Monday, January 20, 2014

Some January Fun!

 Welcome back, Everyone!!  I can't express enough how proud I am of my little friends!!  We completed the DIBELS mid year testing and they did SOOOOO well!!!!!  17 out of my 20 students reached Core on Nonsense Word Fluency!!!  That is the test we look at the most.  There were four tests in all, and they did well on all of them, but this one was the best!!!  They are all working so hard and it shows!!  The staff that administers the test couldn't believe the scores!  Parents, you should be very proud of your little ones!

Now that's it's January, we are moving onto new Word Work!  These Popcorn Word Sticks are from, I believe, Rachelle Rosenblit.  I found them last fall, but just started using them.  The children use them to practice trick words.  The Write and Stamp is from a Short A packet from Babbling Abby.  This packet has great activities for short a AND she has packets for all of the vowels!

 We have a few new things in the Work on Writing area.  From now on, the children will not just be coloring the cards that are at the table.  They actually have to WRITE a letter to someone :)  A lot of them are writing to their friends or parents.  The letters are adorable!  They are also working on scrambled sentences from Deedee Wills.  Her Save My Ink packets are wonderful!!!

We worked on a How To story about how to build a snowman.  We read "The Biggest Snowman Ever" by Margery Cuyler.  Then we did this cute snowman craftivity by Caitlin Clabby (my favorite blogger!!!)  They came out absolutely adorable!!  They worked very hard on writing their how to and the finished product is hanging on our bulletin board!

I love how google+ enhances photos!!
Aren't these cute!!  I purposely did not make a sample because I wanted them to all be different!

Next, onto math!  I am loving January's calendar!!!  Again, I got this from Sara Edgar.  It is her Calendar Bundle and it was one of the best things I purchased!!!  I have mentioned to other teachers and told them they NEED to get it!  These kids amaze me on a daily basis when they pull these out after rest time.  They get right to work on writing their numbers (to 60 this month!!), then we complete the front together.  This month she has a domino of the day.  I pull out a domino and they need to make the domino on their board, then they have to find the number it makes.  After that, they need to find the reciprocal number!  They are yelling out the reciprocal number before I even ask!

 We are learning a game called "Compare" in Investigations.  When I was a kid, we called it "War"...can't call it that anymore :)  They did a great job shuffling the cards and making sure each partner had the same amount of cards.  Then they have to compare the numbers they flip, and whoever has the higher number gets both cards!  Their favorite part is when they both flip the same number!  You get double the cards that way!

We also did some more measuring.  We compared items from around the room to a stick of 12 unifix cubes.  They needed to write the name of the object and represent how many cubes long it was.

 We made this really cute emergent reader that I found on a blog.  I have to start writing down where I find free things because then I can give credit where credit is due :(

We read "The Mitten" by Jan Brett and sewed a mitten to put all of the characters in to help retell the story :)

When we came back to school after vacation, we talked about resolutions that we could make to become a better person in school and at home.  I love the things they came up with!!

We learned a lot about Martin Luther King, Jr. this past week.  The children made a Top Down Web with Mrs. Dunn about who he was, what he had and what he wanted.  They made these step by step drawings of Martin Luther King.  They all have their own unique qualities :)  Then they each thought of a dream that they had to make the world a better place.  These came out so good that I had to display them outside of our room for everyone to see!

When we return this week, we will continue some winter fun!  We will be talking about Arctic and Antarctic animals.  Chinese New Year is on January 31st this year.  We will be doing some fun activities to learn about their traditions that they celebrate every year! 
Also, Day 100 is on Monday, February 10th!!  I have a very fun activity planned and you will be seeing something come home for you to complete for Day 100!

Thank you for reading my blog and I always love to get comments!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Are you still with me???

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years!  It has been WAAAAY too long since I posted!!  I apologize deeply!  I have so much to show and tell about, so this will be quite long :)  We begin with our Day 50 celebration all the way to our trip around the world visiting different countries and learning about what they celebrate at this time of the year!  Here we go!

We had a fantastic time on the 50th day of school!!  We drank Root Beer floats, had a sock hop and danced to 50s music, played on a record player, of course! We got our ideas from Sprinkles to Kindergarten!

November was Literacy Month!  We had a Royal Reader from Central Office read to our class :)

Here are some pictures of Daily 5 time.  We have Title I support come in and do a Double Dose of Fundations.  They love Fridays when they get to feed the Old Lady different sounds!  They love to grab clipboards and Write Around the Room or find Rhyming Words with this activity by Mrs. Lirette's Learning Detectives.  They also like to pick new books on their own for Read to Self time!

