Saturday, November 22, 2014

Five for Friday {November 21}

Well, hi!  Hope your week has been great!

1. My week started off awesome and so productive at school!  
On Monday we spent some time partner reading from our book bags...
Anytime we make a student reader together as a class, I have my students keep them at school in their book bags.  That way, we all have the same books and can use them to partner read.

We also completed our first personal narratives.  We wrote this one, about trick-or-treating, together as a class.  They are ready to dive into the next one on their own!  

2. Monday's end-of-day recess was super cold.  The wind chill was 6 degrees and boy was is WINDY!  So glad I had my awesome recess partners to brave it with me!!
I posted this pic on Instagram.... you can follow me HERE.

3. The snow and wind didn't let up and Tuesday was our first snow day of the school year.  In November!  Before Thanksgiving!  So crazy.  Crossing my fingers that this isn't a sign of what our winter will be like!  Missing my sunshine already!!
BUT....we made the most of our winter-like day and put up our Christmas tree!  I had two happy little helpers!


4. Wednesday we were back at school and busy!  I re-discovered my "whisper phones" after forgetting about them for several years, and I've started "Whisper Phone Wednesday" with my morning reading group.  They LOVE these things!!

5. Thursday was another snow day!  SO much blowing and drifting snow.  I can't even believe it.  The local meteorologists announced yesterday that this is the snowiest November ever in my area.  Lucky us!  
BUT...we made the most of another snow day and went out to get groceries.  On a weekday!  It was bliss!  No weekend crowds or lines or empty shelves.  And of course having my sweet helper along made it even better.
Two more days until Thanksgiving Break for me!  Happy weekend!!!


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Five for Friday {November 14}

Hi there!  It's the weekend and that's a wonderful thing!  I'm cozied up under a blanket today because everything outside is snow-covered and all of a sudden Michigan is like a frozen tundra!

In related news....I survived the first days of snow with my Kindies.  This is no small feat, and I'm feeling extra successful this weekend.  Every time I got them all bundled and out for recess, it was a feeling of sweet victory!  Only infinity more recesses to go before winter is over.  We can do it!  Ha!

Here are my Five for Friday (Saturday) this week... 

1. I created this simple anchor chart a couple weeks ago to remind my students what I am looking for in each of their stories.  It simplifies the process for them a bit, and is easy for them to remember.  My students are at so many different levels, but this is something they ALL need to remember.
 2.  We drew dragons this week during Project 64.  They were all so cute.  So, so cute.
3. It snowed all night on Wednesday, so we woke up Thursday to a snow-covered ground.  Meaning that I had to make sure my kids had everything they needed for recess when I brought them to school on Thursday morning.  Adding that one extra thing to my morning completely threw me right off and I realized when I got to school that I had forgotten my shoes!  I had my big clunky boots, but I couldn't teach all day in those...my feet would have been soooo sweaty.  So, I used these socks from the office.  They had been donated by one of our staff members after her son outgrew them.  He is now in 4th grade.  Navy skinnies and faded navy little boy socks.  It's a good look.  
4.  We completed our Thankful Turkeys this week.  I always love these.  They are so sweet!
I love that this girl added bottom lashes to her turkey! :) 
 Melt me.


5. We're learning about MOTION in science.  My kids loved this investigation this week.  They had to make ping pong and golf balls move without touching them.  Such a blast!  

SNOW, SNOW, SNOW!!!  My kids played outside until dark on Thursday.  Fun in the snow!  
Just can't believe it's not even Thanksgiving yet... 
Hope you are enjoying your weekend!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Choice Time favorites

My students this year have definite preferences during Choice Time.  We have 20-30 minutes of Choice Time each afternoon, and I've been surprised this year at how many of my students do the exact same thing every single day!  

Here are my students' current favorite activities:

1. PUZZLE TABLE
I have a handful of students every year who LOVE the puzzle table, and this year is no exception.  But this year, they all happen to be busy boys.  Some of my busiest bodies calm and focused at the puzzle table during Choice Time each day??  Yes, please!  I just love watching them use their minds to work together and solve puzzle after puzzle after puzzle.

I posted this pic on Facebook.  Click the image to head over to my page to weigh in!

2. STEP-BY-STEP DRAWING BOOK
This book is taken out and used every single day.  The pages are falling out and I really need to make a second copy!  I ordered the original book from Scholastic years ago, and just photocopied and bound it for my students to use.  They LOVE it.
Crayola Twistables are the best, yes???  Love love love them in my classroom.

 3. WORD WALL
My students are nuts about our word wall this year!  All of our word cards are magnetic and they love to take them off the wall, copy the words down, then put them back.  They know the rule of one card at a time.  Several students do this every day!!

