Sunday, February 26, 2012

A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and a Cat in a Hat!

Hi friends!  I wanted to share some of my ideas from last week and a goodie for next week.  Last week we started learning about 3D shapes.  I am overjoyed with how quickly we have learned the names of these shapes.  One activity we did this week was bring a real life 3D object from home.  We sorted the objects based on the shape.  

This is the sphere table.  You can see two of my cuties visiting this table to record the shape.  The little stand holding the 3D shape card was made by gluing two clothes pins onto a dowel rod.  The dowel rod was then screwed into a board.  I love these little stands for holding cards for our sorting activities.

We also created a 3D shapes trail mix.  We used Bugles for cones, marshmallows for cylinders, Kix cereal for spheres, and cheese cubes for cubes.  Before my cuties could eat the mix, they had to sort the mix onto this sorting page.

We also read this poem.

I also wanted to share my Look at that Cat! glyph for next week's Dr. Seuss celebration.  Click here to get it!

Here is a picture of the larger version of the glyph so my cuties can see it better.  I included the little books in the glyph as well.

Here is my glyph.

I just have to share a secret with all of you as well.  I get to dress up as The Cat next Friday!  EEKK!  I am so excited.  Mr. Crowder has been known to dress up as The Cat every year, but since I have a student teacher this year, I get to do it!  I will definitely post pictures.  :)

One more little goodie I just had to share is a pic of these little bowls I found at Dollar Tree - 10 for $1.

I am going to use them to hold dice for dice games.  My kiddies can just shake the dice in the bowl and never take them out.  This will keep the dice from sprouting wings and flying across the room.  Thanks Pinterest for the idea!

Have a blessed Sunday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Spinning Sight Words!

Just a quick little post about a sight word game we played today.  I call it Spin a Word.  

I purchased these baking pans and little tops from Dollar Tree and created the documents you see in the picture.  Click here to download them.  I taped the little game board in the pan and gave each group a top, pan, and recording page.  All you do is spin the top and record the word that the top stops on.  My cuties had a blast playing it!

Happy Friday Eve!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How to Start the Daily 5 in Your Kinder Classroom ~ Part 2

I am truly sorry I did not post sooner.  This week has had many unexpected events in it that kept me from blogging.  But now I am back with part 2 of Daily 5.  

I know since my last post you read the whole book, reorganized your library, and collected some book boxes, right?  Now we will move on to the first day of school.  One of the first parts of Daily 5 is introducing the three ways to read a book.  They are:

Read the Pictures
Read the Words
Retell the Story
I started the Daily 5 on the very first day of kindergarten and I am so glad that I did!  I started with introducing one of my favorite first day of school books - The Kissing Hand.

I asked my cuties if they know three ways we can read books.  They stated things like reading words, mom reads to me, etc.  I agree with them that we can read by reading words.  Then I let them know that THEY can read the book by reading the pictures.  I begin reading the book, alternating with me reading the words and allowing them to read the pictures to me.  After we finish, I show them this anchor chart.

When I showed them the anchor chart, the bottom portion that says "Retell the Story" was covered with sticky notes so they cannot see it yet.  I explained that we will learn about that part tomorrow.

On the second day of school we recalled the ways we learned we can read books.  Then I told them we are going to learn the third way to read a book.  They made some predictions, then I showed them the rest of our anchor chart - Retell the Story.  We then retold the story of The Kissing Hand with words and then with retelling cards.  

I also introduced Read to Self on the second day of school.  I let my kiddos know that there will be a special friend to help them at school today.  I showed them a bag with a dachshund puppet inside.

I then gave them clues about the friend.  After many guesses I showed them the puppet inside.  

 (This is not my puppet, but I forgot to get a picture of it - oops!)

The puppet told the class his name is Dex and he wants to read his book to them. 

(This book is about a dachshund who wants to become a hero.  He needs to build his exercising stamina to become stronger.)

Dex (the puppet) asked the kids to tell him how they can read books and, thankfully, they recalled the three ways!  Then Dex and my kiddos took turns reading the book together.

After we finished, we retold the story and focused on how much Dex had to exercise a lot, even though it's hard, to become a hero.  I told my cuties that this is called building stamina and that we are going to build our stamina for how long we can read.  I showed them their book boxes, which I had filled with five books each that seemed like a good fit for them.

