Sunday, September 28, 2014

FREE Sight Word/Environmental Print Activity

I made this quick little activity for my class. They had a ball with it, so I wanted to share it with you. We have been working on our sight words and one to one correspondence, pointing to each word as we read. This was a good activity for both.  First, I modeled the activity for the class.  I pointed to each word and decided where I liked to go.  I cut out the environmental print word and glued it onto my paper.  When I was done with the "I go to" side, I pointed to each word as I read the page.  

Then, I turned it over and did the "I like to" page on back.  
This was great practice not only for reading sight words, reading environmental print, and pointing to each word, but also for cutting, using a glue stick, and completing the activity independently.  They had a ball. 

I printed out the writing on one page, front and back, and then gave each child a sheet of places to go and things to do.  They could choose their favorites.  When each child finished the activity, he/she had to read their paper to a friend and then to me. They also had to read it to someone when they got home.  The conversations about the places and activities were so much fun to listen to at the tables, too.  

Click HERE if you would like a copy!

I hope your kids enjoy it.  
Have a wonderful week!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Five for Friday September 26

I am linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Happy Friday!

Here are some of my favorite moments of the week.  My mom had surgery this week, and she and my dad are home and doing well, so that is my FAVORITE moment of the week.  So I was out a couple days, but we sure did a LOT this week!

We did a lot of work with labeling this week- starting with clean up time.

I label all of the bins with pictures of what treasures go inside, and then have the same picture on the shelf where that bin belongs. The kids are usually really good about putting things back where they go with this little system.

This is on the bottom of the shelf underneath the Lincoln Logs.
 For a couple days, though, my kids have been rushing to get cleaned up and putting things into the wrong bins.  I KNOW. Sometimes,  we will find Legos in with the Lincoln Logs (GASP!- I know!) or food in the pots and pans bin.  Can you believe 5 year olds don't actually care where things go?! Anyway, since their teacher does, we had a lesson.

I showed the children these boxes and asked what they thought was inside.  They guessed what it should be.  Then, I pretended to pour a bowl of Reese's Puffs into my cereal bowl, and army guys fell out!
We talked about how we know what's going to be inside because of the picture and words on the outside- just like when we clean up our classroom and put toys in bins.  What if someone brought a box of crackers for snack, and instead it was full of puzzle pieces?  What if you went to drink your milk from the milk carton, and it was full of mustard? You get it.  They got it.

Next, I brought some of our toy bins up front, and we checked how well we did sorting after clean-up time yesterday. While the children sat on the rug, I looked at the picture on the bin and talked about what I knew will be inside because of it.  Then, when I went through the bin and found something that didn't belong, I made a HUGE deal about it.  "This is the bin of cars to play on the car rug.  WHAT IN THE WORLD is this TEAPOT doing in here?!"  (OK- it was sort of funny when I typed that- because instead of the "?!" I accidentally wrote "@#?" and it looked like I made WAY too huge of a deal of it by swearing at the kids. Well, don't worry.  That didn't happen...

I had the kids turn and talk about why it's important to label things.  We decided that labels help us know what is inside of a box, and labels help us know what pictures are in our illustrations.
We made this label anchor chart.

We began our label books, just to get us working on putting words with pictures. They're off to a great start drawing pictures and hearing some sounds.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the smiles when they say they can't write, but realize that all writing is, is putting down sounds you hear. I like starting Writer's Workshop with our guided drawing books first to work on illustrations, using different colors, and adding details.  We try to add some letters to our drawings to label those. Today, I used lots of mentor texts to show examples of labels in books. Lots of books are good for this.  I have several color books I show and this farm machine book with some good labels.

These are  two books that I also  like to use:
Then, I modeled how I would  make my own book.  Finally, I gave the children their first blank books to make their own label books.  I had some very proud authors and illustrators! Here are a few so far:

 OK- this is for my dear friend Sandy, from Kinder-Gardening,  who I was talking to a few days ago about where our kids are with writing.   This little one drew a bear and then water going down a drain with a "really nice sink."  And, there were others with a lot less going on.  We were talking about how when we read blogs, sometimes it seems that every Kindergartener is writing novels, while ours are trying to figure out if "W" is a letter or number.  I assured her that at least when I show samples, they are usually the best ones, to show what I was trying to accomplish.  One day, I'll do a real post- sort of like a "Stars Without Make-Up" post with the less successful attempts.  But no matter what they look like, they are drawing, writing, using lots of colors, getting ideas down, DOING THEIR BEST,  BEING BRAVE, and learning all the while.
 Notice the "really nice sink." 

