Sunday, October 16, 2016

Jack-o'-lantern Counting Mathtivity

The fall weather is slow to come to Southern California, but I am still having a great time completing fall projects with my kindergarten students!

Last week we made these fun jack-o'-lanterns and they look fantastic on my math bulletin board!

I copied the jack-o'-lantern onto orange construction paper.  Then the students colored the stem brown and the leaf green.

They decided how many teeth they wanted for their jack-o'-lantern.  I used dry white beans for the teeth!

They counted out the beans that they wanted to use and then glued them onto the mouth area.

Then they wrote the correct number to complete the sentence.

After drying overnight, I cut around the pumpkin and the sentence, and put them up on the bulletin board.  My room is really starting to look like fall!

You can find this activity in my TpT store.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thinking Map Roundup

We just finished up our 22nd day of school and for many of those 22 days I have used Thinking Maps to help the students share their thinking.

I was trained in Thinking Maps years ago and I truly enjoy creating them with my kindergarten students! 

I tend to start TM instruction in kindergarten with circle maps.  They are great to use with any topic.  Students are encouraged to tell me what they know about the topic.  Here are some of the maps we have made.

We brainstormed the things we do in Kindergarten.

Another brainstorming session, this one is about signs we see.

This circle map was about musical instruments.

We use circle map cut and paste printables when learning our letter sounds.  You can find this in my Letter Sound packet.

Bridge maps help students see relationships and analogies.  

We made this map when reading the book Whose Baby Am I?  (I had to photograph it in three sections since it was so long.)

I made this map interactive, enlisting my students to help with the initial sounds/letters.  The goal is that students will create these maps on their own as they get older.

Give Thinking Maps a try in your classroom.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ready for School Year 2016-2017

Another school year has begun and I have spent nearly a week getting my room ready.  Cleaning (75+ Clorox wipes and 5 Swiffer dusters later), unpacking, and covering bulletin boards.  Printing, laminating, and taping. Leveling, stapling, and organizing.  All to create a welcome and inviting room for my little Kindergarteners!

Here is the result.

Area just above my desk.  I posted the pics of POTUS and VPOTUS near the flag.

Writing area.  Each table has a box with writing folders and pens for writer's workshop.  I created the drawing years ago when teaching a unit on Imagination in 2nd grade.

This fun READ display hangs above my library.  I painted cardboard letters from Joann's and cut and stapled Dr. Seuss bags from Target Dollar Spot on top of canvases.

Here is the library area.  Stuffed animals (reading buddies) are in the large bin.  I purchased some scoop rockers and made the sit-upon cushions. Looking to add a small rug to this area.

Calendar area includes school day count ten frames, months of the year, and calendar.  On the wall below are student buckets for bucket filling.  I will be taking a picture of each student and taping them on the front of the buckets.

Small group table with crate seats and fancy magnetic white boards.

Here's to a FANTASTIC year!

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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Classic Picture Books for Kindergarten

Classic picture books are the ones we never seem to get tired of, even if we read them everyday!  They are timeless favorites.  They are delightful and comforting.  They feed our imaginations.  They are powerful and memorable.

And so for the final week of the Summer Stash blog hop, we are bringing you our favorite classic books!

And be sure to keep reading for our GIVEAWAY!

Hosted by:
Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

This is one of my top stories, because I have fond memories of making stone soup when I was in elementary school!
This book tells the French tale of soldiers who cleverly trick some peasants into making a delicious soup made of stones!

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

This is a favorite in my class!  Of course I am super animated when I read this story, and the kids can't get enough.  We love acting out the story, shaking our fists and stomping our feet at the monkeys!
Day in and day out the peddler walks the streets selling his caps, which he keeps on top of his head.  One day he sits under a tree to rest, and when he wakes up, he sees that monkeys have taken each one of his hats up in the tree.  He eventually gets the caps back after tricking the monkeys.

It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw

You students will enjoy identifying the shapes in this book as you read.
The repetitive text follows a simple pattern and kids love retelling this story.

Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

While Max is in a time-out in his room, he imagines a land where wild things live.  He becomes the king, but soon realizes he wants to be back home.

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

A great book for the first day of school!
Chester Raccoon doesn't want to go to school. His mother shares a special secret with him, the Kissing Hand.  It comforts him while he is at school, away from his mom.

Here is a fun project I have my students complete on the first day of school.

You can pick up my FREEBIE {HERE}.

Now head over to Minute Mommy to see her classic book choices.

And don't forget to enter our giveaway.  You could win a $25 TpT gift card.  Be sure to enter before midnight EST on Friday.  We will be announcing the winner on Sunday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Best Year Ever Sale!

The Teachers Pay Teachers sitewide sale is HERE!  I have filled up my cart, checked out, and repeated!

I wanted to share with you some of the products that I have recently added to my store.

If you are in need of a product for behavior management, then Pizza Pan Praise is for you!  I currently have 15 different themes.  You can find ALL of them {HERE}.

I will be implementing instruction in Growth Mindset this year and I recently created some lightbox slides and posters.  These products are the same, but in different formats.

I also have lightbox slides and posters for Bucket Filling.

Head over to my store now!  The sale ends Tuesday night!
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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Teaching History with Picture Books

Using books is a great way to teach children about history.  Important people and events come to life in the pages of books.  All of my choices illustrate the powerful difference just one person can make in our world!

Read along through the blogs to discover history and social studies books for your classroom!

Hosted By:

Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli
Wangari Muta Maathai was an environmental activist, known as "Mama Miti".  She founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, which empowered people of Kenya to combat deforestation by planting trees.  In 2004, she became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter
Luis Soriano is a Columbian school teacher who loves to read.  He has a house full of books and decides that he want to spread his passion for reading to the children who live far away in the hills.  He uses his two burros, Alfa and Beto, to help carry himself (and the books) to kids in the remote areas of Columbia.

Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport
This is a wonderful book to use when teaching about Martin Luther King, Jr.

I used this book as a springboard for my door decorations during Black History Month.  You can see all the details {HERE}.

The Watcher by Jeanette Winter
This books tells the story of Dr. Jane Goodall, who spent years in the Tanzanian forests observing and studying chimpanzees.  It also discusses the important work she continues to do protecting the land and animals of Africa.

Mr. Lincoln's Whiskers by Karen B. Winnick
It was 1860, and Abraham Lincoln was a presidential candidate.  He received a letter from 11 year old Grace Bedell suggesting that he would look better if he grew a beard.  He does just that and during a train stop in Grace's hometown, she gets to meet him!  This book includes copies of the actual letters that Grace and Mr. Lincoln wrote to each other.

Now it's time to hop over to Minute Mommy and see Katie's choices.

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