Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Counting Snowballs" activity {freebie!}

I finally sat down today to begin thinking about school.  We go back on Monday and I hadn't opened my teaching bag once since break started!  I had the most fantastic, restful break, but I AM excited to see my littles again!

I discovered a great activity several months ago on Pinterest, and have enjoyed tweaking it to match various seasons and themes for my own students.  This is the original post with the idea.  It's called "Bear Counting Bags" and you have to scroll down a bit to find it.  

Basically, you label small Ziploc bags each with their own letter. (I use the letters A-N, so I need 14 bags.)  Then, you put a different number of items in each bag.  The students count the items in each bag, and record the number next to the corresponding letter on the recording sheet.  I have my students keep the bags closed, just so that the items don't get mixed up.  I might change that as the groups get larger, but so far it has worked fine.  

I used counting bears in the bags the first time I tried it, just like the original idea. wheels started turning when I realized that my kindies loved the activity and I loved that they were practicing so many great skills (counting, one-to-one correspondence, number writing and recognition...even letter recognition and matching!) in such a simple way.

I put candy corn in the bags in October, Christmas erasers in December, and just made a new recording sheet to use during my next round of math stations.  I'll be putting small white pom-poms in the bags so that my students can count "snowballs"!

I can't claim the idea as my own, but I am happy to share the recording sheet that I made in case you'd like to use it yourself. (The number line along the bottom is just a support for those students who aren't confident with writing the numbers on their own yet.  And because 12 is my highest number right now, a few of the bags have the same number of items.) 

Click here to snag it if you'd like!

So....I DID do some schoolwork today, but I did absolutely NO housework!  The laundry won't wash itself, I know, but I just couldn't find the motivation.  Maybe tomorrow?????
Most of my Christmas decorations are still up too.  I know that I should take them down, but I love them, and I feel like my house will look so bare without them!  Maybe next weekend??!? ;)

Are your Christmas decorations all taken down and put away?  Please say no so I don't feel so bad!  Ha!


  1. Super cute! I will be snagging it to use next year! We've already done our snow/snowman unit since we are off track in January! Thanks bestie!

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  3. Absolutely adorable!! I love counting cups..or bags..or cards! Fun stuff! My teaching bag?! Yea... I didn't open it until this morning to make sure I had what I needed before I left for school. Ha! Lesson plans still aren't finalized..(we don't have kids until tomorrow!) I plan on being in bed in an hour... we'll see if it happens!!

  4. This is super cute Jill! I can even think of ways I can modify this for my Firsties! Thank you for sharing. =)

    I have some *freebies* I shared recently that you might be able to use with your Kinders. Hop over if you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart