Saturday, January 21, 2017

Five for Friday


It's been a while since I've joined this fun linky, so I'm happy to be back with five things to share. This week seemed to go by so quickly, but I feel pretty good about all that we got done. And, I even remembered to snap some pictures!

First up ~ a bowl of my hubby's famous (and, should be award winning) chili. He doesn't use a recipe, but my oh my is it good. It's topped with cheese, chili flavored Fritos, and freshly made guacamole. A glass of Riesling isn't exactly the typical beverage to drink with chili, but it is my favorite!

#1b ~ every Friday my family (daughters, their husbands, and kids) come to our house for dinner. Tonight we had French inspired food based upon the French wine my hubby collected this week. Last Friday we had Italian wine & Italian food. Next week we plan to have Mexican and will serve something a little more authentic than Riesling. Maybe Margaritas.

I decided that this year is the year I work on updating older products. My "office" is our family room couch. Chip & Joanna are frequently my companions as I work. Check out my newly revised Cupcake Literacy Activities HERE.

Last week we had fun talking about snowmen & made a couple snowman crafts. The first is a Sneezy the Snowman craft from Deanna Jump. The shape of their snowman's head (round or melted) the the type of hat were determined by spinning & graphing information. So, no two snowmen were exactly alike. (But, when do any kindergarten crafts end up looking alike?)

Olaf is surrounded by little snowmen that were painted with Q-tips. There is something more fun about painting with cotton swabs than with brushes. My kids love to paint, but they really get excited if they get to use something other than a regular paintbrush.

Last week was Polar Bear Week! I really love having a theme to my week ~ especially if it's an animal. I think I have as much fun learning about animals as the kids do! We shared the pen (a Sharpie!) to complete this chart. I was impressed by their "kindergarten spelling." A couple of kids were spot on with their spelling!

We made two polar bear crafts this week ~ this glittery friend is from my Polar Bear Science & Writing set. (Purchase HERE.) This project took a while to create. First, the kids cut out & assembled their bears. Next they created a snowy background. Some, like the one in the lower left corner had seals & other Arctic elements. Of course, no frosty scene could be complete with a little (and in some cases, a lot) of iridescent glitter!

Our other polar bear craft was this cute directed drawing. I have come to really enjoy doing directed drawing with my students. It not only gives them practice listening & following directions, directed drawings give them a fun, creative experience. Like I said earlier, no two Kinder projects are ever the same. We drew onto gray paper, colored the bears white & used water colors to paint the background. I love how they turned out! They look so cute hanging on our hallway tree.

Dude! One of my Kinders' favorite literacy stations is the "Games" station. In this station I have a variety of literacy games & activities. One popular activity is clip cards. Get these in my Montly Literacy Stations bundle HERE. I got the cute green clips at Michaels. (Do you remember to show your teacher ID when shopping at Michaels? They give a teacher discount on almost everything!)

Thanks for visiting! I welcome your comments. :-) Hop over to Doodle Bugs Teaching for more Five for Friday fun! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Literacy Stations

One of my favorite parts of my school day is Literacy Stations. It's one of my Kinders' favorite times, too. They are disappointed if something prevents us from doing them. Over the years my Literacy Stations have gone through a series of changes & tweaks to get to where they are now. I'm pretty happy with how they run now.

Sorry about the quality of this picture ~ it's pretty grainy for some reason. I wanted to share how I manage my station rotations. I have cards for all of the stations that we are currently using in these charts (from Target's Dollar Spot). We do two rotations per day ~ the green cards are first. Students work in ability level pairs in each station except for my table & games. These stations have four students. Unless I change the student pairs the name cards stay in the same place. I move the cards down one pocket, with the bottom cards moving to the top. I know when it's time to change the activities at my table when the green Mrs. Phillips card gets back to the top. This makes it easy to keep track of where we are in the cycle. Download the cards for free HERE.

This week we are playing a CVC word building game at my table instead of our regular guided reading lesson. This game can be moved to the Games station once everyone knows how to play it.

At the Word Work table students have lots of choices of activities. Very few of them involve a worksheet. This one is from Mailbox.

This CVC activity is from my Serving Up CVC Words. You can purchase it HERE.

I still have a couple old-school CD players. I figure as long as they work we'll use them. I also have a "boom box" a couple iPods, and an old iPhone for listening.

In addition to traditional writing station activities I like to include some fine motor activities. Here, a student is writing sight words in "Magic Snow." (salt & glitter) I found the plastic tub at Target & put it on a cookie sheet to contain the mess. Grab the editable cards for free HERE.

Our games station has a variety of literacy games ~ here these girls are playing Roll-a-Cube from my January Literacy Stations set. Get the bundle HERE.

