February 28, 2013

Dreams Come True

{Warning... this post has nothing to do with teaching.}
Last week, the family and I went on our first Disney Cruise ever. We took a 3 day trip to test it out and make sure our daughter doesn't get sea sick.
We didn't take a lot of pictures, so I pulled some online that I can show you all about our trip with!

We boarded the Disney Dream ship. Here she is. 
Our room was MUCH bigger than we expected. Although we are a family of three, we could have fit a few more kids or another adult in the room easily! We had a port hole window, not the balcony as shown. The port hole had a window seat in it so that was extra fun.
Our daughter could not wait to get her bathing suit on. (In fact, next time she will wear her suit getting on the boat to save her even more pool time.) She wanted and begged to play in the Nemo splash area... it was awesome! She loved loved loved the Mr. Ray slide.
The cool part of the meals is how we alternate dining areas each night with the staff that serves us. We get the same great service, but a different view and scene at dinner each night.
The first night we ate at the Animator's Palliate.
It is like Turtle Talk with Crush during dinner... Amazing!

I was the most scared about leaving my daughter in the kid area. We go on vacation to be WITH her not without her! But, they have amazing activities for kids only that she didn't want to miss. We took her on the tour and she wanted to play there the second day. Here is one photo of the amazing play area they provide for the little sailors aboard.
We checked on her after the first hour and she was here.. in Tinker Bell's Nook.
I tried to get her after the second hour and she wanted to stay and play! {Yes, this broke my heart!}
After the third hour, I tried again. Captain Hook visited and scared her so she wanted to come with me... and I bribed her with pink ice cream. 

We ate here the second night..seriously!
They have amazing plays to see as well... The Golden Mickey's, Villains Tonight, and Disney's Believe.
Our daughter LOVED them all!
They also had a HUGE pirate party on the deck with fireworks.
They had a show and taught the kids how to be pirates! 
 The highlight of the cruise was Castaway Cay {Pronouced Key}
It is Disney's private island. Here is the map of the area.
We got off the boat to a fantastic beach... with lunch, drinks, and desert PROVIDED.
This was a dream come true. They even hand your towels as you walk by. They couldn't make this beach any better. The water was a little cool, but the sand was great. Lunch was yummy. And the day was perfect.

The pool aboard was the best I have ever seen.
They have a HUGE water slide called the Aquaduck that go all around the ship. 
You have to be 38" (I think.)  She could have go on it, but Daddy did and LOVED it. 
I will have to wait until next time to try it out.

I highly highly recommend families going on this trip. We loved it and can't wait to go again!
Our daughter has made a list of what she is going to do as soon as she gets on the next Cruise.

1. Nemo Splash
2. Mickey Pool to go under (haha- she never goes under the water.)
3. Aquaduck (She was too scared to try it out this time.)
4. Yellow Slide (Again too scared to try it this time as well.)


February 25, 2013

Wild Thing... You Make Heart Sing

I promise to write a long post all about our amazing family cruise soon... It was awesome!
BUT... I gotta share a freebie with you guys today!
My class is learning about the the letter Ww. We are reading the book...
I made this game and tons of writing prompts all about the book here. 
This pack has a game board, 36 questions with answer key, and 6 writing prompts. 
here is the unit
Your freebie sheet is in the product download!

Is this a favorite book in your classroom as well?
Do you children "get" that Max goes to sleep in his room instead of where the wild things are?

  Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten


Freebie Fridays

February 24, 2013

Sunday FUNday

I was out of school ALL week and spent much needed time with the family! After all, they are my reason for everything I do! We have been at Disney World and on our first ever Disney Cruise! I promise to let you know how it goes.

But, I return to the real world and school tomorrow- ready to do with Presidents' Day and US Symbols with my kinders. I have been working on updating some older units from last year as well, so grab these babies early so all the hard work will be done for you! I left all the prices VERY cheap!!

here on TpT
I added updated all the pages, added the large word cards you guys asked for, and made it easier to prep for you guys. If you already bought it, just go to "My Purchases" and redownload it for FREE.