These are the newest bulletin boards I made for the end of our primary hallway.  My children don't know the names of the shapes yet, so I thought this would be a great way for all the kids to be able to practice saying their shapes each time they went by the bulletin boards.  Plus, I just love how adding eyes to anything makes it come to life and gives it a little personality.

I have the children each bring in a folder to use for their Writer's Workshop folder.  I have made such a point of telling the children that all I want from them is for them to do their best.  We have also talked a lot (and sung a lot) about being brave when we draw and write- and just trying!  The only way we learn is when we are brave enough to try something we aren't sure we can do, and keep practicing. Today I printed these little reminders and taped them onto their writing folders.
Here is a little BRAVE Prezi that you can keep up on the Smart board just as a reminder for the children.

It's a part of my Primary Writing Prezi that I use all the time during Writer's Workshop for one reminder or another!

My friend Anne shared a fabulous online book site on her blog, Common Core Connection.  I signed right up (It's free!) and wanted to share it with you in case you haven't seen it.  It's called Oxford Owl. The site offers 250 books from emergent levels to 2nd grade level.  Here are some of the pages that Anne shared to give you an idea of how beautiful the online books are.  I always love a new site like this! It's great for school or to share with parents to use at home.
We had our Curriculum Night and Open House this week.  We give a half hour talk about our Kindergarten Curriculum in our million degree classroom, and then the children just show their families around.  Our Parent Group sells food, and we have our Book Fair set up.  That's always a fun night.  The kids are always so excited to see each other when it is getting dark outside. It's special. Luckily, this wasn't our sign...

Here is one of my favorite pictures of the week.  I was taking our Pink Day picture, and went over to close the door before I took the picture.  This was my view from the back, as I was headed back. They just did it on their own. I LOVED it. (Don't feel too bad for my tie-dye friend- I'm sure he opted out of the group hug...)
I hope you all had a wonderful week.  Happy Weekend! Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five for Friday September 19th

I am linking up with Kacey at Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Happy, Happy Friday!

Here are some of my favorite moments of the week.

A teacher at school shared this site of  Math Tips for Parents  for all grade levels, and I wanted to pass it on! These are great to send home so parents know what types of activities you are working on in the classroom. They go along with the modules, but are good even if you aren't following the modules, and just want to share the CCSS information.

We worked on sorting and classifying this week.  We made our anchor chart, and sorted all "sorts" of things.

The kids loved the tangrams.  We made puzzles and sorted them by shapes. 

I'm doing some assessments this week, and noticed that naming shapes isn't a  very strong skill for lots of my little guys.  (Well, neither are numbers, letters, sounds, fill-in-the-blank-with-any-other-skills...)  But everything will come in time! I know it will.  

I found this idea from Fran at Kindergarten Crayons.  It was a perfect quick assessment to show who knew (and didn't know) shapes.  The only thing I changed from Fran's Pete the Cat, was that I made a hexagon nose, because I wanted to get a hexagon on there somewhere.  I love how different they all came out when they all started with the same bag of shapes!  I had the bags pre-made, with all the shapes they needed.  They had to follow my directions and put Pete together like a puzzle.  We did this in a small group.  At the end, they added the black dot in the middle of the eye, whiskers, and their name.  It was also a great activity for practice using glue sticks.

I also decided we would make a Shape Town to share different objects that are different shapes. I had the children bring in different shaped items to live in our town.  I have this out at our exploration table, underneath the "I Can Sort" anchor chart, so the kids can talk about shapes, touch them, sort them, and "get to know" them.  

If you would like a copy of my Shape Town picture and the parent note that I sent home, just click the picture below.  I printed my Shape Town picture on cardstock.

I  have several children who need LOTS of help with letter recognition this year.  I am working with a small group of children on a small group of letters.  I started with four letters.  I got all sorts of magnetic letters, rubber letters, and letter squares for the four letters we worked on this week. Any chance I get, I call up my little group to sort the little letters onto the big sheets as quickly as they can.  They have to say the letter each time they put a letter on the big paper.  
They do this right before recess, too- and surprise, surprise that is the fastest sort ever because they want to get outside fast!  We have so much fun with this. As they sort and say the letter name, I say the sound each time, so now they are saying that, too.  I hope it sticks.  It's fun- and seems to be working- until one of them throws out a "P" or "W" when we have been only saying "A,B,E,G" all week.  I try to end when one of them says a correct letter- so I feel good about myself.  Because, the next letter they say, may be "seven."  They are trying SO hard and doing so well.  

