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!


  1. Hi Carolyn,

    I just love the way you talked the kidlets through the importance of putting things back where they belong. I am definitely going to steal your idea of toys in the cereal box when I have my new class in January. :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  2. Your promise to write a "Stars Without Makeup" post made my day. Thank you so much for writing a great post about beginning writing. All we can do is ask them to try their best and be brave. We'll keep trying!! Happy weekend, Carolyn! Glad your mom is well!!!

  3. This post was so relevant and helpful to me! Love your labeling lesson! And this week...guess whose 5 year olds put the play food in the DISHES bin? That's right... mine! I think that I need your cereal lesson! :)

  4. Love the info on labeling! And thank you so much for showing work that looks like what my kindergartners can do. I sometimes get disheartened when I see posts with multiple sentences and my kiddos are struggling to write beginning sounds!

  5. I love your post! I was just wondering what songs you used to teach about being brave writers! Thank you!!

  6. Love your labeling ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Where did you get your awesome labels for your centers? I have been searching for some like that and I have yet to find any! Can you link me up please? Thank you!


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