March 04, 2015

SC Kindergarten Teaching Conference: Questions Answered

On March 3rd, I was blessed to be able to meet a few hundred
 incredible teachers from South Carolina. 
These ladies and gentlemen were smart, open minded, and smart... 
very smart.

After spending some time together all day together...
These people still wanted to know more.

And who am I to ever NOT help 
SHARE Kindergarten!?

Therefore, this post is meant to answer all those addition question, 
post specific links, 
and show pictures of exactly what YOU wanted to know.

1) Where do you find the printable Avery Magnetic Sheets?

I HATE digging through expensive magnetic letter sets.
I use these printable magnetic sheets in my Sight Word Stations.

I print out my sight words onto these sheets. 
You can see the PRINTED words on one side 
and the magnetic part on the back.

I print these easily at home on my color printer.
Once I cut apart the words, here is what I get.

2) What do you do to get your classroom ready for summer?
I wrote a whole post about it... check it out here.

Why should you pre-prep your classroom for the upcoming school year?
-Because it saves you time!
- If you are taking something down from one year- clean it off and stack it up for your new friends.
- That laminating line is going to be HUGE in August so do it now while no one is needing it.
- You can get a count of the materials you have and make a list of what you need. This will stop you from over buying. 
- When you get your class list, it is so much easier to write names on materials when all those materials are in one place.
- You have so many pre planning meetings... why not plan ahead?

Have I convinced you yet?
{I know many of you have to box and stack, 
but I still encourage you to TRY as much of this as you can.}

3) Lots of you guys where THRILLED to learn about Plickers. 
And I know you with these tech things we NEED to hear it more than once and see it in action.
So here is the link to my post all about PLICKERS and my video on how to use them as well.
Click here to head to that post.

4) So many of you LOVE the gel bags. 
I use these for sensory phonics and as our intro to sight words.
They last a pretty long amount of time and are cheap to make.
Plus they are FUN. 
Who doesn't like love fun!?!
I got this idea from Pinterest here.

5) Centers...
How do I run them?
How do I manage them?
How do I check them off?
What do I put in the centers?

Here is a post all about my centers.
Every week I post my weekly work centers.

6) Tech Stuff

My friend Tammy from
told me about these Kidz Gears Headsets.
 I have every color headset they make.
Although it drives me INSANE that they don't make a red or yellow, 
but this company does have so many great colors.
 I personally HAVE
green, blue, purple, orange, pink, white, and gray headsets. 

And here is the Osmo that I LOVE. 

 If you want to see all the other tech goodies I LOVE... 
check out this post.
 This has the links for the lots of the Belkin items I like and
 it has a DISCOUNT code if you order through a specific company. 

Snap Words...
oh Snap Words...
We all adore SnapWords...
And I do mean that I am obsessed with these cards.
Many of you asked me what I recommend starting with...
And this is 100% honestly...

I think this set is perfect to start with.

I am still waiting to hear from SDE about the management session handouts.
I promise to post the handouts OR tell you how you can get them as soon as I can.

If I missed anything you wanted to know, 
please ask away.
I promise to do my best to answer them.

February 28, 2015

Center Saturday

 Are you ready to check out some FUN math centers from this past week?

I can't wait to show you some of our hands on learning time.
I like to mix the skills and content we are learning for several reasons.

1. We need to practice the math skill we are working on in MANY different ways.
Sometimes it might look like we are working on the same skill over and over again
And some students might be doing the same skill over and over again, 
but using a different WAY.

2. We have to practice all the concepts we have learned about so the ideas stay fresh on our minds. 
That means I add time, money, addition, shape concepts, measurement, 
and number sense skills into our stations.
If I notice we are loosing our skills, I add that concept to center time. 
If I do a good job mixing up our math centers, my students typically don't loose the concepts as easily. 

3. It is fun to play to learn. 
And it is important to do MASTER the game of number sense 
so we can build our math concepts. 

This week we are learning about...
the letter Ww and Presidents.
We also covered measurement last week.

The yellow table was home to this measurement activity 
for my
to play with.

We took unifix cubes to measure the lengths on this worksheet.
We also had to count the cubes and write the answer on the space.
 I love how many of my students chose to make color coded ruler to measure with..
The orange table was a simple number writing activity.
I like to do one a week to keep writing numbers in our routine.
Sometimes we do mats to 30, while other times we go to 50 or even 100.
{I base my decision on how much time we have for centers this week.
This station can take a while if the mats go to 100, 
so if we have a crazy week, it might not be ideal.}

I also have 4 different versions of the number mats at this station.
Some are easier or more challenging.

The red table was so much FUN.
We practiced our addition skill using these watermelon sets.

Some of my students could easily make sets of 10 
by looking at the ten frame 
and the number sentence.

Other students had to count the empty boxes to generate that number.

I love using ten frames for addition because it helps my class to SEE the answer.

