Friday, September 26, 2014

Five for Friday

I'm attempting to write a Five for Friday on time. Don't faint. And don't hold your breath. We went on our annual apple farm field trip and I'm tuckered out! We had a great day but I may fall asleep mid-sentence.
Thank you to Kacey for hosting!

We laugh a lot about my blog in my home.
You see, I thought I'd come up with a clever name, Kinder-gardening. I even hand drew the picture that you see at the top and tried to make my side bar have all the things you other clever blog people have on your sidebars. The result was far from professional. All my people (kids and husband) are off doing amazing things and don't really have time to show me how to design a blog.
I'm on my own.
That's not good, folks.
I was so excited when people actually started to follow me.
That is until I found out that they were mostly organic farmers who thought my blog was pronounced kinder (as in nice) gardening.
It's a standing joke, so when I saw that I had reached 100 followers I wasn't sure if it was truly fair to celebrate. It's sort of false advertising. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate every single person and farmer who has signed on to read my account of teaching kinders.
So, to thank those of you who are teachers, I'm making my Base Ten Flashcards free this weekend at my TPT store.
It took two years to reach 100 followers!
I haven't exactly set the world on fire with my blog...
Anywho, if you're kind enough to be reading this, thank you from the bottom of my kinder gardening heart!

Fall is here and to celebrate we made our tissue-on-wax-paper-and-starch-everywhere art project!
I'm amazed that my mommy helpers come back.
They always look a little frazzeled at the end of stations and I've heard that they don't return to volunteer for first grade. Whoops!
There were stained fingers and table tops to explain but the finished results were beautiful!

We worked on the word family an this week so I whipped up some cards for my apron. I made the an card with a little family holding the letters and explained that they liked to stay together. Then we put the initial sounds in front of the card to make new words.
It worked beautifully and I was able to quiz them as they came in the door, going out the door, at the bottom of the slide, near the swings, you get the idea....

To those of you who own an apron; I'm making my cards a teeny bit higher than the pocket so that they don't get caught on the plastic pocket hem.

I'm making a fall apron for fun.

I'm also whipping up a few one of a kind aprons for give aways. Picking fabric is really tough for me. Any suggestions?

For some reason, this week my kids said really funny things to me. Here are two that made me laugh:

I'd left papers on a counter near by and had to go and get them for my reading group. As I was returning this was the conversation that was going on at the table:

Kid 1: "Mrs. Welchie is getting old. She sure loses lots of stuff."
Kid 2: "She's NOT OLD!"
Kid 3: "Oh, yes she is. You wanna know how I know? Look at her neck."
Me: "Hey, I'm right here!"
Kid 3: "At least she can still hear."

We're learning about shapes and noticing them EVERYWHERE! Yesterday one of my kids burst through the door and said, "Mrs. Welch, I ate rectangles for breakfast (Captain Crunch?)!"

I love my job!

Have a great weekend!
It's raining here, which only makes sense because we went on a field trip.
 I call it the Welch Field Trip Curse.
Never fails.

LOVE the composition and LOVE that the girls reflection is included in this shot - makes me want to go jump in a puddle :)  Photo by Danielle Donders (Mothership Photography) - Second place for the "yellow theme" Iheartfaces photography competition.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Very Late Five for Friday!

Happy Saturday, almost Sunday! I don't know how everyone else manages to get a Five for Friday done on time.  I'm lucky to post by Saturday night!

 Mouse Paint project flop. These look nothing like the sample. Actually, I think they turned out fairly well, but I'm completely out of googly eyes ( I have 31 kids). It was a last minute decision in an effort to make things easier for the mommy helper. The kids had a blast and learned a lot about mixing colors, so I guess it wasn't a flop at all!

Moving on to our scientist art project. It's been lingering for over two weeks. I'm happy to say we're done but not after lots of tears. I hate crying, but we usually do this project at the end of the year when we learn about bugs.  And we're a little older. Their scissor and following  direction skills are sooooooo much better in June!!! One of these resembles the Hunchback of Notre Dame...just sayin'.

This week we sang the bingo tune to I know a round and juicy fruit and apple is it's name-o. I used my apron and turned over one card for each verse. We then clapped once for each letter that was turned over. It worked beautifully and they could spell apple by the end of the week. Be forewarned though... You can only imagine the fits of laughter because of the letters p, p as we spelled. Happens every year and I'm afraid there's no stopping it. Potty talk. Oh brother!

New apple apron!
Show and Tell Aprons has a facebook page!! 
I'd love to invite everyone who's purchased an apron to post a picture!

Close up of fabric
Extra fabric in my living room. UGHHHH.

