Thursday, December 29, 2011

I feel like December has been a whirlwind...

I can't believe I have not posted since before Thanksgiving.  The Holidays always get hectic and I get distracted.  We went on a trip to my mom's in Mississippi for Thanksgiving.  Then we had a couple weeks of busy, busy, busy at school and then it was Christmas break.  I had every intention of working on some things for the new year (and I may still) but last minute runs to WalMart and making reindeer pancakes for my girls became the priority for the holiday.  :)  I have a few more days off so I will try to work on a few things for 2012.  Here are a few things we did in my class during the couple weeks leading up to Christmas.  I know it is late, but maybe it will be helpful for next year.  :)

Building sentences using a color code

Building sentences with sight words using Christmas bulbs

using magnet letters and little erasers to count one-to-one

Painted Poinsettias. After they are cut out you out red on green and glue yellow dots for the center.
They are really pretty all together on a bulletin board.

A Christmas mobile and writing activity

We love to become Sight Word Champions!   If they read all of the learned sight words by the end of the  9 weeks
they get to write their name on the chart.

These were Pinterest inspired.  My Grade Chair did them and then all of us in the pod had to do them too.  They are so pretty hanging from the ceiling, I don't even want to take them down.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Foldable Fun!

I was waiting and waiting for Foldables week over at Thinking of Teaching, and then I got busy and missed it.  Now that I have a minute to myself (gotta love Saturday Morning cartoons for a good mommy moment) I can post and link up to show some of my foldable ideas.  Luckily the linkup is still available.  I hope you will hope over to  Foldables Week and see the other great ideas too. 

Here are some foldables I like to use.  The greatest thing is you can use them for just about anything. 

I use these flip books for lots of things.  They are easy to make. Just take 2,3 or 4 pages (or half sheets long ways) and line them up in a row just offsetting the ends by about an inch.  Then fold the top over so that all the tabs line up.  Then staple the top.  Write the word or a math problem you want to study on the flap and then lift up to draw a picture or write a definition or draw a math problem.

This is a neat little way to make a mini book.  You can write  and draw about anything, or put vocab words with illustrations.  You fold into eighths and then cut the middle like above.  Then grab the two that are standing up like mountians and pinch them together.  Then push the sides together so that the two sides that are touching the table in the picture are touching each other.  Then pull the pages together and it makes the little book like below.

I have been using these a lot for letter sound practice, shapes and position words.  I got the idea from Fran at Kindergarten Krayons and adapted them to what I needed in my classroom.  I have a couple of these as freebies on here if you wold like them. 

Thanks for checking out my Foldables ideas.  I will look for some more to add on here. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Peek at my week - 11/11/11

Linking up over at Clutter Free Classroom for another peek at my week.  (She doesn't have it ready yet, I will link up tomorrow hopefully.)

First I have to say Happy Veteran's Day to all Veterans including my husband, his father, his mother's father and his nephew who is still serving in Iraq.  We are so grateful for your dedication and service to keep this great country free.  We especially are thinking of those who gave all on this special date of 11-11-11.

My week was really different this past week.  We had a field trip on Wednesday and we had Veteran's Day off so our schedule was adjusted.  I had to squeeze in two phonics lessons on Monday so I could still give the assessment on Thursday.  Monday was great, I felt prepared and my class did great work at centers.  I was doing a practice video during guided reading groups in preparation for doing the real thing on Tuesday.  (I'd been asked by my Principal to video my small group reading lesson to show in a faculty meeting).  Then as I am starting my 2nd group guess who walks in the door...yep you guessed principal for an informal observation. Guess where she sat...yep, right at the table with us.  For some weird reason I did not turn on the camera for this group so I did not get her in the video (I bet she appreciates my technology failure).  Luckily, my group went SO great while she was in there.  Everyone else was on task and quiet too so I was a little disappointed the camera was not on.  Later I got an email from her asking to video that lesson cause she liked it so much.  She left great comments too.  It is so nice to get good feedback from her.  :)  If you would like to see the lesson, I did get the group before her on camera.  They did great too.  We were working with our letter of the week "F" and stretching words to spell them.  Then I used a letter spinner on my laptop to make CVC words for them to read.  If it was a real word, they wrote it down.  If it was not a real word I asked them to tell me what letter to spin to make it a real word.

