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Sunday, May 28, 2017

End of Year but NOT end of Learning!

 The end of the year is fast approaching, but we are still learning! Best way to keep behaviors from spiraling out of control! Keep them busy!!!

What are we doing to stay engaged?

We have started a study of insects. We are learning that they have 3 body parts and 6 legs! Great as we watch caterpillars turn into butterflies!
We pulled pattern blocks from a bag and graphed to see which was pulled the most and least!
Make it even more fun by adding a blindfold! We had to use our senses to describe the sides and angles. 

We use dice to practice writing numbers 1-6 or use a math template to make sure the they go in the right direction! We still mess this up in K!
We continue to work on "spilling beans" to find parts of a total! This type of numeration work helps develop fact fluency!
 Re-read stories that we know! It helps us practice fluency! Plus we are so proud that we can stretch words, reread and figure out words from the sentence/picture! Using all these strategies can be so difficult for beginning readers!
 Focusing on the sneaky, silent e makes reading more difficult books fun! We sort fun ice cream cones. This type of word work really focuses learners on looking through entire words!
Stretching and blending beautiful flowers keeps the learning fun! When we write the words we work on letter formation! Telling a sentence makes it more difficult, especially with nonsense words! You should hear those sentences!

I really think the students love this time of year because they are so successful and they do all of the work now instead of listening to me talk!

What do you do to keep learners engaged at the end of the year?

Monday, May 22, 2017

End of Year Gifts Cards for Teachers Giveaway!

TEACHERS!!! It’s been a long school year and it’s time for a Gift Cards for Teachers MEGA Giveaway! 

I teamed up with a bunch of cool teachers to reward 5 LUCKY teachers by giving away 5 $100 gift cards! 

You could win a $100 Gift Card to Target, Amazon, Erin Condren, or Teachers Pay Teachers! 

Good Luck! Enter Below:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Addition Math Fun

Practicing math skills can be so fun if taught using games! It is so much more fun than doing worksheets!
We had so much fun doing the Double Double rhyme when we rolled 2 dice! I think they heard us across the building! Check it out!
1st-Roll 2 dice! 
I made paper dice that had no 6. Our standard focuses on adding and subtracting to 10 so this made it easier. I do use a 6 if I have advanced students.
2nd-Student must tell each part then the total.
This is a great time to observe the students that need to count the dots! I am so excited when a few start to count from another number instead of all the dots.
Student-" 2 and 5....5, 6, 7. The total is 7."
Yes, I still have students that have to count each dot when rolled so more number and counting practice is needed!
DOUBLE-If a double is rolled, we do the rhyme from above and you should hear the cheers!
3rd-Record roll on recording sheet
This is such a fun game to work with addition facts, numeration, numbers, and number sense all in one stop! So fun! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Math Centers

We have been working so hard at math centers the past few weeks! The students have told me that this was their favorite thing to do! I think it is because they do all the work! I just help!
I am amazed at how they have grown in one to one counting, number formation, and the flipping/moving of shapes! We LOVE MATH! 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Give Away

TEACHERS!!!! Feel appreciated with our *****Teachers Pay Teachers GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY***** 

I have teamed up with other great teacher authors to give away 2 AMAZING prizes to 2 LUCKY teachers! Each teacher will win $60.00 in TpT Gift Cards!!! Enter below!
Good Luck!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Things Teachers LOVE

I teamed up with a bunch of great teachers to give away some great things I love!  Check them out and enter the rafflecopter!

I love these smelly markers and so do the kiddos!  I am always amazed that they seem to pay better attention when I pick them up to make anchor charts!
I always seem to use purple, pink, and lime green for any notes and smiley faces on papers!
I do not own one of these, but it is on my wish list!  Wouldn't it be wonderful to get it free from this give away!?!?
These make it so easy for centers!  Saves so much time instead of laminating, cutting, etc!
I never have enough of these!  I'm always so amazed at how many we go through in a year!
I love to use these for crafts and for centers!  Cool colors!
I love these pencils!  Always run out at the end of the year!  Never enough pencils!
LOVE TpT gift cards!  I actually won a $25.00 gift card in one of these raffles, and boy was it fun to shop!
Giveaway Organized by: Kelly Malloy (An Apple for the Teacher)
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Giveaway ends 5/8/17 and is open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, April 28, 2017

Owl Language and Math

The best thing about teaching is discovering new things with the learners! I loved the unit we did focusing on owls. The Owl Unit combined reading, writing, research, math, science, art and physical education. We also included the art teacher and created painted owls!
Hall display at end of lesson.
First, we read and discuss different fiction owl themed books.  One of my favorite books Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, was a student favorite. I was so surprised at how quiet and calm they were when I read it. The language and pictures are amazing!
They also loved Owl Babies. The video on YouTube is really cool!
 The we painted owls! It was messy but fun!
 After reading fiction books, we began our owl science study. We began with a schema chart.
The learners told me the facts they knew about owls, and I recorded their ideas on a pink post it note. I had to be very careful not to make faces at the wrong ideas so we could learn as we went. As we studied nonfiction owl books, we filled out a Can, Do, Have chart. Be sure to check out Epic for teachers for your research. It is a free resource, and I use it for fiction and nonfiction. When finished with the research, we moved our misconceptions and recorded new learning on yellow post it notes. This repetition is so important for learners.
Then we used kid writing to write 3 facts we remembered from our weeks of research. The students loved drawing an owl to go with the writing.
It was amazing to see the different things that were remembered.
During guided reading skill time, we blended cvc words on an owls nest then matched a colorful, cute owl picture.

