Using a TV in the Classroom - ELA and Math

8/11/2016 / Leave a Comment

Having a TV in your classroom can seem overwhelming at first, but it really is an amazing way to increase learning. Click here to read about how I incorporate it into our morning meeting.

While I love how it enhances our morning meeting, I think what it does for my teaching in ELA and Math is what causes me to love it the most!

ELA Uses 

  • Vocabulary
Whenever we are reading a new book, I use the TV to help my students understand new words. For example, when we were reading The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Pinkwater, they mention a baobab tree. I use my TV to show them a picture:

When we read A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue by Julia Cook, I always have a picture of a scepter ready!

I gather the pictures I need prior to the lesson on my Google Drive, but occasionally they will enquire about a word I wasn't prepared for. Then I just use Kiddle when I Google it.

In the beginning I would do this for my English Language Learners, but I have found over the years that it is a great way to activate prior knowledge for all of my students!

  • Reading Activities

We use Hello Literacy's Label It as a pre lunch activity for the first month or two of school. I display it onto the TV, and we label all the items we see on the whiteboard. This is a great way to model spelling strategies and patterns in a quick format each day.
I love using Hello Literacy's Picture of the Day with my class after lunch. They really look forward to it and gather quickly at the rug to see the days pictures. I call it up on Google Drive. This works really well since it allows me to zoom in close when they need to see something better.
We study the picture and then make a chart on our whiteboard of all the things we observe, what we infer and questions we have based off the picture.

In the beginning of the year the inferences are a bit hard to generate and the questions are quite simplistic. As the year progresses, they begin to come up with some very creative inferences and questions! 
To expose my early readers to good reading strategies, like self-correcting, we also use Hello Literacy's Reading Intervention Task Cards. My students get a kick out of the incorrect sentences.

In the beginning of the year I read it to them off the TV and they choose the answer. As the year progresses more and more students can volunteer to read it to the class. It is a fast and easy way to make sure you are talking about monitoring for meaning and self-correcting every day!

  • Online Reading Programs

I have used Raz-Kids with every class I have every taught, including the computer lab pullout years! I have never met a student K-5 who does not enjoy this program. I start off using it in September with my Kindergarten students.
I use the TV to show them how to log in and navigate the program. We do this a lot, so when they begin using it independently in October, the majority of the class is able to login and navigate between the books,
and the rewards program.
Raz-Kids is a wonderful tool for pre-readers as it tracks the word while it reads to them.
This is another way to expose kids to left to right directionality and tracking. It also helps reinforce the sight words we learned. They love finding our Sight Word of the Day in their Raz stories!

Epic! is an amazing resource, it has a wide variety of books and you can even select Read to Me Audio in the drop down menu.
This gives you access to a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction books. I love using Epic! and Raz-Kids to expose my students to online read alouds. It gives them a chance to read along with new books and have others reading to them.

  • Modeling Worksheets
One of my favorite uses of the TV is for displaying worksheets. Getting Kindergarteners to understand how to complete worksheets can be tricky, especially in the beginning of the year.

I simply put the worksheet into my Google Drive, then project it onto the TV with the ShowMe app. Then I can write on any worksheet I choose!
I can show them where to put their name when we complete our first monthly 100's chart and how to begin filling in the numbers.
For their monthly reading logs, I show them where their parents or siblings can write the date, title and author.
Modeling how to fill in the behavior calendars is very helpful. Behavior calendars are a great way to easily maintain communication with their parents.

I show them how to cross off the days we aren't in school that month. Then we find that day and color it in correctly. It is a fast and fun way to review calendar and days of the week each day!

When I started using the TV to model how to complete worksheets last year, I noticed a huge improvement in their work. It is a great visual tool for all students who are just beginning to understand how to participate in a classroom setting!

Math Uses: 

  • Songs

When I was little, my mom used to joke about singing all of my lessons to me. She was convinced that this would be the best way I could learn. I had a tendency to learn songs quickly - but Math, no such luck! I always keep this idea in mind when it comes to teaching new skills to my student. There is a vast array of songs relating to content out there!
The majority of these songs come into play for my class during math. I blogged a few years ago about some of our favorite counting songs, but since then we use it for so much more!
Every time I have a new skill to teach in math, I use a song to introduce it first. My classes love these songs so much, they beg to hear them each day! Personally I adore them due to the combination of music and visuals.
I have playlists for all content areas. They are a great time fillers when you have a quick issue arise, or waiting to go to an assembly or event. I just choose a skill we need to review and we're off!

  • Workbooks
I try to limit the amount of worksheets we do in Kindergarten. I believe some are important, but I do not want to stifle their learning by burying them in worksheets. We used McGraw-Hill My Math last year for the first time.
I really loved the online components. Instead of doing the workbook, we would do it together on the TV and then I would give them extra examples to complete in their notebooks or on whiteboards.
When I tried to use the workbook for number formation, it was hard to keep them all on task. However, when I model it on the TV and we complete it on the rug, I can easily see who is forming the numbers correctly and who needs support.
These online worksheets were a big success last year, and one that I will definitely be incorporating into our math block again!

  • Apps
I posted about some of the apps that we use during morning meeting, such as Place Value Fish, Google graphs and Educreations.

