Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thankfully it's Thanksgiving!

I don't know about you, but I'm so thankful to have a WHOLE week off for Thanksgiving! There's nothing I love more than a vacation!  

                                 Here are a few highlights from the month of November...
 During the month of November my bookshelf was stocked with all of my go to Thanksgiving books. I love seasonal books, but doesn't everyone?! Maybe... that's just me?

We read The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving book in small sections, so we could focus on important information.
First, we read about the Mayflower.  I created this anchor chart to record what they learned.  They helped me write the beginning sounds of some of the words.  

Check out this cute turkey directed drawing.  I also had my class practice writing a sentence that described their turkey's. 

I read the The Littlest Pilgrim to my class, and had them recall one thing that the main character Mini was too little to do.  They drew it on a Post- it and added it to our chart. 

Every year I assign a family project to make a turkey.  Once the turkeys are made they bring it back to class to share.  I  also give them the opportunity to write about their turkey in their journals.  

Check out these turkeys they're amazing!

My class each made a placemat to use at our feast.  We also made cornbread muffins, butter and pumpkin pie to eat.

During the feast they wore their pattern noodle necklace along with the hat they made.

Have you ever read Duck for Turkey Day? It's one of my favorite Thanksgiving books to read to my class. After,  reading it we created this story map. 

Finally, it's vacation time!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hooray for the 50th day & Halloween!

  One of the things that I love about being a kindergarten teacher is getting to celebrate things you wouldn't normally think twice about, like the 50th day of school.  If you think about it, it's a pretty big milestone for the kinders, and frankly me too. It's 50 days of being in a new school, 50 days of learning school rules, 50 days of making new friends and 50 days of being a BIG kid.  

Our 50th day began with a dance to the songs At The Hop and La Bamba.  I have an kids aerobic CD and it just so happened to have a few 50's songs on it. It was cute watching my boys and girls all dressed up in 50's attire dancing.  The picture above is one of the decorations that I had hanging around the room.  
I used this Then & Now sort to compare and contrast life in the 50's with life today.   This sort was a freebie from Eberhart's Explorers.
My class had the opportunity to play with a few popular toys from the 50's.  They experimented with Silly Putty, Slinkys, Hula Hoops, a train and Jacks. They also explored a rotary dial telephone, skateboard, record player and a Meadowbrook car (pictured below) all from the 50's.  
My creative team member made this life size 50 for the kids to walk thru when they entered the room.  Not only did we have fun- we also practiced writing to 50 and counting to 50 by ones and tens.  I found these resources for free from Latoya Reed and Teaching Resource Resort.  While the kids were working on writing numbers to 50 I played Rockin' Robin and Mashed Potato Time(which they loved).

I also had my class practice making sentences with this cute product from Primary Possibilities.

I made a list of things that they DON'T want 50 of... I must admit this activity was very in enlightening! Ha!
 Here is a picture of my adorable poodle skirt my aunt made for me.  It actually has my two Scotty dogs on it! My kinders also made record and wrote numbers that were less than 50 on them (This idea came from The First Grade Parade).  The badge in the center of the record is from A Spoonful of Learning

At the end of the day we made Root Beer Floats.  First, we made a list of the ingredients we needed and then sequenced the order in which to make it.  Afterwards, I had them write in their journals about how to make a Root Beer Float (forgot to take a pic).

We watched these videos from the 50's.

Not only did we had a fun 50th day of school we also had a great Halloween. Here are a few things we did..
 We read many Halloween books these were a few of their favorites.

We made Candy Corns and ghosts to decorate our classroom.  The Candy Corns came from Doodlebugs Teaching they are a freebie.  I changed them up a little by having the kids paint the colors. The ghost came from Clean & Sensible via Pinterest.

We watched a Halloween movie and ate popcorn instead of a party. 

Have you ever watched the If You're A Kid videos from Harry Kindergarten?  If you haven't please check them out my class loves them.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fall Fun for All!

Happy Saturday Everyone! It's been a long, long, long time since the last time that I blogged.  I have a lot to share with you all, so here it goes...

Apples, pumpkins, and Fall have been on my mind a whole lot! If you're a teacher you will understand where I'm coming from.  I've spent endless hours trying to incorporate my thematic units with the common core standards and of course FUN! First up is apples...

