How To Line-Up Invitation to Play

We all know how the first few weeks can be rough! I don't know about you, but lining up is quite a foreign concept to most of the littles who have walked through my door! There is this sweet unawareness that comes with being a new kindergartner! As endearing and innocent as it is, it's our job to help them along and learn how to be a school kid! I have found as with every other classroom/school procedure that it works best when I break it down and speak their language. Meaning that we talk about it, we practice it, we read about it, and we act it out! Here are a couple of ideas for establishing foundations for learning how to line-up:

• Talk about it: As with anything else, meaningful discussion goes a long way in getting them on board with whatever you are doing. If they know the why, it's much easier for them to understand the reasons we do things. I always explain that when we line-up it helps us to be able to move as a group of people from one place to another in an organized and safe way. I use my felt board and model what a line looks like and facilitate conversation about how much easier it is to go all together to the cafeteria or playground when we are in a line. I use my Duck Tails and Bubbles Anchor Chart as a model too. We talk about how "duck tails" help us remember to keep our hands to ourselves, and how "bubbles" help us to remember to be quiet so that we won't disturb other classes as we walk by.

• Read about it: I have been reading The Line Up Book by Marisabina Russo. It is simple, engaging
and physically shows what a line is. Another cute book about a line is The Line by Paula Boss. It's cute for a discussion about lining up because it leaves a lot of room for discussion. The kids really love both books!


• Practice it and act it out: So much grace and patience is required when learning how to be a big school kid! It takes a lot of practice and it's so easy for them to forget, but with all of the discussion, practice and concrete experiences they will quickly remember and it will soon become habit! The practice comes everyday when we go places and practice using our "duck tails and bubbles" and say our little rhyme to help us remember. I post one of the anchor charts near the door and sometimes just give a little point as we walk out the door. We even have posted the anchor charts at a few spots in the hallway to serve as little reminders when there are lots of bodies and movement in the hall.
Creating a little "invitation to play" can be SO helpful for the littles that have never been to school and need a little more concrete practice. Here are the elements I used to create this provocation:

The Line Up Book by Marisabina Russo
Duck Tails and Bubbles Anchor Chart (from our Classroom Management & Behavior Anchor Chart Bundle)
random figurines ( I used some wood animals, bear counters, monster finger puppets)
black beans for another object to line up
washi tape to create a couple of lines
a white board, marker and eraser for doing a pictorial representation of a line )if they wish)

I'm sure you'll think of other great items you have on hand to add to your provocation! If you create a line up invitation to play please keep in touch and let me know how it goes or send me a picture or two!

Link to resource:
Classroom Management & Behavior Anchor Charts & Slideshow

Link to books:


5 Tips for Teaching Number Sense & Number Talks that Impact Learning & Engagement

Around the back on the railroad track, you made a 2 just like that! Solid foundations in number sense are prerequisites for any math learning! We sometimes think they have it when they come to us because they can count a little, but when we get to know them a little better we learn that they don’t understand that a 2 = 🍎🍎 (Am I right??!!)

We can’t assume they have it, so skipping over deliberate instruction and practice of number sense is not an option! I start at the very beginning of the year with math talks at calendar, and math workshops, using my Number Sense Anchor Charts to support instruction & scaffold at labs. They offer multiple representations and pneumonic rhymes for writing the numerals.

Here are some tips for teaching number sense to your littles!

1. Start at the beginning. Even if kids come to school and can count, it doesn't mean that they have
a solid foundation in number sense. Sometimes they can fool ya, but it doesn't take long to see the gaps. When I say start at the beginning I mean assume nothing. Assume they don't know that a
a 2 = 🍎🍎 ... even if they do, it won't hurt them to hear how you talk about numbers and make sense of the numerals and quantities. Starting out on the same page is SO important. Using the same language and them hearing you articulate math talk is key - from the first day of school.

2. Use TPR ... all day long! TPR (total physical response) makes ALL the difference in solidifying number sense. They REALLY need to show those numbers on fingers. I even show them how I use my thumb to hold down fingers I don't need when I'm showing how many.  For some of them it's a new skill just to learn how to manipulate their fingers!

3. Talk numbers all day long, not just during math instruction. Make a point to mention numbers during every content area in some way. "Here I  have 3 books that we are going to read today! Let's count them! 1, 2, 3! Show me three fingers!" .... etc. Inserting it naturally in LOTS of conversations will make a huge difference!

4. Build in a Number Talk time into your calendar time EVERYDAY. Starting on the very first day of school and everyday there after, we talk about a number, until we make it all the way to 10. Then we begin to talk about operations beginning with addition. I use my number sense anchor charts and we talk about each thing on the chart. We count each representation, we say the pneumonic rhyme to learn how to write the numeral, we draw it big in the air small in the air, and on our hand. They turn to their partner and tell a sentence about the number.... so they have to use that number in their sentence. (At my house we have 2 dogs.) Then their partner has to give them an "I heard you say sentence. (At your house you have two dogs) As they grow and begin to learn more numbers, I add
little questions or challenges. I encourage TPR between the partners when they are talking numbers as an added way to solidify number sense.

I do not post my number anchor charts on our calendar math talk board until we have learned them. Our "number of the day" is something we do together, so they become a partners in the reason the numbers are posted on the board (very impactful!) vs. having them already there and they just become another piece of text around the room. Even after we get to 10, i still do a number of the day.
I do almost a drum roll approach to see what it's going to be (extra copy of the anchor chart turned upside down)... they get sooo excited! I usually do it in a riddle kind of way. "I'm thinking of a number that we have 4 of in our classroom, they are long and tall, shaped like rectangles and we go
in and out of them"... I tell them they cannot shout out, they must hold their thinking in their brain, and then they turn and whisper to their partner their predictions. Capturing their engagement and attention for our number of the day is so much fun and really starts our day out right, not to mention all of the schema we are building! (Find our Number Sense Anchor Charts here)

5. Invitations to count and practice number sense. There are soooo many ways to do this! Math workshops, labs, centers, small groups, etc. Whatever works for you in your classroom, just make sure you provide opportunity everyday. Practice is essential. Using any hands-on manipulatives you have. Using theme related objects is a fun way to integrate and make it new and fun each week.
As you  observe them at their workshops watch to see if they are beginning to count with accuracy, touching one object and saying one number. If not this is the time to model for them and provide a hand over hand to scaffold for them.

Number sense is essential to any and all future math learning, so starting out with solid instruction and hands-on practice to provide a concrete foundation will be an invaluable building block in their math schema! Find our Number Sense Anchor Charts for Little Learners in the shop to help you guide your young mathematicians!