Home again with another 3 snow days and things are so quiet around here! What better way to liven it up than with a Snow Day Sale?!?! You better hurry because the sale will only last as long as the snow does!
Click the banner below to go to my TPT store!
I need a little distraction since my little doggy got out this morning and has been gone for 3 hours! We have searched everywhere with no luck. We are hoping someone has taken him into their home to get him out of the snow & sleet because that did happen one other time. Say a little prayer please!
Don't forget to enter my giveaway while you are at my TN store!
Whew! We FINALLY got to celebrate the 100th day of school...a week late....due to 5 snow days. Here is my amazing kindergarten team and I in our cute 100th day shirts!
We had so much fun! The kids rotate through all 4 classrooms to do a 100th day activity in each! In my class we did the traditional Fruit Loop/Cheerio necklaces by making groups of ten. One of the little darlings from another class couldn't remember my name so he started calling me Mrs. Ten! I was hoping he meant I was a perfect 10 but it quickly occurred to me that every time he put 10 Fruit Loops on his necklace he would ask "am I finished yet?" to which I replied... "choose a new color and do 10 more!"
Yep, Mrs. Ten was very fitting!
I think the kids' favorite activity was our Hershey Kiss Scavenger Hunt. I put numbers 1-100 on the bottom of kisses and then hid them all over the classroom. The kids were told to go find just 1 kiss and then bring it and put it on the 100 chart and then they could go find another. This actually took about 30 minutes to do and they had a ball! When all 100 had been found, we shared them equally.
Speaking of the 100 Chart, the kids enjoyed going on a number hunt to find a hidden picture. Click on the picture below to download your free copy!
I just love the 100 year old Me & Bucket List they completed in Ms. Mason's class. (I think the idea originated from Deanna Jump)
Some of their Bucket List items were so funny!
Ride a skateboard
Have a Car
Make little bracelets
jump out of an airplane
Make MineCraft videos
*Marry a boy...I want to!
Marry a girl
drive a car
be a dad
Overall, the day was a great success and we have 100 days behind us and only 72 more to go! We can do this!
Ahhh, February! The month when I truly get to see how much my little one's writing skills have improved since the beginning of the year. I kick the month of February off with a Mail Unit and introduce a Post Office in our classroom as a way to get the kids ready to read write their own Valentine notes and show off their writing skills.
I purchased a cardboard mailbox like this one from a teacher supply store for $20 about 15 years ago and I have certainly gotten my money's worth out of it. The cute Mail Person dress up costume came from Lakeshore Learning.
Each morning the kids come in & write a letter or postcard to a classmate. They have to pick a name from a bucket for the first letter of the day to ensure every student gets mail. After all names have been picked, they can write to anyone they choose. When they are finished writing they bring their letter/postcard to me and I have them read it back to me before giving them a "stamp" (flag stickers) to mail it. This helps emphasis legible writing, spaces between words, making complete sentences, punctuation, spelling simple words and sight word fluency. During center time, my postal workers sort the mail by boy/girl and then deliver the mail to individual students' mailboxes. For mailboxes, I have used everything from cereal boxes, empty soda can cartons, and students' cubbies.
Near the end of the day, we have Mail Call when I set aside time for the kids to check their mailboxes & read their mail. Again, this encourages children to read their own mail by looking for sight words they know and sounding out most of the words. I also make sure to send them each a small piece of mail every day, which they love! My favorite part of this unit is when they ask me to read their mail for them & I remind them that it is their mail to read and I have them read as many of the words as they can with very little help from me....it always amazes them at how much they truly can read! If you are interested in setting up a Post Office in your classroom, you may want to check out my Mail & Post Office Unit by clicking on the pictures below.
Unit also comes with 3 literacy centers that have students reading CVC words (real & nonsense).
There are also 2 Write the Room Activities included!
Looking for Valentine's Day Party ideas? I saw this idea in a Mailbox magazine many years ago and have played it with my students every Valentine's Day since. We start by reading the book Froggy's First Kiss by Johathon London and then take a vote & graph who would or would not kiss a frog. After all of the votes are in, I give each child a set of kissy lips and we play Pucker Up for Froggy which is played like Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
Click on the picture below to get your free copy!
To play: Laminate Pucker Up for Froggy gameboard and print enough copies of the kissy lips for each student to have one. (I laminate mine to reuse each year). Students are given a pair of lips that have double sided tape attached to the back (I have magnets on mine to use on my magnetic board). Students take turns being blindfolded & spun around 3 times. When he/she is dizzy, I face them towards the frog and have them attempt to give Froggy a kiss. The kids love to see who can get the closest to Froggy's mouth!
