Friday, February 6, 2015

Five for Friday February 6

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

We had a snow day on Monday, and then two two hour delays this week.  I have to say... our schedule was messed up, but I did love it so- not so much the shoveling and snow that went with it, but I guess I'm not going to get a delay for sand and sunshine!

We did this little "Love is"  writing activity this week. First we talked about what love is to us, and shared ideas with friends.  Then, the children wrote whatever they wanted, starting with "Love is."  I took each child's picture making "I love you" in sign language, and then they made a little frame around it.  Simple and sweet, and a good chance for the kids to remember those spaces and punctuation marks.

I also  posted about our How To Heart books here. We have lots of fun making hearts now. They are everywhere throughout the day.  Randomly. It makes me smile.

Recently, I've seen several posts on facebook asking about how people manage assessments for their students.  Since we just finished our second round of report cards, I wanted to share again how much our kindergarten team has loved using ESGI as an assessment tool. 
Here is a visual: 
Assessments before using ESGI...

And... Assessments AFTER using ESGI:

Yeah, it's pretty clear.  

I posted ALL about the benefits and some examples of what ESGI offers HERE.  If you want to learn more about ESGI and to get a  free 60 day trial of the software, click here. If you like using it and want to purchase the program, you can use my special PROMO CODE  B1119  and receive $40 off your purchase for the first year. The price is usually $199 a year, but with the promo code, it will be $159 for the first year. Check with your administration because they may be able to purchase it for you.  They can use the code and get it for $159 for the first year, too.  Enjoy!

We had so much fun playing our new "Secret Word" game!  I did this with a small group of four.  I had four bags made up with magnetic letters- each with letters for three of the same words and then one different secret word in each bag.  The children knew the three words but not their special secret word.  They had to dump the letters and quickly build the three words on the magnetic board. Then, with the left over letters, they had to figure out their secret word.  Each child tried to be the first one to discover his/her secret word, and shout it out.  They had a ball!  Finally, they had to write all of the words on their recording sheet, including their secret word. You could also have them write the words right on the dry erase board.  Here is a little sample of one group playing it.  (Except you might think this little sweetie's word is, "I won" because that might be what she says instead of her sight word...oops.  We take games seriously sometimes...)

Here's a simple little recording sheet I made to use with the game.  I just had the kids write each of their words twice.  You could also have them write right on the whiteboard. Click the picture if you'd like a copy. 

We are really working on listening to each other in our class.  I am thinking some adults may have missed this lesson when they were in school- not only listening to children, but to other adults, but that's another post I will never write.  ANYWAY...

We're having lots of fun with it, so I thought you might like it, too.

I have the kids get into Chit-Chat pairs. 

 Each person must ask their friend a question, LISTEN, and remember the answer.  Then, the other partner asks, LISTENS, and remembers.  

After a few minutes , I say, "Class, Class."  Everyone says, "Yes, Yes," and it's quiet.   No more talking.  Then, I go around and ask each person to tell me his/her partner's answer- with no help. We started off very easy with "What is your partner's favorite color?"   Then, we moved on to favorite holiday, favorite zoo animal, favorite farm animal, favorite dinner, favorite breakfast (with more details, like what KIND of cereal, what do they like on their pancakes...)   It's not as easy as it seems at the start.  They are getting great at it now.   Hopefully, it will help them in life forever, to realize  how important it is to really listen, and how much more special you feel when you think someone is truly listening to you.

Number 5 had to be this new song, Give Me Five, from Rocking Dan Teaching Man!  It's perfect for reminding the children of the combinations that make five. 

Between this and The Friends of Ten, my kids have gotten to be so good with facts to ten!

Every day during our morning meeting, we count the days we have been in school- like probably all of you do.  Last year, I started adding ten frames to our counting.

 As we get up in the number of days, we count by tens instead of ones some days using our fingers. The kids flash ten fingers for each ten that we count.  Then, when we get to the ones part, I have them show me that number with their fingers.  For example, if it is 47 days, they flash ten fingers four times as we count ten, twenty, thirty, forty, and then I say, "Show me 7 fingers."  This is fun because they can see that more than one answer is right- 3 and 4, 4 and 3, 2 and 5, 5 and 2.  Then, I will call the leader of the day up to help me show how it can also be zero and 7, 7 and zero, 1 and 6 or 6 and one.   It's such a simple, quick activity, but the kids have really loved doing it, and it reinforces those number facts. The "one" days (like 51) are fun, because it's only zero and 1, or 1 and zero.  They think that's funny.  I love how that is funny to them.  This was Wednesday- day 95.

Our amaryllis is GROWING like crazy! We're having fun with it.

Have a happy, healthy weekend. Thank you for stopping by!


  1. Wow, there are so many fun ideas in this post! Love it! And I especially love the Secret Word game that you posted, too! And the photos of the children's writing are so precious!
    Thank you for sharing all of this!
    Heidi Butkus

  2. Your students writing on what "Love is" are just so precious. You can't help but smile when you read them. I am totally going to have to try your secret sight word game. Some of kiddos are pretty competitive so it should be interesting. So do you use WBT? Maybe I have asked you that before. I use most of it and really love it. Great lesson on learning to listen by talking with their partners. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    Luv My Kinders

  3. Hi Carolyn! What a fun post! I'm going to try your writing activity with the kids this week. We just learned our diagraphs and it's time to see if we can handle spelling when!! Love the sight word game!! One of the most valuable life skills is learning how to listen. It's an art. A good listener makes you feel like you are the most important person in the world!! Oh, and I also love the ten frame counting. I do it on the floor with the kids and it's just too crowded with 28. The bulletin board works much better!


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