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It’s Five For Friday and a TIEKS Giveaway!

Goodness gracious!! What a week!!

 

These past two weeks, I’ve had to be out of the classroom for some pretty important professional events.

It will feel good to be back on a regular schedule next week!

When I’m out like that, I realize how important it is to keep my students on a regular routine, because that is what I like as well.

Being on regular schedule in my life is just….well….comforting….and we all like to be comforted….right?!?!

Now I’m here in Five For Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching to not only discuss 5 things but to also give you a chance to feel comforted with a pair of (DRUMROLL PLEASE)

TIEKS!! Yes !

Several of us have gotten together and are offering a giveaway for a free pair of TIEKS shoes!!

So…

stick with me here and then go to the  Rafflecopter to enter!!

You have 27 ….yes …..27 chances to enter!! So please enter!!

During the month of January, we did a lot of informational reading on Martin Luther King, Jr., penguins, and polar bears. Part of my writing activity for this is to write using a graphic organizer with Can, Have, Are. For Martin Luther King, I made up an organizer using Had, Was, Helped.

After we completed the chart, then the students wrote an informational piece in a mini book.

Here is a picture of the organizer I created for our kindergarten teachers to use with their kinder cubs.

If you click anywhere on the pic, it will take you straight to the freebie to download. Also, in that set is a Had, Was, Helped organizer.

This week, while I was gone, the kinder cubs worked on many things Valentine!! Our focus book was Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat using the Guiding Readers Series from Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills (LOVE them!!) . In this unit, the kids learned about problem and solution in stories. In their writing they connected to the story by writing about a time they did something nice for someone. I love the sentence study in any of the Guiding Readers Series. We talk about the sentence: How many words?, What are the verbs?, What are the nouns?, What are the adjectives?. Then, we chat about the punctuation. Then, they take the mixed up sentence and put it in the right order and illustrate the main idea of it.

 

For Valentine craftivities they created a Valentine Selfie (from the Guiding Readers February Resource), a Valentine alliteration writing piece, and their Valentine Critter Carriers. When I came back on Friday, my classroom looked just LOVEly!!

I have made these Valentine Critter Carriers for years!

I put them outside the classroom and then on Valentine’s Day, the kids bring their cards and “feed” each child’s critter the card that is for that child.

Then, they take their critter home and open the bag and enjoy all of their cards and goodies they received!!

Click HERE to find my post about how to make these super cute bags!!

One of the math stations this week was to put shapes that were cut for them into a Valentine’s Day picture. I love doing these! However, for kindergarten, it is best if we cut out the shapes for each child and keep them in sets. It is difficult for them to cut out the shapes and take on the spatial relationship work it takes just to put it together! They all did a great job with it this week!!

This resource comes from, Christine Maxwell Hand to Heart! Click HERE to get to this awesome resource.

On Valentine’s Day, I plan on using conversation hearts or a graphing activity.

Even though you have probably seen a million jillion of examples of this graphing activity, I have one that is geared towards kindergarten that is FREE!! Click on the image below to download a free one for your file!!

And now to finish out my FIVE FOR FRIDAY, I want to offer you the opportunity to try for a FREE pair of TIEKS!!

Go to the Rafflecoptor below and enter!! This giveaway will run from February 11-16th!! So go for it!! A new pair of TIEKS would be an awesome gift for YOU or someone you love!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you would like to link up with this fun linky, then please go to Doodle Bugs Teaching: Five For Friday !!

Please enjoy your weekend and I wish for much love to come your way on Valentine’s Day!! God bless you!!

Alphabet Palooza!!

I am so very excited that SEPTEMBER is finally here!!

That means that I have made it through 4 long (and I’m sorry to be like this, but honey, I mean L-O-N-G) weeks!!

However, I really can’t complain….

So far, there are only 15 students in my class. I really like that and I’m just counting my blessings over that number everyday!

 I started the very first week of school with Deanna Jump’s and Deedee Wills’ Guiding Readers resource using Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. If you have read any of my past posts, I am a big fan of their monthly Guiding Readers resource!! It is a great way to teach reading comprehension without worrying about who can decode and who cannot. It is based off of popular read alouds and each month, I can ALWAYS find a book in this resource to match my theme for that week. But it doesn’t stop there……THEN, these 2 kinder teacher geniuses created a resource to go along with the Guiding Readers series called “Science, Math, and More”. It is a supplement resource to integrate math and science and other things using the same read alouds.

Science, Math, & More August/September

Using both resources really got my first week off to a great start!!

Coconut Shake Down

Here’s one of my new kinder cubs having a coconut SHAKE down while she listens to what the inside of a coconut sounds like. Then, we wrote words on an anchor chart to describe how it sounds, along with how it looked and smelled. We also tasted coconut. In the Science, Math and More resource, there are some great printables and pictures to help a teacher work through the coconut exploration and a graph to use to see if you like or don’t like the taste of coconut. My kinders also got out their science journals and drew a picture of the coconut and wrote the words that described the coconut beside the picture they drew.

We also did a sink and float experiment using the coconut. Total FUN!! They loved it!!

Then, to celebrate the last day of our study using Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, the kinders made a cute healthy snack that looked like the coconut tree and the letters. I found that in a post from DeeDee Wills blog.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Snack

Ok….Chicka Chicka Boom Boom was a great way to start some fun and engaging learning in my classroom. But the learning I was most excited about was a study of the ALPHABET!! I listened to other bloggers and researched myself about how good it is to teach the alphabet using a letter a day, so that got me to thinking about trying it out this year. I wanted to start with A and end with Z, but my only problem with this was that I knew I needed to make sure it worked within our district’s scope and sequence in ELA. The scope and sequence begins with M, R, S, T, N, P, C and short vowel A. What worked in my favor was the fact that the focus on those letters begins the 5th week of our scope and sequence.

