Sunday, October 21, 2012

Technology Integration...Oh my!!!

Teaching in the 21st Century is a blast for so many reasons!  I love learning about new and innovative ways to integrate technology to educate my students!  One of the oldest ways that I have been making videos in my classroom has been using an i-Pod Touch and a Pico Pocket Projector.  It is a quick and easy way to show instant movies.  It is also fun to project the movies on the ceiling and have everyone enjoy the video lying down.  Movies I have done in the past include reader's theatre,  sight word play-doh, number mats with tens frame, flannel board stories, and human tooth brushing demonstration.   

In this photo, the video is being projected on to the easel.
This is the projector that is connected to the i-pod touch.
It is small and very portable. 

I am finally in a wonderful school district where there are many devices to help integrate technology.  (The reason I have not had time to blog!!)  I am looking forward to learning more ways to utilize all the technology resources I have and share them!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Daily 5 in Kindergarten: Chapter 4

1.  How far into the school year do you think kinders need to be to be able to begin the process of Read to Self? What is realistic? When do you plan to begin implementation?
I would hope I would be able to begin implementation around the second week of school.

2. How will you make sure that each child views him/herself as a reader (whether they are reading words or not)?
I always start out the year saying everyone is a reader.  I hold up the Lego container and I ask the students to read the word.  Magically, they all can!  Everyone comes into kindergarten as a reader and it is harder to explain that to the parents than the students!

3. What are some ideas you have about "Launching Read to Self" in kindergarten? How will you go about it and what are some ways to make sure it is "kinder friendly"?

4. How will you/do you build the children's belief that this IS important? What can we do to encourage the ones who do not value it and create disruptions for others?

5. How valuable is Checking In and Reviewing with kindergarteners? How often will you do it? When will you do it? What are some different ways to "check in"?

6. What are some problems that can occur during this problem (either that you anticipate with your kinders OR that you have experienced)? How can we be proactive about these issues?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Daily 5 in K: Chapter 3

1. Establish a gathering place for brain and body breaks.
I have a learning space I use in my classroom.  The large carpet in this area consists of individual colored squares.  I also use the carpet to complete quick human graphs.  I do need to think of a creative name that may go along with my theme.  Last year, my classroom theme was construction and I am still undecided about this coming year. 

2. Developing the concept of "good fit" books.
In the past, I have given my students their independent reading level to choose books from our school library and for the classroom library.  In the leveled buckets, I told the students to check to see if they can read the first five words.  I have not really discussed why we should choose a good fit book, so I am excited to incorporate this idea.  I love the idea of using Goldilocks because so many kids can relate to the story.  I also love the idea of using shoes, because what child has not put on their parent's shoes and pranced around to get a good laugh!

3. Create anchor charts with students.
I love the idea of creating anchor charts with my students.  I was wondering do you use the same anchor chart each year or do you create a new one every year?  I was thinking about creating a template and getting it laminated so I could write the directions with the students each year.  Right now, I store my anchor charts and posters in a wonderful case my dad has built for me.  I will hang charts where they would be most effective in the classroom.

4. Short, repeated intervals of independent practice and setting up book boxes.  How are you going to keep track of stamina? What will you use for book boxes? What are you going to put in those book boxes on the 1st day of school?
To build stamina, I want to create goals as a class and celebrate those goals.  I will keep track of how many minutes we can read to self and create a graph to show how we have built up stamina.  Right now, I use cereal boxes for book boxes.  These are a bit too small and I am hoping I can come up with another inexpensive idea to create book boxes.  At the beginning of the year, I like to put in easy reader I Spy Books that I bought from Scholastic.  They are also great for long field trips.

5. Calm Signals and check in procedures.  Do you already have a signal? How will you handle check ins?
My transition signal right now is a harmonica.  I have added a chime wand to my wish list.  I remember seeing one at a workshop I went to and I had forgotten about it until I read someones blog post.  I am definitely going to incorporate the check system the sisters mentioned.  I love the idea of a thumbs up or sideways by their heart!!

6. Using the correct model/incorrect model approach for demonstrating appropriate behaviors.  Will you keep track of inappropriate behaviors? If they are not doing what is expected, then they are calling out for attention...what other ways can you give them some extra attention so that they can be more independent during D5?
I will keep track of inappropriate behavior.  What I love about creating a community in the classroom, is when a student is exhibiting inappropriate behavior another student may address that behavior or a lot of times I see kids ignore the behavior and then it will end.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Thank You! Thank You!

