Friday, March 29, 2013

5 for Friday!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bug's Teaching for her fabulous Five for Friday!  Love this linky!


Here is a random look into my week1
~ Today is the official first day of Spring Break!  This break will be filled with lots of quality time with my son.  We already have a possible trip to the zoo planned for Easter and a trip to the children's museum for a Mr. Potato Head show!
~ I posted a freebie for this station here.  My little owls loved using the pinchers to grab out the alphabet beads hiding among the jelly beans. 
~ We read the book Chameleon, Chameleon by Joy Cowley this past week and then read A Color of His Own by Leo Lioni this week.  We used hulu hoops and sentence strips to make a Venn Diagram to compare/contrast the two books.  The little owls than copied our work into their own Venn Diagrams.


~ We reviewd graphs, surverys, and analyzing data this week.  I put together this little survey for the owls to do on Thursday.  I also gave each a class list, so they could cross out names after they asked the question.  I think I will be including more surveys during these last months of school.  Such a great time!

~ This last once is a glimpse into the future.  My sister and I are taking a trip down to this wonderful place
Wishing everyone a Happy Easter! 


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Some"bunny" Kind of Writing

I'm on a "blogging" roll this week.  We had such a busy four days, which made it easy to pick up a camera and get some great pictures of our learning.  Side note- I did want to pull out my hair on a daily basis.  My little owls are in some kind of funk and seem to remember skills in short bursts.  Beyond frustrating!  Just when I thought we had something down-BAM!-it was gone.

We are still working on making our writing strong with the use of describing words.  Today, in the spirit of Easter quickly approaching, I brought in a "large" stuffed friend.  We took turns using our senses and then describing "Mr. Rabbit."  I had three little owls come up and write their sentences for us.  It was very helpful for the others to see their friends writing for a change.

After we did our whole group piece, I sent my little owls back to their table spots to give it a try.  I wandered about helpig where and when I was needed.  Overall, I was impressed with how far some of them have come in just a couple of weeks.  I set the bar pretty high in writing and love seeing my little owls reach that level.
"The bunny feel hard."  This little owl is struggling with her writing.  She is Spanish dominant so this sentence is A-MAZING!  :)

"The size of the carrot is medium.  The head looks like a heart.  He is eating a carrot.  He is white."

"He is big.  He has a big butt."  (Loved this one!)
I'm officially on Spring Break!  In my pjs already and prepared for some serious rest and relaxation.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

"Sense"ible Writing!

If you were able to read my last post, I mentioned how we were really focusing on using our senses to strenghten our writing.  I decided that this needed some more work, so it has been the drive of my writing instruction this week. 
This is what we did on Tuesday.  Prior to the lesson, I found magazine pictures that would lend to each of the senses.  In two different groups, we came up with describing words for the pictures using only the sense given.  The words were written on post-it notes.  I had a mom come in to help that morning so this activity went smoothly.  On my own, I might have stuck to whole group.
In case you were wondering, hots dogs taste ketchupy.  (I'm totally copyrighting that word!  :))

Close up of a couple of the pages.  Love their inventive spelling!
"I hear people being loud at the park."

"I smell flowery flowers."  :)
Today, we revisited our posters.  I then explained that we were each going to write a sentence using one of the pictures, the sense, and a describing word given.  I modeled how this would look and did some thinking aloud.  After that, each little owl had to tell me their own writing plan.  I put the necessary post-it on their paper and sent them on their way.  Above are a couple of sentences.
If you would like a copy of the writing page, grab it here!  (If you do pick it up, please leave me a little love!)
T-MINUS 1 DAY but who's counting?!?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Picture Rewind!

This post is going to be a picture rewind, if you will!  We had some great learning moments last week that I want to share with you all.

Little display I put up on one of our classroom walls to show how hard we have been working on addition.
Each little owl got a pot.  We took turns rolling a die and adding the correct number of clover stickers.  If you look closely, we folded the pots in half.  This invisible line helped remind us that we were adding.  After two rolls, each little owl had to write an equation.

