Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weather, Water Cycle and Spring

Like many of you I had Spring break the week before last. Many of the items I am about to talk about I completed a couple of weeks ago and some were completed this week.  So, I'll just get to it!

I began with weather.  We read several weather related books over the week and completed several activities.  We completed a daily smartboard weather graph.  If I knew how to post it as a freebie I would.  I'm still working on learning how to do that.  My favorite activity was making our rain people.  The kiddos have to cut out the pieces and then write about what they would not splash or jump on.

The slip of paper at the bottom says: My big yellow boot can _____ in puddles, but not on my ______ or I'll be in trouble.

My kiddos love coming up with ideas for what they shouldn't splash or jump on!  This idea came from a fellow teacher.  (Thanks Carrie!)

Another one of our favorite activities is making water cycle bracelets.  Dummy me forgot to take pics, but I can try to explain it.  After reading a blurb out of our science book, discussing and mapping out what the water cycle looks like, each student gets a pipe cleaner and several beads.  They put the beads on in this order: white, light blue, dark blue, green, yellow, and clear.  White represents the clouds, light blue is for the rain, dark blue is for puddles, green is for the grass the puddles sit in, yellow is for the sun, and clear is for evaporation.  It is a cute way for them to remember the order!

We also had a kite day to welcome Spring!  The day we flew our 'kites' Spring had definitely come in like a lion!  I am so glad I decided to have the kiddos fly these when I did: 80 degrees on Monday and 30's by Friday!  Only in MO!  Anyway, I used my co-teacher's idea of taking wally-world, or Tar-jay style bags and turning them into kites.  It is soooo simple!  Take some streamers and staple them to the bottom of the bag. (I covered mine with a die cut of a flower).  Then take a string that is about a yard long and tie it through the handles of the bag.  Instant kite!  Look below at the fun my darlings had!

Love this one.  Look at her enjoying herself!

This is another of my favorites!

Our last activity was to discuss rainbows and how they are created.  After our discussion we made our Lucky Charms graph.  This awesome graph was posted by someone a few weeks ago.  I neglected to write down who it was so if anyone know just leave me a comment!  The kids enjoyed creating as much as eating!

 That's it!  My last few weeks in a not so little nutshell!  As a side note, I did not get to go anywhere spectacular over spring break.  I cleaned out closets and dressers and painted one of my daughter's room.  I was busy.  Going back to work was a blessing! ;)


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ten Things I've Learned from Teaching

I am joining the linky party from Rowdy in First!  Here are my 10 things:

1.  NO CUPCAKES! My hips and classroom rug thank you!
2.  Snot is a given in Kindergarten.  Be prepared.
3.  A drink can fix many maladies.  (I meant a drink from the water fountain!) :)
4.  Go ahead and screw up!  We (my students and myself) mess up all the time!  We learn from our mistakes!
5.  Keep a table knife in your room. (Too many giant cookies sent in with nothing to cut it with.)  Screwdrivers, hammers and pliers are good to keep handy too.
6.  There are certain names I will never name my children, or allow my kids to name my way-future grandchildren!
7.  Scholastic is my fr-enemy!
8.  There is a glue stick conspiracy by the glue companies!  I swear they only fill half of the little tube and have made it softer so it is used more quickly and I have to buy more!  A conspiracy I tell ya!
9.  We all say it, but that "Lightbulb" moment really is special and awesome.
10.  I am so blessed to do what I get to do every day!!!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Linky Party!

Always in First Grade is hosting a linking party.  This one is to share our classroom photos.  I have a few from the beginning of the year that I can share.  If I find any more I will post them later!

This is a view of my room from the front door. 

