September 15, 2014

New Book I Love...

 I love to look through the children's book section at Target, 
Walmart, ANY bookstore, wherever
to see new books.

Let's face it, I don't NEED any new books, but I def WANT some.

I found this book last week and I had to share because 
it think it is great for 5 sense and Halloween, if you are allowed to go there.
The book is called Is That You, Monster?
It is illustrated by Steve Cox and it has the cutest pictures. 
The story is cute and can easily be tied into descriptive writing ideas...

 But the best part is the sensory pages. 
{And they have many!}
You can slip your hand inside the book to see what they describe on the page!
 How fun is that!?!
Here is a peek at the pocket...
I think it can hold up pretty well in a classroom.
I was surprised at how firm the pockets really were!

On this page you feel DROOL and it is pretty cool.
My girl 5 year old LOVED it and was all giggles. 

Any who...
I saw this book on my own and wanted to share it with you guys.
No author promotion or such...
I just loved it!
They also make a 3 Pigs and WOLF version that might be super fun too!
Happy Book Reading.

September 14, 2014

Read to Self Progress

I think I am beginning to see the light...
we are making READ TO SELF progress...
Last week, we read to ourselves for 5 minutes... TWICE!

Here is the online counter I used to track time.

I had to snap a quick pic as I was "reading" 
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake myself.... 
so I didn't take the pic at 5 minutes....

What has helped?
We have enough books in our book boxes that we can actually READ.
{This was an Instagram question- 

YES, we are actually reading books!

I LOVE my ABC Readers!

They are a huge help to encourage young readers because 
they have sight words in each book to focus on and 
picture clues to help with other words. 
Here is an example for the letter A reader that uses the sight word THE.

I can not wait until we have 15 minutes of stamina!

September 13, 2014

Center Saturday

IT is here!
My most favorite most of the week,
Center Saturday.

Make sure you read the bottom of this post because
I am changing things up a bit for next week and
I need your opinions and help to make it successful.
{After all, YOU GUYS are the smartest people I know.}

This week we had a blast completing 6 work centers.
Yes, we did all 6 for the first time this school year.
I encouraged all my little learners to work at 2 centers a day so they are all done by Wednesday.
Once all the work centers are done...
I can use center time to help others who were not successful independently
and do RTI Thursday and Friday.
And those that are done working can PLAY for the whole center time those days.
And we all know kinders need play time and changes for social interactions.  
And honestly, sometimes I am so busy teaching behaviors 
that I can't always do RTI in the beginning of the year. 
But we teach everything INCLUDING behaviors. 

This week we covered the Letter Gg, PrePrimer Week 2 Sight Words
-og family, and we are still working on number sense. 
For math, I go with what my 
are ready for... not a pacing guide.
We also began to talk about Fall the the 4 seasons.

So, let's get started on our work centers.
This week, yellow math, was working on building our number sense.
We used the letter Gg idea to put GRASSHOPPERS in the GRASS where they GO.
 Of course, some students focused on the easier numbers while others worked on the harder numbers, but overall this was a GREAT practice to build number sense.
I also provided a number line for some of my students that needed more support. 
And I was also able to pull just the grasshoppers off to make them into a number line if needed.
More than one way to play? YES PLEASE.

Our Orange table is for writing,
 and this week we worked on writing our letters that we have already covered,
Recipe for Reading order in case you guys are wondering...

 and an orange marker to prep the sheets. 
I know it takes a little more time to prepare that copying would take, 
but I love the colors and it is worth it.
Here is what a sheet looks like before students write on it.
There are easier versions with all the letter dotted and 
a harder versions with less of the letters dotted. 

The red table is for reading
Reading- Red- Both R's- get it?
Here is our Aa and Gg sorting mat.
This was very easy, but one of the reasons I use it at centers 
is because I am also teaching them procedures.
 I want them to finish their work, raise their hand, and WAIT for me to come check them off. 
5 students messed up and left without me checking them.
Those 5 students had to do their work again.
Good thing this was an easy and quick station to redo.

Purple table is for Phonics- yes I do P for Purple and P for Phonics as well.
 read the -og family word on the log and matched it to the picture on the frog. 
I saw and heard TONS of sounding it out... LOVE it. 
They seriously make me smile so much.
I have to remind myself to STOP and LISTEN to independent learning sometimes 
to witness the fruits of my labor. 

