Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fun in Fall

We had a nice short week this week!  I started off the week going to pick pumpkins at a local farm with my family.  Can't pick pumpkins without your princess crown on, right? :)  Then we got right to work on all things pumpkin at school!  Who knew a small pumpkin was nearly impossible to cut open!!!  We did it though and the kids loved all the activities that we had planned!  Here are a bunch of pictures from our week!

The following pictures are some of the new Word Work we have been using this week.  The kids love the games and work so quietly so the Read to Self children can read quietly.  These activities are all from Caitlyn Clabby's October Word Work Pack on TPT.  This is the beginning sound pumpkin sort.

These children are using Bingo dabbers to find matching letters that they find in the basket. 

This is a page to practice writing the missing letters of the alphabet.

This was the cutest lesson!!!  We read the book "Where's My Mummy" by Carolyn Crimi.  Then we completed the activities from April Larremore.  The kids did a great job ripping the paper for their mummies!  It was tough at first, but as you can see, they came out great!!  We put together a Flow Map to retell the story using the characters.  The children also brought home a smaller copy of the characters to retell the story!

Here, we broke into two small groups and did some Science exploration with pumpkins!  The children were great little scientists!!  I found this FREE Pumpkin Mini Unit on TPT from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten!  We also made Pumpkin life cycle booklets that the children took home on Friday and we will be making a sentence strip with the life cycle next week.

I was very lucky to find a great sale and got these calendar pages on TPT.  They keep the children so engaged at Calendar time!!!  They love to find out what the "Dice of the Day" will be!  We count how many days we have been in school this month AND how many days we have been in school total.  They are beginning to understand why those numbers are not the same.  Also it took a while to understand why it would be the 16th, but we weren't in school 16 days in the month.  The dry erase sleeves were found on Oriental Trading.  LOVE THEM!!!  Find them HERE.

In Investigations Math, we began a new unit on 2D Shapes.  We will be covering 3D shapes later in the year.  The children had to pick a shape and make something out of it.  These are a few of my favorites!!  They came out so cute!  They are hanging in the hallway for everyone to see!

We ended the week with 5 Little Pumpkins!  Mrs. Dunn found these sticker pumpkins at a craft store.  We read the book first, then watched a couple different versions of the story on youtube.  They each made a fence on their black paper and added the cute pumpkins!  Included in the kit were these adorable masks to add to the pumpkins.  They loved making their pumpkins look funny!

Even though the week was short, I think we did as much work as we would in a full week!!

Our Halloween Parade/Party will be on Thursday, October 31st.  We do have a friend that is on a Gluten Free diet.  Therefore, if you would like to send in a treat for our party, it needs to be Gluten free.  I will be sending home a signup sheet next week!  Costumes may be worn to school, or you may send them in to change into at 1:30.  The children will have Specials, lunch and recess BEFORE the parade, so if they don't want to ruin their costume, they should just bring it to change into.  Also, if your child has a costume that includes a weapon (ax, gun, sword,etc) they may NOT bring that item to school.  Teachers are not allowed to apply makeup to students either.
We also have a Half Day Professional Development day on Friday, November 1st.  Students will be dismissed at 11:40.
Feel free to leave a comment below!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Happy Long Weekend!! (With Freebie links!)

Happy Columbus Day Weekend!!  We had quite a week!  This post is full of all the things we have been working so hard on this week!  I hope the links are helpful for you to find ideas for your own classroom! 

 We read "Christopher Columbus" by Marion Dane Bauer.  Then we made these cute FREE finger puppets so the children could go home and retell the story to their parents/guardians!!!  We also learned a Columbus Day song called "We Celebrate Columbus Day".  

 My Work on Writing area is open during Free Choice for the moment.  They love all the word cards they can copy words from and they love filling out the Fill in pictures using the word cards hanging on the wall.  I will be opening up this area as my real Work on Writing soon.  First we are going to add "Listen to Reading" next week.  That is our third part to Daily 5!!  The children are up to 12 minutes of stamina :)  So, technically, they are doing 24 minutes total!!  I am super proud of them and you should be too!!

This is a list we made for Writing Workshop on Wednesday.  The stories they wrote were so cute :)  They drew a picture of something they do in Kindergarten, then would come up and find the word (with assistance) and copy it onto their paper.

This week was also Fire Safety Week.  The children made these fire trucks inspired by Miss Kindergarten.  The children will be bringing home fire hats and coloring books next week...they weren't order in time :(

 My colleague gave me these hats for the kids to make!  They were adorable!  They say "Salisbury Firefighter" on them :)

Daily 5 is going very well!  Like I said, I am very impressed with their stamina!  Here, the children are sorting uppercase and lowercase letters.  I found the mat on another blog, but can't remember where I found it :(

 The kids still love their special book nooks!  They get so comfortable and are very good at not being distracted by the other kids doing Word Work.  It totally paid off doing only Read to Self for over a month.  They really built up their stamina and can do it now while others are doing different things right beside them.

