Shape Puzzles Freebie (NINE Flat Shapes Included!)

11 Shape Puzzles FREE from HeidiSongs!

Today I am really excited to share a 24 page set of FREE printable shape puzzles that you can make for kids to use both at home and at school!  These puzzles are great to help kids practice shape recognition and visual discrimination skills such as shape matching and learning to see the difference between one shape and another.

Circle Puzzle Freebie from HeidiSongs

My daughter Kimmie, (who is now finishing up her teaching credential), made these Shape Puzzles for me last summer to help me prepare for a new session that I gave at I Teach K! in Las Vegas.  I intended to share these with you then, but time got away from me each time I tried to wrap them up and post them for you!  But I finally got it done this week.  Yay!

Check out our Colors & Shapes DVD above!

These shape puzzles are also great practice in learning to see the difference between sizes, since each shape puzzle has many different sizes of the same shape on each puzzle mat.  In fact, some children may find that these puzzles are just a little bit tricky to complete correctly, since the sizes of the shapes vary so slightly!  I think that they will be very good practice for most kids!

Shape Puzzles Examples- Freebie from HeidiSongs!

The set that I am giving you today includes both color and black and white masters for the following nine “flat” shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, rhombus (diamond), hexagon, trapezoid, and the octagon. Also, one puzzle has all of the shapes together on one sheet, and I created a second version of this with numbers and objects to count for children to match, as in the picture below.

Shape Puzzle with Numbers Freebie from HeidiSongs

To prepare:

Print the pages on cardstock and laminate. I recommend that you put velcro on the puzzles to make this even better!  I think that kids have a lot more fun with this type of thing when they can attach the shapes with velcro and make them stick- rather than simply placing them down and then picking them back up again.

Check out the video below for a great way for active kids to learn the numbers and shapes!

Suggested Variations:

You may wish to write letters or words on both the puzzle pieces and the shapes on the puzzle bases and have kids match them. Just write whatever you want on them with a marker after you print out the puzzles!

  • capitals and lowercase letters.
  • sight words written starting with a capital, matched to the same word starting with a lowercase letter.
  • CVC words and matching pictures. (We have a lot of these in our CVC books!)
  • Sums or differences matched to addition or subtraction equations, etc.

Click here to download the Shapes Puzzles Freebie!

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How to Teach Decomposing Numbers 0-10- (and a Freebie!)

How to Teach Decomposing Numbers 0-10-

Today I am going to show you how to decomposing numbers in a step by step lesson that really worked for me! PLUS there’s a great little Jack-o-lantern teeth freebie to help you teach it, too!  For this lesson, the children and I practiced decomposing the number four by putting teeth on Jack-o-lanterns!  We just put some on the top of the mouth, and some on the bottom and then counted them.

It was great fun, and I think that the kids really GOT it!  Obviously, you could do this with ANYTHING that has teeth- or anything that can easily be divided into two parts! So read on if you need to teach this skill!  I have links to quite a few different freebies that I posted a while back that will also work to teach this skill.  So look all they way at the bottom of the post for those!

Decomposing Numbers with Jack-o-lanterns Freebie from HeidiSongs

Just in case you haven’t heard the term “decomposing number” before, that’s edu-speak that means “breaking down the number into it’s parts,” or “find all of the ways to make a given number.”  For example, kids these days are supposed to know that four is the same as:

  • Four and zero
  • Three and one
  • Two and two
  • One and three
  • Zero and four

So, there are five different combinations to make four.  This is “pre-addition, and is supposed to lead to a deeper understanding of number sense in general.  And YES- it’s in the Common Core in the “Operations and Algebraic Thinking” section for Kindergarten on up.

Pumpkin Numbers Table logo

Can children as young as five years old learn this?  YES!

MANY years ago, I worked with a dear Kindergarten teacher named Mrs. Kinne, (God rest her soul!), whose specialty was MATH.  She insisted that kids needed to know this… and guess what?  They ALL learned it!  But that was about twenty years ago.  And we didn’t call it decomposing numbers.  We called it “Ways to Make ____.”  LOL!  (It was a little low tech, but it worked!)

When older children decompose numbers, they break larger numbers down into thousands, hundreds, tens, and ones.  For example, children learn that 2,579 is the same as two thousands, five hundreds, seven tens, and nine ones.  So what we are doing is the Kindergarten version of THAT!

