Sunday, April 29, 2012

Time to Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

I have been missing from Blogland this week because I applied for a district position and went through a series of tests and interviews. It was such a difficult week for me and now I am mentally exhausted. I have not written a resume in a long time or asked people for letters of recommendation. It was such an interesting process,reading  how others perceive me. Now I wait... If I get the job I will be thrilled but the alternative is okay too. So it's a win-win situation.
 This activity with a few others are going on TpT this week if I can pull it together. I made this a read the room activity but students work collaboratively with a partner and it is time to the hour and half hour. My students need more practice with telling time and I think these cards will be fun for them to use. Have a great week of teaching.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Scissors, Sorting, and Silly Riddles

Young children love riddles and this is a format that you should try if you've never used it.They also need to learn how to ask and answer questions.Often ELL's struggle with this skill so it needs to be practiced.
Yup. We are still working on scissor skills. We are still trying to sort fruits and vegetables and we still need practice with color words. So this little guided reader hits all of this with some vocabulary to boot. I updated this from previous years, hoping the kids would like the riddle format.I am hoping they love figuring out the clues and doing some deductive reasoning. This really addresses the CCSS.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Draw Your Thinking Please!

Why is subtraction such a struggle in kindergarten. We act out stories over the year and try to provide lots of valid experiences with this but even so, I get some outrageous answers. I would not dare do subtraction in my room without manipulatives of some sort. My students will love this worksheet because they get to draw the answer which helps to make this more concrete. This is when story mats really help them and sustain their interest. If you are a master at teaching subtraction please let me know what you do and here is this worksheet as my gift  for helping me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Garden Graphing Without A Green Thumb

Kindergarten students love graphing and it is great to put them in teams to do this activity. I have them collect the data first, talk to their partner to check for accuracy, and then fill in their chart. If your students are English language learners be sure they have labels for these pictures and encourage students to use academic language. Sometimes I will tell them, "I want to hear...  We always come back as a group and talk about what we had the most of, the least, the same amount of... With practice throughout the year students become quite independent.
You could use this same picture and have them record this with tally marks. Wow, killing many standards with one lesson. That's perfect! 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

If Pete Comes They Will Write... Maybe!

How cute is this dictionary of words? I think my students will love having these to help them with their writing. I can just slide them into page protectors and make a few sets for them to share. These will help them be more independent with their writing. The" build a sentence" is a big favorite in my room too. This is a perfect scaffold to practice sentence structure. We have already done lots of guided drawing making plants, flowers and trees. Now we need to grow some things in our classroom. This will make my partner sneeze- poor thing! I might post this later in Teachers Notebook cause I am no one's favorite:(. This gorgeous artwork was drawn by my friend Makda. 

It's A Done Deal...Freebie for Tops and Bottoms

I wanted to post this again as a freebie for teachers who love this book as much as I do. Please check it out if you don't know this one. You will not be sorry. My kids liked this activity and had fun doing this worksheet. On Monday we are going to sponge the soil brown! Controlled chaos for sure. If you want a copy of this grab it here. I hope you have a great Sunday friends!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Take A Look At This Folded Book

My kids LOVE these little folded books and I am giving them this little one on Monday. It is very simple and I am hoping they can fill it in with very little effort. It can even serve as a quick and easy assessment for me  and they might "think" it is fun! KISS: Keep It Super Simple... right?
I can't spend too much time on this because we are heading for a unit on Patriotism. I love those pacing guides!!! Hummm , the flag and plants. How can I blend those together? Just kidding.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring is Blooming In My Room...

Have you read the book Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens? It is adorable and the best example of inferential thinking at a kindergarten level that I know of. However, I needed to build background knowledge before I read this story so my partner spent a billion dollars on fresh veggies that appear in this story. When the tops are left on carrots or the roots are left on radishes they cost twice as much! Go figure. I am sure these were all organic and I quickly realized that the children did not have labels for many of these. We used butcher paper, chalked it brown (soil) and had students put the veggies above the ground or under the ground. Then I had students put labels next to each one and we drew the roots. It was really an engaging activity for them and I will post a picture tomorrow. We had a carrot and dip party as a follow up. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Collaboration or Aggravation?