We did this addition work the next day.  I found super cute St. Patty's Day confetti at Party City and right away my mind ran in a million different directions.  I settled with the math direction!  I presorted the pieces into snack sized baggies.  Each little owl took a baggie sorted the confetti and then turned it into an equation.  This took a little longer for them to get though.  I wanted to rip my hair out with a few of them.  :(
We had a leprechaun messing with our calendar pieces for a couple of weeks.  He finally stopped and left us this little note and these little treats.
"I hear nothing.  I taste chocolate and carmel.  I see pretty Skittles.  I feel smooth Skittles.  I smell fruit."

Reading his sentences back to me!  (The little owls have to read their sentences back to me before they hand them in.  Great way to encourage better word choice and sentence structure.)
We are trying really hard to strengthen our sentences with describing words.  We used our 5 senses to write about our little treats. 
Hope your week is going well!  2 more days and then it's SPRING BREAK!  :)

Monday, March 25, 2013

Let's Get Aquainted!

I've been seeing posts popping up left and right with these cute little buttons.  I finally gave in and clicked on one of the buttons. 
I'm linking up with Flying into First Grade this week for her noun game version of this linky.  The rules are to name a favorite person, place, thing, and animal.
Person-  This one is both easy and hard.  I have quite a few people that I love immensely and cannot think of life without them.  However, I would have to say my son, Asher, takes this one.  He is 2 1/2 years old and has more energy than I will ever have.  He is the king of knock, knock jokes and is always laughing.  This is my pint sized pirate!  :)
Place-  I would have to say at this time, VEGAS!  I am going this summer for the I Teach K! conference, AGAIN!  (Anyone else going?)  Love that there is always something to do and that no matter how many times you walk up and down the strip it nevers seems dull.
Thing-  I love my DVD collection.  Cheesy and a bit said, yes.  I like the idea of sitting down and getting lost in a movie or a good TV show (minus commericals) after a long day at school. 
Animal-  This should be an obvious one, OWLS!  I'm not a pet kind of person, but I do have plenty of owls decorating my house and classroom. 
Well, that's all folks!  I will be back (hopefully tomorrow) with a post about last week's math work.  I forgot my camera at school over the weekend, so I didn't have the pictures I wanted.  Silly me!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

A First Time for Everything!

While I was lesson planning this weekend, I created a couple of recording/evidence pages for the stations that I came up with.  I'm going to attempt to attach them here for you to have as a freebie.  Please leave me a comment and let me know if you have any problems with it or if you would like to see anything added/changed.  Keep in mind this is the first time I am offering a downloadable (is that a word?) freebie, so it doesn't look as cute as all the other products out there YET!?!

The first freebie I made to go with some extra plastic eggs I had laying around.  I put different shaped mini erasers inside.  The little owls will open the eggs up, sort the erasers, and then write/solve an addition equation.  The second freebie is for a literacy station to review alphabet recognition.  I am going to hide letter beads in a small plastic bucket full of jelly beans.  The little owls will dig through the jelly beans, find the letters, and identify/write the letters.  I will take pictures of these in action this week as my camera was left at school this weekend.  :(


Friday, March 22, 2013

Some"BUNNY" Loves Your Blog Linky!

I'm joining Bunting, Books, and Bainbridge for her absolutely adorable linky party!

Now I'm not a rule breaker, but I had to "bend" the rules just a bit for this one.  Shhhh!  Please don't tell on me.  :)
There are too many amazing blogs out there that are written by such fabulous teachers that I couldn't narrow it down to just one.  The authors of the below mentioned blogs are beyond inspiring and kind hearted.  I eagerly wait for their next blog post and quickly add their ideas into my lesson plans.  I am a better teacher because of them.  I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart and wish nothing but the best for all of you!  (Insert AWWWWWW! here)
In no particular order, here it goes.  Please make sure to stop by each of these blogs, look around, and tell them I sent you!  :)


