Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Fever!

Well, first off, Kinder Korner got a makeover?  What do you think of it?  Long story, it was not something planned but I like the new look a lot, and it didn't even take me 3 days like it did the last time, so that's something too! :-)  
We started our study of "plants" today.  I hope I don't bore you with my posts and pics of what we do this week, but this is honestly one of my favorite themes that we do throughout the year.  Maybe because there is a lot of Science involved, maybe b/c the students always seem to love it, or maybe because I am getting "the fever".  We had 70 degree weather today, and are suppose to have it all week! -(Dare I say that?)  This time of year always seems to mark the beginning of warm weather, sunny days, and fresh air again.  Spring fever--the only kind that I welcome.  
So, when the class came in from a pull out they spotted the cups of soil I had put out for later that day.  I said to myself, "Becky, that was such a rookie mistake".  I know better, and we then had to rearrange the schedule a tad to start our learning about plants right then and there so they could go ahead and get their hands dirty.  :-)  
First we started by reading a story on how a seed grows.  If you are looking for an informational text on plants, I highly recommend this one. 

     Then we went ahead and planted our sunflower seeds.  Fingers crossed that we get at least 1 bloom from each child's cup.  I put about 4 seeds in each cup to try and up my chances of this happening.  It seems like every year, no matter how hard I try, there's always 1-2 kids that don't get anything happening with their plant.  

     Tomorrow we will write in our "plant observation journals" for the first time.  We will periodically update these when we see changes in our plants. 

You can get my plant observation journal and more for FREE in my TPT store.  Click here.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

Hello all!   Spring is in the air here in KB!  Color me happy about it too-- I love to see all the bright colors and have outdoor recesses again!  
This week we have been working on some creative writing.  "If I were a kite, I would go _________."  I've said it a million times, but it excites me so to see how far they have come in their writing.  The last one took the words right out of my mouth! :)
I love the mawtins=mountains, and the grosh re=grocery. :)  I should invent some sort of game where you have to interpret phonetic spelling.  It'd be fun to watch!  

Here are some centers we worked on this week.  Completing the sentences and also craft stick word families.  They are REALLY easy to make and were just what we needed as a nice review this week. Craft stick word families are craft sticks that have Velcro on both ends, you can swap out initial letters and word family letters as well.  I color coded mine, so the students knew which set was theirs.  
These acrostic caterpillars brightened up our hallways.  We spent some time talking about how to make this type of poetry. It took some practice to understand the concept, but then we were on our way.  We started with the acrostic on paper and brainstormed some possible choices as a class.  Then they spent one day writing their choice words on the paper, and the next day converted those to the caterpillar craft.  I wish I could have taken a picture of what the kids wrote on theirs, but I have yet to learn how to cloud out the names of the kinders.  :(  But they all had really "Springy" answers, I was impressed!  
The acrostic caterpillar template is just part of my "Spring Bundle" product I have on my TPT store.  Click here to check out the full product.  
Next week is Plants.  I can't wait-it's one of my favorites!  Stay tuned. :-)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut.." (and today I did)

Our target skill we focused on today, and the rest of the week is punctuation and using it to cue our inflection while reading.  So for today's lesson, I decided to read the book, Punctuation Takes a Vacation.  Cute, cute book.  For my Kindergarten class this should have been a review because we had talked about the period, question mark, and exclamation point--and what their "jobs" were.  So, this lesson was not about "what punctuation should we put at the end of the sentence?" I geared it more toward using more inflection in our voices when we are reading.  After the story, I explained how we change our voices to fit these punctuation marks.  We don't say a (!) sentence as a question, etc.  I did some examples on the board of how a sentence sounds with a period behind it, and how that same sentence sounds with a ?, and a !.  I wanted them to work with partners to practice this inflection so I put some sentences (without punctuation) in a bag, along with a card with the 3 punctuation marks we focused on:  period, question mark, and exclamation.  I wanted to add an element of fun to it though, so I also put cards in their bags to "say it like Santa", or "say it like a grandma", etc.  So that's all well and good but I'm up there in the middle of a classroom, providing them with my best "monster voice", "parrot voice", etc.  Being in front of a class acting lke a parrot, can make a teacher feel pretty nutty.  Add in the fact that this lesson was being observed, and that the kids took awhile to warm up to my goofiness (CRICKETS!?!),  I pretty much felt like a hot mess.  :)   In the end, however, I will say that I think I took one for the team here though,  b/c "crazy lady" or not, the kids seemed to have a lot of fun with this inflection exercise..eventually! when they were doing it themselves.   And I was cracking up at some of the voices as well.

I have the materials (minus the "say it like ____" cards) I used for the lesson, on my TPT store for FREE right now.  

Click here to go to my TPT store for the below sentences, punctuation cards, posters, and more.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Like a kid in a candy store...

Ok, so I consider myself pretty up on the times as far as technology goes, but then I see some of the amazing blogs looking really fantastic, and I'm like..."how do they DO that?"  I'm a sucker for the customized fonts and cute buttons etc.  I sat down at my computer DETERMINED to at least figure out the font thing...and I did...kinda.  I was able to change some of my fonts like the headlines, but could not figure out how to change it in the body of my main posts.  I even followed some helpful woman's tutorial on Pinterest step by step, but it did not work for me.  So if any of you know how to do that, please let me know! 

On to the next:  QR codes.  SOOOOOO many possibilities, but I put it on my Summer "to do" list b/c I just assumed it was going to be complicated and time consuming, and I thought I'd really just have to sit down and figure this whole QR thing out.  Last week, I talked to a coworker of mine who had dabbled with them just the night before.  I told her it was on my list, but she said it was really easy, gave me some instructions on how to create them, and that was that.  I went home and played with these!  I was like a kid in a candy store at all the possibilities cross curricular!!!  My first creation was to make a sight word write the room with them.  I have many many more projects involving QR codes on my list though.  (wink).  Oh, that darn list.  It's never ending, right?  

Click here for your QR sight word freebie.  

I would like to credit  both of them for the wonderful graphics and fonts for this freebie.
#kindergarten, #sightwords, #qrcodes

Here are some pictures of us using this center today.  We won't get tablets for the class until next year, so I cannot yet do the "write the room" activity these were intended for, so we empravised.  They all took turns pulling a card and scanning the QR code.  Then they wrote down the words together as a whole.  

Saturday, March 8, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Fun

Dollar Tree.  LOVE Dollar Tree.  I always find me some goodies there, and always walk out spending more than anticipated on my "quick trip".  I went around Valentine's day for a quick something and saw ALL the cute St. Patrick's stuff out.  The teacher in me said, "hey, I can do something with this stuff". :)  Our class has been doing a lot of work with Digraphs lately, so I thought I'd incorporate a literacy center with that targeted skill.  
There were these cute cute leprechaun hats that and foam shamrocks that I used for these centers, then I glued some digraph clip art on the shamrocks and, there ya have it.  

Click here for the free recording sheet.

Freebie Time

I love Dr. Seuss so much that we make it a week long celebration in my classroom.  We do some rhyming work in our Literacy centers and this year I added some postcard writing from to our Writing Center.  They were to write a postcard to a friend and tell them what Dr. Seuss did at their house.  Then I had some Dr. Seuss stickers that they used as stamps.  (get your free postcard below).
Later in the week we read Horton Hatches the Egg, and then chose 2 animals and blended them together to make one.  I LOVE seeing their creativity come out in this project!  And THEY loved it too.  
#Dr. Seuss, #postcard writing

Click here for your free postcard.  Enjoy!