This week I introduced a polar animal sensory tub. I'm in the process of creating cards to go into this tub, but because we are learning about polar bears this week I wanted to bring it in to let the kids play with the materials. We usually use tablets at this short table (see it's before picture in this past post), but the kids have chosen this new tub over tablets every time. (Yay! I'm not a fan of kindergartners staring at screens.)

My Kinders really love literacy stations. I love them because they give me time to work with small groups. It's a Win-Win!

I'd be interested to hear about your literacy stations. Please leave a comment to share what you do.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Talkin' Turkey

I'm going to pretend that it's almost time for Thanksgiving break, and not he middle of December. I took lots of pictures of the fun craftivities that we did in November, but never got around to posting them. So, here they are. Happy Turkey Day! (Just a little late...)

This is a recycled bulletin board from last year. The hedgehog was so cute I just had to bring him out again, This year our turkeys in disguise flew in with our painted fall leaves once the pumpkins rolled away. The turkeys are a family project ~ I love to see their creativity!

Directed draw turkeys.  I love how the turkeys are drawn according to explicit directions, but turn out so different! Kid artwork is the best!

Math craftivity ~ first we "baked" some paper plate pumpkin pies using torn paper & cotton balls. I had to help them cut a slice (it was a bit too thick for our kindergarten scissors to cut). Once the kids had their slice of pie they stuck it onto our graph. I was surprised that so many kids lie pumpkin pie.

This is an oldy-moldy craft from an old book I've had forever. The kids don't mind that the book was published back in the 1980s ~ they are just happy to be able to use glitter!

Super simple scarecrow craft looks special because it has real ribbon & glitter leaf stickers.

Another paper plate craft. This time the kids painted the plates to make tails. (We did this craft on Veterans' Day, which served as an inspiration to the little guy who painted the flagish turkey tail.)

I hope you enjoyed our Thanksgiving crafts even if it is the middle of December.  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What's on Your Wish List?

It't time of year when we are making lists of things to purchase for your loved ones. I'm almost done with my shopping (I only need to make a trip to The American Girl Store & check out my Amazon cart). Then, I can think about what's on my Wish List ~ my TpT Wish List! I'm joining some amazing teacherpreneurs to showcase our top three wish listed items. Are any of my items on your list?

Visit my store ~ HERE.

Click HERE to purchase.

Read a blog post about this set HERE.

Click HERE to purchase.

Click HERE to purchase.

Read a blog post about this set HERE.

Click HERE for more great Wish List items. Happy Shopping!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pumpkins & More

I can't believe that October is almost over! Where did the time go?? It's hard to believe that in two days it will be November (that's when the count down to Christmas begins in my house. And, yes, I might have listened to Christmas music yesterday.) But, back to October & all things autumn...

I love how these cute pumpkins turned out. The kids drew their pumpkin shape onto orange paper & painted them with orange, yellow, and red paint. The next day they cut them out & "carved" funny & fierce faces on them using black & white paper. These Jack-o-Lanterns are as unique as their makers.

I always go to the pumpkin patch with my daughters & granddaughters. There was no shortage of pumpkins around here!

Yay! Halloween is back at my school! We have a new principal and are finally allowed to dress up for Halloween! In the past we've used loopholes like 50th Day, Red Ribbon Week, and Favorite Character Day to wear costumes, but were never allowed to do a real Halloween party. I think the PTO moms were as excited as the teachers & kids about the party. We celebrated on Friday with a costume parade & party. It was so much fun!

My sweet team ~ we dressed up as M&Ms!

Not just for October ~ bat & owl comparison. This Venn diagram is part of my Night Fliers Science & Writing set. Click HERE to purchase. We usually study bats in October, but really they can be a part of your study of nocturnal animals and even hibernation.

I was so excited by our writing this week! Of course, some kiddos are still just drawing pictures, and some are beginning to add labels. But, a few are really working on writing sentences! Check out these sentences!

The next few pictures have nothing to do with education at all. My youngest daughter recently embarked on a crafty adventure. In addition to her job in marketing, she has created some beautiful items for sale. She's done a few markets, and has an etsy store. (Click HERE to visit her store.) You can also find her on Facebook HERE. I have to say that I am very proud of her beautiful work!

And, finally this REALLY isn't education related, but does bring us back to pumpkins. We recently had our Third Annual Pumpkin Beer Taste Test! There were 14+ bottles of different pumpkin beers to taste as we enjoyed delicious chili made by my hubby. Shot glasses made the perfect tasting glasses, and we marked our reactions to each beer on a record sheet. Such a fun day ~ good food, good beer, and most importantly, good company!

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