I've been having so much fun hearing about different ways that people are using the apron. Tiffani from Time 4 Kindergarten made some really cute cards for the apron that are for sale on TPT. 
Show and Tell Apron Cards

Thank you, Tiffani!
show and tell apron, subitize
 I can't wait to see what else people come up with!!!
 I saw some adorable Brown Bear, Brown Bear cards that made me smile.
It makes me so happy to think people actually like my apron and can use it to help teach children!

Well, that's all for now!

It's raining here!!!!!
Hummingbird, enjoying the sweet rain!
We're in a very dry area of California and I can't tell you how great it was to go for a walk in the rain. I love the way it smells and the sound it makes as it hits our old tin roof.

Happy weekend, everyone!

This made me chuckle. 
I Have So Much To Do Quote

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Seven for Sunday!

This may be the latest submission ever for a Five for Friday! None the less, here it is! Thanks Kacey for hosting! Let's call it Seven for Sunday! I'll try to keep it short...

So, by far the biggest news I have is that Deedee Wills added a picture of my apron to her post today!!!
AND she emailed me.
I'm saving it forever. AND EVER!

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten: Peek at my Week (week 5)
She is at the top of my need-to-thank list. 
When she, Deanna Jump and Kim Adsit were kind enough to wear my apron at the I Teach K conference, our aprons sold out in under three hours!!!
They have been so very kind to  me and I dearly appreciate it.
They made all the difference in the world.
I'm pretty sure they have no idea how big of a deal that was to me.
Forever grateful.


It's official...I need to get a life.
 I spent time making these bags for door prize give aways on Saturday while you were out at farmer's markets, hiking or at the movies. They match the aprons and I'm pretty sure no one else would care! I'm really bothered that I can't find the other little pencil that I made to go in the pocket. How pitiful is that? HA!

Then I spent the rest of the day fretting over fabric selections. Folks, I'm the least fashionable person you will EVER meet. Picking out fabric is a nightmare for me. Look at all those choices.

We've spent the last two weeks learning our color words!
These color wheels from  Mama Jean  are amazing and the kids think they're magic! I highly recommend them! Just be sure to dilute your blue or it comes out looking like black.
I saw this adorable art project on Pinterest and wanted to try it. It's from Artsonia.
Mouse Paint Lesson.  great for K.  Have them paint paper with mixed colors then cut out and add "mouse" stuff
So, next, we read Mouse Paint. I made a quick little worksheet with six mouse shapes similar to those in the book and then I put some primary tempra paint in catsup/mustard bottles. I put a dot of each of the primary colors on the mouse shapes and let the kids paint. Next, I put a little red and a little yellow blob in the second shape and let them mix the paint. Magic! Even when they washed their brush the water turned to orange! We worked our way around the shapes and had a blast!
These are currently being smooshed down with loads of books to flatten them. We'll cut them out to do the rest of our project. I'll be sure to post the results next week!

It's that time of year again! 
I have to go into hiding when the janitor comes around! I've put the ten frame on the carpet again but with packing tape this year. It may do some serious damage to the carpet.

Here's a shout out to one of my loves...Zoophonics!
My kids have mastered all 26 sounds within 3 weeks. It's an amazing program that I have used for over 20 years and highly recommend it. This is a picture of an activity we did last week where they worked on beginning sounds.
Each child is given an envelope with three pictures and a zoophonics magnet tray. They go off to sit by themselves and figure out the beginning sounds to each picture. They place the magnet on top of the picture and bring it back to me to check. If they've done it correctly, they get a star on their card. There are 25 envelopes and once they complete them, they get a small prize and we do a happy dance for each child. Then they move on to vowels and final sounds. I made these envelopes years ago. Look how tattered this one is!

Here's number 6!

Am I the last person to discover this book? I think so because it's a best seller. My kids adore it and can't get enough of it.
How clever!!!!!

And here's number 7!
We FINALLY finished this simple project that I'm pretty sure we all do. I thought it would be so much fun to add real sand for the beach. Big mistake. I put the pictures up on the bulletin board and now the sand is coming off and is all over my counter. Every day. In my coffee.

Have a great Sunday! I'm going to be smiling for days because of Deedee and all the kind people who have supported my apron!
Hugs to you all!

By the way, Show and Tell Aprons has a facebook page. I don't know how to do anything on it yet, but it's out there somewhere! HA!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Five for Friday

Hi everyone. I've been busy, busy, busy with my new little crowd (the appropriate word choice for 31 students). They are adorable and very well behaved! I'm so lucky!!! This will be a quick post. Thank you for hosting Kacey!

Well, I finally got all the art up on the bulletin boards. It took forever this year. Look at all those little faces. We don't even fit on the designated space!

