Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Four Seasons

Before Christmas break our Science unit was seasons and weather. We took a week to learn about both, but I will blog about the seasons stuff first.
Here is the poem that we love to say:
These are the seasons,
Four in all,
Winter, Spring,
Summer, Fall.

So, we learned about a different season each day & then we made a tree to represent that season. Here are the pics...(Sorry, but blogger will not let me rotate them)

Our Winter treee was made by tracing a tree template, cutting it out & gluing it to blue paper, and then adding the snow with a Q-Tip. You can't tell, but before they dried we sprinkled glitter on them so they would have a little sparkle. :)

Spring trees were made the same way: trace, cut, glue. Then, they added the leaves and flowers with tissue paper.

Summer Trees were made with green torn paper.

Fall tree was made by using sponges to paint leaves onto the tree.

On Friday, we reviewed all the seasons, recited the poem & added it to our poetry journal. Then, we made the cover of our book. So cute! :)
This is one of the science projects that I love! The kids are always excited to get their finished books on Friday!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Where Have I Been?

I'm back!!
I know that I have been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad blogger lately! I'm back now & need to update about the things that have been going on in kindergarten.
Here are some photos of our happenings...

Here is a great making words magnet center! The gingerbread houses have words on them & the students read them  and make the words to match with the magnetic letters. When they finish, they write all the words down on list paper.

This is my labelling center. The students look to see what the label lines are pointing at, then they find the word from the word bank & write it into the label box. They LOVE doing these!

Syllable Center: They draw a card, clap the syllables and then sort it into the correct cookie jar.

This is a write the room activity with the word candycane.

Holiday books are always a hit in the listening center!

Everyone LOVES the pocketchart!
So, those are a few of the things that have been going on in our busy, busy kindergarten! I will try to do better posting!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Catching Up...

Whew! It has been a whirlwind in kindergarten since we got back from our 2 week fall break. We took a field trip to the AW Shucks Corn Maze. It was so much fun! The kids visited the animal barn, the hay sack slide, the hay ride, the treehouse, the nature trail, the hay bale run, and, of course, the corn maze. The day was beautiful and we were the only school there so we had our run of the place! :)
We have been learning all about pumpkins for the last 2 weeks. I am so sorry that I do not have pictures of the fun things that we have been camera is on the fritz. :( Some of the activities that we have done are...pumpkin parts diagramming, sink or float pumpkins, sorting pumpkins by size, sequencing pumpkins from smallest to largest, counting the seeds in our pumpkin, carving our pumpkin, graphing, color mixing red & yellow to make pumpkins, painting a pumpkin patch, apple/ pumpkin comparisons, making jack o'! It has really been a blast!
Tomorrow is Halloween (my favorite holiday!) and we will be having all sorts of fun. I promise to take pictures & post them for all to see!
Happy Halloween! BOO!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

We LOVE Apples!

For the last two weeks we have been learning all about apples! We learned how an apple tree looks in each season and all the parts of an apple. Did you know that the inside of an apple is called the flesh? We did lots of activities to go along with the unit like apple prints, apple suncatchers, apple paintings, and we even made a classroom apple tree. We wrote our own version of the book Ten Apples Up On Top that we will be able to read for the rest of the year. To wrap up our unit we made homemade apple sauce from a reicpe that we wrote during interactive writing. We also tried caramel apples! Yummy, learning about apples is so much fun!! Check out a few of the pictures from our Apple Fun Unit...
Here is our delicious applesauce recipe that we created during interactive writing.

This is a pocket chart activity that they did during work stations. They LOVED this one!

This is our class appletree. (Iknow, I still haven't figured out how to rotate on Blogger...)

Apple diagram done during interactive writing time.

Apple suncatchers...these are one of my very favorite crafts that we do all year!

Here are our apple prints. The kids loved making these!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Center Time!

Here are a few of my math centers from the beginning of the year...
Using cubes to make patterns

Using playdough to make triangles
White board number writing

Here are a few of my literacy centers...

Pocket chart center

reading center

listening center

computer center

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Around the Room...

Rules to live by...I love my classroom rules! Each rule has movement that goes with it & the students LOVE to recite them everyday. I actually have them recite them everytime they come down to the carpet.  I will try to post a video of them saying the rules. Gotta figure out how first! ;0

Here is my word wall. It irritates me that it is so big and takes up pretty much all of my white board space, but I don't have anywhere else to put it & it is a requirement in my school that it be this big!

 This is my birthday bulletin board. My assistant made it & I am not crazy about the color scheme...but, hey, I didn't have to make it so I'm not complaining! I give the students a little treat bag on their birthday. The bags are hanging with their pictures and birthdate written beside them. On their birthday, they get to pull their bags off the wall. For some of my students, this is the only gift that they get :(.
This is my (sideways) name chart. It is made following the K Phonics book from Fountas & Pinnell. It aggravates me too because I have a very transient class & I am constantly having to modify it. But, it looks pretty right now!

Ready to Roll...

Here is the mess that I came back to... (actually, I did it at the end of the year)...

Here is how it turned out after I put everything back together. This was taken about 2 weeks into the year, that's why there is some work up on the walls.

