Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wrapping Up 2012

All of my gifts are wrapped, most of my cookies are baked, and school is out for Christmas break.  It's hard to believe that we are already here - Christmas Eve Eve!  We had a fun class party - planned by my awesome Room Moms.  The kids enjoyed making a craft, playing games, and eating a yummy snack.

This year our school is participating in an number of philanthropic opportunities.  One is Heifer International Read to Feed.  Out  PTO has secured donations to purchase animals for this program: one dollar per book read.  So far, my Kinders have "donated" a trio of rabbits (60 books), a flock of chicks (20 books), and are well on the way to donate a goat (120 books).  Of course, in kindergarten these are read aloud books.  Because of the crazy nature of last week, we spent more time reading than we usually have time to do.  As of Friday, 12/21, my class total is 182 books read aloud in class since the beginning of the school year!  We have an envelope of "dollars" - after a book is read, one is transferred to our collection folder.  Periodically we would take them out and count them.  This past week we counted them, and I wrote the total on a sticky note.  Each time we read one, we got to practice "adding one" and changed the number on the sticky note. The kids loved doing addition with such big numbers!

Here are some Learning Stations we did in the past few weeks.

Addition activity.  Students used this "Instant Center" from Lakeshore Learning to practice addition skills.  A page from Teacher's Helper (not pictured) was used to give additional practice.  


Counting and reading number words activity from The Mailbox.  Students cut apart the cards and matched the correct cookie jar pictures with the number words.  Mrs. S. helped them do this station.  Now that everyone has done this activity, I plan to copy the cards onto card stock and place it in a Skill Tub for independent practice.
Write the Room.  We studied the letter F last week.  When describing what to do in this station, I had to be sure to tell them to look for words beginning with f, not to look for f-words! 

Sight Word Memory & practice page from Teacher's Helper.

Christmas Ornament  The kids drew a Christmas picture and wrote a sentence (or two) about it.  The word list is from an older issue of The Mailbox.

CVC Spelling.  This great activity is from Of Primary Importance.

Color by Sight Word.  One of my wonderful teaching partners found this on Pinterest.  There are no "identifying labels."  Is it yours?  If so, let me know so I can give you credit.
 Foam ten frames to make numbers to twenty.

 Here are some crafts we did this month.

Kinders love to make crafts - especially when they are gifts for their parents!  They sponge painted these little tree cut outs (from Michaels), affixed a small photo, and went to town with sequins & glitter.  The bags in the background are gift bags made from lunch bags and sequined trees. 

The tree theme was continued in the cards they made for their parents.  I'm sure not too many of these gifts are under any trees - they were so excited to give them to their parents!
Gingerbread Babies dance around our hallway bulletin board.  I made the gingerbread house a few years ago after reading Jan Brett's Gingerbread Baby.

Snowman Word Family Chart.  I made this little snowbuddy to help my Kinders read word family words.  I figure it will take us through January, etc.
Under the Tree.  The kids had fun making numbers to twenty on this page (get it here).  We used linking cubes for the "gifts" before coloring in the ten frames.

I hope that you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Leibster Award


Yay!  I've been nominated *twice* for an award!   

Thanks to Angie over at Making The Basics Fun and Linda at Kindergarten and Mooneyisms for the nominations!
The Liebster Award is given by bloggers to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. It’s to show that new bloggers are appreciated and help spread the word about our little pieces of cyberspace.

Here are the rules:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot “tag back” the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with the URL of your Liebster post so I can learn more about you & see who you nominate.

Eleven Random Things About Me:

1.   I taught preschool for 12 years before joining my current elementary school.
2.   I love Mexican food - I could eat the salsa at my favorite restaurant with a spoon (who needs chips?).
3.   I am currently reading Reaper one of the five books my daughter, Emily Goodwin, has written.
4.   I  have four brothers, two sisters, 13 nieces & nephews, and 17 great nieces & nephews.
5.   I have 24 skirts, 40 cardigans, and over 30 pairs of shoes.
6.   I might be a bit of a shop-a-holic
7.   I went to Purdue University.  Boiler Up!
8.   I'm a "Gleek" - I never miss an episode of Glee.
9.   I recently watched a Christmas episode of The Brady Bunch.
10. I know how to sew and crochet and have entered things in our county fair.
11.  I do not like gardening - waaaay too much dirt!

