Monday Made It: Owl Lanterns

I have bought some lanterns from Target at the beginning of summer with intentions to make some owl lanterns I saw on pinterest. Now at the end of my summer, I am getting to it. In less than a hour, I made 4 owl lanterns. I plan to hang them around the room for 4 different areas. They will be hanging up in my classroom next week... when I go back for teacher planning. Summer has passed by quickly!!

Supplies: assorted lanterns, scrapbook paper, circle punch, black buttons, scissors, Stampin Up Crystal Effects, & Glue dots



Mimio Monday: Starfall ABC

At the beginning of the school year, I like to start up my computer center on the first days of school. In order to do that, I use Starfall, since it is easy enough for my kinderkids to use. At my TPT store, I have a Starfall ABC book for free there. My students use this book to keep track of the letters they learn about on Starfall. Click on the picture to go to my TPT store to get it for free.

Before my students can do this book independently, I need to model the steps. I can do this through an interactive whiteboard program. I use Mimio software. Click on the Starfall ABCs cover to get it for free at google docs.

 The first lesson I show my students is how to get to I usually make it the home page for the beginning of the school year. Then we review what our job is. We do the first letter together. It may be one that I let the students choose or review a letter we have just learned about the day before.

 After interacting with the Starfall program with one letter, then we look in our Starfall ABC books to find the letter. On the whiteboard, I will have my students demonstrate how to draw the letters and draw 2 pictures that start with that letter sound. Then we will use kid spelling to label.

 Afterwards, we go to our ABC chart to color the letter we just completed.

I will repeat this lesson a couple more times during the first 2 weeks of school. That way my students will know what to do when they are at the computer center.


In Pictures and In Words: Chapter 10 Tone

Mrs. Jump is hosting this week's linky party. Click above picture to see more book ideas!
Yesterday, I received an order of books that I have been wanting. Chapter 10 is all about tone. I wonder if my books will have any pages showing tone?

During the second week of school, we have a kindergarten gingerbread hunt. I thought this book would make a great addition to my collection of gingerbread books.

Technique #32 deals with color choices impacting the tone of the book. This story includes a muted color schema. In addition, the pictures are outlined in black lines, making the muted colors stand out. Technique #35 involves noticing the size of objects in a picture impacts tone. In the picture below, the children are reaching high up to stir the dough in the bowl.

While learning about colors, I plan to use Pete the Cat books. I couldn't resist this book in his hardcover form. (I usually try to buy paperback, as hardcover takes up more space!)

Technique #34 involves background color impacting the tone of a picture. James Dean uses vibrant colorful backgrounds. Technique #37 notices pictures with sharp, pointed lines, edges, and angles have a different tone than pictures with softer, more rounded lines and edges. Technique #39 involves using whimsical detail to lighten the tone in illustrations.

I have enjoyed Ellison the Elephant for the past few years that I thought I would invest in another book by Eric Drachman.

Technique #33 involves shifting tone by shifting color. Little frog wants to fly, and his parents tell him that is not a frog thing, but a bird thing. Before this page, the background colors were soft and sunny. On this page, it is purple to match his mood, tired and discouraged. Technique #34 notices background color may impact the tone of the picture. Technique #37 involves noticing pictures drawn with sharp, pointed lines, edges, and angles evoke a different response than pictures drawn with softer, more rounded lines and edges.

Besides adoring owls, I also love turtles. So, I have had this book on my wish list for years. It is a fantastic nonfiction book with beautiful illustrations.

Technique #34, 35, and 36 are tone noticing techiques that I would use with this particular book. Look how little he looks in the vast depths of the ocean.

It's amazing how easy it is to find illustrative techniques in picture books. Just pick up a book and look at its details to find tone!

The last book has nothing to do with the tone techniques, but I am EXCITED to delve into it, as I want to become better with teaching small groups during math time.

I think I will be off to stalk the Guided Math book blog studies. Have a super weekend!


50 Followers Giveaway!!

Reaching 50 followers makes me very excited! Thanks for supporting me and leaving me comments. I decided to put my newest unit, Alphabet Vacation, up for free for the next hour! Usually at the beginning of the school year, my team and I focus on a letter for the day. We teach letters everyday in kindergarten, but the focus on one particular letter happens during the first weeks of school. After introducing all the letters, we end with an alphabet vacation. The children and I enjoy celebrating our alphabet learning with this fun review!

