Sunday, September 23, 2012

Aa is for Absolutely Exhausted!

WHEW!!!  It is Sunday night, and I am STILL worn out from last week.  I have 26 little darlings in my classroom.  Yep - 26 of them and ME with a high school helper for 2 hours in the morning and another for 2 hours in the afternoon WHEN they don't have other responsibilities, meetings, or special activities. 

We use the Treasures Reading Series so we have been focusing on letters Mm and Aa in Unit 1.  We have also been working on the HFWs we and the along with color words, number words, and a few extra words.  It amazes me every day how much these kids want to learn.  They are like little sponges SOAKING UP EVERY WORD!  I had a simple reader in my reading rug library bucket called "I Can".  This wasn't one of the paper books that comes with the series, it was a "real" book that simply used the words I and can.  My kids can pick up a book from the reading rug when they finish their Morning Work which consists of the following - page to trace and write first names, a # page to circle sets of __, a position word page to match pics that are the same, and a letter-of-the week page to color and trace the capital and lower case letter 4 times each.  This sounds like a lot, but it really only takes them about 10-15 minutes while I take lunch count and read morning notes in Monkey Binders.  :)  Anyway...I was SO surprised the other day when I heard a kid almost scream in excitement, "I CAN READ THIS BOOK!"  It was awesome!  I think we had to have a few high-fives b/c he was SO excited.  It truly is the little things!

We follow a PACING SCALE in reading and math so "the core" (I get SO TIRED of hearing those two words) is followed daily regardless of holidays, special activities, natural disasters...OK - I am getting carried away, but you get the idea.  We NEVER skip a lesson - PERIOD (or the world might end).  :)  There is no more of the pulling five days into a four day week to have end-of-week tests on Friday.  The hardest part was training ourselves that Day 5 wasn't always a Friday.   It does get easier, but I don't think I will ever get used to it.

Here are a few pics of things we did this week.

This is the Letter Aa craftivity from Rowdy in Room 300's  
My kids LOVED this alligator and had the most fun working on it.
I added a little sign that said, "Aa is for Alligator.  Chomp...chomp!"

Here, two of my guys are working with two very popular things in my room - the big, soft, rolly dice and the bingo dotters!  Those things are awesome.  Wish my teachers would have had them when I was a kid.  Here they were working with the HFWs - I, can, we, the  AND letters Mm and Aa.  If they rolled it, they could find it and dot it on their page.  If they had already covered it, lose a turn.  Lots of oohs and aaahs during this activity.  SO MUCH FUN and learning going on at the same time.

Above is The Great Shape Trace which comes from Julie Lee's Schools in Session Packet.  Julie has some of my favorite things out there when it comes to station activities.  I LOVE her stuff - ALL of it!

This is a page that I did to follow "The Core" suggested word work lesson.
You can download a copy of this page for FREE by CLICKING HERE.
Students were encouraged to write Letter-of-the-Week in Middle.
Then, students were asked to draw four pics that started with that sound.
Finally, students were encouraged to write the words above/below the picture.  This little guy did an amazing job - love that he used two short a words and two long a words.

Students LOVE puzzles, but they can't do puzzles until they listen to the story on CD and then read the Pocket Chart Poem to a friend.  Once those two activities are complete, puzzles can come out for the remaining time.  :)

Those of you who read my blog posts know I am a HUGE fan of Reading Eggs.  My students love it.  We only have one rule - You cannot go to the play or game room except on Fridays.  Well, I took the picture above on Fridays b/c I couldn't believe it.  This little girl didn't go to the play or game room - she kept right on going with her lessons. It is because of this determination that she is on LEVEL 39 already!  Woo-Hoo!!!

I will leave you with one of our independent writing assignments from last week.  Students were asked to write the sentence "I am _______." making sure to fill in their first name on the line, make a capital at the beginning of the sentence, and putting a period at the end.  Then, students were asked to illustrate the sentence by drawing something they like to do when they are not at school.  We ALL know what most kindergarten handwriting looks like - especially when you give them lines to write on at the beginning of the year and LET THEM GO indpendently.  Well, you can imagine my surprise when I was going through my papers at the end of the day and saw this little "jewel".  WOW!  Not only did this student neatly write his sentence - he wrote his entire name and drew a picture that was actually recognizable.  I was SO impressed with this and many others in my room.  :)

This week we will be wrapping up Unit 1 - Families on Monday and Tuesday.  Then we will take our Unit 1 Assessment BOOK, oops, I meant, TEST on Wednesday.  It is about 20 pages long.  That is entirely too long, but I'll leave that discussion for another day!  On Thursday, we will begin Unit 2 - Friends.  I told ya - the Pacing Chart makes things VERY weird!!!!!  Hope everyone has a great week full of learning fun.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Kindergarten Common Core

Whooo is interested in Kindergarten Common Core?  Well, a friend of mine introduced me to this wonderful resource!  (Thanks, Shirley!)  
I downloaded the small sample and was amazed at the quality that was put into this workbook! It is organized very well and is SUPER teacher friendly. It also has some great graphics and activities to make learning fun! It has some great Common Core Activities and Common Core Worksheets. 
If you are a Kindergarten Teacher, this is a must have for your classroom! {And even if you don't teach to Common Core - you will want what this has to offer!}  It is a great value for 39.99! But why don't you take a look at the Kindergarten Common Core by clicking {here} and download the sample and see for yourself. 
If you are a blogger, you can receive this amazing workbook for free!  Yes, that said FREE for bloggers!  All you have to do is blog about it before September 16th and they will send you the free download!

Enjoy this great resource,

Sunday, September 2, 2012

An Apple a Day...

First - I want to apologize to my parents who actually take a look at my blog.  I did take pictures last week, but it is hard to post them when I leave my camera at school!  :/  Sorry!  I will take twice as many this week and post a lot of pics next weekend to make up for it.

Well, maybe I need to eat an apple a day b/c I had to go to the doctor today!  (This sounds like a Dr. Seuss book in the making, huh?)  I'm fine - got a super strong antibiotic to fight off the junk and have an extra day off tomorrow to rest.  Anyway...I decided to make an apple-themed page since one of our stories in Unit 1 is Picnic at Apple Park.  My kids have been "eyeballing" the magnifying glasses sitting on my desk all last week.  Every time they would go by I would catch them looking desperately wanting to snatch them up and then the question would come from more than one of them at the same time, "What are those for?"  My answer was always, "I don't's a'll have to wait and see."  Oh, the grins and giggles!  Well, I am going to put them at the word work station this week.  I am certain there will be more grins and giggles - lots of them!!!  I use the Treasures reading series so these pages deal with letters (Mm and Aa), HFWs (I, can, we, the) and color words (red, blue, yellow, green) b/c those are the ones we have covered so far.

The first page is a writing page.  The second is a stamping page.

If you would like a copy of these two pages - CLICK HERE!  :)

 Enjoy...and as always...please leave a comment if you grab the freebie.