Thursday, January 31, 2013

Valentine's Day

I am thinking about Valentine's Day! Such a fun day to celebrate with my little ones. I am linking up with Sunny Days and Freebilicious for a Valentine's Freebie. I heart this cute dog graphic from 3am Teacher! Click below to get my free rhyming activity at TPT.
 
 

 
 

 
In case you missed it, I posted another freebie with this same dog. That one is for addition and subtraction. Click HERE to see that post. Have a wonderful weekend!
 
 
 
 
 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Math Rotations (Addition & Subtraction Freebie)

Just the other day, our current teacher of the year and last year's teacher of the year stopped by to see if they could observe how I do my math block. I was flattered, as they are both wonderful teachers and cohorts.

I basically have 70 minutes for my math and science block. When my students arrive back from specials, we spend about 10 minutes doing calendar on my Mimio Interactive whiteboard. Then, they split into 3 groups with 6-7 children in each group. I put them in groups of high, medium, and low. One group works with me, one group works with a dividend (parent helper), and one group works in a small group. They are at each area for about 20 minutes. At each center, they are typically working on the same skills. However, when they are with me, I differentiate by adding or lessening skills. When they are at their independent area, they may play games.

I do not do math rotations every day. Sometimes, I teach whole group math and then they work in cooperative groups or independently. Sometimes, we do science.

These two books are great resources that I used to help myself get started:

Math Work Stations: Independent Learning You Can Count On, K-2Guided Math: A Framework for Mathematics Instruction

Now that the 100th day is over, I am working on Lunar New Year and Valentine's Day activities. My kinderkids are working on addition and subtraction. They are doing really well! We just started our addition/subtraction chapter this past week. However, we have been working on these skills since the second month of school. By Valentine's Day, I believe they will be able to make their own math stories using candy hearts. Here's an independent activity I created for my kinderkids that I would like to share with you. There are 20 different addition and subtraction cards. You may choose to do just addition or subtraction or a mix. I will put candy hearts with this activity so my kinderkids can act out each math equation. If you would like this freebie, click on any of the pictures to get it at my TPT store.


 

 
 

 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Holidays Around the World & an Asian Fruit Freebie

It seems a little unusual, but we just finished up our Holidays around the World unit this past week. We started before the winter break, and now we are done! I love sharing and learning about different cultures. Usually my team and I rotate teaching different holidays to our kindergarten students. This year, we covered Chinese New Year, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Ramadan, and Hanukkah. I did not take completed photos of all the projects. We made red lanterns for Chinese New Year, paper kinaras for Kwanzaa, rangoli designs and peacocks for Diwali, Crescent Moon & Star necklacse for Ramadan, and handprint paper menorahs for Hanukkah.


I read this book to my students on the first day back from the winter break. It is a wonderful book describing different traditions for the new year. We made our new year's goals and tried some black eyed peas. Surprisingly, some of my pickiest eaters liked black-eyed peas!
Shanté Keys and the New Year's Peas
We reviewed some holidays with word sorts. My students quickly drew little sketches to go with each word to help them remember them. Then they sorted the words. To get the word sort for Hanukkah and Christmas, click HERE.

During our morning meetings, we are having fun learning different ways to greet each other. I will surprise one of my students with a Greek greeting!

I am having a giveaway for the upcoming Lunar New Year. Check it out here. This giveaway will be over tomorrow, Monday, January 21st.

In the past, I have brought in chopsticks and rice for the lunar new year... especially if there are too many food allergies, this is something plain. Sometimes, my Asian students' parents would cook some fried rice or noodles for us. I also like to bring in some Asian fruit for my students to try. My mom grows all kinds of plants in her yard. I like to tell her she is my personal farmer's market or grocery store. Sometimes she will have pineapple, kumquats, dragonfruit, starfruit, and recently custard apples! I have not seen custard apples in the U.S. You can find Asian pear, pomelo, starfruit, persimmon, and other fruit in a normal grocery store. I also go to the Asian markets to see what I can find fresh or I buy canned fruit. Just last week, while learning about Diwali and India, I asked how many of my kinderkids had mango. Only one... as she was familiar with mango lassi (a yogurt based Indian drink). Here is a freebie for you to download to learn about some of the yummy Asian fruits, as well as graph components to find out which fruit your students liked best.

