Monday, February 3, 2014

The Mitten, Subtraction and Hearts (FREEBIES!)

Last week we read The Mitten by Jan Brett.  Later in the day/the next day (I can't remember :) ) we read another version of the mitten and orally compared and contrasted the two stories.  Anywho, after reading The Mitten - Jan Brett version, we described the mitten in the story using smilies.  They were cute coming up with ways to say how big the mitten had stretched.  Then I had each kid pick what color construction paper they wanted and create a mitten of their own.  We discussed how it can be big/small, etc.  After we decorated, we discussed (to review) what "describe" means, and they helped me describe my mitten.  Then they went back and had to write 4 things about their mitten.  I was so impressed with how they did.  Most of them remembered spaces and I am always so amazed at how far they come with writing.  Their "kid writing" gets better all the time. (click the picture to graph a copy of the writing page).

 I have no idea where this originally came from, it's a hard copy activity I got from my friend my first year of kindergarten.  It's a CVC activity.  The kids read the words on the the white and match them to the picture on the left.  Once all pieces are glued in place, it makes a picture of the animals in the mitten.

On Friday, we voted on if we thought the groundhog would see his shadow or not and graphed the data.  I am not doing so hot the last few days on taking pictures of the students working ,but here is our graph.  Turns out, the majority of them were correct...6 more weeks of winter.  I apologize to those who are hit hard with snow and are over the cold.  On the other hand, today had a chill in the air and it was nice to not be able to wear shorts. :)

Nothing Fancy. :)

Many of my kiddos understand the idea of subtraction but we need more practice remembering to use the minus sign and that the large number goes on top.  We practiced addition so much and the majority of my kiddos can do their facts fluently (to 5) that getting them to change their thinking to subtraction is taking some time.

We used dotters the other day.  I had the kids fold their papers (into fourths) and they wrote the equation I said out loud.  Using our dotters, we dotted the first number and then cross out the minuend. (I think that's the correct term) :).  My littles love all things dotters.

Today, we used mini dominoes (I *think* I found at the dollar store a while back).  I created this fun little page (again, nothing fancy but it gets the job done).   We did this all together.  We pulled a domino, determined the larger number, put it on top, put the smaller number on bottom and wrote the minus sign and the equal sign.  My kiddos need practice working on math equations that go vertical.  After this, I had spread crumpled paper around the room (that had subtraction problems on it).  Each kinder picked up 7 and solved them.  Then they glued their snowball to the area on the chart it belonged (according to the difference).  Some of my kiddos glued them on in wrong places and we discussed why it didn't belong.  Next time I do this, I will put each answer on a different sheet of butcher paper, or get a larger piece.

Domino Subtraction
Subtraction Facts horizontal (cut into fourths)
Subtraction Facts vertical (cut into fourths)

Didn't snap a picture of the final product (which is probably a good thing seeing as it looks a hot mess)  BUT the kids had a blast and did math, so all is good.

My first year in kindergarten I was so blessed to teach across the hall from who is now my wonderful friend.  She was amazing and I learned so much from her (especially having come from 4th grade...first grade before that).  She was amazing and shared all sorts of awesome things with me.  One thing she shared was the pattern for a really cute heart bag.  Well, let me tell you, they are so cute, that I have had my kiddos create them every year since.  I found the bag to always overflow and I finally had a chance to make the sides of the bag larger.  She told me I could share the pattern (yay).  So click on the picture below and it will take you to the pieces.  You need two hearts for each child, one of the pages with wide pieces and half of the skinny page.  So once all is cut out and set to "sew" each child will have two hearts, two wide pieces (hole-punched) and two thin pieces.  Once my kiddos start sewing, I will share pictures of how to assemble.

Whew! It is nice to be caught up a bit (for a millisecond at least. :) ) but I better head to bed for another day with my kinders!

Flash Back

Wowza.  I can't believe it's been a few weeks since I have posted.  I have had some ideas of what I wanted to post, but just have not had the attention span/awakeness to do it.  January flew by in a flash and I am expecting that February will follow in it's footsteps.  We learned about Martin Luther King Jr., celebrated our 100th day, learned about penguins, I celebrated two birthdays on our team and the list goes on.  I want to catch up a bit on what's been going on in our room and in another post, talk about our 100th day.  The 100th day is one of my absolute favorite days of the year.  But I'll save that for another post.

