Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Quick Hello

Well, for the last three days I have worked in my classroom for a couple of hours each day and every night I have sat down and realized I never took a picture.  Today I organized my shelves/cabinets and threw a lot of stuff away.  I organized all of my books in my handy book baskets that I got from Really Good Stuff.  I found some great resources to use for word work and almost found the top of my desk.  It alwasy feels like a super slow process this time of year but, I know that if I take the time to do it now I will be happy later.  I will be MIA for a couple of days but will be back Monday hopefully with some classroom pictures.  For now, I am going to bed.  I have been sick going on three weeks now, I am on my second round of antibiotics and I had a shot yet I still can't hear out of my right ear and I still cough nonstop.  Needless to say I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Sorry this is such a short and uninspireing post.  I just don't have it in me tonight.  Say a prayer that I get better. SOON! I am supposed to sing on Sunday.... YIKES!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Daily 5 Chapter 6

I'm a little late on this one.  I had intended to take my book with me on vacation and link up while I was there and when I got to the cabin and went to get my book to read on the back deck I was sad to see that I forgot the book. So here goes....better late than never. Right?
Thanks to Crystal at Kreative in Kinder and Little Miss. Kindergarten.

Kreative in Kinder

Little Miss Kindergarten

1. Experimenting with words for learning and practicing a spelling pattern (brainstorm a list of ways you can do this)
I plan to start with letter recognition gradually introducing ways that we can work on our sight words in the same ways. I will start with letter matching games where kids can practice matching uppercase with lowercase letters.  I will use:
magnetic letters
white boards
Play Dough with stamps or where they can roll the dough to make letters
letter tiles
file folder games
and anything else I come across with on Pinterest ;)

2. Memorize high frequency words (How often do you introduce new words? Do your students have their own lists of words that they can work on? How will you keep track of words that they already know?
Being a Pre-K teacher I have not started HFW till around the 4th quarter.  However, this year another Pre-K teacher and I have decided to start earlier.  I will start with their names on the word wall and all number, color and shape words at first.  I have seen some great ideas where teachers have put words into groups and used sticker books where kids get stickers when they learn words and celebrate as a class when everyone in the class learns a list.  I would like to use these ideas in my room.

3. Generalize spelling patterns (brainstorm a list of ways you can do this).
At the beginning of the year I will be working on basic sight words.  Later in the year I will work on word families and use those spelling patterns. I will not get into phonemes and blends.

4. Adding to our knowledge and curiosity of unique and interesting words. (What is the best way to do this?)
As far as nonsense words go, I have not experimented with these at all and wouldn't even know where to begin.  Since I am just starting with sight words I think I want to focus on that this year and perfect that before trying something else.

Other things to think about:
· What materials do I already have?
I already have the materials that I listed above in question one.  I also have boxes/baskets to store them in and a shelf that I plan to keep everything on.
What materials would I like to get?
I wold love to have some more baskets/bins from Really Good Stuff to make everything uniform but for now I will use my hodge podge of storage containers since I have already bought new baskets for my library and book bins for my kids.

How will I store them?
I will use boxes/baskets to store each activity. Stamps, magnetic letters and tiles will have Ziploc bags to hold them so that students can grab a bag and take it to their work space.
· Where will students work?
Students will be able to work wherever they like.  I will likely encourage students to work at their seats for some activities but I want to keep with the theme of giving them choice. 
As I read the writing portion of this chapter I was faced with some ideas completely opposite of what I had originally visioned writing looking like in my room.  Since my students will not have any prior knowledge of writing or letters, much less words I have to consider what they are capable of.  As the year starts, I was to have the kids working on the mechanics of writing.  I have a specific are that I intend on using for writing that will be the writing center.  In the writing center students will have a choice of what they want to do.  Students will be able to work on letters, sight words or writing their names or friends' names.  I will have paper, slates, magnetic boards, and white boards for students to write on. Once students have the mechanics down and we have worked on sounding out words I will have them start drawing pictures and labeling them.
P.S. I typed this on my lap top which seems to have a mind of its own.  It tends to jump around and I wind up typing or deleting in places that I don't intend to.  So if I have a ton of errors here.... sorry!

