Sunday, September 25, 2011

Math Practice - FREEBIES!!

O.K - it is 10:30 on a school night and I just got home from taking my baby girl to see
OMG!!!  It was awesome and if you ever have a chance to go see it, GO!!!!!!!!!!  I have to admit, it was more fun watching Whitnee watch!!  Seeing her face when she made connections... "the TIN MAN!!!!!" O.K - I won't give anymore of it away - but really - go see it!  I know those of you who have already seen it will back me 150%!!! :)  Since I can't give anymore away about Wicked, I think I will give away some math practice sheets I have made for various reason.  Sounds good right?? LOL The following sheets I have used for various reasons with in the last couple weeks - homework, classwork, informal  assessment.  I hope they might help you!!

Click on each picture to get yourself a copy!
I hope you have a great Monday!  
We are Celebrating Colors this week with help from Brown Bear Brown Bear and Pete the Cat!!  I can't wait to use all the cute and fun stuff my fellow bloggers have created!!!  I will share pics of our fun later this week!!  

Monday, September 19, 2011

A little of this, a little of that...

Hey friends!!!!
It seems like it has been forever since I last posted....wait...IT HAS... and for that I am very sorry.  Things have been hopping over at the Polka Dot Patch and I feel like time is never on my side!!  Can anyone relate???  Ha Ha!! :)  I have some random things to share so just hang with me... 

We have been talking about Solids and Liquids in Science so I was so excited to try Deanna Jump's Ice Cream activity!  I was anticipating a HUGE mess, but it really wasn't too bad and the kids LOVED it!  Here are a few pics I managed to snap - with sticky hands and all!!

Here is the liquid after we mixed all of our ingredients!

Here is how our liquid turned into a solid!!  Shake it up, shake it up!!!!

WOW!!  We have ICE CREAM!!! :)  YUMMY!! 

We then drew a picture of our experience in our Science Journal and then completed the Venn Diagram that Deanna included with her activity.
You can find this activity in her Farm Unit and also in her Science Experiments Vol 1 - both found in her  TpT Store.  :)

Classroom Management
A few weeks back, Kim Adsit posted about some of her classroom management tricks and tips on her fantastic new blog, Kindergals.  She shared how she uses "Happy Rocks" to reward her students for various things that happen through out the day.  I LOVED this idea and knew that I had to give it a try!!  Here is my version of the "Happy Rocks" Jar and I added my own twist...The Happy Rock House - where the Happy Rocks wait! :)  
You can see in the background that I also used her other trick from that same post - The students do not like it when they loose an animal. 

I use the Smiley/Frowney technique from Whole Brain Teaching, and I was using a laminated smiley/frowney face chart but got tired of erasing and the dry erase marker not coming off all the way - it looked way yucky - so I came up with this...
This was easy to make and I find it easier to use then what I was doing before.  :)  FYI - These are lids from the pint size paint cans that I use when I make pencil holders and what not.  I have a TON of them and have been trying to find ways to use them!! :)

And finally... I needed something to document the progress my children were making or not making in their name writing.  I created this document to help in that!  
Inspired by Kim Adsit... again... :) I have several different "Clubs" that the children can gain membership into when they accomplish different tasks - and one of them being writing their name CORRECTLY! :)  In the morning during their morning work routines, if they are not a member of the Name Club they have to get to practice their name writing.  :)  On the front of the book I wrote their name correctly so they would always have a model,  and so I don't have to write their name for them everyday.  I made enough copies of the second page  for at least a month (one a day) and staple 3 times across the top - and there you go!  It has a place for them to write the "Secret Code" (date) and they have 5 chances to practice and then one more at the bottom to write it the very best they can.  Once I see that they can consistently write their name correctly, I take their name tag and post it on my cabinet with the other club members.  We have only been using this document for a few days so I will let you know how it works out for us!  
Click the first picture below to download.

Here is the sign I use on my cabinet for the Name Club - there are some other signs included in this download that I made at the same time - one is for the title for my Clip Chart and the other is a title for a rubric I post for adding details to our pictures. 

I hope everyone has a great week and if you lasted this long - thanks for sticking with me through all the randomness tonight.  :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

How about a little bit of Science...??

