Friday, October 30, 2015

Five for Friday October 30

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey! 
Happy Halloween! Happy Extra Hour this weekend! 

I sort of felt like this was me all week trying to keep my kids' attention with Halloween, the full moon, life in general when you are five...

Toddler Struggles To Clean Up Tennis Balls
When you do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result... :P
Posted by America's Funniest Home Videos on Thursday, October 8, 2015 

This week was my wonderful sister's birthday!  I'm so lucky that she lives nearby, and we get to see each other a lot.  I so appreciate knowing someone always loves me and is there for me no matter what, like my parents and my sister, and my family.  

You know who else had a birthday?  Jaclyn Smith.  She turned... 70!  SEVENTY.  I am picturing her showing up at a class reunion looking at everyone, thinking, "WHO are these people who look seventy when I absolutely do not?!"  

 She's always been one of my favorites.  Here's proof:

I had this book since- forever...I looked it up. It came out in 1987.  So I'm sure I've had it since 1987.  My daughter Emily and I went to see Jaclyn Smith at a furniture store nearby, probably ten years ago now! She signed my book for me then.  Emily and I had such a fun day that day.

 I MAY have collected Charlie's Angels trading cards... and I may still have them. 

More true confessions... I always wanted to play her when my friends and I played Charlie's Angels, which was all the time.  I was always Sabrina, AKA Kate Jackson, for those of you who may not have been obsessed know. Kate Jackson was nice and everything, she was just not Jaclyn Smith.  I knew Farrah was way out of reach because one of the three of us who played together was blonde, so she knew she had that one in the bag.  

Happy Birthday to my sister Alexis, and to Jaclyn!

OK- on to school stuff.  Does anyone ever feel like this with Writing Folders?

I get the idea of them- I just sometimes like the kids to focus and finish something.  Too many choices for them is overwhelming.  Plus, I like to collect their books, look at them, and  write little notes for the next day on sticky notes so I remember what they are writing about and  what little mini lesson I want to focus on with each of them as I conference.  

Today we took a break from writing our books.  Every now and then we just need a little break.  We did a great activity about adding details- and the kids had a ball!

We read hat books. Today we read the first two- Whose Hat is This and Jennie's Hat

Whose Hat is This is very simple, but was a great introduction for our lesson.

Then, I gave the children a page from my Do You Doodle? book.  This book is so much fun for the kids.  It's great for morning work or independent centers.  It's also so good because each child completes the pages exactly to their ability.  Some who can add more and more, do.  Some who you know can write a little about the page, do that.  Others, who are just trying their best, can be successful and have just as much fun with it.
(Here are a couple  example pages from the book.)

We did the hat page.  It's just two hats on the front ( a pirate and a cowboy) and two hats on the back (a clown and a wizard.)  The children had to draw WHO was wearing the hats.  It was fun to do with Halloween coming up, too.  

First, we talked about who would wear each of the hats.  Then, we brainstormed ideas about what we could draw that would be special to each of the people (i.e. The pirate might have an eye patch, a hook hand, striped pants, a parrot, a gold tooth, a speech bubble saying, "ARGH.")

 We also had a good discussion about what size the head should be to make it look right and fit the hat.

The pictures came out so cute!  I can refer back to this lesson when the children write their books, and remind them how much the details helped when they drew these pictures. 


 I loved his gold tooth and hook hand. The cowboy reminds me of a Rugrats character. 

 I LOVE the witch on the broom and the cat on the back!  

This book has so many great doodles in it, I use it a lot.  But, you could probably easily make a hat paper like this if you wanted to try this activity out with your class!

Playing school is the FAVORITE free choice center.  They practice sight words, letters, counting, reading, and talking like me. 

It's funny hearing yourself in their words and expression.  The other day, one of my sweeties wasn't feeling well all day.  So at free choice, I heard her saying to another little girl, "Honey, do you think you can make it until after center time?  Maybe if you get a little drink it will help.  Just take it easy and we'll see how you're doing. Let me know!"

