HeidiSongs NEW *Fully Animated* ALPHABET DVD is HERE!!! (15% off EVERYTHING SALE!)

New Letters & Sounds Animated DVD from HeidiSongs!

Great news!!!  We are SUPER excited to announce that the newest addition to our collection of animated HeidiSongs DVD’s has arrived: our Letters and Sounds Animated DVD!  It’s a brand new version of our best selling Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds DVD, with the same great songs that kids LOVE and LEARN so well from, but this time with fresh new actors and animated children’s artwork to help hold your kids’ attention!

To celebrate it’s release, we are having a SALE! From NOW through March 31st, you can get 15% off your entire purchase when you order from HeidiSongs! Use the code SPRING2015 (all capitals, no spaces!) :-)

 

Write Letters with DVD Pin

One of the BEST things about both of these DVD’s is that they show the children how to write the letters correctly.  In fact, the first grade teachers at my former school used to refer to our Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds DVD as the “handwriting DVD,” because they would put it on while the children practiced writing the letters over and over again.  That way, they could just walk around the room and double check how the children were writing the letters as they tried to mimic the letter formation that they saw on the DVD.

 

A-Song

 

For those of you that are already familiar with our extremely popular Colors and Shapes DVD, you will find that the format of our new Letters and Sounds Animated DVD is the same.  We even have most of the same actors in it as well- a nice, multicultural mix of girls and guys to demonstrate the motions.

 

E-Song

 

I think that it is SO important for the children to see both women AND men leading them in music and movement activities, and it is also important for children to see people featured on screen that are NOT all anglo as well.

 

C-Song

 

When I brought this new DVD into a friend’s kindergarten classroom and put one of the songs on her interactive white board, one of the boys in the class raised his hand and said, “Is that a BOY???”  His eyes were wide open and he looked like he was about to POP!  I replied, “Yes, that’s a boy!”  And he just grinned and grinned from ear to ear!

 

B-Song

 

Hearing his comment just made me sooooo happy!  I think that we may find more little boys that are a bit more willing to stand up to sing and move if they are following along with some confident, friendly looking MEN rather than all women, for once!  LOL!

 

D-Song

I hope that you enjoy this DVD as much as I do!

 

Again, don’t forget to get your 15% off, valid now through March 31st!! Use the code SPRING2015 (all capitals, no spaces!)

 

Here are a few clips of a couple songs from this DVD, just to give you an idea!! :-)


 


 


 

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Easter Egg Number Matching Math Center

Easter Egg Number Matching Math Center for Pre-K, Kindergarten, or First Graders!

 

Here is a really fun math center that you can make with just some plastic eggs and a permanent marker to help kids practice matching sets, numbers, and number words. I call this activity Easter Egg Number Matching.  The thing that makes this one kind of fun is that it makes use of some semi-transparent plastic eggs, plus some regular plastic eggs, too.  Read on for more!

 


 

Preparation:

1.  Go shopping!  Find some transparent or semi-transparent plastic eggs or some kind of spring objects that will fit regular plastic eggs inside.  I found mine at the 99 Cents Only store!  They had chicks, bunnies, carrots, and eggs in various colors.  Here is the same thing that I also found on Amazon, but they are NOT one dollar!  LOL!


 

I also used some plastic eggs with a polka dot base that I also found at the dollar store… and here is an Amazon link.  Again, Amazon does NOT sell them for a dollar!

2.  You’ll also need to get some regular eggs plastic eggs as well.


3.  Grab a permanent marker and start drawing!

  • Draw dots in an array on the top of the transparent egg.
  • Draw the number word on the bottom of the transparent egg.
  • Draw the numeral on the regular plastic egg that goes on the inside.  (Note: If you want this activity to be self-checking, make sure that all of the colors match.  So, a blue regular egg would go inside a blue transparent egg, etc.)


 

4.  You may wish to have the children put counters inside of each egg as well, just to take it a little bit farther.  However, there is no way to easily check and see if the children did this right or not.

