Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Free Stuff for Thanksgiving Week

Okay, I admit it - I tend to post things AFTER anyone else really needs them. These freebies aren't earth shattering but you can use them right away.

If you've purchased my Native American writing and coloring pages OR if you have your own, you might want to use these sentences for handwriting practice or student inspiration. My students chose one of a pair of sentences for each or the Native American areas we studied: Native Americans of the Plains, Native Americans of the Northwest, Native Americans of the Southwest and Native Americans of the Northeast (Wampanoags). They copied the sentences, colored the Native Americans and then combined them all for nice little booklets.  Get the sentences and the title in a google doc.

link to ball and stick pages
Link to Ball and Stick pages

link to TPT Native American color and writing pages


After a lesson on writing lists, the students wrote a list of things they were thankful for. Check out the link for the title and list page.

So Thankful LIST
I must admit I like the way this student used the list upside down thus numbering the list on both sides. And why not? We will display our lists during our Thanksgiving Feast with our parents on Friday.

Here's how great our little pots turned out.  The kids painted them with q-tip dots of paint left over from our math project (which I got from pinterest and will post later this week with free sheets). So thankful for model magic clay - no breaking on the way home.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

New Magic E Freebie

This is the Magic E foldable that I use in my classroom.  Here's the link to a previous post about this: Magic E post

Start of Native American Studies

My "fire" still works - barely.  This year it fell from the top shelf in the storage closet onto my head and then the floor.  The lone remaining light bulb fell out.  I put it back in and it worked but I failed to notice the big crack in the pot. While we were sitting around our campfire discussing Native Americans across the United States - it would go out and then go back on again.  Uh oh. I haven't seen these for sale since I got it many years ago. Better keep my eyes open. It is always a big hit.

A long time ago I was lucky enough to go to a workshop at the Field Museum in Chicago about Native Americans and teaching about Native Americans. I remember talking to members of the Haida tribe and other scholars. I hope I am still true to the philosophy they advocated. I try to use authentic information while keeping the fun and learning kindergarten appropriate.
Next week we move from Native Americans on the Plains to Native Americans of the Northwest.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Where the Wild Things Are - Projects, Puppets and More

 Maurice Sendak's classic Where the Wild Things Are never fails to elicit fun, encourage retelling and invigorate imaginations. We always start with a reading then a reading with an enhanced rumpus. The students read the signs as they rumpus. "Max" helps the FDKers read through the signs before we start.

At the Fine Motor Station we put together a puppet (for a Friday WILD RUMPUS).
 Another station leads to a display over our lockers.
Our directed drawings show plenty of personality, individuality and "wildness."

 Our building station is an opportunity for retelling with lots of bedrooms leading to the world all around.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New Scarecrows and free sunflower border

We have a ScareCrow Scramble with 3 different classes. The photo graphics should help the volunteers too. We dress up like scarecrows.  I like it because I get to wear overalls. The stuffed crow on my back does get a little uncomfortable though.

Free sunflower border.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

No So Go Sight Word Fun

Last year I wrote a post about a classroom favorite: the No So Go Game post This year I remembered to take photos of the No So Go practice card we make after "Tricky" introduces the words - and once I take one photo the kids all run over because each is proud of his/her card. I try to have something unique to make each sight word memorable while at the same time there is routine in the worksheet that goes with every word.

Tomorrow I will give the Reading Street Assessment for the first Unit and I made a Jolly Phonics assessment to go along.  We'll see how successful my attempts at unique and memorable really are.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another Apple Idea

Our new reading series has a lesson on positional words. A boring dull lesson that uses pictures in a book. In keeping with our apple theme this week, I die cut apples out of red card stock and made worms out of yarn. We punched a hole in the apple. We added tape on one end of the yarn for easy threading and a face.

The students sat around the edge of the rug (perimeter sit) and then LISTENed. I asked them to move their worm into different positions. A little story could be made up as well. Our lesson had the students putting the worm through, beside, over, . . . . . the apple.  We sent the apple and worm home with a note home for parents with all the directional words too.

Simple, fun and effective!
Click note above to get your own copy of parent note.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Apple Projects All Week and Free Math Page

Last year I put my apple week projects together for TPT.  Well, that works out well for me too.  Everything was all set for me this year.

We started the week using attributes to sort the apples we each brought to school (see big apple above).  I've got a great big canvas graphing chart that a previous teacher left. It works perfectly for making graphs with objects. previous apple blog post.

I planted myself at the Science Station and helped students examine apples using their 5 senses. What does an apple smell like? Kids thought GRASS, JUICE and HANDS. We worked together to fill out our Lab Reports.

Together we made accordion math books: cut, color, glue and label.

