Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What Do You Do???

What do you do when you have to teach a class full of "energetic" kindergarten students all day without a voice? Eeeeek!  Well......I teach "J" and give them all scarves to juggle!  Wow!!  Good thing we all just received speaker systems for our classrooms.  :o)



I love making things real for my students.  We use Animated Literacy to teach the letters and sounds.  Jenny Jaguar juggles, so let's do it too! :o)  

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Blog Hop & Spider Ring Fun

I love fall!  One of our favorite things is to play with those crazy plastic spider rings.  The kids love to put them all over their fingers.  So, why not make it "learning" fun!

This is always an exciting way to work on sorting, counting and graphing.  Students are given a bag of those plastic colored spider rings.  I put mine in brown paper bags so there is an element of surprise!! :0  Then the students are asked to sort the rings, count how many they have of each color, and make a graph.


Each child will have a different graph because I don't make any two bags the same!! lol  They are always sooooo amazed that the graph next to them is different!! Wow!

Free at TPT !! :)  If you like this, please let me know what you think!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Does My Letter Say......?

One of our favorite ways to review the letters and sounds we have learned is to play Does My Letter Say.......?  I secretly tape a letter to each child's back and give them a record sheet with all of the letters we have learned on it.  The goal of the game is to figure out what letter is on your back.  The students go around and ask each other the only allowed question, "Does My Letter Say....?"  They say one of the sounds that our new letters could make, and the other student can either say "Yes" or "No."

This requires some practice.  First practice the question.  They will want to ask, "Do I have a T?"....M, S etc.  We practice the question several times.  Next, practice the response.  The kids will get soooooo excited and want to automatically tell them what their letter is.   I make sure they know that they can only say "Yes" or "No."  :)  

The record sheet is there to mark off the letters/sounds that get a "No" response.  When they have figured out what their letter is, they come see me!!  I am the only person that can pull the letter off.  To get your letter off you must tell me the letter name and the sound it make!  They love this game so much they decided we should play it every Friday.  (They picked Friday because they wanted to add it to our Fun Friday activities!  YEAH, I love Fridays too!)

Click here to download the Large Letter Flash Cards from TPT.  :)  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ripping Red R's

Oh, the joy that comes from ripping paper!  This is always a fun, relaxing activity when your day is going a little crazy.  :0) We just learned the letter R and celebrated by Ripping Red paper for our capital R.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Make It Grow & A Kansas Sunflower Story

We have been working on our living and non-living unit.  Right now we are talking about plants and plant parts.  We talk about what these living things need, about how they will grow and change, and finally we get the chance to watch a plant grow.   Once the kids understood that if we planted our seeds in soil, we would not see the roots grow, they took off!  First we investigated our seeds, then we soaked them in water, and finally we put them on a paper towel (our pretend dirt) to watch them grow.  I asked them what they thought would be the first thing to grow on our seeds, and boy were they happy when their prediction was correct.....the roots!!  Five days later we had roots, a stem and leaves.

Day 1                      Day 5

In the book we read Gus Grows a Plant, Gus plants a sunflower.  Well, here in Kansas, we have sunflowers everywhere right now.  Gus grows a very big sunflower! 

 I told the kids that I had a sunflower at my house that was bigger than me.  They couldn't believe it.  So what did any good teacher do, I brought it in.  They loved it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

Today I discussed 9/11 with my kindergarten students.  What a tough topic to talk about!  We started off by watching part of the video on BrainPop.  (I stopped when they started to define Terrorism, and I just did that with my own Kindergarten words.)  We then watched a short clip on Discovery Video Streaming from the actual day.   In this clip the students got to see the "real" helpers from that day.  We focused on talking about who was there to help when those people were hurting!!  The students were very engaged, and we had a great discussion.  The lesson ended with a craft from Rachel Lamb, The Tattooed Teacher (http://mrslambsclass.blogspot.com).  The kids loved building the Twin Towers, and we left with this thought,  we will ALWAYS REMEMBER those GREAT HELPERS who were there for us on that very sad day.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Dust Bunnies

The second week of school we read Rhyming Dust Bunnies when we began our rhyming unit.  Great book and the kids really enjoyed it, especially Bob!

BUT, then over the next couple of weeks, like always, the tattling, unkind words, name calling, and so on picked up (the new to Kindergarten, scared to death, shy kiddos left, and my room was replaced with "Yep, I got this kiddos!").  lol  So, I found a new book in our library that had our favorite Dust Bunnies in it.  It was called Here Comes the Big, Mean Dust Bunny.

This was great for Character Ed.  We talked about how we treat our friends and about how we feel when someone is "mean" to us.  This led into some great modeling and practice.  We practiced how to respond to someone when they were being mean to us or to one of our friends.  The kids had a great time, and I truly believe that we need to give them/teach them the words to use so when the time comes, they know what to say.  You know it was in our best Kindergarten voice, “Oh no, I don’t think what you are doing is very nice!”  "I don't think you should treat your friends like that."  You know what, later that day I actually heard a student say it.  WOW, they do listen.  There are some very adorable Dust Bunny crafts out there on the internet, but my favorite came from Miss Alison.  Thanks Alison.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

YEAH FOR US!!! 2012 National Blue Ribbon School

Congratulations to my school, MARSHALL ELEMENTARY in Eureka, KS!!!  We just received the National 2012 Blue Ribbon Award from the Department of Education.  I work with some wonderful people, and I am blessed everyday to be a part of such a great group.  Thank you to everyone for their hard work, love, courage, patience, and devotion to helping kids everyday!!! GO MARSHALL


Friday, September 7, 2012

Fun With Patterns

Today we worked on AB patterns.  I love teaching patterns because they are every where.  One of my favorite things to do is go outside and draw patterns with chalk! What a fun excuse to get us out of the classroom.  We barely made it outside though because the kids noticed a very "AWESOME" pattern on my fingers!  What an exciting morning! :)


These are actually my daughter's hands with the same pattern.  This is her favorite thing to do!! :0)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Flip Flop Repair 101

Did they offer a class on this?  I always get a kick out of my job.....teach reading, teach math, sing songs, play games, fix flip flops!! I LOVE what I do and all of the exciting things that happen every day!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Great Book! ARGUS

I taught the letter D today, and I usually read How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head, but it was gone from the library.  :0  Oh NO!!!  Someone else must have wanted a good read, so I had to find a new book.  Thank you to our wonderful librarian, she had a new book.....ARGUS.  What a fun read!!  The teacher hands out eggs for the class science project.  BUT,  Sally's egg is a little different.  I am already thinking of so many great things to do with this book.  We are starting our Living and Non-Living unit, talking about how things grow and change.....wow, look at all the possibilities!!!

Those CRAZY b's & d's !!

You just have to love those CRAZY b's and d's !!  I thought my para was about to fall out of her chair today.... (I love her so much!!)  I have a little saying that I always teach the kids about b and d.  We all stand up and act it out together (pat your belly, pat your bottom).  hahahah   She just about hit the floor laughing.  I told her I would make sure I posted a picture today of it, and I would get it up on my blog!!!  So, if you haven't heard or taught your students this funny way to remember the difference between b's and d's......here you go!  "b's have bellies, and d's don't!"  Click here to find this on my TPT site!  (PDF & JPeg available)