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Solar Eclipse Day…What’s a Teacher To Do??

Hello there!!

Ok….

This post is going to start with confession time…..

I just need to get it out there to clear my guilt and I do hope I’m not the only one in kindergarten teacher land who did this! So here goes:

First of all- I didn’t even know there was going to be a Solar Eclipse until the middle of June.

I’m not a syfy kind of woman…

except I do enjoy watching Face Off on the Syfy Channel….but I don’t believe in Aliens…..

so space is not really my thing….

I personally enjoy keeping my feet planted on Earth…..except when I’m travelling in a jet.

Second of all- I had other things on my plate this summer where my mind did not even come back to Solar Eclipse Day! I mean…. I had Vacation Bible School, STEAM team meetings, workshop on learning about Monarch butterflies, a mission trip to Wales, TpT conference, the beach, and not to mention completing a remodeling project in my house. I enjoyed every second of these fun activities for the summer. ….

But THEN……

Preplanning began

and…………………..

I went to a meeting of all of the Science Curriculum Lead Teachers in our county and the words SOLAR ECLIPSE DAY came up in a discussion.

and…

It was a MAJOR discussion!!

like- What are we doing that day? Is there a plan for school to be cancelled? Is there any talk of our school day been extended? How much will our area be in the solar eclipse? Has anyone bought glasses for viewing the Solar Eclipse that day?

I’m telling you, It was stuff that I had not EVEN thought about!!

And I tell you I was slightly numb from it all……I thought…..

“YIKES!! This is a pretty important day!

But then to settle my whirling brain, I thought, ” However, it doesn’t actually happen until around 2:30pm in my neck of the woods and it will only be a partial eclipse for us, and my kinder cubs will be on a bus, or car going home. So I’ll just order some solar eclipse glasses for my class as a gift. I’ll attach a note about what they are for and I’ll be good.”

At that point my problem was solved, except I had not ordered glasses yet, but I least had a plan and I was good! I went on through the rest of my week with school meetings and preparing my class for Meet the Teacher Day and for the first day of school. And that is what I did…..

Until a week later!!

And Oh….but WOE was ME….and a few hundred or maybe thousands (I’m not really counting) more teachers in my county.

It became OFFICIAL!!

Our district was extending the school day on August 21st to keep the students safe while the Solar Eclipse was happening! And on a good note, the county school system was going to provide proper solar eclipse glasses for the event for every child and staff in our schools!!

WHAT?!?! An extended day?!?! Oh no?!?

School has JUST started and my brain can only handle the beginning of the year stuff for kindergarten!! I mean….

We’ve only been in school for 5 days!! FIVE days I tell you!!!!

Now I’ve got to add Solar Eclipse Day on top of  just getting my act together with a new set of super sweet kindergarteners?!?! Oh WOW!! What was I to do???????

After I slept on it and rested last weekend, I calmed down…..

I calmed WAYYYYYY down….

I knew I could make this work for me and my new set of kinder cubs. This WAS going to be a very important event for our country and I wanted my kinder cubs to understand and experience it. That is what my job is and I’m very passionate about engaging and helping my students understand the world around them.

so…..

Here is the last part of my confession….

I am sitting here on a Saturday morning.

I just wrote up my plan for Monday’s event. Yep…..I haven’t had time to fully think about it until I sat down early this morning and researched activities for the Solar Eclipse and what it was I am going to do!

Therefore, I thought, why not share it with you in case you are trying to figure out your day as well!!

So here you go!!

Songs and Videos

During snack on Monday, I plan on showing a short video about the solar eclipse. I found one through PBS Kids using one of their shows:

At first, I was questioning this 12 minute show’s relevance to the solar eclipse, but then about 1/3 of the way through you see the solar eclipse come into play. It even discusses why we should never view the solar eclipse with our naked eye and they create a pin hole box viewer when they get ready to observe the solar eclipse. The students are very familiar with this PBS show, so I know they will be engaged watching it. If you would like to view it too, just click the logo above to get to the video.

