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Monday, December 10, 2012

More Patterns & A Freebie!

We have finished our pattern unit and I wanted to share a great freebie!  It has 3 recording pages for your kiddos to use as they create different patterns.
I used the cube train page at the beginning of our unit as we were just learning to create and label patterns. Mid-way through the unit, the kids used the same page to create specific patterns assigned to them (such as ABCC).  At the end of the unit, we used the page yet again as the students drew patterns, labeled them, and then circled the units.

 I had the students use the thematic pages in station workshops with their partners.  They loved them!

We had our first genuinely cold day here today so it's beginning to feel like Christmas!  Although I was freezing all day so I think I'd prefer a 70 degree December, but the kids do love the cold air.  I'll be back later this week with some fun holiday ideas!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pattern Block Snakes

We are knee-deep in our patterns unit, which is one of my favorite things to teach in math.  For whatever reason, kids just always love patterns!  About halfway through our unit, we made patterns with wooden pattern blocks, before using paper die-cuts to make pattern block snakes!  This one grew legs so I guess it's actually a caterpillar.  ;)

I made the die-cut shapes in various colors, so the students had more options with their patterns.  Some used colors while others used shapes, or both!

Since we have already been working with patterns for awhile, the kiddos are experts at labeling and were able to label their snakes independently.  A few students took the initiative to make growing patterns instead of repeating ones.

This student used shapes only for his pattern.

Come back soon for more patterns and a freebie!  :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Math Mini-Book!

I love, love, love teaching with pumpkins!  It's the perfect way to motivate the kids and have fun without breaching any holiday taboos.  For the past 7 years, I've been piecing together different resources and ancient blacklines to have students measure pumpkins all throughout Halloweek.  Every year I feel stressed because some of the activities are too easy, most are too hard, and nothing matches or flows together.  I decided to make mini-books for the students this year and I am LOVING them so far!
Everything is Kinder-appropriate, with challenging (but not unrealistic) student activities.
And I love having everything together in one little cute book.  We used teddy bear counters in the past for the balance scales, but some of those teeny pumpkins required LOTS of bears.  Dominoes are a better option since they are much heavier.
Anyone else have your students try to measure circumference with yarn and cut it themselves in the right place!?  Talk about a stress headache trying to assist 5 and 6 year olds with that!  In this mini-book, you provide the strings, and students measure and circle the correct response.  This is do-able!
And what's Halloweek without some pumpkin goop!?  Scoop out the seeds and count them in groups of 10s! We do this in table groups.
First 3 followers to leave me some lovin' will get this book for free!  It's available HERE on my TPT store!  Happy Halloweek!  =)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Noun Sort (Free for Followers!)

I love Fall in Kindergarten!  The routines have finally become well, routine, and the kids are working independently.  Plus, there are pumpkins, scarecrows, leaves, plus all of the holiday excitement, and we can finally enjoy recess without sweating to death while getting a sunburn!

In the SuperKid class, we are focusing on nouns in grammar, and I made the cutest little noun sort that the kids just loved. 

After "bubble cutting" and gluing, they added labels next to all of the pictures.  My advanced writers chose two of the nouns and wrote sentences about them on the back of the paper.  It's $1 here in my TPT Store, but it's FREE for followers!  :)  Just leave me a comment with your email address (and make sure you follow my blog), and I'll email it over to ya!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Discovery Bottles! & a freebie

I had the amazing opportunity to work with 2 other fantastic Kindergarten teachers over the summer to re-write my district's Science, Social Studies, and Health curriculum.  We were updating lessons to include newer technology, writing new ones to include more rigorous state standards, and were always looking for ways to make the learning hands-on and FUN!  One of my colleagues suggested the best things EVER to use in lessons about making observations and asking questions: DISCOVERY BOTTLES!
 They are filled with all kinds of goodies, and the kids went absolutely crazy over them.
We used the discovery bottles in several lessons teaching the concept of making observations and asking questions.
My SuperKids used their "science eyes" to make observations of the bottles and their contents.  While looking at the bottles, the students used the sentence stem: "I observe ____________."
After making observations and recording them, we learned that scientists must ask questions to continue learning.  We played a game called Observation or Question!  The students picked a bottle, drew a card with either an eye or a question mark, and then either made an observation ("I observe _____") or asked a question ("I wonder _______").

