Monday, April 29, 2013

A is for Animal

Today we started our ABC Countdown!  If you didn't see our calendar, you can view it here.
is for animal!  Our kinders brought a fluffy friend from home today.  

We watched several non-fiction books on Tumblebooks and BrainPopJr and then followed it up with these cute sorts from Life is Sweet in Kindergarten.
You can get them from her store here.

I also read these books:

During math we labeled, measured and compared our fluffy friends using this sheet.
Click on the photo if you want it for yourself.

Last, we ended the day with a good old fashioned parade through all of the kindergarten classrooms.

I also want to tell you about a giveaway I'm helping out with.
Jessica with  Fluttering In First Grade reached the big 100!

Head over to win some great prizes!

By the way, the letter A graphic above is from Sonya DeHart Designs.  She is throwing a $1 sale right now!  I love her papers, clip art and letters. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Kitchen Sink

This post is going to contain everything but the kitchen sink.

Tomorrow starts our 26 Day Countdown!
Check out calendar below.

Next is something I'm really excited about!  My friend Sara from Primary Buzz is trying to raise money for Martin Richard.  He is the 8-year-old Boston Marathon bombing victim.
This is him shortly before that terrible day.

Sara has organized a fundraiser to help his family.  For a donation of $15 (or more!) you get almost $80 worth of products.

Head on over to Primary Buzz to donate and help a family in need!

Primary Buzz

Lastly, some followers have expressed an interest in some SMART board tips and tutorials.  Starting next week I'm going to start a regular feature on my blog!
If you have a question on how I made any of the files I blogged about here, let me know!  I'd be happy to help you out!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Five for Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs again for my five random things.
Unexpected gifts.  I have a parent this year who is a cake decorator.  She often brings me her samples.
Bubblegum cupcake!

Kindergarten Service Project.  We made litter patrol boxes and headed out today for our FIRST warm day of the year!

The Litter Patrol!

ABC Countdown Prep!  We start our ABC Countdown Monday.  Each student made these.

The links are labeled A-Z.  Each day they'll rip off the bottom link until we get to Z!

Spring is finally here!  A week ago we had a snow day.  Now look at our weather.  Gorgeous!!!
 Now to get a pedicure so I can show off my toes. ☺


Last day to enter!
Last day to enter!

Last, I messed up the Google Form for the MN Get Together!  Here it is again.  We'd love to meet you!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Day with my SMART board

The other day I showed off one of my favorite places in my classroom.
I love my SMART board.  I've had it for 4 years now and have worked hard to integrate it into EVERYTHING we do.  Not to toot my own horn, but I won an award this year for my seamless integration of my SMART board into our day to enhance instruction.

I am lost without it.  Two years ago I allegedly, might have, maybe shot a can of air into it when it was on to clean the filter and a giant fireball came out (DON'T try it!  Turn it off first!)  .  I lost it for two weeks and it was pitiful.

Anyway, I had a question on how I use my board so I thought I would give a run down of how it is used throughout my day.

Morning Message

This is my message for tomorrow this week.  The weather symbols are infinitely cloned so students simple drag their answer to their box.
Each day my students answer a question on our board after doing their other morning jobs (lunch choice, empty folder, etc.).  I follow this schedule for what type of question they get...
Marvelous Math (adding, subtractions, shapes, number writing)
Terrific Topics (yes or no question based on the theme of the week)
Words Wednesday (write the sight words I introduced that week)
Thoughtful Thursday (usual four choices based on a thematic question)
Fun Phonics Friday (letters and sounds & rhyming)

I love giving them their own box AND it helps with attendance.

Later, during our Morning Meeting we do through the results and talk about what we notice.

I found the schedule several years ago online....I can't remember where.  It works really well though.

