Friday, February 27, 2015

Five for Friday: We made it all 5!

Despite all of the snow and frigid temps this week, we managed to make it all 5 days of school this week! Woohoo! I will be so excited when Spring is here so the kids stop asking me every night if I think school will be on a delay or canceled in the morning =)
We found a cool place this week to help wipe those winter blues away and get our bodies moving! It is called Skyzone and my kids had a blast! Tons of trampolines, foam blocks, dodgeball, and more. It was very organized and clean which impressed me. The kids bounced and played for over an hour plus had loads of fun. I wish I could take my class on a field trip here. LOL!We will definitely be going back again!

Here was our 5 for Friday........

I loved the TpT sale as I was able to purchase quite a bit of clip art from Melonheadz. I love her stuff! My favorite bundle I bought was creating the kidlettes. I made this little one to represent our class and put our name on her shirt. I think I could spend all day making kids to represent my class. Such a cute idea!

Our school does a talent show every year and I LOVE IT! It is so nice to see other talents that the kids possess. In adding to the excitement, the teachers always do a number for the kiddos. This year we did a glow in the dark number to a variety of songs. It was a hit!

I changed up our thematic board for February and March. My kiddos LOVE our writing station.  I try to make it interactive to keep them engaged. In this pic, my kiddo has a pipe cleaner and was stringing the words onto them. This time of year is exciting to see the growth of their skills in reading and writing.

I really have been working hard on text evidence with my kiddos. They have been doing an awesome job on my short 'a' stories I created and it gives them additional practice with the word families. The kiddos think of these as a game so it is fun and educational! You can see the differentiated versions as it challenges them more with tally marks and sentence writing. If you would like to check it out in my store, here is the link:

So even though time and money are not included in our K curriculum, I still think it is important to be introduced. I absolute LOVE this book. It teaches time perfectly and in such a way that their little minds understand it. The book explains the tiniest chunks of time in seconds to the large chunks of time in the millennium. I then had ordered the small Judy clocks for the kiddos to practice during our group time. We did time to the hour and then converted them on our digital templates. They did an awesome job!

Along those same lines, I like to introduce money when we are learning about the Presidents. The kids always manage to remember the penny because it is brown and the quarter because it is large but tend to mix up the others. Just as I did with the 3d shapes, I renamed our tables to coins and their worth. When we line up or switch during centers, I use the coin name or how much it is worth. I really think the constant exposure helps with the acquisition of knowledge. I find them constantly referencing the signs when I am calling them out. Love it!

Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Five for Friday with a FREEBIE!

Phew! It's been a long week so I am thrilled that the weekend is here and it is a three day one too. Woot woot! Here was our week in pictures....

If you missed my post earlier in the week, you might want to check out my conversation freebie. There were some fun and engaging activities for your kiddos with the use of conversation hearts.  You could still use it next week or save it for next year =)

If you are still in need of some Patriotic and Presidency lessons, please check out my Patriotism pack loaded with lots of informative info for your young learners! Learn about George, Abe, and american symbols!

So, I couldn't take it anymore. This cold and snow is driving me wild. I was thinking that if I took my snowman door down then maybe Spring would come sooner. I prepped the kids for our month of March where we will celebrate Dr. Seuss and Read Across America.The kiddos designed their own  balloons and then I attached their pictures to make it look like they were going places. Next on my docket will be taking my writing wall down and putting up spring words! 

I can't believe we have hit our conference time again. I feel like we just had them but Spring conferences mean we will soon be reaching the home stretch! We are required to meet with everyone in the Fall just to tell them how their child is adjusting in their academic and social environment. This one is easy and hard. It is easier because I only have one night of meetings but more challenging because you know that they are for the kiddos that are struggling one way or another. Do you conference two times a year as well?