YAY!! I was thrilled! I would be able to pull this off and still stay within our the guidelines of our county scope and sequence.

So we have been on an adventure since day ONE!!…..

an Alphabet Adventure!!

And it has been majorly FUN and very engaging for all of my kinder cubs!!

During my Literacy Station time, I have introduced the Letter of the Day by reading a book from the Alpha Tales collection (We happen to have these at our school.)

Then, we create an Anchor Chart of the letter of the day. This is when I can incorporate some kinders who know the letters already but they still love to think of words that begin with that letter. They have loved watching me draw pictures to illustrate the words!

After the anchor chart is completed, the kinders go to a Letter Station and rotate within 4 of them:

I didn’t have time to create my own resources, so after some quick researching, I mainly used a couple of different resources to create the centers.

My station was Alphabet Brochures by Simply Kinder! This resource has printable trifold brochures where the kinders complete little activities in in it for each letter. Just click the picture below to find this resource. It gives them handwriting practice as well. I especially love the home link section on the back.

Alphabet Brochures

For station number 2, the kinders work on an independent center using a resource from A Teeny Tiny Teacher called:

Just Fold! Mini Books {All About the ABC's}

Click the pic of her resource above to get it! These mini books are so very simple to print and fold ready to use. The students trace letters on the books. LOVE IT!! Then, the kinders can take them home and read them to a parent.

Alphabet mini books

Station number 3 has been the kinders absolute favorite! I knew I wanted some type of ABC craftivity to use in a center, so creating a hat for each letter was a  no brainer. So after I looked around, I found that Simply Kinder’s Alphabet Hats met my needs. You can click the pic and see them for yourself if you are interested.

Alphabet Hats

Everyday since the first day of school we have made these hats! I have gotten messages and emails from parents telling me about how much fun it has been for them to guess what might possibly be on the hat for a certain letter.

I just HAVE to show you some of the pictures of our hats.

Alphabet Hats

On Mm day the hat was moose ears. So…..

I just HAD to let them wear their hats and we did Moose-Ta-Cha from GoNoodle!!

Moose Hats

Then for the last station, I have alternated between uppercase and lowercase puzzles  and playdough letter mats. Well….again these resources are from TpT. The way I used the puzzles worksheets, was quite simple. I printed the letter puzzle and the pieces. Next, I colored the pieces and colored the borders and then I laminated all of it and I cut the pieces apart. And…VOILA! I had reusable puzzles.  Click the pics to find them.

Alphabet Puzzles for Lowercase Letters   Alphabet Puzzles for Uppercase Letters

Alphabet Puzzle

Alphabet Play Dough Mats

The alphabet play dough work mats are fun and easy to laminate. The kinders have had a blast with them!!

Alphabet Playdough

We have only 6 more letters to go and when we are done, we are going to have an Alphabet Palooza Party!!

I’m calling it that, because well….I just love that word Palooza!!

I have found lots of ideas on Pinterest. My plans right now are to make alphabet necklaces, and an alphabet trail mix. Then we will play Alphabet Stack Up using sliced up pool noodles with letters on the front. We will play some sort of ABC Relay Race. I will end it with an Alphabet cookie walk. I just completed a resource to use for the cookie walk. As I developed it, I realized that the small cards can also be used for a matching game. I am really excited this celebration. I will post about it, after it happens!!

The Alphabet Cookie Walk resource is on sale in my store $1 for a week. I hope that you will walk on over to it and check it out!

Just click the pic below to look it over!!

Alphabet Cookie Walk

I really want to end this blog post with a giveaway to honor those of you who have been in the classroom for a few weeks now and for those who are just starting back this week!! Please check out my Rafflecopter below to enter to win a $10 gift card from Teachers Pay Teachers. I’ll be giving away 2!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you have a great week!! Thanks for checking in!!

Five for Friday: May 27, 2016

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Hello! I’m here linking up with my favorite linky Five For Friday. Thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching!

I have to preface my post with saying that I’m cheating …..

just a little……because…..

some of my posts here are from last week, but I’m telling you what!!

Last week was a wild week for sure and now that I’m into my 2nd day of summer vacation, I can sit back and reflect on last week’s happenings.

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Last year, I was reading from one of my favorite bloggers Elizabeth from Kickin It In Kindergarten and she posted about her Vowel Surgery Day!! Click HERE to see that post if you’re interested. I just had to buy her product, but I NEVER had time last year to try it out. So….when I started my 2015-16 year off, I knew one of the things I would take time to do was Vowel Surgery Day. Well….we did it and it was soooooo well worth the effort!! It was totally satisfying for me to have an activity that day, that would be fun and yet VERY engaging for my kinder cubs. Another thing that I loved about it, was the fact that I was able to pull some 5th graders in to help as well. No that is not a 5th grader behind me in the pic. That is my awesome parapro, Mrs. Hartley. The 5th graders were at the other stations. I loved my little make shift FES Hospital!!

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We did vowel surgery last Tuesday, because Monday was our field day. Well, I just couldn’t leave math out…

I mean….all that attention to VOWELS….

NUMBERS had to be right up there as well….

so….

I created a resource called EQUATION EXCAVATION!! So the kinders got to be doctors of another type on Wednesday….

paleontologists!!!

