Saturday, April 30, 2011

Piggy Bank Subtraction Fun






I think this is so cute. We just got back from a trip to the farm but I do not do a big unit on this since it does not align to my reading program. I try to only have one theme going on in the room to build their vocabulary and background of knowledge. However, my partner and I want them to have a better understanding of subtraction so we came up with this idea... Any other great ideas? I would love to know about them.

Okay- I was not expecting you to want this so I am making it a download. Here are the conditions (haha)
Please have five friends follow me and leave a comment if you would like to. Click here for the mats and piggies. If you want the little recording book I am also providing that. Remember to run it off just like the other strip book (see earlier post) and enjoy using it.  Click here for your piggy booklet. You can post my button on your blog as a way of saying thanks!

Friday, April 29, 2011

What A Wonderful Surprise!



So today I came to school tired and happy that the week was coming to a close. The kids knocked it out of the park when they practiced their chant for the 5th graders and I can't wait to do this Monday. The afternoon slid by slowly and I was not at my best. At the end of the day my teaching partner handed me a brown envelope and I saw the name of my friend Meredith on the front. I remember thinking she was sending me some cute idea she was using in her classroom but out fellthese three things (just like the 3's in a fairytale). How cute are these flowers she did based on the post about using q-tips to paint! I am all over this for next year. However, there was more. Out came this came a note and a gift card for all that she has downloaded from the blog. Can you believe it?
I love you teaching friend for going to so much effort. This is such a busy time in our district and I am blown away but such thoughtfulness. Is it me or are most teachers the most giving people in the world? This ended up being a great day! Thanks Meredith!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Maps Lead to Writing Not Decorating Your Room


This is tomorrow's writing activity. It is important that teachers encourage students to use the maps to support their writing. My little ones need more support with the language of the map and I decided to put their map, as well as their drawing and writing on one long page-81/2"x14". I will try to post their work tomorrow. I hope they enjoy this activity!

The Dreaded Testing

Okay... my teaching partner is a genius and wrote this in 2 seconds when I threw the idea at her a few days ago. She got on board with no notice and we took this form and ran it on colored paper. We told the kids all about the test the older kids had to take and they loved the idea of chanting to them. I am crazy to add this into our mix but I know it will entertain the entire school and make everyone laugh! We are adding 2 mints to the little form and each kinderkid will give it to an older friend. Easy enough!...maybe?!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brace Yourself For This Map




This map is so much fun for the kids. I tell them to think of it as a puzzle and their job is to put the pieces together. However, they have a bit of trouble remembering that the whole needs to look just like its parts. Eventually this can become the main idea with it's supporting details but that happens in first grade and I am so happy to hand that off to the next teacher!

Here are some examples of student work. Don't you love when they add in other things they know how to draw. Hearts and butterflies are showing up everywhere!










Do you like to use this map?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Circle Maps: Get Ready to Brainstorm


After reading lots of information on our country's symbols I selected some important ones that I want the children to become familiar with (yes, there is a method to my madness). They will cut these out and place them in this map. I made boxes since this helps them spacially. I am still reminding them not to push down on their glue sticks and "paint" their paper! You know exactly what I am talking about. We are ripping through glue at top speed.
This map is for brainstorming but obviously I had to work on building their background of knowledge. Some teachers laminate a big empty circle map and add the information on strips using velcro. We practice the language of the map by saying "__________is a symbol of the USA." If you want this click here to download and please leave a comment. If you are blogger you can grab my button and be sure to join as a friend!
Have a great day of teaching!

Buttons Are Not for Shirts Only





This is my new blog button and I am hoping it works- keep your fingers crossed, please. My husband had to help me with this and it felt way more challenging than I expected. I am still trying to stay ahead of the curve with technology. So many people have asked me for this (the pressure was on) and I was avoiding the task.     
However, I just got some exciting news today. I was asked to do a district wide technology training on thinking maps. This will be so much fun for me! I love working with other  teachers in my district.
I have to admit my favorites are my kinder people.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Count Your Lucky Stars!


My students still need practice counting and writing 2 digit numbers so I made this math station and used symbols of our country. I used grids because our program really emphasizes 10 + 1, 2, or 3 more.The recording sheet is in the upper left hand corner. I should make more than one set of these cards but this took me a long time to put together.
Some hints: I used a star punch to make the stars in various colors and scrapbooking chalk to color Obama and the Liberty Bell. 
A big shout-out goes to Mrs. Lee at Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten. She inspired me to create this activity.  If you have not seen her site what are you waiting for?  She's on my blogroll because I love how she thinks!
Okay I am giving this to you so... grab it here. Now please leave a comment and follow me as a new friend. If you are a blogger you can have my button too!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Have you pledged today?


