Friday, September 26, 2014

Five for Friday: Differentiated reading & Interactive notebooks!

Ahhh... so glad to have made it to Friday. It was a long and busy week both personally and professionally. I'm always thrilled when I get to type this post because it means the weekend is almost here =)!
We finally got into the groove of getting into our differentiated reading groups. The kids did much better than I had anticipated. Most were great at picking up the repetitive sentences and using their fingers to guided their reading for 1:1 correspondence. 
We also began our interactive poetry notebooks by Deedee Wills. We started with apples since that is our theme these past two weeks. We read the poem as a class, glued them into our notebooks, found all of the letter 'a's that we could possibly find, put squares around our high frequency words we have covered, glued in rhyming words that correlated to the poem and then made our own book. I'm looking forward to doing these throughout the year. It will be a great keepsake to take home in May.
I had my kids also find text evidence features in the text we were covering in class. Once they found the answers, I had them write them out on the dry erase boards....this is always fun as it involves markers =) I think it is important to start this early on as I know my own kids that are in higher grades still struggle with this. 
I was psyched to get my writing station up and going for October. I can't believe we are almost there already!! The kids were very excited to see the board when they walked it and ran over to grab the writing paper to get started right away! If that doesn't melt a teacher's!
I love that our school has a running club at recess (could be that I am a runner too =). Seriously, this is such a great motivator to our little friends in teaching them the importance of having healthy habits. Kids have to run laps on the soccer field. For every lap, they get a punch on a running foot. Then they earn prizes for every foot they turn in. The kiddos get super psyched.....especially on double punch day!!
He may look a little bigger than a Kindergartener. My own lil man is in Third Grade already =) LOL!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five for Friday: Letters, sounds, & apples!

OMG! I wish I would've had a video taping in my room when this bright pink package arrived in our classroom from GoNoodle. The kids were squealing! They were even more excited to see that we received big stickers from the company from hitting the next level in the series. This was such a motivator for them (as if they didn't already love their brain breaks already =)

We read one of my faves this week..."Chrysanthemum" by Kevin Henkes. I found this cute little activity on pinterest and the kids really enjoyed it. They spelled out the letters in their name, wrote the number, filled in the ten frame and tallied. Great way to tie literacy in with math. Woot woot!
We do the Wonders Reading series in our room by McGraw Hill. The beginning unit focuses on the high frequency words I, can, and the. I created some interactive and differentiated books for the kids to make to reinforce these words in a fun way. I made one story for those kiddos that are just learning to pick up the repetition, another for those that need more of a challenge, and an interactive one for those hands on kiddos. You will even find a comprehension activity to use as an evaluation. Even one of my struggling readers jumped up and down when she read the approaching level that she couldn't believe she was reading. #whyiteach  Check it out here: Interactive & Differentiated Reader
We had some fun centers this week trying to reinforce our upper and lowercase letters with sounds. We did a matching game, spell it out (this was a bit too challenging but I know they will get it) using letters, rhyming and ending sounds. The kids are really doing well with transitioning between each station in the afternoon. In our Everyday Math series, the game 'Top It' was a hit. It is commonly called 'War' to us =)

I am so excited that they finally began our home. Digging commenced Monday morning and we already have basement walls in just four days. We are staying with my parents who live down the street so it is nice to take an evening walk to check it out every day.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Interactive and Differentiated High Frequency Books!

I am so excited!!! I finally finished my first interactive and differentiated high frequency book focusing on the words: I, can, the. They are the first three words in our Wonders Reading series and I wanted a book that would engage my little learners while getting them excited for reading. I tried it out with a few in my class and I heard squeals from those that didn't think they could read. It was so awesome! I made three different books with similar content as well as a comprehension check.  The first mini book is all interactive. It asks the student to color, cut and glue the letters in order to complete the high frequency word.
The next book is for those emerging readers that need to practice the repetitive phrases while writing the new words. I like these to build the confidence in my new readers. 
I also made a book for those kiddos that are a bit beyond the emerging levels and can write their sentences. I made a different comprehension check activity for this one too =)

I think this will appeal to every type of learner while engaging the kids in some fun activities!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five for Friday: Station Success!

I just love Fridays! The weekend is almost here and we reflect on all of the great things we did during the week through our Five for Friday link party. We started our Apple Unit this week as well as beginning morning stations. Both were a success and the kids loved all of the activities presented to them. Here is our week in pictures.....
We began with making our anchor chart for apples in showing our KWL. The kids seemed fairly certain they knew quite a bit already about apples but came up with some good questions to investigate.
I love Shel Silverstein's "The Giving Tree" as it teaches some great lessons in it. The kids made their own trees using their forearms for the tree trunk and hand print as the leaves. They then drew themselves just like the cover of the book! We also read an informational text about apples called "How do apples grow?". The kids then made a simplified sequencing apple activity to show the growth cycle and then we were able to go back to our KWL chart to fill in things that we learned. 

I'm just tickled with the Math Journals that we began this year. I think at least one more student catches on everyday and can now show a bit more detail in their illustrations. I need to venture into the poetry ones in the next week or so. Baby steps......

Well, I was very nervous starting my centers this week because it can be pretty hairy with lots of little bodies moving around aimlessly. I was shocked when it was smooth sailing the first time around! Woohoo! The kids were so excited....might be the play dough and iPad stations too =) They walked in the next morning asking if we were going to do them again as it was the best part of Kindergarten! I tried to keep each one fairly simple until we get the hang of it. Besides those two, we did a beginning apple sounds, pattern block templates, and matching numbers to ten frames activities. Things are starting to click and it makes me HAPPY!

I love that our district finds safety lessons to be important in our young friends. Once a month, we have officers come to teach different lessons. This month is fire safety and prevention. She always brings her dog which is a huge hit with the kids!

I'm getting ready to plan for next week. I will be teaching more about apples, starting Unit 1 in our Wonders Reading program, and teaching about Constitution Day on Wednesday. If you haven't seen the materials I created to commemorate the day, check it out here We the People: Let's Celebrate Constitution Day!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five for Friday: Class Dojo & Constitution Day!

I can say that I am absolutely loving Class Dojo! We have been using it for a couple of weeks now and it really has transformed my room. Now that the kids understand the concept of it, we decided to make our point system to use as an incentive tool. As a class, we came up with the rewards that interested them the most. They were so excited with the girls even squealing at the suggestions. It was a lot of fun! I then made their avatars with their names and posted them on the wall. I have little stickers in the increments of ten to show where the kids are individually on the point system. Every time they reach ten, they will add a ten button.
I finally finished my Constitution pack that I have been diligently working on for the past two weeks. There are lots of goodies to use for your young learners that use informational text to teach about the day. I have also included vocabulary, writing, math exercises, and much more. Check it out!

We have gotten our writing going and some are getting it while others are not. Our high frequency words this week are 'I' and 'can' which is why we begin with this starter =)

 So sad to see the summer come to an end....especially the pool time. I wish they didn't close at Labor Day but waited for the cool weather to arrive. Until next summer.....

I am looking for some fun ideas and lessons for Social Studies/Science this week. I was able to finish all of my lesson preparation for the next idea but will be searching blogs and pinterest this weekend for some fresh activities. Always looking for new lessons from year to year!

Have a great weekend!