Angie's Questions:

1.  Who was your favorite teacher growing up?
Mrs. Rositer (spelling??)  She was very kind and grandmotherly.
2.  If you could trade places with one person for a day who would it be?
Hmmm... Someone who can sing or dance.  I'd love to do either one *well* for a day.
3. What is your favorite condiment? 
4.  If you could yell anything from the mountain top what would it be?
My family ROCKS!
5. Share one of your blogging goals for the new year.
I would like to keep up with my posts & do a give away of one of the books my daughter wrote.
6.  What is a favorite educational app, youtube video or web resource?
I get tons of great ideas from Pinterest!
7.  Salt or sugar?  What do you crave?
Sugar - yum
8.  Favorite Holiday Tradition?
I LOVE Christmas!  We put up about 8 - 9 trees and lots of lights!
9.  Camp, Cruise or Road trip?  What kind of vacation would you pick?
I'd love to go on a road trip to somewhere warm.
10. What is your favorite classroom tool?
I use my Elmo all day long.  I also don't know what I'd do without my mushroom containers from Aldi.  They are the perfect size for doling out materials and corralling small objects.  (And, they are seen in many of my blog pictures!)
11.  Who would you like to say "Thank You" to?
My husband for his love and support, my beautiful daughters for their kindness and the beauty they have brought into my life, and to my wonderful Kindergarten teammates for the ideas, fun & laughter we share.

Linda's Questions:

1. Do you stay at school to work, or do you take the work home?
 Both... I like to get everything ready before leaving at the end of the day, but do bring home papers and planning to do at home in front of the TV with my Chihuahua Macie on my lap.
2. Pie or cake?
Cake for sure!
3. What is the best part about being a teacher?
Seeing the ah ha moments.  It is so gratifying to watch the little ones learn and grow.
4. What is the not-so-good part about being a teacher?
The RISE document
5. If you could have one wish for your classroom, what would it be?
I have a wonderful classroom in a newer addition to our school  It is far away from specials, so I guess I wish it was a little closer to things.
6. What 3 things do you want every child to know before they leave your classroom to advance to the next grade level?
I hope they have a strong desire to learn, are able to read all of our sight words & be able to use strategies to figure out many other words, and have a solid understanding of numbers to 20.
7. Do you play music in the classroom during the school day?
On the CD player.  We sing (and dance) everyday.
8. What do you do when the weather prohibits going outside for recess?
Students either play in the gym or cafeteria.
9. Do you have a special "tip" that you pass along to substitute teachers?
Jot down notes on how the day went.  
10. Classroom aide or no aide?
Each grade level has a shared aide.
11. If a college student asked you if they should pursue a teaching degree, what would you tell them?
Go for it!  I know teaching is hard - especially with all of the new competency requirements - but I don't like when I hear kids being told to pick something else.  I was thrilled when my oldest daughter went into teaching.  We are now both kindergarten teachers!  

The SUPER blogs I am nominating!  Be sure to visit them, and say Kinder Doodles sent you. 

Flights of Whimsy
Not Just a Teacher
Kindergarten Faith
Mrs. Perea's Kinder Eagles
Gracehopper Learning 
Coloring Outside the Lines
Mrs.Kazanjian's Kindergarten
Kindergarten Nightowls
Over the Moonbow
Mrs. Unger's Unbelievable Elementary Experiences
Learning Adventures

My questions for these lovely bloggers:

1.   Why did you go into education?
2.   Do you have a late-start PLC/Collaboration  day?
3.   What is your favorite subject to teach?
4.   What tip would you give a new teacher?
5.  What inspires you?
6.   What do you do to relax?
7.   What is your favorite thing to wear while teaching?
8.   Do you have a Pinterest board?
9.   What is your favorite way to use technology in your classroom?
10.  How many teachers are in your family?
11.  What is the first thing you do with your students (after attendance, etc.) each day?


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hello Again!

It has been a while since I've last posted anything!  Sorry!  As I'm sure you all are, I've been super busy with the holiday preparations - and trying to keep my Kinders on track.  Christmas - and other December holidays - really add a whole other dimension to a Kindergarten classroom!  Really, they have been pretty good.  

Here are some pictures of a few activities we've recently done.

 How many will fit?  My Kinders enjoyed this lesson on volume:  Testing how many items will fit into a small plastic cup "with the lid shut" (a hand placed over the top).  Using a white board & clothes pin to fashion clipboards, they recorded their findings on this record sheet.

 Each table group had the same six *mushroom* tubs of objects.  The little pompons were the most challenging to count.

When they compared their results, they were amazed to find out that their numbers were very similar.
 Math Art!  I have really enjoyed incorporating art projects into our Math curriculum.  In this activity students sorted large and small triangles, circles, and stars.  After sorting they created these cute Christmas trees for our classroom bulletin board.

We recently read Yoko - a tale of a girl who is teased for her lunch of sushi.  (As it happened on the day I read this - before I read it - a little boy told me that he had sushi in his lunchbox!)  Using manilla file folders (which are on our school supply list) I had my eighth grade helper cut out these lunch boxes, which the kids decorated.  Inside they wrote a menu of what they would like to have for lunch, and then drew the food.
This little boy has such nice handwriting! 
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