I just finished updating it and it is pretty awesome! I doubled its size (not the price) and made it so much fun!
 I am in love with the addition ten frames activity that has THREE levels!
here on TpT
I made it easier to prep, added worksheets to the pack, and added blank options for you to create your own Secret Code Words as well. 
here on TpT
I know these pack will save you so much prep time so you can spend that much needed time with your family as well. 

February 21, 2013

Sight Word Sticks

One my kiddos FAVORITE center and/or Working with Words.
And the best part is- it is super cheap, easy to store, and FUN to play!
 What you need is clear cups, colored Popsicle sticks, and notepad paper. (I use the ones the size of post its, but without a sticky part.) 

First, write sight words on the sticks using a Sharpie and write the same word on the paper. They store nicely in baggies.

Then, set out the cups and insert the paper in the cups. Students read the words out loud and sort the sticks into the cups. 

I purposefully write a different word on different colors. Students can choose to sort the blue, green, yellow, etc. Because the words on different colors, they get each word at least once.BUT... another reason I do this... it is easy to do a quick check of the words... each cup will have one color stick in them each!

If you need some additional sight word help, this is one of my sight word packs.
grab it here on TpT, here on TN

  Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten


February 17, 2013

Presidents' Day FUN and DONE

My class has become Presidents this week.
We are learning all about Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Roosevelt.
 We have also begun to learn about US symbols.
Here are my Presidents' Day Lesson plans we started this past week and will continue on when we return to school. (We have this upcoming week off!)
 Here is an example of what we did on Wednesday when we learned about President Lincoln.
I also made TONS pf printables and activities to expand our learning even more. 
There is a reader, lots of labeling sheets, writing templates, and more!
 I use these printables on week 2... so they are prepped and ready in my classroom!

I doubled the size of this unit from last year, so you can go under "my purchases" on TpT to re-download it for all the extra goodies free! Here is the TpT link and here is the TN link.

They funny and memorable events of the week include:
My kids LOVE knowing which pictures of the presidents are drawn and which are photos. They can't image NOT having a camera to take a picture with!
They were equally obsessed with why Lincoln had a beard, but not a mustache. That bothered them a lot this year... but I still can't figure out why!
They struggle with Jefferson as a Presidents, but remember Monticello as his home. I use this to help them recognize the nickle. 
They LOVED Roosevelt's glasses and mustache! They thought he was super cool as a hunter too!
They thought Washington's white hair and false teeth were odd. 
And my girls can't figure out why there hasn't been a girl president yet. (Go for it girls!)

Yes, weeks like this are exactly WHY I teach K and love every minute of it!

  Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten


February 16, 2013

Center Saturday

Here is a overview of my weekly work centers this past week.

We worked on the /th/ blend, addition, and Presidents and US Symbols Unit. We also reviewed the /sh/ sound from last week and our Space Unit.

Yellow- Math- Addition. I had to add a larger picture of this to show you what we did.
I bought some small heart containers at the dollar store. They open up, but were plain on the outside and inside. 4 hearts were pink and 4 were red.
I numbered the hearts with a sharpie and put an addition problem on each... without the answer on the outside. The answer is only on the inside when you open the heart.
Student have to write out the addition sentence and solve it BEFORE they open the heart to check it. They record there info on this simple record sheet. At the bottom, they write their own math sentence.

Orange- Writing- My students were obsessed with the planets after learning about them last week. I used this writing activity from my Space Lesson Plans Plus unit to foster their passion. Each student got to finish the sentence to write about 6 planets, using a word wall to help them. Many chose color words or simple describing words, but a few kids got crafty. I love it!

Red- Reading- My students wrote /sh/ words on these fish cards. The words were fish, shed, trash, shark, shelf, etc. They did so well! WAY TO GO GUYS!

