Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's been WAY too long!

Yikes!  It has been so very long since my last post.  Things have been crazy!  Let me catch you up on what we've been doing for the past two months.

October was Fire Safety month.  We were fortunate enough to have the PRP Fire Department visit.  They showed us what to do in case of an emergency in our home. 

The students used a sheet to represent smoke in a room.  We practiced crawling to safety.

The students practiced covering their faces when they stop, drop, and roll to protect their eyes.

We have also been learning how to measure.  During Halloween we used "candy corn" to measure the heights of our friends.  They did a wonderful job!

 The little sweeties have also been doing a wonderful job during Writer's Workshop. 
Each day they begin their writing time with an illustration.  They use a rubric as they write. 
Our goals in writing currently are:
1) Our writing matches our illustrations
2) Our sentences begin with a capital letter
3) There are finger spaces between each word

Here is a peek into a few notebooks:

 "I am thankful for my dad."
He finished the piece by saying, "He is kind."  What a sweetie! 

"I am thankful for watching football."

"Nolan is thankful for my teacher."  How nice!

The students have also been busy during litearcy center rotations.  They do a fabulous job of staying engaged and completing their assignments.

These two students are completing work from the pocket chart station.

These two students are finishing an assignment from the poetry station.

These two are busy reading at the library center.  Look how engaged they are!  I love it!

Two boys listening to The Bravest Fish at the listening center.

 And the ever popular retelling center.  The students LOVE to use the retelling pieces to retell some of their favorite stories.  These two students are retelling Go Away, Big, Green Monster!

Once November began we were busy learning about and preparing for Thanksgiving.  The day before Thanksgiving break all four kindergarten classes got together for a Thanksgiving feast.  So much fun!

Here are some of the kiddos preparing to be Native Americans for the feast:

All of our Pilgrims and Native Americans ready for the feast!

We enjoyed corn bread and homemade butter, friendship fruit salad, and popcorn.  I think they had a great time!

During the month of December we will be learning about Holidays around the world.  We will also have a Polar Express celebration on the last day before Christmas break. 

I'll work hard to create a new post during the next few weeks!!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

What We've Been Doing...

Holy smokes!  There is so much to share!  Hang in there...this is a long post!
Here are a few pictures of our morning centers during our color week. 

When we had finished the color unit we did a fun math lesson using M&M's.  The students sorted, counted and recorded the data from their packs.
The students LOVED this activity :)
Each day we practice Reader's Workshop.  During this time the students select books that they would like to read.  At this stage in kindergarten many of the students are unable to read independently.  However, we talk a lot about different ways to read a book, take a picture walk, make up your own words or story, etc.  We also talk about how to be a book lover, not a book bully.  Book lovers hold the book correctly, read the whole time, and return their book back to the correct box.

I have been amazed at how well the students have done during this portion of the day.  To my pleasant surprise they all READ!  All of them!  Before we leave for lunch I choose a few students to share what they've read.  They love it!
We've also learned how to rotate through literacy centers.  Here are pictures of the listening, word study, computer, and magnetic centers. 


This week we will begin our pumpkin unit.  The students will each plant pumpkin and corn seeds as we begin fall.  We will tend to the plants daily and record data on which plants grow faster. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Our Morning Centers

I thought I would post a few pictures of our morning centers.  Each morning the students work on a different center while we are taking attendance, going to lockers, etc. 
This week we finished centers that related to Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
{The centers come from the fabulous, Mrs. Lee}
Here are the pictures of what the centers look like before:

And after:

Doesn't that work look like it was completed by the best kindergarteners?  I think so!

The kids are also LOVING the ipads.  They are hits for early finishers or those who have made good choices throughout the day! 
Once we begin guided reading, the students will have the opportunity to visit the ipad center on a regular basis.

I had to put in one picture of my little cuties.  It is a little hard to see, but they are dancing to "Who Let the Letters Out?" by Dr. Jean.
The song we sing says the letter sound after each letter is shown.  However, we have gotten so good at making our letter sounds you can barely hear Dr. Jean! 
I'm so proud of my kiddos!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The First 8 Days of Kindergarten!

Whew!  I cannot believe that I have not posted about our first two weeks already.  It has been so busy! 
First of all, I love, love, love my new class.  What a bunch of sweeties!  I cannot wait to see them grow and change this year.

Last week we made a handprint gift for our parents and grandparents.  Hopefully the parents were able to put the puzzle together with their kindergartener while they talked all about school.

We have been talking a lot about the routines and procedures of our classroom.  We have read many books that talk about school rules and behavior.  We read this book:

Then, we made our own list of good rules to follow while we are at school.  The students gave suggestions and we added their ideas to this chart.

We also used our Mr. Potato Head to talk about how we can be good listeners.  Mr. Potato Head needs eyes, ears, a quiet mouth, a thinking cap, hands in lap and criss-crossed feet to be a good listener.  When we are getting ready to learn, we pull out our Mr. Potato Head to make sure we have our bodies ready!

Each time we come to the carpet we listen to the song "Come to the Carpet".  We also listen to "Criss Cross Applesauce" to check our bodies for learning.  You can click on either one of the links to listen to the songs.

You might have remembered that in the last post I mentioned our classroom receiving a large donation through the non-profit organization called  Last week I received news that another project had been funded!  A large package came to school this week and this is all that was inside:

I cannot wait for the students to begin using these new tools.  Thank you,!!!

I will be taking pictures of the students learning all about Reader's and Writer's Workshop this week.  I will post all about our learning soon!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom! AND a classroom donation!

I have had a great week spending time assessing my new kindergarteners!  It has been nice to spend time one-on-one with so many of them.  I hope that they are as excited as I am about this year!

We have a new addition to our classroom....a chicka, chicka, boom, boom coconut tree!  We will spend a lot of time reading the book
Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom by Bill Martin, Jr.  Now, we have our very own coconut tree!  The kids will have a chance to add letters to the tree as we learn and practice each letter and the letter sound.
Thank you, Gail for the materials!  Thank you, Mr. Pfister, for helping build the tree!

I got the idea from a wonderful kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Jump.  Thanks Mrs. Jump for the inspiration!

I will send home a Scholastic Book Order form during the first few weeks of school.  Look for Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom!  It would make a great addition to your child's home library.

We also had a large donation to our classroom this week.  Over the summer I created an account through a non-profit organization called  I created two "projects" for our classroom.  The projects consist of items that I think would enhance the learning of the students in my class.  I got an email yesterday saying that three donors had contributed to a project and that the project had been fully funded!

A shipment from Lakeshore Learning Materials should be arriving in time for the students!

Here is a picture of our new learning materials.  We will use these pieces to practice retelling familiar stories.  Retelling a story is an important standard that all kindergarten students should be able to do by the end of the year.

Lakeshore Storytelling Kits - Set 2

Once school beings, the students and I will work on creating thank you letters to the generous donors of our project.  I know your child will love using these materials!

A reminder: The Back to School Ice Cream Social will be Monday from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.  You may bring your child's school supplies at that time.