Hi Teacher Friends! Don't you just love this time of year? The kids are so excited about Christmas.
Everything at school and around town looks so pretty decorated with Christmas lights. We have two more weeks until Christmas break and we are staying super busy.
Here is an idea we would like to share. If you have an extra stocking or Santa hat, use it as an alternative to a basket or tub to hold cards or other center items. The kindergaten kids just love this. They are so cute and funny. They act like this is a brand new center even though we have used the cards before. :)
This stocking holds number cards from Frog Street Press.
This Santa hat holds numeral cards from Poco and Pop.
Hi Teacher Friends! We hope eveyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday. We also want to say thank you to all who stopped by our TpT store during the Cyber Monday and Bonus Tuesday sale. We appreciate your support.
I wanted to share some writing samples from kindergarten. I have been using Deedee Wills and Deanna Jump's Writing units. These units are great! Here are links to their great sites:
I can't say enough good things about the units. My students are writing like nobody's business. :) I would like to send a big THANK YOU to Deedee and Deanna for pooling their talents and creating these writing units. The units are easy to follow and they break the writing process down into steps my kinders can handle. By using Deedee and Deanna's units, I know my students are further along with their writing than past classes. We are taking is slow and steady and are working on unit two. Here are two student samples:
Student Sample One
My apple tree is the best tree.
It is raining outside on my apple tree.
I love my apple tree.
Student Sample Two
Today my mom met (classmate)'s mom so maybe I can go to his house.
(I love the detail of our classroom carpet in his illustration.)
He has an awesome app on his Ipad.
He has a nice kitchen.
I told the kids they could read their stories to our principal. This was a great motivator to everyone in class to do their best. They can't wait to share their stories with the principal. :)
We have been busy getting our classroom ready for Christmas. Here is a picture of our tree. I like to put our Christmas themed books around the base of the tree. The kids love stretching out on the floor with one of these books.
We painted gingerbread men to hang on the tree. All we need to add is a ribbon on each one.
Hi Teacher Friends! Here are a few things we have been working on:
Watercolor Paint Turkeys
These two little cuties are from Kinder by Kim's Perfect Pilgrim Patterns Pack. Kim has everything you need in her pilgrim pack. She has it available on TpT. My students had so much fun completing these this morning. (They didn't even mind that their teacher forget to give them the pattern for the pilgrim collars. Oops!)
Hi Teacher Friends! This week in science we are learning about and exploring with magnets. Today we completed a fun experiment. I did this last year with my class and the kids loved it. It was a big hit with this year's kiddos too. You will need a clear plastic cup, a screw or nail, a magnet wand and water. This experiment helps the kids see that the magnet will pull an object through liquids. The kids had so much fun this afternoon with this. We also watched a fun video clip on Brain Pop Jr. about magnets. The characters (Moby and Annie) on Brain Pop Jr. did this experiment and the kids were so excited to get to do this too.
Hi Teacher Friends! The kids have their minds on one thing at this time of the year. That is Halloween! We have a Halloween freebie for you. We just uploaded this fun familiar game to our TpT store. Click on the link to grab your copy for free. This is a fun game to play with the kids when Halloween falls on a school day. To make the game even more fun, use candy corn as game pieces. Then when the game is over, the fun can continue by eating the candy corn! :)
This cute little spider candy was given to me by one of the little kinder-cuties at school. She and her mom made these for all the kindergarten teachers at school. They used a butterscotch candy, pipe cleaner legs and wiggly eyes. The mouth was added with a fine tip marker. So cute!
Hi Teacher Friends! How cute are these little bags? My sister and I found these at Target's Dollar Spot the other day. They are just perfect for holding the cards and other items for our Fall theme and Halloween theme centers.
We continued to look around in the Dollar Spot and then found these.
I realized we had been busy with our lessons and learning, we hadn't made any October projects. So we made these little trick or treaters from Kaye Espinosa's TLC Beginning Lessons book. We just love making TLC projects in kindergarten. You can find Kaye's TLC books/downloads on TpT.