I've said it before. You see art work, I see little personalities. I find it overwhelming to think that I'm responsible for making sure that all my students receive everything they need to succeed in first grade. That they feel unconditionally loved, appreciated and safe. That they learn how to be a kind and empathetic classmate. Every year when parents hand me their precious child to care for, I gasp. What a huge responsibility.
I feel so lucky to love my job. I still can't wait to get to my classroom every day. While I don't run (I'm about to turn 57) anymore, I do more of a joggle (half jog/half waddle), it's exactly where I want to be.

Enough mush, let's move on!

Morning work.

 As always, the kids greet me at the door and then come in and do about ten minutes of quick review at their tables. Right now we're working on our names, numbers and colors. The green, yellow and red lines and a green dot where they begin the formation of their letters has really helped. Nothing new but tried and true. We're learning color words and love this little book. I don't know where it came from and would love to give proper credit. Please, if you know it's rightful owner, let me know!

We've been playing a silly game at the end of the day. In fact, the kids beg for it and it's so simple. It definitely reinforces our lessons from the week.
This week I used shape review cards from Miss Kindergarten ( one of my all time favorite blogs).

I post whatever vocabulary I'm emphasizing on cards around the room. The kids tippy toe( ha!) to one of the cards as I cover my eyes (ha!) and count to ten. I call out a vocab word ( in this case, a shape) and if they're standing under it, they're "out" and have to come sit on the carpet.
Try it with something you really want them to remember. I've used sight words, math concepts, science and social studies vocab and on and on! As silly as it is, they love it!

 Apron news.
I was tickled to see my TA wearing an apron out to recess. She's teaching the kids our numeral poem and used the perfect opportunity to reinforce our lesson. She stopped kids at the bottom of the slide, while they were swinging and riding bikes to recite their favorite numeral's poem. What fun for me to watch the kids enjoy the novelty of the apron. It's right at their eye level! I had also forgotten how much kids of all ages at our school enjoy reading whatever I have in my pockets. They stop me in the halls, cafeteria, all over campus to read the pockets. Makes me smile.

Number five is questionable. You may want to skip right over this one. In fact, I caution you. Many of my ideas flop in a big way.
I'm doing something a little different for my writer's workshop that could totally backfire on me. Sort of like the wrapping up of the school supplies mistake.
this year I have little people, as in very young, who have very immature grips and keep asking me what numbers they need to write their name.  :) So, in an effort to alleviate writing anxiety and to keep the tears at bay( I hate crying that early in the day), I thought I'd try something I'll refer to as "the secret code" (it's not the first time I've used this technique. In fact, it was shown to me many years ago...). What 5 year old, or 4 year old in this case, wouldn't think that sounded cool? My problem is going to come when the older crowd thinks it's really great to use because it's an easy way to be lazy and not write letters to sound out their words.

If you're brave or just curious, read on so this makes sense...

I tell the kids that I received a letter on Sunday.  It's addressed to Aunt Sandy. That would be me. I'll have to explain (lie) that the letter is from my niece and two nephews, who by the way are all college graduates now.
Charlie will be five and doesn't know much about letters yet. He writes a secret code that only he can read. He is always sure to turn his secret code off with a stop sign or period. Since he's the only one who can read it, I'll tell them that I called him on the phone (fake again) and had him tell me what the code said. Tracking with my finger, I'll read the code, "I kicked a soccer goal!" I write it the "book way" underneath his code so that I can read it anytime. We look carefully at  his five star coloring, noting detail and if it matches his secret code. I'm hoping this will free up the young ones to try their own secret code and feel successful. As I mentioned above, I've also had problems with the ones who CAN write using the secret scribble technique to get out of writing.
Next, we pull out Sue's note. She knows some letters and knows that letters clumped together make words that have meaning. I called to ask her what her letters spell too. Sue's note says, "I got new clothes." She even labeled her picture with the first sounds. Again, I write her message underneath her writing the "book way."
Last, comes Mac's letter. He understands a lot about letters and sounds and has used them to stretch out the words to his story. He knows about capitals, spaces and endings. His letter says, " I love my dog!"
 When all is said and done, I'll invite kids up to write a secret code of their own on the white board. I'll have them read what their code says to the class. Then I'll ask someone to try some letters. They can read their sentence when done. Lastly, I'll invite someone up to try with sounding out a short sentence or word. There will be praise for all attempts. You get the idea, I hope.
Like I said I haven't done this in years and it could be a huge mistake. I'll keep you posted!
And finally,
New apron arrivals!

Go to my TPT store to see more! We also updated our cards and if you bought the master pack check out the new additions! Warm up your laminator!
I also have a Facebook page now and would love for people to add their own apron pictures! When I get brave enough, I'll post a video of me singing some songs using the apron. I just can't go there quite yet.
Happy weekend!