Thursday, March 31, 2011

Beans On A Ledge

The window ledges in our classroom are perfect 
for displaying science projects.
Planting beans is one of my favorite activities.  Watching growth in action is always miraculous.

We soaked the lima beans seeds to give them a sprouting head start.
Soil was measured into the cups 
and seeds were strategically placed.
Five teaspoons of water were added 

to the soil in each cup.

Two days later, the beans are beginning to sprout!
Tomorrow, we will record our findings.
Would you like to have a copy of the observation sheet?
Click here to print!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Help! I Made A Document!

Calling out to the talented teachers who know how to share from GoogleDocs! I've also saved this as a Word document. I'd love to share it with everyone--TIA!

Snowy Spring

Spring, where art thou?!

3 PM

3:30 PM

Bored Child Engages In Vintage Fun

Spring Break has fizzled at my house.  Only our 17 yr-old (Go, Seniors!) found his way to the beach.  The rest of us ate, slept, and movie-ed our way through the week.  Last night,  our youngest son roped daddy into building a fort....a mighty big fort.

(Yes, it is snowing!)
Furniture, covers, stools, small tables, *sigh*, seem to be multiplying in the great room.
Today, I declare, "I will not clean up this mess!"!

Note that the dog's cage was saved from this montage.

Building cover houses in the '70s, my brother and I nearly caught our house on fire with the Easy Bake Oven and a table lamp.  No such fear here; LilBro is a child of the 21st century and prefers cable tv, a laptop, and a gaming monitor in his hiding space!  "Modern Vintage", right?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Report Card Questions

Ok.  Maybe you didn't have to spend your spring break completing report cards (like me!), but third quarter is part of recent memory and fourth quarter is in full swing.  As I prepare to write comments about my kindergarten stars, I have a few questions for you:

  1. How do you score K reports?  
  2. Is there a math assessment that seems out of place on your report card?
  3. Does your report card include a grade for alphabet recognition?
  4. Do you include reading level info on your cards? 
My answers.....

  1. O=Outstanding, S=Satisfactory, NI=Needs Improvement (+ and -, also)
  2. On our card, there is an assessment for understanding math vocabulary.  After figuring grades for counting skills, number recognition, patterning, addition, money, etc., I think the vocabulary grade is redundant.  Of course, I could be wrong!
  3. I understand the need for alphabet assessment at the end of first quarter and, for some, after second quarter, but I wish the second semester slots had been shaded out.  
  4. The reading segment of our report card includes knowledge of letter sounds, decoding of simple words, blending skills, comprehension, and fluency.  If a child is reading beyond grade level, I try to include that info in the comments section.
I have a great idea!  I'll have a linky party at the end of fourth quarter; let's all celebrate that last grading period!  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Giveaway from Mrs. Wills!

Mrs. Wills (She inspires me every day!) is giving away a "Hello, Bunny...C.U.T.E. Word Study" pack!  Hop over to her site and follow instructions.  Everything she creates is amazing!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Guided Drawing--Spring Art

Every Thursday, I teach a 45-minute combined art class for the kindergarten and first grade.  With 75+ lessons to plan, on a two-year cycle, I have searched the net for inspiration.  The dragonfly idea was found on Kathy Barbro's incredible website!  

The rainbow pointillism project filled every minute of art class.  The children's dedication surprised me!  Only a few needed to be redirected to add more dots.  Our rainbows look fantastic on the bulletin board...they are perfect for holding pots of gold on St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Singing A Happy Song

Job  Perk:  Listening to precious voices sing along with Chris Tomlin's "Our God" while working on fine motor skills!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

My Storybook Classroom

Always First Grade is hosting a classroom photos linky!

A week before school began, the church decided to paint my classroom.  Bless the volunteers, they worked at record speed!  The talented muralist created a train scene which winds around the rooms.  Eventually, the trees will become 3-D with leaves and pop-out trunks.  

The space can be divided by a partition, but I have access to both rooms.  We don't have a Smart Board, but the white boards work just fine.  The bulletin boards are double-sided, allowing board space for the church classes.  I make good use of the doors, board rims, easels, etc., on both sides of the room, because the walls can't be used for display. (You can read more about this at my post on being organized

This week, we'll be making kites for the ceiling!


Last week's homework project was a necessary component for Friday's math lesson.  
The children were given small ziplock bags and asked to fill them with small objects.  
During our math time, everyone estimated the bag contents and then counted their own objects. Next, they revealed the actual numbers and recorded them on the clipboard sheets. 

The largest group was a collection of 157 glass beads.  
The smallest was a group of 5 toys.
The children did their best estimating with sillyb*ndz and they did a fantastic job with counting by tens!

Beware The Wind!

Two tornadoes touched down in our area, 
coloring all discussions on the following day!
I made a writing prompt about the wind; I hope you never see a wind that can blow the "clothes off of you"!
(You may print the writing prompt by clicking the link!)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Laughing Baby

This morning, after teacher devotions and before the children arrived, the staff watched this clip...I think we laughed harder than the baby!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

We've Been Seuss-ified!

My fingers are absolutely itching to upload pictures of my students in their Cat Hats!  Of course, I value their safety too much to break the internet code of conduct.  But, here is an appropriate photo, showing a moment from the game "Cat In The Hat, I Can Do That!".....
I love this game!  We were rolling on the floor with laughter.    :-)
When I'm sittin' in the rocking chair at the retirement home, this picture will be an all-time favorite (I hope I can still see!).  The children choose to do partner reading for our participation in Read Across America. 

Do you ever find a soft spot and read for pleasure, during an independent reading time?