Then Tuesday was the real video day.  I was ready and the kids did great today too except for one little stinker who took out a wooden letter puzzle (that they are not allowed to use during this time and he knows that) and he dropped all 26 pieces on the floor during the video!!! I am sure my face turned red, but we just kept on going and my parent volunteer helped him clean up.  I hope it is ok, I have not seen it yet.  It makes me the most nervous for my colleagues to see me and "critique" me, even though I know they will be nice.  :)

Wednesday was Field Trip day!! We went to Diamond D Ranch in Jacksonville to finish up our Farm Unit.  We had beautiful weather and the kids had a great time!  I had 18 kids and 9 parents!  I love having so many parents who take the time to come with their kids.  It really makes a positive difference.  Here are a few pics from the trip.  I love feeding the cows the best...EWWWW! the long slobbery tongue is gross!!
Feeding the Catfish

Catfish feeding is a great surprise!

Love falling asleep on the bus on the way back to school.  That means they had a great day of learning.

Thursday we tried to get back into the normal routine...phonics test, reading lesson, centers, writing lesson about our fun field trip, math lesson, centers and music.  I love having a short week until the next week begins.  I look forward to time with my family, but I am excited to get back to my kiddos at school too.  I am lucky to love both of my jobs.

That was my week.  I hope you enjoyed.  I look forward to linking up to all of your blogs.
Only one more week till Thanksgiving...lots of turkey stuff next week.


Just a little thank you!

I noticed today that I am up to 20 followers and have almost 1000 page views!!  :)  I know it is not a lot, but it is really something to me for only having been blogging for a few months.  I appreciate all the great ideas I have gotten off fellow bloggers' blogs and I just hope I can be an inspiration too.  So to say thank you I am adding a freebie I was working on today.  I hope you will keep coming back to see what fun I am having in Kinderland. I will try my best to be more consistent with blogging, but you all know how it gets in the teaching world sometimes...CRAZY!  I also live in twinland at home so sometimes the little sweeties demand a lot of my attention (which I love to give them don't get me wrong).  I do need to sleep sometimes too.  I have a lot of ideas I am working on though that I look forward to sharing.  I have a grade level workday on Friday and I am planning to work on making some little books, reading assessments and math games.  Check back!

TPAN Flip Book

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A peek at my week...a little late

Linking up with Clutter Free Classroom again for a peek at the week ending 10/21.

My week was a short one.  We had a planning day on Monday (Yeah! I got my report cards and awards done).  Then we had a staff development day on Tuesday (Yeah again! I love collaborating with my team.  We shared a lot and I got a lot of good ideas from them).  So then the kids come on Wednesday after a nice long weekend all rested up and ready to get back to learning.  They were great all day. I really do have a great class both academically and behavior wise.  We finished up our unit on Friends at School and went outside to use sidewalk chalk with our friends from a couple other K classes.  What Fun!  On Friday we were able to sit on the curb in our bus lot and watch our High School's Homecoming parade.  They parade lines up on the street behind our school and then the start by driving through our bus lot first before going on to town.  It is really a treat. The kids love getting out of class and seeing the firetrucks, floats and especially the sirens.  It is a big deal for the whole town.  :)  All in all a good short week.

Here is a look at some of the great writing I have been getting from my cuties.  I am really impressed with how much they are learning.  Of course I have several who still need much guidance, but I thought these were shareworthy.

The pig jump in the mud. The pig (got?)    I don't think she finished  her sentence.

My horse likes (with the x on the next line for the /ks/ sound on the  next line) to play outside.

The kid (meaning a baby goat) fell in the mud.

The pig walks around the farm.  

Also, I created a little reader for one of my guided reading groups and I gave it to my 31/2 year old twin daughters just to see if they could grasp tracking the print and they did it!! I was so happy I made a video and posted it on Facebook.  I love seeing kids learn, especially my kids.  :) (My own kids and my school kids!)

Look at them tracking that print!  Love it!  The idea for the book cam from Fran Kramer @ Kindergarten Krayons!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Big Confidence boost!

Hey all!  I am sorry I have not posted in a little while.  I have been busy at school and home dealing with my little darlings.  Things are going well and I am feeling great about our routine.  I am already seeing such great progress.  I have had great success with my Writers Workshop.  They love following the 4 rules of writing as inspired by Kreative in Kinder.  Also, I had a chance to share what I have been doing in writing with my team at our last meeting and I got a really big compliment from my grade chair.  She is like the writing guru of our team, so it means a lot to hear her say she loves what I am doing.  :)

Another great big kuddo from my principal came this week too.  As part of some staff development, the whole faculty watched several videos of some of our staff teaching a small group math lesson.  It was great.  I love learning from my colleagues.  I received an email today from my principal asking to video me teaching a small group reading lesson to show in a faculty meeting.  I feel so honored that she asked me.  She is the kind of principal that you really want to impress.  I hope it goes well.  :)

I am working on a few things to upload.  I hope you will keep coming back.  I will get some more pictures up this week.  :)


Monday, October 10, 2011

Let's hear it for WRITING!

