Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Groundhog Day and Counting

In honor of Groundhog Day, we read Substitute Groundhog by Pat Miller and Groundhog Day! by Gail Gibbons.


Substitute Groundhog

After reading, we made groundhogs. The students voted if they thought the groundhog would see his shadow or not.  I saw this idea on Pinterest last year, but cannot find the original link. If this was your idea, let me know so I can give you credit!

 I guess we will have to wait until February 2 to see if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not, but I hope he doesn't go with my class's prediction-- after the extreme cold and snowy mixture we have experienced during the last week, I am ready for spring!

This week I started a Counting Challenge. Our report cards require me to test the students on counting to 100 for the third quarter, so I started the challenge. We count to 100 multiple times every day. The class was very excited to count for me and our instructional aide.  I am so impressed that almost everyone has taken the challenge and most everyone has succeeded!  Once they count to 100, they get a star for the door. The students are very proud and like to show off their stars.

I took this picture yesterday. We added many more stars today!

Three Star Story

My school teaches 6-Trait Writing. I use the Launching the Writer's Workshop book to teach the six traits. Recently, my class came up with what makes a three star story. They decided that a three star story has details in the words and pictures, cupcake words (that's what we call our sight words!) are spelled correctly, and sentences have capital letters and end marks. We discussed what makes a two star and one star story, too. The kinders were excited to try to get three star stories when writing our class book, A Snowman Should Not.... The great writing prompt came from Mrs. Jump's Sneezy the Snowman Unit.  Here are a few pages from our book.

The class LOVES to read the class book in our classroom library during center time!

Friday, January 25, 2013

New Behavior Plan

After coming back to school this month, I have reflected about how I could improve my classroom behavior plan.  I had been using a stoplight for monitoring behavior.

Each morning the students started back on green. Yellow was a warning and the students owed five minutes of recess. They would move to red for a second offense. Once on red, the students owed twenty minutes of recess and brought a note home for their parents to review and return. I felt that this behavior plan worked for some, but could stand to be improved.

My teaching partner gave me a copy of her behavior log. Her students checked their behavior before lunch and at the end of the day.

I decided to adopt this behavior log and came up with a way to reward positive behavior. Everyone will restart at green after lunch. The same consequences will remain for ending on yellow and red, but I felt that the kids deserve a second chance to make better choices.  At the end of each day if the student have two greens, they will be given a sticker or stamp for their ten frames. (Not only will they track their behavior, but they will also be doing math!) Once the ten frames are filled up, they will be invited to pick a prize from the goodie box! 

We have a class reward system. Every time the students do a good job as a group, they earn a cupcake for our ten frames.  They have earned cupcakes for a good report a specials, working hard and quietly, and being complimented by an adult for good behavior in the hallway. 

Only four more cupcakes before the class gets to vote for a reward! Last time they picked pajama day. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013


It finally snowed! The kinders were very excited coming into school this morning with snow on the ground. Even though we have had a pretty mild winter up until this point, we have been doing a lot of snowman activities, thanks to Mrs. Jump's Class Blog.

The students used a spinner and graphed the results to determine what their snowman would look like.  They had fun and rooted for their favorite hat and weather condition.

Some snowmen were melted and others had nice snowballs. The students used their creativity to make the faces.

We read Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright and did several writing activities about poor  Sneezy.
Sneezy the Snowman

This week we talked about what makes a three star story. The students decided that a paper deserves three stars if it has a lot of details in the sentences and drawings. I was very proud of how well they completed the Sneezy the Snowman bad choices story map. 

We did not get to all of the activities in Mrs. Jump's snowman unit, so more snowman activities are to come!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baking Up Ten Frames and a Freebie!

My class has been working hard with ten frames. Borrowing an idea from my fantastic teaching partner, Mrs. Gonzalez, the kiddos made bakers. Our bakers, of course, baked cupcakes! 

I had the students complete the sentence before getting the cupcake stickers. Many students chose to use Unifix cubes to help solve how many cupcakes they had in all.  The students enjoyed using the cupcake stickers to complete the ten frames.

Enjoy my first freebie! I included sheets for both girl and boy bakers! I found the cupcake stickers in the Dollar Spot at Target about a year ago.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

First Blog Entry!

I am excited to begin a kindergarten blog!  At the same time, I am a little nervous; I feel that I have so much to learn about blogging! Through the wonderful world of Pinterest, I have discovered many impressive kindergarten blogs. Hopefully one day I can be a successful blogger, too! I plan to start out slowly: posting my weekly parent newsletter and photos of projects my class has created. But one day when I have more time (will I ever have time being the mother of a toddler and an infant?!?) I would love to have a Teachers Pay Teachers store with themed units and learning activities for other teachers to use in their classrooms!