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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I Dare You!

I have been so concerned with the posts I have been reading and listening to talk of some teachers! STANDARDS! PARENTS! BEHAVIOR!  The negativity that seems like venting makes teachers seem like they don't love their jobs!

I DARE you!

Make your room happy!
then start talking about the happy stuff! on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! #happyclassrooms

Check out Greg Smedley-Warren's bog and take the challenge!

I DARE you!

Take a few minutes, smile and talk to your students!  Listen to them talk and interact!

I DARE you!

Stop overly obsessing about standards and/or data and focus on the learning of your students! Proclaim and broadcast it!

I DARE you!

Plan something fun!  After, 25+ years of teaching...they only remember the fun stuff!  Like the time you fell off the cooler at the field trip!

I DARE you!

Promote other teachers that you see and hear creating "happy" classrooms!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Number Sense and Numbers

We have been working so hard this year to develop number sense!

What do we do?

We use dot pictures to tell what we see!  Most of the time, they are hidden around the room and we search for them!
We have to tell what we see or count the dots and find a match.  So many can now tell by saying, "I see two and two so I know there are four." Oh yeah!

We used dice to play many games!  

 We rolled a dice and hopped to the number!  It was fun to see if the students had to count the dots or subitized!

When we played letter games, we compared our winning spots to decide who has more or less!

We used a NUMBER PATH to count and search for totals from story problems!

We are working on connecting the dots we see to the number that represents those dots and "wrapping" presents for Christmas!  Click on present to get the free game!

It is so much fun to see the learning that is happening!  Kindergarten is the BEST!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Celebration!

We had so much fun learning and working today!  

Beginning Sound Focus!

We used the Turkey Wheel of Fun to find beginning sounds.  We had to turn the light off to see the turkey!
Here is what it look like!
We tried to lay on the floor to color but it is hard so we traded positions if we became too tired!  Remember laying down to draw and write will build upper body strength!  Info about building better writers CLICK HERE! The OT happened to walk in as we were coloring! Yeah!  She thinks we are great!


We practice singing our Pilgrim song!  It helped us learn so many facts!  We also tried to use sign language!  
Boy, that is a lot to remember!

Making Native American Toys!

Stick, yarn, paper, and pipe cleaners!

We drew a Native American "word" on the front and back! (That one says friend!)

Then had to practice getting the circle pipe cleaner onto a horn!
Great eye hand coordination practice!

Search the Room!

We even looked for turkeys hidden around the room to practice counting sets!
What a fun, educational day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Birthday!

Birthday are so special to Kindergarten students! So we celebrate in a fun way!
The students decorate a "Birthday Crown," cut it out, paste it to a sentence strip, and participate in a poem!

Echo Poem (Teacher models poem and students repeat)

Teacher: ________ had a birthday.
Students: ________ had a birthday.

T:_______ had a cake. (touch fingertips together in circle)
S:_______ had a cake. 

T: ________'s  mother mixed it. (pretend to mix cake)
S: ________'s  mother mixed it.

T: and ________ watched it bake. (pretend to slide cake into over)
S: and ________ watched it bake.

T: icing on the top (spread icing over, palm down)
S: icing on the top

T: icing in between (palm up. spread icing)
S: icing in between

T: It was the finest cake you have ever seen. (point with pointer finger)
S:  It was the finest cake you have ever seen.

T; Candles on the cake. (hold up fingers for age of child...students hold up that number of sure to comment in different ways to make the number... 3&3....4&2....5&1)
S: Candles on the cake.

T: Count them now with me (touch each finger to nose to count)
S: Count them now with me.

T: How many candles on ____'s cake?
S: (state number, usually 6 in K)

T: How old is _______?
S:  (state age again)

T: How many time do I get to pull ______'s ears?
S:  (state age again)

Pull ears!

Be sure to count aloud as pull ears and ADD one to grow on! (I pull a bunch if times)

This is such a special, fun time in the classroom.  It also provides a great opportunity to observe the students that can repeat, count, and focus!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rhyming Practice

We have been working so hard to practice rhyming!  Here are the rhyming read aloud stories we love to read. We have been playing many games that the students love!

Rhyming Memory is THE favorite game!

We turn over about 18 matching cards in an array!

Students turn over 2 pictures at a time and state the picture names.  All students must say both name together and say if they rhyme or not!

If they don't rhyme, it is the next learner's turn.

If the 2 pictures rhyme, that learner goes again and searches for another rhyme.

They get so excited when a friend gets a rhyme,  It is so fun to watch!

Rhyming Smack!

 The students have 3 focus pictures, 
fan, bear, bug.

Another picture is turned over and the students must smack the focus picture that rhymes.

Both students smacked bug when the mug picture was turned over in the game.

We had a beautiful day so we went outside and used fly swatters to smack the rhyme!  Since we were outside, we got to yell the rhyme!!!

 Rhyming Sort

The three focus pictures are placed at the top of the table. A learner picks a cards from the pile and places it under the focus word that rhymes.

As we play, we often say all the words together to help develop the ability to add a rhyme word...the students crack up if a silly word is said.

Rhyming Dominoes

All the cards are divided between the players.  GO is placed first and the learner says the picture beside go (bat).  All the learners say words that rhyme (hat, pat, fat, mat)

Each learner looks for a rhyme.  The matched is placed and we start again.  They are always amazed at the path they create.

A Fun Assessment or Practice

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Phonological Awareness

"They know most letters and sounds, but are they ready to read?" is a question asked by many parents and teachers.

Maybe, not!

To build a strong reading success, children need to master Phonological Awareness Skills, especially phonemic awareness!

What is Phonological Awareness?