The county that I work for has put a HUGE emphasis on Science this year!  It is for good reason, (science being the second indicator for AYP) but a little much for kindergarten in my opinion.  We do science all the time but it is usually integrated into reading and math - so I am finding it hard to have a separate science time daily - but I am slowly learning and getting used to the idea.  This year we are required to spend 40 minutes daily on Science and log the minutes and what we teach.  To be accountable for these minutes our children have Science Interactive Notebooks (Science Journals) to show that we did in fact teach what we logged.
You can find the Journal cover HERE!
Where do I even begin... :) 
I love the "Journal" idea - so much so, that we have a Math Journal, a Morning Work Journal, a writing Journal and now a Science Journal!!  6 weeks into school and we have all pretty much learned most of us have learned how to find the first clean page in any journal!  Why is this skill always so hard to teach??  If there are any tricks to this PLEASE SHARE!!! :)  So our first entry into our notebooks was about the 5 Senses.  We did a simple picture sort Flip book and glued that baby right in the journal, added the "secret code" and ta da!!! Our first entry done!!  Well, that wasn't too bad - I think we can do this! :) 

 Another thing the county has asked us to do are Common Science Assessments for each Unit.  This shouldn't be too hard either.  I have some very creative and helpful colleagues on my team so together we should be able to do this with out any problems. Here is the first assessment that we gave along with the rubric we used.  One of those creative colleagues created the actual assessment for us and was happy to let me share it with you.  I did the rubric for us - TEAMWORK!! :) 
Click HERE for the assessment.

Click HERE for the Rubric.

I will update how our Science block is going throughout the year.  Next week are are doing Deanna Jumps solid and liquid activity - Making ice cream!! :)  That should be fun!!   

Now to kind of switch gears a little - I will be starting a Unit on the Farm next week and I am really excited!!  I kind of introduced the Farm on Friday and just asked some simple questions to see what kind of background knowledge they had.  Did you know that elephants live on the farm???  Needless to say we are going to learn A LOT in the next couple weeks!  
I have a very creative teammate and friend at school who really should start her own blog (hint hint Jayme Horner)!!!!  She creates some of the cutest stuff!  Along with making the 5 Senses Assessment, she made some cute math and literacy games for us to do during our Farm Unit.  I can't wait to use them and I know my kiddo's will love using them!!  Again, she was kind enough to allow me to share her work with you!

Here is a 
Barn/Haystack Ten Frame Matching Game(1-10):

Click HERE

and a Farm Animal Beginning Sound Match - you have to match the picture to the animal on the mat that has the same beginning sound. :)  

Click HERE

And she even made a Response sheet that is differentiated!  See what I mean?? Awesome!!! 
You can find it HERE

I'm feeling like I am forgetting to post something...but I'm hoping that I'm not!! 

Have a great Sunday!! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Classroom Funnies...

So, have you ever had one of those days where you just have to laugh or else you would cry???  I seem to be having more of those lately.... anyway, I just have to share a few somethings that made me smile and turned my day around.  I actually do have some science stuff(common assessments and Science Journal Cover) to share with you and  a few odds and ends(some cool farm activities one of my colleagues made for us)  but it is 11:50 pm and I just don't have the energy to get it organized to put up here...SOOOOOOOO it is going to have to wait until the weekend but I promise I will get to it!
So the county that I work in has reduced our physical education department so now we(teachers) are responsible for supplying our babies with some of the required PE hours our students are suppose to have - enter Teacher Led PE - now I know this is something that my teacher friends in California and I'm sure other places have been dealing with for awhile now - but for me, this is something new!  EEEK!  I'm am soooo not a PE teacher - that is my hubby - not ME!!  But I am trying to tackle this new responsibility the best that I can - ENTER Richard Simmons!!!  My para brought in a few Sweatin' to the Oldies tapes (she found at a thrift shop)for us to use during our "teacher led PE" time and let me just tell you the kids LOVED it!!!  I wish you could have seen how adorable they were dancing their patooties off to Richard Simmons!!!  They had the best time!! See - who doesn't love a little Richard sometimes!!  This totally brought a smile to my face!!  I know we can't do Richard every time we have teacher led PE but a little Sweatin' to the Oldies never hurt anyone right???  
O.K - the other funny happened today when we were taking our First Science Assessment(I will post this weekend) - The 5 Senses - They had to draw 2 things for each sense and so when I was going around and checking papers I was also taking dictation for what their pictures were suppose to be - :)  I was with one of my boys and we were on the sense of smell - he had a picture that I wasn't completely sure of but when he told me what it was - it totally cleared it up for me - I asked what it was that he drew that he could smell and he boo boo... what I asked??? And he repeated.....
How could I say anything??? - He was totally right - you can use your sense of smell for that one!!  I just had to laugh, praise him for at least coming up with one on his own and not using one of my examples - give him a hug and just giggle inside!!  Kids say the darndest things - especially in the middle of a test when your not even expecting it!!!  
Dog Boo Boo.... 
I had never even heard of boo boo being used in this context until I started teaching... sometimes I learn just as much from them as they do from me!  

If you made it this far, thank you for letting me share my smiling moments with you.  
When the business of school starts getting be down, I think about times like these that I share with my students and it helps me to remember why I do what I do!!