Friday, October 19, 2012

My TpT store!

Hi everyone! I jumped on the Teachers Pay Teachers bandwagon and opened a store! I only have a few things listed right now, but I'd love for you to check it out. Make sure to grab my freebie- an M letter search. And if you visit my site, please leave some feedback! Who knows, maybe I'll make $1,000,000 like Deanna Jump?? (probably not, but it's fun to think about!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ms. H and the awesome, wonderful, all-good, very great day

Today's blog post is the opposite of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day. Just one of those days where everything "clicked" and everyone got along. What was so great? Let me break it down for you:

1. A student who has been struggling came up to fill in a letter in our Morning Message and didn't know what to do. He turned to the class and said "can someone help me?" in his sweet little voice and 17 hands flew into the air. Melt my heart.

2. My kids got a great report from the Music and Guidance teachers- they sometimes struggle, so good behavior in those classes was great news!

3. They were all SUPER quiet during Language Centers- this meant I actually could pull my small groups instead of redirecting and shushing kids.

4. We got our 5th "green" in the cafeteria that the kids have been working hard for. This meant that they ALL had great behavior and it was recognized. Their reward was watching a video during snack time, so they were really excited.

5. It was a gorgeous day and everyone got to play at recess :) no kids sitting in time-out

6. my whole class, EVERYONE, ended the day on "blue" which is HUGE! It hasn't happened yet this year, so we really celebrated! Did a cheer and everyone got a piece of candy from the pumpkin on the way out the door :)

The best part? My kids KNEW they did great today. I'm hoping it will continue over to tomorrow, because ending the week on high note is always a great start to the weekend. So proud of my kids today! Days like this make me love my job!!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Walk to School Day!

In my district (and it many other places), we have "Walk to School Day." It's a day where students walk to school to promote safe walking paths, healthy habits, etc. At my old school, only a few kids did it and they just walked about 2 short blocks. Not at my new school! Pretty much EVERYONE participates and our "route" is about 0.5 miles. Pretty impressive for Kindergarteners!

I started out by meeting my Kinders (Starbucks in hand) at the church half a mile from school. They were so excited!

Then we started walking. And walking. And walking. Half a mile is hard when you have 15 5-year-olds to keep up with! Thankfully I had several parents who joined us to help wrangle my "herd".

Here they are walking down the street, holding up our sign so people could find our class:
How cute?!?! For the most part, they had fun on the walk. Unfortunately, we had several meltdowns when we got to school. Nothing like a crazy start to the day! Luckily, this teacher pulled it all together and we ended up with some great memories!

Apple Unit!

The week before Fall Break I taught my "Apple Unit." Pretty much everything we did was about apples! And it made me want to integrate more thematic units into my daily lesson plans. Maybe a pumpkin unit in a few weeks?

We tasted 3 different types of apples and made a graph to see which was the class favorite. Here they are getting their samples:

And the taste testing begins!

After they tasted each piece, I gave them a picture of an apple to color according to which was their favorite:

I wish I had a picture of the finished graph! Red delicious were by far the class favorite, followed by Granny Smith (surprised me!) and Yellow delicious in a distant 3rd place. We love making graphs as a class and I love how great my kids have become at interpreting the data and drawing conclusions.

Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of our experiment when we "dissected" an apple. But we talked about the parts of an apple and then the kids labeled their own. They did great with it and were stretching out some tough words- flesh, skin, etc.

Next up- best part of the unit, applesauce day! We talked about the steps to make applesauce:

1. wash them 2. cut them 3 cook them 4. eat them

 1. wash 2. cut 3. sprinkle (because we "sprinkled" in cinnamon and sugar) 4. eat

 1. wash 2. cut 3. sugar and cinnamon 4. eat

Then for a fun math activity, we read 10 Apples Up on Top and made our own version. This was a great end of quarter assessment for me- which kids can write and put in order numbers 1-5 and those who still need help. 

We had a great apple-filled week! Tomorrow I return to school after a week-long break. And dare I say it? I'm actually ready to go back because I miss my kiddos!

Fish Eyes

Wow, can you believe I've been back to school for a whole month already? Let me just tell you, I was more than ready for this long weekend! It's a little bit of a bummer that the first weekend where I don't have any plans, my fiance is out of town for a boy's weekend. Oh well, luckily our schedule is free next weekend and we can enjoy each other then :)

We have been super busy in my classroom for the past month! For the most part, I have a very "high" class so I'm having to think up new ways to challenge them. I'm also trying to come up with more authentic tasks, something that our district is really pushing.

In math we've been focusing on numbers 0-5, so I thought it would be fun to read the book Fish Eyesby Lois Ehlert and then make illustrations based on the book. 
My kids loved the book! And it was a great introduction (for the ones who were ready) for the whole "plus one" concept. We'll revisit that in a few months. But still a great way to challenge those students who are ready for it. I quickly made a sheet on the computer for kids to draw a set of fish to match the number. I put the numbers in order, but I think I'd like to see how the kids do with numbers out of order. Next assignment?

**note- I started this blog post over a month ago! So sorry for the delay- things have just been crazy busy. Starting school, moving in together, wedding planning, etc. I'm hopeful that I will be more on top of things soon :)