Sunday, June 30, 2013

TicTacToe Linky & Last Day for Giveaway

Today is the last day for the giveaway for following my via bloglovin' (see end of post). Join me tomorrow for the winner, some updated units & a freebie for the 1st of July. Until then, I'm...

Joining up with Flying into First Grade because her Linky is back! This one is a tic-tac-toe. You talk about 3 categories in a row. I'm picking a diagonal.

My Favorite Grade to Teach & Why
So easy....KINDERGARTEN. Love it!
Why? It is where I belong. I love the kids that come in with skills & the kids who have never used scissors, the kids who are ready to climb & the kids ready to soar, the kids who would rather be playing & the ones who have jealously watched siblings board that big yellow bus, and every one in between. I love growing with my kinders. And yeah, I love song times and read-alouds and moving all day long. I love teaching phonemic awareness skills and basic math. What is not to love!

My Favorite School Memory as a Kid:
To pick a favorite, you'd have to give me an age group. I have a wide variety of experiences that have molded me into the person I am. Some definitely weren't my favorite at the time but I grew from them. When I recently went seining with my kinders, I was reminded of my elementary years but I'll pick a literary one. When I was in 4th grade, I participated in the program Jr Great Books. We were pulled out into the Media and read stories in these little paper readers. I remember loving to read the stories and talk about them in the group. Of course in 3rd grade, I would work on my SRA cards while trying to participate in all 3 reading groups from my seat (much to my teacher's amusement).

Dream Vacation:
Right now, anywhere I can take my 3 kids for longer than a weekend. I'd love to take them on Disney cruise (Disney for them and lots of water for my husband and myself). If I had a month, it'd be Italy or Ireland.

Follow me on Bloglovin' and enter below. Ends tonight.
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Friday, June 28, 2013

Counting Kids, Calendar Pieces and Friday Freebie

Five For Friday - Summer Time

1 This weekend, I had my first sunburn and it is peeling...let's just say I am over 30 and should know better. :)

2 We loved visiting the grandparents at the beach. I got my exercise chasing the little one from sand to waves to sand. And how cute was it when she grabbed a boogie board and headed down the sand for the surf.

3 That little one has decided to use a spoon and fork for every meal ...and off everyone's plate.

4 I have been working on this same project since the weekend off and on.
In making Alpha Kids Games and Printables and Counting Kids Write the Math Room, I started a dozen different activities with the graphics. I've had a terrible time
deciding on colors and patterns. Of course, my children all pick different ones and my husband says make them all. All the free papers Ashley has had this week just add to my delightful confusion. So after more versions of Counting Kids Calendar Pieces than I should count (some counting kids printables and posters), I switched to August/September Calendar Pieces with you guessed it - more Ashley Hughes graphics. Enter school supplies (including a set with weekday and weekend pieces) and spotted apples. Watch for the Football Kids later on as well.

5 It is the Freebie.....a calendar piece set in the preview download. Enjoy this sampler. AB Pattern with pencils on a star background.

Don't forget to check out the other TBA freebies, Doodle Bug's Five for Friday, Ashley's giveaway & the rafflecopter on Wednesday's post.



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Whole Group Linky and Bloglovin Giveaway


I am not a big picture taker and I don't think I have ever taken a picture of my classroom...but I am a big talker. After reading the delightful link-ups in this party, I'm bringing my gab to talk a little about whole group.

Math - I love whole group Math. I know people love their Math tubs and workstations and don't get me wrong I like those, too. But there is just something about gathering in a circle on the carpet and revealing a new game or concept, that draws the little bodies into the circle to see better and enthralls them with a partner game. We have a carpet with assigned carpet squares but we also sit in a circle on it. I
 will sit in one spot in the circle. I try to move that spot around to avoid the "I want to sit next to the teacher" argument and sometimes sit next to that child who was trying to sit as far away from me as possible. Then just a few manipulatives come out and we start to learn. I often teach new games for Math workstations/centers here.
I sit in the center of the circle and pass out materials to pairs around the circle and they all play right there. I can see everyone - monitor that they know the rules, are taking turns, correct any math misconceptions, and informally assess. This also helps me decide on groups and who needs re-teaching or extension. They are always engaged here. Later, they will play away from me with a different partner but for now it is whole group time. With common core this year, we started doing some great warm-ups on the carpet as well. We did simple things like sit in a circle and roll the gigantic die and add ten (or 1 or 2) to whatever we got and more manipulative heavy with part-part-whole plates, cubes and whiteboards.
Sometimes, my whole group Math is at the end of Math time so I can pre-teach during workstations. Sometimes that whole group is at our tables. I love shake, shake, drop games for teaching the parts of numbers. You get some two sided counters and a mat or worksheet and shake it. This is neater when done at the tables and we use the doc camera to project one friend's answer. When comes to solving math story problems, I alternate it. Sometimes, it is manipulatives at the tables and others it is whiteboards on the carpet. I like doing these in whole group so I can walk around and see their problem-solving and they can explain to a buddy and they can explain to the class. We also do all of this in small group setting, too.

