Friday, August 31, 2012

Daily Five Pictures

My post is going to be short and sweet tonight. Today I had a proud moment when I looked up from my small group to see all my kids rockin' our Daily Five time!  We've been working hard these past 4 weeks building our stamina and practicing our Daily Five procedures. Here are a few pictures...don't let anyone tell you kinders can't do Daily Five!
Yes, I'm one lucky teacher! I always have the best kindergarten class and I'm not afraid to tell the world!!  These girls are so engrossed in their books that they didn't even realize I was taking their picture! The small tape player my friend is using came from Ebay for only $5!! The pillow pets (all 12 of them) were donated and my kids LOVE them! It's the small things that make reading so special in my room!

Yes, my friend is using a Leap Pad for her "Listen to Reading" time. What can I say...I'm very blessed to have (had) such wonderful parents over the years who think of me while yard selling on the weekends!

I love having parent volunteers come in and work with my kids! My friends are stamping their color words at the writing center!

Nice and comfy in our library while listening to his book!

"Word Work" They are matching up their friends name cards to their picture on the record sheet. Great handwriting and matching activity!
"Word Work" These girls are practicing their color words using Brown Bear, Brown Bear.

Seriously, you want to lay in the "kitchen" and read? My friends make me laugh on a daily basis! (Our kitchen is just our sink area in the back of the room. We keep our snacks and lunch boxes on the counter. I even have a small convection oven for our cooking activities.)
Laying under the table is very popular in my room! I even have a few kids who lay on the table. It doesn't bother me as long as they're reading! Again, it's the small things that make reading fun!
I'll be adding more pictures and activity ideas as the year goes on. How is Daily Five going in your class so far this year? I would love to hear about everyone's experiences! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Letter of the Week: Aa

My school is using the book "Recipe for Reading" this year to guide our phonics program. The letter order is completely different from Saxon so I've had to revise all my letter files. I thought I would share a typical Monday letter introduction with you and how I use my Promethean Board to guide the lesson. 

I always have the letter of the week flip chart up and ready to go when my kids get back from lunch. (10:45am) They always get so excited to see a new letter on the board! 

This page gets copied and pasted into all of my letter flip charts. Recognize the alphabet strip? (Saxon Phonics) One thing I have learned over the years is that repetition is the key when teaching phonics! So, every day I ask my kids...
1. How many letters are in the alphabet?
2. What are the two types of lettters?
3. How many vowels do we have? Name them? 
4. Does anyone see our letter of the week on these strips? (I always let one of my students come up and circle the letter and tell the class what the clue picture is that will remind us what sound the letter makes.)

One of the fabulous teachers I work with created this page with links to tons of alphabet songs on YouTube! During the week, I'll randomly pick a song for us to sing...especially if the kids are wiggly on the rug! 

You can't introduce a letter without singing and dancing! Have fun Teaching has a great YouTube channel with tons of educational songs & videos! We also love to discover words that begin with our letter's sound at and to watch letter t.v. on

Finding the letter in our names is a great way to make the letter of the week more personal. I like asking the kids if their "A" is upper or lowercase too! 

 We make an "A" chart on the Promethean Board and later in the week we make one on chart paper to display in the room. The kids love watching me draw picture to go along with the words! You can hear a pin drop when I'm being an artist! 

Once we're done with our flip chart, we always do a craftivitiy for our letter! This week we made apples! 
The first thing the kids did was to cut out their red apple, brown stem and green leaf. Then they glued those pieces together and started making tissue paper balls.
I'm not a big fan of regular Elmer's glue, but my kids this year are pros! PS: I love having table trashcans! Keeps the traffic down in my classroom!

A few of my kids are still getting use to me snapping pictures of them while they work!

My kids did a great job creating the letter "A" using tissue balls! Our apples look great hanging on our clothesline...great way to start decorating for fall!
I would love to hear some of the ideas you have for introducing the letter of the week! Please leave a comment and share!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Calendar Time

Here's a look into some of my class' daily routines...

