Thursday, November 20, 2014

Five for Friday: November 21st

Happy Friday y'all!  I tell happy to see Friday!  It's been a busy week both at home and at school, and it's going to be a busy weekend!  This girl is going to need her coffee!!!  Here are some things that have kept me busy!

We got into our Thanksgiving theme this week.  We read this sweet story before making an anchor chart of things we are thankful for.  

Seriously, my kids are the sweetest.  I love them.  

We used this anchor chart to write and illustrate some things we are thankful for.  We used this graphic organizer to help organize our thoughts!

If you'd like to grab a copy of this to help your students, just click the picture below!  It's a FREEBIE!

This week we started REALLY working on CVC words.  The ability to phonetically stretch out a word, and blends sounds together into a word is CRUCIAL for reading success.  One of the ways we practiced is with my Mixin' It Up! CVC Style! puzzles!  Students cut apart a mixed up CVC puzzle, rearrange it at their table and glue the pieces in the correct place on their recording sheet.  They then read the word and write a sentence using the word.  I challenged my kiddos to use two sentences this time and they rocked it!  Check out their awesome work!

This week in math, we continued working on addition.  We use the math series Go Math.  There is a big emphasis on a deeper understanding of numbers and number relationships.  So we have delved into specific numbers and the multiple ways you can build them.  One of the things I knew I wanted to work on with my kids is the 'backwards' addition sentence introduced in our curriculum.  I just anticipated it being difficult, and I was right.  My kids were totally confused at first!  We worked this week on understanding the 'backwards number problem' - and we used number bonds to do so!

Since Wednesday was Mickey Mouse's birthday (he's 86 in case you were wondering - we just had to look it up!), we used Mickey in math!  We started with the total amount of stars (7) in the large circle.  We then moved some of the some to the left 'Mickey ear' and the rest of the stars to his 'right ear'.  The visual of having a total number and breaking it down (decomposing it!) into two groups was awesome!  My kids loved it!

Later in the week, we used the magic number 10 and decomposed it using chart paper.  It was so exciting watching my kids learn.  The started noticing pairs such 4+6 and 6+4 and how both equaled ten.  My kids told me "This is the best math ever!" #handsonisthebest

Since it was a long week, I definitely earned a break!  Wednesday I celebrated a girls' night with two of my favorites.  The best conversations happen with good friends and good wine right?!

Finally, this weekend we are jam packed.  Trivia night for our district's CTA Friday and a benefit for a friend's mother who is battling cancer on Saturday night.  Plus, I will be spending some quality time with this girl Saturday during the day.

My little sister is getting married y'all!  We are going wedding dress shopping and I am freaking out!  How is this possible?  She's not this old is she?  I'm going to try my best not to cry.  But I know I'm going to.  Whatever.  A little extra prayers are appreciated Saturday.  I'm going to need them!

Happy Friday!



Saturday, November 15, 2014

Liebster Award

I have been so very blessed in recent months.  When I began this blogging/TPT adventure, I was very nervous.  There is a certain vulnerability involved.  I'm not the center of attention type of person and I actually get a little uncomfortable when others talk to me about my blog.  So, needless to say, when I was told by Kathleen over at KidPeople Classroom that she was nominating me for a Liebster award, I was shocked.  And humbled.  And embarrassed.  And excited.  And basically a hot mess.  :)

Kathleen has some great information about the Liebster on her blog.  Click on her button above for some information about the award!

So here's the deal.  To accept the nomination, I need to:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me.
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer that 200 followers.
3. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator.
4. Write 5-11 random facts about myself.
5. Create 5-11 questions for my nominees.
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them.

So here you go!  Here are my answers to Kathleen's questions!

1. What one word sums up  the heart of your blog?
Fun!  I want my students to have FUN learning.  I hope to inspire others to do the same.  When students are having fun, they are more engaged and can learn so much more!

2. What is your favorite post, or your favorite category of post?
My apple posts are some of my favorites.  Apple week is one of my favorite weeks in Kindergarten.  We have so much fun and I think it shows in our work!

3. What one blog tip would you pass on to other bloggers?
Speak from the heart and be yourself.  People want to know who YOU are!

4. What one thing would you most like to learn?
How do you balance time?!  I feel like some weeks I am on it and other weeks I am scraping by finding time for everything.  How do you all do it?! 

5. What's your favorite holiday and why?
CHRISTMAS!!!! The giving, the singing, the smells, the happiness - I love it all!

6. How do you spend your summers?
Usually working and with my family.  The past couple of years I have worked during summer school.  I also try to soak in as much time with my girls as possible!

7. If you could live some place else, in some other time, where would it be?
Oooooh, this is HARD!  Some place in Europe in the early 1900s.  I love those classy times.  And Paris.

8. And I GOTTA ask this :) What idea on my blog is most useful to you?
I love Kathleen's recent post on how she handles parent/teacher conferences.  Such WONDERFUL ideas!   Check them out here!

I am asking these same questions to these amazing bloggers!





Alright ladies, here are your questions!

1. What one word sums up  the heart of your blog?
2. What is your favorite post, or your favorite category of post?
3. What one blog tip would you pass on to other bloggers?
4. What one thing would you most like to learn?
5. What's your favorite holiday and why?
6. How do you spend your summers?
7. If you could live some place else, in some other time, where would it be?
8. What idea on my blog is most useful to you?

I can't wait to hear your answers!  Congrats ladies!



Sunday, November 9, 2014

Peek at My Week - New things for November!

Linking up again tonight for a Peek at My Week with Deedee Wills!

It has been a productive weekend!  At the request of a lovely lady, I updated my Pumpkin Seed Letters set!  It now has lowercase letters as well!  The best part?  It's still FREE!  My kiddos tried it out this past week and loved it!  Grab it by clicking the link below!

