Monday, March 26, 2012

This Week in Pictures and Links 3/26-3/30

Hi Everyone!  This past weekend I changed the Post Office into The Pet Shop! Students will get to "adopt" a pet and take it to the vet for a check-up.  I know they will really love playing here!  Now I just need to get through the work I have planned so they can get some Free Choice time to play in it!  This will be up until the end of April.

Centers this week are about plants (continued) addition, blends and digraphs and the sight word are.

 This is a fun activity, but after one day of centers, I can see that it is challenging for a few.  They have to write the blend and copy the rest of the word.  12 words is a lot for a few of my young ones, but they sure love trying!  I let a couple of kids work as a team and that helped.  It was perfect for quite a few kids! This is from Pam at CanDoKinders  Thank you Pam for the freebie!

This week we are only doing the Sh book.  The students have to write the word and can color.  These great books are from Camp Kindergarten

      My students are getting a lot of addition practice with this activity!  They have to pour out 10 beans, color the red beans and then write the equation to match. This is from Kindergarten is a Hoot

I bought some cute felt flowers at Michael's.  The students roll two dice and build the equation.  Then they record it on a little whiteboard.  No paper involved! 

This is a great activity about addition and fact families.  It definitely required an adult there to help students with the format and the beads. ( I also need to explain it a bit better so it goes smoother.)
This is free from Deanna at Golden Gang Kindergarten

This is an awesome activity for students to work on counting tallies, reading number words, counting base ten blocks, counting objects and numeral recognition. Click Here to purchase it

I will be reading Jack and the Beanstalk (our listening center is being repaired!) and students will be sequencing the story. 

First seed exploring and matching and then cutting and gluing pictures of seeds to the correct fruit/veggie

Our final "Short Book" that includes many of the sight words we have learned this year.  Now I add "bonus" words and use more trade books for reading practice.  They continue to write the word in our sight word writing book and we played a fluency game.

I forgot to take a picture, but my students are using a tree map for writing about planst.  Last week we filled in the map and know the kids are writing 3 sentences about plants.  This is the first time they have used a map for writing sentences, so it is hard for some of my lower students.  I'll add some pictures if I remember!

We are doing several other activities in whole group.  I will add to this post with those later!

Have a super week! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Partner of the Day" and Spring Behavior Management

I am really loving my "Partner of the Day" activities and so are my students!  We have done a lot of fun games and skill practice and they are learning a lot of wonderful social skills too! I never really thought working in teams could be so powerful. I just love the sweet comments they make and the smiles, hugs and high fives they give each other.  Below are a few of my kiddos working on a great "I-Spy" sight words activity.  This has been a true favorite!

The kids worked in partner teams.  One person looked for the teeny-tiny sight word with a magnifying glass and then spelled it for the other person who wrote it on the form.  I told them it was a race and they LOVED it!  Of course I let everyone work long enough to do most of the words and there was no prize for the first team finished. They were so engaged and worked so hard!  This awesome activity came from Marsha at A Differentiated Kindergarten Click Here to see it  She has an Easter one too and I already have it ready to go for next week!

I am using this for a behavior management tool (yes, I am bribing them!)  Each day students are able to earn a punch on their own card.  10 punches = a trip to the Treasure Box. That is for individual behavior.  This lovely flower pot is for whole class behavior. When I feel the class is working well, listening, lining up quietly, treating each other well etc...I put up a flower.  When the pot is full, they will vote for a class prize.  Last week they earned a popsicle party because they filled the pot of gold! Just a fun way to encourage good behavior since we are still waiting for our Spring Break!!!

I hope to post my centers/activities of the week on Monday evening. 

Please leave me a comment.  I get lonely without them! jk

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I have finally joined the party!

I finally looked into this whole K-2 party thing and decided to link-up too! 

I love this kind of party because I don't have to get dressed up, or bring a hostess gift or worry about small talk and fitting in.  I already feel at home with all of the wonderful bloggers out there.  Thanks for the invite and I hope more blogs will join in the fun before this party is over!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

These Projects are Better Than Gold!

