Saturday, September 29, 2012

Linky Parties and a Blog Hop


Check out these blogs for some great ideas!

My Linky Party is part of the Ultimate Linky Party.  Be sure to go there for more great ideas!


Learning Stations

Sorry about two posts on the same day.  I never seem to have enough time to get everything done that I want to do.  (Sounds familiar, huh?)  So I figured I should get this posted while I still have time...
My kinders have been working so hard to be able to work in small groups and pairs, and they have really done a great job!  Last week we did a trial run, and now we are all set for the real deal next week.  I am lucky to have some helpers on most days - an eighth grader comes in on Tuesday and Thursday (we are a K-12 building), and two  moms have promised to come in on Wednesday & Friday.  That just leaves Monday without extra help.  Even so, I am very happy to have help four days a week!

We (my two fabulous teaching partners & I) plan our Learning Stations together.  Usually we try to do the same activities, but sometimes we trade off - rotating three activities.  We allot a half hour for Stations, and our shared aide comes into each of our rooms to help run an activity.

Mrs. S's Station.  Read, Write, Stamp!  Sight word practice.

Word Word Station.  Spelling their, and classmates', names with magnets. 

Writing Station.  Rainbow names - roll the color coded cube and write your name using that color crayon.  Simple, but a great way to help them to practice writing their names!

Listening Station.  I got my new jackbox and headphones!  Yay!  Now everyone will hear the story well.

My station.  We will arrange these little (Saxon) number cards in order, and place the appropriate amount of counters below the cards.  I do have some leveled practice pages to use after working with the manipulatives, but I forgot to photograph them - sorry!

My nifty new stacking counters from Nasco.  I was looking for something *cheap* and fun to use instead of always using teddies, linking cubes, or foam counters.  We've used them once so far, and the kids like them.  I did let them play with them for a while - they had to get the sticking them on the end of their fingers out of their system before being able to get to work.  In fact, I usually do allow the Kinders to play with manipulatives before asking them to work.  I've found that by giving them even two - three minutes to play helps them to focus when I need them to work.


Yesterday we rounded out our Apple themed week with a word family apple tree and some apple math.  Even our Let's Find Out weekly lesson had apples in it!

We made -am words by picking an apple from the tree and placing it on the trunk.  I wrote on the trunk with a Sharpie.  Because the tree is laminated, the ink will easily come off with rubbing alcohol.

Making 8.  First, we used two sided counters to make 8 in different ways.  I put my apple basket work mat on my Elmo (how did I ever teach without it??) so the kids could "Match Me!"  Match Me is a favorite math game this year - I arrange a number or pattern on the Elmo for the Kinder to match.  They love it!  Anyway, after they matched my arrangement, we counted the yellow and red "apples" and I filled in the blanks on the white board.
Our Making 8 bulletin board!  After playing Match Me, the kids were instructed to make 8 any way they wanted.  They then wrote their numbers in the number sentence and traded the foam counters for paper apples.  Not only was this a math lesson, but an arts and crafts activity, too!
The apple baskets are super cute with the addition of stems and leaves!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Literacy Stations "Test Run"

We have been busy "building stamina" for the past few weeks.  Daily 5 users may recognize this - practicing working in small groups using the "I-Chart" for guidance.  We don't really do a daily five, but a variation that includes a weekly five.  Our Literacy Stations include five activities that help students to practice important literacy skills (we sneak in a little Math Literacy to our stations work).

My Kinders have been working really hard to build enough stamina to be able to work in small groups.  They have done an amazing job!  It is so wonderful to watch them as they work quietly together on the simple tasks in their tubs.  Tomorrow we will do a test run of the real deal - instead of several various activities, the kids will be given specific tasks to do in their small groups.  I am confident that they will do a good job!

Writing Station.  Students will practice reading, spelling, and writing the sight words that we have learned so far.  I found the little magnet boards at Walmart this past summer for 99 cents each, and the little wipe off strips in the Target Dollar Spot (they still had a few the last time I looked).
 Mrs. S's Station.  Some more simple activities.  These all focus on initial sounds.  I didn't photograph it, but they will do a page from Teacher's Helper, too.
 Word Work Station.  Students will do a few pre-made letter naming activities and this freebie page.
My Station.  I will check students for letter naming while others use these rhyming activities.

Listening Station.  We still have to use these oldy moldy headphones - I ordered a new jack box and headphones, but they haven't come in yet.  Hopefully, I'll get them this week.  But, until then these old ones do work.

In addition to Literacy Stations, we will begin using our Skill Tubs this week.  So far, we have been working with small groups.  The Kinders work in pairs when using Skill Tubs.  Many of the things in these tubs are activities that they have done before.  I have found that the students are better able to work independently when the activities are familiar. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bloggy Catsup

...Oops!  I mean catch up!  It has been a while since I last posted - I was kinda busy with school...  As every teacher knows - the beginning of the year is very hectic!  With our first full week under our belts, we are on our way!  I have a super group of eighteen little cuties (11 boys & 7 girls), and am looking forward to another fantastic year.

Now that we are settling into a routine, I will hopefully have more time for other pursuits (such as my blog).  I snapped some pictures of various things last week, so here thery are:

Our Focus Wall.  As a part of the teacher evaluation rubric, we are required to post the learning objectives in a kid friendly way.  Hopefully, this wall will cover it for me. 
I found these cute rule cards on Pinterest.  I was going to make some new signs for my class, but these were already made and very cute!  I taped ribbon to the backs in order to hang them on a 3M hook.
We made these cute Sight Word Watches to help learn the word I.  I purchased both the pre-primer and primer sets so we will be able to make a watch for all of our sight words.
My daughter, Sarah - a new Kinder Teacher, found this cute "David" craft.  It is so exciting that she got a kindergarten position (even if it is in a different district)!

My daughter, Sarah - a new Kinder Teacher, found this cute "David" craft.  It is so exciting that she got a kindergarten position (even if it is in a different district)!

 The bulletin board beneath Davids holds our crayon resist names.  On the first day the Kinders wrote their names with several crayons (I wrote them on the papers with pencil), and then used their water color paints to create one of a kind nameplates.

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