Wednesday, January 23, 2013

100 Tally Marks

These kids are so lovable.

Today, we were rolling dice and counting the dots with tally marks. 
I mentioned that people might use tally marks in games or or keep track of how many times something happens. Then one of my cuties chimes in with: "Or in jail!" Where? "Jail! like, to make tally marks on the wall!"

Yes, dear. That's right. I'm teaching you a skill that might come in handy if you are locked in jail for an extended period. Awesome.

These kids continue to amaze me with their sponge-like brains that soak up anything around them. We are going to have a big focus on counting and using numbers to 100 for the next couple of weeks as we prepare for our big 100th day of school party. I wonder if they have 100th day of jail parties? Yeah, probably not.

Here's a link to the tally mark practice page we used: 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

More Sweater Monsters

The Sweater monsters in my classroom were such a hit that I now have a monster factory in my dining room. They've been for sale at craft fairs and local shops, and now I have listed my first sweater monster on Etsy. I'm so excited to send these guys to their new homes! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Kids' Favorites

I asked my students to help me blog this week by taking pictures of some of their favorite stuff in our classroom. One of the things I love about working with these kids is the opportunity to see the world through their eyes. Here are some of the things they chose. Aren't these kids the best? 

ABC Magnets on cookie sheets. Really? THAT'S your favorite thing in the whole room? Awesome.

I have no idea what these things are called. Just a great garage sale find this summer! They are like big pipe-cleaner-thingies and they have faces and feet the kids can attach. We had them out in the writing area and kids gave their critters names and wrote little stories about them. So cute. 

Measuring stuff is great fun. Our carpet is 217 cubes long, but sometimes we measure again.
 Just to double check.

Computer lab. I love the lab, too. The kids are really independent and there are so many great
activities for them to do here. When students need help, they usually ask each other :)
45 minutes every Wednesday. 45 awesome minutes.

I'm so glad they like this game. Students practice sight words and letters by parking little Matchbox cars in the spot that their partner calls. A cute game board created by my teaching partner. 

I was shocked someone wanted to take a picture of this shape poster.
Really? That's the best part of the room? K.

Wikki Sticks. Such cool little waxy sticky strings.  :)
Truth is, they like these because I almost never get them out. Too much time is required to put them back in the baggies and clean them up for the next group. They are fun, maybe I should let them play with these more often. 
"I want to take a picture of the flag. I love that flag."
Me too, little buddy!

So, there you go. My students' favorite parts of the classroom.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Polar Express Christmas Party

What a crazy, busy, wonderful time of the year to be in kindergarten!

After weeks of wonderful, magical (everybody believes!) anticipation...
Our Christmas party finally arrived!

We watched the movie in shorter segments for the 4 days leading up to the party. 
Everyone wore their pajamas on party day!

The students left for their regular gym time in the afternoon. Parents arrived while they we gone to help me arrange the chairs in the classroom into a Polar Express train.

The train "stopped" 5 different times

Stop 1: Singing. We danced the 12 days of Christmas dance and sang for the parents.
Stop 2: I read them the story of the Christmas Gingerbread Mouse and then gave everyone a copy of the story to keep.
Stop 3: Okeefenokee. Yeah, my class loves when I tell stories of the Okeefenokee Swamp, so we decided to go their during the Christmas Party!
Stop 4: Snacks! We had Christmas cookies and Hot Chocolate. mmmm.
Stop 5: Gifts. Santa came and gave everyone a bell, I gave them a little bookmark I crocheted, and we all sang We Wish You a Merry Christmas and hopped off the train. 

Woohoo! We had fun, but it was a great relief when it was done!

Workers in our Santa Shop helped make Christmas special for  all the students.

We made reindeer food with a great label I found  online.
You can find out more here:

Our tree was decorated with ornaments they colored!
Merry, Merry!!