Friday, March 30, 2012

Hello Spring..... Goodbye Winter!

Over the past week my class has been learning about spring.  Take a look a look at what we did.

We learned all about spring by reading fiction and non fiction books.  These are some of my favorites.

Have you ever heard of Brain Pop Jr. ?   It is an educational website that has standard based short movies (about 5 minutes long).   The topics range from Language Arts, Math, Science, and  Social Studies.  I like to use these movies to introduce and reteach lessons.  The class really enjoys the characters and the content.   Recently, my class watched one on spring.  

We brainstormed about what we learned about spring.  After we brainstormed I glued real pictures of spring to our chart.  The class used this chart to write in their journals about spring.

We created spring art with a dash of math thrown in.  To create this art we used watercolors and green paper.  I directed them on how to paint each flower by using shapes.  The white piece of paper below the painting is a fill in the blank word problem. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Join The Club

What can be more fun than joining a club?  I started up Miss Hood's Clubs as a way to get my class to practice specific skills.   I  have a range of clubs to accommodate different skill levels.  The clubs that are shown in the picture are: Writing to 100 Club, Writing to 30 Club, Rhyming Club, Reading Club, and Alphabet Club.  The kids get to chose what club they want to join.  Once the club has been chosen I give them a paper or white board to demonstrate their skills.  Reading Club is the only club that is done at home with a parent.  They can join as many clubs as they want it's up to them.  When they get into the club I announce their name to the class and let them chose a sticker.   I add new clubs every month just to keep it interesting.  In my opinion, it is a great way to assess skills on a regular basis.  

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I love centers! How about you?

Learning centers are a great way to practice skills.  I try to make my centers as fun as possible!  The centers you're about to see I made by reusing items that I already had.  Just so you know, these centers I made over the course of a year.  I am constantly taking old center and making them new!  

I took this game of Checkers and made it into a sight word memory game.  

I don't know about you, but I have a ton of dominos.  Here is one way that I use them during centers.  The object is to count the dots on the domino and place the domino under that number!  

If you have some extra sentence strips lying around make a number order center! When the number puzzles are in order they get to practice writing the numbers on a whiteboard.  As you know, kids love whiteboards.... so naturally this center is a hit.

I hoard egg cartons!  I know it sounds weird, but you can use them for so many things!  In this center I took 2 egg cartons and a bunch of plastic easter eggs to make an uppercase/ lowercase letter matching game.  You can take this idea and turn it into a rhyming game, sight word game, number game, etc.  

Don't you love the big dice?  I sure do!  The best thing about them is they don't make a loud noise when thrown on the ground.  Anyway, this is an addition center.   Roll the dice, add the two numbers together, and color in the sum on the graph.  Love it!

This was a Valentine's Day center.  I took a cookie sheet and taped dye cut hearts to it.  On the hearts I copied the messages that are on the heart shaped boxes above.  The object of this center was to match the boxes with the heart that has the same message.  Once they were finished they practiced writing the messages on a whiteboard.

Here is another way to have your class practice their alphabet, numbers, rhyming, and sight words. You probably can't see it in this picture, but the clothes pins have the other part of the match written on it.  

I had these popcorn boxes and decided to make it a rhyming center.  The object is to  match the rhyming words to the box.  Then write all the rhyming words on whiteboard.   

In this center they are making words with magnetic letters.  It was easy to make, all I did was glue dye cuts to a sentence strip, write the name, and laminate.  

This is one of my centers right now.  We are practicing ending sounds.  With this simple center they have to match the word to the picture and the find the ending sound.  

Sandpaper numbers are a great way to have the class practice forming their numbers and recognizing them.   It was simple to make, all I did was buy sandpaper, use the dye cut machine to make the numbers, then I glued the numbers to paper.   For some extra fun, blind fold the kids......they love it!  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


My class learned all about penguins.  Here is a glimpse of what we did.

   We read an array of non fiction books about penguins.  These are some of my favorites.  

 Here is the poem the class added to their poetry books.  We made up fun movements to remember the words.                                         

 We learned about the parts of a penguin.  Here is a sample of our diagram.  They glued the words onto the penguin.


 The class made penguins by cutting paper into the shapes needed to resemble each part of the body.  I did not let them use any pencils or crayons for this art project.  I wanted them to use scissors to cut the shapes they needed.  If you look at the picture on the right you can see the world map that I drew.  We put penguins on the continents that they live on.  This is a GLAD strategy.  You outline the continents lightly in pencil before you begin teaching and during the lesson you trace over each continent as your discussing it.  

I have this cool life size poster of an Emperor Penguin.  I hung it on  the door and had the kids stand by it to see if they were as tall as an Emperor Penguin.  The pictures were adorable that I took!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Check this out....

Have you ever heard of BoardMath?  It is a great way to introduce, reteach, and challenge your class.  My board is divided into columns.  Each one represents one of the 5 math strands (Number Sense, Algebra and Functions, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics / Probability, and Mathematical Reasoning).  I use the standards to create questions for the board.  Ideally there should be at least 3 questions in each column.  I teach BoardMath about 5-10 minutes each day (kinders can't handle any more than that).  One more thing..... the class answers chorally.  They do not use any paper or pencils.   All teachers at the school that I work at teach BoardMath.  We have found that it is extremely helpful with the mastery of skills.  

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tee Hee Hee You'll Never Catch me!

Happy Monday!!  

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day by making shamrock necklaces.   I whipped up some salt dough and used my shamrock cookie cutter to create the 3 leaf clover shape.  They were baked on low heat until they were hard.  The next day, my class painted them green to resemble a shamrock.  As you can see, they are no longer green...... the sneaky leprechaun came and turned them gold!  All I did was spray paint gold on them and add some gold glitter.  My class was SHOCKED that the leprechaun had done this.  

We also went on a scavenger hunt to find the leprechaun!  Of course he outsmarted us again!  However, he did leave us a beautiful painted rainbow along with some gold coins for our trouble.  

Check out these adorable leprechauns that my class made.  I got the idea from The Art of Teaching: A Kindergarten Blog.  They turned out so cute!

Here are a couple of my favorite St. Patrick's Day books.  They were a big hit!  

We glued the poem My Little Shamrock in our poetry books.   If anyone knows who the author is please let me know.  Boy, was that a fun week!!