Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"This Plus That" Addition and Dr. Seuss FREEBIE!

My school celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday today through a school-wide event we called "Wacky Wednesday."  Oh what fun it was!  Each class had a guest reader, many from the community.  Our reader was our school principal - also known as "The Cat in the Hat!"

He read my kiddos And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss' first published book.

After the story was over, my students used this mentor text as an example in order to create their own classroom book, which we titled And to Think That We Saw It on Wisconsin Street since our school is located on Wisconsin Street.

(By the way...I would be happy to post this book cover on TPT.  However, it is specific to the street my school is located on.  I can certainly give you the Word document to edit, if there is any interest.)

The students completed this writing activity by first writing the high-frequency words "I see a..."  Next, the students had to think of and write a rhyming phrase in order to complete their sentence.  For example, one student wrote "I see a fish in a dish" and another studnet wrote "I see a dog on a log."  Finally, the students illustrated their pages.  I combined the pages in order to create a classroom book, which I have displayed in our hallway.

If you would like a copy of this writing template FREEBIE, go to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store by clicking HERE!

One of the awesome Kindergarten teachers I work with had her kiddos make these "-at" family word "Cat in the Hat" hats last year and then I saw the idea again on Pinterest.  Click HERE to go to that pin!

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My Kinders loved their hats, but they especially LOVED when we painted whiskers and a red nose on our faces (though you cannot tell from this picture...sad).

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My students recently wrapped up their "Addition" unit in Math class.  I was so excited when the book This Plus That: Life's Little Equations by Amy Krouse Rosenthal arrived at my doorstep.  I love using this book to teach the idea of adding and joining groups!!  I originally saw the idea for this lesson on Pinterest.  Want to check it out?  Click HERE!  The idea came from Literacy and Laughter.

My students brainstormed and shared their own "this plus that" addition sentences and we wrote them on chart paper.

Then, my kiddos went back to their desks to work on writing and illustrating their own "this plus that" addition sentences.  Here are a few especially interesting ones!

cat + dog = fight

you + me = us

boys + girls = kids

chocolate + milk = chocolate milk

The baby in my belly prompted me to write this one:  Oreos + milk = yummy snack

I highly recommend posting your district targets or standards whenever you hang something in the hallway or your classroom.  It is easy for us teachers to see the academic connection in these fun activities, but it may not be so easy to figure out for visitors in your school.

That is it for now!  As always, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fishin' Addition and a FREEBIE!

My kiddos have been learning how to add these past couple of weeks.  I am so PROUD of how far they have come in such a short time.  One day this week, we read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss.  This was a perfect introduction to Dr. Seuss because my school will soon be having a school-wide Dr. Seuss celebration, called "Wacky Wednesday."

Anyway, after we read the story and talked about rhyming words, each child was given a printable, a die, and a cup of these colorful Goldfish crackers.

Here is what my kiddos did:

1 - They rolled the die (we used dice with dots, but you could also use number dice), counted the dots, wrote that number in the first box, and then placed that many crackers in the first box.

2 - The students repeated this procedure, this time placing the crackers in the second box.

3 - The students then added the two groups of goldfish together (by counting, if necessary) and then wrote the sum in the third box.

4 - I had my kiddos practice this over and over and over again before they were able to eat the crackers!

If you would like your own copy of this FREEBIE that we used in our classroom, visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking HERE!

Jen over at The Teacher's Cauldron created a packet that incorporates the use of the colorful Goldfish crackers.  If you are interested in reading her post or purchasing her packet (for only $1 by the way), click HERE!

As always, thanks for stopping by!  :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Presidents Day Writing and TWO FREEBIES!

So our writing topic this week is "Description of a Person."  I love open-ended topics like this... lots of options!  I decided to incorporate some Social Studies by talking about Presidents Day and our country's leader, President Barack Obama.

Here is what we did today:

1 - First, I hung a large color portrait of Barack Obama on the whiteboard.  I found this little gem a couple of years ago at a local store called Merchandise Outlet.  I gave each student a Post-It note (to ensure that each child had an opportunity to speak) and when they were able to think of a description of our President, I wrote it on their Post-It note.  The kids stuck them around the portrait.  This was like our pre-writing brainstorming session.

2 - Next, the students and I worked together to move their Post-It notes on to our writing tree map and place them under the most appropriate branches.  If you would like your own copy of these labels, click HERE to visit my TPT Store and grab this FREEBIE!

3 - Then, I passed out our clipboards, mini pencils, and copies of the writing tree map.  (There mini golf pencils are perfect for little Kindergarten hands, by the way.)

4 - Finally, I removed one Post-It note at a time and guided the students in writing the description on their own copies of the writing tree map.  If you would like your own copy, click HERE to grab this FREEBIE at my TPT Store!

