The mitten comparison

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Exit Tickets- What does the letter say? A spin/tell/write exit ticket for Kindergarten

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I bought these spinners at Dollar Tree last year and used them during lessons for sight word recognition last year. This year I wanted to incorporate them into my lessons more often since the kids LOVED using them. Well, I figured out the perfect way to use it in my class this year. We use Jolly Phonics as our phonics program at the school I teach at. To connect student learning from the classroom to my resource room I created a four square and put one sound we have learned in each box (I switch them out each week). After our lesson is over we have a set routine to line up to go back to the regular classroom. First we do the letter/sight word on the bus and next we come over and spin the spinner and whatever letter the student lands on they have to tell me the sound it makes. Next to the four square I have a line where they also have to practice writing the letter. The kids love doing this and if I somehow forget since we ran out of time they won’t leave until they get a turn to spin the spinner. Once our letters and sounds are secure I will switch to sight words.

A closer look at Letter Characteristics

We started Go-Time this week as a kindergarten group. This is a time where we split up all the kindergarten students into groups and they literally just “go” to their new group. In these groups we focus on reading skills such as learning letters, reading left to right and eventually sight words and reading books. We try to give all the kids a different teacher than what they are used to during the school day. This gives them an opportunity to learn from another adult who may have a different way of teaching something to maximize potential learning.

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Most of the kids did a nice job sorting letters but a couple were having a little trouble figuring out how to sort the letters.  Since this was something we could still work on I decided to complete the Marcia Daft activity called Mr. Line and Mrs. Curvy. It is a little story about Mr. Line and the ways he can move (straight, laying down, and acting like a slide WHEE!). Mr. Line gets bored by himself and meets Mrs. Curvy and together they can make all the letters. We go through an order of letters and have the students make them with bands and sound tubes: They love it!

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1st day of school chalkboard

The beginning of a new school year is fast approaching and for some it has already started. I have been teaching summer school this summer so I am kind of ready to start the new school year.

Below are the canvases I made for the kids last year. I’m not sure if I will be using these again this year or the one I purchased from the Target Dollar Spot earlier this summer.

I bought a 2 pack of canvases at Hobby Lobby and painted them with chalkboard paint. Then I took chalk markers and wrote their name, First day of _______, the date, and age.

In the small hard to read on here print I wrote the name of the school, teacher, favorite song, what they want to be when they grow up, favorite food and I love to…

I can’t wait to see what their answers to these questions will be this year!

 

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Directed Drawings

Have you seen these awesome directed drawings from First Grade Blue Skies? They are amazing and you should check them out if you haven’t already!

This year I have been getting into Instagram (I haven’t posted much but I love looking at what other teachers are doing). One of the things I found through IG is directed drawings. Now, I am not an artist or an art teacher by any means but if I do say so myself these turned out really good! Even my co-teacher had to draw each picture at the same time as the kids.

The first one we tried was Dr. Seuss during Dr. Seuss week at the beginning of March.

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The next one we tried was a leprechaun for St. Patrick’s Day20160515-044218.jpg

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The last one we tried was a bunny for Easter time.

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I can’t wait to try more directed drawings in the classroom! It is so awesome to see everyone be able to draw (even the kids who struggle the most)

 

ABC End of the Year Countdown

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I can’t believe the school year is almost over! I don’t know about your class but ours is getting chattier (is that even a word?!?!) by the day. To try and make the last month exciting and try to curb behavior I decided to create an ABC Countdown to the end of the school year.

I got the inspiration from Pinterest and Instagram but put my own spin on it. Most of the countdowns I have seen on Pinterest and Instagram have been the balloon popping countdowns, you know the ones where you pop a balloon each day with a different activity. Well, this year, we have a couple students who are really bothered by loud sounds and the popping of balloons would be too much for them to handle.

A few years ago I was on our schools PBIS committee and was one of the people in charge of the staff fun day that we hold for our professional development usually in February. That year we did a version of Let’s make a deal using a punch out board.

Instead of popping balloons each day I created our own punch board for the 26 days of school. I was so excited to get it started that I forgot to take a picture of it before we started using it. Truth be told, Sunday afternoon I thought about doing this countdown and then counted on my phone how many days left with kids and low and behold it was 26. Talk about a late night on Sunday! By the time I went to Dollar Tree is was 6:55 and the store closes at 7 on Sundays, who knew?!?! Needless to say I was able to quickly get the supplies on my list and get out of there without any additional items (which is normally not what happens when I go to Dollar Tree).