Download it here.


Have a great MLK Jr. Weekend!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Happy Lunar New Year & Freebie too!

February 10th is the start of the new lunar year! I am almost satisfied with my Traveling to China unit. Now that I learned about powerpoint in creating units, I keep adding and adding to it!!  Hopefully by the end of this upcoming long weekend, it will be ready to share.  I have not been to China, but to Vietnam to visit my relatives still living there. Growing up, I did not realize the similarities of these two cultures. I thought the Vietnamese new year (a 3 day celebration) was totally different from the Chinese new year (a 15 day celebration). Now, I have fun making connections with my little Asians!


I am having a givewaway to share my love of the Asian culture. This giveaway includes one prize to one lucky winner of my newest unit: Traveling to China and a FedEx package of 24 pairs of chopsticks, 24 red envelopes, and a hardcover book (see below) in time to celebrate the new lunar year!
Bringing in the New Year (Read to a Child!)
I use a powerpoint to share information to my little ones about China. I have found a wonderful powerpoint several years ago at a freebie powerpoint site, and changed it up to work for my kindergarten class. I do not remember where and who created the original. My kinderkids enjoyed learning about China with this powerpoint. Click here to get it for free on google docs. On the first slide, there is an audio that does not work. I suggest that you search for how to say hello in Chinese and download a sound file saying "ni hao". Insert that in the first page of the slide show. The other sounds were already embedded in the original powerpoint. I also added some youtube video links to this powerpoint. Have fun visiting China!

Now for the giveaway...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

In case you missed it- Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners and I are having a giveaway. Click here to see that blog post.

In addition, I am having a 100 Follower Freebie Giveaway. Click here to see that blog post.

Have a wonderful week!



Sunday, January 13, 2013

100 Followers Giveaway! Everyone Wins!

Yeah! I have reached a little milestone in the bloggy world. I have 100 followers! Yesterday when I went to sleep I knew I was getting close to 100. This morning, after the Color Run 5k, I saw that I had a little over a hundred! I didn't think I would get here, as I am a bit slow putting ideas in digital format... just like that tortoise in the race with the hare. Thank you for your support, words of encouragement, and suggestions to help me be a better teacher and individual! I am loving the interactions with other teachers. It ignites an excitement in me with so many creative ideas at the tip of my fingers!

So to celebrate this milestone, I have created nearly 100 pages of activity sheets to give to my followers. It is a compilation of samples from my current units, ones I am working on, and some not currently in any packet. All you have to do is be a follower and leave a comment with your email address, so I can email you my 100 follower freebie packet!

 
 

 
I will be giving this freebie packet away until next Sunday, January 20th, 2013 at noon EST. This giveaway is now over. Thanks again for your support!
 
 


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Product Swap #3 with Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners


I'm linking up with my second product swap. I was paired up with Kourtney Payton, and I am so glad, as I enjoy reading and learning from her blog. She is creative, friendly, and quick ( I cannot keep up with that girl! Have you seen her TPT store?!) I saw that she has just started creating her own fonts! Visit her at her blog:


Mrs.Payton'spreciouskindergarteners

 Kourtney has so many choices, it was difficult to choose just one. I chose this product from her TPT store:

 
 What fun we had learning about needs and wants!
 

 
 




 
Mrs. Payton is reviewing my Wild About Watermelon unit. It was my first TPT unit I created last March! See my post about it here. Visit Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners to see her take on my unit. It will be on sale for 20% off from Thursday, January 17th - Sunday, January 20th, 2013. Click below to visit my TPT store.
 
 
 
Now, if you are still here, we are having a giveaway!! I love giveaways! Even though they are certainly fun to win (I have won 3 different ones!), they are more exciting to give out. Mrs. Payton and I are giving away one of her Wants & Needs mini-unit and one of my Wild About Watermelon unit. Good luck!
 

 

 
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Made It

Have you seen this great organizational post by Mrs. Sheehan from Learning in Wonderland? She organized her teacher pay teacher files into a binder. Well this reminded me of my book inventory binder that needs sprucing up. I created this binder a long while ago when I found myself buying books over again, because I forgot I already had them! So I documented all my books onto spreadsheets by theme and kept them all together in a binder. It helps when planning, so I can easily access what books I have without going through my heavy theme boxes.

