Monday, April 28, 2014

When Is 2 + 2 A Boat? AND...................... Time For A Give-Away!

When You Are Doing Pattern Block Addition:

"2 is a boat.  1 + 1 = 2."

What a GREAT way to get kids to think about all of the ways you can add to any particular number.
"2 is a bird.  2 + 0 = 2."

How It Works:

Today we were working on the #2.  Students got to pick ONLY 2 SHAPES or ONLY 2 COLORS.
That was the hard part, limiting it to only 2 shapes or 2 colors.  Talk about higher level thinking skills.  This was awesome for getting kids to THINK and then EXPLAIN their answer.  This also encouraged oral language development through structured discussion and the use of math vocabulary.
"2 is a pair of blue glasses.  2 + 0 = 2."

If both pieces were exactly the same, their number sentence was 2 + 0 = 2:

"2 is a pair of blue glasses.  2 + 0 = 2"
I wrote the words this child needed to copy
on the lined dry-erase paper mounted on his placemat.

If both pieces were different, their number sentence was 1 + 1 = 2:
"2 is a lamp.  1 + 1 = 2."

What Else Can You Create With Only 2 Pattern Blocks?

The fun was getting to see what everyone else in our small group came up with.  Here are a few of the results:
Can you spot the volcano, the red bowl of mac & cheese,
the house, the ship, the sword & the bird?
You can win this product along with four other math products in our Give-Away bundle below or...
if you just can't wait, you can grab our Pattern Block Math (officially called My Addition Book) by

Now, For The Give-Away:

You can win this product along with all of these other math products by entering below:
You get My Addition Book (Pattern Block Math as seen above), Circle Math (addition to 10),
Math Memory (Counting & Cardinality), Domino Math (addition fun), &
The Kissing Hand (an addition story).  Click the image to read more about this bundle.
Enter the Rafflecopter here:
There are 3 easy ways to enter:
5 entries for liking our Facebook Page:  {Our Facebook Page}
5 entries for leaving a comment here on this post.
10 entries for following this blog.
The winner will be announced at midnight on April 30.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The random winner was chosen by my Rafflecopter and it was...
Hardlyable Farm!
I will email you your prize tonight.

See you all tomorrow.
Palma :)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Where Else Can You Learn About Science While Wearing A Tiara?

Right Here In T.K.:

Transitional Kindergarten is alive and well in California.  It is such a joy to provide students with developmentally appropriate activities and projects that prepare them for kindergarten and the CCSS they will need to master next year.  
Where else can you study science in a tiara?    :o)

Learning to work together.

Learning to get along.

Preparing For Kindergarten:

Have you noticed that there aren't ANY CCSS for T.K.?  I'm not a big advocate of over-testing, but I do like to know which skills my students have mastered and which ones I need to focus on more.  And it amazes me that, even though I think I really know my students, once I test them I am usually surprised by some of the results. 

What to do???

My district created standards for our T.K. based on the pre-school foundational standards and the kindergarten CCSS.  After teaching T.K. this year, I re-visited our T.K. standards and re-vamped them.  Then, I decided which assessments were the most valuable to me an I made easy-breezy FUN assessments to track my students' progress and I have to tell you that my kids LOVE them!  Yes, you heard right, they LOVE the assessments!  "Why?" you ask?  Well, read on because you can try the special tests that I made for FREE.  

There are 2 ways:  If you are already a member of ESGI, you can get access to my assessments for no additional charge.  That's FREE.  :o)  If you aren't a member, you can register for a FREE 60 day trial and try out my assessments for yourself.  AND if you sign up for a one-year membership you can save $40 by using my discount code B2174 during check out.  

Most kids naturally LOVE electronic devices.  

They can't wait for their turn.
Students getting the iPad ready for testing.
The teacher clicks on or touches "yes" or "no"
to record the students' responses.

Why My Students BEG To Be Tested:

I wrote my T.K. assessments using ESGI, which stands for Educational Software for Guiding Instruction.  And it does just that!  It is an amazing online testing system that is easy to use, FUN for your students, and provides the teacher with tons of information about each student to help guide instruction.

