Work Together Weekend {Morning Meeting}

I'm super excited to be a part of the Work Together Weekend blog hop!  A group of authors from the Who's Who and Who's New blog have teamed up to share classroom ideas that relate to community building and working together!

The book on the top of my summer reading list was The Morning Meeting Book.  Last year, I attempted some parts of morning meeting in my Kindergarten classroom, but I needed additional information to fully implement a successful morning meeting!  So I purchased the book and got reading!

The Morning Meeting is a great way to build connections among students and between teachers and students.

I started using all components of the Morning Meeting this school year, and I love it! Even though we have only had 14 days of school so far, my classroom is running smoothly and students are respectful of each other.  Students are developing their sense of belonging and are attentive and cooperative!

Morning Meeting is made up of 4 components and it lasts about 30 minutes per day. We begin each Morning Meeting by sitting in a circle on the rug.

1.  Greeting
Students greet each other by name.  This can also include a handshake, high five, singing, movement, etc.

Purpose:  Greeting sets a positive note for the day.  It helps students learn each other's names and provides a sense of recognition and belonging.

Here the students are doing Hello Neighbor.

2.  Sharing
Students share news or information about themselves.  They also respond to each other in a positive way.

Purpose:  Sharing helps students to know each other.  It teaches thinking, listening, and speaking skills, and strengthens language development.

I like to have students hold a object, like this squishy baseball, when it is their turn to talk and share.  If they are not holding the ball, they are listening.

3.  Group Activity
The whole class does a short activity together, which builds class cohesion through active participation.

Purpose:  Group activity contributes to sense of community and group identity. It also encourages inclusion and cooperation, and fosters active participation.

4.  Morning Message
The teacher posts a daily note and students read and discuss it.

Purpose:  Morning message builds community through shared written information.  It develops academic skills in a meaningful and interactive way, and builds excitement about the day's learning.

I also want to share with you a cooperative, team handshake that we do a lot in my classroom.  It's called a "SPIRAL HANDSHAKE"!  My table teams use this daily!

 Put hands in the center, fingertips touching and thumbs up.

Gather fingers around like a spiral, cupping hands in a circle.

Shake hands by moving up and down.  Students can also add a team cheer.

I have compiled some greetings that you can use during the first portion of your Morning Meeting.  You can grab them by clicking on the cover below.

 Now hop on over to Lucky to be in First to see what Molly has for you!

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No Pencils for 20 Days

I'm blogging again over at Who's Who and Who's New!

The topic for today is my math routine and how we do it without pencils!

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Cooking Up a Great Year!

Thanks for hopping along through the Cooking Up a Great Year blog hop!

The school year has started and my first day with students was Tuesday.  I have 24 sweeties in my class and we are busy learning routines and getting to know each other.  I know this is a very busy time for us all!!!   So sit down with your favorite drink and hop along for some tips and treats to help you start off the new school year in a positive {and delicious} way!

Every year my students enjoy everything and anything that has to do with food!  And they especially like to read and learn about ethnic foods that they have a connection to.  I am sharing a fun book with you today! Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto.

It tells the story of Maria, who feels sooo grown-up as she helps her family prepare tamales for Christmas dinner.  In order to feel more grown-up, she slips on her mother's diamond ring, and continues to make tamales.  Later that night just before dinner, she suddenly realizes that the ring is gone! Where could it have gone?  It must be in one of the tamales!  While the adults are in the other room, Maria and her cousins hide in the kitchen and eat through the huge plate of tamales trying to find the missing ring.  They don't find the ring and Maria realizes that she will need to tell her mother. She approaches her mother and is about to tell her what happened, when she realizes that the ring is on her mother's hand!!!  Maria confesses to her mom and lets her know that all the tamales are gone.  Her mom is very understanding and the entire family heads off to the kitchen to make another batch of tamales.  But Maria and her cousins have such full stomachs, they won't be eating any!

I have created a fun sight word game that your students will enjoy playing.  It includes ALL of the Dolch sight words and an editable sheet for you to type in any additional words.

A student places some of the tamale word cards in a pocket chart.

The student then hides the ring behind one of the tamale word cards.

The other students take turns reading one of the word cards.  If they read the word correctly, they can remove the card from the pocket chart to see if the ring is behind it.

When the ring is found, another student can place the cards back in the pocket chart, mixing them up, and then hide the ring behind a different word card.

You can grab this product in my TPT store.

