Tuesday, August 26, 2014

GoNoodle, Silent Stones and some MESSY FUN!

It's only Tuesday and I am EXHAUSTED!!!  My kinders are sweet, but WHEW, they wear me out!  

Today we had a lot of fun!  This week, I finally jumped onto the GoNoodle bandwagon and let me just tell you.  We are in LOVE! For those of you who don't know GoNoodle.  It's a FREE website that has a variety of brain break videos for you and your students.   We even got to choose our own mascot!  Too fun!  Meet Freckles Sinclair!  Isn't he ADORABLE?!  My kiddos love to earn points for Freckles every time we take a brain break.

I haven't fully explored the GoNoodle site and everything that is involved but my class approves so far!

We are fully into our learning goals this week.  The vast majority of my class is coming in this year without a lot of letter or word knowledge.  I am working extra hard to give them a good solid foundation.  This week we are completely our Early Literacy Assessment so we can gain a clear picture of where each student is.  Next week I am *hopefully* going to start pulling small groups here and there for some reteaching and reinforcement.  We are still working on centers and expectations but I REALLY want to start working more one on one!

One way I am trying to help my students gain a firm foundation in literacy is by using a multi-sensory approach.  We have been manipulating a variety of materials including pocket chart letters, magnetic letters, beads, etc.  We also take a musical/kinesthetic approach by singing our Heidi's Songs Sight Word Songs.  These are AMAZING!!!  My kid's love them!  You can check out her DVDs here!  Here we are doing the 'the' video!

For a tactile approach, we worked on this little project today.  The kiddos cut apart the letters, arranged them into our sight words, glued them down and then painted them!!! Soooo much fun and we hit a lot of skills. Some of my kiddos need a TON more practice cutting and following directions (fine motor control is a problem in general in my classroom) but with more activities like these I think we'll get there!!!

Finally, we are still working on classroom rules and expectations.  It's Kindergarten, we will be do this ALLLLL year right?  :)  Well, like I said before my kiddos are very sweet!  However, we are SUPER talkative.  (I can hear my mom saying 'Well they got the right teacher then!')  We are working on having a quiet voice when working at our tables.  Today I tried a twist on Quiet Critters - mainly because I don't have a lot of pom poms leftover from last year!  I used these little stones I've had for years.  I think they are meant to be at the bottom of a fish tank or flower vase?  

We called them Silent Stones.  Here's the deal.  Every child got one.  If they weren't following direction (i.e. talking) I walked by and picked up their stone and put it in my pocket.  When they were back on track, I gave it back.  If a student had their Silent Stone still at the end of the lesson - they got a treat!  They loved it and it was sooooo much quieter!  When you have 26 kiddos it's so important to get control over the talking before it gets out of hand!  

Well, that's our week so far!  I am working on some new things to provide more hands on practice for sight words.  I am very excited about them and I can't wait to share them with you!  Stay posted!




  1. My class has the same mascot :) Glad to hear your year is going great!


    1. Too funny! Thanks Tara! I hope your year is FAB! :)