They especially LOVE the name cards this year.  I had each child write their name on a card, then I traced the names with different color Sharpies.  My students love taking them down and making lists of their classmates.
You can read more about my word wall HERE.

I'd love to hear about Choice Time in your classroom!  If you have it, what activities do your students love?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Five for Friday {November 7}

I'm a day late, but I'm linking up with Kacey for Five for Friday!

1. November means these adorable directed drawing scarecrows which I LOVE.  
CLICK HERE to read last year's scarecrow post for more information on these cuties!

2. We have been working hard during writer's workshop!  This week, we celebrated 16 minutes of stamina two days in a row!  The kids are doing a great job taking my specific feedback and putting it into their writing.  
This little guy is working on organizing his work and remembering to add details, details, details!
 This sweetie is stretching herself to go beyond just labeling her drawings.  She is ready for sentences and did such a great job this week!
I just LOVE watching budding writers!!

 3. Last week we made this awesome story map for our Reading Street story, Armadillo's Orange.

4. We began Math Work Stations this week.  Finally!  I just kept putting it off this year because other things filled the time and it seemed overwhelming to start.  BUT, since we run them exactly like our Literacy Work Stations, the students knew exactly what to do and they ran so smoothly this week!
These Fall Counting Mats are free in my TPT store.  Click HERE to check them out!

5.  I implemented "Learning Partners" by mistake a few weeks ago ;), and it has been awesome!  I randomly paired students up for an activity, and the pairings ended up being so perfectly matched that I decided to keep these pairings and call them Learning Partners!  Anytime we have a partner activity to do, the students find their Learning Partner and off they go!  So easy and makes our transitions so much calmer and quicker.  A happy accident!

I overslept by an hour yesterday morning.  I know you can relate....isn't it a terrible feeling to realize you've woken up late??!?  Thankfully, for me, waking up an hour later than normal still means I'm up at 5:50. #earlyriserperks
I saw this quote and it made me laugh.  So, so true! Ha!
Any other early risers out there????


Have a wonderful weekend, friends!!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

We love class books!

I wrote a post last month about some of our back-to-school class books.  We LOVE class books!  We make at least one or two each month.  Over the past few weeks, we have made three class books and I wanted to share them with you!

In my last post, I asked for ideas about what class books you love to make with your class and Sara commented that she class makes a book based on the classic Ten Apples up on Top.  I LOVED this idea, and put it in my plans for the following week!
Next year, I'll plan to make it in September when we are talking more about apples, but this year October had to do! :)

I tweaked Sara's idea just a bit and gave each of my students 10 apples (I used my 1" circle punch to cut the circles out of construction paper) and they completed the sentence on the page and added an illustration.  They all turned out so cute!



 We also made this class book as an extension to our reading series book Life in an Ocean.  The class always loves making this book because of the ocean setting they get to draw.  My kids go crazy for ocean talk every year!  
 This page is available in this post from last year.
 One of my very favorites.  I said last year that I wanted to make a book like this for each season, but I totally forgot.  I'll say it again this year.  Hopefully I'll remember! :)

I really, really love how this book has turned out both times I've done it with my class.  Click back to this post to read more about this fun book!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Five for Friday {October 24}

Happy Saturday!  I'm a day late with my Five for Friday, but I actually thought to take pictures this week, so I wanted to be sure to link up!

 1. We began our second science unit this week.  We had been learning about our five senses since the start of the school year.  That's such a good place to start, because it's the foundation for exploring the world around us.  We had so much fun with our five senses unit, but were excited to move on to something new this week....Motion!  And we got to explore motion on the playground.  My students were sold immediately!!

2. We completed one of my very favorite class books this week.  Even though this sentence-builder book is a little tricky for some students to figure out, it always turns out soooo cute!  Their little illustrations make it super sweet.
We completed two other class books this week too!  I have a blog post in the works.  LOVE class books!

3. We used this cute cute cute pumpkin life cycle freebie from Erica Bohrer for our interactive notebooks this week.  So cute!
4. We began academic vocabulary with a bang this week!  We added four words to our binders - two literacy and two math.  
 These great pages are from Kim Adsit.
We are really working hard on "speaking like scholars" and focusing on academic vocabulary really helps with that.

5. We did this fun early addition activity yesterday to display for parent-teacher conferences next week.  I punched circles with my 1" circle punch, and each student rolled dice to figure out how many apples and pumpkins to add.

It was a great week in Kindergarten!  Hope yours was awesome too, and that you are enjoying some relaxation this weekend!!