Saturday, February 26, 2011

George Washington Portraits

Sometimes, as teachers, we plan a lesson that is brand new, untested, and a bit of a wild card.  This guided-drawing activity produced a great reward!  I have privately giggled over these drawings until there were tears in my eyes!  I don't want to send them home!

The upper right side portrait never fails to make me smile.  I think George would approve!

                             This is my finished drawing, on the white board. 
                                        He looks like Mona Lisa...

Shiny Pennies

I knew that several of my students had polished pennies with vinegar in PreK.  Not wanting to duplicate that experiment, I provided ketchup, toothpaste, and diet coke for our grimy pennies!

The results were impressive!  The children commented on the reflection in this picture, attempting to guess which of them had polished the brightest penny. 
(Do we ever outgrow this tendency?!)

I regret to report that the diet coke, although not the most effective abrasive, did clean its share of coins.  Bummer!

Get Organized-Linky Party theory, I think I am.  In reality, not always!

My classroom is used by a Sunday school class for a few hours each week.  Because of this, I am required to dismantle my room, each Wednesday and Friday, to hide all evidence of "kindergarten". (I can hear your gasps!  Hugs are appreciated!)  This process takes nearly an hour, for each take-down and re-set.

Because I enjoy actually spending time with my own children, and do not wish to live at school, I have become rather creative with organization!  Thematic books and leveled readers are placed in colored tubs that stack; these are easily moved to the closet.  File folder games, small math props, and phonics materials are kept in a plastic rolling cart which fits under my desk.  Although I don't have an abundance of closet space, the shelves that were built by the church have been a huge help in the take-down process.  I dedicate space for my file trays, our writing materials, the students' work boxes, etc.  This enables me--and the awesome moms who volunteer their time--to do a quick sweep of my desk and the children's work areas.  I also use a narrow folding table to display thematic materials or science experiments.  By covering it with a cloth, I am able to store two large plastic containers under the table.

My husband was hopeful, when I took this job, that my plethora of teaching materials would find a new home :-)!  Um, sadly, no.  But, I have become more organized at home, with my teaching things.  As we all know, losing one important piece of paper, or a file containing next week's plans, is nerve-wracking!  I can't wait to find more ideas from the Linky-Party.  Thank you, Growing Kinders!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dancing, All Weekend Long

I spent my entire weekend--not counting Sat. AM, which is sacred book and coffee time-- at a dance competition.  My 12-yr-old daughter dances 10 hours/week.  This weekend, she rocked the lyrical and hip hop moves:

Our school made up a snow day, today.  The alarm clock buzz at 5:30 am was truly offensive!  Only the promise of a new unit on presidents could get me out of bed.  

Reading Rocks!

Partner-reading is an almost daily occurrence in our classroom.    
One of these boys is reading at a 3.4 level, but still enjoys bonding with his classmates over easier fare.
I love to watch him during independent reading;
he curls up in a corner and gets lost in a chapter book!

A HUGE "thanks" to the source of this word-stamping worksheet!
(I'll look through my backpack for the original and give proper credit!)
We now have grand plans to stamp all sorts of information :-)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Math, The Valentine Way

Addition work with heart erasers that resemble Sweethearts candy--too cute!

We used real Sweethearts candy to explore different combinations for  the word problem.  No one could bear to cover them with glue!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Word Detectives

Personalizing an idea from Mrs. WillsI set up a word search for my class.  We've been looking for proper names in our reading, plus fine-tuning our word family lists.
Looking for words on hidden hearts...
...and finding proper names!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

3-D Moon

Check out this awesome link to the moon on Google!  We spent the last two weeks focusing on outer space during our social studies/science block.  The children were concerned about Pluto and its recent downgrade to dwarf planet.  J asked, "Do you think Pluto feels sad?" For the rest of the study, "Poor Pluto" received the most inquiries.  

Silver paint helped us create our astronaut helmets.  We tipped our chairs over and prepared to blastoff!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

100 Kisses

The kisses made it to school and were successfully hidden.  This activity was a big hit!  We used a large Hundreds Chart poster...and every one was found!  

Each child told me the number on their kiss before s/he could place it on the poster; then, s/he could search again.  Assessing number recognition was a breeze.  I was able to immediately see which children were experiencing difficulty with number reversals and family placement.  

Most of the children could see the color pattern that was forming and excitedly shared this info with the others.  When all the kisses were found, we ate them!

Was there any other choice?!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Rain Is Ice!

We seem to be experiencing an epic storm!  I have fond childhood memories of sliding down a foot of frozen snow and ice with my daddy.  Walking on top of a mountain of snow is a surreal experience!

This blizzard is taking away at least three more school days from my kindergartners.  As I said goodbye to them yesterday, I promised the parents a list of fun links on our class site.
Here are a few activities for snowy days:
Download and print a door hanger from Reading Rockets.
Check out a few yucky, but fun, recipes at Discovery Kids' site The Yuckiest Site On The Internet!
MANY family projects and online games can be found at ActivityTV.
Measure yourself and see how your measurements compare to those of other animals.
See some of the illustrations from our newest fav book "Moon Plane".  Write your own text!
Looking for math and language worksheets?  TLSBooks has a selection; you can also search other grade levels, to meet a child's ability.

A big THANKS to Joanne Meier at Reading Rockets, for some of these great ideas!