Friday, October 2, 2015

Five for Friday October 2

Happy October!

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

Before we start, here's a byproduct of my little eyeball obsession.  For some reason, I am so amused when I put eyes on things.  I found these big pompoms that I had never done anything with, in my closet, and made Pompom Pals.  I put a magnet on back.  I have no idea why and have no plan for them. It just seemed like they needed eyes.  Today I let the kids play school with them and sort color pictures.

Maybe some days, I'll pull one out and have a Pompom Pal watch us work. Pompom Police...

See, this picture really amuses me...

Apparently, it's a REAL THING- called Eye Bombing.  Who knew?

 Anyway, on to my favorites for the week!

This is a great way to practice beginning and ending sounds, and hearing sounds in words to practice writing.  I have three different "junk boxes."  This is the contents of one of them- just to show you.  I put together very random things in a bin.  I always have one of these bins by my reading table.  When we finish a few minutes early, it's a great way to quickly review.  I tell the children that if they can tell me the beginning sound and letter of whatever I pull out, they can keep it in front of them on the table.  That's all.  They love it!  For my more advanced students this time of year, I go around again and have them tell me the ending sound they hear.  As the year progresses, you can use this for lots of things. Some mornings for morning work, I put out 5 things on the front table.  The kids have to hear all the sounds they can and write the five words, the best they can.  OR they can pick one of the items and write a sentence about it.  Maybe it's the randomness of it all, but it's fun for them! 

Here is a quick little recording sheet I use.  Right now, just one side (up to 5) is great.  Later, we can work up to front and back up to ten.  

We've been working on names for a while now- as I'm sure you have been, too.   When we begin the year, I have everyone sign in as they arrive- so I can keep track of what parts of their names they need to keep working on.  It's funny how we can work and work on one capital, then all lowercase letters- and I think they "get it."  And then they sign in the next morning in all capitals again.  Hmmm. That's why I like the sign in- it's very authentic.  When they come to me and I ask them to write their names, they can perform, but what I really want to see is what they do naturally.  That way, I know what to focus on.  

I just keep a list of the students names, and write the letters I want to reinforce with them beside their name.  During free choice time, I call them over one at a time, and we practice. 

This week, we have started focusing on our letters.  We work on one letter for about two days.  We work on all the letters and sight words all the time- but I really concentrate on the name, sound, and formation for a couple days to make that letter the star- very special.   

So now, sometimes when they sign in, we will sign in with a letter.  They write 3-5 of the letters, then circle their favorite.  This gives me a really good, quick assessment of who has the formation down!
(Looking at this picture is the first time I realized that I have Rose and Jack- like from the Titanic!)

They also do a little graph as they arrive.  This graph combines name recognition and letters.

This is our morning message each day for the first few weeks.  I like to use a predictable morning message so the children get used to knowing what it will say.  We read it together (with over-exaggerated expression) every day.  They are already telling me what exclamation points and periods are used for, which letters are capitals, and why we need spaces between words.  Having the two words that change each day is actually enough for them to practice seeing and getting their mouth ready for that first letter- and figuring out the word.  

It's quick and easy- and a great few minutes of learning!

I love this song from Harry Kindergarten about fire saftey!  So do the kids!

I posted LOTS of wonderful fire safety TPT freebies at my blog earlier in the week. Click on the picture below to go check them out!

We were lucky enough to have our monarch hatch this week!  We only had one caterpillar, thanks to one of my little sweeties from last year looking out for me.  They were so hard to find this year. 

Here is a little monarch life cycle activity that we always make on orange day.  I trace the monarch shape and the children cut it out.  I have the bodies and antennas cut already.  

I don't have a copy of the sheet I use for the monarch stages, but I found one at Free Coloring Pages that would work great.  

I love these pictures of the life stages!  Next year, we may just use these photographs.
We also watched our monarch life cycle videos on my Fun in Fall Prezi. I told you - I really have two or three Prezis up at a time in my class.  I used to use them on our Smartboard- and loved that.  Now, we have Apple TVs with 80 inch televisions instead of the Smartboard, so it isn't interactive. Whatever is on my laptop, I can drag over to the TV.  So then, I spend minutes ( that seem like reallllllly lonnnnng  minutes when the kids are watching me) trying to find the mouse on the TV when it jumps over from the laptop.  It's sort of comedic-the kids are saying, "There it is!!!" and I feel like I'm looking for Waldo.  It is so much more time consuming to try to type something in and bring it up on the TV than to just click on a link in the Prezis.  Thank GOODNESS.   

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Letters and Sounds is the other Prezi I had up this week, because we watch those letter videos any chance we get to reinforce those letters and sounds!

One last adorable thing to share!  Our lunch/playground aide extraordinaire, my friend Charmane, made these darling decorations for our lunchroom- candy corn bats and owls!  

Thank you so much for stopping by!


  1. Wonderful blog post, I always enjoy reading about the fun engaging things you are doing in your classroom.

  2. Those owls and bats are too cute! Is there a template she used for them? They would be fun for the kids to make.

  3. I will check with her today to see if she used a template, and let you know! I'll add it to this post if I get one. :)


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