### 100th Day of School Activities

It amazed me this week when my class celebrated our 100th day of school. Every year after the holidays, my mom always says "now the rest of the school year is going to fly by". She's right. I feel like we just had our winter break but instead, I'm looking for 100th day activities and searching for Valentine's Day activities.

For our 100th day celebration, I asked the students bring in 100 items from home. I asked the students to group the items by 10s and mount the items on a poster board. Some of the items the students brought in were 100 pennies, 100 balloons, 100 buttons, and 100 green items. I allowed each student to briefly share their poster to the class. During math, I had the students count the items on each poster. We rotated around the classroom allowing each student to count each classmates items. I heard students counting by 1s, 5s, and 10s. I had the students rotate with a partner. I saw many groups working together and helping each other count. The students loved counting their friends items. After the students had a chance with each poster, I laid all the posters on the floor and we counted by 100s to discover we had 1000 items. My class thought it was "very cool" that we had 1000 items in our classroom. I like to show them how much 1000 looks like.

At computer, the students created 100 items using Kidspix. Our computer lab teacher had a template for the students to use. The template had 10 boxes required the students to fill each box with 10 imagines from Kidspix. Here are some examples:

Math has always been fun for me to teach. I love finding songs that teach counting, shapes, and colors. I was observing another kindergarten class last year and saw dominos being used to teach addition. I had one of those moments when I wished I was in my class that exact moment using that idea. I couldn't wait to get back to my students to try it out.

This year kindergarten teachers in my school district are teaching addition earlier than we normally do. I was hesitate to start addition because it's only December but I gave it a try. Most of my students are comfortable with writing numbers and counting so it was easy to progress into addition.

I started with a group lesson and drew a picture of a domino on the board. I made sure to draw the separating line down the middle to show there were two different sides to the domino. I drew in different amounts of dots for the students to have many examples of how to use the dominos. I also had the students using their fingers to make the addition (+) and equal (=) sign. The students picked up very quickly.

I ended up pairing up students and giving them white boards to write their addition problem. I decided  to use the Kleen Slate white boards because the students always love writing with markers and we are also saving trees by not using paper. I think of this time as practice writing addition problems and why waste paper when white boards can be used. I like paring my students up because they can learn from each other. I love seeing one student correct another student. When the students start becoming the teachers, that's when I know they understand the skill.

### Pumpkin Time!

During our field trip to the pumpkin patch, I did have enough time to choose a pumpkin for our class. I  didn't want to purchase a huge pumpkin because it was a walking field trip. I didn't want to carry a huge pumpkin back! I had help from my students and we choose a pumpkin that was just right. The pumpkin sat on our table for a few days. Each day the students would ask what we were going to do with the pumpkin.

Finally the day came when it was time for us to explore the inside of our pumpkin. The students sat on the floor as I passed the pumpkin around so the students could feel how smooth the pumpkin was and how heavy it was. There were many giggles as the students passed the pumpkin around. Many students could not believe how heavy it was. As the pumpkin was being passed around, we talked about how pumpkins grew. I was surprised at how many students knew many interesting facts about pumpkins.

After the pumpkin was passed around, it was time to open it up. I had a hard time cutting the pumpkin open because I do not have a lot of experience carving a pumpkin. The kids didn't mind though as I took my time being careful not to cut myself. When the top finally opened, I started taking out the seeds. I had many volunteers offering help to take out the seeds. I was surprised to see how many students wanted to stick their hands inside the gooey pumpkin. I allowed every student who wanted to help a chance to take seeds out.

When all the seeds were taken out, I laid them on a paper towel to dry them out before we counted them. Being extremely careful, I carved two eyes, a nose, and a mouth onto our pumpkin. The students were very excited throughout the process. When we were finished, I picked quiet tables to sit the pumpkin at. I never had such a quiet room! As soon as every table had a chance with the pumpkin, it was time to count the seeds. There were 557 seeds inside the pumpkin. We made small piles of one hundred seeds to make counting easier. I took the pumpkin seeds home to roast. During our fall celebration, I had the students tasting the seed. I had a few try them and like them. The rest wouldn't touch them!

### Graphing

I have been having a lot of fun with math this week. We have been focusing on graphing. In the past I have always done a question of the week. This year, I decided to do a question of the day. Last year, I found a website that contains a list of graphing questions. I took the yes and no questions and printed them out, glued them on construction paper, and then laminated it.

I use a felt board for my question of the day. I use wallet size picture of my students for the graphing part. With the election this year, I like to call the question of the day "Voting". After each student voted, we have a discussion on the new graph. We discuss which has the most, least, and if there were any ties. I noticed some students have a problem with the least term. They sometimes forget to include answers with no votes.

For older students, Scholastic also has a site for students to vote for president. As the election becomes closer, I plan on talking about voting for president and try to relate it to our own voting process.

I tried a new graphing activity today. I printed out a blank graph and added numbers going vertical and horizontal. I handed out nine vertical graphs and nine horizontal graphs. I gave each student a handful of manipulatives I purchased at the dollar store. The students were required to sort the manipulatives and then graph them. As they finished, they told their neighbor which color was the most, least, and if any tied. I had the students rotate around their table.

Next week, I plan on creating our own picture graphs and bar graphs. I'll let you know how it goes!

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