 


 

To Use:

Have the children take the eggs apart and mix them up.  All they have to do is try to match the sets of dots, the numerals, and the number words on the eggs.  If you made your set so that they colors also match, you may or may not wish to point this out to the kids… just wait and see if they figure it out!


I always try to introduce an independent center to my kids first in a small group so that I can watch them use it and explain how it goes.  That’s what usually works best!  I introduced this activity to my daughter’s TK (Transitional Kindergarten) class a few weeks ago in a small group when I volunteered in her room, (which I LOVE!!!)


Oh my word, those children just went “ga-ga” over this manipulative!  The biggest problem was that not many of her little ones did not yet know the number words, so they had to rely on the “puzzle aspect” of the shapes and colors to see which eggs should go together.


They also would have been happier if I had had two complete sets, because one set was not enough for the five children, (even with me directing the activity,) of course.  Many of them chose to do it again during their playtime.


When children chose a learning activity for their playtime, that’s when I KNOW I hit the jackpot!  LOL!

I think that this sort of activity could be adapted to be used with sight words or CVC words and pictures, or for addition equations and sums, etc.  Please share if you have any other ideas!  What fun!

Another tool I have to recommend for teaching math is, of course, our Jumpin’ Numbers Volumes 1 & 2!  Here’s a clip from Jumpin’ Numbers Vol. 1 – The Seven Song!

 


 

 

We have both volumes available on DVD & CD, as well as Jumpin’ Numbers Flashcards & a poster!! We also have the CD’s available in Spanish! Click HERE to go directly to these products on the the website!

 

Jumpin' Numbers!

 

For some more great Spring & Easter Egg activity ideas, check out these blog posts below!

 

Sight Word Eggs Match Up Freebie!

Sight Word Eggs

 

CVC Eggs!

CVC Eggs

 

 Egg Blog!

Egg Blog

 

 

 

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Connect, Share, and Communicate with Parents Easily on SimplyCircle!

SimplyCircle FB

 

Have you ever wondered how many notes and emails we as teachers send to parents? Let’s do a little math. Assuming we send 2 updates per week, so for a class of 20 kids, it’s 40 emails per week or 1600 emails in one school year by one teacher!

Keep in mind this does not include all the other modes of communication such as printouts, homework sheets, and newsletters.

If all of this can be somehow streamlined, that would be “the teacher-parent communication nirvana”.  And if it were FREE?  Well, sign me up!  Plus, you can even get a free ten dollar Starbucks Gift Card just for trying the service!  Read on for more details below.

Recently I came across a website called SimplyCircle.com that just does this. It makes teacher-parent communication simple and fun. It is a private network for teachers and parents to connect, share information, events, documents and a lot more. And YES- it’s FREE.

 Here are few things I reviewed and loved:

Privacy – This was top of my list. On SimplyCircle.com, every class is a closed and private circle; only teachers and parents of a class can access their it. Even other classes within same school cannot view or access each others’ circles.

Sign-up sheets – With SimplyCircle.com you can finally say goodbye to cumbersome paper sign-up sheets. I used to post sign up sheets like this on my classroom door.  I think this is an AWESOME FREE alternative, because now, rather than having mostly the parents who pick their children up in person provide most of our supplies, we can have EVERYONE easily participate in the sign up process!

Discipline Notes for Entire Year

Just create an event with sign-up option checked in just one click, then add the items or the volunteer task list in few more clicks. Every parent will see this list with a sign-up button in front of each item, and with one click they can sign up for the item they are planning to bring. Everyone can see what items have been signed up for and what’s left. Check out this screenshot.

 

 

Request volunteers screenshot on SimplyCircle

 

Documents – You no longer need to print out homework, newsletters, lesson plan or other documents- assuming that the parents from your class have internet access and a printer, of course! The best part I liked about this is that once you publish the doc, it stays there, so you won’t ever lose it or spill coffee on it. And you saved paper, ink, and time. I took a screenshot of this too.