The Math Machine

Math Machine on Table1

I decided to create a “Math Machine” to help us figure out how many teeth should go where.  My little Math Machine is just a piece of dollar store jump rope with some small sections of TP rolls on the rope to slide and count. I put a couple of pool noodle pieces tied at the ends to secure the TP roll “rings” so that they wouldn’t fall off.  This might work quite well on a dowel or piece of bamboo, as well, if you wanted it to remain stable or prop it up in front of the group of kids.

Math Machine Composite

The Math Machine for Decomposing Numbers is made of a piece of jump rope, some rings cut from a toilet paper tube, and some slices of pool noodles tied on the ends!

 

How to Teach Decomposing Number as a Guided Math Lesson:

  • Show the children the Math Machine and have them count the rings (mine were cut from toilet paper rolls.)

IMG_4446

  • Push all four rings down to one end of the rope.
Four and Zero

The rings on my math machine now show four plus zero equals four.

  • Point out to the kids that when all of the rings are on one side, that means you have four rings on the left and zero on the right:  Four and zero  (or four plus zero = four.)
  • Invite a child to push one ring to the right side of the rope.
Three and One

The rings on the math machine now show that three plus one equal four.

  • Ask:  Are there still four?  (You may be surprised that some may not know!)
  • Point out:  Three and one makes four.  (Or, three plus one = four.)  This is another way to make four.  The first time we made four with four and zero, now we are making four with three and one.
  • Invite a child to push another ring to the right side of the rope.
Two and Two

Now the rings on the math machine show that two plus two equals four.

  • Ask again:  Are there still four?  Can you count them?  How did I make four now?
  • Invite a child to push another ring to the right side of the rope.
One and Three

Now the rings show that one plus three equals four.

  • Ask:  Are there still four?  If so, how did I make four now?  Are there always four, no matter where I put them?
  • Invite a child to push the last ring to the right side of the rope.
Zero and Four

Finally, the rings placed this way mean that zero plus four equals four.

  •  Discuss how many there are and what the rings mean now, etc.

After you introduce decomposing number to the group, then pass out your Jack-o-Lanterns and teeth (or whatever you are using to count with!)

(You may need to do this on a different day if your students’ attention spans are “shot!”)

Rectangle Jack with pattern block teeth

I used pattern blocks for teeth, but candy corn would work well for larger numbers, too!

Do this several times with different combinations of four (or whatever number you are making.)

Silly Jack with block teeth

The last step is to help them transfer what they know with manipulatives to the symbolic level on paper by having them draw the teeth!

Transfer knowledge to symbolic level

I think it is easiest to start doing this with a dry erase marker first, because mistakes are very easily corrected.

Jack with teeth drawn on Once the children get used to decomposing numbers with a dry erase marker, it should be more fun for them to do their own worksheets that they can keep and color.

How to Teach Decomposing Numbers Freebie

Many young children will not be ready to begin writing equations.  If so, they can just tell the teacher or a partner the number combinations that make four.  Remember, children don’t have to write concepts down to understand them!  Many young children have much, much more going on in their brains than they are able to express with a pencil!

 

8 Different Jack-o-Lantern Faces are Provided, just for fun!

8 different Jack-o-Lantern faces are provided in the freebie, just for fun!

You can download this fun freebie here!  I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any ideas on how to teach this concept in a better way (or even just a different way, I would love to know your thoughts!

As you move forward with addition, you may want to teach this Addition Song below.  My kids loved it!

And by the way, if you like this, you may also like these great freebies as well:

The large shark and one of the addition worksheets is free!  It could be used for decomposing numbers, too!  There are more shark teeth addition worksheets for sale here.

The large shark and one of the addition worksheets is free here!! It could be used for decomposing numbers, too! There are more shark teeth addition worksheets for sale here.  The full set is $4.00.

 

This is a big freebie packet that has seven or eight "heads," with and without teeth!  So it could be used for decomposing numbers, too!

This is a big freebie packet that has seven or eight “heads,” with and without teeth! So it could be used for decomposing numbers, too!

 

Monster Teeth Subtraction from HeidiSongs 2

These came out of our Counting Creatures Subtraction book! Aren’t they cute? Each monster has a certain number of teeth, so the children would have to color in a few, and then form an equation from there. Example: In the top left monster’s mouth, there were ten teeth, but two are blacked out. So it would be 8 + 2 = 10.

Insect Addition Freebie Composite

Here is another freebie that would work well for decomposing numbers!  We have a full set of Butterfly Addition Worksheets for sale here.  The full set is $4.00.

 

Finger Counting Addition

This one could also be used for making combinations of ten! It is $2 and it’s for sale right here.

 

How to Teach Decomposing Numbers 0-10 FB2

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A Super Silly Rhyming Game That WORKS!

