Friday, October 9, 2015

Flu for Friday

Thank you Doodle Bugs!
Happy Five for Friday! 
I hope you're feeling better than I am...
I have a touch of the KINDERGARTEN flu. I capitalized that because I think we have an especially resistant kind of flu. I truly think there may be no where on the face of the earth as germy as a kindergarten room...Ughhhhhhhhh.

We've been working on our 2 dimensional shapes and needed something fun to end the unit. We also needed something fun for a Halloween bulletin board.
Monster Shapes!!!
They were required to use the correct name when asking for the shapes.
I hope they had fun!

                            We used Simply Kinder's simply fantastic Fire Safety pack!!!!
I highly recommend this interactive reader. Adorable!!! 

We also made a dalmation for fun!

Apple project in progress. 
I couldn't help but compare last year's bowl with this year.
I had 30 kids last year!!!!

Here's two older posts on some ways to use the aprons. 
I'm super embarrassed but maybe this will help with questions...
Ok, here we go with some other ideas for the apron!

Kinder-Gardening  Walking Pocket Chart apron. 5 Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed cards

I need to apologize for the videos. They are far from professional and we didn't know how to edit, so you're seeing all the mistakes! Of course, I'm very critical and can't believe that's my voice and I have NEVER enunciated "punctuation" quite like I did on this video. Oh dear. 

I made these videos two days after surgery and literally jumped off the recovery couch to make them, thus the bare feet. Sorry! My sister helped me with the video and you'll notice that I can't look at the camera because I would have started laughing! HA! I could hardly watch these, my husband couldn't watch them, and we're all amazed I'm taking this step! I'm pretty sure this would make a great SNL skit...

First off, the apron is not something you simply put on and go about your day. It takes work and organization. Every morning you need to decide what you want to emphasize for the day. It might simply be their sight word of the day or week. While I change the cards out, at the beginning you may want to try just one thing until you become comfortable. I do a lot of layering of the cards, especially with songs. It takes some rehearsing, but the kids love it!

On this video I introduce the Hello song. We sing this song every day but I don't always use the hello cards. That would just be too boring EVERY day! I'll meet them at the door, sing the song and maybe have five sight words in my pockets for them to read as they come through the door. It's a quick assessment to see who has or hasn't mastered those words! Sometimes, I'll have the cards all mixed up and it drives the kids crazy! I'll hand the the cards to them and they'll get my pockets all organized without even realizing that they just sequenced a story or song into beginning, middle and end!

This video has a few quick math ideas. 
I have lots more and YOU'LL begin to think of a million more! I hand drew my own cards for two years. UGHHHH!I know that all of you are wonderful on the computer and can make your own cards! 
Organization of the cards is an issue! I put a rubber band around each set and place all the reading/language arts cards in one shoe box and the math and songs in another. My sister, who teaches first grade, suggested using a clear hanging shoe organizer! Brilliant!!

I wear my apron all day and often forget to take it off when I to the grocery store and bank! Be careful to check you pockets often to be sure you don't have an inappropriate word!!!!! Trust me,, it happens!
You can find the apron in my TPT store, Kinder-gardening

Ask me questions!

I had a request to show how I use my apron, so here goes...
Brace yourself. I've been using the apron for 3years!
Here are a few ways that I use the apron:

First off, you all need to know that my apron came about because I'm a mess. Not only do I need the apron to save my wardrobe, but I leave things everywhere! Unfortunately, I'm sort of known for it. The plastic pockets help me stay more organized and it keeps my hands free-important when you teach five year olds.

It started with sight words. We all have our weekly "password" on our doors. As the kids come through the door, they read the word. Well, my friends would often touch it with their hands and erase the word. So, I started off with spelling one sight word in my pocket. It was perfect for Heidi's sight word songs too, which we love.

Then I decided to put more than one sight word in the pockets. There were those who could read all the words, and others maybe one or two. I could point to the word/s I wanted them to read. It worked as a great quick assessment. My hands were free to take notes or deal with rascally behavior! The other unexpected plus was that the word/s were right at their eye level. Whatever concept I was reinforcing was there all day and they couldn't get away from it!

Next, I tried CVC words. I layered the initial sound with a variety of consonants, all the vowels and different final consonants. As I change the cards, the kids read the words. They have to decide if it's a silly or real word. If it's a real word, they can use it in a sentence Then we tried word families, blends and bossy e. This picture is  a little much. I don't layer this many letters at the beginning stages; I just wanted to show you some examples.

