Monday, February 28, 2011

Jazzy Patterns to Dazzle Your Kids

I got this amazing idea from Amanda on her blog
and I can't thank her enough. My kids needed something different to mix it up a little and Amanda  inspired me to make this important concept more interesting. Each child got their own baggie of cards and I told them what kind of pattern I wanted them to make (AAB etc. ) Then they had to read their pattern to me. We switched our baggies and I could quickly assess who needed more work on this.

The children loved this! We had so much fun... I love all the creative teachers out there...

First we practiced in the pocket chart.

They got to pick their baggie:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

One Extra Degree: Fiction File: Story Elements Posters!

One Extra Degree: Fiction File: Story Elements Posters!
You have to see these adorable posters Amanda made for
our youngest writiers. I can't wait to buy them at her TpT store.

What You Can Learn From Kindergarten Crayons...

This is what we all belive as classroom teachers.
This is why I named this blog Kindergarten Crayons.
All 5 year olds love a new box of crayons the most-right! 
We used this idea to celebrate MLK's birthday.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cupcakes Make Learning Fun

My students love the routines I do when we are starting our day and this is a particular favorite. Once again the cupcakes fit right into a pocket chart and I hide the sprinkes behind a word they might be having trouble with. We chant this little rhyme until someone comes up to pull the card they have read and the sprinkles are behind the card. This causes so much excitement. The children have suggested I make them real cupcakes to match these!
Assessments are coming soon and this provides much needed practice!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Celebrate My Birthday!

Today is my birthday so I am giving everyone who checks out my blog a gift you can use in your classroom tomorrow! We are working on blending in our classroom right now and here are some cards to use for practicing this important standard. Enjoy them! It was a great day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

What we are doing in math this week:

Click here for your mat

This week I am using these mats to work on addition skills in my classroom. I colored the penguin's hat and scarf on the left green and made the one on the right orange. This is easier for kindergarten children to understand than left and right. I still have little ones pledging with the wrong hand! I am going to use unifix cubes in green and orange to have them build addition stories. Okay this is nothing new (you are thinking)
but I was in Walmart today and bought a cookie sheet for $4.00 that is magnetic. In another aisle I found magnetic tape that is adhesive on one side.

So now I can use this with a small group and model the activity easily and have students come up and manipulate the cubes. I will put magnetic tape on the cubes so they will adhere to the cookie sheet too.
Now everyone will be able to see what I am doing and this is a great way to provide guided practice for them. The number line at the top is a great way to use the cubes to figure out the missing addend. You might put 4 green cubes on and have students count how many more they need to get to 6.

These cards are laminated and can be written on with a marker. It will prepare students for a worksheet where they will color in their addition story.

Have you been to Kohl's Lately? Hurry!

Okay so you have to get to Kohl's if you are a kindergarten or first grade teacher because some of the best of Eric Carle's books are there with matching stuffed animals. This is the cutest caterpillar I have ever seen. Now here is the kicker- the book is $5 and so is the caterpillar.  Amazing-huh? The money supports Kohl's Cares which is an organization that supports kids' health and education initiatives throughout the country.
I cannot believe a hardback book is only five dollars. I love having multiple copies of the same book in my classroom!

This is a picture of the stuffed chameleon. I need to go back and buy it
I already regret not getting it...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Here are some penguin activities for teachers:

Grab a little reader on penguins here:

 When you put this reader together the fold goes on the outside (see picture in an earlier post) so little hands can turn the pages easily. I use a 11/2" strip of construction paper to hold all the pages together on the left side. Often I send these little books home for a parent to put together and I cut the strips ahead of time. I talked to the children about non fiction and hit many kindergarten standards with this piece of text. This is a great way to practice the sight words in context!

                                      Click here for this worksheet

I finally got my first worksheet up on this blog, thanks to Deanna Jump and Dana Baker. They both have beautiful blogs that are an inspiration to me. Thank you blogging friends for taking the time to help me. I really feel grateful to both of you.

Sight Words Can Be Fun

So here is a game we played today that I created for the 100th day of kindergarten.  The children still enjoy it and it's a great way to review our sight words. Behind one of these cards is a 100 and everone wants to find it. However, we do not take the cards out of the chart so you have to remember which ones were already read. Sneaky, huh? This is becoming an opening routine!