Purple table was home to another measuring station.
I got this activity from a pre-made center book from Teacher Created Resources many years ago.

At this station my student are using the ruler to measure the length.
The cubes side of the ruler could also be used if needed.

Then, my 
would find the matching number on the mat and cover it up.

 The blue table held this activity.
We build our number sense my matching the ten frame to the number given.
Some of my students mark the ten frame boxes to form the given amount.

This student wrote her numbers into the ten frame.

 Our last station, green table, hosted a weight worksheet.
I had a ton of sick students when we covered measurement last week,
so I knew we needed a lot of measurement practice
I also told my student to color the HEAVIER item instead of the lighter.

 I hope these activities gave you some ideas to make center time a success in your classroom.

February 25, 2015

Teachers are Heros Sale

Right Now...
Teachers Pay Teachers are hosting their quarterly sale...
and you can get 28% by using the promo code HEROES

This Computer Center Sheet BUNDLE contains 28 sets 
that I know you LOVE.
There are tons of themes and topics,
along with directions and a how to video.
Link here

My favorite Science Units are on sale too...

And my Space Unit too!

My techie stuff is on sale too!
You must check out my Assess for Success Bundle

There are also 4 QR Scan & Learn Sight Word Books
and the BUNDLE!

As well as ALL my Sight Word Stations..
2nd Grade Bundle

I am IN LOVE with these packs from other sellers as well...
I mean it honestly, these are the things I am buying and using in my classroom.

Happy Shopping Friends.

February 22, 2015

Out of This World

I have been working very hard with
  this year.
Very hard.
I mean... 
have I told you how hard I have been working?
I know you understand what I am writing.

The trouble with all my work is...
I have been going days without taking pictures of our learning fun.
That isn't a good thing because I love to send my parents pictures of their little ones learning. 

I mean, we are doing some fun stuff here people!

My favorite week of the whole school year, SPACE, was last week.
It was awesome...
and OUT of this World.

To start the week, my
  jot down pictures of what we THINK.
We draw pictures of the The Sun, The Moon, Earth, and stars.
This lets me know what my students already KNOW about space.

Then, I break this week into 5 days.

On day one, we learn about the The Sun.
Since I want my students to KNOW that The Sun is a star, 
we make suns and we use this key phrase on our art.

We talk about how we see the rays from the Sun, 
but they are not actually there.
{I have mixed feelings about my students using the rays to make their Suns, 
but overall it is their art and their minds at work.
I make sure to point out over and over again how the rays 
are not actually there in our nonfictional reading.}

During our daily 5 time, 
we use these Write Me Three boxes
 to write some facts about the sun.
This student wrote:
 The Sun is hot.  
The Sun is a star. 
The Sun is up.

 On day two, we talked about the moon.
The main idea for this day is...
We take cups of white paint and mix in black to make gray.
I let them mix the colors themselves because they love it.
Plus, when kinders DO they REMEMBER.
Then we trace circles onto black paper and paint that circle with our gray paint.
And we paint it thickly.
Then we make craters in the thick paint.

It looks hard, but we take small suction cups to make the circles.

Here is what they look like dry.

We have to take some time to write about what we learned...
The moon is a rock. 
The moon is a sphere. 
And the moon is little.

This student wrote that the moon was little, 
then a friend next to him said, 
"The moon isn't little." 
This friend said, "It is little because the Sun is big."
Perspective is everything.

On day three, we talk about Earth.
And we make an Earth.

But we also have to talk about the other planets.
It is so hard to see all the other planets 
and their shapes, colors, and sizes from a book, 
so we have to use the hands on approach.

At our tables, we take planets and arrange them in order from the sun.

The shape of the planets is there, so matching the shape to the name is much easier.

Then we write the planets names using this sheet.

My favorite activity is when we make constellations.

And I throw in a How to Make a Star guide since my students never know how to make a star.

At the end of the week, 
we draw what we KNOW about space on the same sheet 
we drew what we thought from day one.
Check out this I THINK, I KNOW sheet.
{See why that sun drives me insane???}

I love this sheet because it shows their learning in a kinder friendly way.
And they love to SEE what they learned too!

We also make these rockets...

and make them into book covers for our Space books.

I add pages to the book for each topic we complete, 
the Sun writing is close to the Sun art, 
then the moon, then the Earth, etc.

 And I love crossing our themed unit over to other subjects.
We used the space theme to write our numbers to 100...
and this is a freebie you can grab and use.

I also added this game this year...
We desperately needed to practicing sounding out and writing words
This activity was PERFECT for us in Word Work.

 And we loved using this We are in Space reader 
 for Read to Self and Read to Others.
I hope you were able to grab some ideas to make SPACE more engaging in your classroom. 
Here is my unit.
And a break down of some of the awesome printables you can grab.
 And all the lesson plans I use.