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!


  1. OK my day has been made already! First of all, that little lamb starting off. Too cute. I am BUYING that crayon book in about one second. How great is that?! Your art projects are always so adorable because you can just see your kids in them! I wish I had a bun to make that spider hair. Love that, too. AND your dowels and pool noodles are genius! Thank you, Sandy! What a great post. Happy Weekend!
    Kindergartern: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

    1. Hi Carolyn! I love that book and sent it to all of our primary classrooms for a visit! Thanks as always, for visiting!

  2. This post is full of greatness! I love all the cute creating that obviously is going on in your room- their journal pages look amazing with no white space and those ghosts are just adorable! Your focus board is a super idea and you cracked me up about that spaceman!!!
    Have a great start to the weekend!
    Aylin :)
    Learning to the Core

    1. Thank you so much for commenting! I'm having fun, for sure! I was so proud of their journals that I just had to share them.

  3. Love, Love, Love the crayon book. Headed over to Amazon to get it now!

    1. So glad you visited! I hope you enjoy the book. Have a great weekend!

  4. You have so many great ideas in this post...can I pin the whole post??? ;P Thanks for sharing!
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Hi Kelly! Thanks so much for visiting!

  5. Oh YES you can pin this whole post - and I just did (onto Best Of Teacher Blogs). I'm sure lots of people will LOVE these ideas, Sandy!
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

    1. Hi Susanna! I just checked and found your comment. Thank you so much, You made my day!