Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Learning Stations for the Week of 11/26/12

 I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving with your families.  Mine was filled with fun, love, and laughter.  About seven years ago my mother finally announced that she could no longer host the 40 - 50 of us at Thanksgiving, so my siblings (all six of them) and I began hosting our own family dinners. We still all gather for Christmas (it's Barb's turn to host this year!).  Last Thursday my three beautiful daughters, two sons-in-law, two adorable granddaughters, sister Debbie, brother John & his daughter, Mom, friend Megan & her son, husband Kevin and I sat down to share a delicious meal of turkey and all the trimmings.  After stuffing ourselves, we settled in by the fire to play "Apples to Apples," and enjoy the wonderful desserts (that I didn't have to make!).  It was kind of difficult to go back to school after our five day weekend (serious fog on Wednesday cancelled school).  Anyway, here are the stations we are doing this week.

Mrs. S.'s Station.  This is the third week of our Lakeshore Learning sight word rotation.  It has been quite nice rotating the stations - no additional planning necessary!  This file folder activity focuses on color words.
A page from a Teacher's Helper gives additional practice in reading color words.
Writing Station.  Nut books filled with "N" word pictures.  Occasionally we will plan an activity in the Writing Station that gives the Kinders fine motor practice.  In addition to coloring and cutting out the nuts and pictures, they practiced writing the letter n and copying the picture names.
 Word Work.  Short i word sliders from Make Take Teach, plus the -it slider I made, give the kids practice reading CVC words.  A worksheet from Teacher's Helper whose photo absolutely refused to load below this one gave extra short i CVC word practice.

My station.  We named and described shapes with this fun game from Lakeshore Learning.

This page (from one of my partner's resource books) extended the shapes practice.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Learning Stations & a Math Craft

Here are the stations we began last week.  They will continue tomorrow and Tuesday.  We'll begin new activities on Wednesday even though the four day Thanksgiving weekend is coming up. 

Listening Station.  If you haven't read this book, try to get a copy before Thanksgiving.  It's really funny!

Mrs. S.'s Station.  This is week 2 of a three week rotation of sight word activities.  My two partners and I are taking turns with three of our Lakeshore Learning file folder activities.  We love these ready-made centers!  (But, I'm sure Mrs. S. is going to be tired of them at the end of the three week rotation...)  The candy jar page is something from an old book belonging to one of my partners.
Writing Station.Students write a sentence (or two) about Thanksgiving using the sight words we have studied thus far.  As for the other words, they are encouraged to use their "best kindergarten spelling."  So far, I have been pretty impressed!  :-)  Here is the writing page.
Word Work Station.  Super simple - this web is from the resource book included in our Reading series.  The Kinders trace the letters (T and I - not shown), and look for words that begin with the letter to write on their webs.  This seems so easy, but they have fun searching for the words!

My Station.  Another one of our nifty Lakeshore Learning Instant Learning Centers - week 2 of another three week rotation.  In this activity students sort out a variety of interesting items.
As with most of our Learning Stations, we like to have the students complete a worksheet or record sheet of some kind so that we can check their understanding, and give parents something to see. This page is from the old book (from my preschool days) pictured below.
Math Craft!  We have been working and working and working on numbers, so I thought that it would be fun to make a craft featuring numbers!  The kids loved making these links (in school colors) to show different ways to make six

Now that I am writing this, I realize I should have taken a picture of the first step...  Using the number 6 number bracelets, the Kinders arranged their beads as desiredThe number on the top of the bracelet represented the number of yellow links, and the number on the bottom showed how many green links.  They transferred this information onto their number bond page.  Once this was done, the fun of creating the links began!  And, I am happy to say that it went pretty smoothly.  As you can see from the pictures above the craft turned out very well. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Number Sense Activities

We have been busy working on building number sense this year.  As mentioned in an earlier post, our corporation has adopted Math in Focus - a Singapore approach to math.  This method of teaching math focuses on using lots of manipulatives - something that really makes a lot of sense for kinders!  They have really  enjoyed working them.  Here are some pictures of a few activities we have done.

Dino Math Mats.  I made these to help my kinders to practice today's lesson on "How many more?"  Partners took turns rolling the die and placed that many spikes (wooden blocks) on the dinosaur.  They then determined how many more were needed to make six.  After working for a while, some of my little smarties figured out that they were making number bonds!  *yay!*  I added ten sticker spots to each dino - for decoration - but also with the thought that these prehistoric pals could be used when making ten.
Match me!  Partners take turns building a tower of cubes for the other to match.
Roll & build.  Roll a die and make a cube tower with the specified number of cubes.  Gerber baby food containers make a great "shaker" for die - they can be sufficiently rolled, but don't get away.
Laminate construction paper to create durable work mats.  Mine are color coded for our four tables and have been in use for three years.  They give the kids a defined work space and help to keep their materials organized.