 

Document Upload Screenshot on SimplyCircle

 

 

This also means that parents can go back and get extra copies of homework and other documents that they might need without asking the teacher to make a copy for them.   This also means that it would work in reverse:  if you post homework early, then parents that are going on family vacations could get it from the website rather than having to rely on ME to copy it and get it to them.  I LOVE that!  It seems like there are times of the year when parents are constantly taking children out on vacations; I would LOVE to just put the responsibility for printing out all of those assignments right back on them!  What a time saver!

 

Homework for Entire Year

 

I see SimplyCircle.com as a really great thing for split families, too.  If you have ever had a situation where one parent may not be sharing all of the pertinent information with another…. this may actually solve the problem!

 

Calendar – Parents are going to love this – all the events for all of their children go into a single calendar.  (That is, of course, if ALL of your children’s teachers use SimplyCircle.com- then all of the events will be on one single calendar.)

 

Calendar Screenshot from SimplyCircle

 

 

 

Messaging and One-on-One Conversations:

SimplyCircle.com makes it easy super easy for teachers to have private, one-on-one conversations with parents. You don’t have to go look up a parent’s email address, just click their name in SimplyCircle and send a message. All your messages will be archived in case you want to refer back to your communication later.

And now back to my original point of 1600 emails/year. SimplyCircle.com will send a daily or weekly snapshot email that provides all the important updates in just one email.

As a special offer to Heidi Songs readers, you can get a $10 Starbucks gift card just for trying SimplyCircle.  All you need to do is create a free circle for your class, and get at least 10 parents to join the circle by 4/15/15.  Then send an email to [email protected] with the subject line “We love Heidi” and they’ll email you a Starbucks gift card!  That’s it!

So check out SimplyCircle.com, it took me less than 5 minutes to create a circle for a class. Please send me your feedback and comments. I would love to know what you think!

Heidi

 

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Teaching Kids to Count On in Addition- Freebie!

Teaching Kids to Count On- Addition Eggs Freebie

 

Here are several tips on how to teach children to count on to solve addition problems, plus a fun free download to help practice it, called Counting On Addition Eggs!  This freebie has a fun spring egg and chick theme, so that makes it extra fun!  Incorporating plastic eggs into learning centers and other academic activities during the springtime is super motivational for children and a natural fit for any early childhood classroom.  I think you’re going to like this, so check it out!

This is what the download looks like:  I uploaded it on Slideshare so that you could see the whole thing.  (You’ll find the link to download this file at the end of this post.)

 


 

Addition Eggs Counting On Set- Freebie from HeidiSongs!

Preparation:

1. Copy the egg puzzle masters onto colored cardstock paper. Pastel colors work best so that the little yellow chick will show up! There are six pages to print, plus the number lines if you need them. To make it easier for your little ones, you may wish to print each page on different colored paper. The colors will be an extra clue for your students to help them match the two sides.

2. Laminate the pages for durability, and cut out the eggs out as shown.

 

Counting On Addition Eggs Blue

To Use:

Mix up the cards.  Then have the children match the equations with the correct sums.  Consider giving the children some counters to match up to the eggs in the equations as shown in the photos below!  We enjoyed putting them in plastic eggs!

 

Counting On Addition Eggs Freebie From HeidiSongs!

 

Tips for Teaching Children to Count On In Addition

Here are a few different ways that can help children learn to “count on” from a certain number to solve an addition problem.  A few of these ideas came from participants of a discussion of this topic on my HeidiSongs Facebook Page.  Many thanks to this wonderful group of expert teachers for their input!  You can view this discussion here.

Also, if you have a question that you would like me to post for discussion, just let me know in the comments or by messaging me on Facebook.

1. Put the First Number in Your Head:  Show the children how to find one of the egg “tops” with an equation on it. They should put the first numeral in their head and count on from there, touching each chick as they count forward.

