Thursday, December 27, 2012

December in Review!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I cannot believe I have not posted since November....all I can say is my little blog got lost in the Christmas rush! We spent December working on patterns, new sight words, practicing for our Christmas program, and creating Christmas surprises for families. I have a few photos to share with you, maybe you can use some inspiration for next year. I used many of the same activities last year, so I will try not to repost those, but you can check out them out here.
Since the Elf on the Shelf is so popular, we made Zero the Hero into an elf on day 60 of kindergarten. They turned out really cute! We also did an elf themed patterning activity. The children could create  patterns using red and green circles:
We made ornaments as family gifts...the children painted the stars and we added a little glitter for some Christmas sparkle.
Here are a couple of new centers I used this year. We practiced reading/writing color words with this pocket chart activity (Red angel, red angel, what do you see? I see a green angel looking at me. etc.)
 I made some Christmas "I Spy" bottles, similar to the ones I used for October and November. I made red and green rice and filled them with Christmas pictures...the pics were a freebie...I'll try and find the link and add it for you!

 My class LOVES to use the bingo this center they had to choose a letter and dot the ornament with the correct beginning sound.
 We read The Legend of the Candy Cane (love sharing that story!) and spent a day on candy cane activities. I found this ordering numbers freebie.

Well, that's a quick update on the December fun! Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Need a fun math game?

Hello everyone! I hope you have time to relax and enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends! I will be with my family on Thursday and my hubby is in charge of cooking the bird! Yum...can't wait for all of the goodies!

 I really hope you are not tired of me sharing Pinterest inspired ideas...I mean really...I just think it's so cool that everyone shares their stuff and we can all benefit.  Plus, I think if I find a cool idea and share it, you may be able to use it as well. I saw this "filler-up five" idea and loved it!
The goal is to roll a die and fill each container with 5 "gems." 

I could not find the deviled egg trays, so I substituted these relish trays and they worked great. I put 30 "gems" in the middle. Each tray has six partitions to fill. It goes pretty quickly, so I can see where the egg trays would be good. But it's great practice for grouping by 5's. 

Thanks for checking in and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Time to "Binderize!"

If there's such a word as "binderize" I am doing it! I've seen several blog posts about using binders and there's a lot great info out there about using binders for planning, student data, etc. If you want to get started, you can read this post from Once Upon A First Grade.. I decided at the beginning of the school year to take one month at a time (so it's not so overwhelming) and put all of the items I use for that month into a binder. I started with September and have completed October. I collect the items as I use them and then put on the finishing touches at the end of the month.
I put all of our center activities, art projects, etc. into page protectors and put them into the binder.
 October binder
September binder
This process has helped me weed out duplicates and items I no longer use or need. I am hoping to have a full set of organized binders by the end of the school year!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Another writing center idea....from Pinterest!

Yes, I have yet another Pinterest inspired writing center idea. (Makes me wonder what I did before Pinterest!!!)
I have this cute desk I found at a garage sale for ONE DOLLAR! I've been using it as a little writing area for one student to use at a time....kind of a special place just to go and create. I photo copied each child's photo onto a piece of paper and made a name card for each child. The goal is to have children practice writing their friends' names, while using the handwriting lines, one upper case letter, etc... (I blurred out the names in the photo for privacy.)
Here's a view of the writer's side of the desk. As you can see, it's getting put to good use! Just another fun way to motivate young writers. : ) Thanks for checking in and have a super day!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Class Journals

We've been working hard to become good writers! Next week I am introducing these journals into my writing center. I saw this idea on pinterest (where else??? ha!) and thought it was great! The idea is to have themed notebooks for students write in. I decided to make my own books using a bunch of paper that was donated to our school....the paper is 8.5 x 10, so it can't be used in the photo copier. I made some cute covers using clip art and put them in a basket.
I tried to pick themes that would motivate the children to share their stories, so I chose "Sports," "My Vacation," "Happy Birthday," and "My Tooth Story."
I used the book binder at school to complete the books. I can't wait to read some of the stories the class will share! Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Wrapping Up October

It's hard to believe we've come to the end of another month! A former co-worker and I used to laugh about this all of the time"...down with Halloween, up with Thanksgiving!" Seems one month ends and another begins before we know it.  We finished the month with some beginning sound activities:

Instead of Halloween, we celebrated Fall with "Drop the Pumpkin." I've been playing this game since my student teaching days....but every year it's a hit! Just make a pumpkin (can be adapted for any holiday by changing the shape and colors) with one green side and one orange side. Drop the pumpkin. The children color a pumpkin on their paper to match the side that landed face up. Continue until all of the pumpkins are colored and see which color "won." Simple. Easy. Non-competitive. Love it.