(These are our book boxes right now.  On the second day of school, they only had 5 books and were not decorated yet.  I allowed my kiddos to decorate them when we built our stamina to 10 minutes.)

I then told them I would give them a special place that they needed to stay the whole time and practice reading their books from their box in the 3 ways we learned we can read a book until they heard my jingle bells ring.  (It is very important that you establish a signal that let's students know it's time to return to the rug.)  I placed my cuties around the room by using this Book Nooks chart.

Each of my kiddos' names were on a clip.  The clip told them where their book nook will be for the day.  I changed the clips each day after school.  I used this chart for the first few weeks of establishing Daily 5 to help my kiddos understand what it means to work by themselves and to help them learn some good places they could pick to work later in our Daily 5 time.  I never let them know that one day they will be able to make the choice of where they want to work.  It was just a fun surprise one day when they came in and the book nook's chart was gone from our wall.

When everyone was placed around the room with their book boxes, I set a timer for 2 minutes.  I did not know if we could sit and read for two minutes on the second day of school, but we tried it.  While they read, I walked around the room and monitored them, looking for a "barometer child".  A barometer child is "that kid".  You know, the one that can't seem to to get it right and rolls around on the floor.  If you spot the barometer child not reading their books, then you need to ring your bell and call EVERYONE to the rug.  You do not want children to learn the wrong way to do Read to Self.  Calling them to the rug as soon as you see someone break stamina will keep them from developing incorrect habits.

We actually made it to two minutes on the second day of school!  Sprinkles to my kinders!  I rang the bells after two minutes to call them back to the rug.  They brought their book boxes with them.  Once we were all on the rug together, I showed them where to store their book boxes.  

Once our boxes were stored away, I showed them this graph.

We then filled in the graph for the second day of school with how many minutes we read that day.  This graph was out for the first three weeks while we built our reading stamina.  It was awesome to hear the kiddos boasting about their stamina to their parents as the number of minutes rose.  I had one parent ask me "What is reading stamina?" on the third day of school.  I just love it when they share their learning with their family!

Here are two copies of the stamina graph for you.

Can you believe this is only two days?  There is so much in the Daily 5, but the kiddies really learn TONS from it.  Please let me know if you have any questions and I'll be back with more lessons for the first week of school with the Daily 5!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How to Start the Daily 5 in Your Kinder Classroom ~ Part 1

I have been implementing the Daily 5 into my classroom for 3 years now and absolutely love doing it.  If you are not sure what the Daily 5 is, it is a structure.  In summary, it's what the other kiddos are doing when you are working with a reading group.  Students choose which of the five they want to work on during each round.  The five choices are:

Working on Words
Working on Writing
Read to Self
Read to Someone
Listening to Reading

I wanted to share my journey with you about how I introduced it to my kindergarteners and got them to work independently.  Here are some pics of us working on our Daily 5 choices recently.  I will let you know through many posts over the next few weeks how to get them to this point of independence.

Listening to Reading with TAG Pens

 Read to Self

Read to Someone - sitting elbow to elbow 

Working on Writing

The first step is to read the book.  

The Sisters also have a wonderful website with tons of ideas. (I was a featured author on there earlier this school year - eekk!)

I also use strategies from The CAFE Book by The Sisters to help enhance my mini lessons for the Daily 5 block. It is NOT necessary to use this book for your mini lessons.  I often use other resources for my mini lessons. 

Before you start the Daily 5, you need to know that you do not need the specified places for children to work.  They get to choose their activity and work place.  Pretty much every place in my room is open for them to work - under tables, inside of baskets, at another student's desk, etc.  If you have a place you do not want them to work, you will need to let them know that place is not a work area.  We will get more into that later.  I just wanted you to know that you do not need to reorganize your room for the Daily 5 to create special places to work.  

You do need to get your library in order so students can choose books easily and know where to return them.  You can read my post about my library here.

You will also need to start finding something for students to use as their book boxes or book bags.  Some ideas are:

Use IKEA boxes

Gallon Bags

Target Book Bins

Ice Buckets

Be Creative!  Anything will work!

Your assignments -

Read the book
Organize your library
Collect some boxes or bags for students book boxes

Okay, that's a lot for one day.  My next post will be what you need to do on Day 1 of starting the Daily 5 with your classroom.

Talk to you soon!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Black History Month Activities and a Winning Display!