Now this day was a little messier than the vowel surgery day, but again…

it was well worth the effort!!

I got 4 different sensory bins ready and the answers to math equations were buried in each bin. The helper, would show a subtraction or addition number sentence and that paleontologist had to locate the answer in the bin. I used dinosaur names for each station….like T Rex Tens and Stegosaurus Subtraction. I also had a station called Brontosaurus Bump It. This is the station where they would “rest” from all of their excavations and play a game of Bump It and eat none other than….DINOSAUR FRUIT SNACKS!! Click HERE to get my resource if you are interested!

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And here is our rendition of the grass critters you see on Pinterest. We did these on Thursday afternoon after our big end of the year celebration. That is one of my favorite times of the year. When the parents get to come see our little program in the classroom and marvel over how much their precious one has grown!! Lots of tears were shed at the end. It really pulls at the heartstrings for sure!! BTW….we do this on the day before the last day of school.

I posted about the way I do my End of the Year Celebration last year, so feel free to click HERE to see what we do.

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We had 3 postplanning days…

A local church provided lunch for us on the last day. They had a wonderful pavilion and had hamburgers, hotdogs and all the fixins for us….

not to mention TONS of desserts!! Then, when we left, they had the cups as a gift for us to take home. It was such a nice way to end our school year!

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HOWEVER!! Because I honestly didn’t plan out my last week with my kiddos very well…

I mean…

Vowel Surgery and Equation Excavation took up a lot of my time…..

I needed to go back to school that afternoon and make sure I had put away everything that I was told to put away.

And y’all…..

it was quiet……not a good quiet….but a sad quiet…..

believe it or not….I was missing my Kinder Cubs!!…I promise!! …..I really was….I had a grieving moment for sure!!

So I posted this pic on Instagram…

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With this comment:

Well….another year done! All things put on the back counter ….piled high!! It’s such a bittersweet day!! So ready for summer vacation but I’m going to miss my sweet and precious Kinder Cubs of 2015-16!! Great will happen here again August 8th!! Stay tuned!!

And that about sums it up!! Be sure and link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. I always LOVE reading the posts from it!! Have a great weekend!!

Easter Egg Dying Activity- From School to Home

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Ok….

I know….

Easter is over!! What am I doing posting about Easter Eggs!?

Well, I just HAVE to share a little about what happened last week after we completed a science activity in our class with dying eggs.

During the week before Easter, I love using The Easter Bunny’s Assistant as my Guiding Readers focus book.  I have posted before about Guiding Readers, I am a HUGE FAN of Deanna Jump’s and Deedee Wills’ Guiding Reader series. There are a TON of ideas in these resources and my kinder cubs get so much out of it! I’m able to teach ALL of the Common Core Reading Comprehension Standards and opinion writing standards by using these resources. Also, there are phonics skills and posters that I have used and posted in my classroom that have been great as well.

March Guiding ReadersClick the image above if you’d like to look at this terrific resource.

This particular book is used in their series to teach cause and effect, and sequencing.

Anyway……

For the activity, I took raw eggs…yes raw…..

and we BLEW out the insides!! I mean what can be more FUN and ENGAGING than blowing out the GUTS of an egg!

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Let me intercept here by saying this activity was done with a group of 4 kinder cubs at a time! There is no way in heaven that I could do this as a whole group!! My 55 (soon to be 56) year old body wouldn’t be able to handle that much “egg”citement with a whole group of 20 at one time!

I bought enough eggs for each student to have 1. I made sure that they were fresh store bought eggs. Before they put their mouth on the egg, I cleaned it with a sensitive skin baby wipe. I took a large push pin and poked a hole in both ends. I kind of wiggled the end where the insides came out to make the hole a little bigger. Then, I had the kinder cub stand over a large bowl and blow the TAR out (as my momma would say) of the egg. The white of the egg would come out first and if the white mucous thing started coming out, I would pull on that to get it out and then the yolk would come out last. As soon as it was all out, I would write that student’s number with a permanent marker on the end.

Was it messy? Heck, yea! Notice the butcher paper in the picture. I used it to try to capture all of the messes as they happened.

Did any eggs break during the process? Sure, I mean we’re working with kindergarten students….something is BOUND to break!! So, I came prepared with extra eggs.

Did any kinders get “GROSSED” out during the process? Only one had a funny look on his sweet face, but the rest of them were absolutely thrilled with the process!

After the numbers were written on the eggs, each kiddo in the group took a crayon (I let them choose a color first and then when I got to the 2nd group, I made them only use white crayons) and make designs on the empty egg shell.

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Next came the dying process.

For each group, I took food coloring, water and vinegar and used the directions that were in The Easter Bunny’s Assistant to make the dye.

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BTW….mixing the dye is SO easy!! You really don’t need an egg dying kit….just sayin’…even though I do love the type of spoons that come with them where the eggs can sit on the spoon. But I wanted my kinder cubs to see what happens when different liquids are mixed together.

I let each group choose 2 colors to make dye. Once we mixed the dye, they got to dip their egg in it and watch the magic happen!

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As the kiddos took out their dyed egg, I would make sure they shook the eggs a little to try to get some of the dye out of the inside of the egg. Then, I placed it in an egg carton where there was a paper towel in there and let the eggs dry. After school, I put clean paper towels in the carton and turned the eggs over to continue draining and drying.

This is how a few of them looked when they were completely dry. The white one was a spare! 🙂

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To encourage critical thinking, I used a How To Decorate Eggs writing response sheet that is in the Guiding Readers resource and the students completed it after they dyed the eggs.

