Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Groundhog's Day {freebie!}

Hello friends! I don't know about you, but we are now on our 5th snow day. If we ever make it to school, here is what I plan to do for Groundhog's Day.

Here are the morning messages I will start this week whenever we make it so school.
We'll be doing lots of brainstorming and graphing with these; and of course writing.

Here's my freebie unit on groundhogs. We'll be writing, collecting data, and graphing.
Just click on the picture to snag it for free. 

When I first started teaching, I wondered how teachers ever said they have too many books. Now, 5 years into it, I kind of understand. It's getting to where I have more books for each thematic unit than I really have time to share and do activities with. 
Here are the ones I like to share for Groundhog's Day:
{All of these are linked to Amazon.}

This one is my favorite:

I  only share parts of this one to my kinders. It kind of gives away of the magic about Groundhog's Day with all of the facts. 

And while on Amazon, these kind of made it into my cart...

We are foodies in my class. I don't think I've ever had a class that wasn't foodies. ;) We all love a good, surprise snack. I've found these on Pinterest, but haven't decided which one to do yet. {Maybe it's a good thing I'm snowed in and can't make it to the grocery store.}

 I have a student with a peanut allergy this year, so I have to be careful about what I bring in. Seriously, conversation hearts aremade in a factory that also handles peanuts. WHY!? 

So, back to the snack. I think I'm leaning towards the doughnut. Very simple, cute  and peanut free {I think...I'll be checking labels}. 

Happy Groundhog's Day!
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, January 24, 2014

100th Day!! {and freebie}

Hello friends! Today was our 100th day! I LOVE 100th day, but this one was more chaotic than usual. We were on a 1 hour delay and it was 2 degrees outside when I got to school this morning. That is like, crazy cold for East Tennessee. Anyway, here are some pictures from our day!

We worked throughout the day on writing 100 words. 

 Students were asked to bring 100 things in to count.
We used counting mats to sort them into groups of 10 and then count by 10. 
 They had fun "checking" to see if they really had brought 100 things!
The counting mats idea came from Erica Boher's blog.

We have morning messages for all occasions, so of course we spent all week on 100th day morning messages. 

 This morning we brainstormed things we have learned in the past 100 days. The first little one that wanted to share what she had learned said she learned how to do good deeds and be kind to others. Talk about feeling like you are making a difference. :)
 Here are some journal entries about what they have learned. 

 We also have pocket chart sentences. These help my kinders build and read sentences.

Here's a little freebie from this packet: 
Just click the picture to get it from Google Docs. 

 And last but not least is my 100th day shirt. Sorry, this is the picture from last year. I kind of forgot to take one this year. My kinders loved it! {But I got some weird looks from the older kids today, lol.} I think there are still 100 wiggle eyes on there, but after crazy today, I'm not so sure.

What do you do to celebrate 100th day?

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Quick Tip for the Crafty Classroom

Hello friends! Do you and your students like to make hats for special occasions? My very first year teaching, my mentor teacher showed me how to make hat strips. It's so easy and cheap! Today, as I was prepping my 100th day hats {it's FRIDAY!!}, I took pictures so I could share with you how easy and cheap it can be! 
All you need is brown paper lunch bags and scissors.

 1st: You need your brown paper bag.

 2nd: Cut a small strip from both sides of your bag.

 3rd: Pull the "guts" out of both sides of your bag.

 4th: Cut the bag in half, longways.
You get 2 hat strips per bag.

 5th: Stretch it out and you are ready to add your project!

Tada! It even fits my big head. :)

BTW you can get the 100 crowns from Julie Lee for free

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Penguin Fun {Lots of Writing and a Freebie!}

Hello friends! We just finished up our week working on penguins and polar animals. My kinders loved it and we had so much fun! I love incorporating Science and Social Studies into my ELA. It doesn't happen every week, but it does happen often.
Each morning our message was about penguins. After a discussion, and sometimes brainstorming, students wrote about the topic in their journals.

On this day, our message was to inform my students that penguins hatch from eggs. We brainstormed what other animals hatched from eggs. They did awesome thinking of animals that hatched from eggs! 

We read several books about penguins and polar animals and discussed that we were learning facts. We talked about the difference between fact and opinion. To help with that concept we did a fact/opinion sort on penguins.
 All you have to do is print, cut out and sort on a pocket chart! And the best part...you can get them free from my store! {I'd love to have your feedback!}

On our last day we read a National Geographic about puffins.
We made a bubble map. After the lesson, I took the bubble map down. I decided to put it in my treasure box instead of trashing it like normal. The kids were excited and it was the first item taken from the treasure box that day. Score for me because it was free! 
 After our brainstorming, students go to work with their writing. I used a brace map with the words "The puffin" already there for them with each sentence. I wanted them to write 3 sentences about what they have learned. Our focus was more on retelling and writing what you have learned than correct sentence structure. So having the starter there already helped them with their writing. 
The writing came from my Polar Animals {No Prep Writing}

We just happened to earn a compliment party on Thursday. I let my kinders vote between doing a special surprise craft or a special surprise snack. Of course they chose snack! 

