Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Freebie! Spell/Read/Write

The Easter sale at Target was too good to pass up!  I found plastic eggs large enough to hold individual letters!  Today, we did rotations during literacy block.  At this center, the students cracked the eggs to find cvc or long vowel words.  During our circle meeting, we thought of words to use in the sentence box; I wanted them to use a color word in the second space.  

I'm discovering that the children are still very much in celebration mode.  They can't get enough Easter!
If your kinders are still looking for the Easter bunny, click and print!Spell 2

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tears Will Fall When He Graduates

One month from today, my oldest child will 
graduate from high school.  
Where did the time go?! 
I've been dreaming that I tell someone, 
"Just strap a kleenex box to me." 

I am seriously going to miss this smile! Admittedly, I don't see it often; we wake and sleep on different schedules, BigBro's job keeps him busy, his social obligations are enviable.  He has WAY more fun than his mom and dad!
To protect the privacy of his gorgeous date, I opted not to post their pre-prom pic.  This photo shows BigBro and his pal, a soon-to-be-famous-college-baseball-star.  So, yes, you can say you saw him here!  

Do you have any advice for me?  I am a mommy who is about to say "Go forth!" to her firstborn son!  On top of that, I am the teacher who cries for two days after school ends!  No wonder I am dreaming about kleenex.  :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tangram Bunnies

I cut a set of tangrams for each student and gave them time to explore the shapes.  
They took them home the same day.
Check it out---Mrs. Wills' Bunny Word Sort is on the egg tray!

The children copied the complete square before attempting to create the bunny.

Look---the source for this fabulous idea, LessonPlansSOS!

Thank you, BlogPals, for your creativity and generosity!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Freebie! Easter Egg Subtraction

We are working on subtraction number stories and my kinders enjoy illustrating them!
Would you like a copy of this?

(YIPPEE!  It works!  Next time, I'll put my name on the document!)
Ten Eggs Number Story2 Copy

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Bunny Fun

This bunny was my art project for the kinders and first-graders last week.  Normally, I don't do cut-and-paste in art class, but this was too cute to pass up!  (Thank you, Mrs. Sommerville!)
Plus, I thought they looked like chocolate egg-shaped candy.  Yum!
I added the writing component for my kinders. Tomorrow, the children will discover that I added pockets to their bunnies & filled them with jelly beans!

We wrote sentences on the white board, then each child chose two for the writing activity.  Ava's 'bunny' words were missing the 'y' before we edited; nice work, Ava!

Can you find the backwards letter?  :-)
This one missed the editing process.  
The bunnies look even cuter living together on a bulletin board!

Monday, April 11, 2011

The First Day Of Kindergarten

Kindergarten Round-Up has begun.  A week-long event, with visitors spending one full day in kindergarten, our Round-Up is unique.  It's also a first for me.

Around this time of year, I try to remind myself that the fall will bring a new group of (somewhat) novice learners.  The easy transitions and smooth routines that are enjoyed today will need to be earned once again.  My little visitors have given me a head start on the reality check that is --drumroll-- The First Day Of Kindergarten.
  • New kindergartners are tiny!  Next to a group of six-year-olds, these barely-fives and still-fours seem so little!
  • They miss mommy.  And their lower lips might tremble every now and then.
  • The room/decor/stuff/ is a fascinating distraction from the work at hand.
  • Review, review, review the basics:  the toilet is there, the door opens here.
  • When in doubt, sing!  There is little room for misbehavior when hands are clapping and mouths are in unison.
  • The first days are exhausting, for them and for me.  Like me, maybe they didn't get much sleep the night before!?  (Last night, I topped out at three hours.  Yikes!)
  • A spontaneous hug from a new kindergartner is joy abundant.  As Charles Dickens said, "It is no small thing when they, who are so fresh from God, love us."

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Biting My Tongue Through The SAT


200+ Minutes
8 Subtests
1 Group of Novices

So, yesterday, on the math subtest, a question of measurement was presented.
The word measurement was not in the question. 
 It went something like this:  "Maya is making oatmeal with her mother.  Which tool would Maya use to make oatmeal?  Mark under the space for the tool Maya would use."

1) Ruler  2)Wall Thermometer  3)Scale for humans  4)Measuring Cup

When I saw that two of my kinders had chosen the wall thermometer, and one had marked the ruler, I wanted to scream/squeal!  WHAT? WHY?!

I lost sleep last night because of this question!  (As I will tonight because of the blue squiggly line that several chose to represent "tree" on a map key.  !)  Then I thought, "Hey, maybe very few of my students have actually made oatmeal!  Maybe their only exposure to oatmeal is the packaged variety that gets dumped in hot water!!  Perhaps they have never made oatmeal cookies with mom.  Perhaps their cookie exposure has been limited to the break & bake variety!!!"

Seems possible, right?  Am I the only one who is tempted to spend the weekend "grading" the kindergarten SAT tests?

How Does Your Garden Grow?

I kicked off the week with a stellar book, 
The children were captivated by the bunnies in the illustrations.
Which led me to bring in my basket of stuffed bunnies just a wee bit earlier than I'd planned.
Hhhhhmmmm....I hope the carrots aren't missing from the garden tomorrow.

We 'planted' a garden on the white board, taking care to note that tomatoes grow on a vine and corn grows on a stalk.  My daddy always hoed crooked rows in our garden; they hold more seeds!  The children were intrigued by the concept and decided that we should test that theory on Friday.  (Where did I put the yarn ball?!)

The beans went home today, 
to flourish in a vented pot or sunny spot.
Ava's bean was our tallest sprout.  

She was so proud!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Character lessons With Rabbit & Squirrel

In the book, Rabbit and Squirrel experience various misunderstandings .
They are not skilled at conflict resolution!
We discussed what they could do differently and how they could show kindess  

while cooperating with one another.

Next, we wrote a letter to Rabbit and Squirrel.  
(Please excuse my handwriting!  The paper was taped to a door and I was missing an element of leverage.)
The children thoughtfully considered what advice to share.
 I am very impressed with the contents of the letter!

I wonder what the author would think of our letter?