Susan, from Polka Dots & Teaching Tots, is too sweet and has nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award and One Lovely Blog Award.  I am excited to accept these awards and they have made my day!  Thank you, Susan!!!   

Here are the rules....
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their site.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their site.
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

And the rules....
1. Follow the person that gave you the award.
2. Link back to the person that gave you the award.
3. Pass the award on to 15 new bloggers.

Seven Random Facts About Me:
1.  Winter is my favorite season!!!  {This heat and humidity is causing my allergies to be a pain, but I am thankful for Allegra-D.} 
2.  I have a new love for DIY Projects for my home.
3.  I love Farmer's Markets and cooking with fresh vegetables and herbs. 
4.  I have a side job working with my dad, where I help cut ceramic tile and hardwood floor.  I enjoy using power tools! 
5.  I am an extremely organized person.         
6.  I am teaching a summer school class titled Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! and I LoVe it!    
7.  I absolutely love listening to live music, especially rock!!    

Now, for my nominations:

Smedley’s Smorgasboard of Kindergarten

Kindergarten Cafeteria

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Daily 5 in Kindergarten: Chapter 1 & 2

Blogging Book Study...what a wonderful way to collaborate with other educators on books and grow professionally!  This book study is on Daily 5 {it is like a dream come true}!! Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten is hosting the book study for kindergarten.  I cannot wait to learn with everyone!!!!!  Off to review Chapter 1!
1. How do I teach new behaviors?
Model, Role Play, Model, Role Play, did I mention Model!!

2. How do I teach expectations?
Once again, I use a lot of role playing to teach expectations of students.  I like to use the challenging students to demonstrate inappropriate behavior like the sisters suggested in the book. As a class, we discuss why it is wrong and how we should fix it.  In the past, I have put together photographs of expectations in to a book for the students in various areas of the classroom and school.  I strongly discuss why it is important to have certain expectations.

3. How do I monitor student behavior? whole group? small groups? individual?
Once the students know behaviors and expectations, they are held accountable for their actions.  Positive reinforcement works well for many students. During each day, I have a team huddle, which is like a community circle, and the students can talk about issues that might be going on in the classroom and how we can fix those problems.  I am going to incorporate the check system that was mentioned in the book.

4. What do I do when a student is not exhibiting desired behavior?
I will talk with that student to see what the issue might be.  I will make accommodations for that student if they may not be ready for a certain aspect of learning.

5. Whose classroom is it?
I believe the classroom is our classroom, meaning the students and the teacher.  I create a community in the classroom where everyone is responsible for what happens in our classroom.

6. Locus of control?
I want to try giving the student more choice and control.  Before, I had given them a few choices, but I would like them to be in control of their own learning.  I believe that will create life-long learning, however it is just getting to that point of trusting them with choice.

7. Where are supplies stored?
My supplies are organized and stored where they are easily accessible for myself and my students.

1. Do you trust your students? How do you build this trust? Are you able to trust them and allow them to be independent throughout all aspects of your day? Are you going to be able to stay out of their way?
 I trust most of my students, and I want to trust all my students with control of their learning and the classroom.  I want them to be independent learners throughout the day.  I build that trust by treating them as people, who are part of a community.  The few students I have that are a little bit harder to trust, I need to find better ways to guide them.  When setting up routines and letting the students on their own, it is always difficult staying out of their way.  I do know that it is what I need to do.  When setting up Daily 5, I may model read to self to help me stay out of their way.

2. How much choice do you give your students throughout the day?  Do you go over your daily schedule with your students or is it just 'posted' in the room?
I give my students some choice throughout the day, but I need to work on giving them more.   Although, some teachers have all the students work on read to self, then they switch to the next component together as a class.  I am not sure if that is what I would want to do in Kindergarten or not.  It would be limiting their choice.  I post a daily schedule and that is one of the very first things we go over in the morning.  I have found some children needed a schedule and it only takes a few seconds to create and go over.  Some years it can make a world of difference in student's behavior! {On a class schedule, do you call it Daily 5 or do you use a different name?}

3. How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable?
At the start of the school year, building a community is an important task I work on with my students.  I try to teach the students they have a job and they need to be accountable for themselves and the choices they make affect others. I love doing the team huddle, because it gives the students to share positives and negatives in the classroom.  It helps to create a community in the classroom.

4. Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child?
I have started sharing with students WHY we do specific things in the classroom or WHY we learn about particular things.  Last year the students asked how I know what needs to be taught.  I showed them the two large binders of standards I have to teach.  They were shocked :) .  I also think that by giving students control they will be able to take ownership in learning.  I have to work on giving that control.  Last year, by April, all the students enjoyed reading on their own.  After reading The Book Whisperer, I realized how important it is to expose the students to various genres and books.  I thought this would be difficult with kindergarten, but I found a lot of books that I did not know about that the students loved.  I incorporated many author studies last year.  It gave ownership to the students to choose books they wanted to read.  I want to see that ownership in all aspects of learning! 

5. Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals? ...
First, I will explain stamina to my students.  We will set expectations and model.  With a lot of modeling we will start building stamina.  I will use a timer, but I do not think I will show the students.  We will set a goal and celebrate goals met

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kindergarten Grad Buddy/Keepsake!

I was so sad to see my class go this year {and every year}, but I am excited that I have a little free time to work on new and exciting projects for NeXt YeAr!!  As a gift to the wonderful kiddos, they created these graduation buddies and glued them to an oatmeal container.   Inside the container, I put the DVD that I create filled with pictures and videos from the year.  This space could be used as a keepsake for the diploma and other items.  On the back of the container it had a title saying "My Friends", and during the graduation party the students could get each others autographs. They looked adorable around the table waiting for our presence after the graduation ceremony.  This idea is a take off of what our art teacher did.  She was wonderful at taking pictures and printing enlarged photos of the students.  Instead of the paper head and cap, she took an enlarged picture of the student's face and cap and glued it on the body.  Either way they turned out soooo cute!!! 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

YouTube Video Linky Party!!

What a FaBuLoUs idea!!! Miss Nelson is having a YouTube Linky Party!  Click here to join!

My students love to create videos and it has increased their fluency and excitement in reading by recording many reader's theatre!  Some YouTube videos I use to teach and reinforce digraphs are in the prezi below.

I wanted ideas for more educational videos to use, which is why I linked up and you should too!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I have a confession...Linky Party

Living a Wonderful Life is having a linky party.  I felt I need to confess some of my obsessions, so I decided to join.
1.  My Keurig Coffee Maker~ Why did they have to come out with a more enhanced model? {I want it}
2.  My Cricut~  My Get It Done List includes making many creations on my Cricut this summer!
3.  Blogging~  Why does the clock move faster when one is blogging?????

4.  ThE DoLlAr StOrE~  If you have ever screamed in the dollar store because you have found the most incredible teaching tool or classroom item that you know your students will love, then you may also be obsessed with the dollar store.
Fingasaurs made me shout in the
middle of the dollar store!!
Water Blaster to play Blast the Vowels during our ABC Carnival!

Finding many items for our Star Word Beach Party!  All the beach
decorations added the extra fun to our party!  The inflatable limbo stick
 was a perfect for playing sight word limbo!
The glasses are by far my favorite {recent} find at the dollar store,
along with the beach ball ocean creatures!
5.  Pinterest~ It has changed my life!!
Why didn't I think of that sooner??
Egg cartons to hold playing cards
for those little hands!!
6.  Elephant & Piggie~  IMo Willems!!  Everytime I go into Barnes and Noble {which is too often} I need to read Elephant and Piggie Books!  They are hilarious and make me laugh out loud!!
7.  Criminal Minds~ 
I am going to pretend I do not have anymore obsessions!!!  Time for you to share yours!  The first step is admitting to the problem...right?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

StAr WoRd BeAcH PaRtY w/ Ocean Book Freebie!!

Yes!! We are party animals in kindergarten (especially at the end of the year)!  I am so excited for our Star Word Beach Party tomorrow.  The day when we celebrate all the words we have learned over the year!  (details and pictures to come soon)  To prepare for our party, we become marine biologists and study the ocean.  One project we complete is the research of an ocean animal.  The students pick an animal and with their 4th Grade Friend.  Together, they create an oil pastel drawing and research facts about that animal.  On beach day, we video tape a movie with them dressed in their beach attire reading their facts about the animal they researched.  It is adorable and I usually show it during our kindergarten graduation ceremony!  Here are some other ocean activities we have done.
I used Carson-Dellosa Fish and Waves Border and DJ Inkers Sea Life Bulletin Board Accents.  I cut out 5 fish from the border and used velcro to attach the swimming fish to each page and the eaten fish to the back of the shark.  I attached the plain ocean border to each page so the shark puppet could slide through.  As you read the story, one could practice addition of subtraction, as the shark eats fish or gains fish in his belly.  Print the story here on blue paper or cardstock.
I used the other accents in the book Guess Who Lives in the Ocean, a book of ocean riddles.  Start printing here on blue paper or cardstock.  (I apologize for the extra neck exercises)

We also reviewed time with this whale clock activity.  It could also be done as a shark to go along with the book Tick Tock Sharks by Elizabeth Mills.