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How I made the punch out box: I got the general instructions on how to make this from Pink and Green Mama who found it from : Celebrate the Big and Small. Actually I just read the instructions from Celebrate the Big and Small and I probably should have created mine like that, seems so much easier. BUT when do I do things the easy way? I cut off the side of a box (Walmart that had been shipped from my mom at one time) and laid out my cups how I wanted them on top. I traced the cup lids and then cut out each circle trying to cut just a smidge smaller than the circle I traced. After trial and error with wrapping the gift wrap around my hideous looking brown box I found the best way to decorate it was to cut the holes first and then wrap one side with wrapping paper. I then turned the box over and cut a t in the middle of the holes and folded the wrapping paper up around the holes and taped it down. (Right now I really wish I took pictures while I was doing this) Then I took tissue paper and taped it down one color per row. My 6 year old wrote out some of the reward slips and I glued the cup down over the correct hold, don’t forget to add the slip of paper with the reward, A is for Art, etc… Each day I pick a different student to “punch” a hole out. We do our reward time at the end of the day after specials and then I have them punch out the next days activities before they leave so they can get excited for tomorrow.

I also sent home a note to the parents explaining what we were doing. Here is the note and you should hopefully be able to edit it (I admit I’m not very good at attaching things that can be edited so sorry in advance!) end of year abc countdown If for some reason you can’t get it to work give me your email address and I will send it to you.

I am absent minded and forgot to take pictures of the kids completing their A is for Art Mother Day gifts so here is a picture of the final product:

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Here are some pictures from B is for Bubbles. We created tennis rackets with plates and craft sticks and kept them up in the air. At the end we went outside and popped them. Don’t worry I gave them each a balloon to take home, not inflated of course!

 

 

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Earth day writing #2

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All is Calm Canvas- Craft Day #3

This is my favorite craft that I made and actually completed on craft day! All you do is buy a canvas (2 pack from Hobby Lobby) and paint your saying on and insert battery operated lights ($2 at Hobby Lobby).

Advice if you plan on making this: Print out how you want the words to look ahead of time or use a projector to get the words right. I free-handed the writing on this and I was fine with the outcome but if you aren’t that comfortable free-handing the wording that would be how I would do it.

To get the lights inserted I used an exacto knife to make a tiny hole in the canvas and then pushed the lights through. I then used packing tape to secure the wires from the lights to the canvas.

Here it is without the lights on:

This is where I got the idea, Thanks Love Grows Wild!

Ornament Wreath- Craft Day #2

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As previously mentioned in my last post, my friends and I had a craft day one afternoon and this is the second thing I started that day. It’s not the best picture but oh well.  This is the thing that comes into my mind when I think about this craft:

This was the main craft I wanted to make and the craft I spent the most time on that day. I worked on this until I ran out of ornaments and since it was a Sunday had to wait until Monday for Hobby Lobby to open. It ended up costing me more than I expected but at least I have something that I made hanging up in my house.

I bought a styrofoam wreath, big container of ornaments, hot glue sticks, medium ornaments, small ornaments and thick burlap ribbon for hanging all from Hobby Lobby.

Here is a good tutorial on how to make the wreath.

 

Snowman Candy Jar- Craft Day #1

Each month I have a girls day with two of my really good friends from way back in high school. We rotate through the months taking turns on choosing our activity/outing. In November (yes, I’m really late at posting this) we had a craft day. On my list of crafts was an ornament wreath, snowman candy jar and a canvas included lights. I will let you know all 3 crafts are complete and this is just my blog for the one, the others are coming. I will also let you know that it took longer than just the couple hours at my friends house to complete even one of these crafts!

Craft #1- Snowman Candy Jar

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For Valentine’s day last year my daughter made her teachers each a Candy Jar. I never got around to making one for myself and my classroom so I thought making a snowman candy jar would be a great idea.

Materials Needed:

Clay pot- any size will work but I like the medium size ones for these

Clay pot coaster/lid- Choose the size that will fit best with the size of your pot and candy dish

Candy dish- I got mine from Dollar Tree for $1. Just make sure it sits right on the bottom of the clay pot.

White acrylic paint

Black buttons

Black sharpie marker

Orange Sharpie marker

Pom-poms

Pipe cleaner

hot glue

Paint brushes

Instructions:

Paint 2-3 coats of white paint on the pot and lid (enough so that the clay doesn’t show through)

After the paint is dry hot glue 3 black buttons on the base of the pot (remember that the wide opening is what is down on the table)

Hot glue glass candy jar to the narrow base of the clay pot

While that is drying hot glue the pipe cleaner (I had to cut mine down to size) to the lid. Hot glue a pom pom on the end of the pipe cleaner to create the ear muffs.

After everything is dry, draw the face directly on the glass.

Fill with candy and enjoy.

We made two of these, one for myself at work and one as a Christmas present to my daughter’s kindergarten teacher.

 

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