 

I love to incorporate songs in as many subjects as I can. As I was looking for a video to watch on Monday, I came across a cute song that has a catchy little chorus throughout just  using the words solar eclipse. It’s more like  a rap until you get to the chorus part, but I think it will still grab my students’ attention.  It also helps children not be so fearful of what the solar eclipse is.

Just click below to get to it.

Center Time!!

Within our county, we were sent many online resources to help with our instruction during Solar Ecplipse Day. I appreciate all that our county does to help us meet the needs of our students!!

However, being the blog, Facebook Teacher Group and TpT lover that I am, I found a resource that I decided would help me tremendously on Monday.

So here is a plug for one of my favorites…..

Simply Kinder, Jennifer Kadar!!

Thanks to awesome Simply Kinder for providing a super resource that is inexpensive with quick and easy resources for me to prepare and use on Monday!! There are several components to pick and choose from that will suit your instructional style and needs while your kiddos learn!

You can click any of the pics below to get straight to the resource!!

Since our day will be extended on Monday by 1 hour, I will have time to incorporate Science Small Group Stations that afternoon.

I have 16 students so I will have 4 groups of 4 students.

My center will be a reading lesson, using the Simply Kinder solar eclipse book that is included in her solar eclipse resource.

 

My paraprofessional will facilitate a math graphing center using Simply Kinder’s Solar Eclipse Count and Graph and Yes! It is a part of that resource!

Because these kinder cubs have only been in school for 10 days, there will be parameters on how they are going to complete this. My parapro will only give them 1 crayon at a time. She will have them color each group with only 1 color for each object. The colors will be green for earth, yellow for sun, and gray for moon.She will have them count each object in a group and then show them how to count that same number using the bars going from the bottom to the top of the bars. Then, she will draw a line across the top of the last bar in the number. That will give them a visual of where to color the bars. Then, they will color each set of bars to create the bar graph.

For an extension, I can have them write a sentence I see ________ moons, etc. or I think it would be great to have them count all of them and see what the total number is and compare it to the total number of bars that were colored.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my newbies will get this!! At least it will be great exposure to counting and comparing numbers.

 

Now….there will be two independent centers. At this stage of the game or year that is, it can be somewhat tricky when it comes to preparing an independent activity that won’t cause frustration or lots of “Teacher, teacher, I don’t know how to do this!” among my kinder cubs.

So one of the independent centers will be this Solar Eclipse Craft from Simply Kinder’s resource:

I didn’t really think of this as a craft. It is more of a model of  what will happen during the solar eclipse.

Now you may be looking at this and thinking, “How in the world are kindergarten students going to do this independently?”

Great question!!

And I am going to give you a crazy and obsessed kindergarten teacher answer.

My family and I are going to cut out the pieces and put the craft together. I know!! Crazy?!?! But I really think it will be worth doing!

All the students are going to do is color it. Perhaps they may get BORED with this!! But I think they will enjoy doing that and then they can manipulate the moving moon to mimic the solar eclipse. I will get out colored pencils along with the crayons for this. Again, because I want this to be realistic, I will only have out the colors of crayons and/or colored pencils that will make it more of a realistic model. I am going to glue the sun that is attached to the black paper on the back of the Earth. The moon will be the only movable piece.

Now for the other independent center…

I needed to have another math center because technically the time that I am doing these centers is during my math block.

So, I created a counting math activity with a solar eclipse theme. And I am offering it to you for FREE!! So please go to my TpT store and download it. Click the pic below to get to my store and download it for FREE!!

After the centers are complete, we will color and put together a special solar eclipse hat that is also in the Simply Kinder Resource. I keep debating about this, because we are making hats each day for our Alphabet Action Time….so we’ll see!!

Then, I will talk to the kids about safety outside. Around 2:25 we will begin to make our way outside to the front of our building. The front of building will not give direct access for our little ones to see directly into the sun. That is being done on purpose. We really don’t want any eye injuries that day.