Who has sight word games they love that are fast and fun?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What We Worked On Today

     Penguin Tree Map Work  

This is an example of a student tree map where they must cut and paste the text under the appropriate branch. The box at the bottom is where they can draw a picture of a penguin doing something provided on the map

Here is the student map that I modeled so they could do this activity successfully. Notice that the words are color coded to match the large map that was created by the whole class.

Many of the children were able to do this activity but some struggled and maybe I need to differentiate my instruction by giving some fewer choices to cut and paste.

Tomorrow I will practice reading the map again, using a linguistic pattern such as: A penguin can _______, and lead them to writing a sentence independently. We can start out by writing on wipeoff boards.

Several days later we did the following activity:

 I made this little book so the children would have an opportunity to use their tree map and build simple "has", "can", and "likes" sentences. Once this was completed they shared it with a partner.

I encouraged my students to add an appropriate setting to each page of their little book and emphasis is placed on having  the picture match their words.

Here are some examples of their completed work.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

More About the 100th Day!

I made bingo boards so the children could practice number recognition through 20. The penguin was the free space and they loved playing this with their parents.

We ended the day on such a "sweet" note. The children each had a special 100th day cookie as a snack after a full day of learning! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Activities for 100th Day Celebration

We celebrated 100 days of school today and the children were filled with excitement as they greeted me at the door. I had them count to 100 and talked about the centers I had set up for this special day. Many of the parents came to help and did a wonderful job. We ended the day with a special cookie that we ate outside and everyone went home tired but happy.
So here is the fruit loop necklace we all do but I changed it up with a tag where they could write their name.
Cute, huh?
This is a picture of the tag I hooked on to the necklace.
I never want to smell fruit loops again!

I made a little book for the literacy center where each student had to draw 10 things on each page until they got to 100!
Here is what the pages look like. This will take several days to complete and color.

Penguins Came to Sunny California!

 We have been working on a unit about penguins so the children could learn about an interesting animal and learning about non fiction text. I never expected them to love this so much. They were fasinated by these animals and I found so many books were available on this topic. Cinderella Penguin was the class favorite and got a warm round of applause when I finished. We made connections to the more traditional story which they were quite familiar with. Here are some of the activities I did to build their background of knowledge. I created a Power Point but I have no idea of how to put it on this blog. I need to find out and put it up for other teachers to use.
Here is the tree map we created as a class and notice that the branches are color coded to help them focus on each section.

Here is a simple book I created using photographs from the internet so they could learn about penguins.
The text of the book is supported by the pictures. They loved this!

Here is an example of a student reading the tree map and building a sentence off of the map. This is a great strategy for your ELL's and my kids love doing this. The student reads the sentence after building it and the class repeats it.
Here is a penguin activity I made for workshop time. The student looks at pictures and decides if they have one syllable, two, or three. It is so much fun to watch them clap these out quietly to check if they are correct! Kindergarteners are so funny.
We labeled the parts of a penguin and I gave them direct instruction on how to draw one. First we practiced on a wipeoff board and they did such a cute job! Why do they love penguins so much?

Monday, February 14, 2011

The 100th Day of Kindergarten is Almost Here!

So the 100th day is almost here and I decided to make cookies to give out as a special treat for my kindersI thought it would take a few hours and it took me most of the day! I would never have finished but my daughter and my good friend came to my rescue. I even taught my husband how to flood a cookie and he did the best job! I guess I shouldn't be that surprised since he is a dentist. My daughter was super creative when it came to decorating. So I used a lowercase l and o and push the dough together to make 100 and I think it worked pretty well. I thought party hats would be fun too. See what you think.


These are the cookie cutters I used to make the 100. I pushed the circle into an oval and it worked. The yellow cap was to put the hole in the middle.
Here are the pieces I used to put the cookie together and I tried to make it nice and smooth on the edges.
This is what they looked like coming out of the oven ready to ice.

This is the final result. Not too bad for a novice. I think the kids will adore them and I had a great time but this is a lot of work!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Treats For School

These are easy treats I put together for teachers at my school. It's a nice way to start the week.

These treats are for the kinders as they leave for the day.
I hope they like this.

I Am So Excited

Well I finally set up my blog with some help from my husband! I have wanted to do this for a long time and now my head is buzzing with ideas. Woops... now I have to figure out how to use Google Docs, upload a Power Point and insert photos. I hope none of this is too difficult to figure out. I have so many  pictures of what is going on in my classroom and the activities I  have created on the computer to make school more interesting for my students. I love technology and photography and I am always looking for new ways to incorporate these into my teaching.