I also use my board to link to YouTube.  We start our Morning Meeting with this song.
 Or, this one
Or, this one
Lucky Duck
I've never been a job board fan.  It just isn't my cup of tea (too much work!).  My solution is to pick one student to be the Lucky Duck.  That person gets to do everything that day.  I don't pick who it is...I let the board!  There are many different possibilities.
Random Image Chooser
Random Name Chooser (first & last names)
Name reveal
Right now we're doing this one.
It is like hang man except you shoot a soccer ball in the net.  
The Lucky Duck also gets to choose their Brain Breaks for the day.  Over the years we've made 3 of these Jukeboxes.
 Each record links to the song or video of their choosing.  These Brain Breaks are so nice when the kids are bouncing off the walls!
Daily Five Check In
Right after we pick the Lucky Duck and do a Brain Break, we start our first round of Daily Five.
I have a file that has one of these for each round on each day.  It tells kids what round we are on, who I'm meeting with for Book Clubs (guided reading).  Yes, this group named themselves Cash Money.  :)  It also has the timer for stamina and it tells kids how many places are available for Listen to Reading and Word Work (Read to Self is on an infinite cloner again since they all have their own book box).
They Lucky Duck always gets to choose where they want to go first.  Then I quick pull sticks from my Pick Me Cup.
The last person in line starts the timer.  Meanwhile I'm already over at my Book Club table and have started working with my small group.  At the end of the round, they Lucky Duck hits the little picture on the bottom and it links to this song
Literacy Skills
After our first round of Daily Five, we have Literacy Skills time.  That's when I introduce letters, sounds, phonemic awareness and words. 
I made a file for the words I introduce during the year.
The star links us to a song on YouTube on the word red.  The little crayons link us to more.Starfall to learn about the color red.
I can also scroll through the words quickly to review.
I made files for each letter we introduce as well with lots of links to Starfall, ABC.ya & Have Fun
I also show Prezis for each word family from Jessica at A Turn to Learn.   They are FABULOUS!
I also created another Jukebox focusing on letters and sounds.  This is one of fives pages I made.
Again, each circle links to the song on YouTube.
Poetry (Shared Reading)
After our next round of Daily Five, I have shared reading time.  Each week we focus on a different nursery rhyme.  This is one from a couple months ago. 
I follow a schedule again (I'm a LITTLE type A!).
Monday-Read the poem and create actions as a group
Tuesday-Rhymin' Lime-Highlight rhyming words with the lime green highlighter
Wednesday-Words-"Butter" popcorn words with the yellow highlighter.  Later we "ketchup" fry words with red.
Thursday-Focus Question of the Week 
My kinders have their own copy that they work on.
The crown is linked to the song.
Author Study
After our last round of Daily Five we have Author Study time.  I love to go on the author's webpage because a lot of times there are fun games and good info on them.  My favorite is Mo Willems' Page.
Quiet Time
After the kids come in from recess, our school has a mandatory 10 minute quiet time (K-5).  They are expected to do a quiet activity to help calm bodies down before more learning.  I take the time to show a Tumblebooks or BrainPopJr.
I also use MeMoves
If you've never heard of Me Moves, you should check it out.
I start writing be showing these videos...
I've written about my SMART calendar before here but I didn't show you my actual calendar.
 I wish I could find where I got the template.  I changed it so it would work for me, but it was a great start.
The flowers on the bottom link to a Days of the Week song and a Months of the Year song.  The cupcake and tooth on the side link to a Birthday Song and a Lost Tooth song.
The rest of the pages go through number of days we've been in school, counting songs, the weather and then my calendar pages are at the end.
Theme Time
To remember all of the wonderful videos and online resources that can be used for each theme, I made a file.  For example, here is a peek at my Planting file.
I linked all the resources so finding what I want to use for teaching is easy peasy!
That's about it!  Like I said, I rarely turn it off.  My students are experts at navigating the board, too.
Do you have a SMART board?  How do you use it?
I'd love to hear all about it!
Don't forget!  If you live in Minnesota (or any other neighboring state), I'd love to meet you on May 4th dinner!
I'll be dining with these lovely bloggers
You can sign up for our meet up here...
While you are over at Learning With Mrs. Leeby and Live, Laugh, I Love Kindergarten, enter their fantastic giveaway!
 And, check out this deal!  If you blog about their giveaway tonight, you can pick out something from one of their stores for free ($5 and under)!!
We are down to 28 days left!