My blue table is for unit, or whatever we are learning about... theme if you will. 
One of the things we worked on was the book,
So, we did this number and ten frame matching activity.
 I use colored card stock for different students to help keep pieces together.
{Who has the time to sort out pieces the other way???}

 And the green table, also a unit table,
was to review LIVING and NON LIVING things from last week.
They use the sheets provided and a smart device to SCAN the code to listen to the audio file, 
then they complete the record sheet WITH the audio help.

Yes, this is hard this time of year. 
Some students have to listen to it many times
All my students had to play it twice to get everything. 
But I think it is a good activity to do to encourage listening and following directions.
 Plus, my students love using technology. 

Here are the packs of activities I used for this week:

I was also excited to see some new LeapFrog DVDs Released this week!
Check them out!
I can't wait to show them to my class!
We love all the other ones so I am excited to see new ones.

Now I need your help!
I want to switch my center time to be MATH only.
I am a little scared.
But I feel this is what my 

What do I need to know about math center time?
Any great tips or pointers?
What should I NOT do?

I still plan on having 6 stations.
My idea is to do this...
yellow- concept and teaching
orange- writing- handwriting and eventually writing story problems
purple- practice- drills and skill building
blue- tie into unit, like applying math
green- tie into unit, like applying math

I am not sure about red and if it should be more practice and play or what.
I am reading a few books on math centers but I am very open to your opinions as well.

Lastly... do you want to read about my daily 5 stations AND math centers?
Should I make it two different posts?

September 09, 2014

Print & Play with Living and Non Living Things

I finally did it!
I wanted to finished
my Living and Non Living pack for years... 
{3 years but who is counting.}
Every year when I would see this topic on the curriculum map,
I would start to plan for this week, 
I know I would do a good job, but I just wanted to do it better.
I mean, I am my worst critic and I always think my 
 deserve the very best.

I may have done an amazing
uncoordinated happy dance as my printer started humming...
and this is what I saw!
This pack has "printable and playable activities."

Each day we did a few cards from this huge sorting activity whole group.
 Once we sorted and reasoned out the LIVING and NON LIVING pieces,
we sorted the living pieces into categories.
 We figured out that living things can be
animals, creepy crawlies, things that grow, and people.

 We could not find common ways to sort the NON LIVING things.

Here are some of the sorts included in the pack.
I love sorts because I SEE their brains working...
and I HEAR their discussions with their table mates as they work.
They are reasoning things out in their heads and it is INCREDIBLE to be around.

Here is one of the printables for living and non living things.

 Check out home of these student examples of more sorts. .
 {We used the blue lines to help those little ones cut.}
On this sort, it was easy to place the girl and the cat on the paper.
The tree wasn't too hard, but some students didn't know that trees do need food.
Here was the conversation I overheard. 
"What kind of food does a tree need... apples? Is that why they grow those apples?"
"I don't think so because some trees don't grow apples. So they can't eat apples."
"Like what kind of tree?"
"Like a Christmas tree... they don't grow apples."
Many got the bee correct too... but the apple and banana were harder. 
And I loved this conversation too.
"Do bananas need food and water?"
"How do you know?"
"How does a banana eat?"
"I don't know but it grows bigger so it has to eat."

I love the way
minds work.

One of the playable activities in this pack is these scene cards.

We did these scences during center time last week.
There are 4 different scenes therefore my students were able to choose their scene to work on.
And who doesn't like self choice. 
My students circled the LIVING things with green and the NON LIVING things with red.
Since some of the circles can be hard to "read" I asked my students
what they circled when they completed this assignment.
MANY of my
did this table more than once by going to another scene.

Of course, there are also printable scenes....

We did one of these scenes this morning for morning work as well.
It was an awesome review.

I also put together a NEW
 QR Scan & Learn~ Living and Non Living Pack.
We will be using this this week for sure.

To connect literacy to out unit study, my
also worked on this fun LIVING and NON LIVING reader...

And I made a version with the terms NOT LIVING and another with the terms NON LIVING.

We began by reviewing the words LIVING and NON LIVING.
We colored these words with crayons since they can be hard to identify.
{Plus, that NON in the term NON LIVING can be tricky...}

Then we read the book.
Once we looked at the pictures, it was easy to add the cut apart words
LIVING and NON LIVING to their places on each page.
The words on the pages match what you are labeling...
This reader took a little while to complete,
but it was time well spent.
And my students love independent readers!
They are so proud when they use these readers during read to self at Daily 5!

Here is the Living and Non Living {Print & Play Pack} link.