Monday, July 23, 2012

I'm Back

Hey Folks! I've been away on vacation in the Great Smokey Mountains for the past week. I have a lot of catching up to do, including Daily 5. I thought I would drop in and share some pictures from my vacation.
Our whole group at Bull Fish (One of our favorite restaurants in Pigeon Forge). On the left: Jason & Jenny with their girls Billie Grace & Cambell & their son Axel.  Hunter (my son is in front of them for some reason) Adam & Megan with their boys Nicholas & Evan.  Lee & Amanda with Landon & Ainsley then me & Shawn on the end. We had a great time and all the kids got along really well.

Hunter getting ready to race go carts

At a restaurant with a name that I refuse to say.  Hunter loved his hat.
(this was not one of my favorites)

Outside the pancake house the morning before we left the mountains.
We seldom get a picture together.

Touching the Horseshoe Crabs at the Gatlinburg Aquarium.

A fun round of Put Put Golf.
Hunter prefers the name Mini Golf.

On our way home my family stopped in Nashville and spent a couple of nights at the Opryland Hotel.
The fountains are beautiful.

Our view at the Aquarium restaurant in Nashville.

Hunter was very excited about his Shark Attack desert.
He shared with Mommy. :)

We had lunch at the Rain Forest Cafe
The tigers were a new addition since the flood in Nashville a couple of years ago. 

The elephant was moving and he was afraid it was going to get him.

The crew from Madagascar was dancing by the hotel pool.
I like to move it move it....

Monday, July 16, 2012

Inspiration & Target Finds

Don't you just love how we can all connect and get ideas from each other through blogs and Pinterest?  I find so many good ideas and inspiration from some really awesome teachers who I wold never even know existed if not for the web.  I was inspired by Caitlin at Kindergarten Smiles.

Kindergarten Smiles
She posted pictures of her wonderfully organized shelves and I fell in love.

Her labels came from Mrs. Freshwaters Class but I am in the process of making me some Seuss themed labels.

So I finally made it to a Target after waiting very impatiently for a week. (There is no Target near me!) I not only got those wonderful boxes with the pretty blue lids but I quickly did a run through the dollar bins.  (Very quickly, we were on our way to the water park and my mom and the kids were in the van waiting.)  Here is what I found.
I was like "OMG SEUSS!!!!!" Why oh why did I not get more of those certificates? And those flash cards.....I fell in LOVE!  I also got these little caddys that had four small compartments that will be perfect for holding scissors and things at their tabes. I had been looking for some like that but eveything that I found was big.  I forgot to snap a picture before I ran them by the school today.

Ok friends... Let's pretend that this picture is not upside down.  I was SUPER excited to find these cards! How could they be more perfect? I alwasy see addition and subtraciton skill but not Pre-K skills.  I got two of each.  I'm thinking they can be used in centers. :)

Once again...we will pretend this is not upside down. :( I got these Avengers things for my kiddo.  I figured I would surprise him with the little paly pack and note book when we go on vacation.  I can see it now......
Hunter: "Are we almost there????????(whine)"
Mom: "No... here, I got you this in case you got bored in the car."
Hunter: "Thank you Mommy! I love the Hulk!"
I'm sure it will not be anything like that but a girl can dream, can't she?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hot Hot Hot!

Yesterday I tried a new project.  Every year we have way more veggies than we know what to do with.  We rarely eat a red tomato, we mostly fry them green.  So I decided that I was going to try canning.  I got my jars, found some recipes and that was it.  Yesterday I finally broke down and tried some salsa.  10 cups of chopped tomatoes, 5 cups of seeded and chopped bell pepper, 5 cups chopped onion, 2 1/2 cups seeded and chopped jalapenos, some cilantro, minced garlic, salt, vinegar and some tomato paste later, I have 11 jars of salsa.  I hope I don't have to cut up any more veggies any time soon.