So, once the eggs were dry…

which was the next day….

my parapro wrapped them nicely up and put them in plastic baggies. The kinder cubs didn’t put them in their book bags. They carried the bags…..

in their precious kinder hands…..

home with PRIDE!!

Now, the Georgia science standards we covered in this activity were:

SCI.K.SKCS1.a – [Element] – Raise questions about the world around you and be willing to seek answers to some of the questions by making careful observations (5 senses) and trying things out.

SCI.K.SKCS5.b – [Element] – Begin to draw pictures that portray features of the thing being described. (because they journaled about what they did and completed the How To sheet)

SCI.K.SKCS5.a – [Element] – Describe and compare things in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion.

SCI.K.SKCS6.a – [Element] – In doing science, it is often helpful to work with a team and to share findings with others.

SCI.K.SKP2.b – [Element] – Push, pull, and roll common objects and describe their motions. (we talked about how we used the air from our bodies to PUSH the insides of the egg OUT)

The entire time we discussed so much that was science related! I was even able to talk about liquid and what would happen to the inside of the egg if it were cooked. I just love teachable moments like that!!

Now!!

To conclude this post and answer why I called it From School to Home….

even though I did say that they carried them home….

but that was not why I titled my post From School to Home…

On Good Friday, after we had left our Good Friday service at church and we were eating dinner in a restaurant, I got this text from a parent. It was a couple of pictures!!

I gasped!!

I hollered out a little (we were in a restaurant!!…I didn’t want to be too loud!) because……

You want to know what it was a picture of……?!?!

You guessed it!!…or maybe you didn’t…..

It was the dad with one of my precious kinder cubs, BLOWING the insides out of an egg!!

That precious girl went home and told her parents all about what we did and insisted that they do the same thing at home!!

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Talk about making my teacher heart well up with JOY inside!!

I mean JELLY BEAN!!

Those pictures made that whole activity so worth it for me.

I know that my kinder cubs grew lots of little dendrites in their brains that afternoon, because they got to DO something,  and it was an experience that hopefully they will never forget!

That night I went to bed loving my job and loving the 20 kinder cubs that I teach!!

AND most of all, feeling quite BLESSED and thankful for EASTER!!

Tomorrow is Leap Day!! YIKES!!

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Oh me oh my!! Not sure that I’m actually LEAPING for joy over this one but tomorrow is Leap Day and I just now finished up a FREEBIE so I can share it and have some things ready for tomorrow!!

I meant to have this done a couple of weeks…..

I promise…..

I always have good intentions, and then I get so busy that things get put on the back burner……

I have LOTS of back burners…..

But anyway……That’s for another post!!

Here you go…..

Here is a freebie of Leap Day Fun printables more suitable for kindergarten and first grade that I hope will help you as move through your day tomorrow.

Since Leap Year only comes ONCE every FOUR years, I find it very important to teach about it!

Just click HERE  to get to my freebie in my TpT store.

Also, click the pic below if you’d rather get it from Google Drive

Slide1My other plan for the day is to use orgami frogs to make them leap and then we will measure the distance they leaped using non standard measurement. I also will put numbers on green lily pads and the students will place their frog on every fourth number.

I also want to have students leap and we will measure how far they leaped using non standard measurement.

It will be a fun and engaging day and then BAM!!

Dr. Seuss week will begin on Tuesday!!!

Enjoy the rest of your evening!!

Valentine Bliss

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Valentine week! Aww…..the bliss of it all! Red, pink, purple, and neon green hearts….yes green….my boys like green and I want them to be blissful too! It is one of my favorite weeks. I fill it up with lots of HEART filled learning!

I begin with loading my book display case with all my Valentine books.

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Then, I like to start the week off with showing them a video on how Valentine’s Day began. BRAIN POP JR. has a terrific movie about it.

I love beginning my weeks with thematic poems. For this week, I showed them my Monster Love poem that I have from Deedee Wills Poetry station packet. I adore the poems in her monthly poetry resources. Monster Love is one of my favorites! Click HERE to find Deedee’s February Poetry Stations and Shared Reading Packet.

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If you are a fan of Teachers Pay Teachers in early primary grades, then I know you are aware of Deanna Jump. Well….last year, I got hooked on hers and Deedee Wills’ resource called Guiding Readers. I. Love. It! It is an essential part of my curriculum in kindergarten. There are so many choices of books that you can easily adapt  to fit what you are teaching each month. For my Valentine unit, they have lesson plans for Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane DeGroat. There are 5 days of plans for each book. Lots of writing ideas. A craftivity to complete that goes along with the book. Sentence activities, vocabulary and phonics activities. It is packed with lots of great ideas and ways to keep your students engaged in their learning. If you’d like to look at this awesome and I can’t say enough about it resource then click HERE

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Candy Heart Science observationsI ended the first day of our Valentine week with a Candy Heart Science Experiment. I found a REALLY good freebie that I used. My kinder cubs loved it!! I thought I had pictures of how I set it up, but I couldn’t find them (sad face inserted) . But the gist of it was to place candy hearts in water to see if they would sink or float. Then, you put them in water, clear soda (like Sprite), and vinegar to see what kind of reaction occurs. There are cute recording sheets on this freebie. You can click HERE  or on the picture above to find this experiment to use.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, I have 6 literacy centers in the morning and 6 math centers in the afternoon. I rotate 2 times a day. Then, by Friday, we have completed all of our literacy and math centers for the week. That way, in case I want to have a special celebration like Valentine’s Day, I have time to work that in on a Friday.

