Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Math & Reading Workshop Goodies from Oriental Trading

Hey, friends!

When Oriental Trading asked if they could send me some goodies, I couldn't believe what I was reading.

First response: Seriously?! Oriental Trading has been the ultimate staple for party supplies and favors for my whole life!

Second response: YES, ABSOLUTELY! Where do I start?

When they said I could pick out whatever I wanted to review, I was in awe. How does one person choose just a few favorite things. I took a step back and looked at my math workshop and reading workshop centers to see exactly what my students could benefit from the most.

In math we were needing some quick and easy number recognition tools. Now, at the beginning of the year subitizing is crucial for number sense. My go-to subitizing tool is dice. I love that these number recognition dice have a ton of different ways to represent numbers and I love that it shows that to the kids early on. They have to see that number 4 is not always "Down and across and down once more...that's the way you make a 4"; that they see it as tally marks and dots and a number word. These are so beneficial because it goes right along with making daily number anchor charts at the beginning of the year

I was also looking for something very easy to use with my students throughout the year that would allow them to follow the different paths of the numbers 0-20. I feel like kids get numerals 0-9 fairly easily (obviously, there's always the exception), but 10-20 gets tricky--hence the tricky teens. The sensory numbers are perfect for those tactile learners who need some extra guided practice in small group or during independent centers.

In reading we use the Daily 5 model, so Word Work was my very first thought when looking to reading tools. We have alphabet letters and more alphabet letters, but I wanted something different to switch up the normal routine. Now, we haven't hit the point of the year where we have completely built-up our Word Work stamina, so we haven't worked with those tools, but here's what I received and here's my very simple plan with the Word Work tools.

When I saw the awesome alphabet bean bag letters, I knew I had to have those. They will be perfect for letter recognition, tossing at beginning and ending sound pictures, hiding them around the room as a scoot game...There are just so many possibilities.

Just like math, I was looking something for letter recognition for my tactile learners. Now, I have some kinder babies who do not know any letters and then some that are ready to soar onto letter sounds, but coming up with more letter ID practices can be challenging and I cannot wait to use sensory letters!

One word: stampers. I have been DYING to buy stampers for so long now. Stampers are something that I have daydreamed during my prep about and how amazing they would be for my kinders during Word Work. Of course when I saw these I had to have the Uppercase and Lowercase Stampers. When I said I'd daydream of stampers, I'd also have nightmares about stampers in my classroom. The thought of messy fingers from the stampers touching their clothes, the classroom, and heaven help us, other kids, I thought I was gonna just move onto the next idea. NEWS FLASH, y'all...These stampers have a plastic hand guard AND a HANDLE. (Cue the angelic singing) No need to continue thinking, put them in your cart...right now! :)

The last amazing tool I snagged from Oriental Trading were slinkies. Confession: Slinkies everyday during reading groups. I use them as a quick warm-up activity when we look at our new words in our new books or on their lists. I put slinkies in their reading take-home bags. I put slinkies at my back table. They're everywhere and the kids heart-eyes, L-O-V-E these things. These are the perfect segmenting tools to use when sounding out words in our guided reading books or just new-to-them words in general. I don't know what it is about those slinkies that makes the phonics lesson world go 'round in their eyes? Wait, who am I kidding...It's a toy, so of course they're going to love it! :)

The last thing I'd like to tell you about is the AMAZING wish list feature they have. You create your own wish list and this is a great paperless way to share with your PTO or parents exactly what you need for your classroom. I just emptied my own wishlist and I am in the process of creating another one! Head over to Oriental Trading to set your own wishlist up right now!

What items will you add to your wishlist?

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