 Now, seeing Mrs. Sheehan's TPT binder reminded me I needed to update as I recently bought some books. I decided to add pictures to the spreadsheet so I can also see the covers of the books.This visual will also help me remember which book is about what. I will slowly update my binder in this way. Here's a picture of my Asian books spreadsheet.
Now I will need to make a cute cover for my boring black binder! On the home front, I am off to make some Vietnamese pho for dinner... which will be ready tomorrow night.
 
To check out other January made its:
 


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Already Missing Winter Animal Rotations & A Walrus PPT Freebie

I will go back on Tuesday for a teacher work day before I see my kinderkids on Wednesday! I have had a well rested break, and I am excited to hear about their winter vacations. I wonder if any of them saw snow. Since it is a three day week, we will celebrate the new year and do some snowman activities. The following week is our kindergarten holiday around the world rotations. In previous years, we did this before the winter break, and then we did our winter animal rotations after winter break. I am already missing our winter animal rotations! If you are studying winter animals, you may want to check out my walrus powerpoint on TPT. Just click on the walrus craftivity picture to go to the free nonfiction powerpoint.


I want to make something for my kinderkids. I'm thinking a snowman something special for snack on Friday.

My kinderkids traced their left hands in green and right hands in red. They glued them on blue construction paper. I had these math mats laminated so that they can be reused for a variety of math activities.


Click on the above picture to get my free walrus powerpoint on TPT.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! (& a Community Helper freebie)


Happy New Year 2013! I'm linking up with Farley (and Freebilicious with a community helpers freebie). Last night, we decided to stay in for a quiet new year's eve. Our neighborhood was having a fireworks commotion all through the night. Poor Max- one of our little dogs who gets very frantic with fireworks, thunderstorms, loud noises, etc. Such a sensitive little guy!

I am loving my new digital camera. I am learning more about it... but I am such a beginner. I am looking forward to taking a class to learn how to use my camera.

For Christmas, we got a new Wii. I am having fun playing active games on it. My good friend is coming over so we can start our year off exercising and having fun!

Yesterday, I talked to my sister and nephew on Skype. They are having lots of snow where they are at. Seeing their backyard, made me want to build a snowman with them. I miss those wintery white snow days, especially the ones perfect for a ski day!

I am currently working on a lunar new year unit. It is taking some time, as I often get sidetracked! I need to focus and get it done by this weekend. I go back to work next week... so my focus will be back on the classroom.

Hope. Reflecting back on the beginning of 2012... I remember having a positive attitude about the new year, and having a discussion with my teammates. So many sad things starting off and continued on through the year. Most of these sad feelings are due to the loss of loved ones. Other feelings are due to challenges we face as teachers. My word for 2013 is hope. Hope for a better year for all of us, as we find peace and solace as we move forward. Hope to keep a postive attitude despite the hurdles.

Now on to the freebie...



After Thanksgiving, I taught my students about community helpers. Life gets so busy around the holidays! Now, I can share a little of what we did during our 2 weeks of community helpers.

I used Curious George books as my character to focus on for some Common Core standards. I even drew my own Curious George characteristics web. We enjoyed creating our own Curious George using April Larremore's craftivity.


Click on the above picture to go to April Larremore's TPT store for the Curious George Firefighter craftivity.
One project that took at least 5 days was my community helpers book. After learning about a particular community helper, my students would draw themselves as the community helper and draw some things the community helper would need. Then each child would label at least 5 things on the page. I have hat tracers for each community helper used in my book: firefighter, nurse/doctor/medic, police officer, mail carrier, and chef/baker. Click on any of the pictures below to download the templates.





 
 
I will be going back to school to a teacher work day and 3 day week with my students. Love that we have a teacher work day before we delve into the 2nd half of our school year! I know that we will work on new year's resolutions and snowman stories. The second week back is a full week of holiday rotations. All of the kindergartners at my school will be rotating to different classrooms to learn about different holidays: Hannukah, Ramadan/Eid, Diwali, Lunar New Year, Christmas in Mexico, and Kwanzaa. Afterwards, we will start our Patriotism unit. I'm a little sad that we moved our Antarctica unit to later in the school year. Well, looking on the positive, I will get to see what everyone else is doing before we get to it!