Monday, January 28, 2013

No Sound In Space!~FREEBIE

For my kindergartners,
I've written a line-up chant to enhance our study of outer space!

If your class needs a bit of realignment (ha :-)!),
grab it for FREE at my TpT store!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Good Times In K!

--Author's Chair--
My class eagerly anticipates sharing their work each week.
They encourage each other with enthusiasm!
--Tiny Love Notes--

We estimated how many cups of ice would be needed to fill the jar.  (It held 12!)
We wondered if the ice would melt by the end of the day. (no)
I added food coloring to the jar and the room temperature worked its magic!

I *heart* these penguins.
The equations are identical because
these boys were working together.
As you can see, their penguins tell different stories; on the right, we are treated to a view of the digestion system.

---Romero Britto inspired art---
I drew a rough interpretation of Mr. Britto's gorgeous work 
and then printed it on yellow card stock.
The students were able to view his work online.
They were inspired by his designs.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fairy Tale Friends and a Freebie!

During the third week in January,
I teach a unit on the 16th century.
Our classroom is turned into a Kindergarten Kingdom!
New name tags are made for each child and they become princes and princesses
We learn a bit of fencing with inflatable swords, practice eating without forks or spoons, compare life today with life then, and, of course, master the art of bowing and curtsying!
As you can tell from my blog theme, I'm enchanted by fairy tales!

Last week, during our penguin study,
I introduced "Cinderella Penguin".
This book is a fun twist on a familiar story.
We are also adding on from ten!
The teen numbers are still tricky for us.
If you'd like to grab this freebie, click HERE
and download it at my TpT store.
Please consider leaving feedback and following me there!

I've also created a personalized reader for my kindergartners, using vocabulary words for our kingdom study.  It's just $1 and can be found HERE!
If you were off school today, 
I hope you had a fantastic mini-break!
I am watching Season 3 of Downton Abbey 
and loving every minute!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Listen...January OneWord Checkup

Image Origin

“Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.” 
― Eudora WeltyOne Writer's Beginnings

Extroverts dominate my class roster this year.  They are always ready to make their choices and thoughts known!  I have no trouble hearing them, but I must make a conscious decision to listen.

The social conversations of my class twist and turn like the tracks of a roller coaster.  This class also seems to enjoy arguing (different from debating).  I redirect topics, invite individuals to rocking chair heart-to-hearts, and shuffle seats.  As I've contemplated my OneWord--LISTEN--, I've taken closer notice of facial expressions and body language as children enter the classroom, learning to "hear" what they are saying with their entire beings.  I ask how their day has gone thus far and I am prepared to adjust my plan based on the answers.  No breakfast?  I'll probably move up our morning snack.  Overslept?  We'll begin our circle with a calming read-aloud.  Fighting with siblings in the carpool to school?  Hhmmm...I pray for peace.

This commitment to listening benefits the introverts as well.  I can more quickly see their discomfort and frustration with noise levels or chaos.  As a result, I'm moving furniture to create more quiet spaces, opportunities to work in pairs.  Are you listening more in 2013?  Do you have a OneWord?  Let me know how your month is unfolding!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Winter Wonders


Literacy Station Rotations
In the background, children are building a poem in the pocket chart and writing winter sentences at the table.
My friends on the red rug built that cozy spot
and chose the books for that area!
"My snowman melted!"
We talked about perspective before we worked on this activity.
I don't think everyone 'got it'!
Snowball Names
This activity makes me smile.
They look so happy, side by side.
Winter Trees~Art Lesson
Flexibility was required on my part:
blue paper was replaced by black when I
discovered a problem with the white paint.
Silver paint was abundant, thus the night scene!
We discussed the "Y" and "V" shapes in branches,
and the way that snow collects in the crook of a branch. 
Purple Sparkle Playdo
Winter Park, Colorado
My son snapped this pic on a quick trip before he
headed back to college.

Sunday Songs~Hold On

This was the first song playing during a video montage
at the funeral, last week.
I can't hear it without crying.
But it is so true, so beautiful.

Hold on to the One who made the stars in the sky.
Hold on to those you love.
Hold on to the little ones who call you "teacher".
Hold on to the staff that surrounds you.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Ideas Linky Party~A Guest Blogger

Hello there! We have linked up with Primary Possibilities and are so excited to be guest bloggers on Chrissy’s blog today!

I’m Dina and I am one of the bloggers over at The REAL Teachers of Orange County. Yes, our blog has a similar name as a popular reality TV series, but we can assure you, there is absolutely no drama on our blog. We are just two elementary teachers that were formally college roommates. We have both been teaching for about 6 years. My friend and co-blog author teaches kindergarten special education and I am an intervention teacher and work with many different grade levels. For the past several years I taught third grade and I share many ideas for that grade level on our blog as well.  We like to share ideas for all grade levels, so come on over and say hello!

Today I am going to share how I introduced addition with regrouping to my second grade math intervention group.  Before I begin, I have to give major props to all of you second grade teachers out there. When I taught third grade, I just took it for granted that my students knew how to regroup! I now realize that this is a tough concept to teach!

Before teaching this concept, I first did what any resourceful teacher would do – I googled. I came across this site, which had a great idea to use red and green columns when adding. This visual really helped my students remember where to begin when completing an addition problem.
Using this idea, I decided to make my own little version on the computer for the students to use. We first practiced the idea of regrouping using base ten blocks. The students knew that if the green box, or one’s column, and more than nine ones in it, then they had to regroup. We practiced this many, many times before I had them move on to addition with regrouping. 

I later put their regrouping chart in a page protector and had my students draw the base ten blocks with a dry erase marker. By this point they were very familiar with the concept of regrouping and it was so much easier to simply have them draw the manipulatives.

After they started to get the hang of it, they did this sorting activity with a partner where they had to decide whether they needed to regroup or not.
Here’s to hoping they remember how to regroup when we go back to school on Monday!

We will have the resources shown in this post for
free on our blog
You are welcome to stop by and download them!

What a great idea!!  Dina, thank you for guest blogging!  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Praying friends,
My son's best friend died last night.

Even as I type that sentence, I'm overcome with the knowledge that I am a very small pebble in the lake of grief surrounding the family.  But I ache for my boy, his beautiful friend--a truly great young man, and their fraternity.  At the dawn of adulthood, a cadre of brothers will face the hardest fact of life.

I'll be MIA while we walk through this as a family, plus navigating the return to school.
Thank you for your prayers.