Friday, March 29, 2013

Five for Friday {March 29}

It's Friday!  Time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday.

1. We are learning about the earth in our current science unit.  This has included investigations using earth materials....and magnifying glasses!  There isn't a single child who wouldn't agree that magnifying glasses are so. much. FUN!  And, on this day, the science investigation included sand, soil, pebbles, and water.  
 This sweet little one is the daughter of a good friend (and colleague) of mine.  She's precious!

 2. On Tuesday, the girls in my class and I enjoyed a GIRLS ONLY lunch.  More to come on that, but it was perfectly girly and OH so fun!

3. My Spring Break started Wednesday at 3:45 (to be exact)! :)  I was telling my students all day long on Wednesday that I would be having a dance party at 3:45.  And, as much as I love my 25 cherubs, DANCE I did when those busses rolled away!  
YAY Spring Break!
My son still had school on Thursday, and was able to celebrate his birthday with his class since it falls over Spring Break.  His teacher invited me to come in to help him celebrate, and even gave me some time to read a story and do a fun activity with the class.  I loved every second of seeing my birthday boy in HIS Kindergarten class!

4. And then, this morning, I got to join my other favorite little for the Easter egg hunt at her school.  So thankful for time off to make special mommy memories!

5. With all of the bunny crafts and egg hunting behind us, my mind is ready to center and focus on the reason for this weekend's celebration.  I'm so thankful for my risen Savior!!

Happy Easter, friends!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Bunny craft -- go grab it!

You have a few days left to squeeze in this Easter bunny craft...and you definitely should!  My Kindies had so much fun with this today, and the finished products look adorable hanging in our classroom.  They bring the feel of Spring, when really it is still snowy and cold outside here in West Michigan.

Just check out these cutie-pie bunnies!!

I modeled on the board as the students followed along, but each completed bunny definitely has it's own personality!  That's what makes them so much fun! 

Saved the best for last.  Melt my heart...I LOVE this sweet bunny!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Five for Friday {March 22}

I'm linking up with Kacey over at Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday!

1. My son came home from Kindergarten with this last weekend.  Trey O'Sloothaak....adorable!

 2. We ran out of time last week Friday to do our Lucky Charms graph, so we completed it on Monday instead.  The kids always LOVE this....and I must say that I had forgotten just how much I love those little marshmallows too! :)

3. We celebrated our classroom aide's birthday this week.  Several of the kids brought her cards and treats.  It was fun to spoil her a bit and thank her for ALL that she does for us!!

4. Yesterday, we put together our "Important Words for Readers" books.  This book a fun compilation of everything we've been talking about all year, but really focusing on in March.  The students had fun doing some partner reading and building up their confidence so that they could take the books home and share them with their families.  
Academic vocabulary is a big push in my building.  I really want my students to be prepared to use these academic words in their discussions as they finish off the year and move into first grade.    
This book is part of my "Three Cheers for BOOKS!" pack.

5. March is one of my favorite months of the year to teach, because I always invite Mystery Readers into the classroom.  We have had a mystery reader every day this month except one!  Our principal will be our reader one day next week, but every other day was filled by a parent, grandparent, or aunt of my students!  I LOVE seeing the JOY on their faces as they realize that the mystery reader that day is there just for them!  This is the sign that I put on my door to welcome our readers so that they know to stay in the hall until we're ready for them.  Click here to snag the sign to use in your own classroom!  

Three. more. teaching. days. until. Spring. Break.

I think I can....I think I can!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This week's math stations

Here are my math stations for this week and next week.  Three from my "Three Cheers for BOOKS!" math and literacy pack (We have a major March is Reading Month focus in our classroom right now) and one favorite that I decided to keep around for one more rotation.

"Fill in the Bookworm Blanks"
Here, the students fill in the missing numbers to complete the addition sentences.
(P.S. -- how CUTE are these little DJ Inkers bookworms???)
This activity was a bit tricky for some, and a good challenge for others.  The kiddos that love math, loved the challenge.  Those that find math/addition tricky, struggled a bit and didn't enjoy it as much ;)  At least the bookworms are so cute.  I'm sure they appreciated that. :)
It was actually a great form of formative assessment, and I have put together a small group of students to work on this skill with my para-pro.

"What Comes Before the Book?"
Number order....again, a bit tricky for some.
Students choose a number and write the TWO numbers that come before it.  Most were able to get the hang of this activity quickly, but the whole TWO NUMBERS BEFORE thing was a challenge for some kids.  
If I talked them through it, everyone was able to get it without trouble.  I did make number lines available to some, for added support.