This adorable project is from
The Teacher Wife and it's for FREE!

I was home with my sick daughter, so a substitute teacher did this project with my class and I think she did a fantastic job and so did the kids!  They are so sweet and I am also impressed with their spelling and drawing!  They made me proud!  Here are a few that touched my heart:

"My sister and my mom and my dad because they are really, really special to me.  I love them."
(gotta love the spelling of really:wile, wile)

"I love my mom and dad and my sister because they are so nice."

 "My mom and dad.  They are nice and special to me."

"My dad is so big and I am five and my brother is seven and my mom is sixteen" (she will LOVE that!)

"Mom I love you very much and I love my dad very much too."

"My mom and dad because I can play with them."

 "I like my cousin sister.  She is my best sister in the world."

 "My baby sister sweetheart because she is cute"

 "My brother is great!" 

"I love my mommy and daddy because they play games"

I am so glad that I found this project! 
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Remember to leave a comment if you have a second!! 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Luck O' The Irish Fun: Pictures, Links and a Shadow Writing Freebie!

Last week was busy, fun and frustrating!  My centers were a little too much for my kids and me.    The activities were not too hard and I had adequate help, but I made a mistake in letting students ask survey questions during centers.  It got too loud! Lots of teachers talked about their kids having trouble staying on task(Spring Fever)  I just think I over planned and lots of little things added up to a very hectic center time on Thursday.  I am hoping things go smoother this week. It happens! 

"Partner of the Day"  went really well however!  I am finding new ways to partner the kids up and they come in excited to see who they will work with. Lots of smiles and talking with each other.  I love it!  These are the tasks we did this week:

  • sharing what you did on the weekend
  • saying a word and the partner making a connection by saying another word (ex. "apple"-"pie") This was really fun and the kids came up with some great things!
  • reading sight word/short vowel books from Starfall
  • giving each other a quiz on sight words with whiteboards
  • matching base tens blocks and numeral cards

Here is a freebie for Shadow Writing 
I am using this cute little Leprechaun named "Lucky" of course.  Each day he does something a little "naughty" and the kids have to figure out what it is.  So fun! 

Here are some of the fun/academic things we are doing this week:

Finish dictation sentences about rainbows and add them to the bulletin board

Use this spinner throughout the week and change the activities as they are completed

Short U work with Gus The Duck from Starfall

Great classic story!  The students will write in their journals following the story.

Our Sight Word/Reading Group
They will "warm-up" with blend and digraph practice and sight word reading

This great Write the Room for CVC words is from

Here is a free activity from Mrs. Ricca  Grab it Here

 An awesome center on larger numbers Grab it Here

This is an excellent addition activity at a super price

  Another addition practice with "Golden Coins"
from the FabulousMrs. Ricca's Kindergarten
and it is FREE!

Here is a hands on way to practice addition in a strip book freebie from

Here is a wonderful activity for students who are having trouble with segmenting and blending sounds.  This is from Julie Van Alst and I have recently discovered her.  She has a great website and blog plus a new TpT store.  She is an RTI expert and she has quality activities for students who need intervention and extra practice.  I have bought almost everything she has and I am making them to use.  Please check her out!  You won't be sorry!  Here is a link to the above activity

I am also having my students make an adorable Leprechaun hat Found Here   and "Lucky" will fill it with golden coins and candy on Friday. 

Plus we will be doing a few fun activities for St. Patty's Day.  Skittles math (taste the rainbow), an art project and a writing page.  I also often have rainbow sherbet floats (rainbow sherbet = lemon lime soda with rainbow colored straws)

I hope you enjoyed this look at my week and find something useful.  Please leave me a comment and
thanks for visiting my blog!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

This Week In Pictures and Links (3-5-9)

Hi Everyone!  I hope you all had a great Read Across America Day like my students and I did! 
Here are a few photos from our day.  We did a rotation with the 2 other morning kindergarten classes.  In each room a Dr. Seuss book was read and then a follow up activity was done.  1 was art, one was rhyming and my class made a green egg from Nilla Wafers, frosting and a green M&M.  They loved it! 
After putting on our Cat in the Hat headbands, we went to the library for a Suprise visit from The Cat In The Hat (our old Principal who loves to act silly and read to kids) 

Then we went back to our room for a Book Share!  I have the students get in a large circle while holding their favorite book from home.  After browsing the book for 30 seconds, we pass the book to the right.  We did that until the books were back with the child who brought it. They get to see 25 books and look for a story they might like to read. Lots of fun!

