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Friday, August 28, 2015

Best Songs for Letters and Sounds!

These songs are great for teaching letters and their sounds!  Gross motor skills are developed as the kiddos dance and sing! Plus!  It's a lot of fun!

The use of music and songs has transformed learning in kindergarten.  The visual along with the songs helps students learn more effectively than in the past.  Here are the best songs I have found to use at the beginning of the year.

 The Apple apple Song with Hand Motions - Barbara Milne

This great song has capital and lower case letters.  It provides students with hand signals.  When the students create their own hand signals and/or provide different words to go with sounds, learning expands to a whole new level.

This song goes through the capital letters, lower case letters and then the sounds!

This goes to the best parody "What does the fox say?"  Fun to do with fox masks!

Great gross motor activity using visual letter, letter name, sound, then the student makes a connection with a word.

Great fun rap with a different beat!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Learner Centered Environment

My room is ready for a new group of learners and it looks very different from a traditional classroom.  There are only 3 tables for group work. The students use the room as they see fit; there are no assigned desks.
Here is view from the door, across the room.

I have always wanted to provide the optimal setting for learning and research talks about the best classroom design.
Check out the article from MindShift:

To Foster Productivity and Creativity in Class, Ditch the Desks!

Can you find my desk from the picture above????  I didn't "ditch the desk" but it morphed!

Soon to be Listening Center in front!

Here is:
A light up box under the desk!  Can't wait to see how it will work and be used!

SO my classroom philosophy of design:

1. Make special areas for students to work.

small seating area near the writing center

The large blank wall will eventually include out Kidwriting Crowns along with our writing descriptors and check lists.
small carpeted area to hang out and work
2. Keep things neutral and let the lessons spark the interest.
Reading tables
All those blank cupboards will develop as the learners decide what to place to display

3. Supplies and materials emerge as the community in our classroom emerges.
Fine Motor Area

It has only has puzzles and Potato Heads on the shelf right now!  Eventually, materials will replace and switch with these as the year progresses.

Check out the other interesting areas in our room!
Pretend Center

Soon to be Science & Art

Classroom Library

Another article I found helpful was 3 Quick Tips for a Beautiful, Brain-Friendly Classroom.

Friday, August 21, 2015

My First Linky Party

My first Linky Party! Five For Friday 
I have enjoyed all the "Linky Parties" that I have participated in as a "stalker!"

Riley had her first day as a 6th grader!  

Teddy and Samantha were not too excited to get up early to take pictures.  Of course!?!  I had in service so ......I had to leave before they were ready!
 I had to see what happened through their pictures.
 Even a picture with dad!  I'm so surprised!  

Samantha took the no recording of all 3 of my kids!  This is why  never have family shots!

PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS...the push for our Kindergarten goal this year to help strengthen and refine the reading process for our kinders!  I stayed up until 1:30am last night perfecting my Humpty Dumpty resource!  I can't believe I wasn't tired!  Click to get resource.

I am so excited to combine reading & writing with these skills!  (Thought about the writing after I had gone to bed! so I added a few sheets this morning) How will I ever do this when I am teaching?

Check back later to see it in action!

It was "Meet the Teacher Night" on Tuesday!  Here are the name tags I made for the students!  It was so fun to see them try to find their names!

I used Super Susie Clip Art from Scrappin Doodles I love her clip art!  Check out her store.


I made a movable learning station!  I used a drip pan from Wal-Mart and command strips! I am so excited to see how it works!  I think that it will be a great addition to our classroom.
My teacher friend (Thanks Jen Cooper) introduced these to me and they are the best thing I ever found!  If you need to hang anything heavy...these will do the trick! 


We had our first in service and I am so glad I finished my book study.  This was a great book to get me ready for the start of school!  It was so rewarding to see all the teachers that studied this book on my team!  I can't wait to put the ideas into action.

It's an easy read if you are searching for ways to improve reading for your K+ readers! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Today was the first in service day for the 2015-16 school year!  We spent 3 hours learning about Phonics Lessons: Letters, Words, and How They Work from Fountas & Pinnell.
It is a great book to use that focuses on teaching phonics through reading, writing, and fun games!  The activities flow in a logical order that is spelled out by month.  It provides many opportunities for teachers to use their professional judgement to monitor and adjust.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Phoneme Awareness-Beginning Sounds

Getting ready for the beginning of kindergarten. Yeah!!

 I made a great game to help with beginning sound practice.

Phoneme Awareness-It is the most difficult phonological awareness skill--- to attend to and manipulate the smallest sounds in speech called phonemes. 

My Store
The students use markers or clothes pins to find the picture that matched the beginning sound.  
There are also worksheets to color for each letter.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Ninja Balls

Check out the Ninja Balls I made today!  I shared 3 of them with a former student that will be starting her first year of teaching this year. Good Luck, Ms. D'Agata!!!

I went to the Dollar Store to buy more balloons.  I plan to make an entire basket to use as stress balls, cooperative learning talking tools, and fun throwing games!

You can find the directions by clicking here: Ninja Balls

Monday, August 3, 2015

Phonological Awareness-Syllables

 Syllable awareness is one component of phonological awareness. Students need the  ability to hear phonemes that comprise words and to explore speech sounds as syllables.

I made this great game to practice!  FEED THE ANIMALS!  The students need feed the goat (1), dragon (2), octopus (3), or alligator (4) different food or objects based on the number of syllable in the name.

1 syllable goat-green colored-egg, fish, ant, rug
2 syllables dragon-orange colored-yogurt, apple, wagon, anchor
3 syllables octopus-purple colored-tomato, ladybug, pineapple, bumblebee
4 syllables alligator-blue colored-watermelon, caterpillar, pepperoni, motorcycle

There are also 2 cut & paste sheets to use to check understanding individually!

Ready for a new year!

It is getting close to a new school year!  I have been having so much fun shopping and searching for new ideas for 2015-16.  Check out the cool things I found today!  I can't wait to start creating!
I love sticky notes so I just bought a few extra.  I plan to use the key and lock to make a rhyming game.  The stickers are for rewards and fun activities,  The small erasers will be added to a sensory bin or counting/sorting activity.  The plastic measuring cup is for science/cooking experiments!