 Playing cards are a fun alternative to dice and number cards.  (Remove the face cards and be sure to tell the kids that the Ace card stands for 1.) 
One more - select a card and then add one to get a new number. 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gobble Gobble!

 We made these cute turkeys yesterday.

It was quite an undertaking, but my Kinders cut out all of these circles and glued them on in the correct order!  My high school helper spent several days tracing the five circles needed for each of my eighteen kiddos.  (You may be wondering how do you have middle & high school student volunteers?  Our school is a little, country school with K - 12 in the same building.  On a side note, we may be small in size, but our student achievement is great!)  I made the cute letters with my Cricut "Speaking of Fall" cartridge.  

Our cute Thanksgiving bulletin board.
Several years ago a student gave me this wooden basket wall hanging.  It came with some schoolish clip-ons.  I later found out that it was made by a local crafter who sells the baskets and additional clip-ons at the various festivals in our area.  I was happy to find this cute turkey when I visited the "Scarecrow Festival" last year.  I have found that I am able to personalize this basket by simply sticking seasonal items to wooden clothespins with poster sticky *stuff*.

This Week's Learning Stations

We began these stations on Wednesday of this past week.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have found it to be convenient to start stations in the middle of the week because we don't feel the need to stay late on Friday getting everything set up.  This also works well when we have a short week - as long as the stations are rotated in order everyone gets a chance to visit each one.

The yellow station cards are rotated down one pocket each day.  When "Mrs. Phillips" gets back to the top, it's time for a new round of stations.  (This picture is from last year.  I am so happy that I took the time to cover my focus wall entirely in fabric - it looks so much nicer!)
Writing Station.  Students copy the sentence frames onto their papers to write a rebus story.  This masterpiece is my sample - so far no one has copied it!  :-)  Here is the worksheet for the story.
Word Work Station.  Students sort picture cards by initial sounds.

 The little boat pictures came from this book.

After sorting their boats, they sorted pictures on this page.  The theme of this unit of reading is transportation, so these activities fit in nicely!
Mrs. S.'s Station.  Students sort picture/word cards into categories.  They practice using picture clues to help figure out the words with this page I found at
My Station.  The kinders practice counting objects with these cute picnic work mats and *creepy* ants.  As they work, I ask them questions such as which food has the most ants?  Does the sandwich have more or fewer ants than the hotdog?  The kids like playing with these creepy crawlies, and I am able to get a quick look at their understanding of greater/fewer, one more/one less, etc.
After the fun of counting the ants, they are asked to write a number and draw that many ants.  The back of this page (not shown) has a skip counting activity - place ten ants in a number of circles and count by tens.  This worksheet seems super simple, but it was a nice tool to use for differentiated practice.
Listening Station.  I made copies of this page for each of our book/CD combos.  The kids complete one after listening to the story.  As the year progresses, I ask them to write some words or sentences in addition to drawing a picture.

I got the form shown above from this book.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Building Numbers 3 - 5

We have spent quite a bit of time working with numbers - composing and decomposing the numbers 3 - 5.  My Kinders have really enjoyed using a variety of manipulative to create number bonds.  Our corporation adopted Math in Focus - a Singapore approach to teaching math.  I really like the hands-on nature of this method of teaching math.  And, I think the Kinders like it, too!

Here are the anchor charts I made for the numbers 3 - 5.  They aren't very fancy, but they do the trick!

I know this is weird - the kids being backwards and all - but here is a glimpse of an activity we did to learn about the number 4.  Hula hoops were used to make life sized number bonds.  The kids stood inside the hoops to show part - part - whole.

These cupcake puppets are included in my number bond kit on Teachers pay Teachers.

Turkey Day is Coming!

 Now that it is November, I thought that we should get going on our Thanksgiving themed projects.  This is an extra short month this year - it will be time to deck the halls before you know it!  Here are a few things we did today.

Tom the Turkey Word Family Bird.  I made this turkey to help my Kinders to practice making short i word families.  The turkey isn't fully attached to the black paper so the feathers can easily slip in and out of the "pocket."  To make -it words, the kids can select a feather and clip it on the brown shape above Tom's head with a clothespin.  The -it shape is attached with masking tape, so it will be easy to change word families. 
At Hats.  We brainstormed a list of -at words - the kiddos were amazed that they could easily spell and read -at words.  They wrote the words we spelled onto the hat band.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Crafts & a Cute Gift

Here are two of our current craft displays - one on a bulletin board and one on the wall just outside the classroom.

Meow!  My Kinders really enjoyed making these cute black cats.  I enjoyed making the funny kitty on my Cricut!
M is for Mouse!
A close up of one of the cute M mice.
A student's mom made this for me.  It is the perfect place to *hide* my powder compact, lip gloss & chapstick on my desk! 
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