Monday, April 20, 2015

Math Monday--Missing Addends and a FREEBIE!

This week I have been introducing missing addends to my kindergarten kiddos. I'd like to think I've done some sneaky know, playing games and having fun so that students don't even realize they're learning! 

One of our games is called Piggy Bank. The object is to make 5 using 2 numbers. Each student gets a piggy bank and a stack of cards with 0-5 pennies on it. 

I flipped over a card...let's say it had 3 pennies. Then students tried to flip over a card with 2 pennies. When they did so, they "banked" the cards (put the cards on their piggy bank).
The kids LOVED it! And they started getting faster and faster at recognizing what number they needed to make 5. 

We also used these cards to play a matching game. Students turned over a card and then had to say what they needed to make 5 (and match it, of course!). 

Click {HERE} for this FREEBIE!
My para played a board game to make 5. Kids rolled the dice, but didn't move the number shown. Instead they moved the number needed to make 5. So if they rolled a 3, then they moved 2 spaces. If they rolled a 6, they had to move backwards a space. Whoa, right?! It was tricky at first, but they got the hang of it. I wish I had gotten some pictures!  

With all of our games, I don't think my kids even realized they've been learning this week. Bwahaha!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Plant Time!

Plants, plants, plants! This week has been all about plants in Room 104. We started with this schema chart (the cute design was stolen borrowed from the amazing Cara at First Grade Parade)

I love how schema charts show our learning is always
growing and changing!
If you haven't seen these schema charts yet, they are an awesome activity similar to KWL charts. We start a unit with kids telling their schema--what they think they know about the topic. I include everything the kids say, even if I know it isn't right. As we learn about the topic and find out some part of our schema is wrong, we move that post-it to the misconceptions area. Anything new that we learn goes in the new learning area.
We read Seed to Plant...a very kinder-friendly non-fiction book. We added our new learning to our schema chart. The next day we read Jack and the Beanstalk and compared the 2 types of books.
Beep, beep, beep! Email alert! Jack emailed us! He had a question about how to plant his magic beans and needed our help!
That prompted these "how-to" writings explaining how to plant a seed.
Then we used our writing to plant our own beans. The boys planted lima beans that had been soaked in water for a couple of hours and the girls planted dry lima beans. The kids unanimously predicted the wet beans would grow faster and taller. We're going to chart their growth over the next few weeks.
Today was cactus day. We read a few pages from a non-fiction book about desert plants and the kids talked about what they saw. Then we watched READING RAINBOW!!!! WHO DOESN'T LOVE READING RAINBOW?!?! Anyway, they have a VERY informative episode about the desert and the Saguaro cactus.
We then worked on retelling the main idea and details with this super-simple circle map.
The kiddos used this circle map to write information about the cactus. To add a little artsy-ness to it, we glued rice to the cactus to show its spines.
Here are some examples of the finished project. Cute, huh? (I found this template somewhere on the web for free, but now I can't find it again!)

Tomorrow is tree day and next week is fruits and veggies. I think that will tie in well with Earth Day next Wednesday.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Five For Friday, April 10

Aaaahh! Spring Break! Just what the Dr. ordered!

I'm linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for 5 For Friday. Thanks for hosting, Kacey!

(Okay, okay...this is TECHNICALLY not from this week...please allow me to share, anyway!). Before we went on Spring Break, we were finishing up addition and subtraction. We read Pete the Cat's Four Groovy Buttons.

Then we did some groovy button subtraction freebies that I found {HERE} and {HERE}.

And then we made these cute little guys with word problems to go with them.

I am NOT a cook, which you can read more about {HERE}. But I did make this yummy dessert over the break!

Click {HERE} for the recipe
I've also been catching up on my reading and TV watching over the break. I've been reading The American Heiress which I totally recommend for any Downton Abbey fans out there!

It's set in the late 1800s and is about a very rich American girl (named Cora..coincidence??) who wants to marry an Englishman with a title. She then has to navigate English customs and society which are VERY different from American culture. FASCINATING!

Troll the respawn, Jeremy!
The hubby and I have also been watching the Netflix original The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. It's created by Tina Fey and stars Ellie Kemper (Erin from The Office). It's got a super quirky sense of humor. If you like shows like Community, 30 Rock, or The Office, then you'll probably like Kimmy.

