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Friday, October 30, 2015


Practicing crossing the mid line with GoNoodle!  Helps us work both sides of our brain!  

We morphed Tangy Bodangy just like Zapp Von Doubler and picked a new guy!
Click on the picture to get your own GoNoodle account!  Can be done at home, too!

Beginning Sounds and Fine Motor

Students discuss and decide on an answer before they complete an activity!   This is such an important skill to develop with all students.
Once we practice with partners, the students can then try the activity independently.  It provides a geat opportu7nit for students to practice on their own.  The teacher can observe and decide if the students can complete the skill.
This is a great game that focuses the students on the initial sound in words.  The letter is in the middle and pictures go around the outside edges.

.  The student needs to say the sound and decide if the sound is heard in the beginning of each picture. A small clothes pin (found in craft section at Walmart) is used to mark the picture if it has the correct sound.  The student then must name the picture, say the sound heard at the beginning of the words, and then tell the letter name.  These cards really help solidify the letter name and sounds.  Click on the picture to find the card at my store.
Getting the students to "pinch" the clothes pin with the correct grip really works the fine motor muscles and helps the student with writing and holding the pencil correctly!


It is so much fun to see students share!  Check out the dinosaur that one student made for another student at the Create Center!  What is the create center you wonder?!?
An old computer cart is filled with a box lid of scrap construction paper that I salvaged from the supply closet, different kinds of markers, scissors, glue sticks, glue rollers, crayons and any other supplies I find.
The students take what they need to a table and CREATE or explore.  It develops fine motor skills.  It is a center that is always chosen by the students.  So much fun!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Shark Attack

We studied sharks, made a craft and used the ipads to make the sharks tell a fact learned!
You can see may of the final products here or for the rest....check out the link on my wiki!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Five for Friday

Five for Friday is a weekly teacher linky party where you post five random things from today or this past week on your blog. Then, you come back and link your blog post up using the linky tool.  There are may great blogs with amazing information and ideas!  Take a look at Doodle Bugs Teaching.

I have a student aide from our high school that comes Tuesday thru Thursday in the afternoon to observe, teach, and work with small group of students.  
This week she read the story The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis.  It is a great book for October.
When Buck, Billy, and their little sister Lil spy the biggest pumpkin they've ever seen, they can't resist. Buck and Billy try to roll the pumpkin down the hill to show everyone, but it's too big! Before they know it, it's bumping and thumping and rolling down the hillside out of control. This read aloud Halloween treat is perfect for kids and families.

The rhythm is great to develop Phonological Skills for kids.  The students love to repeat the chorus, "Round and round across the ground makin' a thumpin' bumpin' sound came that thumpety bumpety thumpin' bumpin' round and roll-y RUNAWAY PUMPKIN!"  The students naturally catch the rhyme and rhythm.

The students worked together to sponge paint a large piece of paper that was tuned into a pumpkin. 

Playing games that require students to find a letter or word works beautifully, if you find a way to make it fun!  My amazing coworker bought me light up cars that shine in different colors.  We used them to help use find the letters.  There were only 3 in a pack so we practiced sharing!

 I did find a few extra at Wal-Mart in the "party" section so we won't need to share anymore.
I went to a paint night with fellow teachers and was amazed at the emergence of our masterpieces!  It was extremely difficult to juggle my daughters schedule and make it to class on time.  When I shared the issues I had with my Marvels, I was amazed at the advice I received.  Take a deep breath and belly breathe was the unanimous decision provide by kiddos!  We did a lot of practice in class so if they have a struggle with anger like I did, something can help!

The books Mouse Was SO Mad by Linda Urba and Sometimes I'm Bombaloo by Rachel Vail helped us talk about anger.  We worked all week on watching the faces and bodies of our friends and family to read emotions.  Click on the picture to find a link to the books.
We discussed times when we were Bombaloo!  It was amazing to hear about all the great things 5 and 6 year old do when they are mad.  One of the best things about being a teacher is hearing all the amazing ideas of these small children.

We have been working so hard on learning the letters and their sounds!  We have been using the My Sidewalks Intervention program.  The students have been focusing on the letter m, p, f, and c.  These students can practice in centers with clothes pins to find the letter sounds.

When we do it in group, the  emphasis is in the details of the questions.
"What is the first sound you hear in carrot?"  (/c/)
When you say /c/ do you feel your tongue hump in the back of your mouth? 
What is the name of the letter that makes the sound /c/? (c)

Using the clothes pins as markers above helps develop the important fine motor skills.  I found the cute clothes pins at Wal-mart in the craft section.  Regular clothes pins also work!  I use plain and ones painted by my daughter.  Change makes it fun!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Five for Friday

Five for Fiday {Linky Party...Oct. 16!}

 Check out the cool books that arrived in the mail!?!  I had them saved on my amazon account to eventually buy, and my darling husband ordered them all for my class!
Many go great with the Second Step program I am using to teach about empathy!  Big Plans is for the beginning of the year for goal setting!  I may use it soon to focus on the new goals since the kiddos are doing so well and meeting the Kindergarten goals so far this year!

