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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Can You Spell These Words?


Here is another version of a worksheet where students record the word that they roll each time.
The game is over when a student reaches the top by writing the word 7 times. Now do you think your kids can spell these correctly?  The boxes at the top are for writing the number of times each word is recorded.

Back By Popular Demand: Roll A Word Game

Many of you asked me for the actual cards that you see in these cubes so I am giving them to you as a gift. I only ask that you leave a comment and follow me. I hope they are helpful.

You can order the cubes directly from Amazon. They are wonderful to have in the classroom for many concepts. I use them for character, setting,  and event too. We build silly sentences. This is a great activity for English language learners.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don't Wipe Your Feet On These Mats

Click here for your mats!

Here are some mats to run off and laminate. I use these for word work in guided reading and the children practice writing the first, middle, and last sound. Then we blend all our sounds together to unlock a word. The arrow is a visual to help them understand the sequence of the sounds and the idea of "sliding" them together!
This can also be used for independent work and you might have a baggie of pictures and a recording sheet for each student. Are you getting tired of cvc work... Some of my students really struggle with blending.
I would love to hear  your ideas. Please leave a comment.

Abby over  at the Inspired Apple is having a linky party and I am jazzed to hook up and give my take on this topic. If you don't know this site get on it and look around. She is so talented and creative. Now go...

You know you are a kindergarten teacher when...

 -a student hugs you and gets caught up in the moment and calls you Mom!

-you can't wait to get to the dollar spots in Target to make your next great purchase with a parent gift card

-you are on vacation in another state and you insist on stopping at the local Dollar Tree.

-your ipod is full of songs by Dr. Jean, Raffi, and Jack Hartmann and you  know them all by heart.

-you tell your friend to "kiss her brain" when she has a great idea.

-you stalk Office Maxx or Staples in August for their super teacher specials. You beg strangers to buy supplies for you.

-you buy tons of notebooks for 10cents just in case you might need them in the future.

-you know a teacher is retiring and you beg her for her stuff even if your room is exploding!

-you find yourself buying Barbie and Sponge Bob band-aids.

-you cruise the aisles of the grocery store for snacks beginning with a special letter.

-your walls are full of love notes and drawings your students have made for you

-you would rather help a struggling teacher than call it a day at 6:00.

-glue sticks on sale make you jump up and down.

-kids in first grade scream hello to you in the morning, jealous that they are no longer in kinder.

-when your tables are filthy from art projects, play-doh is all over the floor, and you have glitter in your hair.

-you wear that horrid piece of jewelry just so a child will feel special.

-a student tells you that you remind them of their grandma ( who is 20 years younger than you are)

-you go out with another couple on the weekend and only want to talk about your class.

a fresh box of crayons puts a smile on your face.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Where do you buy those letters for the trays?

Here is the store where I bought those letters tiles that you see on the trays and you can purchase them by clicking on this logo.

CVC Words...sound them out but don't spit all over the teacher!

Lots of  teachers seem to want cvc activities so I am putting up another one that you can run on stock and laminate or just run off as is. I use letter tiles for this activity but you could have students write the letters with a special marker. It's just a quick and easy center for tomorrow.

Please leave a comment and let me know if you like these.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Scissors Are For Cutting Paper... Not Hair!

I bet that title got your attention. If you are a kinder teacher you know exactly what I am talking about. Who has ever seen a child get a fresh haircut in your classroom given by a friend? My heart always sinks when I see this. Naturally it's never a boy but the little girl with the bright red bows and hair down to her waist. These are phone calls I do not enjoy making so my kids always repeat after me..."Scissors are for cutting paper, not hair!"  Here are some cut and paste activities for cvc words. If you are following me it's my way of thanking you.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Woohoo...I am so excited!

Flower Power

My kids are working on CVC words this week and I wanted to come up with something that might be more fun for them. Practicing CVC words is not exactly a blast for some of them. I was on the blog Little Literacy Learners and she had a cute idea for this with flowers and I just tweeked it for my little guys. Thank you for this push in the right direction! Check out this adorable site.

Click here for your flowers

I laminated the flowers and put them on tongue depressors so they would be easy to use. Each child will have an opportunity to pull one from the cup and read it.Here is what they look like.

During guided reading I often have them build words in these trays to give them an opportunity to practice this crucial skill.

OMG Have You Seen These!

I did a workshop for kindergarten teachers at my school on Wednesday and my friends Krista and Alicia came to support me. I love these two amazing teachers. They brought me a surprise (they always come with gifts) and this one blew me away! Have you seen these? When did Crayola come out with dry erase crayons? My class adored watching me use them to model drawing a plant. Imagine using a black dry erase board for this. Target sells the crayons. You better grab some fast.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Power of the Connecting Word

In my classroom we use either a tree map or bubble map and talk about connecting two ideas through the use of the word "and". The kids love doing this and reading it the pocket chart. However, I have learned my lesson since they will build a sentence and put many connecting words in and I see run-on sentences galore!
The first grade teachers would not be pleased so I have a little conversation about this!
When I first introduce the idea of a connecting word I do it through connections they can easily relate to and we talk about them. Some examples might be cookies and milk, peanut butter and jelly, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc. We do a series of these and they love coming up with the second part.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My First Linky Party! Woohoo!

Jennifer is having a Linky Party and I wanted to join the fun!
Check out her great site and let me hear from you. I would love for you to leave a comment!