Here are a few others we love to play on the TV. They gather at the rug and each play a turn and then pass the iPad around. Watching it on the TV keeps them hooked!
Sushi Monster is a fun way to practice addition facts. My classes always like to play this in a group of three. One student runs the game and the other two give "advice!" :)
I have had this app awhile, its is called Universal Numbers: Visual Counting. You select a number from the right hand column and watch it drop in.

Ones are green and tens are blue and drop down as a rod. It is a great visual resource! Even though I have it, I can no longer find a link for the app. I will let you know if they update it.
Dice is a great way to reinforce number recognition, subitizing, and addition. You can roll just 1 dice or as many as 21! The number fades in slowly, allowing everyone a chance to guess the correct number.
  • Student Examples

Throughout the day we use the TV to showcase their work. Whether it is things they have built
stories they have written (using The Moffatt Girls amazing Journal Prompts!)
or lessons they succeeded in completing
nothing motivates the class more than seeing what their friends achieved displayed on the TV!
Oftentimes I will wander around the room with my iPad mirrored to the TV in camera mode. Anytime I see something to display I pop it up on the TV.

This is a great tool to assist students who are stuck too. Rather than me explaining, I show what they did on the TV and their peers help them to solve it the correct way.
If you are interested in any of these resources, click the links below!

I hope this has given you some ideas of how you can incorporate a TV into your routine! If you have any other ways, let me know in the comments!
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Building Number Sense in Kindergarten

8/02/2016 / Leave a Comment
Number sense and mastering the 100's chart are such important skills. When I taught 5th grade, I was amazed by how many of my students were unable to jump ahead 10 or 20 without using a 100's chart. I knew I wanted to make understanding the patterns of the 100's chart a focus as a Kindergarten teacher.

I blogged about 100's Activities Tuesday back in my Kindergarten Math Centers series, but I wanted to give you a closer look at what activities have worked so well in my classroom.

I start right away in the first weeks of school by making counting to 100 a huge part of our routine. There are two counting to 100 videos that they love and we watch these every day, during snack and the opening of math.

Both of these songs are very catchy (trust me, you will walk around singing them all day) but very effective. I love using music for academics whenever possible.

We start the first month of our 100's Chart Book the first weeks of school!
The September page is always a bit stressful for everyone, but I talk about how this is a yearlong activity. By the last month they will be able to see how much they have learned!
For the students who master this by January or February, we continue using the template, they just work on the next set of numbers (101-200.)
By November, they start getting really competitive and try to see who can get the farthest the quickest!
I usually give them about 5-10 minutes in the first trimester, and then about 15-20 minutes in the second. There are a few students who will struggle with this.

I keep all of their previous charts filed together. This allows me to pull them out at these moments and show each student at all the progress they have really made so far!
At the end of the year, I put them in order from September - June and add a cover. They love to sit and talk about what they notice.

I do have a few kids who will try to "cheat" and go back and add numbers in. I remind them that this book shows growth and they should be proud with how far they have come. I have also been known to hide the pens and pencils at this time. ;)
In between our monthly 100's chart pages we use the dry erase boards I got on Oriental Trading.
I love these boards because they are blank on one side, and have the chart completed on the other. This provides an easily scaffolding for kids who need a little nudge.
I put these out every Tuesday. However my students enjoyed them so much, that it actually became an option for morning and indoor recess activity!
These boards are awesome because they can be completed independently or as a team!
I also have scaffolded 100's charts for 1-20, 1-50, 1-75 and 1-100.
Each set comes with five different scaffolded templates. I put these dry erase pocket for our Tuesday math centers.
Each morning we add a sticker to our "How Many Days Have We Been in School?" chart. First we  count by 1's, and then when we get to 100th day, we start counting by 10's.
During transitions and math centers, they will grab a pointer and practice counting on their own or with a team! <3
I already stopped by Michaels to get the stickers for next year's chart!
For our math opening on Tuesdays, we sit in a circle and count to 100. Each student says one number and if they do not listen closely they will miss their turn or make a mistake. Whenever that happens, we start over!

Eventually it gets too easy, so we start skip counting by 2's, 5's and 10's.

After our counting warm-up, we practice building parts of a 100's chart. We start with 1-25 for the first month or two. Everyone gets 1 or 2 cards and has to watch for their turn to "build" it into the correct place in the hundreds chart.

I make a point not to mention anything about the different colored cards. I like to let them discover all the hidden patterns on their own!

We move onto 1-50 by the late fall. In the winter we work on 1-75 and eventually they are ready for 1-100!
Whenever I need to get them up and moving during math is when these cards will appear. I write numbers on 12x12 piece of scrapbook paper.

Then, I spread these numbers all over the floor of the classroom, in a mixed up order of course!

I use choose one student at a time to find a number. In the beginning we start small, with just 0-10. But as they advance, we make it harder.

When we are done, we put the numbers in order on the rug. Sometimes it is a set of numbers by 1's, or even 5's and 10's!

Last up is one of my favorites. For 100th day this year, I purchased these star floor clings from Oriental Trading.

As they entered, they had to hop and count their way to 100! We keep these up for about 2 months,  to reinforce counting by 10's, and by the time they were worn out, everyone had mastered this skill!
If you are interested in any of these resources, click the links below!

What are some activities you use to build number sense? Let me know in the comments!
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