Sunday, March 29, 2015

HUGE Giveaway to Celebrate Spring!

I am so excited to link up with some wonderful women for this Celebrating Spring Giveaway!  

We are having a fun give away with three wonderful prizes- a $100 Amazon gift certificate and a $75 and $50 TPT gift certificate!  So join in for a chance to win and celebrate with us!

When Marissa from The Inspired Owl's Corner asked if I wanted to join the party, I jumped right in, because today is my 2nd "Bloggerversary!"  So - time to celebrate!  I am so thankful that I started my blog, because it's been such a fun outlet for me and such a growing experience. I love sharing ideas with other teachers. I love hearing how other teachers have used my ideas. And I love learning from the other amazing teachers whose blogs I read every day.   Most of all, I have been blessed to meet so many fabulous friends from all over the country and the world through this blog.  

I'm so thankful that I decided to make my world bigger. 

Here is a little bit about my town.  I live in Owego, NY.  We always say, "Upstate," so people know it's not NYC, although, honestly, it is at the very bottom of the state, on the PA border.  So there you go.


 OR we say it's near Ithaca, where Cornell is.  Ever heard of it?
I grew up in Owego and have lived in or near Owego all my life.  I'm a lifer.  We were once voted "Coolest Small Town in America," which is a title we will hang onto forever, no matter that it was probably meant to be for only one year, and probably meant we had the most dedicated and determined contest voters in America.  We don't give up easily. 

Here's proof.  Look at the lower right corner to see who lives here...  It's printed on his shirt.  

Spring in our town means the ice cream shops open.  I don't think our calendars even  say, "First Day of Spring" on them.  I'm pretty sure they say, "Big Dipper Opens."   When the Big Dipper opens, that's all I hear in my class all day. It's a happy day. The Big Dipper is right at the bottom of the hill by my school, by the way.   
Owego Soft Serve is another happy place.  My daughter has worked here for the last six summers, through high school and college. She loves making people happy- so this is a perfect place to work. 
Want to know how much of a "lifer" I am in Owego?  My mom also worked here when she was in high school!  I love that.  

Spring in our town also means The Strawberry Festival.  It's a fun weekend with lots to do. We have many sweet little shops in town to visit.   I love the parade, because so many of my students are in it.  I love seeing their proud little smiles as they go by and wave.  

Another perk to my town, is that you can eat in the old jail in an actual cell...  Yes you can.  I remember going by this jail when I was little, in the back seat of the car, waving to the inmates as we were stopped at the red light.  Good times.  :) 

I have lots of freebies at my TPT store, including some of my favorites that I use all the time in the spring...

My Frog and Toad Prezi

Plus, everything else at my TPT store is 20% off for the next two days!

Thank you for stopping by and celebrating with me.  Don't forget to join in below to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 27, 2015

Five for Friday March 27

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

My class had so much fun Sticker Writing the other day.  I like to do this every so often for something different.  I let them choose their stickers and write on their own.  I collect these writing activities and use them to see exactly what I want to focus on with each child during Writer's Workshop. The kids love it.  I posted about it HERE. 

I wanted to share my Mother's Day idea with you early, in case you are looking for something different (and easy) to do with your class.  The bulbs take a while to grow, so I am going to start them when we get back from Spring Break, probably around the first week of April. 

All you need are some gladiola bulbs, short plastic cups, and some decorative stones. I found these stones at Dollar Tree. I got 6 bags- two with larger stones, and then four with this size smaller stones. I have 16 students, so I think this will be enough for them.

Have the child fill the cup about 2/3 with stones, then place a bulb on top. Be sure it is root side down so the roots grow down into the stones. (duh).  Add water, and keep adding water every other day or so as  needed.   

I had never done this before, so I started one to see  about how long it would take to see when I should start them for Mother's Day.  This is one week's growth, just so you can see.  

I also bought these artificial gladiolas at Dollar Tree so I could take each child's picture for the card to go with the plant.

Then, I had them write this on the inside to tie in the "glad" part with the gladiolas. Get it?! I hope the moms do!

This is my new favorite book.  I just LOVE Joone!  I love her.  First of all, she starts off with this:
That was the moment this became one of my favorite books.  How sweet. I would love to spell my name with a smiley face.  