My literacy centers for my Valentine Week consisted of:

  1. Sensory bin with matching CVC words with the picture. Then, they wrote the word they found. Lastly, they each wrote a sentence using one of the words. IMG_4126[1]2. Alliteration (well….sort of) writing. Using the child’s name and something he/she loves that begins with the same letter as his/ her name. An example would be: Daniel loves doughnuts.IMG_4155[1]

3. Tech Time

4. Writing Work Station: This is another one of my favorite Deedee Wills resources. This week the students had a sheet with Valentine Day related pictures and they had to label the pictures using the right words.

5. Word Family Matching. The students had heart shaped cards with word family pictures and they sorted them onto a Valentine themed work mat with that ending on it.

6. Art Smart: This week’s art smart project came from the Guiding Readers resource. The students made Valentine selfies. IMG_4227[1]

They worked so hard in each center. It does my Valentine heart good to see them so engaged through the week.

Here is what went down for our Math centers:

  1. They picked a Valentine themed Domino and wrote the equation that fit the domino on Valentine themed paper.
  2. Geometric Valentines: took shapes and formed them to create a Valentine. Click HERE to get the resource. It is not free, but it is definitely cheap. I had the pieces copied on different colored paper. My parapro (BLESS HER HEART) cut out all of the pieces and put them in sets…yes it was a lot of work! At the center, each kinder cub got a set and looked at the key that I had made and created one of their own.
  3. Tech Time
  4. Fine Valentines graphing work sheet. Even though I am not a fan of using a lot of work sheets, I like to use one in math that makes them practice their cutting skills and is somewhat interactive. This one fit the bill perfectly.
  5. Valentine making 10 sheet. We used 10 frames to make a number and then added more to make 10. Then we used a recording sheet to see the different ways we could make 10.
  6. Number word writing practice.

Last year, I found the absolutest cutest VALENTINE for the kinder cubs to make for their parents. This year, as I was explaining it to my kinders, I even made one of them cry because she thought it was so sweet!!

This is what the finished product looks like:

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You need the copy of the phrase printed in color on white cardstock. Get it HERE

The rest of this activity is from Kinder Alphabet. If you scroll to the end of the post, you will find the instructions. Click HERE to find her ideas and the instructions to this card. I made my own sheet for it, because I didn’t want the words in script. I wanted it in print. So you can have a choice if you decide to do it.

Friday was the GRAND FINALE of our week!! The kiddos were so excited, that I had to bribe encourage them to make good choices all day so we could get all of our LOVELY activities completed.

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During our spare time throughout the week, the kids made these Critter Card Carriers. Click on the picture above to find my post on how to create these little cutie patootie things. I’ve used them for years. My students love them and have such a great time putting their Valentine cards in them.

On Friday morning, everyone brought in their Valentine cards. I found some freebie Valentine coloring sheets for them to work on during the morning.

When we got ready to have our Valentine’s Day Celebration Stations , I had a parent helper, 2 parapros, and me at each of 4 stations. We took about 15 minutes at each station. Here is what we did.

  1. IMG_4192[1]Add and Cover a valentine. The students had a card stock half paper that had numbers on it from 2-12. I happened to have Valentine themed dice. The kinder cubs would take turns rolling the dice and add the 2 together. Then, that kinder would cover the number on his/her sheet. Whoever covered their board first was the winner.
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Colorful Candy Heart Graphing- The students took candy conversation hearts, and graphed the colors. The boxes of conservation hearts had blue hearts and no white hearts. So I decided to make a Freebie for my TpT store. Click the picture below to get this freebie.

Slide13. Valentine Bingo

4. Valentine Delivery: We found that it was much easier to take a small group at a time and let them take their Valentines and put them in the bags themselves. If a child got done before the center time was over, he/she would just go over to the butcher paper we had set up for coloring.

After our Valentine Celebration Stations were over, it was time for lunch!!

Then, in the afternoon, we had rest, recess, Valentine writing stations and then about 30 minutes before the day was done, we had frozen yogurt sundaes complete with strawberries, blueberries, whipped cream, sprinkles, and cherries.

Yes!!……. I was SLAP WORN OUT and when I put the last child on the bus, I packed up and went and got a mani and pedi!! It was heaven!!

See you soon!!

 

Five For Friday Sept. 25th, 2015

fiveforfriday2_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2IMG_2138[1]Here I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.

It has been such a fun week centering all of my teaching around APPLES!!

I don’t know why I love this unit so much?!

It may be because it puts me in that nice autumn fallish mood….

It may be because I love to eat apples….

Or maybe because I’m a teacher and it’s just kind of part of my genetic make up??

Well…..whatever it is…..I love it and I think my students have fun with it too……and they learn a lot as well!!

Divider-1_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[2]I did have a slight problem this year….not huge but a slight one….I couldn’t find my unit file for apples. Ok..maybe that was a huge problem, since I only had about 2 days to plan what I was going to do.

I have so many expandable folders with the word apples on it and yet I couldn’t find even one!! So I decided to do some research….meaning….I pulled up Pinterest….

I found some great pictures along with ideas that I used to make the week really special.

As part of my literacy centers, I have a center called ART SMART.

 I found this pin of a really cute poem with a craft idea to go along with it. I thought that would be great, so I clicked on the picture and found out that the idea is from Deanna Jump’s Apple Math and Literacy Unit.

Apple Poem

I certainly just HAD to buy this terrific resource…..since I’d lost my Apple unit folder!!

