Friday, March 29, 2013


I am so excited to be a part of Teaching Blog Addict's ULTIMATE FREEBIE COLLECTION!
Here are your freebies! If you take a freebie and use it in your classroom, will you PLEASE snap some pictures and send them my way?? I'll be posting some more freebies throughout next week, so stay tuned!
Here is the one I promised from yesterday RHYME GUY! To find out more about Rhyme Guy and how I use it in my classroom, visit yesterday's post Click on the picture to get your own
I have also posted BUILD math centers as a freebie on TpT 
Remember BUILD? They are choice based math centers that you can find all over Pinterest and my blog =) Click on the picture to snag your copy.
Lastly, I wanted to invite you all to a new blog that belongs to my friend, fellow kindergarten teacher and the one I swap many ideas with... Special Education meets General Education

Special Education Meets General Education

 Adie is an amazing teacher with amazing ideas. At our school she is a super SPED teacher but she holds a SPED credential and General Education credential making her twice as good as me! Visit her blog and tell her I sent ya!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Rhyme Guy and Calendar Journals

Howdy friends!
I wanted to share something that we do with our students each year to help them with their math skills and reading skills... RHYME GUY and CALENDAR JOURNALS! After winter break, the students always return juuuuussstt a little bit more mature and they are ready for this next step in our routine. Sooo, after recess each day with have our Class Meeting. On Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays we complete our Calendar Journals and on Tuesdays and Thursdays we do Rhyme Guy. The students pick up on this routine quickly and I don't have to do much work to get them with that (I am a creature of routine and my students follow suit). OK, OK, hold on, before we alternate, we spend a week completing each one slowly together and then after that we alternate and work slowly until they can get to it all on their own. Let me show you pictures:
Calendar  Journals

Calendar Journals
Calendar Journals
I use my interactive whiteboard to walk the students through each step. We walk through all the steps together and they know exactly where to find the information they need.
Calendar Wall (imagine March has numbers on it)
Calendar Journal
I LOVE using the calendar journals! After a week or two of doing strictly calendar journals, we start rhyme guy...
Rhyme Guy is a superhero who only speaks in rhyme. He says a word and the students try to write as many rhyming words as they can...

When they are done writing, we put as many as we can on the board. I call on a student, they tell me their word, spell their word and we all read it together. LOOOOVE Rhyme Guy! After a while, I ask some students to write silly sentences using those rhymes, "The dog sits on a log with a hog."

Ok, ok, that was A LOT! You can pick up Rhyme Guy at my TpT store soon and my Calendar Journals are already there!

Want the Calendar Journal for free?? Leave a comment with your email before tomorrow night and it's yours!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Plant fun!

Hi friends!
Ok, ok, I'm here, I'm ready, I'm setting my time aside to finally sit down and blog again! I feel like this time of year is my most stressful and therefore the best time to blog! What do we have, you ask? Well, we are currently on spring break (yippppeeee!) but after that we have...
1. Our school carnival- a school fundraiser on a Saturday where each grade level comes up with a performance based on a theme... Our theme this year is California Adventures so we are singing a California song... and we gotta practice, and practice, and practice, all in a week...
2. Annual Project- a school wide activity where we construct something giant, you'll see pictures soon
3. Student-led conferences- Anyone else do student-led conferences with their kindergarteners? I'm curious to see what other people do.
4. New kindergarten parents' orientation- fun, right? =/
5. Buddy day -where incoming kindergarteners come and visit our current kindergarteners for the afternoon
6. AAAAANNNNNDDDD in between all of this we will start doing Daily 5.... ahhhh!!!!
That's okay though, I'm ready! (at least I'm telling myself that)

Here's what we've been working on over the past month... PLANTS! I see all kinds of ideas on Pinterest and I can't wait to add my team's ideas to the mix! To introduce plants we start by making a plant and labeling it... Yes, that's a handprint! Super cute right? Well, when you don't have a sink in your classroom, it sucks out the fun a little bit... no too much though because look at how cute they are! We make our plants, then label their parts.
Handprint Flowers to teach parts of a plant
Handprint Flowers to teach parts of a plant
After we make our handprint flowers, we learn about how plants grow, what they need and how to plant them. We read From Seed to Plant and The Tiny Seed to help us with the concepts.
We then teach about how each part of the plant helps the other to grow. We teach that roots dig down deep to get all of the vitamins and mineral they need to push up the stem. The stem sucks water up like a straw to grow taller and takes it to the leaves and flowers. The leaves collect water and sunlight to make food and the flower makes seeds and feeds insects. Phew! That was a lot to say! lol... Next, we taste the parts of the plants! SOOOOO much fun! I couldn't get any pictures of that part without having all of their faces plastered on here. Just imagine 22 little faces being grossed out then excited then crunching away! Here is the sheet we did afterwards:

We taste the flowers- broccoli, stem- celery, leaves- spinach and roots- carrots. We also make our What a Plant Needs Flip book... (not all in the same day, don't worry!)
Needs of a plant flip book front cover
Needs of a plant flip book- sun!
Needs of a plant- sun, air, water, soil

Needs of a plant- sun, air

Needs of a plant bulletin board

Needs of a plant bulletin board
Cute right? Grab your copy here
Lastly, we do my favorite part of the plants unit... dissection! We all turn into botanists and wear our "multiple perspectives" glasses (part of the Kaplan's Icons of Depth and Complexity) and dig in! We have conversations about plants, ask questions about what we are seeing and get down and dirty with learning!
The scientists (we are called scientists during this time, not students) separate the parts of the plants they find: roots, stems, leaves and flowers... some find other things and make that a category! I gave the students some tools to use BUT they could only use them IF they were SCIENTISTS... we used a rake (fork) and a magnifying glass.
Dissecting plants

Dissecting plants

Dissecting plants
PIN ME Please! =)

I'm finally getting around to putting together my giveaway... stay tuned! If you're interesting in joining, email me!