Monday, October 29, 2012

Owl Treat bags

We made some OWL-some treat bags today! 

They are all ready to be filled with treats at our Halloween party :)

First, everyone had to trace their own belly-shapes and eye circles. 

Then, we cut them out, creating an astounding amount of scraps. Nearly unbelievable.

Finally, we glued them all together and it was TOTALLY worth the mess!

 Hoot hoot! We are ready for Halloween treats!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

SO much going on

We are seriously busy in kindergarten and try not to waste a single minute. We have so much work to do! I'm always impressed by their sponginess- eagerly soaking up new information. Here are just a few events from this week:

The class goes to the computer lab once a week to teach me about learn about using the computers. These students arrived in kindergarten with ROCKIN' computer skills. This picture shows my class working on, a great beginning site for kids.

This Wednesday, our Family Council held GRANDPARENTS DAY. Lots of Grandparents came to school to share lunch with their grandchildren and then play outside on our beautiful kindergarten playground. It was so nice to meet all of them. And there were only a few tears when they left!

More than anything, we are moving forward with learning and using the alphabet. This is my attempt at making the ABC Center more appealing. Yeah, it's still matching up the letters. But, it's colorful :) And I love that the letters are on matching paint sample colors, which makes this activity self-correcting.

And one more project I made this week. These are $1 photo albums. I slipped in an alphabet card on each page. (There are 24 pages, plus the inside of the front and back cover. 26!) Kids can write each letter of the alphabet with a colored dry erase marker, and they wipe clean beautifully!

We had an awesome week. Annnnnnnnnnd, we deserve this three day weekend :) Happy happy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Whisper Phones

I MEANT to finish some whisper phones this weekend, so I could add something new to our classroom library. A whisper phone is a little tool to help kids hear themselves as they quietly read. Lakeshore sells them for $5 each. (|searchResults~~p|2534374302175284~~.jsp)
I need at least 5, so a group of kids can use them, so I decided to make the 94 cents version. I was GOING to make them. But it was a pretty full weekend.

So- I brought the supplies to school and the class helped me make the whisper phones this morning. We cut some 3/4 inch PVC pipe into 3.5 inch lengths, slipped on some L ends, and decorated/secured them with pretty tie-dyed duct tape.

The phones are a real hit, and I think the class maybe likes the phones even better because they helped to make them.

Hooray! Let the whisper-reading begin :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Making Reading Connections

Oh, I LOVE this book, and this little smile. 

We've been making connections with books, or activating background schema, also known as having fun. The kids had a great time with Owl Babies today. If you have not read this beautiful book, you SHOULD!

And, of course, there's PETE the CAT- "We're rockin' in our school shoes!"

And this book, which is not all that great except that it's Mr. Potato Head and I love him SOOO much!

I can't even believe how much we accomplished this week, and so much more to go!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Literacy Centers

I love when the kids are all working in literacy centers. More then any other part of the day, this feels like what kindergarten should be. 

Here's how it fits into our morning: 
8:35 Morning work (handwriting, math review)
9:00 Morning Meeting (greeting, calendar, alphabet, counting, shared writing, phonemic awareness)
9:30 Reader's Workshop (mini-lesson, silent reading/partner reading, sharing)
9:45 Literacy Centers 
10:25 Read Aloud and Poetry Time
10:40 Lunch

Our centers provide extra practice in reading, writing, working with words, listening, and speaking.
There are five centers, so students get to visit a different center every day. The kids are so engaged in their work that I can use this time to meet with them individually or in small groups to work on reading skills.

Here are this week's centers: 

Writing Center- mini books. Students are practicing writing in a little book. They love these little books, just a folded and stapled piece of paper. 

Reading Center- student shop for books, revisit books, and read to each other and the monsters and stuffed animals in the reading tent.

Word Wall Center- Students have clipboards and are reading and writing the words from the word wall.