I still haven't learned how to line the pictures up horizontally...ugh! I know that these aren't the best shots of my room for you to get the idea of how the entire room looks! Sorry, I'll do better next time...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back to Business

Well, we have officially been back in school for 2 weeks. I will post pics of my classroom next time. I have a great class & I know that they are going to make huge progress this year. I do have more students this year than I have ever had before. I have 21 right now, and children are still continuing to register everyday. I may end up with about 25 when all is said and done. Luckily, I have a great FULL time assistant that is willing to do all she can for me & the students! I am looking forward to what this year holds for me!  Tomorrow I will take some pics of my classroom & post them so that you can see what's going on in my K class so far...

Friday, July 8, 2011

I LOVE Target!!

The dollar spot at Target is awesome for teachers this time of year! I got some great kindergarten friendly stuff...check it out:

1. Dry erase boards for writing & printing practice
2. These cards show animals & their actions...they will be great for my animals unit.
3. These cards are similar to the animal action cards, but they show the sounds that the animals make.

4. They had tons of sorting packs. They had animals, numbers, colors, shapes, etc...I got them all!

5. These cards will be great when I teach community helpers. The words describe the job.
6. I thought that these would be great when I teach transportation.
7. Insects & spiders. I love that they are real photographs.
8. Animals... again, real photographs & info on the backs of the cards.
9. Dinosaurs...the boys will love these!
*With all the cards, I am going to teach the thing on it & I am going to use them in my writing center. I am hoping that the kids will find one that interests them & be able to write a little story or fact sheet about it.

10. Alphabet cards for an ABC center or a writing center. I love that the pictures are a little silly. Maybe I will get some creative stories from them.
11. Loved these dry erase mats. I have them for an ABC center & math center.

12. And, last but not least, I adore these birthday stickers & certificates! I can't beat the price anywhere else!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

All Packed Up!

The closets are organized, the books are packed up, the students have taken all of their things, the walls are bare, and all the furniture has been's official, my summer is here! It seems silly that we go through so much work to close up our classrooms when we will be putting them back together next month, but we do have to get them cleaned. :) I am ready for a fresh start with a new batch of students that I will get to mold and prepare for 1st grade. I am already thinking about things that I am going to improve upon or change for the next school year. I am a little sad at the news that I cannot teach a letter of the week anymore. We were told that it was "old school" & did not fit into our curriculum and teaching practices. I think of it as "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", but they don't seem to buy into that philosophy. It will be an adjustment for me to teach students to read & write when I cannot teach them the letters & sounds the way I am comfortable (and successful) teaching them. Oh well, I guess that I will make the adjustment and move on.

On another note, I am very excited that we will now be assessing the kindergarten students using the assessments that we use quarterly to track learning & progress. In the past, we have done tests that were good, but didn't really help me all that much in driving my instruction. This new way of K testing will be much more effective & give us information that we can directly use to implement lesson plans that are appropriate and on the level of their learning. I am so happy that my principal has put her trust in us to know what we need to do for our new K students!

I am looking forward to my little summer break. I am going to rest & enjoy myself so that I can be refreshed & ready to start with a new, sweet group of K babies! :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

The end is near...what will next year bring?!?!

I cannot believe that I am ending yet another school year. It has really flown by. I am going to miss this sweet group as they move on to first grade. I really hope that I get a great group next year. I have been doing a lot of thinking about how I am going to change things next year. I have been reading Debbie Diller's math & literacy work stations books. I am going to be revamping the way that centers run in my classroom. They are going to focus solely on reading & writing skills. I am only going to have things that are developmentally appropriate to ensure that the students will have no difficulty & will be encouraged by their own success. I want them to have multiple opportunities to read & write throughout the day to strengthen those skills.

 I am going to bring back weekly class books in interactive writing. I am also going back to making our letter of the week interactive writing charts. This year's class did not get into interactive writing like classes in the past. They were very hard to manage during carpet time & I got frustrated and ended class books & charts. I know, it sounds bad, but I was going crazy trying to manage them so I quit doing it. Instead of doing it whole group I did it in small groups during center time.

I am also going to have a classroom that is saturated in print. I am going to make anchor more charts- another one of my weaknesses this year. I am going to involve the kids in everything that is hung on the walls so that everything that I have up will be meaningful and useful to them. I want everything to be a usable resource for the kids to use during reading, writing & math.

I am considering doing a morning message. I have never done this before and I am studying the merits & benefits of doing a morning message with the class everyday. I am still looking into this, but I like what I am reading about it so far.

Discipline is another area that I am going to be looking at. I had a really good group this year and I really did not have anything that I could not handle at the classroom level. Hopefully, the same will hold true for next year, but I am still thinking about my discipline because it has been said that we will be having between 20 & 25 students...whew! Yep, I will need a strong discipline program in place!!

It seems that I have a lot on my plate for next year, but I want my students to be over-prepared for first grade. I am going to expect a lot from them and I am sure that they will work for me. I love to see them rise to the challenge.

Underwater Fun!

This is always one of the most fun themes to teach. To kick off the week, the students come into the room & we are transported to being underwater. I put blue cellophane over all the lights and the room has a cool blue glow to it. We learn about a different sea animal everyday & make a corresponding craft. I then hang the sea animal craft from the ceiling so that it looks like we are under the sea swimming with them. We make fish, jellyfish, sea horses, sharks & crabs. I took a picture of the room, but it didn't turn out. So you will just have to visualize this one on your own.

In centers I have fish measuring...

I have watercolor word painting...
We also make an octopus puppet in a center & read underwater books. The kids love to learn about the ocean. On Friday, we make a class mural where the kids make their own sea creatures to make an underwater scene. So much fun!