We made penguins out of bow-tie pretzels, big marshmallows and chocolate frosting. Very easy and yummy! 
 The finished product was cute. It doesn't exactly look like a penguin and we had chocolate frosting everywhere. But it was fun and that's what counts!

I'm so thankful we can now use YouTube at school on teacher computers. Just watch out for some crazy/inappropriate advertisement sometimes.
Here are some of the penguin videos we watched this week. 

This one is a documentary. My kinders loved seeing the penguins slide.

We LOVED this one!!

Now, I'm prepping for next week. We will be working on "The Mitten", celebrating 100th day and complete our unit on comparing numbers!

I'm linked up with A Classroom Full of Smiles for her lesson plan linky.
A Classroom Full of Smiles

And I'm linked up with Classroom Freebies.
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Friday, January 10, 2014

Giveaway Blog Hop - Come Check Out the Fun!

Hello friends! Are you ready for some great giveaways? I sure hope so! I'm joining in with 12 awesome bloggers for a giveaway blog hop. We are planning to do something each month for our followers, and each month will be a little different. 

So join in the fun and get started entering some giveaways! You will find a giveaway on each blog. 

For my giveaway, I'm giving my newest Valentine's unit, Valentine's Sentences {Pocket Chart Stations}. I have them for each month. I use them once a week with my kinders to work on sentence building and reading sight words.They have so much fun putting the sentences together and reading them to each other. Then, by the end of the week I have each one read the sentences to me one-on-one and mark the words they still need to practice.

Here's a closer look at what you can enter to win: 

Here are the some of the sentence cards. We start out using them whole group and then I put them in a pocket chart station for students to put the sentences together with a partner.

 By the end of the week, I pull students one-on-one to read this page to me. I mark the words they need to work on, and it's a great way for parents to see what their child was able to do that week.

 I use the 2 emergent readers throughout the week during stations and independent reading times.

Now for your chance to win!!
There are lots of ways to get entries!
Please enter with integrity. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Plans & Pics of the Upcoming Week {with a freebie}

Hello friends! I know you've seen others do visual plans of their week and I thought I'd give it a try with a little bit different format. We have to do our lesson plans in OnCourse. OnCourse is an online program where we enter our lesson plans and tag the standards we are working on each day. It's not my favorite way to do lesson plans, but once you create a template it becomes pretty quick.

So here are pictures of what I'm doing this week: 

New Year's Morning Messages
I love how  much my kinders have grown by doing these messages every morning. It has also helped my ELL students with vocabulary. 

 There is a new message each morning with the same theme. 

For our phonics we are working with blends. Blends are not in our frameworks, at all. And really I had to stretch to figure out which common core standard they go with. Have you had that problem fitting in blends with kindergarten CCSS? 
We teach because we know they need it and I'm pretty much just going from that. :)
These will be great for station and partner work. 

I will send the blend poster home with my January newsletter for my kiddos to practice at home. I will use the checklist as my ongoing portfolio assessment. Each of my students have a data notebook and it will be kept in there. 

 We will be using these for our independent practice and assessment.

And we'll play this I have...Who has? game if we have any extra time. 

You know how I love the old lady books!

 This week we are working on key details and retelling through writing. 

My old lady pack comes with 3 emergent readers. You can try one of them out with this freebie! 

We have Pearson for our math series. I really don't have to make too much to supplement for it, with the exception of learning numbers. 

Each lesson has it's own video that works with my SmartBoard and our system bought the color worksheets AND regular workbooks that go along with it. 

All that I'm doing this week and next to supplement comparing numbers is the mitten activity above. Our series doesn't introduce the greater than/less than sign. We've been working on that sign in our morning meeting when we do the lunch count and compare lunch boxes to cafeteria lunches. 
I'll be using all 3 stages of this mitten station.
Numbers 1-10 for my few students still working on number sense
Numbers 11-20 for my on level students
Numbers 21-100 for the students I want to challenge

Here is a peek at what is in my sensory table right now.
Displaying IMG_20140102_140608_170.jpg
It's from my CVC Sensory Tub Pack with leftover tinsel from a student gift. 
Students will pull a card and then take the card to the magnetic dry erase board beside the table.
They stick the card on the board and then write the word beside the picture. 
This is a great station for my kinders. They get to move a lot and finally touch what is in the sensory table. :)

So be on the lookout each week for my plans & pics with a freebie! 
I'm hoping that next time I'll have more pictures from my classroom. 

If you do a blog post with your plans, please leave a link in the comments. I'd love to check it out!
TGIF Weekly Freebie Link up1
And I'm linked up with Nancy for her weekly freebies. :)