Thursday, October 24, 2013

Yipeeeee! It's Five for Friday!

Helloooooo Five for Friday! I'm posting early because tomorrow is going to be way hectic! Doesn't this little guy look happy?

I'm exhausted but excited to sign on for another Five for Friday. Thanks again to Doodle Bugs for hosting!

There were some successes this week. Whew! Sometimes my brilliant ideas lose their brilliance in the execution. Then they're not so great! I've had more than my fair share of failed lessons with great intentions!
Here are a few that I felt good about this week:

1. This book is wonderful. I used Deedee Wills' anchor chart on 5 star drawing this year and it improved my kinder's illustrations tremendously. Then I visited my favorite bookstore this weekend and found this book to compliment her chart. It's a story about a box of frustrated crayons asking favors from the owner/illustrator.  The final illustration is wonderful and the kids could have studied it all day. There was a slight contradiction in that some of the pictures weren't drawn in colors that make sense (one of the important features to Deedee's 5 star coloring rules). We then went off to illustrate our own pictures and the improvement was impressive!
No white left!
This is an illustration from one of my babies. He was so excited about the dragons(?) and worked so hard labeling everything as well. I was tickled with the results.

2. Zoophonics is my all time favorite phonics program. I love, love , love it and have used it enthusiastically for over 20 years. The creators were from my town and taught at our school for many years before they left teaching to launch Zoophonics full time. Char Wrighton is a good friend and I adored her sister Gigi as well.

Zoophonics is amazing. The kids learn all their sounds in two weeks. No. Problem. It's kinesthetic, really fun and works like a charm. A while back I decided I also wanted to teach the letter name that the animal lives on while we did the sounds and gestures (I'm not sure Char would agree with this). It's really hard for them to write in their journals if they don't know how to form the letters. Years ago, I started saying, "Allie Alligator lives in an a and she says aaaa," while I traced the letter on the card the same way you write it. Well, this week I gave them sponges. While I said my little ditty, they wrote the letter on the table. It worked!!! They still did their gesture, then wrote the letter. Yipeee. You just never know.
I gave them pens today. They thought it was amazing that I was allowing them to write on the table. Ha!

3. We worked on G/g this week in handwriting. I loved this little Trick or Treat ghost that I saw on Pinterest. Now that I want to give credit, I can't find it! I don't know who created this cute little guy but it wasn't me. I'll keep looking and if I find it I'll be sure to let you know! It will be a cute page to add to our alphabet book. My samples:

Kid samples:
I love it best when they add  their own touches.

4. I really dislike my pocket charts (Wal Mart laundry hangers). They make my already crowded room look more cluttered. I found a new way to use one of them. 

I'd like to work on decomposing numbers, ten frames and subitizing.  I was reading up on it when I found this post on rekenreks (so cute)

▶ Students making up number stories with Rekenrek

 and this really great one on subitizing.
Here's a video from The Teaching Channel on subitizing.

I knew I had to have a rekenrek( isn't that fun to say?)! This is one of my pocket charts. I simply placed cut up pool noodles on the rungs and, voila! Rekenrek reinvented cheapo stye!
Kinder-Gardening:  I made a larger version of a number bracelet using a hula hoop and pool noodles that I cut into "beads." This is also handy when decomposing numbers. You can add or take off as many beads as you need!This was an earlier post about a number bracelet  that I made out of a hula hoop and pool noodles. The other is the same thing, just on a dowel. They have both worked!

5. I decided to put up a focus board for my kids. They love to know what's coming next and this keeps them informed. That funny little curly haired thing is supposed to be a child looking through binoculars. Hmmmm. I guess that might need a little work yet. The little chubby thing that looks like a baby in a blanket is supposed to be Spaceman-the guy we use to put spaces between our words.

We just finished spiders. Isn't this fun?

I feel like I have this look on my face often lately.
This is what I look like at about 4pm each day:

Happy weekend! I love your comments!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Five for Friday

I'm joining in on another Five for Friday. Thank you Doodle Bugs for hosting! I'm so tired that I'm not sure I can string even two sentences together. Here goes... Forgive me if this doesn't make sense!


1. I love these witch stockings! What a great way to assess their understanding of patterning! Designing shoes was so much fun and I was a little sad that I didn't get to man that station! We had a great time looking at all the different ways they positioned their feet! I think it might be fun to add bloomers with a bulletin board title of "Witches Britches."