Silly Rhyming Game Collage2

Here is fun and simple way to practice rhyming words with kids!  All you need are some flashcards with rhyming words, some magnetic bingo chips, and one magnet per child.  Actually, any other kind of token or counter to be used as a reward would probably also work just fine.

A Silly Rhyming Game that WORKS!

I played this game with my friend Mrs. Rodriguez’ class when I went in to volunteer a few weeks ago!  I asked her what they needed to work on, and she suggested that rhyming words were the skill that they needed.  So I brought along my trusty Rhyming Bingo and Practice Cards Set, along with the magnetic chips and wands that I always use with it.

Magnetic Wand with chips logo

However, when I got there, she said that most of the children probably couldn’t really play it yet, because they just didn’t know enough about rhyme to really do it.  So I improvised!  Actually, some of my best (and craziest!) ideas are born of a need to improvise.  Does that ever happen to you?

I decided that I would just practice having them give me rhyming words, (nonsense or real) using the Practice Cards that I had with me that go with the Rhyming Bingo set.  But after the first child gave me a correct answer, she sweetly looked up at me and smiled, waiting for some kind of reward.  So I decided to give her a magnetic bingo chip.  She was delighted!  She said, “What’s that for?”  I said, “It’s just a chip!  You get to keep it until you’re done!  Let’s see how many you get!”  (Watch the video below to see how the lesson went!)

 

The little sweetie giggled and smiled and was clearly excited, so I went on to the next card.  Each time I pulled out a card and asked for a rhyme, I gave a chip to whomever told me a rhyming word, either real or nonsense. They were thrilled each time!  They were happily counting away, and I kept the game as fast paced as I could.  When they gave me a word that didn’t quite rhyme, we talked about why it didn’t rhyme and kept thinking until we found one, and THEN I gave them a chip!

Bun Rhymes with Sun!

Some of the children had no idea what to say, and no rhymes to offer at all.  So I whispered to one child, “If you don’t know what to say, just listen to what the other kids are saying and repeat it.  Just say what THEY’RE saying!”  He looked at me incredulously.  “Just say what they said?  They same words?”  I nodded.  Still, the child said nothing.  So again, I prompted him:  “Joey said ‘dog/frog.’  Can you say dog/frog?”  The little boy whispered, “Dog/frog.”  I nearly jumped out of my seat, clapping, “YEAH, you DID IT!!!!!” and gave him a couple of chips!

For rhyming practice, reveal the top picture first.  Wait for the children to give lots of different rhyming words, then show the picture at the bottom as one possible answer.

For rhyming practice, reveal the top picture first. Wait for the children to give lots of different rhyming words, then show the picture at the bottom as one possible answer.

The little cutie pie looked STUNNED that he had earned a chip!  I could see the thoughts passing over his face.  Could he have really gotten an answer CORRECT?  Could it really BE TRUE that this funny lady thought it was okay for him to just copy the others and say what they were saying?  He then started mimicking the other children, simply repeating what they had already said.  I rewarded him each time, praising him lavishly for his efforts!

Magnet Wands & Chips in a Bag

This happened over and over again in the other groups.  And so this begs the question:  do YOU think that it is better for the child to repeat the rhymes that he hears, or to sit silently and just listen?  I THINK HE IS GETTING MORE OUT OF REPEATING THE RHYMES THAT HE HEARS!  And that is why I rewarded him- because otherwise, he and a few other children like him were simply sitting there passively, watching and listening to the other children play.  I now had another teaching modality engaged- (speaking,) rather than just two (listening and looking.)

For a child that is an “emergent rhymer” and (I think) an English Language learner as well, I’m satisfied with that!  If you have ever used Michael Heggerty’s Phonemic Awareness program, he always starts with just having children repeat the rhyming words aloud after their teacher.  And in this case, the other children were the teachers!  I like that!

Erase a Rhyming Letter Freebie from HeidiSongs

Here is another GREAT game to play with the kids for rhyming! Read them the rhyme, and have them draw or write the letter that rhymes (and also fits with the beginning sound clues!)  Click here to visit the post with the free download.

And the children were thrilled to play with the magnetic chips and wands!  I let the children that seemed to be “trying the hardest” choose the color of wand that they wanted to use first.  But even the children that didn’t get their first choice of wand color were super happy playing with the wands and chips, even though it was only for a minute or two!  Then they all handed the chips and wands back to me and went on to their next center.

Teaching Children to Master Rhyme

If you are having trouble getting your students to master rhyming words, this post is FILLED with lots of ideas that really WORKED for my students!