Does anyone else ever feel behind already this time of year?  I sort of felt behind on Day 2.  OK- Day 1, when I of course didn't get to all I wanted to get done.  I feel like there are so many demands on these little sweethearts to pass a Level D in reading, write four different genres of books, have a voice, form those letters correctly, add more details, add, subtract, compose numbers, decompose numbers, etc. etc.  that taking time to slowly enjoy a story or song doesn't feel "schooly" enough.  I have to constantly remind myself that my children are four and five years old.  They should not rush through these wonderful experiences and moments.

 I need to let them feel calm, relaxed, unrushed, loved, and happy.  I tell them EVERY DAY, many times, that all I want is for them to do their best. I really mean it.

But inside I feel like I should always be doing more- teaching them one more thing. If I feel good about a writing lesson (well, drawing and labeling with a letter at this point) then I haven't gotten to reading yet...  

I do know children are amazing.  They grow and flourish not only with the lessons we teach- that's only a part of it, but with love, patience, and time.  Oh- and laughter and fun.  Those are the best part. 

Here was one of my FAVORITE moments this week...

Our monarch hatched RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES!  Oh, what a miracle we got to experience.  The children were absolutely in awe.  We let his wings dry all day long, and then took him out to fly away.  You cannot put any price on the sweetness of the children spontaneously clapping as he flew away.  THAT is what they'll remember. 

The children were fascinated to learn how to tell the girl monarch from the boy monarch.  We watched all of our videos about monarchs on the Fun in Fall Prezi.
Our monarch had very distinct dots and thin lines on the back part, so we knew it was a boy.  We named him Milky, just in case you wondered...

We made some of our own monarchs to fly above the lockers.

Finally, here are a few more fun things we did with colors this week.  Of course Pete the Cat was Blue Day, and our monarchs were Orange Day.  (The chrysalis even turned BLACK on black day- right on cue!)

Ten Apples Up on Top for Red Day was a perfect introduction to 10 frames.  We had lots of fun counting and making different amounts on our magnetic ten frame.  We even did some adding and subtracting.

Look what wonderful Mrs. Leeby shared at her blog this week!  A perfect freebie to go with 10 Apples Up On Top.  I'm going to make this when we work on Aa and do some more activities with apples.  Thank you, Irene!  You can get your freebie HERE!

For Yellow Day, I had the children draw what they would like to be if they had a magic new yellow shirt after we read this story.  This was a great way to see where the kids were with drawing and writing.  Lots of the children know what they want to write, and some know the letter they want to write, but they just don't know how.  That's exactly what I wanted to see.  This one wasn't the norm... Honestly.  
Green Day is always my favorite.  I love reading Go Away Big Green Monster, and having he children draw their monster as I read, without seeing the pictures.  Then, I read the story (usually over and over and over) on the rug so they can see the pictures.   Finally, the children do their first sharing time, showing the monster they drew.  The great thing about this share is that there is always at least one fabulous part of each drawing- the big yellow eyes or the long bluish, greenish nose...  It's a great way to have the children start noticing good things about each other's work- (and not saying, "HE SCRIBBLED!")

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Little Blue and Little Yellow

We always start with mixing water after I read the story.

I love this idea from my sweet friend  Sandy at Kinder-Gardening.  I think I actually gasped when I saw this idea on her blog!  

 (I found it worked better for the mixing to make Little Blue a little smaller-otherwise the blue sort of dominated.)
This is what happened when they hugged

I put these right in Ziplock baggies and into the mailboxes so they made it home!

And of course, you can do  color mixing with paint!  Suzi has this  FREEBIE at her TPT store ready to go for mixing colors! I use cotton swabs and the kids have a ball.  We didn't do the paint mixing this year. 
I always make these great necklaces for the kids, because they love them. 

Finally, what would Purple Day be without Harold?  After we read some Harold stories, I have the children draw their own Purple Adventure.  I had them try to label some of the things they drew, or write about it - just to get them thinking about using letters.

Each day, I take a picture of us all dressed in our color.  I put these up beside our door in the hall.  I also make a Colorful Class Book- and a CRAZY Colorful Class Book with our silly face pictures. These are always favorites.
I hope you all had a colorful week of your own! Have a wonderful weekend!

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