Then we made this fun color word/scarecrow project from an idea shared by Kinder by Kim on her blog. A big THANK YOU goes out to Kim for sharing this idea. Here is a link to her blog: http://kinderbykim.blogspot.com . My class loved this! Once we finished, I would see them sitting at their tables reading the color words. So smart. :) I used a scarecrow from the online free resources of The Mailbox magazine for teachers. If you subscribe to the magazine, you have free access to the online resources. The kids did all the tracing, cutting, and coloring. I helped with the envelope on the back.
There are so many fun, educational activities to complete with the kids this time of year. There just never seems to be enough time to squeeze it all in. Next week we are celebrating Red Ribbon Week at school and we are still working on our Fire Safety activities.
Hi Teacher Friends! Don't you just love this time of year? Fall leaves, red apples, orange pumpkins and scarecrows are just a few of my favorite fall things.
We have been busy with our phonics lessons. Here are some ideas to share. The first one is a vowel glove. This idea was shared by one of my co-workers when I moved from third to kindergarten. The kids really enjoy singing along with this one. I used a garden glove and the adhesive felt letters you can find in the craft section of stores to add the letters. We sing the "Vowel Song" and use the vowel glove. It is a great piggyback song. It uses the tune of the familiar B-I-N-G-O song. If you know where the song is from, please let me know so I may give credit where it is due. Here are the words:
There are five letters that we know
and vowel is their name-o!
And vowel is their name-o!
The second song we like to sing is "Vowel Bat" from Shari Sloan's cd "School is Cool". It is track #6 on the cd. Please check out her site at www.kidscount1234.com. She has such a neat site. :) Shari's vowel bat song is great because the kids practice making the short vowel sound for each vowel as they sing.
I used a simple bat pattern to cut the bat shapes from felt and then I glued the bat shapes to a craft stick. I used the adhesive felt letters to add the vowels. This is my second set of vowel puppets to go through. The kids love this song, especially at this time of the year! There are days when we sing the song FOUR times to let EVERYONE in class have a turn holding one of the puppets. :)
Hi Teacher Friends! Can you beleive that tomorrow is the first day of October? Where has September gone? We have been busy in kindergarten with beginning of the year assessments, learning procedures & classroom rules.
We have also been building stamina during readers' workshop. The kinderkids are loving readers' workshop! I have been using Kim Adsit's Blasting Off with Reader's Workshop unit one from her TpT store. It is an amazing resource!
Our lessons for math, social studies and science have kept us busy, busy, busy as well.
Then, this came in the mail. I can't wait to share it with my students. My class loves Pete the Cat!!!
Take two boxes of gingerbread mix, a couple of eggs, water, and M&M's. Add a class of VERY EXCITED kinderkids and what do you get? Gingerbread fun!
I divided my class into two groups. Each group helped with stirring the batter. Each child then helped add the M&M's.
Here is our gingerbread man before he was baked in the oven. Do you see the third eye? Oh, my!
(I reduced the amount of water called for on the back of the box. Doing this allowed me to shape the gingerbread man with the spoon.)
Our gingerbread man ran away and we went on a gingerbread hunt around the school building. This is always a fun activity for the kinderkids. With this activity, we are able to cover several social studies objectives.
Earlier in the week, we completed this pictograph by answering the question "Have you ever baked a gingerbread cookie?" I plan on completing another graph with this same question next week. Since we can all answer "yes" now, we can compare the results of both pictographs.
We also read different versions of the gingerbread man. Then we created this pictograph of our favorite one. It was close, but the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett received one more vote than the Gingerbread Cowboy.
We have also been working on one-to-one correspondence with our math lessons. The kinderkids just love using the fruit counters. :)
Our social studies lessons have been about rules and how rules keep us safe. We completed Kaye Espinosa's TLC Lessons signal light project from her Pre-Kindergarten September-December book. This project was perfect for our discussion about how adults have rules too.
We enjoyed this special delivery this week. These pretty flowers were from one of my sweet kinderkids. :) She picked out the little wagon just for her "teacher".
Hi Teacher Friends! We hope everyone had a great Labor Day holiday. We hope your school year is well underway and everything is going great. We are on our second week of kindergarten and we are busy, busy, busy. Here are a few things we have been learning about.
Most of our kinderkids know their colors when they come to us. We do a review at the beginning of the year. We focus on recognizing and reading all those color words. The kinderkids also complete a homework assignment for each color. They bring pictures of each color as we review. Here are our circle maps for our color days from last week.