One of the students in the classroom appears to be a mainstreamed special needs child, and he loved the game so much that he came back to my table to play it TWICE!  And he was quite successful at it, too!  Now that says quite a bit, doesn’t it?  I am very proud that he “endorsed” my Super Silly Rhyming Game That Works!

Silly Rhyming Game Collage FB2

 

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MORE Morning Routines that Really Work for Pre-K and Kindergarten

More Morning Routines that Really WORK!

Classroom management is the key to teaching well.  You will never be able to teach a class that you cannot manage!  And establishing consistent routines that your students can count on is the very best way that I know of to teach well.

Routines provide a basic structure for the day, and once they are established, both children and teachers tend to feel less stress because everyone knows what is coming next!  I always felt that having consistent routines established made making lesson plans really EASY, too.  I knew which activities would be likely to “fit” into which time slots during my day, and how to transition from one activity to another.  Once I had planned and prepped my lessons and activities, the rest was easy.  All I had to do was set them up after school and I could go home and (hopefully!) relax, knowing that the next day would go well.

I wrote a post in 2012 called “Morning Routines That Really Work for Pre-K and Kindergarten,” which consistently gets many views.  I think the reason why is because in this post, I thoroughly describe my classroom management routines for the morning.  However, I recently came upon some video footage I took of my class that actually SHOWS you how I did some of these things with a real class!  So I asked our video editor Connor Smith to add some captions for us and post them on YouTube so that these morning routines would be further clarified.

If you remember that post, you’ll know that I mentioned a few of these routines before.  But it’s been two years since I posted it, so maybe another mention isn’t a bad thing!

 

You may be interested to know that Connor Smith, our video editor, is ALSO the young man in our Hexagon video on YouTube above!  Our HeidiSongs staff is multi-talented!  He and his pal Desmond  Clark also wrote several of our new Nursery Rhymes songs as well!  Connor also sings on our CD’s as well.  AND he is the male voice of the “caller” or the “teacher’s voice” that you will hear on so many of our CD’s and DVD’s now, too, most notably in the Sound Blending Songs.

 

The video clip below was taken on the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL a couple of years ago, and it was “Pirate Day!”  You can read about that here.   However, the children were still doing great, and the class settled right into their regular routine.

Some Basic Routines:

1.  Right Hand, Left Hand Song

As the video begins, I was getting ready to have the children do the flag salute after taking roll.  We always do with our “Right Hand, Left Hand” song from the Classroom Management CD/DVD before we salute the flag.  (But at the time the video was filmed, it was just a poem or chant that we said each morning.  We added the melody later.)

2.  Flag Salute

We do the flag salute immediately after the Right Hand, Left Hand song.  I have my helper of the day hold the flag.  I never used to have the helper hold the flag, but after our school went through modernization, the right size mount was never located to put our flag up on the wall.  So now a child gets to hold the flag!  Actually, the children quite like it, so it all worked out!  When life gives you lemons…  :)

3.  Red, White, and Blue Marching Song!

Once we finish our flag salute, we start right in singing our “Red, White, and Blue” song that is also on the Classroom Management CD/DVD.  Okay, pretty much ALL of these songs are from this CD!  But I suggest that once you have them memorized, it may be easier to just sing them yourself, without any CD or DVD.  That’s the most efficient way, unless you make a playlist and have them all ready to go on an mp3 player.  I like this song because it reminds the children that our American Flag has the colors red, white, and blue on it, and that they make an ABC pattern.

 

4.  1, 2, 3, Sit!

I have a signal to have my students sit that I have always used.  Any signal will work, but the one I adopted years ago is this:  I count to three out loud, showing my fingers as I go, and the children all sit (some jump and sit!) when I get to three.  I love it because I can even do it silently, and just mouth, “One, two, three!” while showing my fingers, and the whole class will sit- even at assemblies, or outside- ANYWHERE!  It really helps.

1, 2, 3, Sit Down

5.  Criss Cross, Applesauce!

Once everyone is seated, I immediately start chanting my “Criss Cross, Applesauce” chant that I made up one day “on the fly” as I was teaching!”  It helps remind the children of how I would like them to sit.

 

Here are the motions for the Criss Cross Applesauce chant, which is on the Classroom Management CD/DVD, and on iTunes.

Here are the motions for the Criss Cross Applesauce chant, which is on the Classroom Management CD/DVD, and on iTunes.

6.  Calendar Routines

Each teacher probably falls into their own individual calendar routines!  I used to always start with having the children sing the Days of the Week song and eventually the Months of the Year song, too!  (yup, we have one of each on that same Classroom Management CD/DVD!)  I never sang them BOTH every day due to lack of time, of course.  Also, it’s just not necessary to sing both of them every single day!  But after that, we updated our calendar and all of the things that go with it each day.

