Five For Friday

 
Five for Friday... and it's on time! My class and I just finished 6 weeks together! I am starting to feel back on track, and human again. :0) Kindergarteners have lots of energy!
 
1. Even though this happened last week on Thursday, I wanted to share. One of my kindergarten parents came into the classroom with a surprise package for me. I wish I took a picture of the beautiful bow she made. I thought about it after the fact. So I just wrapped the brown ribbon around the box... not the same. Oh well! Now I have my very own Erin Condren notepad for my table. :0)
 
 
2. All 5 components of Daily 5 have been introduced and practiced with my kindergarteners. This year, I am using some ideas from Kim Adsit's Powerful Partnerships for Reading With a Partner. They just look so cute when they are reading to themselves back to back. They are doing a great job sharing with their partners. 
 
 
3. At the beginning of the week, we worked on sorting objects and pictures. I used Kagan's Rally Coach structure for this picture sort by categories.
 
 
4. I used some alphabet cards from my Alphabet Vacation unit to do a Kagan Quiz-Quiz-Trade to practice identifying initial sounds and letters.
 
 
5. Today, we had our Alphabet Vacation. The kinders dressed up and we had a great time pretending to go to the airport, traveling, and landing onto Letter Island. Then they shared their suitcases and bags filled with items starting with their assigned letter. They also had passports which they used to keep track of the letters they learned about from their friends.
 
 
 
My brain seems a little scattered. This week has been exceptionally busy for me, as I spent Wednesday afternoon helping to bag books in my school's new leveled book room. Then on Thursday evening, I spent some time in my 4th Reading Endorsement class. It's a differentiated instruction class. I am excited about learning more about that!
 


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Five for Saturday!

 
I meant to post earlier, but it is now Saturday. As they sometimes say, "better late, than never." Here are my top 5 for the past 2 weeks.
 
1. My county has started to use Reading Street this school year. It really limits what we can use, especially when we are suppose to follow it with fidelity. Last week, we were working with the We Are So Proud unit. In the afternoons, I used Pete the Cat stories with math. Here is one tying in the words (red, white, and blue) with number sense. I found the tracers from Hooray for Kindergarten and I created my own I have ___ blue buttons writing prompt. Click on the picture below to go to Google Docs to get the writing math template.
 

 
 
2. For our writing craftivity, my students copied the words: I am so proud. Then each child drew a picture of himself being proud of something he accomplished. Then we added a head, hand, and legs to our writing to make it look like ourselves.
 

 
3. This past week, we made paper bag platypuses to go along with Reading Street's Plaidypus Lost unit. My kinderkids loved this story. The pattern for the paperbag platypus came from Danielle's Place.


 
4. I am really excited how my Rate Your Understanding is coming together in my classroom. I introduced the scale to my students during the second week of school. During the following weeks, we began rating ourselves on how they well they can tell the sounds that each letter makes.
 

 
Then each child graphed where they felt they were at. On top of the quarter page, I created a label stating, "I can say the sounds for each letter." This was printed on file folder labels. The graph has room for a beginning, middle, and ending date. This graph allows me to help my students track their various learning goals in the different subject areas.
 
 
Each child's book is kept on a hook for reference when needed. This is a great way to help differentiate activities at our independent or small group activities.
 
 
For example, at the word work centers, my students use their learning goals books to help them focus on the letters they need to work on. For example, they make the specific letters out of playdough or cubes. Some find matching magnetic letters. They do this by looking at their learning goal books. Behind the graph sheet are specific pages about which letters and sounds they know. Each letter highlighted is one they have shown that they already know. The ones not highlighted are the ones they work on at centers.
 
 
 
We will move on to working with words once letters are mastered. I already have 2 children starting to work with words. I will soon be including these tracking learning goal sheets into my Rate Your Understanding. Check it out for a cheaper price, as it will increase with the new addition. I plan to add them later on today or tomorrow morning.
 
5. I am also excited about my new math station bins. I tried 4 of the bins out last year. I really like them. So I bought more and finally numbered them. I will be working on making a math stations chart for my students. I think my new bunch of kinderkids will love playing math games with their partners. I am really enjoying this new bunch of kinderkids. They are full of personality and fun!
 
 
 



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Currently September!

I have been back to school for a month already! Kinders have had 3 weeks of school. I've taken some photos, but not too many. Hopefully, I will get better! We have started our new reading series, Reading Street. It is different from how we used to teach. It's taking some time to learn and adjust to it. I forgot how busy and tired I am at the beginning of the school year. This long weekend is much needed at this time of the year. Gives me a chance to rejuvenate. I'm joining in on Farley's currently.
 
 
Sometimes it is just nice to listen to the quiet. Squirrels are really loud!
 
I am getting lots accomplished this long weekend: lesson plans, gradebook for team, Mimio (IWB) creation to introduce PASI skills, grocery shopping, yummy meals, visit with my mom and sister, etc...
 
I am so excited to finally get to meet my friend's little girl, Ansley!! She was born about 3 weeks ago, and I haven't seen her yet! Last weekend, I was sick. So looking forward to holding her. :0) Thinking about what kind of meal to make before visiting or flowers to pick up for my friend.
 
I wish the temperatures would start cooling off a little faster. I love fall weather, and we don't really get that down here in Florida. I just want the highs to be below the 90s.
 
Last Monday started off quite grand. I met my sweet junior intern! She is bubbly and full of positive energy- love that!! My kinderkids and I already love her! Well, once I started letting the kids into the classroom on Monday, our tech facilitator came in and told me I was needed in the studio- for live school news. I was apprehensive- as I do not like to be put on the spot. As I get in the studio, I had to be quiet as the news had already started... I am wondering why I am there. They ask me to stand next to some PTA moms and children. I see the children are holding something I have been wanting for quite a long time! I started jumping up and down! It's an IPAD!! My kinderkids were so cute. One asked if I would share it with him. :0) We will be using it this week for a listening center. Reading Rainbow has a great app for reading books to kids. Do you know of any apps I could use in my classroom with it?
 
I am missing some of my friends who used to work with me at my current school. They have moved on to other schools. I need to visit one in her new kindergarten classroom and the other in her new assistant principal office. This would make my heart happy to keep in touch with these ladies. I am also working on running early in the mornings... this is tough for me, as I don't like to get up early in the morning. I just need to remind myself how good I feel after the run. I typically do eat a lot of veggies, but I think I eat more meat due to my husband being a carnivore. We joined a group that gets organic produce every other week. I am loving it so far. Just joined this past Thursday. We ate the strawberries, blueberries, and bananas already. I made a kale salad last night... never knew about a massaged kale salad. I also boiled some golden beets... which taste just like regular beets... maybe a slight variance. Tonight I am planning on making a lasagna with some of the other veggies we got.
 
I'm off again this Thursday! Hopefully I will get to post some pics of my classroom. Happy Labor Day!
 
 
 


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