Thursday, March 29, 2012

Yippee for Randomness!

Hi friends!  My post is all over the place today.  It has been an exciting week! Here in Texas, grades 4 and 5 had the STAAR test - which means all of the other grades walk on pins and needles to stay quiet (which is so hard in Kindergarten, by the way).  Since it is so hard to stay quiet, we decided we would take a field trip to the dinosaur park.  It was a blast and we could be loud!

Field trips are also one of the few days that I pull out one of my favorite pairs of shoes.

 Yep, my bedazzled teal sneakers.  I have had teal as my classroom shirt color for several years now, so I about died when I found these on clearance a year ago.  My cuties think it's so funny when I wear them.

I also wanted to share how crazy proud I am of my cuties and their ability to add now.  Wow!  Who would've thought. I was pulling my hair out a week and a half ago thinking we would never get it.  We did do this quick little review today of addition using the giant ten frame I taped to the floor. 

My student teacher actually taught this review lesson.  She placed several "Easter" objects on the ten frame and then placed more "Easter" objects into the rest of the frame.  My kiddies wrote a number sentence to tell what we added together.  In the pic below is bunnies plus chicks.

Another bit of randomness is that my 31 Organizing Utility tote came in the mail, thanks to my new friend Katie!

Love, love, love!

Last bit of exciting randomness - I am taking the day off tomorrow!  Because I am a mentor teacher this semester to a student teacher, we get a free day off WITHOUT writing plans as a thank you.  Another mentor teacher is also taking her free day tomorrow and we are going to see Mirror, Mirror together.  Sprinkles to us! 

Happy Friday Eve!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Texas, Our Texas!

Happy Friday!  I hope you all had an enjoyable week.  Our week was all about Texas!  I absolutely love teaching kiddos about the history and and traditions of Texas.  I have lived in Massachusetts, Arizona, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, but I am a Texas girl by birth and I am so happy to be back here and teach my Kinders about our state!

We learned about important people from our past by using some of my Texas materials I posted about last week.  We also had a Chili Cook-Off with the other Kinder classes.  All of the classes cooked their chili at school.  I wanted to make the experience unique for my cuties, so I brought in a lot of stuff so we could vote on what should go in the chili.

Before we made the chili, we discussed who had eaten chili and what it tasted like and also looked at some photos of chili.  Then we voted on what food products should be used.  We are working on comparing numbers, so this was an opportunity for us to compare who voted yes and who voted no.

Here is our chili after we voted on what food should be in it.

(Yes, those are carrots because several of my cuties claimed that there were "orange things" in the chili photos.)

At the end of the day we enjoyed (well, some of us - you don't want to know what was in the chili) our creation.

Each class earned an award in a particular category.  Guess who's was "Most Original"?

That would be us!

We also enjoyed a rodeo!  Here are some pics of our fun!

Pony Races

Lassoing Bessie the Cow

Fill the Beans Relay

What  a busy week!  What are you up to this weekend?

Friday, March 9, 2012

An award and some St. Patty's Day mischief!

Today was fabulous in so many ways!  I truly love my job, I have an amazing hubby and two sweet pups, and it's officially Spring Break.  Since we do not have school next week, I wanted to get some St. Patrick's Day fun in today.  It actually started yesterday. 

I told my cuties at the end of the day that we needed to design a cup in order to do a project tomorrow (today) with our third grade buddy class.  So I handed them all a styrofoam cup let them decorate it with permanent markers.

That was all we did yesterday because "we ran out of time".  So I gathered up their cups and placed them in a box. My cuties did not know that I took the box home and shrank them in the oven.

I placed them back in the box and took them back to school today, placing the box in the same place we left it the day before.

Today we returned to the project when our buddies arrived.  I opened the box and was in shock.  A leprechaun left us a note saying he had shrunk the cups and turned them into leprechaun hats!  My kiddies and their buddies were amazed and shocked too!  

We discussed what happened and I lamented over not having our cups for the project.  I asked them to listen to a story and try to think of a new project we could do with our buddies.

This book is great because it talks about building a leprechaun trap and shows many different types of traps.  After reading the story, we brainstormed what to do and they were all in agreement that we should build a trap to catch the leprechaun.

I gave them a paper to design their trap before building the trap.  You can snag it on my brand new Teachers Pay Teachers store !

Then they gathered the supplies they needed and created their traps.

 The pipe cleaners on the side are a ladder and the paper inside is gold to tempt the leprechaun.

How cute are these traps!

You can learn more about the shrinky hats on Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business.

We also completed this writing assignment.

I got this idea from The Teacher Wife.