This is a little book I am using on Monday with my class. The language is simple and it is just enough for them to use based on the tree map we created on Friday. The repetitive text: It is a symbol of our country.
I think they will love adding some writing to the text and it's not too demanding. This might be a keeper!

I built their background of knowledge with this tree map and the little book is based on the information we recorded.


Friday, April 22, 2011

The Winners Are...


Give it up for these three ladies. Applause please. All of you bloggers are winners and I salute you. Now don't be a cry baby, we will do this again. Hey, I never win anything either. Cheer up. I am on to the next giveaway and you'll win that one! Have a great weekend!

Thank you for the huge response to this giveaway. It was so much fun to read all your comments and suggestions and I will try to provide activities that you requested. I can't wait to do this again and come up with an even better idea.

Please contact me with your email address and I will send you the goodies!

Do You Strip?


Okay is it just me or did you figure out this idea much later in your teaching career? I make million of books each year for my class but never thought to create them this way and stack them to cut them out three at a time. Granted  this only works for this style book but I was a little slow to make a connection and format it so I could slam them out at twice the speed. So, if you do not know this little trick I am whispering this in your ear because, someone will point this out to you and you will feel so ... you know what! Strip books are fun for the kids and I use them for math facts all the time.  Do you like this idea? Try it!
Here is my book and just leave me a comment about what you do for this unit and follow me if you want to...   Click right here and tell your class this is a gift from me.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What's the point in doing a PowerPoint?

Try this. Change it up a little.


I am going to try to link this PowerPoint and I am hoping you will like it and use it as part of your unit on Red, White, and Blue. Let me know what you think. I use PowerPoints to frontload my kids with information I want them to learn and I try to make it interactive. My kids like this kind of learning.  Click here to check this out.

Red, White, and Blue... We Love You!

We are working on a unit called Red, White, and Blue which focuses on the symbols of our country. I put all of our sight words on cards and as I hand them out to the children to read (quick as a snap) they come up and put them in the pocket chart. This is done very quickly!  Click here for your cards. This is one more stategy for reviewing the sight words at this time of year. I also use this for numbers, letters, and sounds. Try it!
What little games do you like to use?

Don't forget to enter for this giveaway! I can't wait to see who the 3 winners will be. I am so excited.
Count down ... time is running out! Hurry up!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I am drowning in curriculum

Do not forget about the giveaway!
I have my fingers crossed that you win!


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Kindergarten Crayons Garden Giveaway!



"
I am so excited to offer this "Garden Giveaway."  I am keeping the rules super simple since I have not started selling any of my materials yet.
"Spring" into action and do the following to be eligible to win (and you are all such winners)
1. Be sure to follow me on my blog because it makes me feel like I  made a new friend. (entry #1)
2. Grab this photo and put it on your blog to let   others know about this giveaway. (entry #2)
3. Leave me a message letting me know what curriculum you would like to see on this blog to support your classroom instruction.
(entry #3)

So there you are- 3 opportunities!
I am picking 3 winners.  Give it a try and thank you for all the support you have so generously given me! 
 

Scroll down to the next post to see what these look like.

Target for Teaching

How cute are these watering cans? I could not decide what to do with them but then I thought about what the kids need more practice with... rhyming because they are ELL's and do not always hear the subtle changes in sounds...right? The cans are from Target and I made the labels removable so you can change out the "family." You could make all kinds of sorts with these.











Friday, April 15, 2011

Tree Maps Are Growing In My Kinder Room




Here is a typical tree map you might create in your classroom. What makes it unique are several features. First,the words is and has have been scaffolded by color coding them. The word and is placed between these two words to practice stronger sentences. This can then be built into a pocket chart and students can read more complex language. More capable students will be able to take this concept to their writing after practicing this. Remember, children need to read the map! This map is for sorting and categorizing information. What do you do to make the maps kinder friendly? Leave a comment and share your great ideas!





My friend Pam came up with the idea of a circle map for our garden theme and I just made it a little "fancy." The boxes are to help the kids leave spaces between their pictures. I can't wait to use this as an independent activity. Maybe they can label their pictures?

I came up with the idea of boxes to help our youngest learners at the beginning of the year orient theirpictures in a way that is meaningful. I taught them the terms top, bottom, right, and left. My teammates love this since our kids tend to cover the map with too many choices. Remember this map is for brainstorming ideas.
Is anyone a Thinking Maps trainer of trainers?


