Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blooming In K!

~Art Project~
I copied the flower templates on heavy watercolor paper.
The children used watercolors to decorate the flowers.  Originally, I planned to cut the flowers
and use them in a vase collage.
When placed on the board, the vibrant colors just popped
and I couldn't bear to cut them apart!
~Art Project~
Have you tried "bleeding tissue"?
We used this material to decorate our butterfly templates.
It's a bit messy, but worth thef colorful stains on your hands!

~Peeps Experiment~
Each child soaked a peep in water or cola.
We made predictions about the Peeps.
The did expand!

~Paper Scrap Bugs~
The bug needed a head, thorax, abdomen,
eyes, wings, antennae, and six legs.
You should have seen the paper explosion in my classroom!

~Real Bugs!~
The middle school science teacher allowed us to
borrow her bug collection.

We thought the smell was....interesting.

~Buggy Addition~

~Read To Self~
This picture makes me smile!
 Academic growth in kindergarten is
visible at this time of the year!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bellas Mariposas

We touched one of these cockroaches....EEK!

"Butterfly", by Lisa Loeb, was our go-to song this week!  Mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly and is a beautiful part of this song. The kindergartners try to use Spanish in conversation;  Spanish is a special for all students at my school.  

You can find the album, Catch The Moon, on iTunes.  The sound quality in this video is excellent.  Isn't she adorable?  :-)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

HoneyBunch Contest

I seriously want to win this contest, 
so I had to think twice about advertising it to the world!

The Honey Bunch ladies are hosting a contest!  
Click the button to link up (share your favorite April Fool's joke/prank/story) 
and grab your chance to win.

I took the written driver's exam on April 1st, in a different century, and I FAILED!  
When I tearfully shared the news at school, no one believed me.  
Everyone thought I was pulling a prank.  
But, no.  I really, truly, bombed the test.  
Redemption came when I received a 
perfect score on the second try.  
My son didn't believe this story, either...
until he failed it, too!

What's your story?!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Butterflies~& A Freebie!

This week, we are taking flight with a butterfly theme! 
I'll be back later with pictures of our learning; 
I hope you will have a spot in your plans for this activity! 

"BUTTERFLY" write-the-room

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Writing~Freebie!

The border on the document is from a free download!  
Check out Graphics From The Pond on TpT!

On Easter

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Notes From The Testing Trenches

The kindergartners survived standardized testing.  I believe it was their sense of naiveté and absolute trust in my ability to chart their course that kept the smiles on their faces.

Mostly naiveté.  Maybe the tootsie rolls, smarties, and popsicles.

I, on the other hand, bit the inside of my mouth until it was raw.  And I laughed with disbelief at the phrasing of certain questions.  My insides twisted with frustration as I watched children choose the wrong answer....children who get it right 99% of the time!!  We prayed before each subtest--a privilege I do not take lightly.  
The tagline of the year, "May the odds be ever in your favor!"
also seemed appropriate.

This year, I'm giving awards in several categories.
Disclaimer:  Questions have been tweaked to protect the integrity of the testing process and to save me from my own ignorance.
Most Muddled Question:  "Timmy wants to buy a toy at the store.  What does Timmy not need to know in order to buy a toy?"  
 a) a thermometer...b) a pile of coins...c)a toy with a price tag...d)another toy with a price tag    
Facial expressions were priceless as students pondered why I had stopped speaking.  "Where is the rest of the story, Mrs. P?"  Some of the kiddos chose the toy that they liked the least.  Some of them picked the thermometer.   Next year, I must add a thermometer to my classroom wish list.  

#1 "Help Me!" Question:  This one was all about quarters, adding them together using only the numerals; a skill that has not and will not be introduced in our math series!  Next year, I must add a shopping component to my lesson plans!

Worst Breakfast:  Cookies.  Every morning this week.  I asked, "C., was it a protein packed, whole grain, fiber-filled cookie?".  The child replied, "Nope.  Just plain old chocolate chip."  Next year, I will invest in cheese sticks for morning snacks.

Worst Question, IMHO:  There is really no way for me to camouflage this question.  It was about Jesus (Yes, there is a special Bible test....which covers the entire Bible...for kindergartners.) and certain identifying moments in His earthly ministry.  When I later shared the correct answer, many children literally smacked themselves on their foreheads.  Little Miss N. just sunk to the carpet and gave a deep sigh.
Truthfully, I don't think there is anything I can do about this one.

Best "It Worked!" Strategy:  Yippee, the 'balanced approach to literacy' paid off for my class in a BIG way!  I scored their reading subtests (I know, the scores aren't completely accurate, given that I am not factoring in the birthdays, etc.  But this is still relevant and exciting!) and discovered that no one missed more than 4 questions out of 40.  Considering the fact that 80% of the class will not turn six until the summer, I think they are going to score fairly well!  THANKS to all of you, for sharing your creativity and passion through blogging.  I know that your insights have enriched my teaching!

Is testing in your future?  
Grab a copy of "You Are A Smartie"!  
My students were delighted with each note and treat.

Happy Easter!  Happy Passover!