While we are out there, I plan to get the kids to use their senses to find out about the Solor Eclipse. Then, when we come back in, I will have them draw a picture of what they noticed while they were out there watching.

Last but not least, I plan on sending home mini MOON Pies and Capri SUNS as a little gift for making through the day!

Whew!!

Now I feel so much better!! My day is planned and now it is time to get it all prepared. YAY!!

For the kindness you’ve shown by reading this post, I have a giveway for you. Please enter the giveaway below to try for a $10 TpT giftcard. There will be 1 fortunate winner. The deadline is 12 am Monday morning.
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I would love for you to tell me what your plans are for Monday, August 21st…..I mean…..

It IS a BIG deal….don’tcha know??

Enjoy it!

and

I hope God blesses you real good!!

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!!
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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!!

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!!

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.

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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!!

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!!

Snow Activities in Kindergarten

Screenshot 2015-02-25 11.18.16Only in Georgia……a lot of school districts are out because of POSSIBLE wintry weather…..that includes my district….. but guess what?!?! You got it! The snow hasn’t even started yet! But am I complaining? Are you kidding me!?! No!! I am so thrilled to have this day to catch up on some computer work that I am “beside myself” (as my momma would say!!)!

Now in defense of my great state….the governor is really trying to be careful since last year….

the snow began so quickly while we were all in school….

and everyone left at the same time….

and a few schools were snowed in for a couple of days (I cannot even imagine that with 19 kinder cubs!)…..

and the schools that were able to leave in time……

their school buses took hours to get the students home……

Anyway…

it was a big mess in 2014!!

Winter 2014Here is a picture from 2014. It was such a beautiful day looking out from my front porch!

This winter storm is not creeping into Georgia until around 10am and in my area, we may see something around 3pm or we might see nothing at all!! So….it is a waiting game!

One of the things I’m catching up on is my blogging. I really want my blog to take off, but if I don’t keep up with it, then how is it going to catch on!? I really enjoy blogging! I enjoy reading many blogs and it is fun to have a blog and post on it.  So I’m finally sitting down on my sofa…..

with my laptop….

with a throw over me….

as I’m in my jammers….

no make up on…

hair not combed…..

oooo….

it’s really not a pretty sight but……

it is a comfortable sight!!

Ok here is the sharing part of this blog….since we really don’t get a lot of snow in Georgia, I find it important to have some winter themed activities ready for my kinders. Here is a math ten frame activity I did this past January. I know you’ve probably seen this one on Pinterest, but here is my rendition of it:

IMG_5913I found circle items around the classroom and traced them to white butcher paper. Then, I cut the 3 circles out and glued them together to look like a snowman. Then, well….I just made it look like a snowman….nothing fancy. Next, I wrote numbers on the white circles. To the right of the picture, you see 2 12×18 sheets of blue construction paper. I drew lines on them to resemble ten frames. Then, I cut out 20 white circles to look like snowballs. To play the game, the student threw a “snowball” (wadded up piece of white paper) on the snowman and the number it landed closest to was the number the child made on the ten frame. As you can see, the child’s snowball landed closest to 13 and then he showed that number using the cut out snowballs, on the large 10 frame work mats. As the child is showing 13 on the 2 ten frames, the rest of the kiddos are recording it on their sheet.

Where did I get the recording sheet you may ask?? Well…..

I love the Spinner Math Fun Galore sets from Marsha McGuire. I found this recording sheet in her January set that I bought. I love her products! You can click here to find this resource. It’s really a great one and there are so many recording sheets and games on it! It is well worth the money!

IMG_5911Here’s a closer look at the recording sheet and below is a closer look at the 10 frames I made.

IMG_5909This activity kept my little kinder cubs very engaged!

Now a couple of years ago, I posted about some winter related activities we did when I taught 1st grade. This pic shows how the students created a snowpal face and then chose a number and made an addition problem for the number. Then they each wrote the problem in a speech bubble as if the snowpal was talking about it.

