Sep 14, 2014

Sunday Scoop

Today I am joining a fun new linky with the girls over at Teaching Trio.  It is just a quick snippet of the things we have to do, hope to do and are happy to do.  Why not join the fun and link up too!  

Well the countdown is on.  My son will officially move into the dorms at UC Irvine 2 weeks from today.  I cannot believe I am this oldOh My!  All kidding aside I am really going to miss him, but I am excited for him to start this new journey in his life.  We have to go get the last few things he will need for his dorm room. I don’t want to be stressed at the last minute so we are going to finish today!

I teach K, so what else would I need to do on a Sunday afternoon.  Don’t you all have to laminate and cut??  Lol,  I know I should be ready, but as I surf the internet on Saturday afternoons, my form of relaxation, I always seem to find some other activity that I just have to do this week....

Between my 3 teenage boys and my husband the laundry is never done!!  I do a load every morning during the week, or else I would spend the entire weekend in the laundry room. However, Sunday is for washing all the sheets and towels.  Fun, fun, funsaid no one ever! I am still waiting on my fairy god mother to show up to take over, but it hasn’t happened yet so in the meantime I get to do it.

I hope to get a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino when we are out shopping today.  Have I mentioned before that I might be addicted to Starbuckswell I love the PSL, but it was 104 here yesterday and it is supposed to be 102 today so I cannot get into a Latte.  BUTlast week when I was in my favorite place, where they know me by name, shameful I know, my favorite barista Kristin mentioned that you can get the Pumpkin Spice in a non-fat Frappuccino.  Did you know this??  It was like the angels were singinghaha.  Now I can enjoy my favorite flavor and be cool in this sizzling heat.  It is mid-September people, enough with the 100 degree weather already.

I hope to get a pedicure this week.  I know this seems a bit frivoloushowever with a house full of boys I need a little me time every once in a while.  Truth be told I haven’t had one since I went to I Teach K this summer.  I had gel polish done at that time so it would last.  Well I am embarrassed to say that it is now grown half off my toes.  EEWW!  I know, I know. I have clipped my nails so they are not a mile long, but this stuff doesn’t come off with nail polish remover.  I have to go in and they take it off with the electric nail file. My youngest asked me the other night”What did you do to your toes??”  Well nothingthat is the problem

The thing I am happy to dospending the day with the boys.  It will only be my youngest and oldest.  The middle son is not into the whole shopping thing.  Most boys aren’t.  My youngest is only going because he figures if he goes he will get something, even though we are technically shopping for big brother.  What can I sayhe is the baby and he is probably right.

Hope you are enjoying your Sunday!  Leave me a comment and let me know what fun things, or not so fun things, you are up to today.  Better yet link up!


Sep 13, 2014

Five for Fraturday! Loads of Apples!

Well it was another fantastic week in Kindergarten.  Just love my kiddos.  It is so exciting to see that many of them are really making fantastic progress. Once again I am linking up a little late with Kacey at Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday.

Our focus wall this week.

Again we competed our circle maps for the letters of the week.

Our Poem this week focused on environmental print, thank you Deedee Wills for such fantastic poetry units. 

 The kiddos all brought in words that they could read without help. 

Then they each got to put their name, beginning letter of their name, the card that started with the same beginning letter as their name and then the piece of environmental print that they had brought.  Each child “read” the poem by themselves.  They loved it and were so proud of themselves that they could read it without help.  Their little faces were just beaming. We have been working hard on teaching tracking, one word one point, and they were demonstrating this perfectly as they read.  They were begging to read it again and again.

 This week we, like every other week, were working on our sight words.  We use many different activities to work on these throughout the year.  One of our favorites is using our sight word songs from Heidi Songs.

Her videos are fantastic.  They are fun and engaging and the kiddos really learn from them.  They are perfect as a brain break too.  Also, they work great when you have just a few minutes to fill before your next activity.  Like if we have just 3 minutes until we leave for lunch we will do 1 or 2. My kiddos actually ask to practice their sight words, how great is that!

This is a sample of one of her videos from YouTube.  We have the DVD’s which are so convenient, you just click on the exact song you want and you’re ready to go.  I just keep the disc in my computer so we can practice at a moment’s notice. Easy peasy!

This week we were finishing up our unit all about apples.  So we did several apple investigations.  On Friday we did our ELA block then the rest of the day was apple day.  The kiddos had a blast.  I was a little disappointed that I had 5 kiddos out sick so they missed all the fun, but it was still great.  First up was to get our applesauce going in the crockpot so that we could eat it after PE in the afternoon. 

Each student got to help put one of the ingredients into the crockpot.  We turned it on and let it go.  By lunch you could really smell the cinnamon.

The finished product!  We used quite a bit of cinnamon, that is why it is brownlol.  The kiddos all loved it!

We also did a prediction on what the inside of the apple would look like.  However, I cut it crosswise instead of length wise like you normally would.  This creates a star in the center and the kiddos thought I was magic.  They were asking if I used a special knife and how I did that, it was so cute.  Then we recorded our observation.

The next investigation was to predict if an apple would sink or float.  After we gathered around the table and put the apples in the water we all went back to our tables to again record our observations.  We went over that it didn’t matter if you were right or wrong in your prediction, that is what scientists do.  They test things out to see what really happens.

Next up was our apple taste test.  We had red, green and yellow apples cut up.  They each tested all three apples and had to record if they liked them or not by coloring in the happy or sad face on their recording sheet.  Then they had to choose their favorite, write that down and draw a picture of it.

Then we made a bar graph of our favorite apples to see which apple had the most votes and which one had the least.

All of these super cute observation and recording sheets can be found here from Wild about teaching .

