Aug 21, 2013

Sorting, Counting, and Necklaces, Oh my!

Today I'm going way back, well not that far back but in my current life it seems like forever ago.  I'm going back to when I was a classroom teacher, yes, I used to be tired, excited, overwhelmed, anxious, and all around crazy at this time of the year.  Back to school.  I can't believe it is here already, although I say this every year, summer flies by too quickly.  In the spirit of all of our little friends starting school within the next two weeks, I decided it was time to do a craftivity that all of the teachers out there would be proud of! Today we will sort, we will count, and yes, we will create really cute and tasty necklaces!  

Any parent to a school-age child will know what a HUGE deal the 100th day of school is.  There is a party, usually some kind of take home project where kids find 100 objects at home, and there is always some kind of snack!  Well, as I was pondering over what I wanted to blog about for a back to school post, I thought of all the fun times I had in the classroom, which of course made me think of the 100th day of school!  What a great day!  The craftivity (yes, I have heard other bloggers use this and I think it is really cute) can be adapted to work for any day.  

I got two pieces of computer paper
2 pieces of card stock (just so happened to be red and green)
1 box of fruit loops
1 piece of yarn
tape (to tie off the ends of the yarn--much easier to string fruit loops this way)

As you have already figured out, yes, we are making fruit loop necklaces.  But why the paper?  Well, my first year of teaching I gave my kids a bowl full of fruit loops and told them to count out 100 for a necklace. Did I ever mention your first year of teaching is a lot of experimenting, and tweaking, and definitely changing!  I quickly realized it was a chaotic mess, and then I saw a co-worker using these wonderful mats:

All I did was lay out two pieces of computer paper next to each other and glue down the middle.  Then, I cut out 10 different colorful circles and glued them on.  Now, this is where it can become your own creation.  I am showing you what I did for first graders, obviously counting by 10's to 100 is too much for little ones (or I would think).  So you could always adapt your mat to fit your own needs!  Maybe you want to count by 5's to 25, or count by 10's to 30, possibly count by 2's to 10??  It is up to you and your child.  I just found the visual so much easier for my first graders to use!  Then, along with counting out the fruit loops, they could take it a step further and sort them out by color.  Check it out below:

After they are done, practice counting by whatever number they sorted, we counted by 10's to 100! Then, we created these fun necklaces:

I ran out of yarn on mine, so my necklace only has 90.  

This doesn't just have to be a necklace; it could also be a fun snack!  Head on out, buy a box of fruit loops and have fun counting!

Stop by tomorrow for a game night snack!

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