Friday, October 7, 2011

First Week of Math Stations

Here is our first week of math stations (this was the week of 9/11):

exploring colored tiles

exploring unifix cubes

Chicka Roll & Match (roll the dice and cover that number with a piece of fruit)

fine motor gem pages from Making Learning Fun

computers (this week was our intro to computers, so we had Starfall up instead of a math game)

exploring attribute links

Chicka One-to-One Match (roll the dice and put that many tree erasers on the mat)

sort class names by number of letters

We had a lot of fun during our first week of math stations!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

September 11th

We started off the week by talking a little bit about 9/11. I figured, since it happened before my students were born, that it would be a short little overview of what happened, and we would move on. However, they seemed to know quite a lot more about it than I expected. They all wanted to talk about it, so I drew an ever-so-quick (and crude!) picture on the easel:

(obviously, I am NOT an artist!)

Then we had our first "Think-Pair-Share". The students were paired up with the person sitting next to them, and they were instructed to tell their neighbor what they know about 9/11. This gives everyone a chance to talk (which is what they love!), and promotes social skills.

After giving them time to talk to their partner, I asked a few students to share what their partner had told them. Some knew about the heroes - the police and firemen who tried to rescue people from the buildings, and the people who fought with the hijackers. They knew that the "bad guys" came from another country, and they didn't like Americans.

This activity led us into our week of safety lessons.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

Following Brown Bear, Brown Bear, we read and celebrated Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. I hid magnetic letters in sand, and had the students each find one.

Then they had to match the uppercase magnetic letter in their hand to its lowercase letter on the easel.

Next, we investigated a REAL coconut! We passed it around the circle so we could each use our eyes, hands, and noses to check out this beauty.

I cracked open the coconut (I had never done this before!), and we all got to taste the milk. We were surprised that it wasn't white - it was clear. Some of us predicted it would taste like water - of course we were a little surprised when we found out it is very sweet! Since I was doing the cracking, pouring, and passing out the milk, I didn't get a picture of this activity. :-(

Then we used our magnifying glasses to investigate shredded coconut. This lesson was really just an introduction to using our tools properly and safely. But we had fun!

 (no, this little one is not asleep - she's just waiting her turn with the magnifying glass! :-) )

Then we sorted bandaids. My only problem with this activity was that I didn't have enough different bandaids. I only had three colors, so it was too easy.  So now I know that I need to start stocking up on different shapes, sizes, and styles of bandaids for next year. :-)

Finally, we made Chicka Tree Glyphs using the letters of our names. Girls have pink paper, boys have orange paper, and the number of coconuts = the number of siblings the student has. Enjoy!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Everyone Wins Giveaway

Kreative in Kinder

Kreative in Kinder is having an "Everyone Wins Giveaway"! This is an awesome opportunity to snag an item of hers just by following her and re-posting about it on your blog! Head on over now for more information!

I promise I'll be back soon with LOTS of pictures and ideas from the past couple of weeks in my class!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Here are the bears we made on Friday. This was a directed art project, similar to TLC Art in that I cut only squares and rectangles, and the students practiced rounding the corners to create circles ... well, some got it, and some need more practice, as you can see! I think they turned out just adorable!

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

First Week Under Our Belts! Brown Bear Activities

We completed our first full week this week, and let me tell you, it ended up HOT! The temperature in my classroom when I left on Friday, with the lights off most of the day, was 90 degrees! OK, complaining done. On to more productive things...

Our theme this week was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

On Monday, I introduced the big book and talked about the cover, author, illustrator, and characters. This is the version with the gray mouse, pink elephant, and teacher included. We also did the Gummy Bear Math activity I talked about in my previous post.

On Tuesday, we reviewed the parts of the book, and I let the kids read along with me. In math, we used character cards created by 1+1+1=1 from her Brown Bear Tot Pack to sort the animals by the number of legs each has.

We also created name mosaics, an idea I got from Deanna Jump's Blog. I printed the students' names in a large, plain font. They tore construction paper into small pieces (great fine motor activity!) and glued them onto the letters of their name in rainbow order (the first letter was red, the second orange, etc.). Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of these.

On Wednesday, we used the same character cards for a counting activity. I passed out all the cards to the students, without telling them what we were going to do. Then I asked everyone with a Brown Bear to come and put it in the chart. We counted it, and wrote a "1" on the card next to it. Then I had everyone with a Red Bird come and put it in the chart, and we counted them. I continued in order until the chart was filled. The students enjoyed waiting for their animal(s) to be called.

On Wednesday, we also read the read-aloud version, which does not have the gray mouse or pink elephant, and has a mother instead of a teacher. After reading this book, we compared the two versions and created a Venn Diagram:

For our name activity on Wednesday, the students traced their names in rainbow order again, then cut each letter apart. I had them glue the letters back in order onto a sheet of construction paper according to the number of letters in their name. Then we graphed them:

We have a lot of 6-letter names!

On Thursday, I again used the characters cards in the pocket chart. I used them to support story problems that I asked the students, such as "Brown Bear was walking down the path, when he saw 2 red birds. How many animals were on the path?" 2+1=3.

I also printed up name cards with their pictures on them for us to use in recognizing our names - I'm proud to say that everyone in my class can recognize their own name this year! (This doesn't always happen, unfortunately...)