Watch out for inappropriate words!
I jumble sentences, and then have the kids help me unscramble the words. We use our expo pen to write directly onto the plastic to make lower case letters into capitals and add punctuation.

I've placed a period, question mark, exclamation mark, comma and quotation marks in the pockets and then ask them to tell me what each one is called.

We alphabetize the picture noun cards.

They can place picture cards for stories into beginning, middle and end. Author, illustrator, problem and solution.

In math, I've put two and three dimensional shape pictures in the pockets. They've also helped to put numbers in order, identify the teens and then tell me how many tens and units in the chosen number. Patterns, greater than, less than, addition and subtraction, clocks and on and on!!!

And then some days, I just put in a message!
I wrote about this message in an earlier post. We were learning a song for graduation and they needed to know how to spell I love you, so I had it in my pocket for the week.
I got hugs and "Right back at 'ya," all week.

I keep my cards in one of those layered lunch boxes. A recipe file works well, too.

We've included lots of blank cards for you to write on. Write on them with a never come off pen (kinderese for permanent pen), but be sure to erase with a white sponge a day or two later. Otherwise, it won't come off.

If you go to my TPT to get cards, be sure to cut them so that they fit the pocket (I cut on the gray line) but be sure to leave the top taller so that it's easier to pull out of the pocket (it 

Really, the ideas for cards are endless!
Are you still with me?
Thanks for putting up with all that!
Have a great weekend!
I'm off to the post office to visit my new buddies and mail aprons!

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, here's a silly Halloween poem. This might be fun to use as a Reader's Theater for older kids...

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!

Have a great weekend!


  1. I love all your projects! It makes me want to teach Kinder again! Hope you feel better and get over the flu!
    Rambling About Reading

  2. Thank you for visiting! My plans are to spend the weekend on the couch!

  3. Your art projects are always AMAZING! WOW. And I just love your secret code idea. I totally "get" that! :) You feel better and just relax, drink water and tea, and feel all better! <3

  4. I am amazed by this idea!
    Do you have a card pack on TPT that includes some of your newer card ideas? I saw the $15 pack but was curious if there are any other bundles that will be coming or added to that?
    As a first year teacher (I'm older with a beautiful family of 6) I was so intrigued when I came across your apron idea. I have your apron on my wish list and the card pack as well! I am not sure how you manage to have such a fun-filled, bright classroom and all of this! I am going to keep pressing my 3 must have things for my classroom: One of your aprons, the card packs, and (every teachers dream) a nice meeting rug. My Kindergarteners would benefit from this incredible idea. Thank you so much for being so creative and coming up with an amazing tool that all teachers should know about. If I ever get one or two or more :) I will certainly spread the word over here on the east coast.

    1. Thank you so much for the kid remarks. I've had some very sweet comments about the aprons but why is it that you always remember the hurtful remarks? Well, not today! You have totally made my day!!!!!!
      The cards were repriced today (my husband makes up the prices, I redo them when he's not looking)! You can make your own cards very easily. I hand drew all of my cards for 2 years until I got my husband to help! Let me know if you'd like the template and I'll see what I can do! I use my cards in the pocket chart too. I love my phonemic awareness the pack but the basic pack of cards gets you started. I always tell people to begin slowly. Just start with your weekly sight word. Jumble the letters and make them fix it. Learn Heidi's song to go with the cards!
      Make sure you laminate your cards and keep them as tall as the plastic pocket and I trim mine width wise as well so that I can move quickly. You don't want kids rolling on the floor while you fiddle with cards!
      Anyway, thank you, thank you, thank you for the sweet remarks.

    2. Whoops! Kind remarks! Lots of typos!!!!

    3. GUESS WHAT?!? I was telling my mother how amazing this idea was today, she was over visiting our kiddos and I showed her your creation. She loved the idea and asked which one I would want because I talked about trying to create one... however she knows my abilities :) and she got me the most beautiful one!!! It is the black with multi-color pocket! I love love love it!! I can't wait to get it, I am so excited! Thank you thank you! -Nicole

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. OMG!! I'm having trouble writing this comment. Thank you for supporting a teeny tiny business. Lots of hours and hard work have gone into this adventure! I hope you and the kids love the apron!