We learned a new game in Investigations called Roll and Record.  I am sure you saw MANY of these pages come home!  They LOVED rolling the dice and seeing which number would "win"!!  **TIP**  Use a face cloth when rolling dice.  They won't roll all over the place and it is much quieter!!

During Fundations, we have been working on writing sentences properly and tapping out words to spell them correctly.  The children are getting very good at tapping and we haven't even fully gotten to that unit yet!

We read some books about the first Thanksgiving and what Thanksgiving is all about.

Then we made this book by about comparing things people had or used during the first Thanksgiving and things we use now.  We also wrote about what we were thankful for this year.  The children helped me make these charts showing what we were learning about :)

We also read this VERY old version of Stone Soup.  The children brought in vegetables to share and we made a very delicious soup!  As you can see from the chart, almost every loved it!  That was not the case before they ate it.  The chart would have been the other way around if we charted if we thought we would like it :)  The one child that said he didn't like it, did not try it, so we may have ended up with 100% love for the soup, if he had just tried a bite :) 

I found this activity on Bloglovin and since it has been so long since I've blogged, I can't remember who posted it!! We read some nonfiction books about Squanto and how he helped the Pilgrims.  We made this tri fold activity to help the children retell his story of how he used fish to help the corn grow :)

We read some books about the difference between night and day.  We made a couple of charts that I found on different blogs about what is in the sky and what is not.  Also about different sounds you hear in the day and night and also different jobs people have in the day and night.

My son had made this bracelet in school when he was 3 and I thought it would be a great hands on way to remember the story of the First Thanksgiving!  They had a lot of fun building the bracelets and that afternoon, my son came home with another one this year!

Now onto our trip around the world!!!  Caitlin Clabby has the BEST ideas and I use A LOT of her stuff!!  Here is where we traveled to!
First, we put together our suitcases and began our trip.  Each day, we found out how much our tickets would be to travel to each country.  Then we would go onto Google Earth and "travel" to wherever we were going that day.  We read the booklet that Caitlin put together for each country to describe their holiday in children language! We would fill out our journal page each day to give one fact about each country's holiday, we colored the country on a map and added stickers to our suitcase and passport.  The kids LOVED this week long activity!

First stop...Holland!  They left gifts in their shoes :)

Next stop...Israel!  We had already made a menorah during Hanukkah, so we added that to our suitcase.  we made a little emergent reader book and wrote in our journals!

We had one of my former student's grandparents come talk to the Kindergarteners about Hanukkah and they each received a dreidel and a sugar cookie!  It was very cute! 

Ok, so I dropped the ball on pictures for the next two countries, but we then traveled to China and made Chinese lanterns that we saved for Chinese New Year!

Then we went to Mexico and made beautiful poinsettias! 

Last stop...Germany!  We made very cute Gingerbread men to represent their holiday.  We played a few literacy and math games from each country as well.  This had to be my most favorite unit so far this year!!  Thank you, Caitlin!!!!!

We did some writing about what we wanted for Christmas!  They did such a nice job and it is really nice to see the children starting to transfer their beautiful writing to paper, not just on lined white boards!!

I love these finger puppet activities!  We made another one earlier in the year to retell the story of Christopher Columbus.  This one was a poem called "Five Little Ornaments".  They put the ornament puppets on their fingers and remove one for each line of the poem!

And what would SES be without the Annual Reindeer Races!!!  My kids did fantastic!!  It is a tradition that lives on every year in December!

So I ask, how am I supposed to teach with this happening outside???  I think I had to close the shades that day so they would listen to me and not stare out the window all afternoon :)

We're almost there!!  Here are a few pictures of what we will be continuing after our extended Winter break in Investigations.  We have begun exploring measurement with unifix cubes.  The children worked together as teams to sort things longer and shorter than a stick of 10 cubes.  We will do more measuring when we return!

I didn't take many pictures the week before Christmas, we were quite busy!!  But I did get one of the fun gingerbread cookies we decorated!  They had a lot of fun with these and Mrs. Dunn allowed them to have some extra sprinkles for being so good!!

I can't wait to DRA the children when we get back next week and officially start reading groups!!  Books will start going home and families will be able to see a huge transformation in their child!  
Happy New Year, Everyone!!
And I promise to blog more often now that the hustle and bustle of the holidays is over :)

Mrs. Farrell