I send a newsletter home every week. I don't know if that is common or not but I always feel that the kids probably don't do our week justice when talking with their parents.  I keep a notecard on my desk to take notes throughout the week of everything we covered and then I color code it so I put it in the appropriate places in my newsletter. Sometimes, I don't think the families read them but I will have at least one person email me if they can't find it in their child's folder. 
I tried a new writing prompt this week. I have seen it in older grades so I was wondering how my kinders would do with it. They LOVED it! I made a writing prompt paper and then went around handing out stickers. We generated some ideas about things we could write about (describing object with color/size, likes/dislikes, etc). We will try to do this once a week as it was a thrill to see them so engaged in their writing!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Let's Have a Conversation! FREEBIE

My kids are so geared up for the upcoming holiday party on Friday. Combine that excitement with all of the indoor recesses due to the frigid temps and you get LOTS of energy in the room. Valentine's Day is always a favorite around here with the decorated boxes, cards, and candy. I needed to turn some of this energy into educational and meaningful concepts ASAP. I kept looking for things on Pinterest for activities to do with conversational hearts but couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. I made these activities to be engaging and fun! I only make things that I know will be beneficial to my kids and it is always a plus when I hear them squealing with excitement! There are some great math activities (graphing, tallies, and simple addition) with conversational writing too!

Here are some action pics of my kiddos !
I had them sort their candies by color first and then they graphed them. It made it much easier and then they could tally them easily. 

I found it easier for some kiddos to line one heart on each number so they could write the message better. You could differentiate the bottom by having the student just copy the saying or challenge them more with using them in a sentence.

You can pick it up for FREE in my shop:


Friday, February 6, 2015

Five for Friday! February 6th

We had quite a weather week! We had Monday off for a huge snowstorm that came through on Sunday night along with about 400 other schools but then we had another on Thursday! A second round of snow came through but they couldn't keep up with it. I do love snow days at home with my boys. Always lots of baking with a movie =) Today we made cut out cookies and buckeye balls. YUM!

I absolutely adore my dentist! I see him much more than I would prefer but he's very good. It seems like when I am in the midst of stressful times in my life, my teeth go down the tubes. I recently had a root canal that took a couple of visits and went this week with all of my sons for our check ups. We even put the lil guy in the chair this time so he gets used to going too. She showed him all of the tools, how they work, let the chair go up and down, turn the light on and off, count his teeth, PLUS flip through the TV above him. He did wonderfully! Next time, they will take all four of us at the same time. How awesome is that?! Great way to celebrate dental health month =)

This blog post will be a bit more personal since we missed so much school this week. My middle son seems to be having some challenging moments at school. We never heard from the teachers in our last district but now that I am in close proximity with his teachers, I hear everything. There are definitely pros and cons to having your own children in the district where you teach. I love being able to see my kids during the days, knowing their curriculum, and being on the same schedule. It is more challenging when issues arise. He has always been my easy kiddo out of the three and has loved school....until this year when I brought him to my district. I'm not sure if his lack of focus is due to the level of difficulty this year or if we are seeing ADD tendencies =( I made a positive reinforcement game for us to try but I have also reached out to my pediatrician. We will see what happens. I know we are all stressed....waiting for our home to be finished and new surroundings this year has been a lot. It has been much more challenging than I would have ever imagined. I am so thankful that my parents have been absolutely wonderful having us intermittently. They love all of us and have had an immense amount of patience with five people living with them. I am hoping that some pattern shows up on this chart. His teacher will indicated if he is not using his eyes or ears and/or completing assignments on this.  Fingers crossed =)

I am thankful that we were able celebrate our 100th day. We've had so many delays and snow days that we have tried to maintain an accurate account of school days. I like to read Vickie Plant's Press blog and she shared a lot of ideas that she does to celebrate her 100 days with her class. I also found TONS and I mean TONS of ideas on Pinterest. In the morning, we took the numbers in 100 and made pictures. They really came out adorable. In the afternoon, I set up eight stations and had 2-3 kids at each one. They used 100 marshmallows to make sight words, 100 solo cups and unified cubes to create structures,  match the hershey kiss number to the numbers on our 100 chart, roll a dice to 100, sorting ten pieces of a snack on ten different circles of a sorting mat, a gumball machine using dot painters to make 100 gumballs, and pattern block creations. The kids had a blast!

We definitely had a lot going on this week with celebrations when our volunteer fire department came in to do their monthly safety lessons.  They always do fun things with the kids including smoke houses and bringing their labs in to share with our class. This week they dressed up to show the kids what they would look like if they had to come into the home to save them from a fire. They put their full gear on which made it more real along with their breathing tanks so the kids heard the noise it made. All of them practiced crawling on the ground and were given the opportunity to put on the equipment. In the older grades, they talked about fires when cooking in the home and how to put out grease fires.  Very informative!

Have a wonderful weekend!