We read many non fiction and fiction books about apples.  In fact we learned what fiction and non fiction means.  One of the books we read talked about the parts of an apple so we practiced labeling the different parts whole group and in an art project. During this time we practiced patterns by making an apple pattern hat.  
We learned about our five senses by practicing labeling the chart above and sorting the pictures below.  I found this sort on a cool blog called Kindergarten Kindergarten.

We used our five sense to explore apples by doing a taste test and making applesauce.  Afterwards, we graphed which kind of apple they liked the best.  The apple comparison worksheet that is picture above was found on the blog Kindergarten Hoppenings.
After our apple investigation activities I had the class brainstorm ideas to fill out the apples are and have anchor chart.   They used this chart to write about  apples (I forgot to take a pic).
Take a look at this easy craft that turned out super cute! I found the idea for these paper plate apples on the blog Paging Supermom.  I decided to have the kids pick their favorite kind of apple and paint it accordingly. 

Check out these apple videos I found on YouTube.

Next, up is pumpkins! The kinders got to take turns helping take out the seeds and pulp of the pumpkin.  They each predicted how many seeds they though were in the pumpkin.  We grouped them by 10's to make counting a little easier :).  Afterwards, an amazing parent volunteer carved the pumpkin for us to enjoy.  

We also learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin.  They drew the life cycle and labeled it in their journal (I forgot to take a pic). 
We used adjectives to describe the inside and outside of the pumpkin.

Here is a cool video about how the Libby pumpkins are grown.

We also learned about fall.  After reading many books we filled in this anchor chart on what happens in the fall. 
The kinders sponge painted these leaves as their culminating fall activity. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

It's a Pirates Life For Me!

The last day of school is approaching quickly, needless to say, my sweet class and I are ready for summer!!! Although, they don't want kindergarten to end I know they are ready for their next adventure... 1st GRADE!! The count down has officially begun and their last days of kindergarten are going to be filled with fun, fun and more fun! 

Have you ever dressed up like a pirate and gone to work? 

Sounds weird but that's exactly what I did. 
I did it for the children... I tell you!!
I love to start out a theme with a good book to get the class excited about what we are about to learn. In this case we read How I Became a Pirate. 

Let me set the scene...
me dressed in a pirate hat, wearing a sword and I can't forget about the eye patch.

Please don't attempt to wear an eye patch and read a book... it's a tough one!

After we read our story we did a story map of How I became a Pirate... and of course I forgot to take a picture oops!

Moving right along...

My kindergarten pirates were very excited to go on a treasure/ "ar" word hunt.  I hung "ar" words around the room and gave each one a map.  They walked around the room looking for the word that matched the picture and wrote it one the line.  
Here is a picture of the map that the kids used for their hunt... I'll be the first to admit that I'm no artist but it served it's purpose.

We sorted good manners and bad manners... and boy did I get some funny answers! Apparently, picking your nose, IF you don't have a kleenex is not bad manners, especially is no one sees you doing it. This cute idea came from the blog Crazy Speech World.

Next, we played a game that I designed to have them practice their addition and subtraction skills.  First, I put them in groups of 3 and assigned them a color. Next, I would have all the groups turn over the first circle and write the addition/ subtraction fact in their math journal and work out the problem. If the team got the answer correct they got to keep the gold coin.  Whoever had the most coins at the end won the game. I love this game for the mere fact that they were doing math and loving it!

I even threw in a few pirate themed centers that the kids flipped over!  This one in particular was a winner! The purpose of this center was to give them more practice reading "ar" words.  Here's how it works... one child rolls the die and moves that many spaces.  If they can read the word they can keep the coin. The person who has the most coins at the end wins.  I got the idea for making the "ar" pirate map from The Inspired Apple.

My class loves to write in their journals so today I asked them to write about what they would do if they were a pirate. 

Here's their responses...
This one in particular cracks me up!! If I was a pirate I would make Miss Hood swab the decks! 

This little girl likes to sing her sentences so from time to time she will write the word "music" to inform me to sing while I read her entry... precious!
This little girl amazes me because when she came into kindergarten she was still working on learning her letters and sounds and now she is writing sentences.

Here are a couple of fun pirate videos my class loved.