ABC center- Students are sorting and matching letters, reviewing our alphabet chart, and playing "Say it Fast" where we blend letter sounds to make small words like "tap" and "hat".

Puppet Center- Students are working together to tell stories. I often hear the puppets singing songs and retelling stories from our group times.

I love literacy centers, and so does my awesome class. Hooray!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Pieces

Today we made a paper pumpkin project pasting pretty paper pumpkin pieces!

The kids loved this. It made me sad that we currently only have an art teacher for half of the year. And it's not this half. I should do more art with them. They were so happy with this project!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin Seeds- Day 1

Today we tried one of those awesome projects I pinned on Pinterest this summer :)

We started with a little pumpkin, and cut the lid off.

Everyone took turns reaching in and getting some gooey seeds to take home.

There were PLENTY of seeds left, so we mixed in a little dirt and a little water.
We set it in the window so there will some sunshine.

And now we wait. :)

I hope they grow, because I LOVE tasty, salty pumpkin seeds and it killed me to put these babies in dirt!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Making a Graph

We are in chapter two of the math book, learning about patterns and graphs.

We started with a snack. Because that's always a great place to start.
After we tried both apples and oranges, the students chose their favorite and put their names on this paper to show which one they liked. (Or, kind of like a presidential race, which one they dislike the least.)

 It looked like the class was split pretty evenly (because there was not a column for chocolate donuts.)
We noticed that it was difficult to tell which fruit was more popular by looking at this chart.

So, I showed them how a graph can help organize information 
and make it so much easier to tell which fruit had more votes. Go apples!

Now we are graphing new information every day. We use clothespins on a poster board graph to organize information about our question of the day. 

And this crocodile scarf has nothing to do with graphing, but I finally finished crocheting it this weekend and it makes me smile. :) Blurry photo taken by a student.

Monday, October 8, 2012


There are monsters in our classroom!!!
My kindergarten friends found some monsters living in our reading tent today!
This is Mrs. Zippy. Her mouth-pocket unzips and the word BOO! is hidden inside.

This is Smuggles. He has so many pockets! In his mouth-pocket, he has a little book about monsters and the word "Boo!"

My class has been reading the word "Boo!" when we find it written around the room. These monsters hide the word in a new spot every day. Not so scary, but lots of reading-fun!

These two are Charlotte and Thomas. They love books!
The Monsters are going to stay in the reading tent this week. Five students go to the tent at a time, so they will each have a friend to read to.

I made all of these monsters from old sweaters and clothes from Goodwill. I added hand-stitched felt eyes and bits like pockets and zippers from other pieces of clothes. Each one has a stitched-on heart. I love them, and I'm so happy that my class loves them too! I like to keep the monsters happy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 20

Zero the Hero returned on Day 20.

He had been missing. At the end of Day 10, we put him in the closet. We noticed a few days later that he was GONE. We even wrote a story about it, cleverly titled "Zero the Hero is Missing"

On Day 20, we opened the cupboard and he was BACK! He brought these yummy ZEROs for us to eat. So now we know where he was. He was at the dollar store picking up candy. I'm surprised I didn't see him there, since I shop there quite a bit, too.

Pumpkin Patch

My kindergarten friends went to the farm today, where we got to pull some pumpkins right off the vine to take them home. It all started easy enough... just get 25 names written on slippery plastic bags and climb up in this here hay wagon.

It went downhill from there, though. Literally. The tractor wasn't shifting correctly and the tractor rolled downhill and hit the hay wagon we were riding in. Twice! Yikes!
So, we all loaded into another hay wagon. 
A new and improved and not smashed-into-by-a-tractor wagon. 
And we made it to the pumpkin patch!

And even found some little friends living there!

 I am SO grateful to the kindergarten teacher I work with for setting this all up! She has done this trip for a few years and put together the parent letter, map, getting a bus, and contacting the farm. For the record, the hay ride usually goes just fine :)