We have also been making a few anchor charts to display in our classroom. This one is inspired by Mrs. Will's Kindergarten. Be sure to check out her blog. She has so-o-o many neat things to share.
After completing this anchor chart, I could hear the kids discussing their work at their tables. They were complementing each other and checking to make sure their work met the guidelines. I enjoy seeing them apply things we have learned in class. :)
Hi Teacher Friends! We have two days of kindergarten completed. Woo Hoo!
Today we were discussing the different ways we can read a book. We focused on reading the pictures to gain meaning. Our librarian recommended the book Chalk by Bill Thomson. It is perfect for practicing this skill. The illustrations are wonderful. On each page the kids were able to gain so much meaning from the pictures. Without giving to much away, this story is about three friends who are going to the park on a rainy day. They find a bag of sidewalk chalk and then their imaginations soar. Be sure to check it out for your lessons.
I was unfamiliar with this book and am so glad our librarian shared it. Let me tell you, my kinderkids LOVED it! We read it twice today and they were asking for me to read it again. I know we will be reading it again tomorrow.
To our teacher friends in the path of Isaac, we pray that God protects and keeps you all safe from harm.
Hi Teacher Friends! Have you seen Kinder by Kim's website www.kinderbykim.com ? Look at what I just found. She has a kindergarten blog! Woo Hoo!!! She is one of my favorite kindergarten presenters and I could look at her website forever. She has so many pictures posted to share ideas. I was fortunate enough to see her at Frog Street Press' Summer Conference this past summer. Here is the link to the blog.
Hi Teacher Friends! Well, it's back to school tomorrow for me. We have a week of in-service this week and then the kids come the following week. We have "Meet the Teacher" night scheduled for this week. So, I've been getting things ready for that event.
Here is an idea that my kindergarten co-workers and I always have ready for the parents on "Meet the Teacher" night. It is a schedule magnet they can keep at home on their refrigerators. We use one of those cute shape notepads, type up our class schedule (and any other important info) and then glue it onto the notepad pages. We add a magnetic strip to the back after we laminate it. If you used the larger labels, you could skip the cutting and gluing steps. That would help save time. :)
It's time to say goodbye to summer and hello to alarm clocks, school bells, and lesson plans.
My sister and I have been busy getting my kindergarten classroom ready for the first day of school. This is my second year in this much larger classroom. When I moved across the hall, I gained more floor space and a window. However, I lost a storage closet. The wall cabinets and the tall cabinet by the sink are all the storage I have in this room. We have all the main items in place. There are only a few small things I still need to add. We hope you enjoy the classroom tour. :)
You can see the student tables in this view. I love these tables. The school PTA purchased the tables for the kindergarten classes a few years ago.
Banner from Schoolgirl Style. I closed the blinds to take this picture. I usually keep the blinds open or up to let the sun shine in. :) In my old classroom I did not have a window. :(
The word wall inspired by Chalk Talk. Numeral cards inspired by The Very Busy Kindergarten.
(I still need to add pictures to the word wall. The word wall cards are from Schoolgirl Style.)
My teacher table and small group area. I moved my teacher desk out a few years ago. This table is so much better and I do not miss the desk.
Behavior Clip Chart. (I still need to add my students' clothespins.)
Calendar area. (I still need to add the year and season tags.)
The Lakeshore tubs help me stay organized for the week.
I saved the carpet roll from the Lakeshore rug to create our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree. When I moved into this classroom, I had more room and was able to put the Chicka tree together. :)
This is one of my favorite areas in the classroom. I used the shelves above the sink to display some of our favorite books and book buddies. Some of the book buddies are from Kohl's Cares and others are some I have collected over the years. The kinderkids love when we read one of these books and take turns holding the book buddies. :)
This display is in the hallway to welcome my new kinderkids.
This display is to the right of the Chicka welcome in the hallway. It is inspired by Doodle Bugs Teaching.
Each summer, my sister is such a good sport. As usual, we worked in my classroom with no air-conditioning. She is the BEST! I want to send a big THANK YOU to her. Don't worry, I always return the kindness by helping her with her classroom. By the way, she had air in her classroom. :)
I hope you enjoyed this little peek into our kindergarten classroom and that you have a GREAT school year!