2.  Put the Greater Number in Your Head, and the Lesser Number on Your Fingers:  Another way to count on (like on a worksheet, etc., rather than on these egg puzzles) is to find the greater number and put that one in their heads.  Then the children should put the smaller number on their fingers and count forward from there.

3. Use a Number Line:   Number lines are great- just make sure you show the children HOW to use them!  Have kids find the first number on a ruler or a number line, and then “hop forward” like a bunny one time for each chick that they see (or hop forward one number as they count.) You may wish to give your students a plastic bunny counter for the hops to make it a little more fun! There are printable number lines at the end of the file if needed.

4.  Put Blocks on the Number Line:  Show the children how to put one block or counter down on the number line for each number until they get to the starting point.  Then they should add a different colored block (or different type of counter) for each number that they are adding to it.  Then say, “Here we have ___, now let’s count on ___ more.”

5.  Try Singing It!  We have a song on our new CD, Musical Math Volume 2 called Count On. The lyrics are printed below.  This is a catchy tune and one of my favorites; check it out!  (We are hoping that the DVD version will be ready in August, 2015.)

Counting On Song from HeidiSongs Musical Math Vol. 2!

 

Below is a slideshare deck with all of the lyrics and movements to this great new CD.


 

6.  Walk it Out:  Make a large number line to put on the floor with tape or sit spots, etc. and have the child stand on the first number.  Have the child put the second number in his head and then count on, taking a step forward for each count.  Model it for the child, explaining why you started on that number and why you are moving to the right rather than to the left, etc.  Have other children in the class model it and explain their thinking to the class as well.

7.  Work on Counting On Just One More, Then Two, Etc.:  Start out simple and then work up from there.  Many children can cope with “anything plus one” in their heads.  From there, try working on small numbers plus two using manipulatives.  Once counting on just two numbers is mastered, then work on three’s, etc.

8.  Check the Child’s Grasp of Number Sense.  If It’s Not Strong, Build It.  Some children memorize the counting sequence without really understanding how many seven is, for example.  To find out if a child has a solid sense of numbers, ask him to show you six, or, eight, or ten of something.  He should be able to do this quickly, without hesitation, and without mistakes.  Then ask him to show you two more than five, or two less then four, etc.  If the child is still having trouble counting out sets of objects correctly, than he is probably not ready for addition OR counting on.  Work on gaining number sense instead.

Books for Developing Number Sense:  This book, Number Talks, was recommended by a teacher friend as a good resource for building number sense.  Also, I have used this book, Math Their Way, for many years with excellent results!  This book, Developing Number Concepts, by Kathy Richardson is also excellent.

 You’ll find the download for the Counting On with Addition Eggs right here!

Check out my Pinterest Addition and Subtraction Board for some more great ideas!

Follow HeidiSongs’s board *Addition & Subtraction Ideas* for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade! on Pinterest.

 

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I’m also on PinterestFacebookTwitterGoogle+ and YouTube, too!  Don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter (on the left sidebar) for special deals and promo codes that you won’t find out about anywhere else.

 

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Teaching Kids to WRITE the Numbers


Teaching Kids to Write The NUMBERS

Teaching children to write the numbers correctly can be very frustrating for early childhood teachers!  Also, attempting to GRADE their writing can be equally TRICKY!  What does a number written correctly look like, versus one that is not?  In this post, I am going to tell you how I teach my students to write the numbers.  I’ve posted some examples of student work showing numbers that look correct and some that are not, in my opinion.  Check the captions under the photos for explanations on why certain numbers “would pass” or not.  I also have some number formation poems to share with you, plus a free download of a parent guide that explains what those correctly formed numbers should look like- and the incorrect ones!