My students LOVE answering questions on an iPad or computer and they cherish the one-on-one time they get with me as I use my ESGI assessments to gain valuable data about what each child has learned.  By using ESGI, I can assess all of the important skills in half the time of the old paper & pencil tests.  By spending just a few minutes with each child I can get a profile on my entire class.  And the data does't lie, so I get a quick and accurate picture of the skills my students have and don't have.    That's why they say, "Click, click, done!"

You can use a desk top, laptop, iPad, or even and iPhone!
Here you can see 2 desk tops, 1 iPad and an iPad mini.
I use all of these to test students.

Why Teachers Love To Use ESGI:

You can use an iPad, laptop, or desktop to assess students and you will find your class eager to participate and your students will actually BEG TO BE TESTED.

But the best part is the data and resources ESGI provides.  After testing, you can print out flashcards and even a parent letter (in English or Spanish) for each individual students.  These make the best resources for R.T.I. or for parents to use at home with their child.  Each flashcard has the child's name and the skill such as "letter name" or "letter sound" written on it.  Imagine the time you will save having all of these resources at your fingertips.  And you can try it for a FREE for 60 days. 

You can also use iPods if you have
 an Internet connection.

How Can You Find My Tests:

All of my T.K. assessments were carefully written to assess progress in your T.K. program.  The title of each of my assessments begins with T-KFUN.  The rest of the title is the kindergarten Common Core standard that it relates to.  Once you have registered for the 60 day trial, you can click on any or all of my T-KFUN assessments and drag them into your own testing dock.  You might want only a few of the basic tests (letter names, sounds, shapes, comparing sets, & number recognition) or you might like all of my TK assessments.  Don't worry, this is super easy to do and ESGI provides all kinds of support to help you if needed.  You can even email me.  :)
Click HERE to see the quick introduction video.

Here Are A Few Of The Tests I Use:

Students' names are listed at on the left side (I smudged them out)
so you can click on an child's name to see their scores,
 print their flashcards, print their parent letter, or test them.

Once you have assessed your students, just click on the bar graphs to see who has mastered certain skills and who hasn't.
Bar graph for sight words.
Click on the gray & it reveals the names of the students who did not pass.
Click on the green and it reveals the names of the students who did pass.

It will actually list the students who need more practice so yo can create a little re-teaching group.  

You can print out their flashcards and store them in little Zip-lock bags labeled with their names and you can hand those bags to instructional assistants, parent volunteers, cross-age student tutors, or use them yourself to target the specific skills each child needs to learn.  

Flash cards show the student's name, date tested, and the specific skill.

It is also a great idea to send home an updated set of flashcards at each conference and again for each vacation break, especially summer break.
Parent letters can be customized to show more or less of the assessments.
The letters can be printed in English or Spanish.

Parent letters give a quick visual resource so parents can quickly see
which skills their child needs to practice and which ones have been mastered.

So, How Do You Get These FUN Assessments?

Hop on over to:

You can register for the 60 day FREE trial which will give you a chance to try it out with this year's students.

Or you can register and take advantage of my discount code.  
Just use the code   B2174 when prompted 
as you register and you will receive a $40 discount.
That's $40 off of the regular $199, so you get an entire year for $159.

Then, look for my tests in the Test Explorer tab.
All of my KFUNdamental TK assessments begin with "T-KFUN" in the title
and they all have "Palma Lindsay" as the author.

Here is an example of the titles of just a few of my TK assessments:
Reading Foundational Skills:
T-KFUN.RF.1a-b: (Print Concepts)
T-KFUN.RF.3a-b: (Letter Sounds)

I know that these assessments will give you the information to track your students' progress in a FUN and relaxed way.  I have used ESGI for years along with many teachers at my school and in my school district.  I have saved sooooooo much time and have gotten so much valuable information too.   I'm so happy to be able to use ESGI and my new tests with my T.K. students.  I know you'll be happy too.  

See you all tomorrow!
Palma :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

I Went To Home Depot For 1 Thing And Came Home With...

... Paint Chips!

(You can read about the REAL reason I went to Home Depot at the end of this post.)

You know, those little cards with paint colors on them.  I had see them used for all kinds of word building, but I decided to try making SUBTRACTION CARDS!
They come in so many cool colors too.

Yes, Subtraction Cards: 

I started by folding the cards and adding stickers.  My first set was all about the number 5:
Use these without the numerals and symbols for T.K.

