Friday, March 14, 2014

Five for Friday March 14

I am linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday. Thank you, Kacey!

It felt like much longer than one week since I linked up. I think that's because we had summer and winter this week. It was sixty degrees and sunny on Tuesday, and then snow/ice/wind and MINUS 10 degree wind chill temperatures on Wednesday. 

I saw some geese flying back.  Poor, confused things.  Sticking with the theme of confusion, here are my very random five of the week.

This project always makes me happy for spring.  I love to have these Spring Smiles up for Open House and Grandparents' Day.  The children love to figure out this challenge.  It's amazing how easy it really is!  I don't have this year's smiles up yet...I just took the pictures.    These are from last year. I can still remember every one of them. :)
Here is another project that made me smile.  We planted our grass seed to make our Crazy Hair People.  I took everyone's picture up close and printed them 3X5.  I used two sided tape to stick the pictures on to the styrofoam cups.  Hopefully we will have some hair to style soon.  I have some little tiny rubber bands that the girls love to use to make pony tails.  The boys love to give themselves haircuts. 
This is a reading comprehension strategy that is really for older students, not kindergarten- but I just shared it at our RTI meeting and thought I would share it here, too, just in case anyone can use it. I used it with an eight year old last year who needed some extra help with comprehension.

My little eight year old was having a hard time understanding what she read and having a hard time actually finishing what she was supposed to read. (I am just using Fox on Wheels as an example text to demonstrate what I mean because I had it here. )

When I worked with my little girl, I had her use these little post-its at the bottom of each page.  She had to put a green post it with a  period on it at the bottom of the page if she understood the whole page.

 She had to put a yellow post-it with a question mark on it at the bottom if she had a question.  (She didn't have to write the question- because that would be too difficult for her, and take her away from my focus for her which was reading.) 

At night when she read on her own, she had to do this for each page so that we could discuss it and see what she came up with the next day. We reviewed what she had read, and then looked at the yellow post-it pages.  She reread to find what question she had about the page, and we talked about it together.  Putting a post-it on each page really helped her to focus on one page at a time because she had a job to do after reading each page.

She was a little sticker lover, so next, I added a hot pink "!" post-it, that she could put beside anything that she read that was exciting or that she wanted to share with me.
After a while, I had her use the post-its every two pages. 

This was a wonderful reminder for her that she had a job to do- which was to read and understand the text.  If she did not understand, her job was to ask questions, so she could understand.  This also helped her to think about the main idea of the story, because she had to really decide what each page was saying.

I had a lot of success with this strategy.  She slowed down her reading and really had much better discussions about what she read. 

This strategy reminded me of this:

And then this...

Wednesday we got out early because of ice- so we didn't have time for our math lesson in the afternoon.  Instead, I turned snack into our math lesson.  Poor kids- can't just eat a snack without learning...  Anywhooo- I told them they were going to have to take a math test. Frowns.  Sighs.  The test was a taste test to see which cookie was their favorite! Smiles. Relief.  My little snack girl brought cookie packages, so everyone got one of each kind of cookie. (She actually brought enough for each child to have an entire PACKET... but nobody needed six oreos at ten o'clock.)  After a thorough taste test, we made a graph of our favorite cookie.  Here is my REALLY UGLY functional graph.

I just taped the wrappers on top- no title or anything- so not an official graph, I know... It was very last minute, but we did so much math with these cookies, I was actually happy with math that day so I am overlooking the ugliness. Then, I wasn't going to even share the graph and pretend that I had made a perfect looking one, but this is the real deal, like "celebrities without make-up."

After we made our graph, we talked about more, less, most, least- and the dreaded "how many more?" question.  I called up different children to match up and compare two cookies to see which ones were left without a match. That was how many more.

We also did addition and subtraction questions with cookies.  We had just begun talking about greater than, less than, and equal to symbols, so we did some work with that concept, too. 

We are working on Opinion Writing this week.  I could have had them write about the favorite cookie they chose, and WHY, WHY, WHY it was their favorite cookie. We ran out of time, but there is always tomorrow!

I also had the children sort my bins of "things" from biggest to smallest, or smallest to biggest, with a partner during our center time.

  They had lots of fun sorting.  (The magnifying glass distracted them for a while because they had to study everything they found with it, but they managed to finish their task eventually, and find every tiny mark on each item using the magnifying glass in the meantime.)  First, we talked about (and I modeled) how to line up the objects by having them all rest on the same bottom line to get an accurate measurement.

Apparently,  the kids had a good time with our math for the day, because after lunch this was on my desk because I "made short days fun."   Yes- I gave it back... but I took a picture first. I am thinking this may have been a bribe to get me to use more cookies in math. 

We had so much fun this week talking about and drawing emotions.  The artist we studied this week was Rembrandt, because he drew so many different faces. Here is my "emotional post," which includes some great TPT freebies, from earlier if you missed it. 

Morning Glory Update!

Have a beautiful weekend!  Thank you for stopping by! 
I would love you to follow my Facebook page if you don't already.  THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Blow a Kiss


  1. Carolyn,

    I love the sticky note idea! I can see it being used in a kindergarten (because there's no need to write – you just use the symbol) but also at a middle school level. When I want students to annotate, I often photocopy sections so they can write on the page. The sticky note idea is great because they can write on the sticky note and the notes are categorized. Great idea!

    I also love the gummy idea! I know I would just eat them all at once though! lol!


    Teaching Voracious Learners

  2. oh I want a gummy bear for each paragraph I read too! That's so sweet!
    I also love the reading comprehension ideas!
    : )

    Whimsy Workshop Teaching


  3. Oh I would love to watch your kids "fix" their "hair!"
    And the comprehension idea - stealing it!
    And finally - I almost think you live in Kansas - if you don't like the weather, wait a minute. But we didn't have your extremes this week.
    Happy weekend to you.

  4. I love your sticky note idea!!! I have a few kiddos I'm going to try that with! That snack graph is great! I bet they loved that :) (by the way, I would like 6 oreos at 10 in the morning hahaha!) Let's hope for some warmer weather!!!!!

    Have a great weekend!

  5. Hi there! I had to laugh that you make your kids do math with their snack too. They don't seem to mind! The smile picture is really sweet and I love the grass heads. I haven't done those in years and need to try again! Your morning glories are really on their way. I HAVE to send you a morning glory hat!! I can't find crepe paper anywhere in our town, but when I do, you'll get a hat! Have a great weekend!

  6. Whoops! I commented as Steve!!! He hates when I forget to sign out of his email!!! HAHA. It's me, Carolyn, in case you're wondering who Steve is!!!

  7. I love your blog, so many great ideas! I think you bring some sunshine to the teacher blogging world so I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. You can check out the info on my blog post here.

    Teacher Will Run for Books

  8. I love that they left you a "tip" after such a fun day! It warms my heart how much our kiddos appreciate us even if not many others do! Great ideas!!! Thank you for sharing.

    Mrs. Spriggs’ Kindergarten Pond


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