So it seems that every year, getting the children to write those numbers can be something like pulling teeth:  it comes slowly, and getting them to just “CARE” seems to be half the battle!  Perhaps the reason for this is that we know that the most important learning in math comes from working with manipulatives on hands on concepts, rather than teaching them to do paperwork.  So children spend most of their time counting, sorting, and patterning, and not as much time is devoted to doing pencil and paper work.  When it comes to math in Kindergarten, why would we want to spend much time with pencil and paper?

Number Writing 5

When young children begin learning to write numbers and letters, both visual perception and fine motor skills are still developing.  They also need to be very sure of the counting order of numbers.

 

So I tend to send math worksheets home for homework rather than do very many of them in class, since 15 minutes of daily homework is required in my school district anyway beginning in Kindergarten.  So my thought is, why not let them do this sort of thing at home, rather than spend our valuable class time at school doing this?  By the way, if you would like a free copy of this number writing worksheet with these large boxes, click here. The file has the paper formatted in two ways:  one paper has instructions for parents to be used for homework, and the other has instructions for use in the classroom.

 

Number Writing 2

As you can see in this young kindergartner’s writing, some of the numbers are tricky for them, such as the two, three, and four above.

 

Just so you know, I do often also ask parents to sign off on having done a short activity with manipulatives with their children as well, such as patterning or sorting. (Click here to see how I do my homework and get a free copy you can edit.)  However, I have a strong suspicion that some parents sign off on the paper without doing the activities because if I ask some of the children whether or not they did that at home, they just look puzzled and shake their heads “no.”

 

Number Writing 4

As children start to gain more maturity and experience with the counting sequence and pencil control, they begin to feel more comfortable writing more numbers. However, many of them still need some help with number formation. This child is doing very well, but still needs to work on numbers two, three, six, and seven. Also, I would have the child work on getting the horizontal line on the number four to cross all the way over the longer vertical line (but not all teachers require that, I know.)

 

And, there is one major problem with having kids do math paperwork at home:  there are always a few parents will accept ANY printing from their children, whether it’s numbers, letters, shapes, or anything else.  In fact, it seems to be the exception to find a mom (or dad) that actually requires that their child do careful work on their homework- and I often find that these parents are ALSO TEACHERS, LOL!  The trend seems to be that the lower the socio-economic status of the family, the less supervision of homework that I observe on papers that are returned (or worse- there is no homework done at all.)  There are always exceptions to the rules, but that’s just what I have observed in general.

 

Number Writing 1

This paper shows work done by a child that is very comfortable writing the numbers and clearly knows the counting sequence well. I can see that there was no hesitation or second thoughts, because the child didn’t need to stop to erase and rewrite any numbers. All of the numbers are formed correctly; the only thing that I would help the child with is trying to get the number two to be the same height as the rest of the numbers (the child did it twice.) Also, the zero on the number ten is a bit small, but that could have been just a one time error. The important thing to look for when helping children learn is mistakes that are repeated over time; not the single error on a test.

 

So here is the issue: even though when we go over and over how to form the numbers correctly, some of the children have simply formed bad habits somewhere.  Or, maybe they need more time to work on their fine motor skills.  Whatever the reason, here are some ideas that may help!

I decided to make a guide for parents that would explain exactly what is acceptable in number writing (at least in my classroom) and what is not, such as not making “snowmen” rather than a numeral eight drawn with a loop, if you know what I mean.  I have included this sheet as a free download for you today, just in case you are having the same problem!  Of course, it does have one important flaw:  it does no good whatsoever unless someone at home actually READS it, so no guarantees!

 

Teaching Kids to Write the Numbers

Along with this guide, I stapled a practice number writing test with the numbers that needed some work circled in red pen.  (I hate doing that, because I know that the children will see it, but sometimes there is no other way to get that many messages home!)

When we DO practice number writing on worksheets, I usually use my Counting Creatures worksheets below.  They are fun (or more fun than MOST worksheets) because of the illustrations!  But we also practice using the techniques below.

 

For number writing practice, check out these "Counting Creatures."  Fun!

For number writing practice, check out these “Counting Creatures.” Fun!