To start off the unit, I used a precious book from the unit that Deanna wrote called, Who Took the Apple? I just loved it! I showed the book on my screen and then I had the kinder cubs complete the sheet that goes with it to create a class book. They loved it!! I put a link in for this unit above with Deanna’s name and the name of her unit. You should really check it out! I’ll reference it throughout this post. Oh….and yes….we did the poem above and it was perfect for my Art Smart Center.

Divider-2_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[2]

I just need to go ahead and say that I am going to sound like a Deanna Jump groupie throughout this post….but she’s got some good stuff going on!

I am a major fan of hers and DeeDee Wills Guiding Readers Monthly Resources. I began using them last year in January and I knew these were going to be a keeper for me! What I love most about these monthly units is that they teach comprehension skills very explicitly and easily I might add. Everything points back to common core standards and learning targets that fit with kindergarten and first grade. They don’t leave you hanging wondering how you are going to teach these skills. Easy ideas are given for both k and 1 and as you get used to the routine of each daily plan it is really easy to prepare and prep.  Then, there are different writing activities throughout the lesson. Also, each lesson brings out particular vocabulary that is found in the book and you can do little activities to go along with the vocabulary. And if that isn’t enough, they have lots of phonics no prep activities that I use as well. I printed all of the comprehension skills posters and the alphabet posters too. In their Guiding Readers Set 2 August/September Unit there is a lesson plan using Betsy Maestro’s non fiction book:  How Do Apples Grow? Deanna is a pro with teaching kids about Schema and New Learning. That is the way I like to teach when I’m using nonfiction books. This picture shows a little sample of what we did using the book.

Apple pic 1I made a rather sloppy anchor chart that shows their schema and their new information learned from the book. What I love is that most of the students understood that their schema plus their new information equaled new learning for them. As you can see from the 2 drawings, 1 child wrote that the trees help the apples grow and the other even though he didn’t use words I understood he was expressing that his new information was that insects help make the flowers make fruit. By the way, this book really puts in details the “birds and the bees” as far as flowers making fruit. I paraphrased a lot of it, so it wouldn’t sound like I was trying to teach something else…..if you get my drift……

Divider-3_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumbApple Pic 2My math centers this week were all apple related. The kids worked on Spinner Math with apples, counting apples and writing the numbers on a work mat, interpreting a graph of their favorite type of apple, and creating this apple glyph….yep….the glyph is from Deanna Jump’s Apple Unit. For kindergarten, glyphs are a great visual to discuss what is the same or what is different about each other. After each small group completed their graph, I would hold up 2 of the glyphs and at first I would model by telling them my “noticings” about the glyphs and then I would hold up 2 more and get them to think and tell me some of the their “noticings” about the glyphs.

Divider-4_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[1]Apple Pic 3On Monday afternoon during our science time, we used our 5 senses to observe a yellow, red, and green apple. The kinders took their science journals and drew pictures of the apples and wrote describing words about the apples. Then, they tasted each kind of apple and we graphed which type was their favorite. Then, we recorded the results on the little poster. Notice the journal on the right……that little kinder used arrows to point to her favorite apple. I thought that was great!

On Tuesday, to introduce maps and globes for social studies, I read How To Make An Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman and using a large map, I took pictures of the ingredients and taped them to the different places that are mentioned in the book, on the map. Then, after I read the book, I had an apple pie, and gave all of my little kinders a taste.

Divider-5_thumb3_thumb2_thumb7_thumbThis is how I work my science and social studies time block. I teach a whole group science lesson on Monday, and a whole group social studies lesson on Tuesday. I love to integrate science and social studies into my reading and math. However, I think it is important to explicitly teach lessons in these areas even in kindergarten. Then, on Wednesdays and Thursdays, we have SSS time. SSS stands for Science Social Studies Stations. We TRY to get 2 stations in on each day. If I only do 1, I have some time built in on Fridays to finish them up.

This week here were my stations:

Social Studies Station 1: A map of the world for each student. They colored the land areas green and the water areas blue. Basic but it gets them noticing what a map looks like.

Science Station 2: We were also finishing up our Five Senses Unit with an interactive book.

Social Studies Station 3: I read a book about Johnny Appleseed during a read aloud time. Then, the students colored and glued pieces to make a Johnny Appleseed Puppet. There are many patterns for this but my favorite is this one:

Apple Pic 4Click HERE for the free pattern for this Johnny Appleseed Puppet.

On Friday, they glued a song to the back of their Johnny Appleseed puppet.

Click HERE for a copy of the poem.

Then, I videotaped them singing the poem so I could share it with my Class Story on Class Dojo. They were precious!!

Here is a collage pic of my cutie pies with their puppets:

Apple Pic 5Science Station 4: Labeling parts of an Apple-(I saw this activity idea on Pinterest) I took an apple and using a divided plastic serving $1 platter, I cut each part and made a label and placed them in the platter. I took time for the small group to touch each part and then label their own recording sheet. They were very engaged throughout the activity. Of course, they got to eat the rest of the apple that I didn’t use.

Apple Pic 6Click HERE for a copy of the recording sheet.

To complete our unit and my science unit, we did a STEM activity with sink and float. I did this activity last year and the students loved it and learned so much!! You can see that post HERE.

apple pic 7The one thing I did differently this time was instead of the kinders designing a boat of their own to float, I let them make apple boats….in small groups of course…… and they explored with them in the bin of water I used for the sink and float activity. They loved this activity and took their apple boats home.

apple pic 8To find a more detailed example of the apple boats click HERE for the pin.

I know this was a HUGE post, but I wanted to share our week with you in case you needed some new ideas of your own. Hope your week is appleicious!!