It's always a great reminder for me, too, to always think what I say and how I say it, because they are like little tape recorders, ready to play you right back!

I can't say enough how valuable free choice time is for children.  They get the chance to freely explore what they have just learned and try it out.  It's perfect. For the School Center,  I just switch out what's in the Teacher Bins every so often to keep it exciting- magnetic letters, numbers, shapes, different sentences on strips, letter cards, sight word cards, dry erase markers/boards, some leveled books...  If I want them to review the reading strategies, I put the reading buddies beanie babies in there, and they tell each other what they are for- without me even asking them to!  Pointers are always a favorite.  

Here is another fun packet I use for either a center activity or free choice. It is from Kindergarten Lifestyle.   I've used it a couple years, and the kids love it!  It gives the building center such purpose.  I love to take pictures of their masterpieces after they're done.  Knowing that I have a picture and their hard work is "saved forever" that way always makes taking apart their structures much easier.  

I just printed the "I Can Build" pictures on cardstock, cut the pictures apart, and put them together on a ring.  I made two sets so the kids can work in partners for center time or in small group, and each have a set of cards. 

This article goes along with my  huge belief in playing to learn.
It's a  really interesting article about Delayed Kindergarten Enrollment, and giving children the "gift of time."  Here is a little excerpt:

Delaying kindergarten enrollment for one year shows significant mental health benefits for children, according to a recent study. Researchers found that a one-year delay in enrolling a child in kindergarten dramatically reduces inattention and hyperactivity at age seven.

Researchers found that children who were held back from kindergarten for as little as one year showed a 73 percent reduction in inattentiveness and hyperactivity compared to children sent the year earlier, according to this new study on kindergarten and mental health.

Of course there are exceptions where it's best for children to be in school instead of at home, but I don't think this is even what it's saying. I think even more than the physical act of being in school is the fact that children are just being pushed too far too fast.  Yes, children can perform  and try to do what we ask of them. They are capable of so much.   But that doesn't really mean it's best for them this early.  I so strongly believe that children need experiences and experimentation in kindergarten.  Then,  everything will come together much easier for them- when they are more developmentally ready to do the tasks we ask of them.  So many of my kids "go through the motions" and do what I ask them to do, but don't really understand why with some of the academics we teach in kindergarten.  They totally understand those same concepts when we play a game or learn with hands-on activities.   
I finally finished my Alphabet QR Code Packet! I made a QR code for 5 video songs for each letter of the alphabet- one from ABC Mouse, Have Fun Teaching, Sesame Street Podcast, Storybots, and KidsTV123.  I also included 16 alphabet and phonics songs. 

I've been working on this for a long time. I've been taking in parts of it for the kids to use as I finish and they're loving it.  

I have several who just plain need those letters and sounds reinforced whenever and however they can be!  I'm sending one letter page home a night (from the letters I know my certain kids need extra help with), at different times, for the kids to listen to at home. They are having so much fun with this!  I sent a note home to the parents explaining that they could download a free QR code reader app- and they've been having a ball.  I figure it's one more way for them to see those letters over and over. 

Don't forget to set those clocks back! Thank you so much for stopping by.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Five for Friday October 23

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

Today I wanted to share one of our favorite Halloween poems with you, that I turned into a little book for the children to make.  

This is Jack-O-Happy.
This is Jack-O-Sad.
This is Jack-O-Sleepy.
But Jack-All-Broken in pieces small,
And baked in a pie is best of all.
Yum! Yum!

I used to make this poem on a one sheet poster.  I printed the four pumpkins and pie shape on orange paper.  The children drew on each expression that matched the poem, then cut out the pumpkins and the pie.  Then, they cut a few scraps to make the pieces of pumpkin.  Finally, they glued the faces onto the right spot on the paper.  This is a great activity to practice drawing emotions, cutting, and acting out emotions when we perform the poem.  

HERE is a copy of the one sheet paper activity if you'd like it. 

