Egg Carton Ten Frame

A ten frame is a math tool to help kids visualize numbers and math facts.  It is usually drawn with squares on paper, but I thought it would be neat to make it 3D with an egg carton.  It is much more fun to drop items in a little hole than place them on a paper, right?  Are they even called holes?  Okay, I looked it up.  Wikipedia says they are called dimples.  That’s funny. 🙂

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How to make it:

  1. Cut off the lid of an egg carton and two of the dimples.  Yep, it is still making me smile   .
  2. Number them 1-10.  Usually ten frames aren’t numbered, so if this is for an older kid feel free to leave it blank.
  3. Find small objects to count.  For a reluctant little mathematician, use food.  Snacks will motivate anyone to do math!

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Now use it to teach:

(Common Core Standards appear in italics.  They correlate with specific standards in different grade levels.  These standards are used in almost every school in the country.  Click the Common Core tab above to learn more.)

  • one-to-one correspondence– Toddlers might be able to count to ten, but they might not understand what the numbers actually mean.  Touching objects as they count teaches one-to-one correspondence.  Show them how to pick up an object, say the number, and place it in the egg carton.  For more of a challenge, try to pick up objects using a spoon or chopsticks! (kindergarten-  When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object)
  • number recognition- If you number your egg carton, then they will be able to SEE the number as they SAY the number and drop in the item.
  • addition facts to ten– Using the egg carton, it will be easy to “see” the facts.  There are seven items in the egg carton and three empty spaces.  See if your child can write the addition fact 7+3=10.  (kindergarten- For any number from 1 to 9, find the number that makes 10 when added to the given number, e.g., by using objects or drawings, and record the answer with a drawing or equation)
  • relationship between addition and subtraction- The egg carton is a good visual to show how fact families work.  Place six objects in the carton and then write all the facts.  Another way to think about 10-6 is to find the number that makes 10 when added to 6.  Say “Six plus what equals ten?” and write 6+__=10.  (first grade- Understand subtraction as an unknown-addend problem)
  • place value-  Make some more egg carton ten frames to count larger numbers.  Each carton is a “ten.”   (first grade- Understand that the two digits of a two-digit number represent amounts of tens and ones)
  • estimation-  Practice guessing how many objects and then checking by counting them in the egg carton.
  • even and odd– Explain that a number is even if it can be divided into two equal groups.  I talked about “even means it is fair” with my students.  Kids always have a concept of what is “fair and even” when dividing up goodies.  The egg carton is divided into two rows, so it is easy to see if a number is even (split equally and fairly) or odd.  This works even better if you are using food in your egg carton and actually split it up between two kids!   (second grade- Determine whether a group of objects (up to 20) has an odd or even number of members)

We used our egg carton to do some math with our morning snack (goldfish and blueberries).  Little Sis worked on counting and one-to-one correspondence and Big Sis practiced some addition problems.

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Basic Sight Word Game

Some kids don’t like practicing sight words.  Maybe they think it is boring.  Or maybe they just learn words better in context.  If they hate it, don’t push it.  There are lots of ways to learn words.  Sight word flashcards are just one way to help your child read.  If they are willing, I think looking at flashcards is great for beginning readers to memorize words and feel more confident about reading.  Flashcards are also a good pre-reading activity for any reader with a difficult book.  Pick out words you think your child might not know in the book plus some that they DO know, make some flashcards, and then do this activity.  (Psst: here’s how I made my own sight words, but you could also buy some flashcards or just write words on notecards.)

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1.  Pick out 9 or 12 sight word flashcards and lay them face up on a table.

2. Ask your child to pick up any word they know and say it aloud.  If they are right, they keep it in a pile.  If not, say the word for them and they try again.

3.  Replace the missing flashcard with a new one (or not if you want a shorter game).

4.  Repeat until your child has found all the words she can name.

5.  Then say, “Pick up the word ________” and you name the word.  It is easier for kids to recognize words than naming the word themselves, so they should be able to pick up a few more this way.  If they can identify the word, it goes in the pile.  If not, say the word and ask for it again later.