Here is a description from Amazon:
Joone likes the color orange, ice-cream sandwiches, and playing outside. She lives in a yurt with her grandfather and her pet turtle, Dr. Chin, who rides around on her hat. Grandpa teaches Joone something new every day. Sometimes Joone teaches him something new, too, like how to make a daisy chain. Together they enjoy life’s small joys—sunsets, tree houses, and most of all, each other.

It's a perfect mentor text for narrative writing and small moment stories. Emily Moon adds so many fabulous little details about the characters that make them real.  It's such a great opportunity to show the children that every quirky little thing about them is what makes them who they are and what makes them interesting and unique. AND what makes a book fun to read!


I posted all about my strange love of the water cycle HERE. 
I think I love the Water Cycle song a little too much.  The kids just get so excited and feel so grown up learning about it.  Plus- the song is so catchy and sticks with me ALLLLLL DAYYYYY LONGGGGG.  But it makes me happy, and sort of reminds me of the songs we used to sing from School House Rock that taught us so much, but we just thought were fun to sing.  


I decided that this year I wanted to do something a little different with this song, so I taught it to my class in sign language.  No, I don't know sign language.  BUT- that didn't stop me.  Signing Savvy became my best friend because I figured out the individual words to the song, and put them all together.

We  practice in line before we leave the class. I will say, "Show me 'water.'  Show me 'cloud.'  Show me 'hurricane.'" (It's  a great way to have them quiet down, too!)

Here are some of the signs that I taught them that we use in the song:  water, water cycle, around, cloud,puddle, rain, up/down, sky, ocean, ground, river, glass, horse, Oh no, forgot,  person, well deep down, blanket, fog, warm/cold, trouble,storm, bad, see, look out, get out, grab, son, daughter, crash, boom, uncle, hurricane, hiding, garbage can.   Now, for words like "Some clouds look like cauliflower- that's cumulous."  I just had the children make a "c" in sign language for both, because I wasn't going to have them start spelling words like that!  For the most part, it was so easy and made sense to the children.  They love it.  I did teach them to spell "Dan" in sign language because there is a silly part they love with Uncle Dan.  

We only started last Tuesday- and I took this yesterday on Thursday- so...  here's some of their hard work in only a few days!  (It's the same song as the above video.) We are going to try to perfect it and film it when I am done for the parents, and then perform it for the grandparents as one of our songs on grandparents' day.  It's a great song to learn for Earth Day which is coming up!


In case you'd like more weather related activities... I posted all about clouds HERE.  These lessons go along with the Water Cycle and are fun to study, too.  These are both great for Earth Day!

Lots of ideas and freebies- more than you could use, but I just like having all of my options in one place and thought you might, too. 

You can get my Earth Day Prezi FREE at my TPT store.  I put together lots of my favorite videos and games to help get us ready for Earth Day!

One of my favorite activities this time of year is to have the children write a letter to the Easter bunny. I think that kindergarten is a time when the children like to see that there is a purpose for writing, so I take any chance I get to have them write for a reason.  The children could ask the Easter bunny questions or tell him about themselves. I had them leave the papers at their seats. After specials, they came back to a special "bunny tail" on their papers!

After they ate the tail, I glued on a cotton ball. I found this sweet paper here from Cupcake Project . You can download the black and white coloring sheet there.

You could use a marshmallow or white cheddar cheese ball. I just used a donut hole because it seemed like a donut hole kind of day.

Oh,  one more sweet thing-  my class won our Shoe Tying Challenge in PE class.

All four kindergarten classes had a challenge to be the first class with everyone able to tie their shoes.  We did it.  The sweetest thing of all was that we were down to two little friends who couldn't quite get it. (Thank you to my sweet, patient mother who worked with them so patiently... did I mention how patient she was?!) Anyway, instead of the rest of the children  being frustrated that we had one who just couldn't get it and was holding up our "win,"  today, when he DID get it, the kids treated him like the class hero!  He was so proud and excited.  I just loved it.  He was never embarrassed that he was last, but instead, he felt like he just saved the day.

The kids won an extra time in the gym with our wonderful PE teacher.  We had a dance party and played games.  I came in the gym and they said, "Mrs. Kisloski! She is playing your FAVORITE SONG! Get your shoes off and dance!!!!!"  It was "Old Time Rock and Roll" by Bob Seger- and it just made me smile that that was my favorite!  Who knew... The kids described it as a "perfect day." So- that was enough for me.

This made me laugh...  so true... poor things.

Thanks for stopping by!

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