 The ability to hear sounds that make up words in spoken language. It is the big umbrella for all the skills needed to read and write.

This includes recognizing words that rhyme, deciding whether words begin or end with the same sounds, understanding that sounds can be manipulated to create new words, and separating words into their individual sounds.
Check out my page with many ideas to teach these skills!

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness is a subset of phonological awareness in which listeners are able to hear, identify and manipulate phonemes, the smallest units of sound that can differentiate meaning.

 Separating the spoken word "cat" into three distinct phonemes, /k/, /a/, and /t/, requires phonemic awareness.

Research shows that the ability to segment or separate words into parts is the biggest predictor of reading success! (Stanovich, 1993).
You can do this easily with clip art and boxes.
 BINGO dabbers touch one square for each sound!

 Remember Phonemic Awareness only uses the sounds! 

 Be sure to stay away from letter names.
Or just cut apart a few pictures and practice, practice, small groups!

Can you do phonics?

Of course, but be sure to attach the letter names the next day!

Don't forget to practice phonological awareness skills, even with early readers!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Help a Friend Celebrate!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

10 Ways to Develop Number Sense

Number sense has to be caught and can not be taught!  

There are so many things to do to practice!

1. Number Path

The students love to count on the number path!  Remember a number path helps students because they can see the actual number of things!  So much more powerful than a number line!

Pointing to the number helps to build number id!  It is so much fun to see the AHHA!  when the students finally realize that the 6 in 16 means something!

2. Counting

Counting?!?  Yes, it can be so boring so we add movement!
Push up and hold until we count to 20! Try it!  Works those muscles!
Then push up like a crab and hold, once again count to 20!

3.Counting Backwards

Be a rocket ship and Blast Off when you get down to 1!

4. Spill the Beans

Pick a number you need to work on and use beans to tell how many red and white!
1 red and 2 white makes 3
Recording what was found is done after practice with the manipulatives!

5.Search the Room

Find clues hidden around the room!  The trick is to count how many to find the total!  This is the one they love the most this year!
Not all clues are on the page!  So the students have to really search!

6. Fill the Table

Pick any number below 10!  Drop the beans and tell each part and total!  Don't stop until the table is full!  Great for developing fact fluency!

7. Circle the Parts

Use the number path to answer word problems!
I ate 2 pumpkins for breakfast and 2 turkeys for dinner.  How much did I eat?

8.Count Everything

When playing letter games, count the cards.
Lay the cards out and have the students count.  Then discuss how many more and less!  Yes, they can see it....if you use concrete things and arms!

9. Yell the Answer (Around the World)

Practice fluency by using  Dollar Store Dice.  Show a number and the students yell the total.
When we first started, the students that yell first had to explain how they knew the answer.  Students that didn't know or yelled the wrong answer...needed to count!
Now the students are so good at identifying the total that we play Around the World!

10. Books and Finger Plays

This is the book we are reading now and the students LOVE it!
Click here to find 31 Great Counting Books

Fingerplays are so much fun! Click here to find a bunch from Toronto Public Library.

Keep working and doing an activity each day to "Catch Number Sense!"

Monday, November 7, 2016

Alphabet Fun

It is so easy to make working with the alphabet fun!

How? Add gummy pumpkins!

 We practice reading the alphabet chart!
We use a form that looks just like this but with pumpkins!  Instead of coloring the pumpkins we find, we put on a gummy pumpkin!


The students need to pick up the pumpkin, say the letter name and the sound!
Yes, they can eat them if they want!
Letter fun! Yeah!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Teach Words Easily!

Direct, explicit instruction of words can happen in kindergarten or at any level!
You need to be sure that students answer and are engaged every 2-3 minutes!
Yes, they need to answer all together!  No raising of hands!! Oh my! I just use these fun cards!

 Here is an example of how to teach words!

Start each day with a review of  words taught but focus on the phonemic awareness part of these crowns, the rhyming, phonics, and letter naming fluency (don't you love it when you can tie it all together)!  The letters pull in the phonics so learning letters and words will happen more quickly in fun and engaging way!

So, how do you do it? 

Use  direct, explicit instruction and the spelling of the words.  Every student will answer every time to help the brain remember!

So it will sound like this:

Teacher: This is the word I.  What's this word?
Students: I
Teacher:  The word I rhymes with spy.  What does I rhyme with?
Students: spy
Teacher:  When you write the word I, you write a capital I.  How do you spell the word I?
Students:  Capital I
Teacher:  What is this word?
Students: I
Teacher:  What does I rhyme with?
Students: spy
Teacher:  How do you spell the word I?
Students:  Capital I

The next day review the word I and add another picture: (Be sure to review)
Teacher: This is the word am.  What's this word?
Students: am
Teacher:  The word am rhymes with ham.  What does am rhyme with?
Students: ham
Teacher:  When you write the word am, you write a m (point to am on the poster).  How do you spell the word am?
Students:   a m (be sure to point to the letters)
Teacher:  What is this word?
Students: am
Teacher:  What does I rhyme with?
Students: ham
Teacher:  How do you spell the word am?
Students:  a m (be sure to point to the letters)

Work on it daily!

Continue to review and teach a new word each day!  It will work quickly because there is no worrying about writing these words at first!  The main focus is the rhyming and then connecting the letter names to the picture of the letters, and spelling...yes phonics in a fun direct, explicit instruction way!

These are the pages I use whole group.  Click on the picture to see this product.  If you click on the preview, you will see all the pages!

I use the small word sheet for individual students to use!  They love to copy words or use it during kidwriting.  Finding words is easy for beginning readers because they have a rhyming picture.  I also send a copy home!

  Just print on card stock and teach!