August 30, 2014

Center Saturday

Hi Center Fans.
I hope you are ready for a fun center post this week.
I am watching College Gameday
{Hello Kirk... you are Yummy.
I have missed you.}

And writing this post while the baby takes her nap.

I color code each post to help the reader.
My code coding is:
Yellow- Math
Orange- Writing
Red- Reading
Purple- Phonics
Blue- Unit
Green- Unit

These are the same colors for the table I assign each activity to.
That is just how I roll... haha.

This week, the third week of school, we learned about the letter Aa
Making Maps, and 
Number Sense to 10.

Here is my yellow table activity...
an Apple Tree Matching game. 

I look an apple tree accent decoration and used apple stickers in the leafy area.
Then I added a number to the trunk and cut it apart.
After laminating and cutting out the pieces, 
I have a FUN and engaging number sense activity.
I encourage my students to take the trunks out and make a number line with them first,
 then count the apples in the tree and match them to the trunks. 
Overall, this is an excellent example of a fun and inviting math activity my kids love to play.

We did not have an orange table activity this week,
I am builing my students up to full work centers. 
We are not there yet.

For our Red Reading Center,
We started the week using sight word puzzles for our words we are learning.
You can find them here.

Once all my student built and read their words to me, 
we changed the station out.
We worked on learning to scan this week, 
so these were a HUGE hit to say the least.
 There is a PrePrimer Edition and a Primer Edition.
{I can't recored the others until my voice returns to normal, 
but they are almost ready.
I usually lose my voice at least one in August.}

They loved to scan and read these words.
Of course, they didn't actual READ so much because all the codes are audio files and 
they hear the sight words and a supporting sentence, but this is a step to reading.

Our purple center is for phonics and it was to put the apples into ABC Order.
Since 4 little ones can come to this station at a time,
 they can work together to build their alphabet.
These are also Carson Dellosa Apple Accent pieces.

We did not have a blue center, but we did have a green center for our Map Unit. 
I used this mini Bullentin Board set from Creative Teaching Press.
{This might be discontinued but I am still looking for a link.}

I just let my students play to learn. 
They loved that this was open ended and often stayed here for a LONG time
building, creating, and modifying their maps.

In case you need help with center activities using these topics:

August 26, 2014

Tech Tuesday- Camera Upload Feature

Here is a quick video I put together showing you how I use DropBox 
to make my school newsletters better than ever.

You can use the Camera Upload Feature to:
- import pics to make an outstanding newsletters
- make picture mats for grouping students
- email parents GOOD pics of learning as a reward
- scavenger hunt pics (think initial sounds, living or non living things, symbols of the USA)
- images to add to make digital storytelling fun
- something you need in your classroom and
send it to a parent (or spouse) to show them exactly what to buy.
-I also take a pic of the lunch choice board I use in the am so I know who has made what choice

What other reasons can I add to this list?

Grab Tammy's AWESOME newsletter Templates HERE

August 24, 2014

Shapes and More Shapes

This week we learned a lot about shapes.
Most of my students come to school knowing their flat, or 2 dimensional shapes. 
I love to do a quick check of their knowledge 
with an Assess for Success {Shapes} Pack...
This is a great way to USE technology and instant assessment the smart way.
Think smarter not harder.
Plus, after using this pack, I KNOW what they KNOW.
And I know what they DON'T KNOW.
I also use a wooden cube and simple graph to roll and draw a shape graph.
Honestly, it is good for my
to practice rolling a die, saying shape terms, and drawing shapes.
{Drawing the shapes seems to be the hardest part for them.}

We also sorted these shape links by color.
You can have them sort them my shape too!
I love the Brain Pop Video on this...
{You have to pay for a subscription...but it is GOOD STUFF.}

 Then, we talked a LOT about solid shapes.
We love the Brain Pop Video on Solid Shapes too.

And we played around with the Carson-Dellosa Geometric Nets..
They are like bulletin Board Accents or such...
very cheap and so cool.
Here is what they look like FLAT.