 On Tuesday, we had inservice and worked on Phonological Awareness!  It was a great time to solidify my knowledge.  The great questions, discussion, and sharing time help me understand this difficult skill that is often overlooked in Kindergarten and First grade!  Just because students can read words doesn't mean they understand the phonemes!
I made baggies to share with the K Staff that covered rhyme matching, onset-rime, blending, and segmenting skills!  
 I hope they get used many times!

You can also read other information on my page! Phonological Awareness Skills!

On a personal note!  I went to Seneca Falls, New York this past weekend with Riley to visit Samantha at Chiropractic College!  They did PUMPKIN CHUNKIN as I took the picture!  It was so fun!

Making connections with students is so important in school!  Building bonds can increase the learning atmosphere and learning within the classroom!
I watched many videos about Conscious Discipline to help with a few difficult students!  
Children need eye contact, touch, presence and a playful setting!
Check out the video that explains the basics! 

Be Calm Bunny finally visited!  The students passed bunny around the circle and whispered about a time they were happy!  Now BUNNY sits near a chair and the students can visit him any time they are feeling uncomfortable and need a break!

So far only 3 students have needed BUNNY!
One student becomes very upset during transitions and goes to get help from BUNNY on his own!  It has really helped him focus!
Another student was missing dad and started to cry!  One of her friends gave her a hug and found BE Calm Bunny for the crying child!  It was lovely to watch!
The third student was hungry and instead of complaining to me, he went and spoke with Be Calm Bunny!  It was amazing to watch how he took ownership of his problem!  (A few Teddy Grams helped later)

Thank you so much for stopping by! Please head over to Doodle Bugs to find more Friday-randomness!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Phonological Awareness

  Working with my great staff today for teacher inservice helped solidify and cement the skills for Phonological Awareness into my mind.  It was great to hear all the ideas that the teachers use in my district.

 Phonological Awareness is the understanding that oral language can be divided into smaller parts that can be manipulated. Understanding phonological awareness prepares students for later reading instruction which includes phonics, word analysis and spelling.  It is great umbrella that incorporates many skills.

Phonological Awareness follows a continuum from easier to harder but the learning doesn't follow it in order.  Each task is difficult in its own way and the learning flows at different rates and times for each learner!

The less complex activities of Word Awareness includes tracking words in sentences and enjoying rhyming and alliteration through stories and poems.

The Syllable Awareness  involves tapping, counting, blending, or segmentation a word into syllables.

Onset-rime Awareness is the ability to produce a rhyming word that depends on the understanding that rhyming words have the same rime (ending sound).  Being able to tell if words rhyme or not (thumbs up if cat and hat rhyme or sound the same at the end)  is much easier that producing a rhyme (Tell me other words that rhyme with cat, hat, ________).

The most sophisticated level of Phonological Awareness is Phonemic Awareness, the understanding that words are made up of individual sounds or phonemes.  Manipulating these phonemes by blending, segmenting, or changing individual phonemes within words to create new words is extremely difficult.  Phonemic Awareness is more highly related to learning to read than are tests of general intelligence, reading readiness, and listening comprehension (Stanovich, 1993).

You can learn more information about the order of these skills and ideas on this PA Page. (click)

Friday, October 2, 2015

Great Find Friday

Thanks to  Figs Firsties for the #2 follow! Check out her site!
  I learned a great focus idea from my Physics teaching husband.  That's right...PHYSICS...high school honors students are his specialty and he also works with the gifted students.  Think Sheldon Cooper that plays football...yes!?! he also coaches and athletic...but has the same problem with his students focusing as I do in kindergarten!!!
What?!?  What?!?
One of his honors students started holding up his fingers chanting "focus fox!"  It worked.  He couldn't believe how well the others turned and began to listen.  I LOVE focus fox and have been spreading the word throughout my elementary school!

Can you see the fox?  It took a while, too. Open and close your fingers as you say "focus fox."  Focus fox then looks around for others that are focused!  If it works for Physics students, I know K Kiddos will love it!

One of the best sites you will ever find for printable books!  I LOVE every book they have published!  I have almost every free book and I have purchased many books on my own with PTA money, district money, and my own!  If you teach guided reading, you must check out this site!  I know you will love it!  Let me know if you need help with the free printable books! CHECK OUT this site!  RR Books

You will so LOVE these books and I do not get paid to say that!  No endorsements here! Great picture to text help with beautiful pictures!

Here is the link for their free ABC book so far!  Be sure to save them because they do take off the books and add others!  

This was Parent Visitation Week!  Love, Love, Love seeing the parents!  It seems like so much pressure, but the look on the kids faces when the parents arrive is priceless!

It is also pretty funny to watch calm students jump out of there seats with excitement!  It makes for a great day!  I hope all parents get a chance to visit some time this year!

Have been working on those goals!  Right now only 2 out of 21 students can recite the alphabet!  That L,M,N,O,P mess up so many!  Many of the students put their mouths, tongues, and lips in the wrong spot so the letter names come out sounding like different letters!

This video changes the rhythm and may help some strugglers!

Hopefully, my technology will begin working!  Made SHARK Chatterpix videos!  I so love this app!  The kids had so much fun creating their sharks and recording their voices!  I typed the words so you could hear the exact words.  I am trying to upload all of them for another post but here is a sample!  Chatterpix is free and so simple even a teacher of 27 years can use it!!!