## Another Kind of Counting Chain: Back To School Tip #15

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More Counting Chains

Yesterday I gave you the idea of making a calendar paper chain so that your students can visualize the days of the month "going by".  This is a great opportunity to review subtraction as you rip off and "take away" a paper chain each day.
I also want to review addition each day with my students and "add" something, so I use multi-colored plastic links to build a chain as we count up to the 100th day of school.
• The rainbow colors also help me reinforce all of the basic colors with them, which is one of my report card standards.
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• Surprisingly some of my students are still confused about a few.
• This daily review, really helps my ESL students.
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• I take this opportunity to teach a little Spanish to my students as well, as I have them say the colors of the chain links in Spanish as well as English.
• Because I link them in a specific order, I also have them identify the rainbow pattern that emerges.
• By the time it's March and we are studying rainbows, they are proficient at picking out and repeating that colorful pattern!
• I tell my Y5's that when we go one link farther to our 101 day, Cruella DeVille will come visit us for our 101 Dalmatian Themed Day
• They are very excited about that.
• I hang a piece of fishline so that it is low enough for me to reach so that I can start hanging my plastic links on the first day of school.
• With this chain I take the opportunity to say: 1 link + 1 link ='s how many links?
• You can do all sorts of math equations with your students.
• I also say:  Is our chain getting longer or shorter?  Is it greater or less than yesterday?  Is it greater or less than or = to our paper chain etc.  What color link has the most colors?
• There are lots of math vocabulary words and concepts you can review whenever you want to, with this simple concept and it only takes a minute!
• I bought my links at the teacher store in town, but you can also order them from your favorite teacher catalog. If you're like me, you probably have a zillion on your desk at any given moment.
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• One of my favorite companies is Discount School Supply.  They have a set of 500 for \$16.99
• The links are one of my students' favorite manipulatives during Tummy Tubby Time.
• Another "add-a-link" chain I do, is a paper chain for January when we revisit hibernation.
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• We discuss how polar bears, unlike brown & black bears, don't hibernate.
• This paper chain has an ABAB pattern with black and white links.
• The topper is a scanned picture from the cover of one of my favorite hibernation books followed by a teddy bear.
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• The template can be found in my January Arts & Activities Book, but can be viewed/printed for free through the 20th.
• Click on the teddy bear link above to view/print it.

• A.A. Milne's birthday is in January so I have a Winnie the Pooh theme day.
• The children make brown lunch bag bears.
• On one side of the bag the bear is sleeping, on the other he is awake.
• They stuff them with tissue and toss them into the cave.  (A huge brown paper leaf bag. )
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• I staple the bag shut and take it home 'til the first day of spring (March 20th) when I bring it back and the children take their bears home.
• In the meantime we add black and white paper chains each day 'til the bears wake up.
If you do a bear theme or read Brown Bear to your students, click on the link to see my cute mini mimic booklets that review shapes, colors and numbers for only .29 cents! Dancing Bear What Do You See?
I hope these ideas "added" to the fun things you have planned for your students and get you excited for back-to-school.
Be sure to pop back tomorrow.