They are perfect for developing fluency when 
adding and subtracting to and from 5.  

Next, I printed up subtraction equations from 5.
You know:  
5 - 0 = 5
5 - 1 = 4
5 - 2 = 3
5 - 3 = 2
5 - 4 = 1
5 - 5 = 0

(I used Comic Sans in a 36.)

I cut them out and glued them to the paint chips under the stickers.

This Is How They Work:

The student looks at the first 2 panels and reads the beginning of the number sentence 5 - 1:  
The last 2 panels are folded under the card.

Then, the student opens up the panels that are folded below and...

...folds them down to cover the 2nd panel:

The 1st panel is still showing.  The "= 4" is on the last panel.

Last, they read the number sentence and see that they have only 4 eggs left.

Continue With The Next Equation:

 It's OK if the 3rd panel is showing
and only the 4th panel is folded
beneath the other panels.
The student reads, "5 minus 2..."
"... equals 3."

Here is 5 minus 3:

The student says, "5 minus 3..."

"... equals 2."

Here is 5 - 4:

"5 minus 4..."

"... equals 1."

Students can also compare the green and yellow cards to see how 5 - 2 = 3 compares to 5 - 3 = 2.
Or they can compare the blue and orange cards to see how 5 - 1 = 4 compares to 5 - 4 = 1.

You can use stickers, draw shapes, or use sticky-back rhinestones.  Wouldn't rhinestones be cute?

Here Is 5 - 5:

"5 minus 5..."

"... equals 0."

And Here Is The Set Of "Subtraction From 5" Cards:

I think they are super colorful and just the right size to fit into my little ones' hands.

And here they are all folded up with just the 1st and last panels showing so you can see the equations:

I'm loving these soooo much.  I'll have to make another trip to Home Depot for some more so I can make the subtraction sets.from 4 to 1.

So, Would You Like To Know Why I Went To Home Depot?

(You are going to like this tip.)
I needed to line my cupboard, but I don't like the way contact paper can tear over time and I don't like those mats that keep glasses from sliding around.  I need the glasses to slide back as I fill the cupboard, sooooooo I use
Peel-and-stick linoleum floor tiles
These are 39 cents each at Home Depot.

Yep, you heard right.  Those peel-and-stick "no wax" linoleum floor tiles can be cut with scissors to fit any drawer or cupboard and they wash up easily.  
I love how my glasses just slide to the back
as I push them back with additional glasses.

Think about how great these would be under your sink or in the pantry where oil can drip down the side of the oil bottle or even worse, ANTS!  You can clean up any mess because the surface is smooth, durable, and always shiny.  
2 shelved done in no time.

You can match the tiles to your cabinets, but these are so high
that no one will see into them.
This cabinet is above a raised dishwasher.
I had to stand on a chair to take this photo.

This tip was given to me about 20 years ago by my sweet Aunt Josephine who I miss every day.  

See you all tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Amazingly Cute Healthy Snacks Throughout The Year And A FREEBIE

Celebrating In The Classroom...

... is always a challenge for me because I like to provide healthy treats for my students.  

Here are a few really cute treats I found on Pinterest.


A great one to start the year with.  Goes great with Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom!



Cheesy brooms

Clementine pumpkins




An AB pattern creates this cute candy cane!
Click the image to see the entire post.


Happy faces celebrating a new year!


So simple and they LOVED it!


Rainbow Treats


You can put tiny umbrella in the cups for April Showers.

May Flowers


Graduation Celebration Treat

I hope you enjoyed these Pinterest finds.  You can find all of my cute "Pins" in my Pinterest boards by clicking HERE.

And here are a packets to go with our treats:

Apple Treats & Cornucopias go great with our Month-to-Month Writing Pack.  You get lots of writing prompts that integrate science & social studies with CCSS writing:
Click the image to see the pack.

Valentine Treats go with our Descriptive Writing pack.  You get a Valentine description mini book where the kids can describe their Valentine hearts:
Click the image to see the pack.

Rainbow treats go with our Color Pack.  You get a page for each color:
Click the image to see the pack.

Our Flowers go great with our Flower Pots For Planting: 
Click the image to see the pack.

A Freebie:

This goes great with our rainbow treats or anytime of year:
Click the image for the FREE download.

See you all tomorrow!
Palma :)