 I will be going out to do some grocery shopping, and when I come back, I will change my Alphabet Vacation, and keep it at my TPT store for sale. I guess that makes it a flash giveaway. So click on the picture to go to the link where it will be for the next hour or so for free. EDIT TO ADD- FLASH GIVEAWAY IS OVER!! I'M OFF TO SPEND TIME WITH MY NEPHEW!



Monday Made It

Last week, I started making some owl treat bags for Meet the Teacher- which will be here in less than 3 weeks! I finished them today by gluing on the words "Kindergarten is a hoot!" I was inspired by this Pinterest picture:

Below are my little owl bags. They were easier to make than my Christmas Owls. I wanted to buy some new scrapbooking paper, but I used what I had! I still have one little item inside before I staple them shut. Click on my owl bags picture to get the wording: Kindergarten is a hoot! (I also made for PreK, 1, & 2.)



Mimio Monday: More or Less

In the upcoming school year, I am determined to create more interactive lessons with my students using Mimio software. I love how easy Mimio software is to use. It opens up many different types of files (but not the Now board) including PDF files, PPTs, JPEGs, Smartboard and Promethean files. So if you have interactive software, yours may be able to open up Mimio's ink files. If not, you can download their free software at their site. Last year, that is what I used. I didn't have an interactive whiteboard in my classroom, but I had access through our computer lab and a kindergarten co-worker. So now, I do have access to all components since we use Mimio interactive software at our school site. Click on Mimio below to visit Mimio and try out their free software. (I am not a sponsor of or paid by Mimio to advertise! It is what my school uses for interactive whiteboards.)

Last year, when my class began to expand rapidly, I had to think about a different way to teach calendar. I happened upon A Teacher's Touch. She has great Smartboard calendar ideas on her site. Since then, I have created my own with a mix of ideas from different people. I cannot share it as it has graphics and calendar parts from Kim Adsit and Shari Sloane's calendar that are copyright protected. I like the idea of my students having their own calendar notebook. We do calendar whole group, and in January, I will start adding their own calendar notebooks.

Instead, I have created a More or Less ink file (Mimio interactive software). One of the Common Core math standards that I'll be teaching in the first six weeks of school is CC.K.6- Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group. I embedded a flash game into the file as well! That way, I do not have to rely on the internet connection. I will introduce this lesson after I have gone over the numerals 1-5. Click on any of the previews to download and use.


New Blog Linky Party

There are numerous teacher blogs out there! This appeals to my ADD nature, so I can click here and there to get to different places. I decided to join in on a new blog linky party led by "Grade Three is the Place for Me". Thanks Janis for hosting!! Click below to discover some newly developed teacher blogs.

1. I am in Florida.
2. I am currently a kindergarten teacher.
3. I have also taught 1st and 2nd grades.
4. I started blogging this past April. I had a classroom website a long time ago and now I use wiki for my class website.
5. Blogging tip- I'm still learning! I am starting slowly and being patient with it. I am having fun with it.


Daily 5: Chapter 6

Word Work

1. Experimenting with words for learning and practicing a spelling pattern (brainstorm a list of ways you can do this).
Kindergartners need a variety of ways to explore sight words. I try to vary it up. I have used playdough, letter stamps, and letter manipulatives (letter unifix cubes and letter beads). I even spent one summer cutting out letters from magazines, glued them on cardstock, and had them laminated! I was a bit crazy! Even though it was over 10 years ago, I still use them for letter manipulatives.

 Last year, some of my kinderkids made their names out of blocks and we took pictures.

This year, I want to have my students use blocks to make letters or sight words. I think it would be neat for them to also take pictures and keep them in a book. On TPT, I want to use these Snap cubes. I will have my students start making letters out of snap cubes first, then make words. I think some of my boys (& girls) will have fun with this!

