Thursday, November 20, 2014

Talk Points and Math Workshop

     Well OTES has consumed my life for the last 2 weeks...hence why this little blog has been a little quiet! BUT I'm back with a fun post about how I used these Talk Points made by Learning Resources! Confession: I've had these little doodads for a couple of years tucked away inside my desk drawer waiting to be used. Oops!

     This week, my principal came to do my observation during our Math Workshop time. We're working our way through Unit 3 of the Guiding Kinders Resource by DeeDee and Deanna. (You can find it here). This particular lesson was on teen numbers. It was a great lesson packed with lots of fun! EXCEPT...I still have 4 littles who have not been able to get their numbers to 10 yet...and are also still struggling with counting. So how was I going to make this lesson appropriate for these certain students? Enter: talk points.

     This day's activity used a spinner (with numbers 11-15) and 2 ten frames. Students were to spin and count out that many objects into the ten frames. Take a look (below) at these ADORABLE Minions one of our substitute teachers made. She actually used to be my 3rd grade teacher, but she took time off for her family. Now that her children are older, she's been subbing in our building. Lucky for us, she's also been cleaning out her goodies at home and gifted me these packing peanuts turned Minions. Novelty level? RAISED! The kids couldn't even handle their excitement.

    Back to my four cuties...I took the spinner and used 5 different colored Smiley face stickers. These stickers were also the same colors as my Talk Points. 

     I recorded myself saying each number and how to make it on all 5 Talk Points. For example, if a student landed on the number 14, he/she saw it had a blue sticker so he/she pressed the blue Talk Point. A (scary) voice came on and said "14 is a 1 and a 4." This format is SUPER familiar to my kiddos because we warm up to Harry Kindergarten's Numbers in the Teens (They Start with a 1) song every day with number posters. The kiddos LOVE holding up their numbers as we sing the song. This video is a great way to get kiddos up and moving. I've also used it to quickly assess kiddos on number recognition. They receive a different number every day and have to tell me the number I give them.

    I also numbered my little cuties' ten frames with the numbers. This allowed them to work during our exploration time with little help from me. It was AMAZING! I was able to step away from this group and walk around to see that my other kiddos were on task and also counting on from 10...which was one of our objectives for this lesson. Double bonus! I even had one of my kiddos (who was using the Talk Points) tell me that 15 was a 1 and a 5. It's sticking, folks. That was today...after his second day of using the Talk Points. Wahoo!

     Now my wheels are turning about all the ways I can use these little gadgets. I know there are some reviews out there that complain about the sound. I found that if I hold the Talk Point closely, my voice comes out loudly and clearly. Also, keep in mind that these Talk Points were used during our explore time which means all students were scattered around and working with their Milk & Cookie partners. There is definitely noise during this part of our day. For me personally, these Talk Points allowed me to make this a fun AND effective lesson for every one of my Kinders. 

     Have you used these Talk Points for something special? I'd love to hear your ideas!

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