Five For Friday: {Linky Party August 21, 2015}

fiveforfriday2_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. For me, this has been my 3rd Friday back at school!! It is hard to believe!!

Divider-1_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[2]IMG_1848[1]12 days! Wow! We have been in school for 12 days already!! We started on August 6th. This is my 3rd year teaching kindergarten and I truly forgot how difficult the first 2 weeks with 21 kinder cubs can be! I mean jelly bean, by the time I got home today….

I.Was.Exhausted!!

I even have a wonderful paraprofessional, and we both come home totally pooped!

However, even during the 2nd week, we saw how these sweet kiddos were trying to follow procedures and do their best.

I’m even noticing how certain ones are making new friends as they get to know each other.

I’ve just really tried my best this time to take things really S-L-O-W and can see how it is helping us all!

Divider-2_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[2]IMG_1846[1]Read alouds and lots of them! That’s been such an important part of these past 12 days! Today, I heard one of my girls read aloud one of the math books I read the other day called, Ten In The Bed. It did my teacher’s heart good to hear her. I knew she couldn’t read, but she remembered that one well enough to “read” it to herself.

Divider-3_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumbIMG_1850[1]This week I was determined to make sure and begin 2 very important things! My literacy centers and my guiding readers time.

Last January I began purchasing Deanna Jump’s and DeeDee Wills’ Guiding Readers Monthly Units.  I absolutely loved them, and I was able to adapt them to fit my needs for my sweet kinder cubs. I saw such awesome results with their critical thinking and their opinion writing, that I knew these were a keeper!  I wanted to start using them as SOON as the new school year began.

In the August/September packet, Chicka, Chicka Boom Boom is one of the focus books.

Here are some examples of what the kiddos did as responses to the story.

IMG_1823[1]I actually got this idea from Deanna’s name unit. Click HERE to find it. Aren’t these coconut trees too cute!!

I have a literacy center called, Art Smart. During that time, the students created the coconut tree. Then, on Friday we helped them put the sticky foam letters on the tree to spell their names. The strip of paper under the trees were done the first full week back during our math time. It’s hard to see, but it is My name is ________. I have _____ letters in my name.

IMG_1830[1]These guiding reader lessons incorporate so many comprehension skills. Here is their first official writing. They were making connections by drawing pictures of the hurt letters and then drawing a picture of a time when they got hurt. My awesome parapro and I went around and dictated sentences. I think they did a great job for their first response writing.

Click HERE to view Deanna and DeeDee’s Guiding Readers Packets. They are worth the money for sure!!

Divider-4_thumb3_thumb2_thumb2_thumb[1]IMG_1849[1]One of our goals for our school this year is to improve our science scores. So everyone has to have a SACRED time to teach science. I LOVE to teach science and social studies. Most of the time I try to integrate science and social studies into my literacy centers and I also have a time to explicitly teach science and social studies. This year I’ve started the 5 senses. I have to say the book shown above is the most awesome read aloud about the 5 senses. I only read a little at a time each day and my dream was to do an activity right after. However, due to continuing teaching routines and what not…

I haven’t gotten to activities

but…….soon and very soon……next week to be exact….

I’m beginning my

Slide1I created the unit this summer and now I’m ready to use in my classroom along with some other surprise activities.

Click HERE to find it!

I.Can’t.Wait.

Divider-5_thumb3_thumb2_thumb7_thumbIMG_1851[1]I ALWAYS want to end my day with a few laughs so what better way than to read Junie B. Jones!

She is my favorite and its the only time of day that I can say stupid and dumb…..

however…..

I have to preface those times, “Boys and girls should we ever say those words in class?”, “HEAVENS NO!” and they have to repeat

HEAVENS NO! with me.

In the first book as many of you know, Junie B. hides in the classroom so she doesn’t have to ride the bus on the first afternoon of kindergarten.

So…

even though I have sweet and absolutely precious……not to mention ADORABLE kinders this year,

You better believe that at dismissal…

I made sure that I had every one of my littles with me.

You just never know what their little brains (with BIG ideas) might be thinking!!

And I SURE don’t want to be looking for a kid after school!

Would you??

Have a great week!!

Oh!! And be sure to link up HERE with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five For Friday!! It is ALWAYS a fun read!!

Dr. Seuss Week!

Dr. Seuss CatDr. Seuss HortonDr. Seuss Grinch

 

I don’t know about you, but I love to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday in kindergarten!! We celebrate for the whole week! Yep! We do different Dr. Seuss related activities the entire week! I stray away from my routine and build my learning targets around the well known classics such as: Green Eggs and Ham  One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish  Hop on Pop  Fox in Socks There’s a Wocket in My Pocket and my personal favorite Horton Hatches an Egg. Also, throughout the week, I read aloud other favorites of mine. Then, on Friday afternoon I end with Oh The Places You’ll Go to try to inspire these little minds that are so full of wonder!!

My little kinder cubs have no idea what is in store for them this coming week! That’s what makes it so much fun for me! I can’t wait to see their sweet faces on Monday when they come in and see all of the Dr. Seuss books, with the stuffed toys to go with them sitting around the room.

For a few years, Kohls would have a Dr. Seuss book with a stuffed toy to match for $5 each beginning around January. Now, I don’t see them anymore, so you better believe I treat these items like gold treasure. I have about 14 in my collection along with a Horton from Macy’s that I bought in 2008.

Now to begin my mornings this week, I will put out Dr. Seuss related activities for my Morning Table Rotations.

