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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Don't Tally Your Chicks Before They Hatch!... FREEBIE

I love a little cut and paste to keep those scissor skills pumping. This is another farm activity with tally marks. I  will use this during independent center time. My students loved holding the baby chicks at the farm and I managed to take a picture of each of them. Honestly, their faces were shining with happiness. Learning to tally is an important kinder skill for collecting data quickly. If you need other farm activities I have just put out a packet filled with kinder friendly skills for this time of the year. You can find it at TpT or Teachers Notebook. What do you like to do to teach this skill? If you want this freebie you can pick it up here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A Twist On Graphing

We test our children on their language level if English is not their primary language. Often these students struggle with past tense and it reminds me that I need to provide more opportunities for them to practice this language structure. Even are fluent English speakers can be challenged by this. So, this is a simple graphing activity that I do to give them additional practice. Students sit in a circle and I join them to model what I expect. I turn to the child next to me and say something like: "Crystal, what was your favorite animal at the farm?" I want her to respond with: "I liked the _________."  They need to practice this whenever you can make it work for you! You can get this little freebie here
but leave a comment partner!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Woops, Look At Your Sentence!

Do you work on this as hard as I do? I have been using mats like this for years to provide practice in building a sentence but my students still struggle with the conventions of writing. Ther's not much transfer happening. Many of them have never held a pencil before this year and this is still very demanding for them. What's a teacher to do? I even built a reader with these same repetitive sentences in them and I created these mats to practice the language ( in my Farm Fresh Fun packet) and now I will give them a recording sheet to practice this skill. Maybe I will put them in teams with the words in a baggie and see if they can figure out their sentence... hummm. The recording sheet might be the key to success.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Print It, Fold It, and Read It Over and Over and Over Again...

These fold-it mini books are so much fun to make. I love that it only consumes a single page and the kids love how small they are. Quick and easy for tomorrow... Grab it here partner!

Do Not Flip Out!

Okay some of us really get syllables and some of us have no clue. I love the student that just claps randomly when we practice this skill. It's only March so I have time-right? This is another version. If you have kiddos that still need this, well help yourself right here!

Farm Dominoes

I work with English Language learners who need to build their vocabulary and dominoes is an easy and successful way to practice this. It's another activity I use and just change out the graphics to reflect my theme. Students love this old and simple game. If you want this it is available in my Farm Fresh Packet.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Farm Living Is the Life for Me

How cute is this picture of my students touching and petting this cow? I am always enthralled by how gentle the kids are with the animals at the farm. No one is ever rough  and they love the contact with the animals. One of the cows leaned over and kissed a little girl (okay licked her face) and she loved it! Life can be so simple and sweet.

Flipping Over Flip Books!

I learned something about kindergarten kids this year. They build skills over time when you keep the task systematic and consistent. I have made them these books for every theme we have covered this year and the pay off is their ability to do this independently as a result. It is so cute to watch them clap each word and count the syllables. It makes me smile. I can't go wrong when it comes to this farm thing... I will post this soon as a freebie.

What do the kids like?

Here is a better view of this packet and I will post some freebies that will go along nicely with this theme. I have been really focusing on their writing and what do you think is the hot topic? Animals! We have done a lot of guided drawing and I am amazed by the results. I am changing out the routine cards today and I hope it helps to keep them invested in learning some of these more difficult skills. Animals with clocks... hummmmm.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Farmer Fran Created A New Packet

Howdy folks! This is Farmer Fran here and I have just finished a huge packet for anyone interested in reviewing kinder skills with a farm theme. This was a theme every kindergarten teacher did faithfully in her classroom, but now that we have scripted curriculum it has really gone away in many classrooms, including mine. I remember when we use to make all the TLC barnyard animals (bless you Kaye for your genius) and the students loved learning about all the animals with related poems and songs. I find that I really do not have a place to fit this in because of all the academic demands being mandated but my kids had such a blast at the farm and wanted to talk about it for endless amounts of time! So... I bit the bullet and made some activities that they need to improve on and used a farm theme. Easy enough- right. On Friday I did a sight word game with chickens and got their full attention for at least ten minutes! Not bad on a Friday afternoon...
If you want to squeeze this in here is the link and I hope you are familiar with the Barnyard Boogie!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Farm Freebies Are Fun!