On to next week! We are starting a 2 week plant unit next week. Our standards are mostly to describe plants and compare them to other plants, so my goal is to show my kiddos all of the different things that are, grass, bushes, trees, fruits and veggies, etc. I've spent this week working on a plant unit for TPT, but I want to test out the activities on my kids before I put it for sale. Be on the look out, though!

Like I said earlier, we just finished our addition and subtraction unit. My kids did really well, so now we are going to dive into some 1st grade standards and learn about missing addends. Have you heard of Dr. Nicki?? She's a math GENUIS and has lots of great concrete activities for kids to practice fluency and missing addends (without really knowing that's what they are doing). Watch the video to get some great ideas (it's 7 1/2 minutes).

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

From the Kitchen of a Person who Doesn't Cook

First, let me say that I am no chef. I don't like to cook, and if it wasn't for my wonderful hubby, I would probably eat PBJs and Lucky Charms every night. 
Maybe that's why I'm so excited to have made something. In fact, I'm sharing it on Monday Made It (a few days late...). I don't know if it's because I'm on Spring Break and have extra time or because I watched Julie and Julia yesterday, but I found myself  on Pinterest looking up recipe ideas. Then I found this gem from a blog called South your Mouth:
Oh my delicious!!! So I got in my car and took a trip to the friendly Krogers down the road and picked up:
  • 2 pounds of strawberries
  • 2 sleeves of graham crackers
  • 1 8-oz. pack of cream cheese at room temp
  • 1 14-oz. can of  sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 3/4-oz. (4 servings) packs of instant cheesecake flavored pudding (which I couldn't find that size, so I got 2 1-oz. packs and just used half of the second pack)
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 1 12-oz. carton of Cool Whip, which I misread and only got an 8-oz. carton. My bad.
Step 1: Cut the strawberries. The recipe said 1/4 inch slices. Umm...looks close enough to me!

Oh no! There are all of these bottoms leftover. Whatever shall I do?! Guess I will just have to eat them. Sacrifice. 

Step 2: Layer the bottom of a 9x13 pan with graham crackers. Easy enough. 

Step 3: Open the cream cheese. This was a struggle. Wish I had seen the opening instructions before I went to town on the packaging with the scissors. 

Step 4: Use the electric mixer to mix the cream cheese and evaporated milk. Hand mixing will not work no matter how much you want to avoid getting the mixer out. 

Just a suggestion...make sure the mixer is turned off when you plug it in. Oops. 

Step 5: Mix in milk and pudding packs. 

Cooking selfie!

Step 6: Fold in Cool Whip. What does fold mean, you ask. I didn't know either, but apparently it means to use a whisk or a rubber spatula. Thank you, Google. 

Step 7: Layering time! Graham crackers, yummy white concoction, strawberries, repeat. 


Now it has to chill for 6-8 hours. Let the agony of waiting begin!
Wait a second...does that say this will serve 20?? I hope my hubby is hungry!  =)

Friday, April 3, 2015

April Currently

Let's bring on Spring Break! I'm celebrating with all my blogging buddies wit this month's Currently. Thanks to Farley for hosting!

Listening: Once upon a snow day, I was surfing Netflix and found Friends. Now, I knew the general plot line and had watched episodes here and there, but I had never seen the entire series. So I started watching, and (pardon me if I'm late to the party) THIS SHOW IS HILARIOUS!!!!! Ten seasons and many afternoons of binge-watching later, I'm almost done. Sigh. So bittersweet.

Loving: SPRING BREAK! Enough said!

Thinking: I don't often slow down enough to really think about what this day means. I'm so thankful to Jesus who died on a cross in order to save humanity. Below is one of my all time favorite songs, and it's especially powerful today. The video is a little graphic, so click with caution.

Wanting: Well, after talking about Jesus' death, it doesn't seem quite appropriate to talk about how much I want some Reeces eggs. Awkward. But delicious.

Needing: I thought and thought and thought about what I need, but I'm thankful to be pretty content right now. Yay!  =)

EGGS-plain: My all-time favorite children's book is Mo Willem's Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. My blog name is a tribute to the line "PIGEON AT THE WHEEL!!!!!!" because it just makes me laugh every time I hear it!

Happy Easter!!!