I don’t think I’ve ever said this out loud, but I do not like morning work that are worksheets. Here are my reasons why:

I have to have a different one EVERY DAY! UGH…..too much thinking on my part because the worksheets need to be something that they can do on their own…..that is a difficult feat with differentiation…..and it’s better if the worksheets are something that do not require cutting and pasting!

Worksheets for each day end up in almost 100 copies per week! I don’t want to use up my allotment for that.

It is the same kiddos who don’t complete them because they get to school right before the bell rings.

It is the same kiddos who do complete them because they get to school as soon as the first bell rings and they are wanting something else to do.

And worksheets don’t grow dendrites!! (I’ll mention that again later in this post!)

So here is what I do: I put a hands on activity out at each of my student tables….there are 4….and each day I rotate the activity to a different table. Easy Peasy!! On Fridays, I allow the kinders to get a blank piece of paper and it is Free Draw Friday…..they love it!! This Friday may be different though because of Dr. Seuss Week.

Here are my morning table rotations for this week: BTW—-you’ll see Cat in the Hat Headbands on each table. Each student will get one Monday morning…….I’m hoping everyone will be there so I can take a class pic!!

The custodians ran me out of the building Friday night, so I didn’t get a chance to prepare the hats for the kiddos to wear on Monday……..I will do that first thing Monday morning when I get there!

Ok now for pictures:

Here is my green table:Dr. Seuss green 2I call it the green table, because there is a round green paper lantern above it. (My tables are specified by the colors: green, purple, blue, and pink.) I found these dry erase boards last summer at Target…..best place ever to find Seuss things in the dollar bin. (side line: Last year, I found some cute Seuss Story bags that the kids use for their Read to Self bag of books.) I have the word family cards that we have worked on and they will practice writing the words on the boards and will write sentences using the words. They really enjoy this type of activity and it is so easy to set out.

Here is the purple table: Dr. Seuss purpleAgain, these plastic plates and bowls came from Target. I’m telling you, whenever I see these type items, I go ahead and buy a set because I know I can incorporate them into my Dr. Seuss week. Well….I put these on the table, but….. I don’t have the activity ready…..because on Friday evening, I wasn’t sure yet what I was going to do.  I’m thinking I’m going to put Cat in the Hat number cards that I made out. The students will pick a card from a stack put it on their plate. In the bowls will be Dr. Seuss small erasers. The students will count out that number of erasers and put them in the plate next to the card to represent the number. I will encourage them to talk about which number is greater, less, etc. Then, they will pull another card and continue on until the bell rings.

Here is the blue table: Dr. Seuss blue table 3

Dr. Seuss Blue TableFor this rotation, the kinders will get to snuggle with a Seuss stuffed toy and read a book. I have the book that goes along with the toy paired up with each other. I have some animals in the red bin that I’m not sure which book they belong to. Do you know? Here is a pic where you can see they are a whale and a giraffe: Dr. Seuss blue table 3I don’t have a picture of my pink table, because that will be Dr. Seuss book puzzles that I have. I forgot to get them from my house, so I’m bringing those with me on Monday morning and they will be out before the kinder cubs step into the classroom.

So, I think this will be a great beginning to a fun and fantastic week! We are going to read, rhyme, read, graph, read, work on math subtraction problems with gold fish, read, sort nonsense words  from real words, read, write opinions about Dr. Seuss books, read, compare and contrast Dr. Seuss characters, read, watch old Dr. Seuss cartoons (I have some with exact dialog from the books, but they have songs in them as well….I am all about singing!!), read, create animals by combining 2 animals (this is what happens in Horton Hatches an Egg), read, work with tens and ones, read, working in a sensory bin that is Dr. Seuss related, etc….you get the gist of my week…..fun…..engaging….growing dendrites in kinders…..at least I hope so!!

Ok before I leave today…..the growing dendrites part…..I’m linking up with a great blog book study on the book:

Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites The author is a lady from Georgia and I’ve heard nothing but great things about her!! I just ordered the book from Barnes and Noble and it should be at my house in a couple of days.

There are some great bloggers who are going to lead the study. Here is a link to one of my favorite bloggers Elizabeth Hall. She talks in this post about the schedule and how it is going to work:

bookstudy

Click HERE for today’s first Worksheets Don’t Grow Dendrites book study (Chapters 1 and 2 post).

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend! I’m headed out to find some more Dr. Seuss stuff, and I need to buy some things for a bridal shower I’m helping host, and get some things for our school science night that we’re having this week. Wowsa!! It’s going to be a fun week! I hope you enjoy yours!!

Looking Back At My Thanksgiving Break

Slide1Well I honestly thought that I would be done with Thanksgiving for this year in my class. I mean…HELLO!….the Monday we go back from our Thanksgiving holiday is going to be DECEMBER 1. So who wouldn’t want to start December fresh with festive Christmas activities. Well……I guess it’s not me!! Before I begin all of my December activities, I’m going to have my kinders think back to this past Thanksgiving day.  I thought about it on Thanksgiving, that it might be a good idea to come up with something that my kinder cubs could use to reflect and ponder over their Thanksgiving. I decided today, to create this FREEBIE so I can use it in my own classroom.

I’m really excited to get it ready tomorrow, and I’m going to get them to work on it first thing in the morning after my calendar time.

I’ll post some pics after tomorrow and see how it works out.

In the meantime, if you are up late like me and are trying to get your last minute plans done, download this Freebie from my TpT store and use it!! I would love to know how it work for you! Click HERE

for your FREEBIE! Now on to my December activities……

Have a great Monday tomorrow!!

Linda G.