Look what I did today thanks to the wonderful inspiration from Crystal @Kreative in Kinder.  I loved her posts on Writer's Workshop and the 4 rules of writing.  I decided to do the lessons with my class.  It was great and I am hoping to see some better writing from them.  :)

Don't laugh at my drawing, I know it is not great, but they liked it.  :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Peek at my week ending 10-7

Thanks again to Clutter Free Classroom for the link-up!  I love seeing what you all are doing.  Don't forget to check out all the other classroom peeks on her page.

The biggest thing that happened this week is that I was observed.  YEAH!  We have a great principal and I really enjoy working for her. I love that she has high expectations for us and we all work hard for her.  BUT, she makes me nervous when she comes in the room.  Luckily, everything was going well.  I was doing guided reading with my small groups and the rest of the class was working away at centers.  I had 2 parents in the room at the time and I think that helped cause one was giving AR tests and one was monitoring centers for me. I was working on fluency with the sight words with my higher groups and building CVC words with the letter tiles with the lower group.  Later in the week, she gave me a compliment that my small group reading lesson was really great.  :)  YEAH!  I love when I get positive feedback from her.

Most of all, I love teaching my students to read and write.  Here are a few things we did this week.

Scarecrow writing

"My scarecrow is silly"

Putting pumpkins in order by size

Our Family Tree project from last week, I forgot to take a picture of.  :)

I love my Environmental print chart.  I put them on velcro so the kids can take them to their seats and  use them in their writing.

Putting the numbers 1-10 in order without talking...Shhh!

A couple are still out of order, we are still working on it.  :)

Now we got it!
Using magnets to spell our sight words.  I think we ran out of t's for the word two.  :)

Overall, another great week in the Busy Bee classroom.  I love watching them learn and grow so much everyday.

Thanks for peeking and I would love some comments.  I'll be sure to hop over to your blog and leave a comment too.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Box Tops!!

I love collecting Box Tops and even have the girls trained to look for them on all our groceries. (I don't have daddy trained yet.)  I found an awesome announcement on Surviving A Teacher's Salary that Ford is teaming up with General Mills to give Box Tops to schools.  It is super easy!  It takes all of 10 minutes to earn 35 for your school.  Just register and watch 5 videos and request a brochure.  The videos are no longer than 2 mins. each.  Did you know they have a car that you can set parental limits on the radio volume and the speed for your teen drivers?? They also have a car that you can use buttons on the steering wheel to respond to a text.  I love these new safety features.  If I hadn't just bought a new car this summer I'd seriously be considering a Ford.  You also can get 250 Box Tops for buying a new Ford.  They also having a sweepstakes to give away 250,000 Box Tops.  You get three entries for referring friends and you can refer 3 per day.

Awesome!  Spread the news!!

Ford Drives Box Tops Sweepstakes
Click Here to start earning.  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Week Peek - 9/30/11

Here is a peek at my week...

Make sure to hop over to Clutter Free Classroom to Link up and see many more peeks into our colleagues plan books.  I am loving seeing what others are doing and I am learning so much about how to improve my craft.  Even after teaching 15 years, you can always learn something new.  I am a lifetime learner just as I strive to encourage my students to be.  :)

My students' behavior has been really great this week!  (knock on wood)  The "Rainbow Clip Chart" as I like to call it is working fantastically.  I usually use the traffic light system, or a flipping card system, but always had trouble with rewarding the kids who are good all day everyday.  This chart helps me use positive praise as a motivator for those who do get a little off track.  It also makes me pay more attention and be on the lookout for those positive behaviors I want to encourage.  I like that the really good kids don't have to wait till Friday to get a treat.
Look at all the sparkling jewels on those clips.  :)  They get a jewel when they get to pink.  Once they have  3 jewels, they select a reward from my Best "Bee-havior" Catalog.  It includes things like eat with the teacher, bring a stuffed animal, etc. Free things that are not candy.  A colored clip means they have already been to pink 3 times and get a new clip.  They love it!
We worked on some word families this week.  During whole group reading we started with writing "hat" on the board and then changed either the first or last consonant to make a new word.  Then we wrote word family words on beautiful fall leaves and glued them together to hang from the ceiling.  It really made a gorgeous decoration for the room and we learned something too.  :)  
Please excuse the chairs being up, I took this after the kids were gone.  