I am so ecstatic!  My school does a Black History Month contest each year.  Each class chooses a different person to focus their Black History Month lessons around and then creates a display about that person to show their learning.  And guess what?  My class won for Kindergarten!  Sprinkles to my cuties' hard work!  Here are some pics of our display.

Whole Display about Matthew Henson, the first African American to go to the North Pole

Right side of our display, showing some of our arctic animals and a weather map of the North Pole
This side shows arctic hares, narwals, arctic foxes and snowy owls.

Left side of the display, showing more of our arctic animals and photo of Matthew Henson
This side shows polar bears and walruses.

A close up of our dog sleds and igloos
Matthew Henson traveled to the North Pole on Dog sleds and lived in an igloo.  We made the dog sleds by tearing paper for the dog's fur.  My cuties really understood they needed lots of fur to stay warm.  Then they traced their hand to make the sled.  The igloos are made from paper bowls with cotton glued on them.

Here are a few other classes' displays.

 Louis Armstrong

 Mae Jemison

Harriet Tubman

Here are a few pics about our Martin Luther King Jr. study.  We learned this song from Welcome to Room 36.  

Then we created these precious mobiles.  I got this idea from Angela at The Daily Alphabet.  It is in her Black History Month Pack on TPT.

Maya's says "I have a dream for kids to be nice."

Zoey's says "I have a dream for the cat to have a home."

Here is a pic of them all hung up in our room.

While we're talking about February, I just had to share one pic of our Valentine's Ladybug Glyphs that I posted here.

So precious!  Have a happy day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More Measurement and a Sight Word Game

We will finish up measurement this week.  I am so proud of all these cuties' understanding of the different ways we can measure!  Sprinkles to my kinders!  Today we continued with area.  I created this document to find the area of different shapes using Cheez-It crackers.  They did a fabulous job!

I also wanted to give you a sight word game.  It is called Sight Word Racers.  You will need little Hot Wheels cars to play.  Give each student a car and this game board, call out a word, and have them park their car in the correct space.  I hope you enjoy it and please leave a comment if you download it.  Enjoy the rest of the week!

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Mystery Box

So I had to stay home sick today - bummers!  I work so hard to plan my lessons and really don't want to miss out on all the fun!  Sigh...  I do have a fabulous student teacher and I know she will enjoy the day that I had planned.  
Since I am under the weather, I decided to be productive - who likes laying around anyways.  I made my mystery box that I bought from Abby's TPT store.  




I bought the box at Hobby Lobby for $3.20!  Sprinkles to me! 

If you haven't heard about Abby's mystery box, it's a box to hold something that you will use for teaching and the kiddies infer and guess about what's inside after holding and shaking the box.  Then the teacher provides clues and students make more guesses.  Here is Abby's post about the mystery box.

I am so excited to have it put together.  I am going to use it tomorrow to hold our conversation heart candies for the Sweetheart Snatcher activity on our day of love.  Thanks Abby for helping plan my Valentine's Day!  She is sooo awesome!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Valentine Glyph Freebie and a Question

It's almost here!  VALENTINE'S DAY!  I just LOVE this holiday.  It's not that my sweet hubby and I celebrate with a big, fancy date or anything, I just enjoy the "sweetness" that is in the air.  Flowers are everywhere, people are in love, and PINK is everywhere (I love pink!).

In the spirit of love, I wanted to give you a Valentine glyph freebie.  Your kinders will go "buggy" over this little ladybug.

I bought the little doilies for the ladybug's body at Dollar Tree - 24 for $1!!

I also bought this divided tray at Dollar Tree, which I use ALL THE TIME to hold everything.  I am going to use it to hold my supplies for the glyph.

I also wanted to give you my Valentine's Bingo.  We are going to play it for our party.  I love doing bingo cards this way because students make their own card and I do not have to create 21 different cards for our game.  Since a lot of the pieces are similar, I show them under the document camera so my cuties are 100% sure of the piece I am calling out.  If you don't have a document camera, you can make them into a transparency for an overhead.

Now onto the question... I am a HUGE fan of Daily 5 and have fully implemented it into my Kinder room, as well as my second grade room over the past few years.  I have presented my organization and structure to many schools in my district, as well as taught at universities about my practices.  I was wondering if there was any interest in me posting my process for implementing Daily 5 into my room?  I would love to create the posts if that would be helpful.  I have already posted about my library organization, which is a big part of the Daily 5 organization.  Please let me know.

Oh, and here is a pic of me with The Sisters last April.


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