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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Arctic animals and gettin' ready for Christmas!

Since returning from Thanksgiving break, we have been merrily learning about Arctic animals.  My cuties LOVE learning about animals and have such a genuine love for them.  It makes my heart happy!

We started two weeks ago with learning about polar bears.  We started with a schema chart.  It's so precious to hear their thoughts about things.  This particular one made me giggle.  Do you see the misconception that polar bears live in igloos?  So cute!


We learned a lot on Pebble Go about polar bears and then changed some of our schema to misconception.

One of the new things we learned about polar bears was what they need to live.  We created group dioramas that had to have all of the things a polar bear would need to survive.




 
 We also did some polar bear writing.



 You can get this paper for free here!

For my district, we had to complete an assessment for science about student's ability to make predictions accurately through an ice melting experiment, so I tied in our little bears.  Students were asked to predict where an ice cube could melt the fastest out of a fridge, a shade tree, the sun, or under a table.  I made my ice cubes with little polar bears frozen in them and we placed the frozen bears in the 4 places to make our predictions and complete our experiment.  



 This led us to reading this book


which talks about the melting home of the Arctic.  This led my class to solving the problem of the melting Arctic.  They are so insistent on turning off lights and recycling more than ever!  It's so awesome that they say "I am turning off the lights to help the polar bears."

Another fun activity with polar bears was understanding blubber and how polar bears stay warm.  I let each kiddo stick their hand in this ice cold water (with my light up ice).  They all decided polar bears must be cold!  Then we learned about blubber and stuck our hands in the ice water with the blubber glove.  Our hands stayed warm!  I learned about this idea from the fabulous Mrs. Jump.



This week was a continuation of Arctic animals with a focus on caribou.  My cuties were tickled pink that caribou are reindeer and insisted on singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Caribou.  I didn't snap as many pictures of our caribou fun, but I did get our voting graph to decide which reindeer should pull Santa's sleigh.
 

We raced two clip art reindeer with balloon races.  The green reindeer went the furthest, so he was the little deer to pull the sleigh.

 
 We also did some reindeer writing...





 and a reindeer glyph.



 Our focus on math has been teen numbers (teenage numbers as we call them in my little room), so we did a little reindeer feeding game.  Student pairs got a reindeer, a dice with teenage numbers, a plate (reindeer have table manners, you know), and reindeer food.  Students rolled the dice and fed the reindeer that many pieces of food.  We wore reindeer glassed for extra fun!


These same little reindeer made a comeback at the end of our day at social center time.  I just about cried when I saw what my cuties did with the reindeer.


 Do you see that they lined them up to pull the (book box) sleigh and stuck a puppet of Santa into the sleigh!  So adorable and creative!

We also have a Santa's Workshop in our dramatic play center.  We only get 20 minutes at the end of the day for social learning, but it's so important and worth it for my cuties to have social time and a time to be creative.




 I have also been preparing a little gift for my kinder team for each day this week leading up to our WINTER BREAK!






Next week is all about gingerbread men fun!  I can't wait!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Some new things going on in Writer's Workshop...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Writer's Workshop time in my classroom!  My kinders are so brave in their writing and have learned so much about what good writer's do.  I just wanted to share some of the little things that have gone on in our classroom this year to keep writing time moving forward.


Here are some of our anchor charts.





 Here are some of the materials we use for independent writing.

 Differentiated paper tray

 Small moments catchers hats

 Publishing tools (We only use crayons when we publish our books.)

 Writer's toolboxes (Each partnership shares a box.)

 Each toolbox has 2 stretchy the word snakes, 2 pencils, 2 spacemen, an alphabet chart, and 1 kiss stamp to "kiss" a period at the end.

 This is my big stretchy the word snake that we used to understand stretching sounds to write words.

 Share bears (In the middle of our independent/conferencing time, I take a quick walk around and hand these out to writer's who have work that is worthy of sharing.)

 During share time, we share 2 stars (praise) and 1 wish (question).  Then we check to make sure the work we saw at share time has earned a smiley sentence.

I would love to see what goes on in your writing time!  Please leave me any links to posts or pins. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Turkey Dressing

My district gave us the WHOLE WEEK off this year to celebrate Thanksgiving, which meant we had to fit in lots of turkey fun in a shorter amount of time.  One of our favorite activities was our Turkey Dressing activity which went with this book:

In this book, the little farm turkey dresses up as different animals so he can be disguised for Thanksgiving and not be eaten.  After reading this book we dressed up turkeys and wrote speech bubbles describing our disguises.




You can get this freebie in my TPT store!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Turkey-Dressing-Turkey-in-Disguise-Writing-Craftivity-Freebie-411211



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thanksgiving Freebies for you!

Just a quick little post about two freebies in my store for you to use as you prepare for teaching about Thanksgiving...
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mayflower-Hat-Freebie-421810
I love making these little Mayflower hats each year with my cuties!  They look adorable in them as we learn about the Mayflower and the Pilgrims.  


I also have this little freebie to go with the book Turkey Trouble.


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Turkey-Dressing-Turkey-in-Disguise-Writing-Craftivity-Freebie-411211


This freebie let's your cuties disguise a turkey and write a persuasive piece about the turkey NOT being a turkey.  

I hope you enjoy your freebies!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Playful little pumpkins!

Last week our kindergarten room was filled with fresh picked pumpkin fun!  We started the week with a Cara inspired schema chart.

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After activating our schema, we read my book from my Playful Pumpkins unit on TPT.



http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Playful-Pumpkins-Learning-about-pumpkins-through-exploration-and-fun-284902

We then added more to our chart and explored our pumpkins at our tables to create our properties wall.  Students had to draw, color, and label their pumpkins.  All of our pumpkins were so unique thanks to a local pumpkin patch.  My cuties were AMAZED that we had a star-shaped, yellow pumpkin!






The next day we learned the pumpkin; life cycle with this much-loved book.


Then we created the life cycle with paper necklaces of a seed, vine, yellow flower, green pumpkin, and orange pumpkin.




Once these cuties understood the cycle of a pumpkin's life, we created this little craftivity.


No pumpkin week could e complete without a sink or float prediction.


These little cuties also explored the inside of a pumpkin to learn the pumpkin parts.  We added the parts to baggies with labels to hang in our dramatic play pumpkin patch.


Here is our little craftivity to understand the pumpkin parts.


 Friday ended our week of pumpkin fun with a Venn diagram comparing apples to pumpkins, which led to writing sentences and making a little paper craft pumpkin.  (This might have been when my principal strolled through for a walk-through - I love when she sees us writing so well!)




For our small 20 minutes of free choice centers, we transformed our dramatic play center into a pumpkin patch.  I love hearing the conversations about "buying pumpkins" and using the names of coins that were learned at calendar.  My cuties also used scales in this center to weigh the pumpkins and had garden tools to grow pumpkins.  Their conversations about the life cycle were priceless and made this little teacher's heart sooooooo happy!




We added a pumpkin to blocks center for hamming golf tees into and a pumpkin for art center to add play-do faces to.



In math, we were learning about 3D shapes and made a different shape each day.  On Monday we made pumpkin spheres from this little freebie.


On Tuesday our cubes were created with toothpicks and spice drops.

...and, of course, we enjoyed the Teacher Tipster 3D chants.  (He is awesome!)