We have really been focusing on letters and sounds so we matched capital and lower case letter to cute owl nests. It was so much fun to watch the students put the letters into alphabetical order. This easy game placed into a center at this time of the year needs minimal directions.
We even practiced number sequence writing.
Many more fun activities can be found it my Owl Unit. There is a physical education chase game that focuses on the owl food chain.
Hope you can check out this fun unit!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Playing Popsicle Game

Teachers need to remember that playing games is NOT a waste of time! It is an intelligent and purposeful use of class time! I can tell you so many things about a student's working memory, attention, and inhibitory control along with reading words in Popsicle Match!

 Match the Popsicle game told me so much about each student!
1. Read the CvC word.
2. Hop around the table to find the match.
3. Walk back to the line.
4. Wait patiently.
Waiting patiently is a difficult skill to practice. We practice belly breathing and self talk to calm down. Students say, "I can keep my hands and feet still. I can watch for my turn."

Students then must do a quiet activity.

1. Say the ABC's (go backwards for a challenge)
2. Listen for sounds.
3. Count 
We always tell what we are going to do before the game begins then reflect on what we did at the end; it is so important not to skip reflection time!

 Check out this fun video that shows how to blend the words, but the student reactions are even better!

 What fun games do you like to play in class?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Color the Jelly Bean Game

Math and working with numbers is one of my favorite parts to a day!  The hardest part is that is seems to take a lot of practice to keep numbers and quantities in the mind of a 5/6 year old!  SO how do we do it?!?

Play a lot of games!

Teachers need to remember that playing games is NOT a waste of time!  It is an intelligent and purposeful use of class time! We use the game Number Sense and Addition Math Games Jellybeans

Check out this fun game that is so easy!
1. Roll dice
2. Count dots on the dice
3. Find the number to represent the dots.

There are so many skills covered in this one game!  Numeration, one to one counting, numeral recognition, fine motor coloring, visual perception of line!

If you make it a game and students need to take turns, you add many other important skills!  Students work on attention skills because they have to watch and understand about taking turns.   Inhibitory control is practiced by waiting for a turn and not just grabbing the dice.  Working memory practice happens if you make them color a bean based on the color on the dice.

Students that master numbers 1-6 and understand the numeration, move to adding!  Two dice are thrown then must be added together to color the sum.
 Students must also try a number sentence before coloring! So they have to say,   "Six plus four equals ten." 

If we run out of time, the student that colored the most jelly beans wins so we are practicing more/less than!

What fun games can you play in the classroom to make learning magical?!?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Active Listening

Children need to develop strategies to effectively and efficiently remember auditory information to learn, especially in kindergarten.  Active listening needs to be taught so learners become responsible for success; it is not a passive experience.

Many times as teachers, we feel that students have difficulties "listening" and we spend so much time telling them to listen!  They may need to be taught how to do this important skill!
How do you teach students to listen?

1st-Establish "rules" for active listening!

  • body still (hug body)
  • voice quiet (pointer finger to lips)
  • eyes looking at the speaker (point to eyes)
  • ears listening to what is being said (not what you know about a topic) (cup ears)
  • ignore background noise and movement (use finger like binoculars around eyes)
  • don't interrupt speaker (pointer to lips then move finger out)
  • wait to ask questions (pointer finger "wait a minute" signal)

Be sure to discuss and review what each rule looks like and sounds like.  Practice by saying the rule and see if the students can do the motion.  Then do the motion and have the students tell the rule. Be sure to review and practice until it becomes habit!

2nd-Practice active listening

Tell a story and have the students tell it back making sure not to tell any extra information, only the information they heard from you.
 Dog story- I have a special dog.  It is a little, tiny dog.  It is all white with a black spot on its eye.  it loves to dig in the dirt and run around the house.  I give it food and water each day.  I walk my dog on a long leash.

Play Repeat Simon Says.
Play just like "Simon Say" but make the student repeat what you said before doing it.  Increase number of directions from 1, then 2, then three, as auditory memory gets better. 

3rd-Practice patience.

Be sure to provide times for students to focus on what they need to do to listen.
Students need to stand and wait some times! Check out how we Calm Down. Then we practice this skill as we wait in line for a turn.  It has to be practiced and discussed to help these skills occur naturally!

Here we are waiting to write on the board!  
Practicing active listening started with repeating the directions for the activity!
Ss-"Start at the top.  Say the letter and sound. Pass the chalk to the next person."

 We discussed ways to wait and to be patient.

  • Counting to 100
  • Saying the ABC's
  • Using self-talk "I can stand still.  I can wait my turn...)
Then we did the activity and put it all together!

Finally, we reflected on what we did!  Students shared what they did to wait patiently and what they could work on in the future!

What do you do to help learn about active listening?

Monday, April 3, 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dump Truck Work

Brought in my son's dump truck and my daughters letter blocks...we have a new center! Oh Yeah!
Pull out a block!  Decide which tops to use from the cube and place on an alphabet line! 

 Love to see how they work together and help each other!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Morning Meeting + Reading = Learning FUN!

Trying to fit everything into a day is near impossible!  Ask any teacher! So I love when I can combine 2 things into 1 lesson!  More bang for the buck as my dad would say!

I LOVE to combine Morning Meeting with Reading!

I have the student pick a card to stretch, blend, then read (some old timers call this sounding it out)!  The student then has to tape the card on his/her shirt.
Each student then walks around the room to find a partner.
Each partner must do some type of class greeting; we love to shake hands!!  We will change the greeting to make it fun each week!
The partner team has to take turns reading the other friends shirt!  Sometimes friends have to help each other!  Click here to see how we blend CvC words 
Partners then change and keep reading!  We work until we have greeted each friend or time is up!
This great practice has us talking and speaking to each other to start the day... and we practice reading!  I LOVE when we combine 2+ things!

What greeting do you think we should use?