"I Can READ Number Words!"
Students match number words to groups of dots, then record the number words on their page.

 When they finished, I had them read the words to me.  Practice, practice, practice!  Any words that they weren't able to read, I wrote the number next to for them.

"Race to 100"
Who knew that this partner game would be such a hit?!?  Everyone LOVES it!
You can find it in my 100th Day pack.

These stations will bring us to Spring Break, which begins next week Wednesday!  Sooooo ready for that!  Now, if only it would stop snowing and warm up a bit!  Soooooo ready for that too!!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

A little leprechaun fun

So.....I really hadn't planned to pull these out this year.  Not sure why, but I just wasn't feeling the St. patty's Day spirit with it falling over the weekend.  BUT, we did our Scholastic "Let's Find Out Magazine" on Thursday and talked all about leprechauns and the tricky fun they like to have.  The kids were so funny with all of their leprechaun stories.  I knew that I had to start our Friday with some leprechaun fun.

And FUN it was!

The leprechaun left little clover notes all over our classroom for the students to find when they arrived.

Once they figured out what was going on, the kids had the best time searching the classroom for all the missing things!  Poor Seth was shoeless for a looooooong time.  His other shoe had been hidden in my desk drawer!  It was such a relief when I found it right before we left for P.E.! :)

Our freshly-sharpened pencils stayed missing all day long, but the kids found everything else at some point.

Serious FUN.  Crazy, running-around-the-classroom, shouting-and-yelling, giggles-upon-giggles FUN!  SO much fun, in fact, that I might start our Monday the same way. :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I feel LUCKY to know you! {freebie!}

St. Patty's Day snuck up on me a bit this year.  Last year, we had the most fun at school -- sneaky leprechaun tricks, green toilet water, special snacks and treats -- but this year, with it falling on Sunday, I just haven't made a big deal about it with my students.  

Back in my first few years of teaching, I would always do an activity near St. Patrick's Day where students would write notes to each other explaining why they are LUCKY to know one another.  I haven't done this in a few years because I lost my original copy and was too lazy to make another one. (Just being honest!)

We've recently started using the term "bucket filling" at my school, and as a class we've been looking for ways to fill each others' "buckets" by saying things that are positive and encouraging, and by treating each other with respect and kindness.  I knew that this activity would be a perfect complement to this program.

Soooo....I whipped up a new page this year.  Finally.  And I'd love to share it with you if you'd like it!

I will choose who each person will write about randomly.  I plan to save these for the memory books I put together for each student at the end of the year. 

Wishing you oodles of St. Patrick's Day fun in your classrooms tomorrow!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

This week's math stations

 Weeeelllll, so I wasn't back tomorrow (Thursday), like I had hoped.  It was a busy week, and I was SO ready for the weekend.  Feeling a little jealous of all those teachers who started Spring Break yesterday!  We still have two and a half weeks before our break begins.  Hopefully all of the snow will melt by then and we'll be able to enjoy some mild, Spring-like temps.  My son was born during Spring Break 6 years ago, and it was a complete blizzard.  I'm very ready for the snow and COLD to be done! math stations run on the same schedule as my lit stations, so they will continue through next week.

"Bean Flip"
I grabbed this page from Sara over at Kindergarten is a Hoot a long time ago and pull it out from time to time.  It's a fun little addition page.  My students love "rolling" the beans.  Then, they color the beans on their page and write the addition sentence.  Great practice for those math facts!

Remember when I posted about "Counting Snowballs"?  Remember how I was going to use it for math stations back in January?  Remember how I had planned to use white pom-poms for the snowballs?  Oh boy.  I am JUST NOW getting around to this activity.....and I didn't have the patience to dig through my bag of pom-poms for the white ones, so they are counting colorful snowballs in March!  Ha!
(And I even heard one little guy this past week say, "This is the best math station!"...and his friend agreed!  LOVE sweet Kindergarteners!  They are so forgiving and would count snowballs in May if I asked them to.)

"Race to 100"
This activity is a favorite for sure!  My kiddos LOVE this partner game.  The concept is super simple.  They each choose their own color.  They take turns rolling the dice and coloring in that many spaces.  The partner who lands on 100 wins!  It's included in my 100th Day of School pack.

"What's in my Bowl?" graphing game
I filled cheap Take 'n' Toss bowls with a variety of items (each is different).  The students grab a bowl and graph what is inside.  There are a few questions at the bottom of the page for analyzing their data.

Feel free to grab this page for yourself if you think you'd be able to use it!

Happy weekend!!!