Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Exit Tickets

We've been doing a lot with FIP (Formative Instructional Practices) in our district.  One of the ideas presented many times during our last PD day was exit tickets.  My students have been self-evaluating all year on different skills/tasks, but I've never actually tried an exit ticket with them.  Back in my third grade days, its been 8 years, I would have used exit tickets in a second, but I didn't really think to try them in kindergarten.

I knew that if I had something visual, I would be more likely to use them.  I purchased some fun library pockets, numbered them, and passed them off to my student teacher to create a display.

Today we tried them with author's purpose.  Students got a small sheet of paper (made with a 2x4 shipping label template then cut on the paper cutter) marked with an E (to entertain), I (to inform) and a P (persuade).  My student teacher read a story and after discussion features of the text, students had to complete the exit ticket by circling the author's purpose for the story before going to their centers.  After completing the exit ticket, each student put it in his/her library pocket.  I put a little line on the exit ticket for them to write the number in case they put it in the wrong pocket.  This is the first time they have been assigned a number, but if you already use the numbering system in your room, this could easily be left off.

While students do not yet have the author's purpose concept down, they seem to really want the purpose to be "to persuade", they did an awesome job with the exit tickets.  I loved the opportunity for them to show what they know in an informal way.

Do you use exit tickets in your room?  How do they work for you?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday WOW {February 19}

I'm linking up with Curious Firsties for Wednesday WOW.

I was watching some of my kiddos read into the iPad tonight.  We've been doing this every two weeks for since before Winter Break.  I love that I can watch the kiddos and really focus on them (from the comfort of my house) instead of trying to listen to them, take notes and monitor 22 other kids.

I was floored by some of my kids tonight!  They use strategies when they are with me, and I know they know many things to try, but I was in awe of what they could do independently.  When they read to the iPad, it is not a cold read.  These are the books they have in their independent book bags.

I have what I call "the great divide" in my room.  Those who are well above where our curriculum thinks kids should be reading at this point, those who are "on level" and those who are below the expectations.  My "above" kids blew me away.  Reading for meaning, self-correcting for visual and meaning, and some awesome expression.

I can't wait to share my excitement with them tomorrow!  Only half my class read today, so I'm looking forward listening to the other half tomorrow night.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Will You Be My Valentine?

We survived our Valentine's Day (which if you visited yesterday, you know came immediately after the 100th day). This girl is tuckered out; no more parties for a while!

We went pretty low-key for the Valentine's Day party as well.  There were 4 stations: snack (cookie to decorate and juice/milk), craft, table games, and floor game.

Not good unless loaded with sprinkles :)
I gave them a variety of sizes of hearts and basically let them have at it!

Suck a marshmallow up using a straw and transfer it from the plate to the cup.  They also stacked conversation hearts to see how tall of a tower they could make.  The tallest stack was 16 hearts high.

There were foam cupcake shapes on the floor in a circle.  Students walked around the carpet stepping on the cupcakes while the music played.  When the music stopped, they had to pick up the cupcake they were standing on and read the sight word.  They thought this game was awesome and played for 20 minutes!

I consider the party a success since no one said "I'm bored" or my personal favorite "When is the party?" I'm off to warmer weather for the weekend!  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Celebrating 100 Days!

We made it (well, almost...our building decided to celebrate today because we didn't want to change it anymore after all the snow day craziness!).  Are your kiddos crazy?!?  This week, our first full one since winter break, has been difficult for many classrooms in our building of Pre-K and Kinders.  The kiddos were quite pumped today that it was the 100th day.  They were invited to dress like they were 100.  Not many took us up on the idea, but glasses on a chain and pearls were popular.

We had a relatively low-key day with a few activities this afternoon.  Students went to 3 stations: building with 100 cups, headbands/roll to 100, and a 100 snack.  It was great to see their enthusiasm for these activities and fun to see their creations.  They sure have grown since we started 100 (99) days ago!

Tomorrow is our Valentine's Day party and an early dismissal for PD in the afternoon, off Monday for Presidents Day, then hopefully some "normal" weeks!

Have you celebrated the 100th day?  I'm always on the lookout for new ideas for next year!  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday WOW {Pottery Fun}

I'm linking up with the Curious Firsties for Wednesday WOW.

Last night, my class had the opportunity to meet me at Hot Pots, a paint your own pottery studio.  This activity was funded through DonorsChoose.org.  Families were invited to join me for an evening of fun and creativity.

We painted these cuties!
Each student had the opportunity to paint one of the little guys above.  We finished a unit on penguins about 6 weeks ago, and the kids were excited to share the penguin facts they know with the staff at Hot Pots.  They did not paint their penguins to look like real penguins!  These were super cute, and the kids loved them because they come with a tealight, so they are a little night light.  The penguins had to stay so they can be glazed and fired, but they'll be ready to be picked up in about a week.  

It was great to see the kids chat with each other and have fun outside of school.  Their parents also had the opportunity to talk.  Fresh popped popcorn was provided by the studio, and I brought juice boxes for students.  

It was a great night!