Friday, November 22, 2013

Five for Friday (November 22)

Happy weekend and happy Thanksgiving break!!! My first official act of the break was to pop some popcorn and blog. Ahhh yes! So here's my Five for Friday Thanksgiving style: 5 things I'm thankful for!


1. I'm thankful for my job

It's not always easy, but I LOVE what I do! I can't imagine any other job!

2. I'm thankful for my blogging friends

I love sharing ideas with fellow bloggers! I love reading Carolyn's blog over at Kindergarten Holding Hands and Sticking Together. She has the greatest ideas and finds the best freebies! THANKS CAROLYN! This week, I stole her idea for a Thanksgiving retelling bracelet. The kiddos used different colored beads to represent each part of the Thanksgiving story. My kids LOVED this and wore the bracelets ALL week! Plus, they got to practice retelling (and they were good at it!).


I totally want to make bracelets like this for books we read in the future!!! Can we say "If you give a mouse a retelling bracelet"?!

3. I'm thankful for my students

I have to admit I have a problem this year that I've never had before but LOVE having: My kids are SUPER SMART math people! I'm always looking for ways to keep them challenged because they catch on so quickly! Our challenge this week: playing cards.

We played War because we're learning about more and less. The kids LOVED it (they picked playing it over going to the THAT is 5-year-old love!). To make it more challenging, we played a crazy 2-on-2 version where 2 pairs of partners each laid down a card, added them together, and then determined which pair of partners had more. We played again the next day, but we had an odd number of kids. One group played with 3 students, making the students have to compare 3 numbers instead of just 2. It was madness, but SO fun!

Next week's lesson: Poker! (might as well teach a skill that will make some money!) (JK...BTW!)

4. I'm thankful for my hubby!

The Rockettes came to Atlanta this week and my hubby agreed to go with me! We had a great time! Those girls sure are talented and they put me in the Christmas spirit  =)

Can we say DISCOUNT seats?!

My hubby has NEVER walked down a flight of stairs in his life! He just sliiiiiides down the banister!

I love this guy!

5. I'm thankful for TPT

I love finding products that are exactly what I need at good prices while also supporting my fellow teachers! I also love getting to sell products that I would be making anyway for my classroom and making a little extra spending money. Win win all the way around! Here's my latest product...a new word family packet for short I words. I've been using this with my kids am really enjoying it (even though I may be a little biased!).

Word Family Activities for Short I
Click the Pic to download

Some of the stuff in this packet:

write the room 
differentiated magnet letter activities

picture sorts 

 practice sheets

Alright, now I'm off to see Catching Fire! Can't wait!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Turkey Time!!

Happy Almost-Thanksgiving Break! This week is dedicated to all things TURKEY in our classroom. We started with a project that I've seen, but never tried before. What better place to share it than Tried-It Tuesday with Fourth Grade Flipper?!

We disguised Tom the Turkey to hide him during this Thanksgiving season. NO TURKEYS HERE! Just peacocks, princesses, policemen, and Santa Claus. 
I think this is such a neat project for kids to do with their families. I hope they had as much fun disguising their turkeys as I had seeing them being presented! Here's a close-up of an elf, a gentleman (love that description!), a princess, and Santa Claus.

We have also done some turkey informational writing this week. First we researched interesting turkey facts @ Live Science. Did you know that only male turkeys gobble??
Then we made a "Turkeys have..., Turkeys can..., Turkeys are..." chart. These are my ABSOLUTE favorite ways to begin informational pieces. It's such a clear and simple graphic organizer for young writers to use.
Then students wrote 3 facts about turkeys and finished them off by coloring a turkey "holding" their papers. Cute, huh?

What a GREAT looking bunch of birds!
Our last turkey project was a Thankful turkey. In my eagerness to leave school, I forgot to take a picture of the finished project, but the basic idea is pretty common. Kids write what they are thankful for on the feathers of the turkey. Nothing new, but it's new to my kindergartners  =)  Anyway, we started by making a list of things we are thankful for. Here's the list...can we say diverse, and a little random??

Well that's all for me. After an hour of technical difficulties, this post is finally post-able  =)

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran's Day!