I busted out these new centers today thinking that the kids needed to be eased back into the routine of school. Maybe I was the one that needed to take it slowly. They loved the containers and the activities inside of them.
I set it up so that students had to work with a partner (yes Common Core is knocking at my door) and I watched them interact with each other. Some of them grabbed all the letters and tried to totally control the activity. Others, (mostly boys) were totally content to sit back and let their female partner take over. LIFE NEVER CHANGES. They were fine with someone else doing all the thinking. They did not take into account that I was controlling the situation and forced them encouraged them to collaborate. This is challenging in the kindergarten world- right? It's all about "I got it first!" We will do this activities like this. I wish I had filmed them. If you want a set because you feel a little overwhelmed coming back from break they are in my TpT store. If you are just starting your break stop gloating. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pete Is Back To Celebrate Spring

How stinking cute is this Pete? Makda slammed this out for me and it made my day! I have never seen anyone as talented as this lady! I love lots of other clip art but when it comes to Pete I'm loving her version of him. So what to do with this. I finally decided to bring in calendar pieces as my back from vacation "pick me up." I am hoping the the kids will adore this and be excited about starting our final trimester together. Is it just me or did this year soar past me? I made the pattern a little more difficult but it will definatley improve my calendar area- big time! It's all good.

Fun In the Sun... A Bloggy Party

I decided to get to the restaurant a bit early and was greeted by these two gorgeous party planners. They just make me smile and I really love them. Hadar is on the left and yup, that is Kristin. They have become total BFF's and I could spend all day talking to them. Hadar is a really talented, smart teacher who has endless amounts of energy. Irvine is so lucky to have her in their system. Kristin is hilarious and I wish I could put her personality in a bottle on my desk. If she was at my school I would never leave her room. These teachers set the bar for best teaching practices and truly are the best in Southern California. I need an entire day with

Here is the guest of honor for the day, Rachelle and she was smart, funny, and filled with passion for teaching. She came with gifts for all of us, peeps in a bag beautifully decorated. Thank you Rachelle for your thoughtfulness. You are amazing but I feel like I need more time with you! Sitting next to me was Michelle.
She is wearing the orange shirt in this picture. Michelle is fairly new to blogging so check her out, follow her blog and leave lots of comments. Remember at the beginning when you forced everyone in your life to follow you? She is teaching at a small, private school and is full of great ideas and a real love for teaching. Do you see Lindsay  on the right in the gray sweater. I was bummed she didn't bring the baby cause he was so adorable. She is loving her job and her blog is fantastic.We missed her partner Kerri.

It was great to see Heidi again but I didn't get to talk to her as much as I would have liked to. She gave us  her DVD Sing and Spell. Thank you so much for your generosity! She just quietly put them on the table and did not make much fuss about it. I am so fond of Heidi. I think she has so much knowledge to offer the blogging world. If you don't know her blog- get on it. She is full of information and her DVD's need to be in every primary classroom. 

Our blog meet up was huge and we took over Cheesecake Factory at the Spectrum for about four hours. Yup, you read that right.We could not have had more fun. I am not sure who everyone was (but I talked to all of these fantastic teachers) but I know Hadar pays attention and will save me when I ask. I loved all of these gorgeous women and it was FANTASTIC TO MEET RACHELLE. So, in this picture Rachelle is on the left, Annie Moffatt is next, Hadar, and Traci. I sat with Annie and she was wonderful to talk to. She stays at home with two beautiful little girls but continues to stretch herself professionally and learn as much as she can. Her blog is full of excellent ideas for teaching young children and her daughters profit from this wonderful "mommy teacher." Hadar is next, and the last blogger is Traci. She has started an amazing first grade blog and has really done a great job. There are other pictures but I need to do some things to get ready for school tomorrow so stay tuned. 
By the way... Is it just me who thinks there is a crazy amount of talent out there in Blog Land? I'm just sayin'...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Girls Just Wanna Blog!