I would like to thank Marissa at Wild About First Grade for giving me the Top 10 award!  Thank you oodles!

I would like to nominate the following blogs for this special award:

Happy Friday, Everyone!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Show and Tell!

Hi peeps!  I hope your week is off to a fabulous start.  I suddenly felt the desire to post about some crafty projects I have created this year.

This is my marker holder I created from a 25 cent lazy Susan from a yard sale and empty mandarin orange cans.  I painted the lazy Susan and then covered the cans with paper and these labels. Last I glued the cans on with liquid nails (from Lowe's).

Here are my bumble bee stools that I created from Ikea trash cans.  I bought the plain black ones for $2.99 each, turned them over, and painted every other row yellow with plastic paint.

They stay in my art area.  Aren't they "BEE"utiful!
(I have a bumble bee theme.  Click here to view my bee room.)

Here is my clipboard that I use for Daily 5 check in.  I made it from an old clipboard that was being tossed out.  I Modge Podges the cute craft paper onto the front and added some "bee"dazzle with stickers and ribbon.

 Here is my last little creation.  I created it based on this Pinterest idea.  I use it as an incentive for good behavior.  Whenever I spot someone making good choices I ask them to sign the Super Star Board.

At the end of the week I roll these little dice that are labeled  to match the header and side numbers.  The kiddos whose names match the coordinates get a special prize.

I hope you enjoyed my show and tell of my recent crafty projects.  I was wondering if anyone could be so kind and tell me how to link my blog to my blog name when I leave comments on other blogs?  Sigh, I just really would like to know.


Friday, March 2, 2012

How to Start the Daily 5 in Your Kinder Classroom ~ Part 3

I promise I have not forgotten about my Daily 5 posts.  Believe it or not, I've been busy. (!)

So let's review real fast.  You have organized your library, read the book, bought book boxes/bags, and have introduced building stamina.  We covered these components in my previous posts.  Now onto the third day of Daily Five.

On the third day of school, I showed my cuties the stamina graph 

and asked them to tell me what the graph tells us.  I was so surprised to hear them comment that it is a graph that shows our reading stamina!  Sprinkles to my kinders!  I let them know that we are going to build our stamina again in our book nooks, but first we are going to talk about their jobs as students and my job as a teacher.  We created this I chart to help them understand the jobs we each have during Read to Self.  It is very important to make this chart with your students and allow them to decide what their jobs are during Read to Self.

 Click here to see more examples of I charts.

After completing the I chart, we read this book:

We used this book to understand why we read during Read to Self.  We added our thinking about why we read to the I chart.  It's the print that is in green near the top of the chart.

Then we learned our new book nooks for the day from our Book Nooks chart

and started building our stamina.  It was wonderful to see my whole class practicing the three ways to read their books on the third day of school.  Make sure that you are always searching for anyone who breaks stamina.  You need to immediately call the whole class back to the meeting place when one kiddo stops reading.  You want to make sure you are building the correct muscle memory.  Once you are all back together, then you will graph your stamina for the day and be super excited for their success for the day.  

You will continue building stamina each day until they reach a predetermined number of minutes.  Our goal was ten minutes, which we accomplished pretty quickly.  Once we met our goal, I allowed my cuties time to decorate their book boxes.  

During the two weeks, while we continued building our stamina, I would also teach reading strategy lessons from The Sisters Cafe book, mini lessons on how to care for our book boxes, and a mini lesson on how to use our whisper phones and magnifying glasses. 

Whisper phones and magnifying glasses are not a necessary component of the Daily 5, but they are useful tools for younger students to help them with their Read to Self.  I was blessed to receive a class set of these phones from Donors Choose last year when I taught second grade and love, love, love them!  I was given the magnifying glasses from a retired teacher.  I showed my cuties how to use these items correctly by first allowing them to explore the materials and then showing them how to use them properly.  We use the magnifying glasses to search for letters we know, then sight words, etc.  Both of these items are still in their book boxes and my cuties use them all the time.  

So continue building stamina until you achieve your predetermined goal.  You will not move on to the next component of Daily 5 until you have built stamina for staying in one place and working the whole time.  I will be back next time with how to choose good fit books.  

Please let me know if you have any questions so I can answer them next time.  :)

Happy birthday Dr. Seuss!

Here are a few pics from our day today!  

We created Cat in the Hat glyphs.  

You can print the glyph from this post.

The Cat in the Hat came to read to us! - I think my cuties figured out who it was.  :)

We had lots more good fun that was funny, but I did not get any other photos.  Sigh...

I did get a pic of my newest Donors Choose goodies that arrived after school today.  Looky, looky...

I heart Donors Choose!


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