/ /t/ (blending phonemes)

I spy a /c/ /at/ (blending onset and rime)

game · letter work · word work

Word Work Wednesday- backyard

Today I thought we would work on beginning sounds a bit. Here are a few ways to do this in the backyard.

Letter cards/magnetic letters

Give your child 5-7 consonants. Find items in the backyard that begin with that sound. For example:

b- bird, d-dandelion, g- grass, h-hammock, s- sunshine, t- table, w-wheelbarrow

Show your child how to make an acrostic poem about the backyard

  • Bunny
  • Apple core
  • Cardinal
  • Kites
  • Yellow flower
  • Ants
  • Rainbow
  • Dandelion

Children enjoy making acrostic poems using their name as the first letters

  • Leaf
  • Onion grass
  • Robin
  • Inchworm

Have fun playing with beginning sounds. This is a great skill to work on in the car. What letter does sign start with? Can you find something that starts with /t/? How many items can we count that start that same as car /c/?

game · letter work · STEAM · word work

word work Wednesday- lowercase letter practice

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I strongly believe in the importance of children recognizing, writing and matching the sound to lowercase letters. You can read about this here. Playing games with the alphabet makes it more enjoyable and helps your child build fluency.

Children need to be able to quickly recognize the letter by name and sound. Just as later on it is important for children to master sight words, phonemic blending and vocabulary in order to read fluently, they also need to master letter recognition and phoneme matching. So, this means keep playing games with those letters until your child is able to confidently and quickly name the letter and the sound it makes!

Here are a few fun games.

This first game can be played indoors or out…

It’s raining letters!

Create a collection of letters (magnetic letters, letter cards, flash cards, post it notes… doesn’t matter). Put all the letters in a bunch, when I play this in the classroom we use magnetic letter and I put them on a plate. Now toss all the letters up into the air and let them fall down. Now find the letters. In the classroom we do this by having each child pick a few and then we put the letters into alphabetical order. At home, you could call out a letter name and have your child go find that letter. If you have multiple children, or are playing yourself, you could have the children find as many letters as they can, but they can only keep the letter if they know the letter’s name.

Chalk Alphabet Fun

chalk letters

Want to get outside and use some chalk? This is a great medium to practice letter writing. Have your child write his/her name. Pick 3-5 letters and have him/her write the capital and lowercase letters. Play hopscotch, but put letters instead of numbers. Create an alphabet caterpillar. So many fun ways to play with letter writing and chalk

If you do not want the letters to sat on your walk… play another game. Give your child a paint brush and water, a hose or even a squirt gun. Ok now tell them a letter and have them squirt the letter until it is gone!

rock alphabet letters

Here is one more fun outside alphabet activity. Have your child recreate the letters using natural object. They could use rocks, sticks, grass, or any other items they find outside. This is part of loose parts learning. In the loose parts learning philosophy, you provide children with bits of this and that and let them create their own expression. This can be done with natural items, Lego blocks, bottle caps, pipe cleaners, or any other item that can be used in a variety of ways. Loose parts is open ended and allows your child to use their imagination to show what they know.

And just in case you are stuck inside with rain or need your child to plug in for a bit… here is a fun bubble alphabet game. https://www.ictgames.com/phonicsPop/index.html

game · math

Math Monday- Numbers and Bubbles

I did not get around to posting my topic post yesterday. Oops.. oh well I’ll call it a Mother’s day pass.

This week I have provided my students activities that deal with bubbles. Who doesn’t love bubbles? I will share links to stories and science videos tomorrow during topic Tuesday.

Here are two fun games to play with numbers and bubbles.

Count the bubbles… yep that’s it. Children at this age love an excuse to count. So blow bubbles and have them count the bubbles as they pop them. Or work on blowing bubbles and have them count the number of bubbles they can blow. Want to make it a challenge? Set a timer and each person blows bubbles for 2 minutes or so. See who can count more in that time frame.

Bump!

bump

This is a fun game that can be adapted in so many ways.

  • game board, this can be done on a piece of paper, or even on your sidewalk with chalk!
  • 2 dice
  • counters/markers (outside you can use rocks, inside anything you can put on top, clear or little are better)

Roll the dice. Add them together. Find the number on the board and cover that number. Now it is the next players turn. He/she rolls. They also cover a number, but if they roll the same number they can choose to put their piece on an uncovered number or bump their opponent off the number. (if player A rolled a 5 and player B has a piece on a 5, player A can put their piece on that 5 and take player B’s piece off the board). If you do not want to get bumped, you can double stack your piece (by rolling the same number twice). The first person to cover 5 numbers wins. (adaptation, cover the whole board and then the person with the most covers wins)

pop the bubbles

One last fun thing to do… ok, yes I said 2, but you get a bonus this time. If you have play dough, then this is a fun game for your child.

Pop the bubbles

Have your child write the numbers 1-12 or 0-10 or whatever combination of numbers you want to work on today. Give your child play dough and have him/her make play dough bubbles to match the number. Now go back and pop (squish) the bubbles to check your counting. Another skill you could practice is counting down. Have your child count up as they make the “bubbles” and then count backwards while “popping” them.

game · phonemic awareness

Phonemic Awareness Thursday- Rhyming

I have found over the years that rhyming is a lot harder for children to understand than you would expect. I can give you a few theories I have, but remember they are just my thoughts!

First, often times children listen to the first sound of a word and then make assumptions of the word based on context or background knowledge. This is very evident when children begin reading. They will look at the first letter and then just guess a word with that beginning sound.

Also, children are typically better at picking out two words that rhyme than coming up with words on their own. Again… children see/hear words based on the first sound and with rhymes you need to hear the rime of the word not the onset. They also have to have the word sense and vocabulary to pull words out of their memory.

There are lots of ways to play with rhymes and they are all important! When working with rhyme, I usually start with poems, song and stories that have many rhymes. Songs and poems can be memorized and then adapted. This is why children enjoy nursery rhymes and songs such as Down by the Bay by Raffi.

There are many online rhyming games, such as these games on PBS Kids. But you can also make your own rhyming games at home.

Play I spy with rhymes. I spy something that rhymes with head– bed, red. something that rhymes with hair– chair, pear. etc…

Sing head shoulders knees and toes, but put in words that rhyme with the body parts instead

red, boulders, trees and rose

bed, folders, please and grows

skies and years and south and does

bread, holders, sneeze and hose

keys and snows

Make it fun! Play games with rhymes all the time. They will get it… it will click. Have fun