Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cars & Coins!

Here's a quick little center I did for counting money. Money is the last unit we covered with our new Singapore Math series. It is not one of my favorite math concepts to teach because it can be very confusing, especially when combining coins.  I used this game on the Smart board for the children to practice.

I also made this "Cars & Coins" game, modeled after Mrs. Lee's awesome center ideas...I printed cars (DJ Inkers clip art) on different colors of paper and put coin stickers on them.
The children counted the money amounts on the cars, wrote the amount, and colored the car to match on the response sheet. I tried to keep the amounts pretty simple, so they could really learn the value of each coin. Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pocket Gardens and end of the year craziness...

Hello! Another week has gone by since my last post...only 3.5 days to go!! The countdown is ON! You all know how crazy the end of the year can be...assess...assess...assess! We finished a few projects this week, including our plant unit and Kindergarten Keepsake book. I'll save the book for another post, but here's the update on our pocket gardens:
We started these about 2 weeks ago. I always use bean seeds for this project because we are almost guaranteed success.  The "watch me grow" flower pot pattern is from our science series. I taped them to our classroom window so they could get good sunlight.
This is how they looked on Monday of this week. I should've snapped another picture before I sent them home today....this one had stems growing out of the bag! The kids loved doing this. We had only one that ended up getting moldy, so we planted new seeds for him today. Hopefully by the time we get back on Tuesday, they will be sprouting.
Here's a little project we did for identifying the parts of a plant. The children made their own roots to add to the flower and glued on the labels.

So...with only 3.5 days left in this school year, I am feeling the time crunch and summer beckons! I started working on cleaning, organizing and purging two of my cupboards today. If I haven't used it and it doesn't support the curriculum, I pitched it! I really want to organize now, so I can enjoy the summer and return in August without having to organize before setting up my room. My summer to do list includes a TON of things I've seen on pinterest and want to try, scrapbooking, and working part time....along with reading and biking in between there, too! Can't wait for that first morning to sleep in and then enjoy a second cup of coffee instead of racing out the door by 7:15! Good luck with your last days/weeks, too!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Combination of two great ideas....

Hello! Today I'd like to share an idea I put together using 2 great ideas from other teachers...
this one from Growing Kinders....and the gumball machine idea from Shari Sloane.
I found a small gumball machine at the Dollar Tree. It's not the kind you can put a penny in, but it works!  I wrote the numbers 1-100 (not all of them...I left a few out, just so the kids couldn't color all of them and say they were done. Ha!) on glass gems, also purchased at the Dollar Tree. The children color the number on their hundred chart that matches the number that came out of the gumball machine.

Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Z is for Zinnias

We did a little spring planting the first week in May. I love planting's one of my favorite flowers and I can usually count on pretty good results when the kids plant them. They tend to be pretty easy to grow and I love that!

We came back to school Monday morning to see these beauties already growing!
Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Camping Ideas!

Our media specialist planned a fun literacy week for our K-3 students with a camping theme. I added a few classroom ideas of my is our door:
It says "Welcome to the North Woods" created with DJ Inkers clip art.  This title was totally appropriate since we live in MN!  We did a couple of graphs: "Have you ever slept in a tent?And "Have you made a s'more?"
 I created a writing center (using DJ Inkers clipart again!) with some camping vocabulary words...
And I printed a poem the children could read and fill in the missing word.
I made a marshmallow cvc game...the children choose a "marshmallow" from the container. If they can read the word, they can add it to their mat; if not, they return it to the container. The goal is to collect 10 marshmallows.

Thursday we wrote about camping...some of the children have not had a camping experience, of course, so we started with a "5 senses of camping" chart . The children came up with great ideas. Then they wrote a few sentences about their favorite part of camping, or what they think would be fun if they went camping, etc. Here are a few of their ideas:

 "I like to go camping in a camper and a tent."
" I like to camp with my family."
"My family is making s'mores."
I'm so proud of their writing at this point in the year. They are ready to move onto first grade! Have a great day and thanks for checking in!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Happy Rocks

Happy May! We are into the last month of school...hard to believe! I read this post on Growing Kinders  about behavior management ideas. It was just the boost I needed to get through May! I decided to make a jar of "Happy Rocks" for my classroom and started using them May 1st.
Here's the jar after I printed a cute label and put smiley faces on the rocks. I am using them to reinforce  good behavior of individual students.  You probably see the same thing in your room...I have some students who are always on task, who are always ready to listen, and who always walk quietly in line. When I introduced the happy rocks, I explained that it makes me happy to see students who remember what to do and do it without having to be asked every single time. When students are doing what they are supposed to, they get a happy rock.

 The first day I gave out a lot....our first line of the day was superb! I didn't have to remind anyone to use walking feet or keep hands to themselves in line.  Perfection! It only takes one good listener to get a happy rock and everyone is ready. It has worked like a charm this week. You could use this as a group motivator; I decided to use it for individuals because, as a parent, it bothered me when my own children came home from school and said the whole class had a consequence because a couple of children made poor choices. I believe in teaching my class that good choices bring good things. I do not use extrinsic rewards often and choose not to use candy...I simply want to let the good listeners know that I appreciate their hard work day after day. Click on the picture to get your own happy rocks label. : )
 Hope you had a happy May Day! One of my students surprised me with these goodies!
Thanks for checking in on my little corner of the kindergarten world!