Monday, May 28, 2012

We Love Pond Life!!

Here are some pics of my reading zone turned into a pond habitat.  You can see our pond K-W-L chart and our fishing for sentences game.  Lily pads are hanging from the ceiling with the writing prompt In a pond...  There are paper plate frogs and toads  with facts written on the inside.  The cattails are made of wrapping paper tubes covered with neutral wallpaper and cotton balls painted brown.

During the habitat fair, the students wore these adorable frog life cycle hats!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Grade Level Linky Party!!

Want to find ideas for you specific grade level or are you switching grade levels next year?  Check out the grade level linky party at The Teacher's Lane.  It is wonderfully organized by grade, so LINK UP!!!


Bug Jar Math

The students created bug jars on www.kerpoof.com.  They were given a scenario where they caught some bugs in their jar and some escaped.  The students drew bugs in their jar and on the outside.  They recorded their word problem on VoiceThread and we created math equations for each drawing.  This was an interactive way to practice subtraction!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Frog X-ray Freebie

During our pond habitat unit, we were also celebrating the letter Xx.  I have created a template to create frog x-rays using various noodles.  Get the template here and copy it on to black paper for the kiddos.  Have them piece the "bones" together to create a frog x-ray or skeleton.  I used an assortment of macaroni noodles, spaghetti, bow tie pasta, ziti, and alot of tacky glue!! Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pond Habitat!!!

Every year we have a school wide fair, and this year we decided to do a Habitat Fair.  Kindergarten was lucky to research the pond habitat!  To assess the student's learning at the end of our unit, I had them create a pond habitat diorama out of a shoe box.  They created a setting and added modeling clay pond animals.  They added so much detail and did a wonderful job explaining the animals in their habitat.  The dioramas turned out so adorable that I decided to have the students turn their habitats into a "claymation" and on our classroom blog they wrote about what was going on in their "claymation".  You can view the claymation below.
The students also created virtual ponds with many pond animals on www.kerpoof.com.  We then added them to a VoiceThread project.  The students created their virtual pond into an addition word problem.  I posted the VoiceThread on our classroom blog and the students had to write the addition equations as it played on a wipe off board.  The students said they even quized their parents at home

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

God Colors Our World

Every year we have a Classic Dinner and Auction to raise money for our school and church.  This year, we decided to create classroom projects to auction off.  The kindergartners made a beautiful piece that we title God Colors Our World.  Each student receive a block of wood and they were to design a painting to adhere to the block of wood.  We used watercolors and oil pastels and the students created three paintings.  They chose which painting they wanted to publish on the piece.  I hot glued the pictures on and covered the painting with Mod Podge.  Together, we painted a long rectangular piece for the title plaque.  I used my Cricut to cut out the letters! (I heart my Cricut!)  On the back, I glued a heart-shaped picture of the student and wrote their favorite color and what they want to be when they grow up.  Finally, the students autographed it and called themselves real artists.  The precious keepsake was sold for $325. =)
(Personally, I thought the back was the cutest part of the piece!!!)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Vv is for VOLCANO!

Salt dough volcanoes were created to celebrate the letter Vv.  This project goes along with the concept of environment and the study of 3-D shapes.  We created cone-shaped volcanoes and inserted a film canister in the middle.  After the dough dried, we painted the volcanoes and prepared for the eruption.  The day of the eruption some of the kids were scared, nervous, and so excited!  I added red food coloring and vinegar into the film canister.  They added a spoonful of baking soda and immediately started screaming and cheering!  Never a dull moment in kindergarten!! 


Hooray for the letter Uu!!!  Yes, we did our daily writing  and drawing upside down and the kids LOVED it!  We wondered how Michelangelo painted upside down for a long time!


We celebrated the Letter Rr with Rainbow Fish!  To enhance comprehension and response to literature, we completed a guided drawing of Rainbow Fish after reading the story.  The drawing was created with oil pastel and painted over with watercolor.  The students decided they needed to add friends for Rainbow Fish to share his shiny fins with and speech bubbles!  One speech bubble said "can I peeeeeese have a fin" and another said "thank you for the shne fin".  I am glad they comprehended the text and also incorporated their manners!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Heart Paintings

Trust in the Lord with all your heart!
I need to remember this more often!!