As of now, I have 4 iPads in my kindergarten classroom that my students LOVE! My school provided 1 iPad and I wrote and received grants from DonorsChoose.org for the other 3. I currently have a grant posted for 2 more iPads on DonorsChoose.org~~just in case you are feeling a little generous! Any amount, no matter how small gets me a little closer to getting iPads into my little ones' hands. Click here to give!
Now that my begging, pleading, commercial is complete....let's get to the real reason for this blog post! I'm guilty! I know that I am not using the iPads to their fullest potential. I had great ideas and plans but then "life" happened and those ideas & plans have gotten lost in the process. Well now that the kids & I are comfortable with using them in the classroom, I am looking for new & creative ideas on how to use them in a kindergarten classroom.
What better way to share your ideas than on Pinterest?!!
I am a member of many collaborative boards but do not have any of my own so I am going to start with an iPad Lesson Ideas board. If you would like to be added just follow my blog over there on the right---> and then comment with your Pinterest name and/or email address or you can email me at email@example.com. You will also have to follow the board before you can be added.
What am I looking for?
I want to SEE how iPads are being used in the classroom, not just app suggestions. (Pinterest is great for those of us that are visual learners!) If you have or see a favorite app let me know HOW you are using it. I want to see storage & charging station ideas, ideas for small group & whole class instruction, pictures/videos of what students are doing with them, how to organize the folders & pages of apps, how to customize for individual students or groups, what works & what doesn't work, and ideas that you want to try or have already tried.
Right now we use them for listening to audio storybooks and during literacy centers and small group time. My favorite app for using them with small math groups is Doodle Buddy but I recently discovered Garfield's Mental Math... sure Garfield the cat is a little outdated but this app is AMAZING, free, and exactly what Common Core math should look like! Love it!
The kids also love making videos to show off what they have learned to do such as counting by tens, tying shoes, etc. I then let those that are still struggling with this watch the video of their friends counting by tens over and over until they can do it on their own and be added to the video themselves.
Now it's your turn! Comment, follow, join, pin, and/or direct me to a blog post that I may find helpful.
My kids love using dice during math time so I try to incorporate as many different types of dice as often as I can. I needed a quick & simple review of greater than/less than so I pulled out the double dice and had my students work with a partner to complete this activity.
To Play:Partner 1 is the inside number and partner 2 is the outside number. They take turns rolling the dice and then write down the inside & outside numbers on their recording pages. They will then circle the larger number to see who is the "winner" of each round. So simple, yet they love it and I can quickly walk by and see who understands greater than/less than.
Click on the picture below to download!
This also includes a page for using the dice when working with addition!
Ummm....where did January go? I love the month of January but I wonder if it is because we rarely work a 5 day week! We return from Christmas break after the 1st week of January, a couple days of professional development, a day or two to get kids back into their routine and then there is the Martin Luther King holiday. Throw in a 100th day celebration and a few days for "snow" or "no snow but too cold" days and the month is almost gone!
I guess its time to start planning for February...another month I just LOVE! What's not to love about...
Post Office Unit
Dental Health Month
Here are some things I have available if you need help planning for February. Some are free, some are paid products. Click on the pictures below to check them out!
Groundhog Day for ActivBoards $4
~FREE~ Love to Learn in Kindergarten
100th Day of School for ActivBoards $5
Love Letters for ActivBoards $3
Post Office & Mail Unit $5
~FREE~ Brush Your Teeth!
Printable Math & Literacy Centers $5
President's Day & American Symbols
for ActivBoard $5
Dental Health for ActivBoards $4
Dental Health Printable Activities $2
Puppy Love Addition & Subtraction Stories
for ActivBoard $4
...If you don't find what you are looking for here, there are still many more February things in my TPT store!
Ever since I finished up my Sight Word Practice Packet for McGraw-Hill's Wonders Reading Series, I have had many, many requests to do one for Scott Foresman Reading Street also. We just adopted the Wonders after using Reading Street for the past 7 years so I am still supplementing with the SF leveled readers. In order to do so, I have had to teach the SF sight words and had already started making the worksheets. I am just about finished with the entire packet but it still has a few more days of work left until I am happy enough with it to post it. Until then, I am offering the first unit free so you can check it out and see if it is something you may be interested in using. Click on the pictures below to download the sample unit now for free.
As I turned the calendar to 2014, I was hoping to find some wise and life changing inspirational words to share but I have not found the words. The last 6 months of 2013 have been the hardest days of my entire life. My oldest moved out of the house and then a month later Logan had his car accident. There are no words to describe what we went through, but as hard as life was for those 2-3 months....THERE WAS LIFE! I am grateful and humbled by the experience that God saw fit for us to endure. How differently it could have all turned out. My family has come out of 2013 with a much stronger faith in Christ and better for the experience. The same God that was on the throne on Sept. 2, 2013 is the same God that is and will be on the throne every single day of 2014 (good AND bad). Yes, 2013 is behind us and the calendar may be turned to 2014 but I pray that the lessons we have learned in 2013 will not quickly be forgotten!
