Thursday, February 28, 2013

Show Me Those Pearly Whites!

We finished our Dental Health unit today.  I have to share my favorite project to do with my kinders.  I've done it pretty much every year since I started teaching.

I started by making Play-doh.  I love the recipe that includes Kool-aid.  It is super soft and smells good, too. 

I made a double batch but could have easily gotten away with one.  Don't look too carefully...our counter turned a shade of pink for awhile.  I had to break out the bleach!

Then I gave them a chunk and a paper plate.  They made an oval and used their thumb to make a spot for their tongue.  Next, they used mirrors to take a good look in their mouths and then put white beans into the dough to mark where their teeth are.

 Last, they labeled their mouth!  I love the way they look but our Kindergarten Education Assistant gets creeped out by them.  I love to tease her with them :)

I also want to share some of my favorite Dental Health Songs.

Tomorrow is our Idea Explosion.  The kindergarten teachers all teach an enrichment activity.  Kids can pick where they want to go.  I'm doing cooking school with pizza and cupcakes.  YUM!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Can I get a Hall Pass?!?

We are almost to our spring break (3 1/2 days of teaching but who is counting, right?!?) so I definitely am in need of a Hall Pass.  Reagan over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits is hosting a cute Linky Party all about the hall pass.  I've been meaning to join this Linky Party and saw that it ends tomorrow! If you want to link up go here.

Here is how this one works.
Here goes!

Product-I don't have too much on TPT yet.  My hope it that I can load some more during my spring break next week (did I mention it is our spring break?!?).  So far, my favorite is my calendar bundle.

I used to do a calendar book with my kids.  Every day they would add one number to the monthly calendar and one number on the 100s grid.  We would track the weather and a few other things.  A couple years ago I had the idea of doing a page a day instead.  My kids now write numbers to the number of days we've been in school (for example, on the 100th day, they wrote to 100).  I've found this to be WAY more effective in teaching number concepts.  I also added a "dice of the day" where we focus on other math skills such as 2D shapes, 3D shapes, money, addition, subtraction, one more/one less, etc.  I also came up with a way to make calendar not so boring even in the month of February.  22 out of my 22 students can write to 100 and can identify numbers up to 100.  I KNOW it is because I do these calendar pages daily.  

Area-My favorite area of my classroom!

My hands down favorite area centers around my SMART board.  I use my board all day, every day. I also love my carpet which is right in front of the board.  Our wonderful Title One teacher bought them for our team a few years ago.  I love the color it adds and it gives kids their own space.  I also love my banner that I have handing above my board.  Two summers ago I switched my theme from turtles to polka dots.  I was a Pinterest making machine!  I made those crate seats that are all over the blogging world and my banner.  It makes me smile when I look at it.  This is a picture of my kids being silly on the 100th day of school.

Signal-I have a lot that I rely on...

One of my favorites is Tootsie Roll, Lollipop, We've been talking, Now Let's STOP!  I think it was from Dr. Jean.  I also love to use songs for transitions.  For cleaning up, I use Jack Hartmann's clean up song.  I get it stuck in my head A LOT!  I also like Harry Kindergarten's clean up video

and another one by Mark D. Pencil

Sanity- What keeps me sane after a long day in kinderland?
I LOVE a good book.  Right now I'm in the middle of 3 good ones.  I also love to watch Food Network and HGTV.  At work, however, I keep sane with Friday lunches with my kindergarten team.  We have an open campus and have made a habit of going out for a quick lunch on Fridays.  Our team can be wildly inappropriate at times but we are great at cheering each other up when things get tough. 

That's it!  Thanks to Reagan for hosting a fun party!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Better Late Than Never??

Here are some photos from our fun filled Valentine's Day and 100th Day of Kindergarten.  For some reason, Blogger uploaded my photos in reverse order.  100th day was actually first. Oh well.

For our Valentine's Day rotating party each teacher takes the kids for 25 minutes.  I played Don't Eat Pete and Face Off in my room.   I forgot to take pictures though.  I got the Don't Eat Pete game from The Teacher Wife here.  My kids love it!  I can't remember who I got the Face Off game from but you can snag the one I made here.

I gave them Fruit Loops (leftovers from the 100th day) and two dice.  They got to roll the dice and eat whatever number the numbers equaled.  The last one to eat a Fruit Loop was the champ.  If you know who the Face Off game is from, please let me know so I can give them credit!
 Once they open all their Valentine's Day cards, they glue them all in their book.  I started doing this several years ago and love how they leave with a nice keepsake.
 Showing off their goodies!
 They made their own Valentine's Day containers as part of their February homework.  Take a look at the R2D2!  And you can almost see the Lego one.  Very creative!
 All smiles!

 I love the skeleton shirt on Valentine's Day.