I really cannot teach a Farm Unit but I know my kids are loving these animals and I need to keep them going with standards based activities. Who said I can't change the graphics in the room so that it looks like abarnyard boogie? Anyhow, if you think you might want this little freebie you can grab it here. Here are two spinners that you can make with brads and paper clips. The recording sheet for this is included. I am going to include manipulatives to help students build their number sentences.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Barnyard Fun In Kindergarten

We had a great time on our farm field trip and the kids thought riding a school bus was fantastic.It takes very little to thrill a 5 year old.  They loved touching the animals and watching a cow get milked. Farmer Teena (our tour guide) was really excellent and something tells me she might have been a teacher in a previous life. She knew everyone's name within a few minutes and she never lost control over her enthusiastic audience. We also saw oxen and found out they each weighed 3,000 pounds. They really impressed them. The gardens were filled with vegetables so I told them I was sorry that I didn't bring any salad dressing. No one thought that was even slightly funny except for Farmer Teena. Now I know why I liked her...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Have you met Farmer Fran?

So report cards are finished but the paper work in addition to this is crazy. However, in the middle of all of this we are heading for the farm this week and I needed to make something for the kids to use when they got back from the trip. The text is simple enough and my students have already practiced it in a pocket chart. So now I needed to move on to a book for their literacy bag. This is available in my TpT store and I like the cut and paste format with kids adding in a few sight words. One word needs to be capitalized so we'll see how that rolls...
Do you need something like this for your farm unit or just because? Click here to grab it. EIEI-O!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My Life Is Full of Surprises...

I never like to mix my teaching blog with my personal life but this is worth sharing. For months now my husband and two daughters (who live far away) have been planning a birthday party for me. My husband told me he would wait for me to fall asleep each night (sometimes earlier than I want to admit) and he would get on the phone with the girls to work on the plans. It was so spectacular that I am still trying to wrap my head around it.
It was in a gorgeous part of Orange County and he had it outside with delicious food and wine. The daughters contacted everyone they thought I would want, including my entire grade level. They created a slide show of my life (sniff) which was really embarrassing  touching. They wrote a poem together about having me for a mom and other friends spoke about our friendships. OMG. It was a lot to take in with presents and a cake that was amazing with a gorgeous photo of my family. My husband flew in my sister as a surprise for me and my niece came from New York! At the end of the party my very quiet husband stood up and read a poem he had written about our lives together over 37 years. There was not a dry eye in the room... That is why I have not blogged this week. I am still try to take it all in...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What is magically delicious?

This has been around for many, many years but if your students need more graphing experience this is an easy solution to celebrate St. Patrick's day. I'm not a big fan of all children sticking their hands in the same bowl to do this activity so I have another suggestion that will make it feel special. Have a parent put a handful of cereal in clear treat bags and you can use the topper I have provided to seal off the bag. Each child has their own to use when doing this graphing activity! The graph can be run off on colored paper or stay with the white so they can color in how many of each shape they have in their baggie. Easy and fun during assessment time. This might give you a handy fifteen minutes.They can even compare their data with a partner and I will come up with a recording sheet if I have time... The graph and topper are available as a freebie for kinders and firsties at my shop on TpT.
Please rate it and leave a comment if you think it will make you luckier!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Reading Is Fun But Here Is Math On the Run!

Are you going to school in your PJ's? Woohoo! This is the best day ever! I love books with a passion but if you need to mix it up with some math fun grab this freebie and leave me a comment about your Seussy Day! Have a blast!