I should totally stop here...There must be some bloggy rule about how long you ramble.

I am catching up with the social media side of things. I am on BlogLovin' & you can follow me there- see the link on the side. I already had a Facebook account just for bloggy teaching stuff but today I created a Kinder Myles Facebook Page (or so I think). I'm still working on the buttons and cover. :)

So here is the deal...I am linking up with Collaboration Cuties linky. I am hosting a giveaway for following me on Bloglovin' and like this post. Then enter your bloglovin' username in the rafflecopter.
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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kids, Kids & Kids

In the midst of summer vacation with my own children, I have been working with Ashley Hughes' Kids graphics to create a line of products for the beginning of the year and Friends unit.
Alpha Kids Playing Cards & Game Boards (with printables)  and Counting Kids Write the Math Room are both up on TPT. More to come as well as Animal Alphabet cards and updates to the puzzles. Be sure to check out the description on the AlphaKids Cards & Games for all the variations available in the pack.

June 24-30: Tons of awesome deals, prizes, and offers at The School Supply Addict!  Stop by to partake in the ridiculousness.
Be sure to follow Ashley's blog and facebook page for her giveaways this week. She has great freebies and giveaways right now.

Enjoy your week!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pixie And A Summer Sale

It is Summer...and Friday!

My school year officially ended with a clean-up and organize day on Monday. I love this time to sort and clean but it does wear you out....and I could have used 2 days. :)

So how have I been spending this week...not sleeping in. I have been working on the technology connections for our school district - creating, linking, & updating. This is a lot of fun for me. I have a serious love of clipart/graphics (don't we all) and enjoy making printable games and activities. But once a year, I switch modes completely and design things for Kidspiration, SmartBoard and this year....Pixie. I am in love with working in Pixie. It is easy to get the hang of and will be easier for students and staff to learn than some programs. That is not to say, it doesn't have its pitfalls (which I think we found all of). There are things that PPT and SB do that Pixie doesn't but it took me back to the days when we designed sorts/activities in KidPix for computer lab time. We also find and link to great websites with activities for the kinders. Finding things to meet the comprehension side is a lot harder. Any favorites?

Can you guess which picture below?

My daughter's birthday is coming up. Monsters U opens...we are totally seeing this soon. It is the first day of Summer. I'm running a sale for the weekend.

Have a great week!


Friday, June 14, 2013

5 for Friday and a Freebie

It is time to link up to Freebie Friday and Five For Friday.

1. It was the students' last day today. It totally snuck up on me. Bittersweet to see them go and exciting how much they have grown this year. Plus, my son has passed me up and is no longer in Kindergarten.
2. It is spring cleaning in June. Every day after school this week I have been working on organizing my cabinets and trying to fit my books in closets so the custodians can move the furniture to clean the floors. I actually love this time because I never seem to get the time to organize during the school year.
3. Ashley Hughes is having a DOTD and I picked up a few things - not as much as I'd like :) But I did make a freebie... Alpha Kids Cards - These playing cards can be used to match capital and lower case letters or with a board game. Have the students pull a letter and identify something that starts with that letter. They could be used with a mini word wall or magnetic letter center. I spent forever deciding which color outfits went with what backgrounds before I decided. I love this pattern. Click here.

