Saturday, November 24, 2012

Letters to Santa

Each year I have my students write a letter to Santa.  I do this for a couple reasons: it is a great memory of kindergarten; it is interesting to see what students ask for; it helps me when I am shopping for children I choose from the Salvation Army giving tree.

I keep the original letter that students write to give them at the end of the year (it typically shows great writing growth!) and send a copy home in the child's folder.

This year I created a little template for students to use.  In the past, I have helped them write the note, or written it out for them to copy from a dry erase board.  This year, I wanted to simplify the process, so I created this template.  You can download it free from my TpT store.  Pictures of my students' writing soon to come!

My TpT store will be on sale Monday and Tuesday with 20% off everything.  Use the code CMT12 to get an extra 10% off your purchases!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Little Turkeys

We have enjoyed 2 days of a more relaxed schedule and focused on Thanksgiving.  Yesterday was our Thanksgiving Feast.  Our whole school eats together in the gym on "feast day".  My students dressed up like turkeys.

One of my "turkeys" wearing his turkey hat.  The kids and staff loved them.  The yellow pieces are the turkey legs.  Here is the link to the site I found these.  Love Pinterest!

She is working on her story of Thanksgiving bracelet.  I downloaded this awesome freebie from Freebielicious, however, I can no longer find the link.  Here is the link to a post from Differentiated Kindergarten, who authored the book, when her students used it.

We practiced our color words by coloring this turkey according to the code.

Thanks to 70% off at JoAnn's, we made foam turkeys today.  $3 for 24 turkeys...Yes, you can make a craft today!  They were easy and age-appropriate.
Thank you to all the great blogs out there for some awesome Thanksgiving ideas!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Monday, November 19, 2012

QR Codes

QR Codes seem to be everywhere these days.  I recently purchased a SMARTphone and became even more aware of QR Codes in my everyday life.  I decided to take advantage of this technology in my classroom.  My students are hooked!

I started out easy. I created 12 codes using to create my QR Codes.  I'm not sure what the best website out there is to make your own QR Codes, but I liked this one because I could put my own text in and they were pretty colors (I know, really important, right?).  I printed and displayed all 12 codes on my closet door.  Next, I downloaded the "Scan" app on our 2 iPads.  Students take the iPads up and scan the codes one at a time and record the word that appears when they scan the code on a recording sheet.  Each QR Code contains one sight word.

This was almost too easy.  The most difficult part was choosing just the right color for the codes.  My students are in love with the activity, and I can't wait to create another if this is what it takes to capture their interest.

How are you using technology in your classroom?  I'd love fresh ideas!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Learning About Food

We spent the past 2 weeks learning about food!  We discussed where food comes from, healthy foods and the food groups they belong to and the workings of a grocery store (market).  My students loved our unit on food.  Below are some pictures of our learning.

Students used scented stickers to write about about fruits or vegetables.  They could make up their  own sentence or choose to complete the sentence "I like  (fill in fruit or vegetable)" or "I do not like (fill in fruit or vegetable)". 

We read sentences on pizza slices and tried to build a full pizza.   My students LOVE this game!  She is practicing "stretch and read" by tapping the sounds on her arm.  The pizza game is from my "Healthy Dose of Language Arts" pack.

At the Dramatic Play lab, students took orders at the "sandwich shop".  They did a stretching words writing to take a friend's order!

After taking orders, students created sandwiches using my Melissa and Doug sandwich kit.  Students then chose "mixed fruit" (runts) for a side dish or "peas and carrots" (peas and carrots jelly beans from the Jelly Belly Factory).  This center was definitely one students looked forward to visiting.

Counting vegetables then making a graph to show findings.  After making the graph, students analyzed the data and answered which vegetable has the most and the least.

Students completed a "My Plate" model by cutting foods out of a local grocery store advertisement and gluing them in the proper place on the plate.  They were very proud of the completed product!

This unit was a great lead-in to Thanksgiving.  Two days this week where we will focus on Thanksgiving.  Following our 3 day break, we will be learning about art and music with the theme "Sing a Song-Paint a Picture".

I love comments and new followers!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Alphabet Exchange

I participated in an Alphabet Exchange hosted by Chrissy at First Grade Found Me.  My students loved making our "Y"s using "a yard of yellow yarn and yellow paint".  We also really enjoyed receiving our letters from around the country and learning about other classrooms.

Our alphabet is hanging in the hallway for the entire building to enjoy.  As we learn a letter and its sound, students bring in pictures of objects that begin with that sound.  These are the posters hung below the letters we received.

Thanks to everyone who participated and Chrissy for hosting it.  It is something we really enjoyed!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Winner Declared in Our Election

Our current theme is "What's on the Menu?" which includes nutrition and food groups.  We tasted 3 fruits: coconut, pomegranate seeds and blueberries (red, white & blue theme) then voted on our favorite.

Our puppet theater doubles as a voting booth.

Fun straws for our breakfast completed our day.
I was surprised when we tallied our votes to find that pomegranate won our election (9 pomegranate, 7 blueberry, 4 coconut).  We learned a lot about the democratic process today!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What's On The Menu?

Our theme for the next 2 weeks is food.  We will learn about healthy eating and where different foods come from.  I created a packet of language arts materials for my literacy labs (centers) to engage my students in skills we are currently practicing.  You can see some pictures from the unit below.  Check back later this week for pictures of my students using them.  You can purchase the packet from my TpT store here.

Board game: students have to read the CVC words on the healthy foods.  If you land on junk food, you have to go back 5 spaces.  4 monster game pieces included.

Writing CVC words: Students name the picture on the included recording sheet.  10 pictures total.

Pizza: Cut the pieces apart.  Students must read sentence to keep the pizza slice.  Students are trying to make a full pizza.