Friday, July 15, 2016

Five for Friday July 15

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

I LOVE LOVE LOVE these Alphabet Anchor Chart letters from Lavinia Pop.  Oh they are wonderful.  She's done a beautiful job with each letter and sound.  The set has a black and white version, colored version, and colored version with a chalkboard background.  She has the soft C and soft G sounds, too.   She also has a Lowercase Letters Set and a Numbers Set.

I am going to use the "K" to write  'K is for Kindergarten' across the top of the lockers.  If you click on the picture, you can see the letters better.  I'll put up the finished lockers once I get closer to school and closer to finishing.  I just wanted to show you these letters as soon as I could!
I also love these beginning sound coloring pages from The Measured Mom!  They're free.  They would be great morning work pages for the beginning of school, and they go right along with my locker letters.  It would be fun to make a little book of each child's name with each letter page- capital for the first page, then all the rest of the letters of the name.  

Dr. Jean and I finished our Going Green Packet! I love this one. I use the ideas in it a lot throughout the year.  It's great for Earth Day- but I use lots of the ideas in the fall, too.  It's always a good time to remind children to be kind to the earth.  Here are some samples of what it's what it's like!    

The Prezi...

I also revamped my Eric Carle Unit.  I had a separate Prezi, writing prompts, and QR codes (with videos scanned on both ViewPure and Safe Share)- so I put them together and redid some things- I love it!  My class LOVES Eric Carle books.  They are so great for so many things. I love using them for illustration lessons and science. Every book ties into a science lesson so well.  Here's a sample of this packet...

The Prezi has videos  to go with 21 of Eric Carle's books.  I use this to reinforce and add to each book we read.   
Finally, I just want to share a few words of wisdom for any new teachers out there- or any teachers! Last week I was looking through some of the few pictures I have from when I taught 30 years ago.  (I taught kindergarten for 4 years, then stayed home to raise my own children- then went back to teaching kindergarten again 9 years ago.) 

I posted some of the pictures on Facebook, and have had the best time reconnecting with families. People have commented, shared them with friends of friends who know the children in the pictures, and become friends with me on Facebook because of these pictures. 

It made me realize more than ever, that although you think you are teaching 4,5, and 6 year-olds (or any age for that matter!), you are also teaching future 30, 40, 50...year-olds, with memories of your year with them.  You are making memories for your students every moment of every day- whether you realize it or not. 
It's not usually the expensive, well-planned parties the kids remember - it's a particular moment or experience in the classroom- good or bad; positive or negative.   
We have the chance provide moment after moment of happy, positive memories for our students that they can look back on or even share with you years later, if you are lucky.  Make the moments count.  Make happy memories.  These children grow up to be awesome adults before you know it- and you have the honor of being part of their lives.

My sweet "boys" in this picture are now 33 and 34... And they will always be the sweet, happy hearts  I remember when they were five!

Have a wonderful weekend! Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Five for Friday July 8

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

I found another book.  I know.  I can't help it.
This one is fabulous.

Here is a little synopsis of the book from Amazon:

This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child's confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who's ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult.

The story starts out with a simple "idea."  
One day, I had an idea. 
“Where did it come from? Why is it here?”
I wondered, “What do you do with an idea?”
The idea and the child become friends as they share secrets. The idea shows the child how to walk upside down...
“Because,” it said, “it is good to have the ability to see things differently.”

Finally, in the end...
It's such a well-written, well-illustrated story.  I love how Mae Besom, the illustrator, uses color. She uses it very sparingly in the beginning- when the boy is unsure of himself and his idea.
Then, she lets the color explode as the boy's confidence does.

Here is a video of the reading of the book.  Can't you just see how wonderful it will be for encouraging your students with their ideas during writer's workshop?  It can be a really deep book if you let it be, or with young students, it can be simple, too.  Just don't make it too deep for them!

Where do ideas come from? 
Why did it take so long for the little boy to share his idea with others?
What would the world be like if we didn't share and use the ideas we have?  
Can you think of ideas that people had that turned into something we use today? (inventions)
Are all ideas good ideas?  Why or why not? (share mistakes)
How can  you make your story ideas go from black and white to really colorful? (details, more information...)

This book could also inspire your adult friends who don't believe in their own great ideas enough- and you want to encourage them!  So many possibilities. 


After we read the story, we'll make a quick shared writing chart of ideas we can think of that changed the world- different inventions that the children use all the time but started as someone's simple idea. Some examples could be different toys, video games, Legos, cars, bicycles, telephones, cameras, televisions.

I made some simple writing prompts to go along with this book.  I also added a QR code of the video, because I love it when the kids can take the book home with them (in the form of a QR code for a Youtube video!) and they can hear the story over again. If you'd like a copy of the prompts, just click the picture below.

I use writing prompts with QR codes all the time with my class.  They love the QR code packets at the listening center so they can hear stories again, and then when the QR code is on their writing prompt, they are so excited to have it to take home!  I group the stories into different packets for the listening centers and change them out during the year. I made them for 102 different stories.
 Yes- I like them a lot. :)
QR Codes and Writing Prompts for 102 Stories
This book reminded me of these sayings:

Guess what?  Now there is a new book...  Ut oh.  That'$ probably going to be a problem...$$$

This video is a great introduction to SOMETHING!  I think I'll use it with my kids to show them that lots of things are hard- for dogs, children, adults- but we don't give up! We try lots of different ways to do something until we find a way that works.   When we begin to write, it's hard.  BUT... do we give up?   NO!  We keep trying until we get it!  


Kindergarten Kindergarten shared this awesome free Animal Rainbow Slideshow.  We always do color weeks the first two weeks of school, and I show pictures of different things that are the color of the day.  This is fabulous!  Thank you! Thank you!  
She also shared an Animal Coverings Slide Show which looks great, too.


This story is just ridiculous.  I guess Jeff and I can't just make anything easy.  We needed to get new patio furniture cushions.  Ours were about 7 years old- and actually ripped.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Maybe a trip to a store?  Order from Amazon Prime- free delivery? Or Walmart online?   Well- 7 Walmarts later...
Yeah, that's right. SEVEN.   Apparently, on Friday, when we decided we needed cushions (6 square, 4 backs) was when Walmart decided the cushions needed to go on sale.  That was good.  The rest is sort of bad.

The first store had 2 squares and one back.  That's okay, we thought... the next store is only a little ways away. They'll have the rest.  They had 1 square.  Now we were in too deep.  We went to yet another Walmart in the other direction.  They had one back.  Meanwhile- there were NONE online or even on Ebay. Nowhere.  I was thisclose to putting it on Simply Kinder's facebook page begging  for someone out there to finish my job... 

On Saturday, we had to go out of town, and stopped at 2 more Walmarts.  ZERO.  I was nervous.  

Finally, Tuesday, I called a Walmart by my daughter's house- the nicest man in the world told me they had 3 squares ( just what I needed)- and he saved them for me.  I heard angels singing. When I picked them up, the lady said they really aren't allowed to save things.  I knew right then, he was really an angel. 

When we got there, we also found one more back!  Long story even longer... to finish it off, on the way home, we stopped at one Walmart we had already been to, and found the last back.  We went to Five Guys to celebrate.  I ate a lot of fries.  It was a celebration, after all. We'll either love or hate these cushions for a long time.

That would probably make a good writer's workshop story, I'm thinking.  But I refuse to even let myself think that because... it's summer, for heaven's sake!

Have a wonderful weekend! Thank you for stopping by!

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