Salsa simmering in the pot to reach the desired consistency.

The first four jars that came out.
(Check out the cute kid in the picture) :o)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Daily 5 Chapter 5

Read To Someone & Listen To Reading

Read To Someone Brought to you by:
Sharing Kindergarten
1. Why should students be reading to someone?
(What is the purpose for reading to someone that each student should know and understand?)

I think that by providing students with the opportunity to read to someone they are doing more than reinforcing those reading skills.  They are also getting some valuable social interactions.  Students who are reading to each other are getting to hear how others their age reading.  I think that this will encourage students to want to become better readers.  They will want to be like their peers who read better than they do or they will want to impress their friends with how well they read.  Students should know that by listening to someone else read and by having someone to coach them in their reading they will be improving their reading.

2. How can your students' EEKK?
(on bottoms only or laying out on bellies/backs, what is okay with you?)
I didn't give this much thought while reading this chapter. I just assumed that they would be sitting on their bottoms. I will have to give this some thought.  One part of me says that they should be on their bottoms but there is another little voice that says "let them get comfortable with the book."  I may just leave this up to the kids.  If I see that they are engaged in a book and there are no distractions or disturbances because of it, I will probably just let them continue on.
3. How can your students read to someone and how can you need to model these ways with your students?
I plan to teach read to someone as being the same as Read to Self, just with a partner. I want them to look at the pictures together, read the words if they can, and retell books that we read as a class.  By retelling to each other they will be able to check each others understanding. 
4. What is the one thing you have done with partner reading that ensures the success of your students?
I have not done partner reading in my class before so this is going to be new for me.

Listen To Reading brought to you by:

1. How will you instill the importance (or urgency as the sisters call it) of 'listening to reading' in your students and especially those students who have had little 'lap time' or reading done for them in their own homes?
I want to instill a love for reading in my kids.  I hope to do this by reading a variety of books to them and by encouraging them to become readers.   I want to make sure that I incorporate a variety of books into my whole group reading time so that all students will be able to find what books interest them.  Without exposing them to the books, how can we expect them to know what they like and to want to read?
2. What devices or strategies are you going to use to conduct listen to reading?' Will you use a community recording device with one cd and several earphones, individual cd players, tape recorders, ipod-type devices or computers?
I planned to set up a listening center with cassettes in it.  I have more books on tape available to me through my school than any other type of media.  Also, by only having to teach how to use one piece of technology I hope to cut back on distractions and issues.
3. What expectations will you have for your students during 'listen to reading' and how will you keep them on task and independent instead of needing your assistance when they can't manage 'devices?'
I plan to find a couple of "experts" in the class who are comfortable with the listening center and who others can count on when they need some technical help.  I will expect my kids to listen to the whole story and probably create a response sheet if there is time left after their story ends.
4. Do you have enough 'listening to reading' type materials? If not, what ideas do you have for securing these materials? Where will you store them? How will your students retrieve these items? Where will they be used (will there be a designated spot in your class for listen or reading or will it be their choice)?

My school has a large Literacy Library that is full of sets of books and books with tapes. I also have several headphones and adapters to attach multiple headphones to cassette players. This is one center that I haven't quite got the set up perfected in my mind just yet. I do not have an extra table that I can use for my listening center so I am looking at some alternate arrangements.

5. The sisters do not really talk about this in their book, but how do you feel about listening response sheets? Will listening to reading be just for 'listening' or will there be follow-up work required of your students? If there is reading response sheets, what will they look like?
I feel like response sheets are important because it helps keep the kids on task. I understand that listening/reading for pleasure is important as well but, I need to know that my kids stay on task. Since my kids aren't writers, they can just draw a picture of their favorite part.
I like this one from Kinder Craze
and this one from Mrs. Jump. (She also has more for specific parts of the book like: characters and setting that you can use if you are working on identifying those parts of a story.)

