Sunday, June 30, 2013

Currently

 

 
Just a quick post as I am linking up with Farley's Currently. Happy July!!
 
In addition, I had my husband tell me a number from 1-12,and he said 7. Congratulations Markisha- you are the winner of my latest giveaway!
 


Friday, June 28, 2013

Ten Pen Linky- Math!


I am joining Just Reed in her Ten Pin Linky- Math Idea Pins. In the past couple years, I have worked on improving the format of my math block in kindergarten. Before at the beginning of my math block, I would teach whole group math lessons. Afterwards, my students would practice independently while I worked with students in small groups or one-on-one. When completed, my students would go to math games. With that format, I was focusing on students who needed extra support. Now, after reading some great math books, I am moving towards teaching my students in small groups more often in math.

This past year, I started my math block with numeracy building routines during calendar. Afterwards, my students were split into 3 groups. One group worked with me on a lesson. Another group worked with a parent helper on reviewing a skill or working on their math journals. The third group worked independently with the support of the small group. Sometimes, they also played math games. This occurred about 3-4 times a week. On Wednesdays, I did a whole group lesson. On every other Thursday, my students played math games or worked with me.

I recently pinned some great math ideas from teachers that I love to visit often for their great inventive ideas!

1. Mrs. Wills inspired me to read the book, Math Work Stations. This book was great in helping me to think about how to reorganize my math materials and how to use my resources. There are quite a few free math ideas on Mrs. Wills Kindergarten blog. I currently have my math manipulatives on 2 shelving items. They are in tubs. I want to switch over to bins with covers.

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten: Math Work Stations Part 3
 
 
2. Kindergarten Kindergarten continues to be an inspiration for math ideas! I love her journal ideas for geometry and shapes for her kinderkids. I went back to look for those ideas, and came across this measurement packet. Each time I visit I find some great ideas- lots of freebies there too!
 
Kindergarten Kindergarten's Math- lots of freebies

 
3. I have been updating some of my math games, as they were created over many years ago. Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten is another place that has many freebies. Some of the games were ones that I was already familiar with, so updating was easy for me!
 
Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten: Math Work Stations- lots of freebies


 
4.  Vicky from Mrs. Plant's Press made an awesome math unit about penguins. Her post using her IWB captivated me and made me buy her penguin unit on TPT. I loved it! More importantly, my kinderkids had fun learning their common core math standards with this unit.
 
Mrs. Plant's Press: penguins
 

5. Through Vicky, I learned about one of her teammates, The Golden Gang Kindergarten. Love her math ideas too!
 
Golden Gang Kindergarten: Math
 
 
6. I love to use cooperative learning in my classroom, and Mingle is a game I want to play with my kinderkids. This is a video that shows how a teacher does this in her classroom.
 
Mingle & Count: A Game of Number Sense
 
7. Talking about cooperative learning, I also pinned my Cooperative Learning with Kindergarten Math unit.
 
Learning with Mrs. Brinn: Thursday's Cooperative Learning Week 2- Get Cooperative Learning packet free for linking up or commenting until early morning June 20th.
 
 
8. Jazzy Journals- Love how Kim from Kinder by Kim incorporates art into math.
 

Jazzy Journals...Love the idea for math and also basic cutting and gluing skills.

 
9. I am keeping my eye out for the Daily 5 Math information. This is one second grade teacher's way of doing it. Got to have at least one owl post!!
 
Second Grade Discoveries with Miss Bily: OWLS Math Workshop Center Rotations!
 
10. Collaboration Cutie's Mentor Text- love using picture books throughout the day for different areas, especially math!! Great ideas from various grade levels here.
 


Collaboration Cuties: Must Read Mentor Texts


 
 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday's Cooperative Learning #4 & Giveaway

 
Thanks to Amanda for hosting this week! I love sharing and learning about how to do cooperative learning activities with young children. So I may date myself by saying that in the late 90s... I took one of my first cooperative learning workshops. One strategy shared was the Inside Outside Circle. At the time, I was a first grade teacher, and thought to myself no way, that strategy is for the BIG kids. So I stuck to RallyRobin, small groups of 3-4 students or pairs. When I worked with high school students, I used Inside Outside circle for community building activities. Such a fun way to meet and greet different faces!
 
Well a couple of summers ago, I took a SIOP workshop, and learned about the Circle of Friends. It is very similar to the Inside Outside Circle. I saw that Inside Outside Circle could be done with my kinders! What changed my mind, was that the first grade teacher had her children sitting in circles, while she stood in the middle of these circles. This was the management tool I needed to try this with my kinderkids.
 
Here's a video of a teacher explaining and doing the structure with her students: ESOL SIOP Inside/Outside Circle
Here's one in progress:

 
One activity that I like to do this with is my kinderkids is making a sight word book using their pictures and names in it. It is a great way to learn their new friends' names. I will need to adjust it this year, as my school district will be using Reading Street. Instead of writing I see..., my kinders will write I am... (student name is under the picture of each child). This activity is one included in my Start School: Using Brain-Based Research packet.
 