When finishing up our Penguin theme, I had the kids paint penguins and when they were dry (aka a few days later when we had a chance to do it!), the kids added eyes, beaks, feet (if they needed to) and some of my littles made their penguins macaroni penguins (They were IN LOVE with them).  We also did a bit of writing to go with our penguins.

I don't know if you have read the book Pierre the Penguin.  I LOVE this story.  So did my kids.  When I searched for a webcam on penguins, there were many I was not able to open at school, but this one from California Academy of Sciences opened with no problems AND it is where Pierre is.  Oh.My.Goodness. My kids could have watched the webcam and those stinking cute penguins  I'm not even kidding. If I would have let them, they would have watched them all day.  To be honest, I could have watched them all day.  They were too cute.  One little guy, we kept thinking he would dive into the water, he was on the brink but he just waddled back and forth.  We were in love.

Flash Back Moment
I still have our new year's resolutions up, because they make me smile and they are so bright and colorful (and glittery!).  I think my favorite was my little girl who said she was going to wash her hair better.  She further explained to me that she doesn't always get the shampoo out.  I love kinders.  When thinking about it, I can see how she would have this problem...she has thick hair.

One other can't-help-but-smile moment I had was a couple weeks ago when my class went to the library to check out books.  One of my kinder babies chose to check out a book on tape.  He was sitting at the long bench/counter sort of seat bag in one hand, book in the other and the tape sitting a little bit down on the ledge.  He is asking for help.  I ask him if he needs help putting it all back in his bag... Nope.  While slowly opening the book from the corner, he says, "I can't hear it."  I turned around to stifle a giggle and then explained that the tape has to go in a player, just like a dvd, and just like our listening centers in class.  It was too cute!  Once we figured that out, he was counting to 100 (with 1-1 yes!). :)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Subtraction and Snow

What a week we have had, getting back to it.  We started our week with Monday Journals (as usual).  Instead of just writing about our weekend, the kids could write about anything from over the break.  I love seeing my littles' writing grow throughout the year. 

We love playing games in my class.  I love that we are having fun while learning and the kids are enjoying themselves.  I love when I find free games and am introduced to sites that either have games to print out and play or games we can play online.  One site that has games ready to print the boards out and go (free!) you can find here K-5 Math Teaching Resources.  There are also many fun games from Shari Sloane found on this site (for free too!).  I have bump, and clear the board, and shape fill in and kindergarten yahtzee printed out.  For the games that are boards kids color on, I put copies in a shoe box tub.  For the gameboards that can be used over and over again, I either have laminated or put in a page protector.  I cannot for the life of me find a picture I am certain I took of how the tubs look now (they are "fancy" and all have labels with pictures).  Makes me feel really put together. haha.  Anyway, here is what the tubs look like pre-labels. (also ignore the ugly ASL poster in the corner.. that is updated and looks SO MUCH BETTER).

When we go to the computer lab, the kids love Starfall, I also like having them play Alphabet Goop, (especially at the beginning of the year) and Fun4theBrain... to name a few.  On Fun4theBrain I usually start in class whole group to introduce a game.  The one I usually start with is Diaper Derby.  I also like to do the pumpkin picking one or the dinosaur digging one, oooh and the penguin milkshake shop.  The kids love it, and I love that they are practicing math.  A couple other sites/games I really like to use are # Flash and the interactive 10 frame found here.  I have a bunch of other sites that are great for other things and other tools, but I will share some of those at another time.

Last week I really started hammering into subtraction, we work A LOT on addition all of last quarter and many of my kiddos can do their math facts to 5 pretty fluenty... I am SO proud of them.  I read Ten Sly Piranhas.  I got this book in a set of math books I got from a training my first year of teaching.  If you haven't read it, it is so cute!  Here is a link to it on Amazon.

After we read it, I gave the kids a blue piece of copy paper and told them to draw an underwater setting with no fish or animals.  We discussed what they could include.  I gave them a little over 5 minutes and then a cup of gold fish crackers.  I told story problems out loud and the kids used their self created mats to act the problem out.  Their favorite part, of course, was eating the fishes.

