Sunday, September 21, 2014

Reading Strategies with Beanie Babies

I am not sure of the originator of the Beanie Baby Reading Strategies, but I have always loved using them with kinder kids.  I created my own set that we have already started utilizing in small group instruction.

This bulletin is set up near my reading table so that my cuties can always see it, but I also created a smaller set to help each group as needed with their strategies.

These smaller ones are attached to a mini poster that says "Our Reading Strategies" so that student groups know which strategies to focus on.

Each group has a min poster and a set of strategies.  I attach their poster to my small group easel when that group comes to my table.

I also wrote a note to families about each strategy.  I only send home the strategy a group is working on with those students.  These notes help families understand how to help their child with their reading at home.

You can grab this pack in my little store for only $3. 


Friday, September 19, 2014

Number Formation

Helping kinders print numbers correctly is stinkin' hard!  I was determined to figure out a way to print numbers correctly and I read on another blog (though I cannot remember which one) about having students imagine the numbers are lined up to walk through a door.  All of the numbers face the door like good little numbers do, except for the naughty numbers - numbers 5 and 6.  I created this little chart to help my kinders see that image of the good little numbers and the naughty numbers.

We have been practicing that correct formation with activities from my Seasonal Number Activities for Fall unit and one of my cuties actually drew a door to remember the direction that number 3 faces!  I love these little friends!

It's nothing fancy, but here is my number chart if you want it and if you know where this idea originated form, please leave me a comment and I will add it to this post.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quiet Critters

I found a pin recently about Quiet Critters and thought I would try them out with my 21 little friends.  Quiet Critters are simply pom pom balls that sit with students who are working quietly during any independent practice time.  I keep them in this container and place them on table while students are working.  The rules for the Quiet Critters are to keep working quietly, but you can pet their heads or give them hugs. 

I found my Quiet Critters already assembled at Michael's craft store in packs of 16 for only $2.99.  You could also make them by hot gluing google eyes onto poms. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Writer's Workshop Freebies and Fun!

Happy Monday!  Today was the first day that I felt we "got" writer's workshop.  All of us kinder teachers know what a success it is when our little kinders {finally}understand the routines we are setting. 

The first routine that was set in place was understanding what a writing folder is.  I started by showing my writing folder - a giant version of my students' folders.

The green dot side means that writing piece still has some work to do and the red dot means that writing piece is complete.

Another routine that's been set in place is writing partnerships and a conferring schedule.  

My conferring schedule is set up so that I meet with 2 partner groups a day.  On the schedule the partner groups are placed together so that I can easily see who is partnered together.

I use my conferring toolkit ALL THE TIME for my emergent writers.

This is my dedication stamp that is used when we publish.  We are a
L   O   N   G
way off from publishing, but it stays in my conferring toolkit for when we do publish.

In our partnerships, we have writer's toolboxes to share.

These stay stored on a shelf and each partner group grabs one as they make their way to their writing post (assigned spot for that partnership).  Inside of the kit is an alphabet chart, eraser, and pencils.  Other things are added as the year goes on, but that's all for now.

My favorite part of writer's workshop is share time.  To decide who shares, I pass out Share Bears while students are working.  Any student who gets a Share Bear, gets to share their story with the whole class.

To help us with writing, my students learn the 3 ways to write.  I created this anchor chart to help my kiddos feel successful.  First we started writing with pictures, then moved into labeling.  That is where we are now, but soon we will begin writing with words and creating sentences.  You can get the wording and title here for free!

We also have differentiated writing paper that is located in this paper tray.  All of my students are listed on the chart next to the tray with a dot beside their name.  The dot indicates which tray to get paper from based on writing needs.

So many routines after 15 short days lead to young, emergent writers who are labeling and understanding what on Earth is going on... Sprinkles to Kindergarten!!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Oceans of Fun with Oriental Trading Goodies!

Happy Monday!  I cannot believe My littles just completed day 10!  What a world of difference 10 days makes in little kinders!  Wow!  All I can say is, wow!

Well, down the hall from my kinders is my best friend who teaches 3rd grade in a ocean-filled classroom.  She has been enjoying some goodies that were generously provided by Oriental Trading for her reading corner.

Oriental Trading's Reading Corners are a great way to have a themed reading area.  Take a look at some of these other themes from Oriental Trading:




There are so many more!  Click HERE to visit Oriental Trading and see all of the Reading Corners themes!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My buzzing little room...

It's been a busy three weeks since I returned home from Peru.  The "buzzy"est event has been setting up my little room and I am thisclose to being finished, so I went ahead a snapped for pictures for you!

Here is the view from the door

As soon as you walk in you see my math stations tubs and turn-in work basket.  These labels are FREE on my website.

Our back packs, coats, and lunches are also next to the door.  You can also see my Thirty-One bag that hangs by the door.  I keep it filled with hallway transition activities so we can keep learning all day, even in the hallway and at the bathrooms.

My CAFE wall ~ if you aren't familiar with CAFE, it's a reading strategies and comprehension wall that is built with the students as we learn reading skills.  I keep my Science materials stored in labeled container above these cabinets.

Here is my Working on Writing area for Daily Five/Reading Groups time, our Math and Science journals, and our paper tray for differentiated writing paper for Writer's Workshop time.  I wrote about this tray here and here are all my posts about Writer's Workshop in Kindergarten.  You can also see our color coded marker caddy and my mailbox for all the little kid notes I receive.

Our little sink area with our hand washing song from my website

This is the counter next to the sink where we keep our morning buzz work, pencil sharpener and pencils, and our folder bucket (form Thirty-One, of course).

This book shelf holds oodles of stuff!  I am so thankful to have it in my room!

Our book boxes

 Author study materials with labels

 Guided reading books with level labels

Here are our Beanie Baby reading strategies from my little store.

This is my small group instruction area.  I teach guided reading, guided math, and conduct writing conferences here.  Some new summer purchases are in this area, including my chevron marker board easel from Hobby Lobby, my storage stools from IKEA for students to sit on, and my three little share bears from Build a Bear to use during Writer's Workshop conferences.

Listening to Reading area

Here are our four computers to use my Lakeshore software with that I received through Donors Choose in 2013.  This is an amazing company and has helped me get 28 grants funded in a little under 4 years.  There is also a little rolly cart to hold the iPods I am receiving through my Innovative Teaching grant last May.

I love to get crafty and enjoyed making my behavior clip chart to help manage and encourage my kiddos.

 Happy "Bee"day wall with my little monthly cupcakes to post student pictures above

Read with a Buddy area for Daily Five selection ~ if you would like the Daily Five posters, they're here in Kristen's store for FREE!

Word Wall with my FREE alphabet letters and my student library, organized with Danielle's library labels

Calendar Math

This is my whole group teaching area where I sit to teach, keep my daily materials organized, math stations groups are organized, and Peanut the Pig sits.  Little Peanut is our rapping clean-up pig.

Working on Words materials cart for Daily Five

Home Center and Blocks Center for social learning time at the end of the day that I keep organized with my Center Signs from my little store

I have five tables and keep them organized by color.  Here is the "blue" table materials bucket, trash can and color coordinated scissors to keep things organized.  All of my scissors have google eyes glued on them to help students learn how to hold scissors correctly.  You can read more on this post.

I love my new chevron chair pockets from Etsy.

On our way out the door you can find by hanging basket where I keep transition songs and activities for us to do as we line up and our good-bye saying that we say at the end of each day.

Thanks for taking a look!  Buzz back soon!