Thursday, April 14, 2011


A gift to make you smile...(maybe)

I have this as a download.  Click here for your freebie.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who's Your "Data?"


We are going to work on this tomorrow. I am tired tonight so I used scrapboooking chalk to fill in some of the color at the top. I used a q-tip to apply the color and the best part is that this does not smear. I really recommend using colored chalk when you need to fill in large areas quickly. A cotton ball works well and you can blend colors easily.
I hope you like this little activity. I think we have to remind children to pay attention to detail and this activates their thinking and provides a review of gardening vocabulary.
What do you do? I was thinking of making seed packets that go in a baggie and the kids in a small group each get their own with a recording sheet... I'm thinking...thinking...

So you want the maps I have created...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Count Your Blossoms

Who knew the kids would love this activity? I think it is so darn cute. We used colored stamp pads and the kids used their finger to make the center of each flower. Then I had them use a black marker to make the pedals of the flowers. We added stems and leaves to this. Each student had his own math fact to draw so it was easy to differentiate. This was fun for them and I used washable stamp pads so clean-up was simple. I had to get in on the fun and make one too! Sorry. I just needed to confess...
Do you want this download? Are you following me?









This download is for my teammate Deb who is such a great teacher and friend to me. You can give her a big thank you. She wants the download tonight but naturally I could hand it to her tomorrow! LOL. Here it is and now get some rest...Click here for your worksheet.
Some other classroom activities:






Monday, April 11, 2011

Who said you can't do Pointillism?



This is such an easy project with great results! Don't you love easy? We painted veggies today and are using them for the front of our plant folders. This has a real wow factor and everyone felt successful! No fuss, no mess and the clipart is from Lettering Delights ( I should own stock in this company).  I knew you would love this!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Buiding A Sentence : One Word At A Time




I use this format for all themes that I teach in my classroom. I want students to understand that a sentence begins with a capital and ends with a period. I want them to practice reading sight words in context. They draw a picture to match their sentence and this gives them another opportunity to work with these words and build their reading skills. This is a very simple idea with a big punch! Want the download? Grab it and follow me... thanks!

What do you do to build their sight vocabulary?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Here's A "Honey" Of A Book


I hope you like the last book in my gardening series. Be sure to buzz right over and  let it sweeten your day!
How corny can I get?    Click here for a sweet treat...




If this has sweetened your day leave a shout out for me! Thanks for spending time on my blog.
My kids always benefit from cut and paste work and I want them to know the vocabulary presented in this book. I am hoping they love the sound of the bee and the special pointer. Vacation is over and now I have to go back to school. It was fun having this time to blog and meet so many of you. What an amazing group of teachers you are. You continue to inspire me.
If you download this book please be kind enough to follow me... There is more to come.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Would "Fancy Nancy" Say About This Paper?



If you have been "gardening" this week in your classroom I have fancy paper for you to download and use when you want your little ones to do some writing. My students love when I create special paper for them to use. You can even run it using beautiful pastel colors to make it more glamorous! If you decide to download it please leave a comment and follow me... I hope your kids "grow" from their new stationary.  Grab your garden set by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Techy Linky Party with Miss Snowden



This is the best of all linky parties and I can't wait to join in. First, let me say that I am obsessed with technology and love so many things. I am lucky enough to have an ELMO, school laptop, and LCD projector that get used all day. However, other people have already mentioned these so I will talk about some other tools that are amazing.  My digital camera is always ready to document work that my students do, charts I want to remember and video I want to upload to my website for parents to enjoy. I once showed a child outside jumping rope for the first time and sent it to his mom. She loved it. I will use video to record a student reading a book or singing a song. For a working parent this creates such a great connection.
I am a digital scrapbooker (can you tell from my blog?) so I make books using photos of the kids in my class and my students can't get enough of this. An example of this might be taking pictures of the kids and creating a book with sight words in context that I want them to practice. What could be more motivating?
                                                 
This might surprise you but I use my iphone all the time to grab a picture or even video if my camera is not handy. I can shoot this right to a parent in an email or to the district to see a strategy they might like!


My last suggestion is buy a digital frame just for your classroom. The kids love watching a special event that took place in class or you can set up a slide show of all the sight words you want them to know. Do not put this near the bathroom (like I did) since I had a child spend so much time watching the pictures that he wet his pants- seriously!




So... I hope these ideas are helpful.