Friday, September 27, 2013

Five for Friday September 27!

I think this school week was accidentally eight days long instead of five.  Anybody else?  I had lots of meetings and Open House/ Curriculum Night, but still, I am pretty sure a few extra days snuck in there. I am also pretty sure I never once said that about any week in the summer... ;)

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday! Thank you for hosting! :)

Here are my favorite five for the week.

1. Roll and Read

I found a great new game  that  was shared on If You Give a Teacher a Blog.  She found this great freebie from Primary Essentials.  My wonderful mother comes in at center time, as  you may know, and she played this game with my groups to work on letter recognition and sounds, and even sight words with my top groups.  A child rolls a die, and if he/she can name the letter (or letter and sound, or give a word that starts with the letter...) of the number rolled, he/she keeps the letter.  If not, it stays on the number for more practice.

I thought this would be another good game for math number sense and addition/subtraction! What a great, versatile game! 


I love using the Africam in my classroom on the smart board. It is a site with live safari cameras 24/7. You can chose one camera, or watch them all. There is a BREAKING area (that red highlighted part) that tells you on the homepage if there are any live animals out and about. There are also taped videos of animals visiting the water holes in case you aren't seeing anything live.

We saw so many animals today! Must be it wasn't only my class who was active! :)  I felt better knowing that Africa was equally as active.  I love to leave this up for snack time and free choice. I put it on full-screen with the volume on, and hear the beautiful, calming  nature sounds.  Ahhh. (That wasn't saracstic- the Africam sounds ARE calming- the room- not so much! ;)

Kids Biology is a great site if you want to study the animals more. 

This is a really useful site with the focus on nonfiction in the CCSS. It is easy to use and fun for the kids.

These are some beautiful books about an African water holes that you could use to go along with this site.

This Kindle/Nook book is great for young children:

Baby giraffe comes across many of his Serengeti friends on the way to the local watering hole. As he travels he picks up friends along the way until he finally reaches his destination. This unique colorful picture book would be a great addition to any young child's book/ebook collection. This book is recommended for babies through children three years of age.

This next book is a beautiful counting book ( as well as science book and geography book) with illustrations that are so much fun to study:

This last book is fabulous, too.

My class loved the illustrations. Although the writing is beautiful and full of wonderful language, it was a little wordy for my class (maybe it was just my particular group! ;)  but easy to adapt and a perfect introduction to Africam.
Here is a review:
PreSchool-Grade 3-Richly colored pastel drawings and precise, surprising word choices make this story a natural for sharing with a group. A young vervet monkey, carefully supervised by his mother, waits impatiently for a safe time to drink at a busy water hole as the day passes and other animals of the African savanna come to quench their thirst. The delightful language adds enjoyment: "The silence pokes Monkey's ear"; "Sun lands on the horizon and tucks away its lower half." The beat of the text is palpable, moving from fast to slow and back, sometimes rhyming, sometimes joltingly not. However, as in Lynne Cherry's The Great Kapok Tree (Harcourt, 1990), the plot is secondary to an appreciation of the environment. The realistic illustrations are often from a monkey's-eye view, showing the belly of a running zebra and the gaping mouth of a crocodile. This is a must for studies of African animals or the savanna biome, and a gem for writing teachers.
Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ

3. Kindergarten Vocabulary

I have folders for every color and letter- old fashioned, paper  folders full of ideas! What I love about them is that they are full of beautiful pictures to show the children and full of opportunities to expand vocabulary!  It seems like for our color weeks, we learned a lot about different flowers and birds.  The pictures are great for conversations starters and real world connections, too.  Any time you have a few minutes, just hold up a picture and see how many hands go up with a story to tell.  Here is a kid-version of vocabulary from the week during free choice time:

Boy 1: "I don't even know what 'frustrated' means.

Boy 2: "Well, what it means is, the more you nag, the more we say 'no.'  

Do you think he has heard that a time or two?!

4.  iPad iDea

Probably most of you do this, but it has worked well for me, so I thought I would pass it on in case you haven't tried it.  We have five iPads in the classroom.  Since some games require students to sign in and continue where they left off, I have certain iPads assigned to certain students, one from each group as we switch. I take a picture of the students who will always use a certain iPad and use that for the screen saver.  Ta da! They always know which one to use.

5.  Making Paula Deen Proud

We made butter in class yesterday (one of my all time favorite days of the year for some reason!), and I blogged about it here. I love it because the kids are so enthusiastic and amazed.  When I poured the butter out of the baby food jar, one little boy said, "That looks just like Red Lobster butter!" It absolutely did look just like that scoop they put on a baked potato.  Yum. 

 I made a book to read with the class that you can get if you click on this picture below:

I also made a book for my children to make and take home.  You can get that one if you click on this next picture.  It has two versions of the student books.  The first one is the one I used with my class. The students glue the correct pictures on the page. (I put the pictures that I used at the end of the document, so you can print out as many as you need.)  The second book has the picture on the page, but leaves lines for the student to write the "how to" part to go with each picture. This would be better for older children.

Oh, Paula, you are right... butter is delicious.  

Have a wonderful weekend!  :)

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