Yesterday, I had the kids draw their own snowman, but told them they could not add buttons.  Bless their little hearts, "Miss Jameson, can we add details?!"  I have been drilling details in writing and pictures since the beginning of the year. I LOVE that they want to add detail (various and proper colors and the hats, scarves, arms, etc. to their snowmen and snow girls.)  After a few minutes to draw their snowman, we used our stacker counters that are round and told story problems out loud while the kids used their mats to model.  Then I would have kids use their math talk to help retell the story and be able to write the equation all together.  We did this again today.  At the end to change things up a little, we also did stories such as "Your snowman has 5 buttons.  Some of them are red and some of them are blue."  I love that they were picking up on combinations.  Today we worked with a partner to do a 10 combination.

Last week we read a bunch a books that included snow, snowmen etc and are continuing this week.  I think we might even do a graph that is asking if the kids have every played in the snow because we just don't get snow (and when it does it does not stick) in our neck of the woods in Arizona. Gotta love the desert! :)  We then worked together to discuss the setting, characters, and something about the story.  This could be what you liked or something that happened.  It took us a good chunk of time, but they turned out SO CUTE!  We did them step by step.  If/when I do something like this again, I will probably do a piece a day to take less time and then assemble on the last day.  You can do this with beginning, middle, end or almost anything you want.  I went "old fashion" :) and hand draw the round pieces for the snowmen.  I thought about letting the kids draw their own pieces, but I know some of them would make them far too small to be able to add the content.  We did this with the story The Smiley Snowman.

It is time for bed for this teacher.  Tomorrow is hump day! yay!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Five For Friday!

This first week back felt a little long, but we were busy, busy, busy and it was lovely to see my littles again.

Time to Five it up with Five for Friday!

Started by week off at a 4 year old's dinosaur birthday party at a pizza place.  My friend (another "grown up") and I had fun playing "Land Before Time."  In actuality, I had fun taking pictures of the dinosaurs and recalling the movie.... I guess that is basically the same thing.

Right at the end of my break, I spent more hours than I care to admit organizing and rearranging a bit in my classroom.  My stamps are *finally* in order and not just in a basket.  It is so much more efficient this way.  I also bought Deedee Will's Writing Work Station for January and found a place to put it. (I got creative and am loving strong velcro right now!).

My colleague one door down across the hall has a class pet.  She forgot briefly about him and one day when I was in she asked if I was able to smell the scent of death coming from here room.  Well after lunch with a teammate I went in to check... Didn't smell anything. I got close to the cage and his cute little head popped out of his fluff to great me.  He was so cute.  I noticed he was out of water so I filled it up and he was so cute sitting there drinking.  I mean just look at those sweet little paws.

I got to order some things for my classroom.  I don't know how your school does it, but I have a little free choice at the end of each day, and on our early out days in the morning so that my half day kiddos get a chance to work on social skills and enjoy some of the awesome learning toys we have.  I didn't get a picture of everything, but they are loving the new toys.  The big picture are toys called Geo Builders. In the top right corner the kids had taken out the ocean/sea life counters and were sorting (and telling me how they was too cute!) and I was excited to get my multicultural baby dolls.  We also got a cool bamboo villiage that they are going nuts over.  I ordered some other counters and double dice as well in addition to some other things.  It was an exciting time. :)

My tootsies were tired by the end of today.  I do not have a plan period on Friday and we were just go go go.  I hope to update more about my week this weekend...but at the end of the day today I needed to sit for a few minutes.  I have my small group table low to the ground to better utilize our file crate seats and it is perfect for propping up my feet.  I also just love my boots.  I have gotten compliments from kids and adults alike (even in public)... makes my day.

Happy Friday!
You can go link up too! :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Crafting and Creating 2014 Resulution

I am a little behind in actually posting, BUT I am feeling good about actually posting...and not just thinking about it. Ha.Ha.

I have always enjoyed crafts.  I love creating things for my classroom (I LOVE even more that I have a little more time).  I have been making things from the beginning of my teaching career, but I didn't do a lot of classroom decor, until more recently.  This is due partially to moving grades and schools in the first few years of teaching (due to pink slips and short term contracts) and then having grad school the last few years.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my school and where I am at now, and I know that everything happened for a reason.

