Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fried for Friday!

Yeah, It's Friday! Doesn't this little fella make you want to smile?
So happy!

Time to link up with my favorite linky party! Thank you Doodle Bugs for hosting Fried for Friday! Yes, I know it's Five for Friday but this was more accurate. Yup. I'm that tired...
It was a long, short week. Four day weeks always leave me more exhausted than five day weeks. I think it's because I try to get everything I would have done in a normal week into four days. 
Silly, silly silly.

Time for random...

Lately, when I'm blog hopping, I can't help but notice that everyone (at least it seems like everyone) has their k kids writing more than one sentence. 


Not mine. We're still on one sentence.

I noticed that my younger kids just weren't catching on to the process of how to write words, much less sentences. They were using giant spaces b  e  t  w  e  e n their letters or none at all whentheytriedtowrite sentences. I know you've seen this before too.  I remembered reading a great post by Carolyn from Holding Hands and Sticking Together about how she taught her kids the difference between letters, words and sentences. I went back and reread her post and gave it try with my own kids. I won't repeat the whole lesson, but I will tell you it worked beautifully. 

After we followed her lesson, I got our our Zoophonics letters and had the kids "smartie spell" some words. This is so much fun to watch! I think their spelling is amazing.

Next, we got out our sight words and a collection of pictures from my Sentence Construction Packet to help make sentences ( I can't believe I didn't take pictures of their sentences). They really had fun and asked to do more during free choice. Always a good sign. This was just what they needed and I highly recommend checking Carolyn's post. 

In preparation for Chinese New Year, we made lanterns.

No, they aren't Christmas ornaments.

And it's truly not as impressive as it may look. The kids simply traced with never-come-off-pens (permanent pens) and then used watercolors. I wasn't willing to turn them loose this week. It was a VERY controlled lesson. Easy Peasy...

First I model how to use the materials correctly. I show them all the materials they'll need to set up before they get started. Begin with a clean brush check. I can't tell you how many times an art project gets flubbed up because someone put away a dirty brush. Make sure you have a paper towel to dab up mistakes or accidents.

Next, I demonstrate how to hold a brush like you hold your pencil. It will allow them to get into tough spots and not mix colors. Most 5 year olds smush the brush bristles down to smear the paint. This not only ruins the brush but the results are usually frustrating to them.

Finally, I paint a sample. The funniest part of this is that they beg me to do all this without talking. From the mouths of babes...You could hear a pin drop. Once I'm finished, I model how to carry a wet watercolor picture to a drying rack and the clean up process. I remind them that I am so NOT the maid (this makes them giggle) and they are responsible to clean up their own mess, wash the brush correctly and put it away with bristle facing upward.

Then I let them go.

I think it would be fun to do as a directed art project with older kids. 
Here's my inspiration from Pinterest.

chinese lanterns

As I was looking for alphabet books for my kiddos, I came across an old favorite. Love this book! So, I decided to make a class version with the kids. We'll send it home with each child to share with their parents. I always put the following poem on the corner of the book just 'cuz it's traveling from hand to hand.

Clean hands,
Gentle touch,
Surely a book
Deserves as much.

I don't know where that cutie patootie poem came from. I'd love to give credit!
Often, while I'm reading, I'm watching some pretty rascally behavior going on out there in the audience. Someone is bugging their neighbor, or whispering, or rolling around on the floor. I can see you nodding as you read this. You know exactly what I'm talking about. 
In other words, I'm not paying attention to the text. 
Anyway, I remember reading this first page and being confused.  Hmmm. I must have read it wrong. Whaaaa? I had to reread it.

 And then, as I read the second page, it began to make sense. In fact, it was really clever and the kids loved it!

So every year I make it a point to do a class book.
I can't wait to see which animals and sounds the kids will choose. I'll be sure to post the finished copy next week.
Last week, I did MLK directed art with the kinders. This week I did it with the first graders and was fascinated by the difference in fine motor skills. What a difference 12 months makes, folks.

All things dragon for Chinese New Year!
Here are some pins that I might have to try next week.
I love this simple dragon!
For the Chinese New Year | Link Dragon Craft Project

Make Chinese New Year animal lanterns at museum
Dragon project
bubble wrap crocs
HOW TO dinosaur tail. this is amazing!
paper Chinese dragon to make
For sure! Perfect for Chinese New Year!
Chinese New Year Craf
And I just had to show this picture of my TA being the banker.
We're learning our coin names and values with a behavior system using money.You can read more about it here.The kids are having a blast and I'm going broke because so many kids are earning enough money to go shopping.
Been There
It's been a week. This picture sums it up perfectly. We've all been there.

Have a great weekend.
I love your comments!!


  1. I love your blog- I am sending a link to it to my daughter who teaches kindergarten! Thanks for sharing so much!

    Teachers Are Terrific!

    1. The fact that you visited AND commented made my day! Thank for the kind remarks and sending the link to your daughter. I'm terrible with the computer and apologize for the formatting!

  2. Thank you so much Sandy! I am so glad that lesson worked well! Oh my gosh I love this post. Your story cracked me up!

  3. Okay, I've been trying to think what the sentence about Grandma's smile was SUPPOSED to say, but I can't figure it out. Can you help me out here? (Always love your blog!)

  4. Replies
    1. I decided to delete it. I'm sure you weren't the only one confused. Poorly written.