7.  Routines for Giving Directions

One thing that I try to ALWAYS do is keep my students both physically and verbally engaged while I am giving directions or give a lesson, at least as much as possible.  That means that I had them singing or chanting along with me and doing the movements along with me as I gave directions, but with the children still seated.

The best thing about this is that if I am encouraging the children to sing and move along with me while I give directions, (even though they are still seated,) then it’s less likely that they are going to be talking to or touching each other during that time.  Plus, they should stay focused on the directions MORE than any other distractions in the room during that time as well.  (Okay, at least in theory, anyway!)

So this is what I do:

  • While I am demonstrating how I cut something out, we sing the “Cut Song” and have the kids join in with the movements and sing along.  (See video.)
The Cutting Song from HeidiSongs.com

Here are the motions for the Cutting Song, which is on the Classroom Management CD/DVD, and on iTunes.

 

  • While I am gluing something, we will sing the Glue Song.
The Glue Song by HeidiSongs.com

Here are the motions for the Glue Song, which is on the Classroom Management CD/DVD, and on iTunes.

 

  • If I am still working on something while they are watching, I’ll have the children sing the color song related to what I am holding.  Example:  if I’m using a piece of black paper, we’ll sing the Black color word song.  (See video above.)  Here is an example of our Green Color Word song below.

There are many more routines that I use, but that is all I am going to cover today!  All of the words and motions for the entire set of Classroom Management songs are free to download right here (or of course you could get it on DVD and just watch me DO them, LOL!).

 

More Morning Routines

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New! Finger Counting Addition- and a SALE!

Finger Counting Addition

Hello everyone!  Today I would like to share with you a fun activity that I just posted on our website!  It’s called Finger Counting Addition, and it is just $2.00!  We are also having our last Back to School sale this weekend!

This is your LAST CHANCE to get 15% off on ANY purchase from our website, from today, Sept. 20th, until next week on Thursday, Sept. 25th, 2014 at midnight!  Use the code APPLES.  Make sure that you enter the code all in capital letters!  (Case matters.)

Journeys 2014 3 Disk Set

Our Sing and Spell the Sight Words from Kindergarten Journeys, 2014 is FINISHED! Get it here.

By the way, we finally finished up our version of Sing and Spell the Sight Words for Kindergarten JOURNEYS 2014- all 91 words in it!  It had to be placed on THREE different DVD disks, though, because there were too many songs to fit on just two DVD’s.  You can find it here.

I originally came up with this idea when I saw a picture on Pinterest that someone had posted of some hands that were traced, cut out, and glued to a piece of construction paper.   It also looked like the fingers had been folded up and down, and there were addition problems below it.

That inspired me to come up with something a bit simpler for even younger children, putting a set of hands above each and every addition problem!

FingerPrint Addition to 4 Example

I also decided to include one sheet with a pair of “life sized” hands so that the teacher could work on this with the children in a guided lesson before releasing them to do the worksheet on their own as independent practice.

Hands Paper Example Small with logo

 

In this case, the children would practice by putting the sheet into a page protector or dry erase sleeve, and then using dry erase or water soluble markers to make equations.  The children can spin a spinner or roll a die to generate the numbers, of course!

Finger Picture from Heidi with equation

 

There are lots of ways to use this idea!  Here’s another one:  Cut out the hands, but only glue down the palms, leaving the fingers free.  Let children fold the fingers up and down as they count them.  Naturally, you could do this just as well by tracing the children’s REAL hands!

Fingers all folded up

One problem we had, though, was that the fingers that are folded down don’t really STAY down until the crease is really “in” and they’ve been used a lot.  I think that a better use for this is to have the children make one addition problem with the correct amount of fingers pointed up/folded down, GLUE them, and then display them on the wall.

This is a sample of what one of the FingerPrint Addition worksheets look like.  This one includes sums up to seven.  The worksheets go all the way up to ten.

This is a sample of what one of the FingerPrint Addition worksheets look like. This one includes sums up to seven. The worksheets go all the way up to sums of ten.

 

This activity helps bridge the gap between the natural inclination of young children to count on their fingers when learning to add and the pictorial representation of doing so on a worksheet!

Finger Counting Addition from HeidiSongs!

The $2 packet contains instructions, the masters for the hands in the picture, and seven worksheets to help kids practice addition facts with sums that total no more than four and progress in difficulty up to sums that total no more than ten.  I hope it is useful for you and enjoyable for your kids!

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