 

Counting Creatures Vol. 2 by HeidiSongs

For number writing practice from 11-20, try HeidiSongs Counting Creatures Vol. 2!

 

If your students are having more trouble learning to write the numbers 11-30, try our DVD Jumpin’ Numbers Vol. 2.  The songs on it REALLY help kids remember how to make these tricky numbers, especially the teens!

 

How to Teach Children to Write the Numbers- and Some Number Formation Poems!

In addition to this paper to send home, this is how I teach my students to write the numbers in school.  Below, I am listing the specific language that I use with my students to help them learn how to write each number.  Click here to get the free download of the cards!

Number Formation Poems Small

Simple Number Formation Poems for teaching kids to write 0-10- free download! #Kindergarten

 

 Zero:

Start at the top, make a circle that touches the line that you are writing on, and then go back up to the top.

Zero, zero,

Nothing to it!

Circle round,

I can do it!

One:

Start at the top and pull straight down.  Don’t make a “flag” at the top!  (Sometimes when children do this, the numeral winds up looking like a seven.)

I can make a one for you.

Straight line down,

And now I’m through!

 

Two:

Start high, make a rainbow, make a diagonal “slide” down to the bottom, and straight line across.  Our number two should not look like a backwards S or a snake!  If the line on the bottom is not as straight as an arrow, something is wrong.

Start up high,

Rainbow bright,

Down the slide,

Straight to the right.

Three:

This is a tricky one for the children!  Start high and begin making a circle.  Stop when you get halfway around!  The end of your half-circle or “bump” is where you start your next one!  Trace the last part of that bump and draw another one underneath it.  Our number three shouldn’t look like a snake!  (Note:  in the poem below, when I say “Back up,” I mean to go backwards.  That’s the part where they trace.)  BTW, if someone has a better idea, I’m open to changing these!

Half a circle,

Back up then,

Half a circle once again.

One problem for some kids is understanding the word “trace.”  If they don’t know what you mean, then they won’t understand that you want them to draw right on top of the end of that first half circle to begin their first one.  You’ll probably have better luck getting nice looking number threes if you explain that first.

Four:

Start up high, and pull straight down.  Now make it a capital L.  Start high again and make a lowercase t right through that L!  Your line has to go right through that L so that we can see both “arms.”  Our number four wants both arms to show!

Draw an L

And then for fun,

One line down,

And then you’re done.

Five:

We first make the line going down, then circle around, and THEN give it “a hat.”  So I say, “Down, around, give it a hat.”

Down, around,

Give it a hat.

That’s a five,

Just like THAT!

Six:

Start at the top and make a letter C.  Then draw a little circle or loop at the bottom.

 Start on top,

And circle round,

Loop-de-loop

The bottom down!

Seven:

Start up high, and make a straight line.  Then make a “slide” or a diagonal line.  (Watch out for kids that make that second line going straight down rather than diagonally.)

Make a straight line.

Towards your friend,

Down the slide,

And that’s the end.

Eight:

I tell the kids to make an S, but then to keep going.  They need to just draw a line from where the S ended to back where it started, like a “Connect the Dots” worksheet.

Make an S,

But then don’t stop!

Draw a line,

From the bottom to top.

 Nine:

Make a circle up high, and then draw a straight line down.

Draw a circle

Up on top,

Straight line down,

And then you stop.

Ten:

Make a one and then a zero.  The one and the zero should be the same size or height; “one shouldn’t be in preschool and the other in Kindergarten.”  :)

One comes first,

And zero then,

That is how you make a ten.

 

Do you like this resource?  Share it on Pinterest or your favorite social network!

Number Writing Poems Freebie

Simple Number Writing Poems to Help Teach Children How to Write 0-10- Free Download from HeidiSongs!

 

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Follow me!   Did you enjoy this post? Do me a favor and share it with your friends!  And follow this blog by signing up email updates, or follow on Bloglovin’, or follow me on TPT!
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