To finish out our week we did this super cute apple craft to celebrate Johnny Appleseed.  We had watched a video on Brainpop Jr. and read a book all about Johnny Appleseed as part of our study. So this was the perfect way to end our unit.  I am a little bit, ok maybe a lot, of a control freak so we cut, glue, color etc, each piece together and go slow so that everyone can follow the directions correctly.

I think they just turned out adorable! If you want to do this craft you can get the pattern for FREE here, thanks to The Bubbly Blonde Teacher! 

So how was your week?  I would love to hear. Leave me a comment and let me know all about it.  Don’t forget to check out Doodle Bugs teaching to see what everyone else did this week.


Sep 6, 2014

Five for Fraturday and a Freebie!

Well I just have the hardest time getting it together on Friday after school to join up with Kacey at DoodleBug’s for Five for Friday.  With 3 teenage boys there always seems to be some school activity or event going on.  So I am here linkin’ up a little late, once again, with my Five for Fraturday.  I have a little freebie for you at the end as a consolation for my tardinesshaha!

 I have a new theme song this weekI’m so excited, and I just can’t hide itI’m about to lose control and I think I like itthis is the Pointer Sisters in case you didn’t know.  I am a “music” person and songs just seem to pop into my head.  For all you from the “Y” generation I am sure you have never even heard of this song...just google it or check it out on YouTubeit’s pretty good. 

I digressthe reason for my song, and our first exciting thing of the week is the “huge” rug came from our Donor’s Choose project.  It is beautiful!  We all love it! My kiddos were so excited when they came into the room on Thursday morning.  They were tiptoeing around it like they were unsure if they should really step on it since it was so beautifullolthey were so darn cute.  We had the best carpet time ever.  They were sooo quiet, when they were supposed to beit was like the new carpet put them in a trance.  Everyone had their “own” rectangle to sit on and it was so soft and comfy.  We even read an extra book so we could sit on it a little longer.  We also may or may not have squeezed in a short movie on Friday afternoon.  We have made it through 4 weeks of school now! So we got to lay out on our carpet and enjoy a little Netflix. 

The picture doesn’t even do it justice.  It is so big I had a hard time trying to even get it all in the pictureand we all know I am not a photographer! 

This was our focus wall for the week and just some of the things we are working on. 

First up, our letters of the week Circle maps.

There aren’t very many things on our Hh map we got cut short on time due to an Assembly for student council election speeches.  I am at a K-8 school and everyone attends and votes.

Our shape this week was the square and we completed this fantastic book from Angela Wargo.

It is great!  She has a pack with all of the flat 2D and 3D shapes.  First we made an Anchor chart together, we were so busy I forgot to take a picture of itthen we made the book to review all the attributes of squares.

I was so proud of my little cuties using their academic vocabulary and counting the number of vertices on the square. Angela has a FREE book about Triangles you can try here!

A few of our favorite books from the week were.

This little book was fantastic for talking about manners and what it actually means to have good manners.  It was a great discussion!

We also read these great books to kick off our study of apples

Our poem of the week was all about apples too! This is from Deedee Wills poetry units.

The kiddos loved it as usual, plus it introduced subtraction as we took one apple away each time as we went through our Poem on the way down to zero.

We started our writing center this week and the kiddos were super excited. 

First we completed a label it activity as a whole class.  This way I knew they would feel confident when they went to the writing center with their partners during the week. We are going to model a different activity each week for the next several so we can set the expectations of what needs to be done when they go to this center.  So at this time there will only be one choice at writing. It will be similar, but not exactly the same, as the one we do together.

Once we have covered all the different activities that will be available to them at the writing center there will be 3-4 choices each time that they can choose when they go to this center.  This center is the wonderful creation of Deedee Wills from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.  It has everything you would need to implement a writing center in your class.  She has a theme for each month of the year, you can check it out here. It rocks!

I am so excited my kiddos are just doing awesome in the behavior department.  We use Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) in our room and one of my favorite things is our Super Improvers Wall. (Just ignore the lovely phone cord just hanging there in the

Each student has their own card and earns stars for positive improvement in ANY area.  This could be behavior, academic, being a good citizen.  You name it.  It is unique for each student.  It is THEIR improvement.  So our top students who are always doing well will strive to do even better to get another star on their card, while little “Johnny” who has trouble just sitting still can earn stars on his own level too.  He was able to go 5 minutes without interruptingetc.  Once they earn 10 stars they move up to the next level.  There are 10 levels and you can even make alternate levels with their picture on it if you feel you need to stretch it out more to make it the entire year.  As you can see we are all still on the 1st level.  I am usually pretty tough on earning stars in the beginning of the year and get a little more generous as the year goes on.  That way they push themselves to continually improve in all areas. 

This is a close up of one of my littles cards.  I love that these are in a 10 frame so it is reinforcing math skills at the same time.  They quickly learn to recognize how many more stars they need to move to the next level.  I got this cute jungle theme one for free here.  There are numerous different themes you can use.  The possibilities are endless!

Well I am a post it note girl.  I usually have them floating all over the place.  I saw this fantastic idea from my friend Amber at Mrs. Matsters' Kinder Love, she has lots of great ideas so be sure to check her out.  She had this super cute “To Do list” in a frame.  Then you can just write on it with a dry erase marker and you always know where your list is!  Genius I tell ya.  

Well, I had to have one that matched my room so I whipped up this little ditty.  If you like it you can grab it here for FREE.

If you made it all the way to the end thanks for sticking with this marathon post.  What were you up to this week.  I would love to hear all about it.  SO link up with Kacey or even better leave me a comment below.  Have a great weekend!