We read 10 Timid Ghosts ordered ghosts from 1-10. This was a freebie I found last year...

Love the patterning on this one!

Friday afternoon we painted turkeys to decorate our room for November.

Thanks for checking in on my little corner of the kindergarten world and have a great day!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Glittery Pumpkins!

How about another "Pinspiration??" I pinned this apple idea from Kindergarten Smiles awhile ago....
...a little too late to do with our apples unit, so I adapted it to fit with our Fall/Pumpkin theme.

 I have to admit, my students have not used their white glue much at all this year...I've "stuck" (ha ha!) mainly with glue sticks to keep it simple, so this was good practice.  And who doesn't love glitter??? Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Centers and a book of potions!!

Hello! We are certainly experiencing fall weather here in MN! It's been chilly and rainy the past couple of days. We had a short week and a long 4 day it! I snapped a couple of pictures of my class involved in some fall activities...
The children have to count the correct number of leaves to put on each tree.

For this activity, the children just roll the die and collect the number of pumpkins rolled. When the pumpkins are gone, they count to see who collected more.

AND....since today was my day off and it was chilly and rainy outside, I thought it was a good day to catch up on a couple of creative projects....
I stamped a Halloween card...
Made a book of potions (inspired by this):

And filled a few jars for my mantle....
All I need now is a cup of hot chocolate to top off my day. = )

Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall and Halloween I SPY bottles...

Hello again! I am still at home this week while my hubby recovers from I thought I'd work on a few fun things for my classroom! Last year, I printed these great free Fall and Halloween themed "word walls" from Teacher Bits and Bobs.  (I've tried searching their blog for the direct link, but it says the page is not may find other great word walls you can use for this as well.) I printed them full size to use in my writing center, but thought it would be fun to turn them into I Spy bottles, too.
I printed the pictures at a smaller scale to put inside the bottle.  The children can cross off the pictures as they find them on the larger sheet...I printed a few of them full size and will laminate them.
I absolutely LOVE making the colored rice to put in these bottles! I made purple for the Halloween bottle and orange for the Fall bottle. I used Gatorade bottles; they are very sturdy!

The children love this activity! Here it is in action:

Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

October Stamp and Count Pages

I started using stamp and count pages last year, around Valentine's Day. Walmart has Studio G stamps and stamp pads for $1.00 in their scrapbook aisle. They've had quite a few seasonal items over the past few months.

I picked up a couple of stamps to make October themed stamp and count pages. I like using the smaller stamp pads for individual projects like this.
Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Favorite Halloween Books Linky Party!

Hey! I thought it would be fun to share my favorite Halloween books....I'm joining the Linky Party at First Grade Found Me.

Here are my top picks:

My ALL TIME FAVORITE has to be Big Pumpkin....LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the repetition of the text and the catchy tune to this one! I used the cassette with this book for I finally have the digital version of the story.

My next favorite is Room on the Broom. FUN for rhyming and a good story of friendship...It's so much fun to read this one aloud...I usually read it more than once!
A great Halloween book for math is 10 Timid Ghosts. I first read this book to my son as a preschooler and now use it in my classroom.

My last pick is The Night Before Halloween. I have several of The Night Before...series and love them all.

Be sure to check out all of the other great Halloween books at the Linky Party! Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I know I say this almost every time I post...but really...where does the time go? I cannot believe we are already in the last week of September. I am currently taking a little time off from school to help my husband recover from surgery, but  have some apple projects to share with you!
You may recognize some of these ideas from Pinterest...I have a few of them pinned on my September board. The craft project on the top left is from a book I've had for a few years...the bottom left Johnny Appleseed activity is from Musings of Me.  We did the whole scientific method process for our sink/float experiment and the graph shows the predictions of the students. You should have heard the shock and surprise when they found out apples float!!! Fun! Another reason I love kindergarten!!! Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Bus Graph

Hello! Here's an update on our week...
We did a short unit on bus safety and made this graph:

It was our first Zero the Hero Day!
We started adding names to our word wall. As each child takes his/her turn to be calendar helper for the day, we add his/her name. I have 13 students in my class, so it will take 13 days for everyone's name to be added. Each day we spell the name, talk about how many letters there are, compare it to other names that begin with the same letter, etc.
Thanks for checking in and have a good weekend!