I love making things for my classroom, but I want to find/make more time to do things I love at home too.  I went to a cool place in my city in which you have a drink and paint a canvas.  You can paint the picture you signed up for or whatever you want.  I painted the peacock like they were teaching, just using my own colors and such.  I am a little a lot messy when I paint... but there is something so relaxing about painting. 

I painted a few things at home as well, in addition to using my cameo to add vinyl to things.  I want to create more projects using the vinyl because it is just so.much. fun.  I made a craft table earlier this year, I just have yet to paint the top.. at the moment it is covered with a table cloth.  I also have made a few homemade cards.

 I didn't finish adding the pictures, but I made this cool exploding box.  I found it on Pinterest and the directions were great (you can find them here).

I started a scrapbook after my first trip to DC... I think back in 2011... and it has yet to be finished... I need to make more time to do these things I enjoy... and also finishing my friend's wedding album...from 2010... I'm ok if you judge me a little. haha.

Ever since my friend's baby shower a year ago, I have made a bunch of banners for friend's parties and for my classroom.  I am kind of addicted and am looking forward to making more.

All in all, I hope to do more of what I have shown in these pictures.

You can link up too!

Monday Monday

I always dread going back to work after a break... Ok not always, but I think, man I enjoyed not worrying about getting this or that done, and I really enjoy wearing sweats or pjs or yoga pants.  However the second I saw my kiddos this morning, I had missed them!  It was lovely to see them and even better when they attack you with hugs.  There is nothing better.  I think the break did them good and I know it did good for me.  We had some great listeners today (YAY).  We wrote in our Monday Journals as we do every Monday, but instead of writing about our weekends, we wrote about what we did over break.  I am so amazed at how far my kinders have come.  I always forget that they came in, most could write their name, (a few couldn't) and now they are writing sentences. I love it!  We work on adding detail to our drawings as well as to our writing.  I love that my kinders are getting better at stretching out words and being able to read what they are writing (often without their help).  I didn't take pictures of it today, but it was great.

I have a unique situation in my school due to funding and such, in which some of my kiddos are half day students while others are full day.  This can be tricky and its always a juggling act of getting everything in.  One thing I do in the afternoon is centers. Oh.My.Goodness do my littles love centers.  Every so often we have centers in the morning too, and on special days I make sure to include the majority of stuff in the morning so everyone can participate.  Anyway, back to centers.  I often make my own centers (I have since I started teaching) but have also recently splurged a bit on TPT.  I don't know about your kinders, but boy do mine like using the dotters. There is something about those dotters that they just love.  Once activity I started last year is dotting and graphing.  I have a few varieties, but this week we are dotting sight words and graphing the amount of each.  When explaining centers I pulled this one out and you could hear the excitement and the "Yes!" coming from the kids. It was pretty cute. (click on the picture to get a copy for yourself).

I have recently created a reindeer version and a Christmas tree version (which I realize won't help now that it is January, but help yourself and tuck them away for December. :) )  Stay tuned for more versions (math and literacy), as I make them, I will share.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Back to the Grind

I may or may not be in denial about going back to work tomorrow... Ok...I am in denial. I admit it.  I love my kiddos, but the days of yoga pants, sweatpants, pj pants etc. and staying in them all day if I want, are over.  I went into my classroom Friday and Saturday... for many, many hours.  To tide, clean up/clean out/do a bit of organizing.  I did make a huge dent and feel much better and more centered about going back in.  I am a stacker.  I stack things in many places, generally with the good intentions of getting to it later that day... or by the end of the week...or by a specific day.  The next thing you know, it is a scary place to go (my office) because you have the feeling it might be able to eat you alive.  Thankfully, it is not such a scary place anymore.  There are a few more mini stacks I'd like to get to.. and the plan (for realio) is to get to them in the next week or two.

These pictures are from the summer, right before school started. I couldn't bring myself to take a picture of how bad it had gotten.  The picture on the left was mid process of getting stuff put away.  The picture in the middle and the right are oh--so-organized.  I am very happy to say, they are, for the post part, still this way! (yay me!).

Here's off to getting a few things done (maybe haha). Before getting up bright and early.  Hope everyone, who is going back, has a wonderful day.  For those of you who have snow days, or teacher plan/inservice days, LUCKY! :)