In Reading we finished up our unit on Families this week.  I really enjoyed talking to the kids about their families and getting to know them a little more.  I love reading books about families sharing love and helping each other.  Their favorite book was "Bee-Bim-Bop"  about a little girl who helps her mom cook dinner for the family.  At the end they put all the food in a bowl and mix it up like crazy.  :)  The kids love it!  We made a family tree to finish up our unit.  I failed to take a picture of it, but if you look really hard in the top left corner of the picture above you can see one.  :)  We cut out a trunk and green tree top, then glued them on a blue paper.  The apples had family names on them and they glued them into the tree.  They added details like grass, clouds, sun and flowers.  They turned out cute.  I will add a picture on Monday.  :)

Here is a picture of watercolor painting activity we did as part of  our  Healthy Foods unit in Science.  I have never liked painting cause of the mess, but they did really well with it.  I was pleasantly surprised.  

In math we are finishing up our unit on the numbers 6-10.  The series we have wants us to go straight to adding and subtracting next.  (I know crazy right, they barely can count consistently and you want me to teach them to subtract!! That is a later in the year skill)  We are going to skip a few chapters and go into shapes and patterns next.  I think that is a smart choice for us and the kids.

In writing we are working on writings about our family.  We are using sight words and trying our best to write the sounds we hear for at least one word in the sentence.
"I go to the bech." - pretty good!
L - "I go muding."  R - "I go srfing."
I had an "-ing" word on the board and directed them to look there for the letters that make the /ing/ sound.  I love that they are getting capital at beginning and period at the end.  We need to keep working on spacing.  :)  
That is our week!  Thanks for peeking!  I can't wait to come see yours!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Help my brain

I found this AWESOME sight word color, cut and paste sheet on someones blog as a freebie and now I can not remember who made it.  I am sure she said she was making more.  Does anyone know who made this sheet?  It probably said on the bottom, but when the kids cut the words out, the bottom gets thrown away.  I only printed out enough for my class and did not keep an extra.  I can't even find it in my saved documents.  :(  I hope someone recognizes it and can help me solve this mystery.  Thanks!

UPDATE:  I found them!!  Fran over at Kindergarten Crayons made these and is selling a whole bunch of these and other great sight word stuff in her packet, Sight Words to Rock your Room Too.  Check it out! 217 pages of awesomeness.  :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Big Book Center

Here is an idea I am going to try with my class with a big book we have read as part of our reading series.  It has the sight words "my" and "the" on almost every page.  I thought that would be a great way for them to see it in context.  They will look at each page hunting for sight words.  One of the pair will point to the sight words with the special teacher pointer.  Then the other partner will take the sticky notes that have the words on them and stick them in the book on top of the sight words.  I will model a bunch before letting them do it alone.  I am hoping it will help them learn to recognize the words.  :)

I have the sticky notes all ready in the back cover of the book.

Let me know if anyone has any ideas about how to improve this activity.  :)


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A great science resource

I'm joining the Linky party at TBA about great science videos and websites.  Check it out by clicking here.

Our #1 go to for Science videos in my county is Discovery Education. We have a subscription and I use it all year as often as I can.  It is full of videos and clips about all kinds of science topics.  We have used it for everything from five senses, to plants and animals, to magnets, fire safety week, community helpers...the list could go on and on.  It even has full episodes of one of our favorites, "The Magic School Bus".  :)  There are more than just science topics too.  You can learn about nouns, addition, algebra, history, anything.  They are all standards based too.  You just type in a search for any topic you are teaching and you can narrow it by grade level.  I don't know how much a subscription is for a school, but I can tell you it is well worth it.  It is a great resource.

Another site I love to use for Science with my own personal children is  My 3 1/2 year old girls love to get on mommy's computer and go to "Sid the Science Kid".  The other day I was swinging them and one said, "Mommy use more force so I can go higher!"  I was impressed!

I also stumbled onto another site from PBS that is a great place for teacher resources.  There are links to videos, lesson plans and interactive games.  I like how you can narrow the search by grade level, topic and media type.  

PBS Teachers

Science is so fun!  I love teaching it, I just wish I had more time.  Or if I had a class like on Sid the Science Kid with only 4 kids and every inquiry lesson all prepared and ready to go for me I might teach it more often.  :)