My little scientists did a fantastic job recording their observations and drawing realistic pictures!

CLICK HERE to download the recording sheet for free for 1 week only at my TPT Store!  (After a week, it will be available for $1.) Be sure to leave me some comment lovin' if you download.  :)
If you want to make your own discovery bottles, here are the ingredients we used:
  • #1: Light Karo syrup and various objects (little toys, plastic letters, paper clips...)
  • #2: Water, glitter, and blue food coloring
  • #3: Water, red food coloring, vegetable oil
  • #4: Water and various items that either sink or float
  • #5: Water, laundry detergent, glitter
  • #6: Rice and various objects
  • #7: Shampoo and ocean animal beads
  • #8: Soil and water
Make sure to hot-glue the lids so they can't be opened!  ;)   I hope your kiddos enjoy making observations and asking questions!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Counting Book in Brown Bear Style

If making little readers in the style of Brown Bear, Brown Bear for every theme and season is wrong, then I don't want to be right. My kids absolutely love this book and I love that they can read so many other stories if I write them using the same pattern. My Little Bunny and Leprechaun versions were class favorites last year.
Since fall is here, that means red and orange leaves, pumpkins, scarecrows, and TESTING.  Besides the usual beginning of year reading assessments, we also use a multiple choice computer-administrated test for both reading and math for all students.  It is pretty time-consuming, especially in October, when some students still struggle with using a computer mouse, adjusting the volume on the headphones, and are just quite perplexed by a multiple choice test.  It is necessary for us to give the non-testing students each day something to work on that will keep them happily busy and quiet.  ;)
Each page contains a blank for a number to be written.
 You can write the numbers for the students to differentiate and personalize each child's book, or let the students fill-in the numbers before drawing a matching illustration.  The clip-art helps the students read the text.
 The book also contains a black-and-white version.
CLICK HERE to purchase the book on my TPT site for just one buck!  OR if you're into *free,* (I sure am) be one of the first five followers to comment and I'll email it over to ya!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Snack

I don't know about you, but I am LOVING Week 3 with my Kinder cuties!  We are really in the groove, and the students are well on their ways to being independent learners!  They have mastered the procedures for Writer's Workshop, are raising their hands to share, know our Whole Brain Teaching chants, can work at literacy stations, and are independently moving about our math rotations.  Can I get a HALLELUJAH!?  We also know the difference between a snack and a lunch and the meaning of the phrase "empty your bladder."  ;)  I'm so proud of my SuperKids!

During Week 2, we read the famous big book Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom.  I shared my love for the fabulous song version of it here in this past post.

 After reading the book all week, we had our first "Cooking Lesson" by creating this delicious snack!
I free-handed the paper with a Sharpie and the kids colored the leaves and coconuts before we "cooked."  The trunk is a graham cracker covered with Sunbutter (a delish p.b. alternative) and a sprinkling of AlphaBits cereal.

 Being a teacher who always wants my students to know (and be able to verbalize) what they are learning, I always stop and ask them throughout the day.  "What are you learning right now?"  They always answer my question during our weekly cooking activities (we "cook" every Friday) with: We're learning how to cook!
Well yes, my sweet bears, but the real learning target when we "cook," is to listen and follow multi-step directions!  Oh, and to have fun, too.  ;)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reading Posters - Freebie for Followers!

Is anyone else absolutely and utterly exhausted!?  I absolutely adore my precious new SuperKids, but I always forget how tiring the first week of school is with sweet Kinders.  Hallelujah for an upcoming 3 day weekend!

I made three new reading posters to use with my class this year.  You can purchase them for $1 on TPT here OR follow my blog and I will email them to you for free!  :)
 Just leave me a comment with your email address (and make sure you're a follower), and I will email you the posters!
Hope you are all having a wonderful week!