Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holiday Shop

Each week we have an Imagination Station for one of our 9 stations. Students might be veterinarians, postal workers, construction workers, restaurant workers, etc. This month I leave the same station up for 3 weeks. I occasionally add items or encourage different aspects. Students must play together and a "plan" is suggested.

We added a large slotted box for mail delivery. Kids use sticky notes to label the slots. They write cards and letters. So much writing and creativity and FUN!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dog House for Student Papers

Ever notice how your husband students only listen to the first part of what you say? So if I say to students "Put it in your cubbie." It means the same as "Put it in my basket." OR "Put it in your folder." Well, I tried something to curb that tendency. I got a "dog house" and named the dog in the house FRED. So if I want the kids to turn in a paper I say "Feed Fred." Here is the new and improved Fred. He still needs his name tag.

My husband and I made him out of wood. It was quite an undertaking. Ethan Allen himself could not have crafted a finer dog house / paper holder. Because he's dead. We are pathetic woodworkers. We had a pneumatic nailer which was fun. The top of the house is hinged and barely attached (we're working on a solution). Fred is 12 x 12 so papers will slide in his mouth easily. I'm okay with how the painting turned out but I got too tired to add a tail in the back.
Here's another angle so you can truly admire Fred.
We had extra wood and TONS of nails so we made a dog house for Tricky the Sight Word dog. He hides the new sight words in a small dog house. No more cardboard for FDK. Solid Wood.
This house is sized for our flash cards. The kids will remove "Tricky" from the door (he's a beany) and then reach in for the cards. Some teachers will do anything NOT to clean up the disorganized mess they left in their classroom last school year.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Voice Level Chart

My Voice Level chart gets tons of pins on Pinterest - but I don't sell very many. Hey, it's only $3. Print it, paste it on construction paper, laminate and you are all set.  I use my chart all year long all day long!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Better than Expected

 Sometimes things just turn out better than expected. Surprisingly nice. Cute.
Almost every month FDKers make or get a new locker tag. Last year in April we made nice 3-D umbrellas. But I seem to remember it took the kids seconds to paint and teachers a long time to hang on the lockers. This year I wanted to have a little shape review. I came up with a plan that included tracing around shapes to make a pleasing design. I made a sample at home.  When I got to school I found a bag of foam shapes that I got from a parent or a garage sale. Score!vThe shapes were mostly the right size and well ALREADY CUT OUT. The foam shapes ended up looking super cute and we are so happy with the new locker tags. They look even better en masse.
 The black background is card stock but construction paper would be okay. The squares are colored copy paper. The card stock and printer paper tend to have deeper colors than our construction paper. First ta student chose a different shape for each letter of his/her name. Then he chose different colored squares for each letter. Next she wrote letter from her name on each shape with a black sharpie. Then he glued the shape to all different colored squares. We used glue sticks. Then using permanent markers each student traced around each shape - repeatedly with different colors. Some students liked adding dots to the paper and/or foam. We were trying to use the names of the shapes as students drew. We added a strip magnet on the back. They really look fantastic as we approach our classroom.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Is it a b or a d? Free worksheets.
The students name all the sounds, read dozens of sight words, and blend words wonderfully. Isn't March fantastic? My class is brilliant. Wait a minute. Did she just read dig as big?  Is he trying to tap out drat as brat? Time for a mini-lesson on the difference between lowercase b and lowercase d. We wrote the letters on white boards, on our backs, the carpet - all the fun stuff we had done before.  We noted the lowercase b resides inside the uppercase B. We noted all the students that had these letters in their names. BIG HELP - we took Bb Dd letter cards from our old Wilson set  and hung them up right next to our vowel sounds.  I see kids glancing up at the cards all the time - self-checking as they read or write. We also practiced with worksheets, below see samples. We use D'Nealian, but I made ball and stick practice sheets too. Click on any of the pictures to get you own set of B/D Practice Sheets.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine Art with this week's Sight Word

I wanted a quick and easy art project for stations this week. I checked out pinterest of course. I saw a cute painting inspired by Robert Indiana's LOVE painting and sculptures. The directions called for foam.  I had none. I also didn't want to use fingerprints. Hmmm.  What to use instead of foam? I thought I had some plastic folders that might work.  While hunting for that I found a box of blank transparencies.  Well, I sure wasn't using those anymore (thank you document camera). I cut the film in six inch letters - making three sets for stations. I needed painters tape and my husband helped me out there. I cut a 12 X 18 piece of white construction paper into a 12" square. Here's what it looked like before the kids painted.
We were able to reuse the letters without reattaching the tape each time. In my hunt for plastic I also found a box of "dabbers." Perfect.  So easy to use. The kindergarteners used up to 4 colors on their paintings.  We were careful to cover all the edges of the letters so the letters would be clear when we removed the transparencies.
See some of the dabbers on the table.
The kids and teachers were so happy with the results.  We will add a "frame" too!

Did I mention our Sight Word this week is LOVE! 

Gotta LOVE it!

Here's a link to the fantastic original idea LOVE

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Some of our Penguin Puppets

 Our book buddies helped us make Penguin Puppets. We chose from 5 different types.  We traced, cut and glued. Our buddies made sure we had all the right pieces in all the right places.

Later we set up a puppet stage (sideways table).  Everyone got a chance to try out their puppets. Some were funny, some informative and some quite active.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Snow Poem and Snow People

This week we combined our Writing and Art Stations to make this wintery project. At the Writing stations students wrote an acrostic S N O W poem.  We had lot of winter books for inspiration. I was impressed with their determination and imagination.

At the Art Station we started by mixing some white glue and shaving cream in a small cup. The kids stirred with a craft stick which was FUN.

Next the students "plopped" the mixture on small blue construction paper. They thought the "plop and spread" method was best. They spread a layer of snow across the bottom and then up the side to make the snowman.

The students added detail with hats, buttons and faces. They picked from fabric scraps for scarves. There really were over 4 choices of fabric but I must have liked the bones since that fabric is featured in all the photos. Sticks for arms of course.
Snowbord      New sled     Oh no there is a storm     Wish

Snowflax     Next summer     On Chrismis     Warm clothes
We glued the pictures and poems to black construction paper. So cute (and soft).

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Penguins Return

Hello 2014.
I've posted about penguins multiple times (cause I love them) so if you are interested check out January 2012 and 2013.
What can I do different this year? How about posters for what we know, what we wonder, and what we learned.
Ready for comments/

We wrote some comments together and now the FDKers can add comments as we learn and wonder more.
Added the word penguins to the display - helps the kids when they are writing.
            This little guy (life-sized Emperor penguin on classroom door) is pinned a lot on Pinterest.                                          This year the kids marked their heights on the penguin or door frame.  
It was pretty funny to listen to the students talk about their height and the height of the penguin. The kindergarteners didn't tend to have a realistic idea about their height.

This week we will make some puppets and perform with them on Friday. Can't wait.