4. Animal Alphabet Puzzles
Pink Cat Studio made an add-on to her animal clipart so there was an animal for each of the letters of the alphabet. W was whale which we use for wh. I emailed her and she was so nice. She added walrus in for w. I made puzzles for each letter of the alphabet that are up on TPT. I have been working on cards and some other puzzles with this set as well.
5. Not A Stick - We read this book in class and made our own drawings using craft sticks to not-a-stick. It was so much fun. The students really enjoy the book and came up with a lot of fun ideas.
Have a great weekend. Time for me to rest and get ready for more Spring cleaning Monday.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Seining and Bean Bag Toss

5 For Friday

This has been a jam packed week at school. Half our kinders went on a fieldtrip on Monday and the rest of us on Tuesday. 2 of my kinders had birthdays. We had a school ice cream celebration for behavior. We evaluated our artwork from this last unit....and Field Day. Not to mention the cleaning and inventorying because we have 1 more week left.

Fieldtrip & Seining
After much begging, we had enough chaperones and activity leaders for our field trip to a local girl scout camp our school district uses for environmental literacy. The kinders played bug bingo, dug for bugs in the woods, learned about tree life cycles and parts, rode in a row boat, learned about trees and erosion and watched me seining. Yup. I was an activity leader for one of the stations. After we made it rain on models of land with and without roots, a volunteer and myself went out seining in waders. The kinders loved watching us pulling in the net and seeing the little fish and shrimp. They all got to touch them and try to carry them to tanks for more observation. It was a long day but I loved all the small group teaching.

Bean Bag Category Toss
Due to our outdoor field day being rained out, our K-1 hall had  indoor events. Mine was beanbag toss. I labeled 3 hula hoops in different colors. Each hula hoop had 2 category options (animals/people, food/places, or things/transportation). I laid the hula hoops out so that they were different distances from the edge of the carpet. In the closet hoop, went a small shallow container. The farthest had  a plastic box and in the middle hoop a taller container. The students took turns selecting a bean bag & identifying something that started with that letter and which category it fit into. A student may pick out a Kk bean bag. They'd say "k is for kayak" and toss it in the container in the purple hoop labeled transportation. The kinders and firsties were able to move from room to room but they picked up the game quickly and some stayed for a long time. It would be a great game to teach parts of speech as well by labeling the hoops: nouns, verbs and adjectives. I practiced ahead of time with my class using a spinner on the SmartBoard which made it more difficult because they were assigned a category. We were so busy that I totally forgot to take pictures but I could be a carnival caller. Its a great activity to play in your class and easy to differentiate.

We decided to learn a new song One Small Voice and after 2 times through they were all singing and signing. So we called the office and asked if someone wanted to hear us. By dismissal, my class had performed the song 5 times and were randomly singing it as they worked at their seats. It was just one of those things. Our unit is about expressing ourselves and mainly we have worked with Art not a variety of music. They found a way to express themselves as a class. each year, I find classes pick songs they really like to sing and we try to find something to do with them.

Family Time
We had a family trip to the National Zoo. Those 3 in the middle are mine. :)

With all this, I didn't put together a Friday Freebie this week :( but check back to last Friday's Father's Day Reader and of course June 1st's Ice Cream Review.
Enjoy your week!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Freebie on the First of June

Wow. It is June. Time for Freebie on the First and Five for Fraturday. :)

ONE - Freebie. Let's start out with dessert. I have a free set of review games where the students match the scoops of ice cream onto cones. This little sampler has short vowel picture match, fact families within 5 and some sight words we've used at the end of the year. Download from Google Drive here.

We are studying different types of Art. We learned about tessellations and designed our own using pattern blocks. We found some great sites to use on our Smartboard but you can use with just a mouse. Check out Tessellation Town and PBS Let's Tessellate.  Then we used Illuminations Dynamic Paper to create sheets which we printed and colored in patterns using markers.
We also did coordinate graphing from Making Learning Fun and then designed our own pictures using square grid paper (kinda like a tile mosaic). Yes, it was a challenge for some of us but we are enjoying finding new ways to make things.

This week, we used the Hidden Sight Words by Heidi's Songs. What a great way to practice sight words and visual discrimination. Since it is a given in our class that the back of our breakfast work gets a sentence, we had some great mini-lessons on writing. When we did the word said, we focused on quotation marks. She said quotation mark blah blah blah blah quotation mark. We also had a mini-lessons on was and were. We decided which pronouns went with which verb. Then the class wrote sentences using was and were - which of course meant "ing" popped up. Our writing is growing by leaps and bounds.

Just 2 more weeks of school including our fieldtrip to the woods and field day fun. :)

Don't forget to check out Friday's freebie as well.
Enjoy your June.