So you guessed it... another meet up with my BFF's  from Blogland. Do not feel jealous. I will tell you all about it after Saturday. We are meeting ten minutes from my house and I am so jazzed to see these gorgeous, smart, and talented ladies. Have I used enough adjectives?!Last time I remember looking around the table (when I wasn't feeding my face or talking a mile a minute) and feeling overwhelmed by the passionate and talented teachers I was with. When people talk about all the negative aspects of education I just sit back and think about that day in Huntington Beach and the young teachers I was with who are making a difference in the lives of young children every, single day and it fills me with happiness. I wish I could meet all of you... Thank you Hadar for arranging this and making it happen. 

Who likes scrambled eggs?

Who likes scrambled eggs? Well inside of these containers are scrambled letters. Students put them together on these mini mats to make words. Yes, I put a line under letters that they tend to rotate (yup, happens in my room all the time). I made the vowels red so you can remind them that every word needs a helping letter. I have tons of mats and letters in this mini kit. I even give you labels for your baskets. There are response sheets to check if the little sweeties really understood this or just played with the containers. So you can't find the containers and you have been to a jillion Dollar Tree stores? Stop whining and use large plastic eggs. The ones at JoAnn's Fabric and Craft Store are fabulous. When you open them up there is a little strip of plastic that keeps them connected. Sheer genius to say the least. Now go have some fun today. Oh yeah, TpT is still running a fever and I cannot post this yet. So now it is time to go to Teachers Notebook and show them some love right here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

TpT is Sick and Needs Rest: Oh No!

I just finished this little mini center for addition, went to post it on Tpt  and found out that the site is sick and needs some rest. It sounds like my problem. So if you want these for tomorrow you can get them on Teachers Notebook for 2.00 here. Have bunches of fun with leftover eggs or carrots!

Do you like scrambled eggs?

I am working on activities to go in these adorable containers but they are not holiday based. I cannot do that at the school I work at. These are just cute mini sized activities that can be held in this long skinny container. I think the kids will love changing it up a bit and for those of you who have young children any kind of plastic egg can be used or just baggies with cute images on them. Don't knock yourself out looking for these... seriously. I bought the green containers and the plastic bunnies, carrots, and chicks at the Dollar Tree. If you don't have one just use plastic eggs in a basket. I loved that they stand up! The come three to a package for one dollar. What the kids will love in the mini sized activities and mats.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Maybe I bought a few eggstra eggs...

What do you use your leftover plastic eggs for once Easter is over? These can hold all kinds of interesting things and it just requires using some serious creativity. For a long time I was able to resist buying them on sale until I walked into my local Dollar Tree. Oh no. These eggs are in the shape of bunnies, chicks and cutest of all, carrots. They stand up on their own... yup ,adorable. My head started to spin with ideas and naturally I filled up my cart, reassuring myself that I needed them... desperately. I even bought green baskets to hold a set. Perfect fit.
The hubby was out of town so that made it even easier to go totally overboard with this.You can buy three of them for a dollar which makes them pretty darn cheap....right? I went home and decided creating cvc centers would be perfect and just what my class needed. Here are a few pictures of my ideas and my partner will love me for color coding each card and mat. Just maybe they won't get all mixed up. Now on to math. I have a jillion few more containers staring at me right now! I might even put this in my TpT store
cause they're sooooooo cute.

Have Some Cake and Celebrate!

I do not participate enough in TBA activities but I do love this organization  and have reaped the benefits over and over again. So, now is the time to recognize all of those amazing people who make this such an incredible resource for teachers. Happy Birthday TBA and many more... Blow out your candles and make a wish.
Leave a comment if you want to tell me why you love TBA.
Fran Kramer (a serious teaching blog addict)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Stripping Again?

I am over patterning in my classroom but my students still want to do this so I made them a spring version of this little strip book. I love that they have done this so frequently that it has become an independent activity. Makda made these gorgeous graphics and you will be seeing a lot of them because they are so BEAU*TI*FUL. I love her work so much... thanks again to the most talented woman I know! If you want this freebie I am putting it in my shop on TpT .