IMG_0891

IMG_0893If you click here you’ll find some other snow filled ideas!

I hope you’ll find these ideas useful enough to keep in your archives for next year!

In the meantime, enjoy your day whether you are at work or at home like me waiting for some snow to happen!!

Let it snow!! Let it snow!!

Favorite 3 Pins for January

Pick Three January PicksWell….it is January and almost time to get back to school. If you are like me, you’re looking on Pinterest for some great ideas to teach your students those important standards. I know that I’m always trying to keep my little kinder kubs as engaged as possible and Pinterest is always a great place to find some learning treasures! While I was researching some ideas, I found this great linky party. So,  I decided to link up with these amazing bloggers and show my 3 favorite pins for January. It’s great to look at what other teacher bloggers linked up to as well!   A great big THANK YOU to Pawsitively Teaching and Inspired Owl’s Corner for hosting this party!

I chose the first 2 favorites because I’ve actually used them in the classroom. The 3rd one is a TPT product I’m going to buy to use this week as we complete some activities about the New Year.  Yikes!! I can’t believe it is 2015 already!!

Pick 1This pin is a really fun science activity you can do in the classroom. In Georgia, we are not often blessed with snow, so the kids really love decorating a classroom snowpal……or should I say icepal…..:) Either way, it is a great activity to show changes in water when frozen. There are many ways to incorporate math and writing with this activity, too!

Snowman Science project

Pick 2This math activity is a great one to incorporate the use of 10 frames. My students really love anything where they can toss a bean bag. In my classroom, I have the students, who are watching the student toss and put the counters on the large ten frame, place their own counters on a small 10 frame or record it in their math journal on blank 10 frames until it is their turn. This activity works better for me as a small group math rotation.

Snowman Bean Bag Math

Pick 3Here is a link to an inexpensive TpT product for a Happy New Year theme. The first week when we get back from our holiday break, I really enjoy using the New Year as the theme for the week. This is also the time that I  emphasize the months of the year and parts of a calendar. One other thing…..I take a picture of each child with a New Year hat or crown on (I’ll probably use this one this year) and he or she is holding a noisemaker while standing next to the calendar. I save these pics and put them in their end of year memory books.

Happy New Year ProductWell……these are my 3!! I really could pin so much more….I mean you have 100’s day, MLK day, mittens, Jan Brett, polar animals, the artic…….so why don’t you link up too and share your 3 favorites. This linky party lasts the whole month of January!

This is how you do it (I’m taking this straight from Kfundamentals…it helped me to do it right. :)) :

1.  Save the “Pick3” images to your computer to use in your blog post.
2.  Create a blog post and share your 3 Pinterest Picks for January.
3.  Be sure to include the original source for your pins.
4.  Link up by clicking the “add your link” button below.
5.  Be sure to check out the other Pinterest finds that have been shared and comment on the ones you love!
Also, I would love it if you would follow me on Pinterest. Pinning is one of my favorite pasttimes!

Hope you have “snow” much fun this month while you keep your students engaged in their learning!!

Make a s”ELF”ie in class!

Slide3For about 2 weeks, I have had an idea to create elf patterns to use to make  s”ELF”ies of my students. As you can see from the above pic, I was able to get it done before I go back to work after my wonderful Thanksgiving break!!

After I had my husband create the elf patterns, I took a picture of my granddaughter. Once I downloaded the pic and printed it from the computer, I cut out her head (along with her hair) and her neck. Then, she colored the costume patterns and cut them out. Next we positioned her picture with the hat and shirt and glued the 3 pieces together. Then we glued that onto a sheet of paper with the word sELFie at the top that she also colored. Voila! There is my granddaughter’s sELFie!! If you click HERE

you will find my TpT s”ELF”ie resource. It also has some writing prompts, an emergent reader, and labels to create a picture graph. All of this with a fun elf theme! I can’t wait to get to class on Monday and start working on it in my classroom!! Enjoy your week!!