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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.