Friday, July 13, 2012

Don't Blink... *Summer* Goes Faster Than You Think

Okay, so I kind of stole that line from Kenny Chesney, but it's so true isn't it?  Three more weeks of summer for me... Where did it all go?  Seems like I was just saying goodbye to my kinder kiddos yesterday, but it's back to work all too soon!  I still don't know where or what grade I'll be teaching in three weeks, but as soon as I know, I'll share!

In the meantime, here is the reading and math assessments that I made for our K team to use at the beginning, middle, and end of the year.  We assess each student three times per year with these.  You may have seen them before over at The Polka Dot Patch, but here they are again.  Hope you can use them!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Long time, no blog...

I haven't blogged in so long, you probably don't even remember me!  I got so busy with end of the year stuff in May that I just never got around to it. :(  Then, the day before school got out, I got some really bad news, and didn't feel up to blogging about it. I received word that because of class sizes increasing in the 2012-2013 school year, I would be losing my position at my school.  Although I've been there for six years now, I was one of the last to be hired, so I am one of the two who will have to move.  It was looking for a while like I might be able to stay, as some other teachers were interviewing for other jobs elsewhere, but I found out yesterday that I will indeed be moving.  Tear :'(.  I will miss all of my colleagues, but especially my Kinder team, so much.  At this point, I have no idea where I will be teaching, nor what grade I will be teaching next year.

I am trying to stay positive about it.  I have bad days and good days, but am slowly getting used to the idea of "starting over."  I really do believe that everything happens for a reason.  I may not understand the reason right now, but eventually I hope the reason will become clear.  I hope to find out what grade I will be teaching soon, so I can at least begin to prepare for the school year.  I've never actually taught anything but Kindergarten, so I am going to need lots of help from my blogger friends!

I'm going to try to post some freebies as soon as I go through all my files.  I  hope everyone is having a great summer so far!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pre-K Visitors and an Insect Pattern Book Freebie

Every year about this time, we have several Pre-K classes visit our kindergarten classrooms.  It's my most dreaded favorite time of the year!  Honestly, I just don't understand the point of it all.  The pre-kers come from other schools and they are NEVER on time.  They were supposed to be here between 8:30 and 9:00 yesterday morning, but they ended up showing up around 9:15.  They were supposed to stay for 40 minutes, so I prepared a 40ish minute activity.  Made sense to me...  Anyway, they stayed until 10:30.

The whole reason for the visits is for the pre-kers to experience a morning in kindergarten, but in order to make it effective for these little ones, it's almost impossible to make it effective for my own kiddos.  I feel like I have to do an activity that reaches the pre-kers, but I haven't figured out how to make it very meaningful for both groups of kiddos.

The activity I did yesterday was a math patterning book.  I opened the lesson by reading The Very Greedy Bee by Steve Smallman.  Super cute book.  Then we talked about how bees have an AB pattern.  After that, we worked on our bee pattern books.  I told the kiddos they could make their bees colorful, and could use colors other than black and yellow to complete their books.  I don't think the activity was necessarily a "bad" activity, but my kiddos have already mastered the patterns in the book I made.  I would normally use this type of thing during math station rotations for the kiddos to work on independently to reinforce the skill, rather than taking up a whole math lesson with it.

If you have any super suggestions for making this pre-k visit time less of a waste of time more effective for my kiddos as well as effective for the pre-kers, I'd love to hear them!  We have more pre-k visits next week.  Can't wait...

In the meantime, here is the little pattern book we used yesterday.  Hope you can use it!

Beautiful Bee Patterns Book

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Uno Mas Freebie...

Very quick post, because I have to get to lesson planning at 9:50 on a Sunday night.  Talk about procrastination, right?  I made this flower themed subtraction game last week, but we never got to use it because of CRCT testing, so I'm doing it in small group this week instead.  Directions are included.  The response sheet is a separate download, so don't miss it!  I hope you enjoy!!

Picking Flowers Subtraction Game--graphics by KPM Doodles at etsy; font from Kevin and Amanda
Picking Flowers Response Sheet--graphics by KPM Doodles at etsy; font from Kevin and Amanda

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Flower Theme Freebies!!

So, we just finished our plant unit this week and I wasn't even there for most of it.  This week was CRCT week at my school, and I was lucky enough (insert sarcasm here) to get to give it to a third grade class.  Walking around in circles monitoring for two and a half hours a day was exhausting.  The third grade kiddos were pretty good for me, but upper grades is SO not my thing.  Props to y'all who do it every day!  So glad to get back to my little ones this week!  I'm sure my third grade teacher/sub is ready to get back to her kiddos too.

We started working on subtraction this week in math.  I have been using ideas from Kim Adsit's Spring Theme Packet, and one idea that my kiddos all loved from her packet was acting out subtraction stories.  She suggested using flower headbands, but I actually had some inflatable flowers that I got from Oriental Trading last year that I used instead.  My kiddos are starting to understand subtraction, but let's just say we still need LOTS of practice.  I made this little flower booklet for my kiddos to practice with.  I used it in small group and orally told a subtraction story orally.  The kiddos had to fill in the blanks to complete the subtraction story based on the story I told.  They also had to illustrate the story and write the corresponding subtraction sentence.  I hope you can use it in your class!

Flower Garden Subtraction Stories-- Clip Art by DJ Inkers; font from Kevin and Amanda

I have one more quick freebie for you too.  It's an oldie but a goody. :)  Here is a flower themed version of Roll, Say, Keep.  I used our kindergarten sight words, but I have also included some blank cards that you could use to write in your own words.   Enjoy!

Flower Theme Roll Say Keep--Clip Art by KPM Doodles at etsy; font from Kevin and Amanda

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Green Thumb (Hopefully) and a Freebie!!

We're working on our flowers and plants unit this week, and we've planted some cat grass.  I've never planted cat grass before with my class, so let's pray for a green thumb!  I've never even heard of cat grass, but apparently you can feed cat grass to...wait for it...cats, as a treat.  Huh, who knew?

The kiddos are loving learning about plants.  We have a silly little chant that we've been singing about the parts of a plant, and I've had more than one friend bring me a clump of weeds little plant with the roots and dirt still intact from the playground.  They are so proud that they can identify the parts of the weed plant for me.  We made a flower diagram today, and tomorrow they will label it and write a sentence or two about each part.

I made a plant growth journal to help my kiddos track the growth of their cat grass.  I included a page for materials and one for procedures since we have started talking about the scientific method.  Next comes the observation pages.  I also included a page at the end for the kiddos to write what they know about plants as a kind of conclusion to our unit in a few weeks.

Click on the link below to get your copy.  There are two pages per sheet, so just staple together and cut in half to make two journals.  You will also want to copy the observations page multiple times to include in each journal.  If you decide to use it, I would love it if you leave me a comment with your thoughts!

My Plant Growth Journal

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Waaaahhhh!!! Waaaahhhh!!!

I'm crying a river over here y'all!!  I've had a verrrry lazy Spring Break, but it's coming to an end, and I'm just not ready to go back yet.  I need another week, like Kristin over at A Teeny Tiny Teacher got.  SO.NOT.FAIR.  Like I said, crying a river...

We did have a fun little Easter though, with an Easter egg hunt and a picnic.  Hope you guys had an egg-citing (How cheesy was that?) Easter too!  I will post some freebies I've been working on later this week, but I'm not quite done yet.  Like I said, I've had a sleep til noon restful break.  Until  then, here are a couple of pics of my kiddos at the Easter egg hunt today :)