10 Things I've Learned About Teaching: and after so many years I have so much more to learn...

1. Kindergarten children are completely honest with you and just put their feelings right out there. This   requires a strong ego and a great sense of humor. Trust me I know!

2. Never stop hugging the kids! It makes a real difference and can be so effective when they can no longer hear your words.

3. Never power struggle with a 5 year old. I promise you- they will win. It is far more effective to allow them the opportunity to express their thinking and lead them to a reasonable solution. This takes time but is well worth the effort.

4. Children's books are amazing and I am addicted to them. I love the art and often the message touches me as much as the students I teach. I love presenting a new piece of literature and feel full of excitement. The best part is when they clap at the end and tell me how good it was.

5. I can justify spending endless amounts of money if it's  for my classroom. I have a serious addiction when it comes to markers, sharpies, tabs, post-it notes, and any container that might be useful. It pays to be organized and have enough of everything!

6. You need friends who are teachers, especially at your grade level. It helps you to grow as a professional and lends you support when you need it. Blogging has opened my world and made me a better teacher .So
many of you are so amazing and giving! 

7. Instead of complaining about what is wrong with the "system" work to change it and put yourself out there.
8. Read professionally. It makes you a better teacher and helps facilitate best teaching practices.

9. Know that you will have rough days when the kids are not tuned in and it's not always about you.
Nuture yourself and meet a friend for coffee. Don't work in your classroom endless hours. Find balance. My friends are laughing at this one!

10. Trust your own instincts and take the time to listen to your children. They need you on so many levels  and  are in your care for many hours. After all these years I still love when they hand me a beautiful picture or love note and I try to celebrate the moment...

If you are reading this I want to thank you for making a difference in the lives of our children.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Remember That Naughty Girl?

My kids love this character and can't wait to describe her. They love to talk about how naughty she is and all the poor choices she makes by entering a stranger's home. It is so much fun to listen to them carry on about her! However, the boys defended her and justified her decision to go in the cottage by suggesting she was hungry and tired. Some of the children told me she was snoopy and nosey but I wanted to introduce the word curious because it's such a great vocabulary word. Someone finally suggested it and we practiced drawing her. The following day they wrote about her. One student turned her into a princess because she thought she was so beautiful. This is a great opportunity to talk about real and make-believe. For a 5 year old the lines are often fuzzy...

Here are some examples of the cut and paste bubble map and their Goldie artwork!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Everything is Coming Up Roses

So Spring has come to my classroom. We are going to begin an author's study of Eric Carle (remember my trip to Kohl's?) and I am ready to change up my classroom. Those snowflakes are starting to fade! This is a simple game that my class never gets tired of. I am giving you a set of cards so your little ones can practice reading the numbers through 30. First, laminate the cards and cut them up. Hand them out to students as part of your morning routine. 
This is how the game is played. The first child says, "I have 1. Who has 2?" The child walks over to the pocket chart and puts the number in. The child with the #2 card says, "I have 2. Who has 3?" This goes very quickly and encourages children to pay attention so they will not miss their turn! The cards all end up in the pocket chart and the last child gets to read them all! It only takes a few minutes and hits an important standard... easy peasy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What Fish Did You Catch?

When playing with a partner students can "fish" for a sight word, identify it and color it in on their recording sheet. They can read all these words to their partner when the game is over.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Catch Anything?

Click here for the fish cards

Here is an oldie but goodie:

My kids love using a fishing pole  that has a magnet on it to "fish" for sight words. Sometimes I do this whole group and we put the words up on the board to keep count of them and use tally marks. When a child fishes for a word and pulls it out of the ocean, he says the word and spells it. I want as much "bang for my buck" as possible! This can also be used as a literacy center with a partner. I made a recording sheet for them to color. You can download the fish as a freebie from me! These sight words are from our Open Court Reading Program.

I laminated each page with my home laminator (thicker lamination)
and put self adhesive magnetic strips on the back. The strips were from Walmart and are very inexpensive. Lakeshore has the fishing poles. The kids love this! Try it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Roll A Word Game to Build Sight Word Knowledge

click picture   

Here is a game I created as a literacy station. These are soft cubes that have clear pockets to put cards in. They can be used for so many things. The possibilities are endless!  This is a game where kids work with a partner and record the word that shows "face-up" in the appropriate column by coloring the bar in. Each time the word comes up they read it and record it on their chart. Once they reach the top with a word the game is over and they count up their totals. They could also write the word in each box.The color words just make it more interesting.Our kids love to graph. If you click on the photo you will find the site where you can learn more about theseor head over to that shopping site like no other- AMAZON!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Assessments Are Over... We Drew Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

I love the way children draw. Assessments are over for now and I am so grateful. We spent time just making the characters in our 3 bear stories. It was so much fun to watch them create these.

What the Teacher Wants... Containers

What teacher wouldn't be tickled pink to win a gift certificate to the Container Store for $100? Well here is your chance so HURRY UP and give it your best shot.
This would be a dream come true for any teacher. We all love containers-right?
Soooooo you better go over to this site to check it out and be sure to look around if it's not on your blogroll.
I have my fingers crossed. I personally can get lost for hours in this store and would like to bring it all home.
It makes me feel in control of my life... I am so not in control.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Some Bear Activities To Use Tomorrow!

        Bear Syllable Book
          Mama Cut and Paste
         Mama Bear Writing

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Get The "Bear" Facts

So I thought you might like to see the writing going on in my classroom. I have been busy doing assessments for report cards so the children worked independently on this and were so proud of their results. I taught them how to draw a bear through direct instruction on a previous day.