Monday, March 18, 2013

How To Writing

We have been really focusing on the traits that good writers use.  First, I must say how great my little owls are doing with this.  We are very reluctant writers this year, but I am pleased that over the past couple of weeks they have really started to apply themselves.  Last week, we were looking at the organization of writing.  We talked about how writers can use key words like first, next, and last to help their readers follow the writing better.  These words can also help keep the sentences in an order that makes sense.  I decided this was a great time to look at some how to writing.  We started by discussing how to make a PB & J sandwich.  The little owls loved this!  I have never seen them so ready to help me spell and write!  We made this large copy together. 
Love the invented spelling!  This was a good time to really focus on our stretching out words strategy!
The following day, I brought in the necessary materials for making a PB & J.  We reread our writing and then followed the steps to see if the order (organization) worked.

From here, we did our own how to writings that tied into the theme in our reading lesson for the week.  I even stepped it up a notch and had them take the steps and turn it into a paragraph.  Boy oh boy, did they think they were little owl rockstars!

Friday, March 8, 2013

What's better than Friday? A Five for Friday!

I'm needing a good linky fix and what better way than to link up with Doodle Bug Teaching and her Five for Friday Linky PAR-TAY!  Make sure to drop by her blog and check out all the amazingly random things that are happening in the teaching world.
1. This week has been a great Science week for us!  We are studying water and what's not to love about studying water.  We looked at water's surface.  Read about it here!  We made "goo" with water and cornstarch.  We played around with sink and float.  The one that by far won over all my little owls was our fireworks in water.  Yes, you read that right.  FIREWORKS!  :)  I found the experiment on Pinterest so please click the picture to get the details.

2. In math, I have finally introduced the penny and the nickel to the little owls.  So far so good!  This is what we did today.
3. This is the stack of assessments that I have given out this week to have some solid evidence for report cards.  Mind you report cards should be completed by this coming Monday!  I have been working my little owls like no other this week.
4. This one ties in with number 3.  Even though I dislike assessing so much, it was wonderful to see that my little owls are making some good progress.  Are they all where I would like them to be?  No!  However, all of them have made improvements since the last time I assessed.  That I will take!
5.  A just for fun picture!  I had out my camera the other day and Asher ran over and told me to take a picture of him.  As I was getting ready, he turns around and yells, "Can't catch me!"  What a stinker!
And that boys and girls, is what we call random at its best!  Hope all of you had a great week!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Water Has a Skin? HUH????

Needless to say we did not get a snow day today.  I, maybe, just possibly was a little kid about this "we want a snow day" thing yesterday with my little owls.  I reminded them several times to go home and think snow!  Guess they didn't think hard enough about it or maybe I though too hard about it!  Whoops!

No worries, we made the best of it and did some good ol' fashioned learning.  :)  Like my previous post mentioned, this week I am doing small assessments for report card purposes.  So far I can happily say that most of my little owls are blowing me away.  Maybe those glazed over stares are really just stares of learning and thinking really hard.    On top of great assessments thus far (hoping I didn't jinx anything by typing that,) we also did a super fun engaging science experiment.  We are currently studying everything WATER!  Favorite unit by far.  I mean what K kiddo doesn't love water.

We were focusing on water's surface or skin as we called it.  We did an experiment that allowed us to see the water's "skin."  I found this experiment online but cannot remember where I found it.  We started with a bowl of water and discussed what might stay on top of the water's surface and what would break the water's surface.  We talked about the why and why nots as well.  After some discussion, I shook some baby powder into the bowl.  We talked about what the powder did and why.  Each little owl then added some more powder onto the water to see if more powder would change the experiment.  No such luck!  The amazement on their faces was priceless!  Then I poured in some dish soap by an edge of the bowl.  We talked about how the dish soap broke the water's skin and how it pulled the powder down into the water.  Overall, great experiment that allowed the little owls to visualize water's skin.  The ooohs and aaaahs made it worth it!  Here are some pictures of the experiment reenacted at home.


If you look really closely, you can see the powder falling down.
Two writing examples that we did after the experiment to show what we saw and what we learned.
Hope everyone has had a great start to their week!