We talk about the flat shapes we see.
Then we fold them and create a SOLID shape.
Here is a
 MAKING a cube.

We also use my favorite "toy" from Learning Resources

The pack comes with two sided task cards that show you how to make shapes.
I put them on this AMAZING BLACK pocket chart
{jealous... I know}
at my sensory table.
can take a card and create their 2D or 3D shape.
I did buy two of these sets so I have each card facing out on the pocket chart.
I really loved these tools and I knew my students would as well.
I am so glad I bought the second set.

We also did so many shape sorting activities 
Mailbox book of all times...
 There is a first grade version and a K version.
I LOVE both.  

And you know I have a shapes 

So peeps...
have some shape fun at school!
I know we did!

August 22, 2014

Sensory Bag Idea & Freebie

 I saw this AMAZING idea on Pinterest all about sensory bags using sight words and rice.
And I was inspired.

I wanted to make a sensory bag for the beginning of the year fun... 
and do it my way. 

So I look some white cardstick and crayons and wrote letters on the paper.
{I did trim the paper beforehand to make sure it fits into the baggie.
I made 6 versions of this... 
all with the same color letters on each one.
The color was the same, 
but the location of the letters was not the same.

Then I put each sheet into a gallon size baggie.
I had some colored rice, so I added it to each bag.
 At small groups today, 
each learner looks through the baggie to find the letter buried in the rice.
When they find their letter, 
they take the SAME COLOR crayon and 
trace over it or color that letter on the answer sheet.

How much fun is this?

I also tried the same thing with white rice.
The colors really stick out this way.
This is def the way I would go next time using the colored crayons if you opt to use rice.

We did discover two problems.
Some of my little learners had trouble with the rice and 
one friend did poke a whole in the bag.
{Accident or intentional? Who knows}

We also had lots of the rice getting under the paper, 
thus making the project not as much fun.

So I tried the same idea with elbow pasta...

 It also worked great and I got NO HOLES in the bag.

I also took a few minutes to TAPE down the card stock to the bottom of the bag FIRST.
{I put tape all the way around the paper so no pasta could get behind it.}

 This created the ultimate success for me and my students.
 I also think laminating the sheet first will help too.

I made this printable in uppercase and lowercase letters for you to grab for free.

I can't wait to try this again with my class.
Do you think you will give this a try in your classroom?

August 21, 2014

Each year, we start the year off with the Gingerbread Man.
{I know many of you do this unit for Christmas, 
so read this post now and get ideas for later.}

I love to use the book, 
It is a seriously CUTE book all about a gingerbread man who is made by students 
and then ESCAPES in the school.
He visits all those important places in the school.
{Hmmm... kinda like WE do?}

Here is my group doing a LISTENING to READING activity.
We worked on turning the CD on and off.
Taking on and taking off our headsets.
Turning on and off our headsets.
Adjusting the volume on the headsets. 
Listening to the story.
Turning the page when prompted.
I mean... we worked on everything! 
 {Turn the page little love... catch up!}


In the world of Kinder, 
you have to teach them EVERYTHING.

We also took our {cleaned} play dough tools and ready made cookie dough
to create our own cookies.
With a little flour, we roll out the dough and make our cookie.
 Many of my kids have never made cookies before.

 And to cut it out with a cookie cutter.
 {Who cares about the mess?
Not me.
As long as we are learning!}

We decorated the cookies with mini M&Ms.
We write down each child's name by their cookie on the parchment paper. 

We also looked on some FUN Gingerbread puzzles.
 This is a great time buffer between the groups.

We take our cookies to the lunch room to be baked.
We remind the ladies to NOT OPEN THE OVEN.
When we do to get our cookies out of the oven the ESCAPE.
We have to chase them all over the school, 
discovering all those important places like 
the nurse's office,
and lunch room.

Those cookies find their way back to our classroom and 
we eat those legs off those sneaky guys asap.

This is a fun and meaningful day at school that my kids NEVER forget.
I love it too!