6.  When all of the cards in the pile, count them up and celebrate their success!  Now those words will be fresh in their mind when they read the story.

Click on “Sight Words” on the right to see more games and activities.

(Common Core kindergarten standard: Read common high-frequency words by sight )

Sight Word Game- I’m Thinking of a Word

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I call this game “I’m Thinking of a Word.” It’s a quick sight word game to play while you are waiting at a restaurant or office.

  1. Write some words on a piece of paper.  (Of course you could also use homemade sight words or flashcards.)
  2.  Give a clue about one of the words. For example: “My word ends with the letter D.”
  3. See if your child can guess (and read) the word you chose.
  4. Now it is her turn to think of a word and give you a clue!

Some ideas for clues:

  • My word has the letter ‘b’ in it.
  • My word rhymes with…
  • I use my word when I talk about…
  • My word is in the title of….
  • My word has 3 letters.
  • My word means….
  • My word is the opposite of…
  • My word ends with the /t/ sound.
  • My word has 2 tall letters. (tall letters are h, t, k, b, d, l)
  • My word has two vowels.
  • My word has 3 syllables.

It is easy to make this game fit your child’s ability level. You can vary the amount of words you write, the level of difficulty of the words, and the clues you give.  You might play that they have to identify all the words that fit a given clue.  Or just give clues that only fit one word.  Have fun!

Common Core Standards:

kindergarten- first grade: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes)

kindergarten- fifth grade: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.

Sheep in a Jeep Activities

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Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw is an easy read (beginning of first grade reading level).  It is also a great read aloud for younger kids with lots of rhyming and funny pictures.

(Common Core Standards appear in italics.  They correlate with specific standards in different grade levels.  These standards are used in almost every school in the country.  Click the Common Core tab above to learn more.)

Here are some ideas try when you read it:

  • Practice sight words– Pick out one word that is repeated throughout the book (sheep, jeep, in) and see if your kiddo can point it out on the page.  Then practice putting the word together with letter blocks or writing it.
  • Rhyming–  There are lots of rhymes in this book!  After you read, go back and a list of all the rhyming words.  See if you can add more rhyming words to add to the list.  (kindergarten- Recognize and produce rhyming words)
  • Making words–  Use magnetic letters of blocks to spell out a rhyming word in the story such as sheep.  Then take away the “sh” and see if your child can make the word jeep.  Ask them to replace the “j” and make the word beep.  Making words is a wonderful activity for beginning readers to work on letter sounds and spelling.  (kindergarten- Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ)
  • Long vowel /e/– Talk about /ee/ and /ea/ make the same long e sound.  Go on a “word hunt” for /ee/ and /ea/ words in the story and make a chart listing them. (kindergarten- Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings for the five major vowels)
  • Retell the story–  After reading the book, ask your kiddo to retell the story.  This is always a good comprehension strategy to teach even with books with few words.  (first grade- Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson)
  • Ask questions–  This is another comprehension strategy that works with any book.  Ask your child questions about the story.  If they can’t remember, ask them to look back in the book to find the answer.  Who helped the sheep get their jeep out of the mud?  Why did the jeep break?  What do the sheep do when the jeep breaks?  (second grade- Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text)
  • Extend the story–  What do you think happened next?  Who will buy the jeep?  What will the sheep drive now?  Make up a new story together…maybe even write it down and have your child draw the illustrations!
  • Act it out–  Kids learn best by doing, so acting out the story is another comprehension strategy.  If you have a small toy sheep, jeep, and pigs, use those.  If not, your kiddo can pretend to drive a jeep (box) and act while you read the book.

Making Sentences with Sight Words

What can you do with sight words?  Make sentences! Once a kid learns a few sight words, you mix them around and BOOM he is reading a sentence.  It will blow his mind.  All of a sudden, he is a READER!  Very cool.

(Psst…you will need sight words written on index cards, post-its, or other paper.  I made mine with magnets on the back so they can be used on a fridge or magnetic whiteboard.)