I was so touched by how my kiddos really seemed to understand the significance of Veteran's Day! After talking about the history of Veteran's Day and the servicemen and women who are currently working to protect our country, one of my students said, "We should write them a thank you letter!" What a great lead-in since that's EXACTLY what we were about to do!
Here are a few of the letters my kids wrote.  

I love this last one because my student said she was going to draw herself in her fanciest dress for this special occasion. So sweet! I'm mailing these letters to:

Operation Gratitude
17330 Victory Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91406

This organization sends letters to deployed troops. I've been learning about them from their website. If you'd like your class to write to our troops as well, please help yourself to the template we used. Enjoy!
Click the Pic

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Falling Back!

Howdy y'all! I hope you enjoyed your "falling back" extra hour of sleep last night...assuming your small children and/or pets who don't understand the concept of falling back didn't wake you up an hour early!

This is just a quick post to say I've created a Thanksgiving-themed math activity pack focusing mostly on place value 11-19, counting 11-19, and more/less/equal to. It's free in my TPT store for the next few days, so I hope you can use it!
Click the Pic to download

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Funny Sayings and Charm Necklaces

It's football Saturday!!!!! UGA isn't playing today, but I'm watching Mizzou VS South's gotten intense in the last few minutes of the game! Football and blogging are 2 of my favorite Saturday activities. Today I'm linking up with a couple of people. The first is Kreative in Kindergarten's "Kids Say the Funniest Things!" Isn't that the truth!?! My funny moment comes from my student who is commonly described as spunky, precocious, and a spitfire. We were making a class book about what we want to be when we grow up:

She will win every case she gets! So funny!

The second linky party is with Joanne over at Head Over Heels for Teaching.

My school has started a school-wide incentive using charm necklaces. Each child gets a dog tag type necklace that we write their name on. Then students earn charms for academic success in each subject.
Each teacher gets to decide what warrants a charm, and I give them for learning sight words. We have lists of sight words similar to these, and when students learn all the words on their list, they receive a charm. The lists are differentiated, so students on all levels can be successful. Kids just BEAM when they get their charm. Love how a small piece of plastic keeps them motivated!!!  

Game over, so it's time for this girl to get some ZZZ! G'night!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five for Friday (October 25)

When I started my blog, I looked up some tips for being a good blogger. One tip said don't apologize when you don't blog for a while. I've always been one for good etiquette, so I'm not going to mention my month of blogging silence   =)  I'm just gonna move on to Five for Friday hosted by Doodle Bugs!
"But I'm not done!" Does anyone else hear this when it's time to clean up from stations?? I was going crazy trying to keep straight who was finished with an assignment and who wasn't. And the solution was just sitting would have been staring me right in the face if only it had eyes. CUBBIES!
If a child doesn't finish something, they put it in their cubby. It doesn't get shoved into the abyss of their desk bag. It doesn't clutter up my desk. It's the one-stop shop of where students go to make sure they've finished everything. LOVE IT!

Another thing they keep in their cubby is their poetry journal for our brand new poetry station! One of my main objectives in a poetry station is to practice handwriting. Students write part of the poem (because the whole poem plus kindergarten handwriting does NOT equal fitting onto one page!).  After they write the poem, they order it in a pocket chart.
This is our first week, and I'm proud of their work! BTW, their poetry journals are definitely long pieces of handwriting paper stapled together. Fancy, huh??   =)

One of my goals this year was to provide some station activities to go along with Saxon Phonics. I think Saxon is good at what it does, but...well...let's face it. It's boring! I'm trying to put a little pizzazz into it by making station games to review letters in the same order Saxon introduces them. My newest packet includes the letters P, N, M, and S. Here's one activity that the kiddos really liked! It's a file folder game where students sort pictures based on beginning sounds. This is in my TPT store and is a flash freebie until I go back and change the price. I hope you can use it!

Click the Pic for P, M, N, and S letter activities!

Speaking of Saxon, we learned about the letter P a few weeks ago. For homework, students had to draw and label 4 words that began with P. This one just cracked me up!
In other random news, this is what greeted me when I got home. A happy hubby and a happy puppy! It's the dream!

Have a GREAT weekend!!!!!!