For our 100th Day of Kindergarten, our grade level has an amazing Visitor's Day.  We have Visitor's Days every other month (Pumpkin Party, Gingerbread Houses, 100th Day and Graduation).  Each student gets to have one adult visit and participate in special activities.  For the 100th Day they came for 100 minutes.  They got to spend time in all 6 Kindergarten classrooms plus the stage and hallways for some activities revolving around the number 100.  It works out so nice for us teachers since each of us takes a turn planning and prepping the activities for the Visitor's Day.  It wasn't my turn so all I had to do was buy the stuff for the 100 Trail Mix.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  Here are some of the things our kids did...
 Cake walk (Counting by 10s).

 Crazy hats!

 What jar has 100 in it?  
I should also mention that kids were wearing 100 things on themselves.  Faith's mom traced her hand 100 times and pinned them on her shirt.  She looked like a cute chicken.
 100 piece puzzle.

 Race to $1

 Here is my class modeling the things they wore.
 Pokey Pin the number 100.
 When they got to school, they put 100 Fruit Loops on a grid and then worked on putting them on the necklace.  After lots of years of experimenting, curling ribbon is the best for the job.  I got the cute 100s from Creative Teaching Press.  $4.99 for 36 but if you go to Lakeshore you can use their buy one, get one 50% off coupon and get enough for 3 years for only $7.50!    

 100 Trail Mix

 Prepping the necklaces

 One of the highlights was our classroom visit from Zero the Hero and Zerona!  We've been getting treats from Zero all year so it was so nice to meet him and his girlfriend.  They brought gifts (sticker and a 100 Grand).  Our janitor Bill LOVES doing this.  He even bought a special striped spandex suit for the occasion.  Caryl our assistant principal was Zerona.
That's about it!  Only 3 1/2 days of teaching this week and then it is my Spring Break!  I have a PLC Facilitator's meeting all day tomorrow and then Friday is an early release.  It is also our Idea Explosion day...more on that later.  Sooo ready for a break!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

I Survived! and Winning!

Phew!  This has been a CRAZY couple of weeks.  Who scheduled conferences the same week as the 100th day of kindergarten AND Valentine's Day?!?  I am so grateful for this 3 day weekend.  I wasn't going to do much school work but who was I kidding?  I've already stopped at my favorite teacher store Lakeshore on the way home from having lunch with my grandma.  I signed up for text alerts from them and they had a buy 1, get one 50% off deal.  Perfect for stocking up on birthday crowns. 

I've been a very lucky blogger lately.  I have been entering giveaways since I got sucked into started following blogs a few years ago and have never won.  In the past two weeks I've won not ONE, not TWO but THREE giveaways!     I want to share with you the wonderful things I've won.

The first product I won is from Kindergarten Kel.  I blogged about her before here.  I won her Sweet Little Valentines Literacy Centers.  If you want to check it out, go to her TPT store here.  I printed off her Bingo cards for my BEE hour kids to play this past week.  I also used the cutest Valentine Village Magnify and Find page she made for my Daily 5 Word Work bin.  I also used the scrambled up sentences during writing.  I took pictures of my kids using them but I forgot my camera at school.  Trust me is a super cute set.  I'm grateful for winning it!

The second product I won is from Kindergarten Rocks.  I won their Fabulous Friendship Unit.  Wow!  This thing is JaMmEd packed full of great stuff!  She uses DJinkers clip art which is one of my favorites.  I love the Friendship Fix-its and the Friends from Beginning to the End sheets.  The entire 172 page pack (yes, you read that correctly 172) is full of things that can be implemented today.  Again, I feel lucky to have won it!

The last giveaway I won is from Beg, Borrow and Steal.  I won a $10 gift card to Target (who doesn't love Target?!?) and anything from her TPT store.  I had such a hard time picking out what I wanted.  I already have her super cute Pizzeria Play Center so I know she has some good stuff.  I finally decided on her ABC Sound Spelling Worksheets.  I'm excited to use these with my kinders.  I've used something similar in the past but this is WAY cuter!  I love that it comes with both color and black line masters.  

I also am feeling the love this week because my 3rd Donors Choose project was fully funded!  I asked for 4 hand held CD players plus a nice organizer for them for my Listen to Reading station.  I am very excited to get these before the end of the year.  My kids are going to be so pumped!

In other news, I got the letter I've been waiting for from the Minnesota Teacher of the Year committee.  I didn't make the first cut.  :(  I don't feel too bad though.  They had to go from 135 to 36.  That's a pretty huge cut.  Plus, another teacher at my school was nominated and didn't get past this round either...and he is a phenomenal teacher.  The whole thing was a pretty rewarding process.  It's always nice to hear how much people appreciate you.  After reading some blogs and posts on the Kinderland Collaborative Community on how some teachers are working with some pretty poor teams, I really want to give a shout out to my amazing, wonderful, super creative team.  I don't think I would enjoy my job nearly as much without them.  We are a force to be reckoned with in our school.  They were so supportive of me and my nomination.  Love you ladies!

I was planning on posting about our 100th day and Valentine's Day but this post is already long enough.  Maybe next time!