I enlarged the paper to 11X14 when I printed it. The download has the poem and pictures all together on one sheet, and other sheets have only the poem on one page and the pumpkins on the other, in case you wanted to print that on orange paper, or if you want the children to draw all the illustrations! 

I also made it into a little book.  Just click HERE if you would like a copy of the book.  Here are the pages. Just copy them one sided to two sided, and then fold it in half and staple it together.

When I want the class to quiet down, we do the poem with only motions and no words.  They love that, too.  I love when they scare me with no words.  Their little hands go crazy!  Sometimes, we can't resist the "BOO," so we do all motions except for that, "BOO."  Believe it or not, it still quiets the kids down!

Here's a little tip I've been using for Writer's Workshop that has worked really well- so I thought I'd share it!  I KNOW the kids are supposed to have writing folders- with anchor charts inside for the kids to use as reference. And they do.  BUT- by the time the kids have their books spread out, and folders everywhere- and then papers here and there- it's a mess and there isn't room to write.   (Maybe it's just me and my kids.) But, they don't really use the anchor charts much anyway- so I typed the lowercase letters and our sight words on a PDF document- just simple.  I took a screenshot of it, and saved it as a photo.  Then, I just project that photo on the Apple TV (or Smartboard) so we can all see it and use it for reference during writing.  I have a word wall, too- but this is just another place to look.  I collect the books after they write anyway, because I go through them and make sticky notes for myself  to use to work with that child on the next day.  I use the folders totally wrong mainly after we complete books to save them, or in case we want to go back and revise. 

I also put this picture on my Primary Writing Prezi, so I just zoom in on it and leave it up.  But you don't need to use that- you could just project the picture of whatever you want to use for reference.

This next idea was from a mom in my class.  She sent in coffee filters for bowls for snack! Maybe you already know this fun fact- but why didn't anyone tell me?!


This favorite of the week all started because I found these when I was grocery shopping:

So then, I wanted to have some great activities to go along with it. (If you give Carolyn Monster Snacks, she's going to want some activities to go with it...)  SO I thought you might want to do a little monster work next week too, and I wanted to share some fun freebies with you! There are LOTS of them, but these are the ones I used with my class, plan to use next week, or just want to save to use whenever I'm in a monster kind of mood.

I found these erasers at the Dollar Tree and got quite. a. few.  So... these will make a great sorting/patterning center, or great game pieces.(They are sort of a cross between monsters and robots I guess.)


I found this cute little rock monsters magnets idea at Coast Inspired Creations.  She has a tutorial about how she made them.  I am going to have the children paint the rocks, then I will shellac them and hot glue on the eyes they choose.  I have some larger stones, so some may become paperweights instead of magnets.

These handprint monsters are adorable from Meet the Dubiens.

I always love these blow paint monsters from Raising Sparks. They are so easy and fun for the kids.  I love how you just never know what they will turn out like! The children love when the colors mix. I have a roll of sticker eyes that worked well last year, instead of gluing on the googly eyes.  Sometimes they don't stay on very well for me unless I hot glue them.

Then, I had the fabulous idea to just stick on the sticky eyes onto a piece of blank white paper and make copies of that.  So I gave each child a piece of paper with four sets of eyes randomly placed on a paper.  They could make monsters around the eyes.  They had a ball! AND I didn't use up all of my sticky eyes- I just made copies of the one paper!  
 Make and Takes has a post about making these cute little monster bookmarks.

Erin Wing's adorable Monster Bookmarks are perfect to send home with books this week.

Little Monster Bookmarks

I love Jennifer Drake's How to Make a Decomposing Monster freebie to introduce the concept of decomposing numbers using our monster gummies!  The kids loved it!  I didn't make the monster box- but that would be precious.  
How To Make A Decomposing Numbers Monster!  PLUS Printable

We did this together as a class.  I was just introducing the concept to the kids- and they did so well with it!  

I love Rowdy in Room 300's Monster Mash activity.  I use "real" googly eyes on the big monsters, and the children did a great job reading the ten frames on her worksheets!