 
I use this structure for my kinderkids to practice math problems, as well as sharing their student author books.
 
 
How would you use this cooperative learning structure in your classroom? Link up or comment to tell about your favorite cooperative learning structure or activity. I would love to read what you are planning or have done with cooperative learning! Link up over at Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten!
 
Mrs Pauleys Kindergarten
 
 
I noticed that many of my fellow blogger friends are throwing a BlogLovin Giveaway! Thanks to Amanda & Stacia at Collaboration Cutie's for this idea and button!
 
 
If you are following me on BlogLovin- thank you! If you are not, you may want to try it out. For my BlogLovin followers, I am giving away 2 items from my TPT store. I will randomly pick a winner sometime Sunday evening (June 30th). Just comment to this post, telling me you are a BlogLovin follower! Remember to check back Sunday evening, as I will announce the winner and will need to contact you via email. :0) Congratulations Markisha!!
 



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Thursday's Cooperative Learning Host for Tomorrow

I am on a little break between workshops, and wanted to let you know that Amanda from Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten will be hosting tomorrow my Thursday's Cooperative Learning. If you haven't visited her, she is just the sweetest! I haven't met her in person, but my online interactions have been positive and her profile shows her beautiful smile! Go visit her and show her some bloggy love! I'll be linking up hopefully on Friday morning!
 
 
Mrs Pauleys Kindergarten
 


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Claiming My Blog & Beginning of Year Books Linky


I've joined Bloglovin. It was so simple... especially with the transfer of who I was following to Bloglovin. Now I am claiming my blog too. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I am joining First Grade and Fabulous and Collaboration Cuties book linky parties.

Click button above to visit Picture Book Linky Party at First Grade and Fabulous.
 
I use a variety of books at the beginning of the school year. For the past several years, I have used Filling Bucket books to introduce the concept to my students. This is the start of my classroom management. Two years ago, one of my teammates introduced me to Howard B. Wigglebottom. My kindergarten students relate to him, and enjoy his stories. Last year, I delved into Pete the Cat with my kinderkids. What makes it so great is the songs and repetition that goes along with the stories. I just got the new one yesterday. I will be starting Reading Street in my district, and the first story has to with a bus picking up children. I typically use The Kissing Hand on the first day of school in kindergarten. My favorite book for first grade is Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon. The illustrations are fun and cheerful. Molly Lou Melon is a character who overcomes a bully who becomes her friend at the end.
 


One book I would like to go into more detail is David Goes to School. My kinderkids and firsties loved David books. These books make them laugh and use their imaginations. One of my social studies standards touches upon rules in the classroom. David is a child who tends to not follow the rules. This is a great lead in to a classroom discussion about classroom rules. With my firsties and my kinderkids, I made classbooks titled, "No, First Grader or Kindergartener, No!" Each student made a page for our classbook about something they would do that is not allowed in the classroom. When discussing about class rules, I think it is also important to talk about nonexamples as well.


Here are some great ideas that deal with David books. I plan to do more with David this upcoming school year. I think my kinderkids will enjoy making a David.

Fall Into First has a freebie David craftivity on TPT.
Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten has a great activity about Peacemakers and Peacebreakers.
The First Grade Parade has a great post about Peacemakers and Peacebreakers.
The First Grade Parade has a great inferencing with David activity.
First Grade Wow has a cute craftivity with David.
First Grade Wow has a great inferencing activity.
Kindergarten, Kindergarten has a free David puppet craftivity.


 
Click above to see other Social Studies mentor texts at Collaboration Cuties.
 


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cooperative Learning #3 & Science Mentor Text

Summer is in full swing! I am loving the flexibility of time to get my hair cut, catching up with friends, going to a couple workshops, getting a facial... I am feeling refreshed!
 
 
For my Thursday's Cooperative Learning, I wanted to discuss how I use RallyRobin in my classroom. Sometimes, I group my students in pairs or in small groups of 4-5 students. I am also joining Collaboration Cutie's Science Mentor Text! :0) When integrating science into my reading curriculum, I love using Pebble books. These books have great photos and simple text great for my little ones. Not only are they high interest books, but they are also good for those older students who need simpler text for reading. I got mine through Scholastic Books. Click below to check Lions out at Amazon.
 
 


 
 
Before reading one of these books to my kinderkids, I have them get their materials (whiteboards, pencils, & tree maps) and meet me to sit in groups of 4. I put a grouping mat on the floor, and my students pick a number to sit by. Some groups may have 3 or 5 students. Either #4 is missing from a group or I have two #4's in a group. Here is a picture of a small group of 4...
 