 They LOVE Writing the Room!!!  This is from "A Year of Write the Room".  I will change the page next week to the Shape Words and Free Write.  They have been writing Color Words and Free Write.

 This is one of their favorite Word/Letter Work activities.  They are from Caitlyn Clabby at Kindergarten Smiles.  I have them separate all the capital, lowercase and pictures.  That makes it much easier for them to find the matches quicker.

 This is a pocket chart activity that I got from my mom years ago.  They put the uppercase and/or lowercase letter in each pocket, then find the picture that has the same beginning sound.  This center is changing to an uppercase/lowercase sort next week.  They really love the new dabbers game.  They need to roll a lowercase letter and dab the matching uppercase letter!  Here is the FREE packet!

 We start a new unit in Math next week dealing with 2D shapes.  To finish off this unit, the children have been counting objects in our Counting Jar, then showing the same amount on a plate and drawing a representation and posting it on the board.  The objects in the jar were ghost erasers, that's why she drew ghosts :)

No School-Monday, October 14th in observance of Columbus Day.
Next week is Pumpkin Week!  Look for all the activities we do to learn about pumpkins!!
Have a great long weekend!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy Little Bees!!

Sorry I didn't blog last Friday. :(  I was in training for two days learning all about Teaching Strategies GOLD.  WOW is it going to be A LOT of work!!  But the class was still busy little bees, even though I wasn't there!  Here are some photos of what we were up to the past week (and the past two days as well!)

We started Writer's Workshop!  I was so excited to see how they would write their first story.  We discussed the Rules during Writer's Workshop.  It is the one work time that I allow no talking.  I put on Classical music and they can just be one with their thoughts.  I feel like I get much better stories doing this because they are totally concentrating on what they are working on.  They did a great job, beautiful illustration and the beginning of great writing to come!
 This is where I will put one piece of writing each month to show their progression throughout the year.  I can't wait for them to see how they were writing now, but in June! (HOPEFULLY, it will be a BIG difference!!)
 Here are a few close up samples.  We have some just hearing the first sound.....
 And others hearing, well, lots of sounds :)
 So cute!!
 I put this picture up to show you the poster I am referring to on a daily basis to discuss Good Choices and Poor Choices.  :)
 We talked a lot about apples last week!  We made this 2 Column Notes Poster to show what happens to an apple tree through the seasons.  The children also got to make applesauce with Mrs. Mac and Mrs. Dunn on Friday!  We tasted 3 different kinds of apples on Monday and graphed what kind was our favorite.  It was the first time some of the children had something other than a red apple!

 Today we started the second part of Daily 5!!  They were soooo excited to Start Word Work!  They have many different choices, Stamping Uppercase to the matching Lowercase letter, putting unifix cubes together in ABC order, Playdough mats with color words or letters and Rainbow Writing.  I had half of the class Read to Self for 8 minutes while the other half did Word Work (well, Letter Work for now).  Then they switched.  I was so impressed that the kids doing Read to Self still kept up their stamina and were not distracted by the children working right next to them.  I sometimes wonder if I really went back to Kindergarten, or stayed in First grade!!  When I told them they did a total of 16 minutes, they went nuts!!!

 These are the Playdoh mats from Kindergarten Lifestyle.  This is a link to her bundle of mats. I just got the Letter mats this summer.  My Aide got the Pete the Cat color word mats.  I am not sure where she found them, so if they are yours, please let me know so I can give you credit!
 This is A Year of Write the Room from Polka Dot Kinders.  I am so glad I found this!!  They loved it and it is nice to see them looking for the resources they can use around the room.  This page has them looking for Color Words and Free Write, so they can write any words they find in that column.

 Onto Fundations!  This week we are learning the letters i and u.   We did Sky Writing today and colored the Key pictures in our Student Notebook.  They also got 2 new magnets to add to their Magnet Board.  The packet with the letter formation of these two letters will be going home this week.

And one last picture, because it is just too cute not to share, is my two children in what will be their Halloween costumes this year.  A few adjustments need to be made so they fit, but I LOVE THEM!!!!!  I was so psyched to find red glitter shoes and a Toto in a basket at Target!!

Reminder-This Friday, October 4th, will be a Half Day Professional Development day.  Children will be dismissed at 11:40.  The walkers are usually let out at 11:35.  We will still have snack on half days, but no lunch will be served.

October Book Orders will be sent home soon.  Please try to write a check/money order made out to Scholastic Books Clubs, or you can order online and use a credit card instead!  Every online order gets free books for our classroom!

Have a great rest of the week!  It's supposed to get warm again :)
Don't forget to comment below!!