Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Making Text Connections FREEBIE

My class LOVES to talk and share what is on their mind. Last week I implemented a special sign for the students to use to show me that they have made a connections- linking their fingers together.  Oh my goodness! Everyone has been making TONS of connections!  As I read, I notice almost everyone making connections. They are still learning that I cannot call on every student after every page of a book. 

Today I started using the language of Text to Text, Text to Self, and Text to World. Now if they want to share something, they must tell me what kind of connection it is before they share their story.  We have lots and lots of text to self connections going on in our classroom!

I made these cards to hang in the room near our community circle area to remind the kinders of the three connections. Visit my TPT store for your copy of this freebie!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sunflower House

If you are using Treasures, you will notice that I am a week (or two) behind the game. My teaching partner and I share materials for reading. It's not ideal, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the district will adopt new books for next year so that I can have my own set of materials!  My teaching partner has decided to stretch each week of Treasures to seven days to make it to the end of the year. With that said, we just read Sunflower House by Eve Bunting this week. The kids have been really into talking about plants.  They came up with great ideas when we brainstormed a list of things to do in a sunflower house. They wrote and drew about what they would do while meeting the CCSS standard of writing an opinion in response to literature.

I would read in my sunflower house, too!


In my sunflower house, I would play police horses with my brother Charles. My sisters and I would have done that, too! We used to be horse crazy as children.  My horse craze fizzled out as I grew up, but my sisters still have horses!

After the students completed their work, Mrs. O'Dell, my instructional aide, and myself checked their work. If they had a complete sentence with words spelled as they sound, a capital letter, and end mark, they received sunflower seeds to glue on their sheet. They thought it was amazing to see a sunflower seed! I offered them sunflower seeds out of the hull to sample during our snack break that day.

Head over to Kinder Doodles to get your copy of the Sunflower House writing prompt.

April Showers

Fortunately, we have not experienced much rain yet this month, but you know the saying April showers bring May flowers! In honor of April showers, my class made adorable umbrellas. We first brainstormed what we like about the rain. I demonstrated how to make the umbrella and write my four favorite things about rain on my raindrops. Then the kinders received their materials and got to work right away. They did an awesome job!

The kids used their creativity to decorate the paper plate. We have rainbow umbrellas, polka dot umbrellas, and umbrellas with pictures!

My instructional aide helped me prep this activity by cutting the paper plates in half. (I was so excited to find uncoated plates at Wal Mart.  The kids could color on both sides of their plate with crayons.) We cut a 3 inch slice from the center up on one half and the outside down on the other. We put two holes on the long edge of both plates and two holes at the curved edge of one plate. The four holes are for tying on the rain drops, while the holes on the curved edge are for hanging.

 The kids brought their raindrops up the to interactive whiteboard to write what they like about the rain.  I love that I can save that image as a jpeg and bring it back up on the whiteboard for those who did not finish or were absent for the activity!

A lot of the kids like to jump in puddles! 

They curled the end of an inch wide strip of paper by wrapping it around a pencil. It made for a great umbrella handle!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sweet on Soil

Today we had a guest from Porter County Soil and Water Conservation District.

The kinders used all their senses (except for taste) to explore soil. They learned the difference between sand, clay, and humus. Mrs. Benson brought cups of "soil" for the students to observe. She made soil from kitchen ingredients- flour, cinnamon, corn starch, sugar, and sprinkles.

They first used their eyes to see their cup of "soil." They talked about the color and size.

Next they shook their cups to hear what the soil sounded like. They observed that the soil with the sprinkles made more noise than the soil without large pieces.  Then they opened their cups to smell their "soil" and talked about the smell. The kids really liked the mixture with the cocoa powder!  They got to feel their soil, too. 

Mrs. Benson discussed the difference between sand, clay, and humus.  The class learned how a garden would do in each type of soil. She had the class measure water and add it to their cups. The students had to stir their "soil" and try to make a ball. They learned that the best soil can be rolled into a ball when wet. That kind of soil is called humus and we want humus in our gardens!  

All About Plants: Math, Literacy, and SO Much More! (AlignIt was just good luck that Mrs. Benson's schedule allowed her to be in our classroom today; we have been reading lots of books about plants and the life cycle of a plant during our reading lessons! I am excited to continue with studying plants. I just bought All About Plants from Kindergarten Smiles. 

How I Have Changed Freebie

We have been talking about change in social studies. Before Spring Break, the students completed this worksheet about how they have changed from when they were babies. 

We brainstormed how we have changed.  The kiddos liked the fact that they have more hair now and that they can walk and talk. They drew self portraits and baby pictures during class. A student was absent that day and brought back his makeup work today. I love that he and his mom put photographs on it!