Each day we begin our math block with an interactive online calendar followed by counting songs and videos.
We do calendar on Starfall every afternoon. This website has free reading and math resources for primary teachers. It also has a “more” option that requires paying a yearly fee. The calendar use is free. A detailed description of Daily Calendar math is included in the resources.
Counting with online sources: Today we did counting practice to reinforce the counting skills. We watched two to three number recognition 0-10 videos (one to two minutes each) because some of my students students were still struggling with identifying numbers correctly in random order. We watched "Shawn the Train" and counted objects with him to refresh our memories on how to count objects to ten and to reinforce one to one counting. Since we have started the second quarter of the school year, we added to today's counting practice: counting to 20 forward and back, counting by tens to 100 and counting to 100 by ones to get a jump on our end of the year goals.
I review sorting by color by using Fuzzy Bugs on ABCya!. We then review sort by size in a discussion. I place some objects on a table and ask them how I should line them up shortest to tallest.
I then tell the kids that there is another way to sort, by kind. I explain how we can sort objects by what they are. For instance, I could sort letters and numbers. I could put all the letters in one pile and all the numbers in another pile. Or if I have a container of shapes, I could put all the squares (big and small and all different colors) in one pile, all the circles in another pile and all the triangles in another pile.
Then I demonstrate sorting happy and sad faces using Primary Resources.
When I am done sorting faces (I let the kids tell me where to put them), I take a cup of sorting objects and sort them under the doc cam while I think aloud.
The guided practice for this lesson is quick and may take less than ten minutes since the kids have already successfully sorted by size and color in previous lessons.
I have the kids sit on the floor with a cup of manipulatives that my daily helper hands out. They are asked not to touch the cups until everyone has one and we are ready to begin.
Once everyone has their cup, I ask the kids to carefully spill out their manipulatives. I have them find like objects (everyone's cup is different) and group them together. I demonstrate using my own cup.
I take out a sheep and place it under the doc cam. Then I tell the kids to see if they have any sheep no matter what color or size and hold it up. Then I ask them to place in a stop in front of them. I ask them to find all the sheep they have in their cups (now piles) and place them all together in the same pile. I deliberately comment on how some are big, some are small and how they are all different colors. I repeat this same process with the cows.
Once we have sorted them as a group, I have the kids put the manipulatives back in the cups and my daily helper collects them. They return to their tables where there is large container of sorting objects in the middle of each table.
The kids are asked to take a handful of objects out of the containers and sort them by kind. I ask them to continue taking handfuls and sorting them until time is up.
As the kids are sorting, I roam the room making sure everyone is sorting correctly. I stop and assist anyone who appears to have problems with their sorting.
About five minutes before the independent work time is up, I begin walking around the room asking kids about their sorting. I ask them to explain how they sorted them and how they knew where to put the objects. Some of the kids did it a little differently than others because the objects included a variety of sea animals, food, and farm animals. Some of the kids sorted by subcategories (e.g. whales, puffer fish, grapes, apples, etc). while others made large categories like ocean animals, fruit and farm animals.
I close this lesson a little differently than others because the sorting by kind concept throws some of the kids off. They struggle getting by the size and color of objects at first.
I ask the kids to put their manipulatives back in the container at their table. I tell them that the quietest table will be called to the floor first. I call each table until every student is on the floor. I ask the students what they learned today or to share any special learning moments. I record their responses on poster paper.
Once the kids have shared and I've recorded, I call up one child who I thought was strong in their work with sorting by kind and explaining their thinking while I was roaming the room during independent work time.
I have them come up and demonstrate their sorting using a cup of manipulatives under the doc cam. I ask them to explain how they sorted them and what they were thinking as they sorted.
This helps the kids who are still struggling with the concept a clear demonstration from a fellow student with an explanation in "kindergarten" language.
If time permits, I will ask a second student to come up to demonstrate and explain using a different set of manipulatives in another cup.