This is taken from the back part of the room facing toward the front door.  You can see my word wall, storage drawers and front closet.
This is also taken from the back part of the room.  This gives you a better view of my fireplace. Yes, I said fireplace.  It is not a working one and as far as I know it never has been.  The building was built in the 1940's and this has always been the Kindergarten room.  I have a feeling it was added to feel homey. When I attended K in this room the shelves next to the fireplace were enclosed with glass doors. Wish I knew where those were!  The bins are each student's book bin.  They keep their current GR book in there along with other leveled books they choose.
This is my Writing Spot. I have a polka dot theme in my room and all of my stations (centers) are called some type of 'spot'.  This is looking in from the front door.
This is my Reading Spot.  All of my books are labeled by type.  The students match the label in the book to the label on the bin to make sure the books get back where they belong.  Most of my labels came from Jessica Meacham's website.  If you visit her site be prepared to stay awhile - she is awesome!
This is My Spot.  This is where I hold GR groups and math groups.  This is also functioning as my desk.  I did not have enough room in my classroom for my desk and all of the station (center) areas I needed.  I really haven't even missed it that much! On the shelves are my guided reading supplies.  I have 2 three drawer crates that have a drawer for each group. These hold books we are working on and my notes.
This is my Poetry Spot and my mailboxes.  My awesome hubby made these for me 14 years ago.  They have traveled to 3 different schools and to 4 different classrooms. (Up and down several flights of stairs he wants me to add!) They are huge but I wouldn't trade them for the world!
I have more recently started to do my poetry on my smartboard.  This allows me to make the poems more interactive and also to link to relevant web sites where the kids can explore.
This is my student meeting area.  I LOVE my carpet.  It is so much better than what was in here before!  The yellow is a bit hard to keep clean, but I manage!
We meet here for everything, Reader's workshop, Writer's workshop, Smartboard use, Morning meeting, Station time (centers) ....  The blue shelves to the left are two shelves back to back.  One side has math stations the other has literacy stations stored.  You can also see my Smartboard.  I recently found out that it is very hard to live without my Smartboard.  My projector went out and I was left without one for a period of time.  It felt so lost! 
This is the last picture I could find.  It is of our calendar wall.  I have considered putting this info. in a smartboard file, but after having lost the use of my board for awhile I am glad I haven't done that yet.  I may some day, but for now the kiddos really love manipulating everything in this area.

That's it!  That is my room!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Random Funnies in Kindergarten

It has been one of those weeks where my K kiddos say the most random things.  It always seems to happen about the time it gets quiet in my classroom and sure enough one of my cuties will pipe up with something random.  Example: R comes up to me and I, thinking he needs help on his work, say "What do you need?" R. says, "Have you felt my muscles?  I think they are getting bigger."  You need to picture him trying to yank a tight long sleeve shirt up to his arm pit to get the full effect.  Another example:  We are creating "How to..." books.  For this we are making a class list of things we know how to do. A. pipes up, "I know how to fold laundry." I agree that this is something to add to our list.  She wasn't finished.  "I even have to fold my dads UNDERWEAR!  They have reindeer on them!"  Now how am I going to face this man again knowing what he is wearing under his britches?  One last one: (this one was said completely out of the blue and with complete sincerity.)Y. says  "I think I need to go to Idaho.  That is where all the cool stuff is."

I love my job. :)


Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Seuss-tastic Week!

This has been our first five day week since I don't know when!  Our focus was on Dr. Seuss.  Like many of you, I think I have enough Seuss stuff to last a few weeks.  I often felt like I was running a race trying to fit it all in!  Here are a few of the things we did this week.

Monday was our silly socks day to go with the book, Fox in Socks.
Tuesday was dress in red or stripes to go with the book The Cat in the Hat.

Wednesday was dress wacky to go with the book Wacky Wednesday.
 Gotta love backwards overalls!

I had to join in on the fun too.  (Photo taken by a student!)
Thursday was dress in your pajamas day to go with the book, I Will Not Get Up Today.

Friday we wore shirts from places to go with the book, Oh The Places You Go.

A few other things we did this week are:
Complete a goldfish graph to go One Fish, Two Fish:
(I will remember who posted this great graph soon!  Right now my brain isn't cooperating!)
We also made green eggs and ham

The last thing we did was explore oobleck from the book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck.  The kids were amazed and disgusted all at once!

It was an exhausting week - but we had a great time!