Once again Hiding the Worm was a favorite station.  The kids love hiding the worm behind an apple with a Sight Word or Letter Sound. Then their peers have to name the word or sound to see if the worm is behind.

This Fine Motor project was completed following picture and word directions - no teacher help. Pretty darn good (someone always has to put on way too many seeds).
We started writing our non-fiction books and will be finishing them next week.  Next year I am setting aside TWO weeks for apple projects. 

FREE Math Practice Page - Skills: count apples to 5, which has more

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Free Math Page and Sight Word Game Idea

Oh, no!  I haven't posted in a month - a busy busy month but still.

It seems like I have posted about all my favorite September projects before. My class is particularly amusing this year but their antics aren't really helpful unless you just need a laugh.

Here's a Sight Word Game I whipped together to add something different to the introduction of the sight words me, he, she, be, we:
Yes, those are MY dog bone shoes.

I wrote each word on a different color of large construction paper - once facing out on each side. I cut the pieces into squares so they would fit all together on a table later. I laminated them so we could use them over and over. I divided my class into 4 teams.  Each team sat (but they ended up standing) on one side of our large rectangular rug.  The team had a list of the 5 sight words. WeMeHeSheBe (click to link to PDF of list). I spread the word squares down the middle of the rug. One person from a team tosses a dog beanie baby towards the words.  The student reads the word and the team captain or any member of the team checks off the word.  Then I pass the beanie to the next team. The kids decided that the beanie just had to be touching the paper.  Of course I let kids help each other, but it wasn't necessary as everyone seemed to read the words each time (YES!). The team needs to consult their list before tossing the beanie - more reading words. It was quick and the students seemed to have fun. I put the cards on a table during reading workshop and kids sat and dropped the beanie on the cards and read the words - whatever gets them reading!

Here's a basic math sheet for practice counting sets to 5.

How Many? Flower theme to 5

I hope your students are as fun as mine are this year.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Back-To-School Night - almost ready

I always have the most generous helpful parents. This year I am trying a "Pinterest" idea I adapted to my dog theme. I am hoping to get some of those special materials that we need throughout the year without filling newsletters with requests.  Cute?!

I also remade my "Take Five When You Arrive" reminder for my students. I put it on the door so the students can see the reminders from the hall or classroom. I hope the visuals make good cues.

And finally, I ramped up my Photo Booth this year.  I turned the Imagination Station around to make it more of a "booth."  Then I added a purple satin backdrop (I actually had a purple satin backdrop). I made little and big mustaches for some family fun. I know the kids will look way cuter than I do.

Good Luck!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Kindergarten Photo Booth for Open House

This "pin" has been very popular! I pinned it last year and as Open House time approaches teachers must be thinking about having a photo booth for Open House. Last year I had a "photo booth" with an FDK twist.

The booth itself was simple.  I just got out one of my handy-dandy black sheets (see previous posts for my love of black sheets 100th day) I used gorilla tape to attach the sheet to our Imagination Station. You could also: use black paper over a chart stand, tack a black sheet to a bulletin board, find a bare wall . . . Then I printed up a little Photo Booth sign.
Classroom paraprofessionals got their photos taken too.  This photo shows a little of the black sheet and sign.

When the child and parent visit on Open House night they get a list of things to do and see in our classroom. The list includes: Get Your Photo Taken in the Photo Booth. On a small table next to the booth I put white construction paper strips - one with the first name of each student in my class. The student holds his/her name right under his/her chin. Later I combine all the photos for a collage and make copies.  Then on the first day of school the students are able to take home photos with the first name of all their new friends. I also use the page for my sub folder (we teachers might use it the whole first week too).
AND then we use the name cards for a first week activity. I've seen lots of versions of this project on Pinterest but I think I first heard about it at a conference. Students tear up tiny pieces of construction paper and glue the pieces over the letters in his/her name. Each letter is a different color - in rainbow order of course. We sing a "rainbow song" that is also our first week Poem, so this is perfect.  Each child in my class is assigned a rainbow color too. We call ourselves the Rainbow Class (or FDK but never the dog class despite the classroom theme).
THEN I hang the names on black paper over our lockers!  "Our class is a rainbow . . ."
SO that little photo booth pays off big time! I am definitely doing this again this year.

Monday, July 22, 2013

FREE Borders and Stationary

What a Kindergarten Teacher Does in the Summer - part 4
Learn to make png files?  Here are some borders and frames I made.  Try them out. You can use them to make you handouts and practice sheets more interesting? attractive? fun? individual? I keep my stationary and frames in my iphoto so I can get to them easily when I make materials. These are png files so they should be transparent.  That's what I'm trying for anyway. ah