As you can see, we did not finish writing all the descriptions today.  Unfortunately, we have early release tomorrow and no school on Monday (due to profesional development), so this writing activity will have to wait until Tuesday!

I hope you are able to use this activity in your own classroom to compliment your Presidents Day lesson.  Thanks for stopping by!  :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

100th Day of School Celebration and a FREEBIE!

Our "100th Day of School" celebration was on Thursday... oh what fun!  The parent-involvement activities in the morning went so smoothly and the kids had a blast.  The afternoon, especially post-cookies and juice, was a little crazy but overall the kids had an enjoyable day.  :)  I heard the words "Thank You" probably a hundred times, so that warmed my heart.

By the way...I know most of you have already celebrated your "100th Day of School" this year, so if you like an idea you see, be sure to save it for next year!  I like to store my ideas in Pinterest, as I am totally a visual learner.

Here are some photos of the day:

This is Station #1, set up and ready to go!  If you would like to read my earlier post about how we run stations in our room on the "100th Day of School," click HERE.

Our classroom educational assistant remained at Station #1, while I mostly stayed in Station #2 the majority of the time.  The kids need help with the crowns the most, while the other activities can be done independently or with parent volunteers.

Update: I have created a 100th Day of School Stations pack that includes a much cuter version of my station signs than what you see below.  Check out what is all available in the pack by hopping over to my TPT store!

Here are some close-up photos of my kids counting and working hard!

You can hardly seem them, but in the jar with the black lid are some little pre-assembled bows.  A coworker of my husband graciously shared many of her crafting items with me and my students.  The bows were PERFECT on the crowns, as they are light-weight and easy to glue.  They made such a nice addition to our crowns this year!

Station #3 - Students used paint dabbers / Bingo markers to find and identify the numbers 1 to 100 in chronological order and then make a "gumball" in the jar by stamping the number.

I created my own "100 Gumballs" printable, which is now available in my pack.

Station #4 - Students count objects (borrowed from me or brought from home) on a hundreds chart.

Station #5 - Students work together to put together a 100 piece puzzle.  When it was time to get started, I laid that white tarp-looking thing out on the table so the puzzle did not fall through the cracks between the student desks.  My kids finished the Toy Story puzzle!  I had to break out another one.  Thanks to the Dollar Tree, I was ready.  :)

Station #6 - Students stack 100 objects to make a tower.  This year, I set out pennies and poker chips.  I think next year, I am going to put out more of a variety.

Station #7 - This station is actually an "if you finish early" station.  Our timing was spectacular this year, which is wonderful... but because of our great timing, no students had extra time to go to this station.  The kids were disappointed and I felt bad.  I am thinking next year, this station will replace one of the other stations or maybe we will do this activity whole group in the afternoon.

Anyway, the kids make a necklace out of 100 loop cereal.

How cute!  These are what the crowns look like when they are complete and put together.

The day before the "100th Day of School" celebration, I had to attend an all-day meeting.  I really hate to be out of my classroom, but it was not so bad because one of my friends / newly-retired teachers subbed in my classroom.  I always feel better knowing she is there!  Anyway, with her, the kids created 100 year-old portraits.  This was a Pinterest-inspired activity, originally from Finally in First. 

The kiddos were supposed to crinkle up the paper before gluing it down to create "wrinkles," but they must have forgotten about that part in all the excitement!

I have a really hard time just letting my kids create art projects, so I, of course, added a writing piece:  "When I am 100 years old, I will..."  If you would like this FREEBIE, click HERE to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

So I tried something new this year:  I dressed up like a 100 year-old woman!

Next year, I will need to add a lot more baby powder to my hair or wear a white wig, because many people / teachers just thought it was mismatched clothes day or something, haha!  I also need to find a cane.

P.S.  I am 6 months pregnant, though it is difficult to see in this picture, so the teachers were having a ball laughing at the 100 year-old pregnant woman!  :)

My kiddos loved this activity that we did in the afternoon!  I hid 100 Hershey Kiss candies around the classroom when they were at lunch.  When they returned, I turned on some music as they hunted for 100 Hershey Kisses.  I stayed near the poster because they had to identify the number each time they laid down a candy.

This was a Pinterest-inspired idea, originally from Kindergarten Hoppenings.

I found these awesome napkins and matching plates at a local discount store last year.  I was so disappointed when I went back this year and they were not there!  Luckily, I had a few left over to use this year.

Okay, if you read through this whole post, you definitely deserve another FREEBIE.  Click HERE to visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store and pick up your own copy of a short and sweet "100" poem.

That's all folks!  Thanks for stopping by!  :)