Purple- Phonics-  We sorted digraph shells for /sh/ and /th/ words!

Blue- Unit- We actually made a Washington Crafty from Cupcake for a Teacher, but didn't take any pictures. We also put together these USA puzzles for our US Symbols. Although this looks easy, it took them a few minutes. I made 4 different puzzles and cut them apart differently. Some kids did all the different puzzles for the fun of it. You can find it {here.}

I hope this post gives you a few FUN ideas for your classroom!
  Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten


February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's to YOU

Dr. Jean and I have been hard at work creating a special treat for all of you!
Because Valentine's Day is all about friendship and showing others how much you love them... 
Here are 38 gift card rewards you can use with your students TOMORROW!

{Hey guys, I deleted this product from my store and I am not offering it for free anymore. It came to my attention that this item might be the idea of another blogger I love and respect. I had NO idea and this was completely not my intention. I respect her and her hard work too much. Thanks for understanding.}

Download, print, and cut out.
We did all the work for you!

 Please know that I persoanlly appreciate each download, purchase, and comment you give me. 
I am so blessed to be able to work with Dr. Jean and many others like yourselves, who inspire me and motivate me. I am making friendships and {hopefully} contributing towards many classrooms, making teachers lives a little easier.

Happy Valentine's Day from my family to yours!
  Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten


Freebie Fridays

February 12, 2013

Counting Together App

I have a tech situation I am trying to work through at school.
First, let me say that my school and county are amazing and VERY supportive of teachers and technology! I am blessed in so many ways.
So here is my situation. So far, I own and control all my Apple devices, meaning I can upload and update apps as I need them. I love it and I feel like my students are using these devices to their fullest and we are following all the rules set in place. If I discover an app I love, we can play it the next day!

Soon, I will be getting two devices from the school. It is against the Board of Education's policy to allow me to "control" these devices. All apps, updates, and such have to go through the school's account and I will not have the password. All apps must be on the approved list to be used. (I should note that I completely agree with all the rules set in place and understand why they have them. I know they are not there to prohibit me from using the devices.)

So... what do I do? Have 7 devices that I control and 2 others I do not in my room?

Also, how I can I use the iTunes portion for listening station if I can't sync them to the school's iTunes account regularly? How does your school manage school purchased devices? Who updates them? Who pays for the apps? How long does it take for you to get an app added to your devices?

I hate to decline devices, I just don't know what is worth it to me and my students; finical cost and time cost. I am at a technology crossroads! HELP!

Okay... on to the app stuff!
I was contacted a but ago by the makers of this app... Counting Together... to check out their NEW math app for little learners.
I had to update my devices to the 6.0 operating system, which I should have done a long time ago!
Then we tried this app out with my students.

This app is versital...
There are multiple levels, a learning to play mode, and assigned students slots that collect data FOR YOU! I love that you can even just let them play without assigning slots as well!
This format is very different from all the apps I have seen so far because it is made for multiple players (1-4) to play ALL at the same time. The board should be laid flat and each student mans a side. They race each other and/or the clock to count and match the number quickly!

Here is what the board (screen) looks like.

I love that I have give one device to 4 students and know they are all playing and learning together.
I gave this game to each table in my room, which has 4 students sitting. I leveled my students according to their ability just to see how competitive it could and would get. Then, I stood back and watched! My students did not need a tutorial; they got it quickly. And the games got a little heated, in a good way. My students were trying hard to beat their classmates. 

This app is perfect for the beginning of the year for sure. I also asked the creators to  expand on this idea for shapes, addition, subtraction, etc. That way we can use this type of competition game all year long!

I recommend upgrading to the "Plus" version right away. This version allows you to have access to the levels and student vs student mode! The "Plus" version also goes up to number 20 instead of 10. Also, remember that you have to have the 6.0 OS to play this game and it is only for the iPad (no iPhones or iPods here peeps.)

Hope you LOVE this app as well!
  Mary Amoson, Sharing Kindergarten