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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Top-Notch Math Lessons for Transitional Kindergarten

 What is Transitional Kindergarten? According to the California Education Code, transitional Kindergarten is defined as “the first year of a two-year kindergarten program that uses a modified kindergarten curriculum that is age and developmentally appropriate.” Traditional kindergarten, in contrast, is a one-year program with grade-specific curriculum. In some states, Transitional Kindergarten gives children an opportunity to begin Kindergarten, even if they are not yet old enough for Traditional kindergarten. These students are usually five years old (or will be in a month or two), but their birthdays fall before the age entry cut-off. So Transitional Kindergarten is not designed to be a preschool program. Instead, it provides students with year one of a two-year kindergarten program. Excel Math Kindergarten Common Core lessons are ideal for a Transitional Kindergarten classroom.
 Here are just a few of the reasons these lessons work so well for young students: Common Core Lessons The lessons are age appropriate and sequential and focus on the Common Core State Standards. Each lesson has a specific Common Core Objective. The unique spiraling process means students are not expected to master concepts the first time they are introduced. Rather, concepts spiral back into Guided Practice and Homework before they appear on assessments. Kindergarten Exercises Exercises are provided after every five days of lessons. They are designed to be fun to do and to reinforce the Common Core concepts the students are learning. Exercises might include coloring by number, following a maze, tracing a path through a number grid, counting by tens in teams, comparing attributes of shapes, finding shapes in the classroom, sorting objects of different lengths, and much more.
 Hands-On Resources Manipulatives are included on the Excel Math Student Lesson Sheets, in the back of the Teacher Edition and online. Some manipulatives are reproducible masters that the students can use to make 3-D objects, picture cards to sort and classify, visuals and counters to cut apart for math story problems, and lots more. Using these masters, students begin to add and subtract using Ten Frames, create composite shapes with smaller shapes, form patterns, count objects, decompose numbers, and play math games. Creative Activities Activities are included every 6-10 lessons. These hands-on mini-lessons may reinforce a concept taught a few days before or teach something that is not easily communicated with pencil and paper work. Activities often involve students moving out of their seats or creating things from craft supplies.
 Students may finger paint, use a sand table, create numbers using yarn or clay, act out a word problem, play a math game, pour water into containers, and measure objects in the classroom with non-standard units of measure. See Samples Take a look at sample lessons from the Kindergarten Common Core Edition of Excel Math. Try them out with your own students and then order a class set of Student Lesson Sheets along with your Common Core Teacher Edition.  (Texas customers order our Texas Teacher Edition. Non Common Core schools order our Standard Teacher Edition.) When your students make significant achievements or deserve special recognition, download our Star Student certificate and have a special award ceremony to recognize them. You can give awards for math progress, basic facts learned,  kindness, respect, punctuality, consideration, most improved, and any other traits you want your students to achieve. Call each child to the front of the room, shake his or her hand, say the reason for the award, and give the parent a chance for a photo op.
 Excel Math provides lots of opportunities for hands-on learning. Excel Math has been effectively used in GATE classes as well as for remedial programs (both as a supplement and in a core position) for years. Download a free sample math lesson from our website.

Excel Math lessons give teachers the resources they need to help every child succeed and achieve (at high levels) in elementary mathematics.
 New to Excel Math? Learn more by visiting our website: www.excelmath.com or give us a call at 1-866-866-7026. When you call between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday (West Coast time), a helpful person will answer the phone (never a machine). Let us know about your favorite Common Core or TEKS learning tools. You might also like these articles: Excel Math Summer Common Core Teacher Edition Click here for sample lessons
 Do you need some proven math resources to help your students get ready for spring testing? Try the Excel Math Summer School/Intersession 6-week program. Some schools recommend that parents purchase this Intersession program for their students to bridge the achievement gap over the summer break.