2. Spider fun! The kids watercolored with blues, purples and pinks. The next day we drew webs and let them pick out glitter. I punched circles out and they made a spider with little jewels. I have to say that I don't like the "sameness" of this project. Last year, we each drew our own spiders so that they were all unique. I like that much better! I saw this spider on pinterest last year and loved it.
This silly glitter tray came in handy! I found it at a crafts store last summer and never thought I'd ever really use it. Doesn't matter what I do though, I still get covered in glitter and look magical ALL DAY!
4. Not a great picture of a raffle box that my class made for our Fall Festival. It's an art box and I wish I could have it! I had to show the watercolor tray. Cheaper than the watercolor trays that we all buy and it has lots more colors. You can't see them, but the selection of fine tip markers made me swoon. Funny what will make me happy! The box comes with an easel, smock and a beret! Be still, my heart!

5. Here's a little Halloween poem :

What will I be for Halloween?

A pumpkin, a princess, a cowboy, a queen?
What will I be for Halloween?

A witch, a wizard, a Ninja, a tree?
I just don’t know what I should be.

A lion that roars or a bird that tweets,
I want to be something that gets lots of treats.

A pirate, a prince, a monster, a mouse,
Or maybe a ghost from an old haunted house.

Should I be creepy or should I be scary?
Should I be a spider, or an alien, or a beautiful fairy?

I could be a doctor or a dragon, or a race-car driver.
I could be a fireman or a snowman or a deep-sea diver.

I could be Elvis or Elmo or Bambi or Belle
I could be Nemo or Nala or I could be Ariel.

It is so hard to decide what I want to be,
I’m glad that the rest of the year I get to be me.

( I always offer an alternate ending. Not sure any my kids would ever want to dress like me, and I don't think I'm prettier than a princess, but it rhymed!)

There are so many costumes in which I could be dressed
But it must be special, it must be the best.

I know it, I’ve got it, I figured it out.
This is the best Halloween costume without a doubt.

Prettier than a princess and more creative than a creature,
I’m going to be my Kindergarten teacher!

6. AN EXTRA! I'm tired because my aprons are done and I can't sleep! I'm so excited! Woot woot! Everything is almost ready and falling into place. They should be in my TPT store shortly and I'll be posting about them as soon as they arrive! I've had so much fun trying to be creative with the packaging and may be more excited about the tag that goes with it than the aprons.  :)  I need to sleep!!!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Five Words for Friday

Happy Friday!! Thank you sweet Doodle Bugs for hosting the Five for Friday linky party!fiveforfriday2_thumb[3]
I'm doing my usual Five Words for Friday with a little extra here and there.

We've been busy this week. These bulletin board pictures crack me up. Look how full they are when you have 28 kids. Yikes!

1. Way to stretch a bulletin board (I've had the background up since the beginning of school! They made the leaves with liquid watercolors and the pumpkin color was made by mixing red and yellow tempera- they had a blast). 

2. Finally got to science!

Rotten picture from my phone.

Spider soon to be added.
3. DeeDee Wills' Daily Math Journals.
4. Labeling with beginning sounds (DeeDee Wills and Deanna Jump's Writing Through the Year)
Dee Wills anchor charts/labeling.
5. TLC's E is for elephant
6. (extra!)"I love you" in kinderese (I'm impressed with the period on the end).
 My heart is heavy because it is time to have the talk about lockdowns. The very fact that this has to be a part of their young lives is so incredibly tragic. If you have a gentle way of explaining this to a 5 year old please, oh please, tell me. How do I keep them safe and not frighten them? How do I keep that fragile innocence in tact? My wish is that we all stay safe this year and for always.
Make wishes

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Five for Friday

It's Five for Friday and I can't believe I 'm getting this done on a Thursday night! Thanks Doodle Bug!
I'm sticking with my five words for Friday tradition (my husband's challenge to only write 5 words for each picture). Here's some random for you!


1. One-size-fits-all seasons hat (I know that's 6 words-doing my usual warm-up to 5 words...)
2.   Cute apple suncatchers from
3. Writer's Workshop sweetness-LEfant picture.
4. Chicka apron gift from student :)
5. Instructions for pumpkin hat (Martha Stewart inspired-WONDERFUL tutorial, lots of adorable hats)                                           

 Cut and tape width seam                            Tape goes around the stem                  

Fold edge, shape into hat

Use masking or brown floral tape
Attach curly ribbon and leaves
Viola!  A pumpkin cutie patootie!
Here's a sunflower face cutie!

Happy weekend! I love, love, love your comments!