Monster Mash! {A One-to-one Correspondence FREEBIE}

Leslie at Kindergarten Works made and shared this adorable video about writing numbers.  It is about 10 minutes long.  It goes with her Monster Number Pack at her Teachers Notebook Store.

Math Coach's Corner has a Common Core: Think- Addition for Subtraction- Combinations to 5 FREEBIE at her store.
Common Core: Think-Addition for Subtraction, Combinations for 5

Kreative in Kinder made this cute monster dice game FREEBIE.  I am going to use it for RTI with my little guys who need some extra sight word help (or number help, or letter recognition help...). If they roll a three, they need to read 3 sight words for me before they can move 3 spaces.  
Monster Math Dice Game FREEBIE

BMore Teacher has these cute Monster Digit Cards FREE at her TPT store. If you don't want to use dice for the game above, you could just have the students draw one of these monster number cards.
or these FREE Number/Letter Cards from Nicki Thigpen.

Kooky Kinders has a cute Roll and Count Monster Teeth activity.  So much fun with candy corn.  I bet monsters do have candy corn teeth.  Pretty sure.  
Monster Teeth Roll and Count

Have you seen these cute little Kleenex tissue boxes with the monster theme?  I have saved different empty boxes to use for storing these numbers and monster related goodies.

Grade School Giggles has a fun Monster Number Word Matching Activity FREEBIE at her TPT store. It is for matching numbers and number words 0 to 29, with a recording sheet if you want the students to practice writing their numbers as well as play the matching game.

Mrs. W has an adorable Monster Positional Words activity that the kids loved!  
Monster Positional Words - Freebie!

Super Power Speech shared a great Monster Describing Game which was perfect to help the children see how important details are.

Monster Describing and Guessing Game (FREE)Monster Describing and Guessing Game (FREE)

My kids had a ball with Greg Smedley's Monster Mash Letters! I still have some who need that letter recognition practice, and this made it so much fun.
Monster Mash Letter Recognition!

Brittany Fasolino has Alphabet Monster Lower Case Cards and Alphabet Monster Upper Case Cards FREE at her TPT store.
Alphabet Monster Upper Case CardsAlphabet Monster Lower Case Cards
Melissa Freshwater has an adorable Monster Madness I Have Who Has Sight Word Game FREEBIE at her TPT store.  The words are clear and easy to read.

Laura Martin also has a FREE I Have, Who Has Monster Sight Word Game that is really cute.
I Have, Who Has-Monster Sight Words

You know what else makes good monster claw reading pointers?  BUGLES!   They aren't "free" at the store, but I just thought the idea fit in perfectly right here, so I thought I would share.

Andrea Nordhof has an adorable Five Silly Monsters FREEBIE at her store!

Lori from Conversations in Literacy has the cutest Monster Themed Sound Boxes FREE at her TPT store!

Talia Testa has a GREAT I Spy Sight Word FREEBIE at her store that I can't wait to use.

Kay Rose has a great Monster Madness WH Questions FREEBIE.  This will be perfect for having the children learn what questions are AND learn to answer a question with a complete sentence, which is something we work on a lot! I love this activity. She made it a game so that one student can ask another a question, and if the student gets it correct, he/she can color a monster!
I can't wait to use my Monster Manners FREEBIE from Growing Kinders this week.  This packet has great activities for discussions about good manners. My class loved it last year! I love all of Kathleen's products. We love to discuss each card and decide if it is a good or bad choice. I also love her little listening monsters.  The one listening with his heart is my favorite.  

Kindergarten Smorgasboard has these great Monsterously Good Behavior rewards FREE at his TPT store.

Monsterously Good Behavior 

Greg also has these great Monster Award Cards FREE! They would be so much fun for the kids to collect.

Monster Award Cards!

I will leave you with a couple Monster video must haves! 

The Groovie Goolies do the Monster Mash:

Ten Little Monsters by the Learning Station:

Thank you so much for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!

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