2. Memorize high frequency words ( How often do you introduce new words? Do your students have their own list of words that they can work on? How will you keep track of words that they already know). I add 3-5 words per week, introducing them using the 4 Blocks Model. We keep track of our words on the word wall. My kindergarten team and I send home a VHS case for sight words. We have 6 colored sets of words based on the DOLCH word list. When a child has mastered a list, he brings his case of words back, and gets tested. If mastered, he gets the next set of words. A star is put on his sheet that is the cover of the VHS case and I also keep track by highlighting the words known (kept in my literacy binder). Some of the kindergarten teachers use first grade words when they have completed the 6 sets of words. I prefer not to rely on sight words lists at that point. Instead I encourage reading, as that is how we pick up new vocabulary.

3. Generalize spelling patterns (brainstorm a list of ways you can do this).
Some word wall words have patterns- put star on them after learn about the pattern. Word wall family books. Music. Cooperative learning strategies- All-Write Robin. Below are my students working in small groups brainstorming a list of rhyming words. Basically, each child gets a turn to write a word for the rhyming family. The others may help by giving clues. They keep going around writing as many words as they can in a 2-3 minute time period.

We also make words and sort words by their rimes. My students know if they know how to spell one word, they can spell many words because they are familiar with the pattern.

We also make art projects to go with our rhyming families. This one is -at. In first grade, I had my students use magazines to find letters to make -at words. In kindergarten, I do the same activity, but differentiate for those who need it. Some students write beginning sounds to ___at to make their at words. My cat template is at school. I will go in next week. So I will update in a couple of weeks to include that activity here. For now, you can click the picture to get the ___at worksheet. Updated 8/19/12 with Cat template and at worksheet, click picture below to go to google docs.

4. Adding to our knowledge and curiosity of unique and interesting words. (What is the best way to do this?) Make a theme word sight word list on pocket chart. Sometimes I write the words beforehand and find clipart for those words. Sometimes, my students illustrate words. Other times, my students predict words for the unit. Then we add as we learn new ones.

In the new school year, I hope to include Kim Adsit's anchor chart for vocabulary.

Other things to think about: What materials do I already have? What materials would I like to get? How will I store them? Where will students work?
I feel I have a variety of material. I'm not sure what else I would like. Guess I'll have to see what everyone else plans to do with word work. I store my supplies in crates and small containers (baby wipes containers are great!). In previous years, my centers have assigned areas, but children can move around the room. Now, I want to try out 4 different areas with all Daily 5 stations in each area. Children will rotate each day through the stations. One of the games I used last year:
Learning with Mrs. Parker's Roll a Sight Word

One of the teachers at my school went ahead and made the game on colored paper to match our 6 sets of sight words. This was a great way to differentiate, as the students worked on the words they were on.

I'll be linking up with the Kindergarten Daily 5. Looking forward to seeing the Daily 5 ideas!


First Giveaway Winners!

It's congratulations time to 2 winners! I used the True Random Number Generator for 2 prizes. For every 25 followers, I was going to give away my new Start School Using Brain Research away. The number generated was 5- Vickie from Mrs. Plant's Press!

For the grand prize, the number generated was 3- Marlana from Lil' Country Kindergarten. Marlana please email at learningwithmrsbrinn@gmail with the address you want me to send your goodies to. I will email my "Start School- Using Brain-based Research!" to both ladies.

Thanks to all who participated in my first giveaway! That was fun! I'm hoping to have another one before my summer ends in 3 weeks. I don't think I'll use the Random Number Generator next time, as I could not figure out how to copy and paste the results into my blog entry. Do you have any ideas or tips for a newbie like me for running a giveaway?



Spring Cleaning

I have spent the past four years "spring cleaning" my classroom. I have gotten rid of so much stuff! I'm still working on downsizing and keeping myself clutter-free. I feel like Linus in Charlie Brown, except it is clutter that seems to follow me! Well, I am working on throwing out my files that I no longer need. I came across one of my first grade predictable readers that I used for the first ten days of school. I couldn't just throw it away, so I made it into a digital file for safe keeping. I think it could be adjusted for kindergarten or second grade too. If you like it, please consider leaving a comment!

Google Docs Link:

I'm really excited to mail out the winner's prizes on Monday!! Since there hasn't been too many people involved... you have a higher chance of winning!! If you haven't entered my giveaway, please check it out here: GIVEAWAY! At the beginning of the year, I plan to share photos of the different activities in the packet. Here's a preview of one Kissing Hand activity:

I'm thinking of heading to the beach. I hope not to get sunburned!! Have a lovely weekend!

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