On Friday, we watched a video of Bill Martin, Jr. reading the book:

I created sentence strips that say "The {animal} is" and cards with the color words on them. We matched the color word to the correct animal sentence, and then read them together. I will try to get a picture of this on Tuesday.

I also created a color sorting activity for the smartboard. The students sort the pictures onto the correct color.
You can download it from SmartTech Exchange: Color Sort.notebook.

In between all of this fun, there were MANY bathroom breaks, recesses, and drinking fountain breaks ... oh, and Daily 5 Read to Self - we're up to 5 minutes already! But I'm getting a new student on Tuesday, so we'll have to drop back to 3 minutes for a couple of days and work our way back up.

Next week is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - another of my favorites!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Welcome to the class of 2024!

The class of 2024 got off to a good start on Thursday. I have 18 darlings in my full-day class!

Today we started a week of activities surrounding the favorite book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? I love reviewing colors and introducing the kids to characteristics of print. Of course we talked about the cover, title, author, and illustrator, and today we read the book for enjoyment. The rest of the week we will read for a purpose - looking for "popcorn" words, comparing different versions of the story, and acting out the story. We will also tie in math and science wherever possible. We did a math sorting and graphing activity today using gummy bears.

First we sorted them by color:

Then we graphed our gummy bears:

After we talked about our graphs, we got to eat our gummy bears! Mmmmmm...

I created the sorting and graphing sheets the kids used. If you would like them, here they are:

Gummy Bear Sort Sheet

Gummy Bear Graph Sheet

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pinterest Linky Party

Michelle at Michelle's Math in the Middle is having a pinterest linky party. If you just can't get enough of Pinterest, hop on over and link up!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Purchases from Target, Dollar Tree, etc.

OK, so I went to post my latest purchases a few weeks ago, and realized that my pictures had somehow been deleted from my phone. I had already taken most of the stuff in to my classroom, so I had to wait until this week to go in and get new pictures. So finally, here they are:

From Dollar Tree:

Oversized Coloring Pads (to use for tracing animals, since I can't draw!), dinosaur skeletons, frog glowstick (to use as a pointer), palm tree bulletin board accents, crayola color books for independent reading

Shark, flamingo, and monkey hats for acting out stories, a bubble wand pointer, simple board books for independent reading, several packages of sight word cards, palm tree drink stirrers for pointers, star-shaped ice cube trays to use as ten-frames, rubber placemats to cut down on dice noise

A basket and glass beads to hold large pointers, popcorn bags to decorate our popcorn word board

Several books for independent and theme reading

Divided trays for sorting and community supplies, magnetic art for a fine motor activity, flashcards for math and literacy stations, police and firefighter guys for manipulatives, ice cream bowls for a fine motor activity (spooning pompoms)

Tiki ice cube trays for ten-frames, ice cream cone dishes for "sharp" and "needs to be sharpened" pencils, popcorn bowls for a literacy game, dinosaur hats for acting out stories

More popcorn and hot dog bowls for word work, frog pen for a pointer, inflatable chicka tree

From Target Dollar Spot:

Books for theme and independent reading, foam hammer for a word work game, sand pail, colander and measuring spoons for the sensory bin, animal sounds flashcards, a cute post-it pack, and a zippered lanyard pocket to hold the popcorn word of the week

Pocket charts with stands and without, books for independent and theme reading, math and alphabet bingo games, number and alphabet puzzles, informational cards, and a star and pencil wooden pointer

Math workmats, letter and star stickers, and a writing utensil caddy

Dice, letter stamps and stamp pads, lip gloss for motivation (rub on the back of their hand), hand-shaped erasers for pointers, and a pack of highlighters/pens just for me(!)

Traffic Signs, Community Workers, and Money flashcards

(OK, not from the Dollar Spot, but I couldn't pass these up!) a miniature frog pillow pet, and a timer with green numbers!

From Walmart:

Frog clips for posters, black and blue sheets for bulletin boards

Mr. Tickle, Mr. Scary, and Miss Helpful plush reading buddies

DVD's for after lunch or indoor recess, frog beach towel for independent reading, paint swatches to cut apart for sorting

A pillowcase (had the pillow form already), a squishy pool noodle, and two pillows, all for independent reading

Two beach chairs for independent reading

Book covers to make these

From JoAnn Fabrics:

Fabric and batting to make these

Frog accents, animal books for tracing onto charts, several pointers, and silicone frog holder

From Dollar General:

Two books-on-cd and an independent reader

From Goodwill:

Books ...

Books ...

And more books ...

And still more books, all for independent and theme reading

Boggle Jr, Dinosaur floor puzzle, 2 packs playing cards for math stations, dominoes, flashcards, and an I-Spy computer game

From Michaels:

"How to Draw" Books

From a local garage sale:

More books and flashcards!

And two games for math & literacy stations.

Whew! It's a lot, but I didn't get it all in one trip, thank goodness! Everywhere we went this summer (including vacation!), I scoped out the local Target and Dollar Tree. Does anyone else do this?

We have a building "retreat" one day this week, open house is next week, and school starts on the 24th. Sadly, the summer is almost over.
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