5. How can this station be differentiated to meet the various learning profiles, interests and/or readiness of your students?

By using the response sheets you can easily differentiate.  If you have some students who are starting to put words together, have them write 1-3 words of what their picture is of.  If you want different levels of books, just color code some baskets and let kids know which they should be selecting a book from.

WOW!!!! That was A LOT to think/read about.  If you are still with me, THANK YOU!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 4

I feel like it has been forever since I have had some good quality time with my computer.  Last weekend we went camping and when I got back my mom put me to hard work on her pool.  Thank God we are almost done with that thing! Yesterday I was sad that I didn't get on here, in fact, I missed some great sales and an awesome flash freebie :o(  Now I am ready to post on this week's chapter for the kindergarten book study on The Daily 5. (better late than never)

A big thank you to Krissy Miner from Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business for hosting chapter 4!
Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business
1) How far into the school year do you think kinders need to be to be able to begin the process of Read to Self? What is realistic? When do you plan to begin implementation?

This part really scares me. I understand why The Sisters say it is important to start the process right away but I am having reservations.  I think that I will probably start the beginning of second semester.  I only have my kids for a half of a day and getting in "every day routines" takes a lot of the time. (I know, I know this is going to be every day too.)  I will have to spend much of my time in the beginning of the year teaching the kids how to color in the lines and cut on the lines.

Let me just insert here... THAT is why I want to use the Daily 5.  When I spend so much time concentrating on coloring, cutting and gluing I start to lose my mind and wonder why in the world I had to go to college for that.  So, by using the D5 I will feel like I am doing more meaningful things.

Back to Q1: Realistically, I know that they will not be reading, even in November, but they can practice those book handling skills and they can look at the picture and retell a story.

2) How will you make sure that each child views him/herself as a reader (whether they are reading words or not)?

I want to incorporate some alphabet book,  books where kids can just look at the picture and know what the word is that goes with it.  I also want to stress the three ways to read a book so that kids know that by looking at the pictures and retelling a story are reading.

3) What are some ideas you have about "Launching Read to Self" in kindergarten? How will you go about it and what are some ways to make sure it is "kinder friendly"? 

I think I am going to do exactly what the book says.  Model, practice, review, repeat. I can't wait to see my kids all over the room with books in their hands. :)  As far as my I-Charts go, I would like to take some pictures of the correct models and add them to the chart so the kids and look and remind themselves of what they need to be doing.

4) How will you/do you build the children's belief that this IS important? What can we do to encourage the ones who do not value it and create disruptions for others?

I think that by modeling and practicing then talking about all the good behaviors, some of the problems will take care of themselves.  I like the idea of not drawing a lot attention to the negative behaviors and reminding the kids that they can do well because they did while modeling for the class. 

5) How valuable is Checking In and Reviewing with kindergartners? How often will you do it? When will you do it? What are some different ways to "check in"?

Starting off I will be checking in and reviewing often.  Once the kids build up their stamina and are doing well independently I will only check in and review as needed.  I don't want to fix something that is not broken.  If I see a problem, I will stop the class and them gather back at the carpet where we will review our I-Chart.

Here is a great anchor chart from Mrs. Richardson's Class
And some great reminders from Mrs. Miner.  I am going to print me one (or two) of these to put in my room as a remind to myself when I start to get frustrated.

Don't forget to check back next week for chapter 5 as we discuss Read To Someone and Listen To Reading


Monday, July 2, 2012


OK... So, I have been seeing these cutsy little "Currently" posters on different blogs and I LOVE them.  I have been wanting SO badly to do one of my own.  Imagine my excitement when I found this linky on Oh Boy 4th Grade.  I get to make my very own!!! it is! :o)

Now go over to Oh Boy 4th Grade and make your own then link up and check out everyone elses :)