The first thing my kids do in the morning is unpack their book bags, make their lunch choice on the Promethean Board and do their morning work. The tardy bell rings at 8:05am and by 8:10am my class is lined up at the door ready to go to block (PE, music, art, & computer lab). I love having the first block for planning! I have time to drink my coffee and discuss the day with my TA. 

The kids return from block at 8:50am and immediately come into the room and stand in their spot on the rug to say the pledge. Then it's time for CALENDAR!!! The first thing I do every morning is make sure my kids are ready to be good listeners and ready to learn.
 The picture in the top left of the flip chart is a link to Harry's Kindergarten song Criss-Cross Apple Sauce. 

I have links throughout my morning calendar pages for easy access to songs and videos I like to use to help teach different skills. Can you see the small music notes in the top left corner? They're links to songs for the months and days! 
1. Sing or say months of the year
2. Sing or say days of the week
3. Look for important days in our month (I always mark them with a cute picture.)
4. Add to our month's pattern
5. Write shortcut date (I've changed this for September.)
6. Today, Yesterday & Tomorrow 

Then my line leader goes to the back door to check the weather. We graph what the weather is like and I ask random questions like "How many more days has it been sunny then cloudy?" or "How can we tell who has the most without counting?" There's a picture in the top left corner (popular spot on my flip charts) of this page that is linked to Harry Kindergarten's 4 Seasons In A Year song. 

My door holder is in charge of showing us how to use base ten blocks to count how many days we've been in kindergarten. The school supplies on the left side of this page are linked to funny sounds. (Great way to keep kids' attention during this repetitive activity.) I think the apple sneezes which always makes my kids laugh! 

We cross off how many days we've been together and write the number in the sentence. I have a few links on this page...I Can Count to 100, Schoolhouse Rocks Zero, Dr. Jean Zero the Hero (PowerPoint show). 

We play the "Name Game" everyday until we've celebrated each student! After we've cheered for the name of the day, the kids go to their dancing spots around the room and WE DANCE!!!!!

 After we dance, we gather back on the rug to complete our math journal entry as a class. Then, I send the kids to their tables to complete the entry on their own. 
After math journals, we begin our math stations. Here's a surprise freebie for making it through my long post! 

Sneak peak at tomorrow's post...
Letter of the Week

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Still HERE...

Yes, friends I'm still out here! I'm so sorry that blogging has taken a backseat to getting adjusted to the new school year. These past 3 weeks of kindergarten have been an awesome adventure! Of course, I have the best class in the school! Seriously, my kids caught on to our procedures with a quickness and they're rock stars in the hallway! They love looking at books and our stamina is already at 12 minutes during "Read to Self". 

I wanted to share a few random pictures that I've taken so far this year. Remembering to take the camera out during the first few weeks of kindergarten is tricky but I managed to do it a few times.
I took this picture before the kids came...we have strategies posted now!
This board has been updated. I'll post a recent picture later this week!
Blog inspired hallway display!

Kids exploring letters at their tables during the first week of school! 

Math Stations during the 2nd week of school: Play-doh numbers & Number flash cards.  For some odd reason, I only took pictures of 2 of my tables.

More pictures to come...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

200 Followers Giveaway

WOW, I can't believe how quickly I've reached 200 followers! Thanks to everyone for joining me this past month! In order to show my appreciation, I've recruited a few other bloggers to help me put together a huge giveaway! Here's what the winner will receive...

Kelly from Kelly Teach is giving away one item from her TpT store!
Behind the Camera and Dreaming

Janine from Faithful In First has donated a $5 Starbucks gift card...what teacher doesn't need caffeine?

Sara from Laughing With Lane has donated her fabulous First Grade Family Economy Unit and Spelling Dictionary Pack!


Crystal from Ms. Jones' Junction has donated a $10 gift card to her Teacher's Notebook store! 

Lauren from Teacher Mom of 3 has donated her awesome First Day Jitters packet!

And finally, I'll be giving away my top selling Numbers Math Packet!!
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