With that being said, please forgive me if my educational blog posts continue to be few and far apart. My inbox is overwhelmed daily with educational blog posts from many teachers that I subscribe to and I have to wonder how they find the time to devote to daily or frequent blog posts. For now, that is not my focus. I still feel like I am in survival mode. Logan will finally return to school next week to finish his last semester of high school so I anticipate life will become a bit more simple without having to do homeschooling work with a lonely teenager with a bad case of cabin fever when I get home from school every day! But thank heavens for Christmas break! I have been productive and lazy all at the same time! I finally finished up the 3rd set of morning work packet & am finishing up my Sight Word Packet for Scott Foresman Reading Street. All from the comfort of my sofa and fuzzy pajamas and lots of Hallmark Christmas movies! Click on the preview pictures below to pick it up from TPT!
Whew! December is such a fun month with kindergarteners...at least for the 1st week of December. However, every year it seems that the closer we get to Christmas the behavior begins to deteriorate and that part about "you better not pout, you better not cry" is suddenly forgotten. The poor little darlings are under such pressure to be good and remain on the Nice list that I think they get stressed to the max. Hmmm...that almost sounds like teachers preparing for standardized tests in the spring! We start out reviewing and preparing for THE test and feeling all confident that we did a fabulous job of teaching the material but the closer we get to the test the more pressure we feel. Did I cover it all? Did I do a good job of preparing them for THE test? Will they be able to stay focused? Will I remain on the "Nice" list?...and then teachers begin to pout & cry! Too much pressure!
Well, to help keep learning fun and pouting away, I created some new Christmas themed fliphchart pages for my ActivBoard and I wanted to spread a little Christmas Cheer and share it with you.
Click on the pictures below to download it for free!
I am also excited about my newest DonorsChoose.org project. I just submitted it today and it is already live and ready for donations! The most exciting part is that for the first week Disney will match funds if the donor enters the PROMO code DISNEY at checkout.
My project is requesting 2 additional iPads for my classroom so I will have enough for small group instruction. The introduction of iPads into my classroom has opened up so many new learning opportunities for my students and I want to do even more with them! My Christmas break project is to find even more lesson plan ideas for using the iPads in my classroom.
Now here is a deal for you...donate at least $10 to my project and use the DISNEY code at checkout and I will let you choose $20 worth of products from my TPT store! That's right....$20 worth of products for a $10 tax deductible donation! Just email me after you have given and let me know what products you would like and I will email them to you! Thank you in advance for your help!
Christmas time with kindergarteners is such an exciting time! I love their innocence and excitement as they wait patiently for Christmas Eve to finally arrive in hopes that Saint Nicholas will soon be there. One of my all time favorite activities is getting a personalized video by email from Santa for each individual student! Visit http://www.portablenorthpole.com/home to enter your students' names, age, where they live, and 1 item from their wish list. It even gives the option to put them on the Naughty or Nice list! We do 2 videos a day so that each child gets their video message before we get out for Christmas break. They get so excited waiting to see who the special message will be for each day. So much fun! As we finish up our unit on number words, I pull out the paint and Q-tips and we Trim the Trees by reading the number and color words. If you are on the "Nice List" you can click on the picture below to snag your free copy now!
My tummy is full, my Christmas decorations are up, Christmas shopping is well under way, and I'm in my fuzzy PJs at 3 in the afternoon watching more Christmas movies! Top it off with the reminder that tomorrow marks exactly 3 months since Logan's accident and this will be the last week (fingers crossed) that he will be in a cast! Woo Hoo!
Talk about having a whole new perspective on being thankful! The last 3 months have been the hardest time of our lives here in the Young household but we are so grateful for the new appreciation we now have for the things that we once took for granted! My heart swells with thankfulness when I think of how good God has been to me and I can't get the phrase/verse "my cup runneth over" out of my head! With this fullness of heart I wanted to give something back so I put together these number word pages to use with my little ones and wanted to share with my teacher friends!
...and while you are there, do you mind "following" my Teacher's Notebook shop? I have not done a very good job of building that little shop up but I am having a 20% off sale this weekend and don't forget to sign up for my giveaway! I will giving away 3 December Calendars for the Promethean Board.
You can also find this in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here!
Don't forget to fill your shopping cart up & clear out that wish list so you will be ready
to purchase your goodies tomorrow or Tuesday during the TPT Cyber Sale!