Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Loving That Big Bad Wolf! Writing In Our Room

Collaborative Drawing Is Fun to Do

I had my students pair up and create the characters and the various settings for The 3 Pigs. It was so interesting to walk around and listen to the various conversations going on. They loved doing this and I loved the collaborative format. Compromises had to be made and I watched children take leadership roles for the first time. Students had to both sign their names and present these to the class together.
I used this story as a part of my assessment package this trimester. Here they had to draw all the characters in the story and come over to me and talk about them. I love their pictures.
Where did the story take place? Draw the settings with enough details to show me how they are different. Here are some examples of what I got. 
And here is the comprehension piece that is the funniest to read but gives you a window into their understandings. "If the story didn't end with the wolf burning his tail what do you think might have happened next?"

These are adorable and I love five year old writing. Remember that my kids were very young this year and many had very limited language. This assessment pack was a huge hit and painless to do.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Retelling With The 3 Little Pigs

I think every kindergarten teacher should do at least 3 fairy tales during the year with their students. Why? First, the kids absolutely adore hearing the various versions and you can easily compare and contrast them in terms that a five year old can easily understand. If you have never done the 3 Little Pigs you will be shocked at how many versions exist. It is a story children love to retell and act out and changing your voice to become the wolf makes them laugh hysterically. They never get tired of screaming, "Then I'll huff and I'll puff..."  The year is coming to a close and I am using this as part of my assessment for retelling, prediction, and story elements. Consider this for next year if you are already packing. I hope your summer is relaxing and filled with family fun. If you have a extra few days come and see me at the I Teach K conference in Vegas. I am presenting on blogging! At least stop in and give me a hug. Right?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Was I Wrong to Give Them Control!

Okay so maybe I learned a lesson when it comes to creating a graph based on the whims of 5 year olds. Who knew what symbols they would want. This might seem a bit random but my students liked doing it and I love making a graph for every theme we do during the year. It builds their independent skills. I used scrapbooking chalk to add a bit of color to the sky. 
We have a lot more school so you will not see me closing shop in this classroom. We are in full swing with a lot to do before the end of the year! I am trying to control my jealousy but seriously peeps... 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

More Obama

I do not have all of these files at home but I will give all of these away as freebies since many people have asked for them. The book aligns to the bubble map and is really about the qualities of a leader. This is just a simple cut and paste that I had students do during workshop time. Grab it here.  I also had them do a graph of American symbols. I am not going to put together a packet until the summer rolls around. Life is too hectic right now. I am assessing the kids, trying to get ready for the I Teach K conference, and all the other end of the year obligations we all have to deal with. I am drowning in a sea of paperwork! Oh yeah here is the bubble map. I hope you like these.

Friday, May 18, 2012

You Can Be President Too!

This is my favorite American symbol. I love talking about the qualities you need to become president of the United States. The children are fascinated by Obama and his family. They loved hearing about his dog Bo and his two daughters. We used this map but I supported the language with graphics since it was so demanding. This led me right into the qualities of a great leader and we learned some describing words in this context. We talked about the president needing to be physically fit (athletic) since he had such a hard job and worked long hours. We talked about what it means to be a scholar and hard working. Each time I introduced an academic word I asked them if they had these qualities and what made them scholars, athletes,  and hard workers.It was so cute. They told me that they worked hard at learning how to read and do math and I responded by saying, "Then you can be president too." I also made an emergent reader about Obama with all these qualities included in the text and used photographs to support the words. This really hits Common Core and expository text in terms that a young child can understand. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Caution: Bald Eagles Are Everywhere!

When you come into my room duck and take cover. We have bald eagles everywhere. We have eagles made from our hand prints as well as drawings of eagles taught through guided lessons. We have heard lots of expository text and I made a little book to match our class bubble map. We have written about eagles, created maps, and now we are moving on... seriously. If you find an eagle feather... make a wish.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blooming Addition

This would be adorable as the front of a Mother's Day card too instead of a child's hand print. Hummm. Anyhow this clip art is from DJInkers and I am happy to give you a copy if this will help get you  through the last few weeks! Grab it here. Wow, I am so crazy at this point from all that needs to be done!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Eagle Action In Kindergarten

My students have really enjoyed learning about our national bird. This is the map we made together and practiced reading. From this we have built sentences in a pocket chart. The final step is to use the map to write sentences about the bald eagle. Working with a partner would be a great way for them to practice the language of the map. This is a form I have created so they have all the information in one place and they can draw their own bird. Let's see how that rolls...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Only In My Room

We have been learning about our national bird and my students are fascinated with the bald eagle. This was just a simple labeling activity to build their background of knowledge and from here I created a bubble map to describe the bald eagle. I forgot to take a picture of it. The moms who help me every day decided to mount these and decorate them and I think they are adorable. Okay so this bird looks kind of sweet and friendly... right? Then I decided to show them an eagle's nest by watching a live cam. No problem. I got it all hooked up and my teaching partner turned into Mrs. Nature Lover and was more excited then the kids. We watched for a short time and came back at the end of the day, just to get an update. Remind me that these are carnivorous birds and watching them tear some unknown thing apart was horrid interesting. The kids asked me what the mom was feeding the babies and I told them it was just some treat! Finally "Mr. Smarty Pants" told me it looked like a mouse and I had to turn it off. So much for learning about raptors in kindergarten!

A Packet of Fruits and Veggies

Here is the packet so many of you asked me for. It has 45 pages of math and literacy work to supplement your Spring Theme. My kids loved all of it and I finally had a chance to put it together for Teacher Appreciation Week. I am only charging five dollars so you can fill your carts with lots of other goodies. I cannot post it on TpT since the site is so busy. I will do that tonight when I can upload the files. Right now you can go over to Teachers Notebook and grab it while I have it on sale. Click on the watering can!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Work Those Maps: Build Writing

I have my students practice reading the map filled with their words. Then we build it in a pocket chart which provides them with important practice with the language of the map. You can put all your academic vocabulary here and the children will have an opportunity to use it, in context. From here they are making their own map and drawing the American flag. We had several guided drawing lessons so they can do this with ease. However, those stars can be rough road for some... just sayin'. So I give them other options because the goal is not to make amazing stars!

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

We do a huge unit on the symbols of our country and our students love learning about the American flag,
the bald eagle, the president, etc. Here is a very simple tree map on the American flag. I love to fill it with color using scrapbooking chalk. It is simple and fills in large areas quickly. Here is an easy way to help ELL's see the difference between is and has and it is crucial to have them practice reading the map. The more proficient student can use "and" which allows them to create much more complex sentences. From here we go to a simple reader about the flag and then we move on to writing. I love teaching this unit.