As teachers we spend long hours working in the classroom and planning at home!  Here is a easy and delicious recipe for those busy work days!  Chicken Tamale Casserole!

The recipe comes from I Wash... You Dry.

Ingredients for Chicken Tamale Casserole

 Mix together the dry corn muffin mix, 1 can cream-style corn, 2 eggs, 1/2 c. milk, chili powder, cumin, and 1 c. shredded cheese. I also added a can of diced green chilies for extra spiciness!

Pour into a 9x13 greased pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

 Remove from the oven and use a knife to poke holes in the cornbread mixture.

Pour 1 1/2 c. enchilada sauce over the top of the casserole.  Top with 3 c. shredded chicken {I shredded part of a rotisserie chicken} and 1 c. shredded cheese.  Put back in the oven and bake for 20 minutes more.

Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

 Top with desired toppings such as diced tomatoes, olives, green onions, cilantro, sour cream, avocado.  And ENJOY!

Here are some other food related items in my TpT store.

We are having a cooking themed giveaway!  We have some GREAT prizes for you to win!  Be sure to enter below!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Your next stop is at Stories and Songs in Second!  Go see what Jennifer has for you!

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Monday Made It! {Coconut Tree Floor Mat}

The focus of my Monday Made It project is definitely the classroom now! First day of school is August 12th!!!

I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics again for Tara's MMI!

Don't forget ... the TpT Back-to-School Sale begins today!  My entire store is marked off 20% and be sure to enter code BTS14 at checkout for a total of 28% off!  The sale only runs for 2 days, so pick up your deals quickly!
You can visit my store HERE!

I am so excited to have completed this next project!

I made a Coconut Tree Floor Mat!!!

I have been eyeing this on one of my Pinterest boards for a few years now, and I finally decided to give it a try!  The idea comes from Making Learning Fun - a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom floor mat!

If I was in Kindergarten, I would love using this floor mat to act out the story of letters climbing up the tree and then falling down!!!

I followed the directions from Making Learning Fun, except that I added an additional plastic piece on the top for protection.  I think that my Kinders will mess too much with the tape if they can access it!  However if you do not want to add the top piece that is okay.

I purchased the supplies at my local Walmart.  The clear plastic was in the sewing/fabrics section and the duct tape was in the paint supplies section.

You will need a 1 or 2 plastic pieces that each measure 52 inches by 40 inches.  The large roll was 52 inches wide, so I picked up 2 1/2 yards, to make front and back.  You will only need 1 1/4 yards if you are doing just one piece of plastic.

This plastic smells toxic when you first buy it. :(  But the odor mellows out in time.  You also need brown, green, and pink duct tape.

1.  Cut 1 or 2 pieces of plastic, each 52 inches by 40 inches, depending on the version that you are making.  One piece will be the bottom (you add tape to this one) and the other plastic piece will cover the taped piece.  I left the paper backing on while I worked on this project.  Be sure to tape right to the plastic.

2.  On one piece of plastic, place a 13 inch piece of brown tape about 5 inches up from the bottom edge.  Then place a 6 inch piece of brown tape about 25 inches above the bottom brown tape.

3.  Place a 25 inch piece of brown tape on each side from the top to the bottom to form the trunk.

4.  Then fill in the middle with rows of brown tape.

5.  For the leaves, I created a template from blue copy paper.  I slipped the template under the plastic.

6.  Then I placed strips of green tape over the template to create the leaf on the left side.

7.  Then I flipped the template to create the leaf on the right side, slid it under the plastic again, and added the green tape.  Oh, and that's one of my helpers, Bootsie!!!

8.  For the top leaf I made a longer template, and once again placed it under the plastic.  Then I topped it with green tape.

9.  Then I filled in the bottom of the leaves near the trunk with more green tape.

10.  Take the other piece of plastic and place it on the top, matching the edges.  I got rid of the paper backing at this point.  Then using pink tape, tape the two pieces together by placing half of the tape on the back edge and then folding it over to the front to seal the edges together.  After doing all four sides, I add a full strip of pink tape to the front to cover the other pink tape.

**If you are not adding the top plastic piece, just add the pink tape to each edge.**

11.  Place on the floor and add some large plastic letters.  I picked these magnetic letters at Lakeshore.

I really LOVE this!!!
 My latest quilt block!

Flying Geese

I have only 2 more blocks to finish, but I am waiting for the templates to arrive from Amazon.  They are called Drunkard's Path!!!   LOL!!!

Since school is starting, I'm not sure when I will get to those blocks.  :(
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