The whiteboards are flipped over and used as a writing surface for their graphic organizers. My wonderful kindergarten assistant made the grouping mats for my team and I to use with our students.
Before reading the book, I ask my students to brainstorm words that they think will be in this book. In each group, starting with the number 2's, they keep going around and around sharing their predictions until time is called. That is a RallyRobin structure. We continue the discussion with what we know about lions, starting with the number 4's. Then I begin reading the story, stopping at various points. I help them make connections to the book by asking if they saw a lion before. Starting with a specific # they share within their group. Sometimes, I call on a particular # in each group to stand up and share something from their group. The tree map comes into play while I read the story to my students. The above picture is not the lion tree map, but I did use this one from Kim Adsit. (My kinderkids loved this project! We also made the lion king of ing.) I would ask my students to tell what lions are starting with a specific #. Then I would call upon some children to share something that their group shared. After that, I gave time for students to write their responses on their tree maps. They helped each other and wrote down the different ideas. After reading the book and completing the tree map, they went to their seats to complete their art project.
 
This lion project came from KinderGals website. Links are in above paragraph.
 
 RallyRobin is a simple cooperative learning group structure easily adapted into any curriculum. I love how it gets each student talking. Kagan has posters, technology, and clipart about their structures for sale at their website. Last winter, I bought the Powerpoint Pals to make my own cooperative learning structures posters. I show them on my IWB. Click on the picture to visit Kagan Online.
 
 
 I also use Kagan's Timer Tools to help with timing. In the lion tree map activity, I did not. Instead, I had my students show me they were done by putting their hands on their heads. This gave me an opportunity to check and monitor my students. To draw interest, I used a student selector tool to pick students to share information. This helped made them accountable for the information they were sharing with their groups. I liked it also for the ones who had a difficult time brainstorming ideas, because they got information from their groups already. Kagan also has Student Selector tools. Instead, I use two free ones that I got from Mimio Connect and Smartboard Exchange. If you have an interactive whiteboard, these are great resources to use. It is free to use. If you do not have an IWB, you may be able to use, I did before I wrote my grant for the Mimio. :0) I used my big screen tv to display the information and used the keyboard/mouse. Not the same, but it works too!
 
I did not use the grouping mats at my tables last year. Instead, I have my students name on a ring. Each student had the opportunity to be the team leader for one day, and then would start all over again. I called on my team leaders to get group supplies or help when needed. With a new classroom, and new furniture, I plan to use these mats at the tables. I will print one for each group, trim off the credits, laminate, and put on my students' tables.
 
Click here to get it for your classroom.
Click above button to visit Collaboration Cuties and their Science Mentor Text Linky.
There are lots of great ideas and freebies being shared there every Sunday!
 
Join me in sharing how you use cooperative learning in your classroom! Link up your thoughts of how you use cooperative learning structures in your classroom or comment with your thoughts or questions. I will be in a 2-day workshop, Got Mimio? Advanced next week... so next Thursday I will be there. I am hoping to have something special for you! 


 
 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Made It- Volunteer Binder


 
I finally made it! I am joining Tara's Monday Made It today. I have lots of ideas floating in my head and finally I can check off an item on my to do list. I revamped my Dividend (Parent Helpers/Volunteers) Binder. Here is a picture of my original. It's hard to see the faded line up of turtles- my classroom theme from over 3 years ago.
 
Totally needed some help here!!
At the beginning of the year, I recruit parent helpers. The week before they are allowed to come, I schedule a Dividend Meeting with them. (Dividend is the term my county uses to describe a volunteer in the classroom.) Typically I schedule one meeting in the morning and one in the afternoon, so that my volunteers can choose which is most convenient for them. At the meeting, I go over my expectations, procedures, supplies, and ideas of helping children. This is also a time for my new dividends to ask questions and get an idea of what they will be doing in the classroom. It also gives me an idea of what a volunteer is comfortable in doing.
 
I keep the binder in a bucket at a parent table in my classroom. The bucket usually contains ziplock bags with templates and instructions to help prepare projects, a tying shoe book so students can practice tying, tutorial games to play with individuals, and predictable readers with directions to support beginning readers. The binder is set up with a weekly schedule at the beginning. Following are pages of tips and procedures to help volunteers remember what to do. There is a section for each day, so that my dividends can flip to that day and read my notes.
 
 


Here is an example of notes I write to a dividend.


It is nice to have this binder, as it helps me build routine with my dividends and they can come into the classroom with little interruption. I also love it for when I am absent. My dividends know what to do and need little assistance.
 
Here are some pics of my new Dividend Binder.
 
This is the new cover.




 
 
On a different note, I am trying to figure out what type of plant this is that we bought yesterday. Any ideas? My husband thinks hibiscus, which at first I did not think so because of the way the blooms hung down like bells.
 

 
Here is a worthwhile donation drive created by Lisa at Learning is Something to Treasure. Tears at my heart strings...