I also added another magnetic center product!  I wanted to give my kiddos a fresh challenge with new words and seasonal pictures for them to create sentences with.  My Madi had too much fun!  

Grab it by clicking below!  It's still on sale until tomorrow night!

Finally, I created a new word work set to use this month!  Here's what is included!

Scarecrow Letters -  Students draw a letter card and match either:
- uppercase to uppercase
- lowercase to lowercase
- uppercase to lowercase
- lowercase to uppercase

Pumpkin Pie Beginning Sounds - Students will match pumpkin letters to pies with the beginning sounds.

Thanksgiving Ending Sounds - Students will identify the ending letter of a collection of pictures.

Tic Tac Toe - instead of X's and O's - students will use uppercase and lowercase letters or different word families to play!

Rhyming Leaves  Students will match leaves with rhyming pictures.

Mayflower Digraphs - Students will sort pilgrims under the correct Mayflower ship!

Turkey Match Up - Students will match the turkey to his feathers with the correct CVC word.  

Silly Turkey Sight Words - Students will match the silly turkey (mixed up sight words) to the correct turkey.

Roll, Say, Keep - This is the perfect game for small group.  Word cards are placed on a student's card.  The student rolls a dice and reads the word on that number.  If they can read the card, the card comes off and goes in the keep pile, if not, it stays.  The winner is the first player to clear all their cards off!

Whoosh! - Players take turns drawing a card from a cup.  If they can read the card - keep it, if not - put it back.  If a 'Whoosh!' card is drawn - the wind has blown away all of your leaves and you lose all of your cards!  

This set also has a BINGO template for you to write your own words - I like to have students fill in word wall words on any square they like then I call out words from the word wall.  

Finally, there is a Syllable Board Game.  Students roll the die, say the picture and count the syllables.  They will then move that number of spaces!  (No picture - #BLOGGERFAIL!)

You can grab this set on sale until Tuesday night!  Click the picture below to check it out!

I can't wait to use these activities with my kiddos!  We love playing games and having fun learning!  Here are some other plans I have for the week!  Click the plans below to download!  I've got a busy week ahead!  It's mid-quarter week plus I have a sub Friday.  We're taking my Madi to St. Louis Children's Friday to meet with ENT and discuss getting her tonsils out.  Wish me luck!

Lastly, I am so excited to share this blessing with you all!  I have been chosen to receive a Liebster award by the fabulous Kathleen over at Kidpeople Classroom!  

A Liebster is a blogging award given to new bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  You can find out more by reading this!  While I'm am still working on my questions and will be posting more about the Liebster this week - I wanted to say that I am so excited!  What a blessing!  Thank you Kathleen!

I hope you all have an amazing week!



Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Leaves Are Falling Down, The Leaves Are Falling Down...

Today was one of those magical days.  You saw the world through the eyes of your students.  You had fun.  You gave hugs.  You laughed.  You explored.  You learned.  You made mistakes.  You made messes.  You made memories.  Today was a day that I was reminded why I do I what I do. 

This week, we've been talking about fall - and specifically leaves.  We have learned SOOOOO much about leaves this week and my kids have been blown away by the information.  

Here is what we've been learning!  (Disclaimer - mini science lesson ahead!)  Did you know that there are actually many colors inside of leaves?  CRAZY!  We been learning why leaves change color and talking about a big word 'chlorophyll' - or tree food as we fondly call it.  :)  We learned that when fall comes, and the sun goes to bed earlier, the leaves don't have the sun they need to make food for the tree.  The food (or chlorophyll) is what makes the leaf green.  When it stops making food, the chlorophyll in the leaf goes away and the other colors are allowed to shine through - turning the leaf different colors.  We also learned that when a leaf stops making food, the tree doesn't need it anymore, so the tree stops giving the leaf water and its stem becomes weak (this is SO MEAN of the tree according to five year olds!) - which is why it falls off easily when the wind blows.  

To get some hands on experience with this information - we went outside today for some leaf exploration.  The tree in the front of our building was the PERFECT place to explore leaves.  There were leaves of every color on the tree and the kids got to see which ones 'still had food' and which ones didn't!  It was so cool to hear them notice and discuss information with their friends!

Each child collected five leaves (or more!) and we went inside.

We sorted our leaves by color and glued them onto butcher paper.  What great discussion!  They loved noticing all of the colors!  It was so heartwarming to hear "What a beautiful leaf!"  :)

Tomorrow, we are going to finish sorting the rest of our leaves by size!  I can't wait!

During guided reading groups, we had a chance to play my new sight word/letter game "Whoosh!"  My group had a BLAST!  The goal is to pull out a card and read it.  If you can, it goes in your pile, if not, it goes back into the bucket.  If a 'Whoosh!' card is pulled, the wind comes and takes all your cards.  We set the timer and played for a certain amount of time.  The player with the most cards wins!  So fun!

This game is part of a new fall game set that I should be posting soon! ;)

As a whole group, we practiced our sight words with a song and some movement.  I wrote words onto some leaf cutouts and placed them in a blanket.  

 We then walked in a circle and sang a fall song.

"The leaves are falling down,
the leaves are falling down.
Everywhere I look around,
the leaves are falling down."

We then popped the leaves in the air and each child had to find one and read the word.  Too fun!

To end the day, we did a little art project thanks to this idea from Pinterest!  I took some shaving cream, added some fall colored paint and swirled it around.

We then took leaves the kids cut out and pressed them into the shaving cream.

After letting it sit for a minute or two, I used a squeegee to take the excess shaving cream off.  The kids just LOVED how they turned out - I did too!  What a beautiful class tree we have now!

What a fabulous day of learning, fun and fall!