Centers:  I have been sharing the activities that we do in centers without really explaining how I run them.  I do not have true Literacy or Math Centers.  My students stay in heterogeneous groups (table groups) and complete 2 centers per day, for 3 days in the week. There are 2-3 activities in most centers. The activities are a mixture of reading, math and art or science.  Truthfully they are whatever I want to teach for the week. All of the activities are must do!  My groups are 4 students for all tables except one table that has 5.  I explain the activities on Monday and then again briefly each day.  One group is taught by my PM partner and the reading group by me.  My parent volunteers supervise the other 4 groups.  I always try to have a couple of centers to be basically independent. The differentiation happens through extension of some activities and by individual attention (especially in the reading group).  In 3 weeks we will be finished with our Heart Word books (little red sight word readers) and then I will work more on individual reading conferences (see Mrs. Patton's post about this)  I do not do traditional Guiding Reading groups in kindergarten.  I have in the past and I find that it is just too hard for me, especially in a 1/2 program. I prefer to work on basic skills with the entire group and then for the last 3 months do a lot more differentiation and especially hit the reading strategies and comprehension.

Students are allowed to take the time they need to complete a task for the most part.  We share and meet briefly on the carpet between the 2 centers and so some students are still working.  To me this is another way of differentiating.  Students who finish early are asked to read or complete a fun "I'm done" activity. (review) They are also encouraged to add more to their writing or drawing or whatever they have finished. Students can work at their own pace for the most part.  They can move on to the next activity in their center when they are ready.  There rarely is sitting and waiting for others to finish or not enough time to complete a task.  My centers generally take 30 minutes.

I keep my center materials in 6 tubs for the week.  The children switch to a different table for the 2nd center and then I move the centers the following day.  I know this may be confusing, but I hope you get some idea of what I do.  The children love centers and understand the system after the 2nd week of school. 

I hope this helps!  The rest of the week we do whole group activities and specials like library, computers and motor.

On to my activities for the week:

From The Moffatt Girls

My Reading Center
Students will review their sight words, read the blends and digraphs chart
From Julie Van Alst She has amazing products!

Read the come short book and write it in their writing book
Complete the Come see the cat page
Read several trade books with the sight word come

Tara West recording sheet
Love her stuff!
KindergartenLifestyle (great blog with freebies)

Word Work
Here students will read real and nonsense words and record them
Then they will sound-out cvc words

Listening Center
Just a fun rhyming story

Rainbow Painting
We are starting a mini unit on rainbows and we have new paint sets!
Later in the week they will freely paint a rainbow with tempera paint and dictate a sentence about rainbows

Rainbow Writing/Art
Sorry it is upside down (it's getting late and I just can't deal with it now!)
The student glues the strips in rainbow order and then writes the color words on the strips. 
Next they write their name in rainbow order

My students will ask classmates a question about somthing they like or dislike.  They will write the totals in tally marks.
This is from Fran at Kindergarten Crayons
(I couldn't find it again for a link)

More Word Building 
This center is from Lakeshore
The students will build the words with letters and then record them

Addition Work
This is another Lakeshore center
The students will first complete addition worksheets from our math progarm and then
use this center and record the equations

Writing Center
This week the students will write about Dr.Seuss and his books
 on cute lined paper with The Cat in the Hat on the left to show how to use the lines

Please check back and see some of the whole group activities we will be doing. I will also take a picture of the rainbow poem we have in the pocket chart

If anything on this post was confusing or useful, please leave me a comment.  Thank you!!!!