Try out a few of these ideas to make sentences together:

  • You say a sentence out loud and then the kiddo makes it using sight words.
  • Your child makes up a sentence and you make it using a combination of sight words and written words.  He reads it out loud to “check” your work.  Kids love this!
  • Your kid makes a sentence that you have read together in a book.
  • You make a sentence with sight words and without saying anything, see if she can read it.
  • Once you make a sentence, show how you can change words to make a new sentence.  “We can go up” can change to “Dada can go up” or “We can go there.”

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  • Make a sentence and leave a blank that you fill in with crazy words.  Instead of “Mama and I go to the store,” how about the moon? Brainstorm a list of ideas to fit in the blank.

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  •  Teach about the meaning of pronouns by substituting “it” for a noun in the sentence.  Try it with other pronouns that you have introduced as sight words: we, she, he, etc.

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  • Extend the activity: Once you have made a sentence, write it on a piece of paper and your child can illustrate it.  You could even make a whole book that they can read!

How to Display and Organize Sight Words

Having sight words around your house is a great way help beginning (or struggling) readers.  Sight words are easy to make (psst…here’s how I made mine) and you can do lots of learning activities with them.  In a classroom, there is a “word wall” where sight words are displayed so they are easily read/spelled.  Why not try something similar in your home?

How do I display sight words?

  • on the fridge-  This is great because they can easily be reached by little hands and moved around.  However, they end up jumbled and might be difficult to find.
  • on a traditional “word wall” in their bedroom or a common room-  Easy to see, but not easy to reach and manipulate (and maybe that’s a good thing?)
  • on a large whiteboard- It’s movable and you can write on it!
  • easel- This is another movable option that doesn’t take up wall space.

How do you organize the sight words?

  • alphabetically- Teachers usually organize their sight words alphabetically.  It’s easy to find words if you know the first letter and it’s a good way to practice ABC order.
  • number of letters- Kids can practice counting while they rearrange words in a different way.
  • tall, small, fall letters- Some letters are tall (t, b, l) some fall below the line (g, p, y) and some are small (m, o, a).  Organize the words into groups according to their shapes.
  • words they know/don’t know-  Just like flashcards, split into two groups of words they can easily read and words they are still working on.  Then watch the “know” group grow!
  • any group that makes sense- Experiment with different groupings.  Rearranging sight words means your kiddo is reading, thinking, and organizing words.  All good things!

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(Common Core kindergarten standard: Read common high-frequency words by sight )

Making Sight Words

My oldest daughter is interested in learning to read.  While I think the most important thing I can do is simply have lots of books around the house and READ, READ, READ to her…the teacher in me can’t help but do some other learning activities with her, too.  So one day while she was busy with markers, I made some sight words.

How did I choose the words?  Well, I looked at the pre-primer Dolch list.  You can also get a list from your child’s teacher, or be your own Mr. Dolch and just write down a few words that you see over and over in kid books.

How did I make the words?  I wrote with a black marker on lined paper, cut it out, then glued it onto colored construction paper and cut it out again.  (Hello, my name is Megan and I love scissors.)  I used bright construction paper so that it was easy to see the “shape” of the word.  This is a big help to visual learners.  Then I stuck a magnet on the back.  Everything is better with a magnet.

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Now what?  Now the fun begins!  Usually about once a week (or whenever my daughter asks me) I introduce a new sight word.  We read a book that uses the word a lot.  I show her the word I made.  We spell it.  Maybe she will write it.  There are a bajillion activities you can do with sight words.  I’ll share some in a post, I promise!  One idea is using the sight word in a sentence from the book.  Bonus: the words stick to the magnetic whiteboard!

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We keep the sight words (that we have introduced) on the fridge.  My kids see them and play with them every day.  We refer to the sight words when we read.  “Oh, U-P.  You learned that word.  Do you remember it?”  Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes no.  That’s okay.  Keep it light and fun.  After all, I don’t want to do too much sight word work…then it would be like (gasp!) school.

(Common Core kindergarten standard: Read common high-frequency words by sight )