Monday, March 25, 2013

Saying Good-Bye to March!

  I cannot believe that March is almost over!  We do not have our Spring Break in March like many other states.  Our Spring Break is always in April, and this year, it cannot come fast enough.  The Kinders have been going stir crazy since returning from February vacation!  I think it's because we have had a ton of snow and a ton of snow days!  We have used up all of our snow days thanks to a hurricane, blizzard and a few other rogue storms.  I am so glad that we started this school year earlier than normal.  We were supposed to be out of school on June 19th, but now, we are out the 26th.  Bummer!

  March is usually a very LONG month because there are no days off.  Luckily, Easter came early this year and Good Friday landed in March!  Wahoo, for a short work week this week!  Last week I did a cute writing lesson with the kiddos.  We talked about the saying, "March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb." the previous weeks and I decided to end the conversation on this we would write the saying, make a lamb and the Kinders could go home and share their knowledge of the saying.  Here is one of my little lambs:

   Now that I have finished planning for the rest of the month of March, I have started to look toward the month of April.  Another Kinder teacher and I have decided to do one spirit day a week leading up to April vacation.  So, on April 4th we will be having "Pirate Day"!  In our planning and researching we have found a couple of cute activities to do on this site:  We are planning on making the letter P pirates as well as making the treasure bottles.  I have already saved 6 water bottles and washed them out.  Next I am going to fill them with sand and then find things to put inside that begin with the same letters.  Each bottle will be a different letter and there will be 5 things in each bottle.  The Kinders will then have to find the items in the bottle, check them off and color the remainder of the sheet.  I will post a picture when I have finished them!

  We are also planning on having a Luau/Tropical Day on April 11th.  We haven't begun researching this one yet, but it is sure to be another fun day!  Our principal heard that we were planning this day and she wants to do it school wide!  Going to have to bust out that grass skirt!  Do you have any cute luau/tropical themed activities that you do?  If so, please share in a comment!
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Spring!

  Hello there, and, Happy Spring!!!!!  Though the calendar says today is the first day of spring, we are expecting some more snow tomorrow.  Boooooo!  That's fine, because I don't really have much time to get into the topic of spring with the kiddos because St. Patrick's Day and Easter are so close together this year! As soon as Easter is over and the weather is warmer (hopefully!) we will discuss spring, the plant life cycle, the life cycle of a butterfly and everything else that comes along with spring. 

  Today we had a bit of fun playing "Spill the Beans!"  Each table was given eight tiny cups filled with different amounts of red and white beans.  Each student have a turn spilling the beans, counting the red beans, counting the white beans and then adding them together.  Each time the beans were spilled the students recorded the findings in an addition equation.  Here are a few pictures of our fun today:

  Kudos to my lovely volunteer who put this activity together for us.  She even created the worksheet!  The Kinders really enjoyed this activity!

  Another activity we did today was also compliments of my volunteer.  She created these sentences using the Kinders two new sight words.  The love doing this activity each week as we learn more and more sight words.

This is so simple, yet the Kinders really enjoy this and it is helping them to not only practice their new sight words but to help them with their comprehension skills. What skills are you working on in your classroom?

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Assessments, Report Cards and a FREEBIE!

Today was report card day.  How I loathe report cards.  Our district is in the process of updating our report cards so that they align to the Common Core standards.  The Math section is complete, but, the ELA, Science and Social Science sections are still based on the state frameworks.  Luckily, it is a standards based report card, so there are no letter grades.  Students either Exceed the standard, Meet the standard, Begin to meet the standard, or do Not meet the standard.  Essentially their report cards contain a mix of E's, M's, B's and N's.  My biggest gripe is that some of the standards are lumped together.  For example, in the math section one of the standards lumps together number recognition and counting.  I have some students who can count until they hit 100 but cannot recognize some of the numbers in the teens.  While they are meeting one part of the standard, they are not meeting the other.  It's a tough situation then!

 In order to help me "grade" the students I use this handy little assessment:  Quick Kindergarten Assessment.  Here's the front of the page:

I created this handy little assessment at the beginning of the year this year.  I typically assess my students with this 4 times per year.  I love having this not only for report card time but to use at parent/teacher meetings, IEP meetings and IST meetings.  It gives everyone a overall picture of where the student is and what they may be struggling with.  I also use this to help form groups of students who need some extra help in certain areas.  Enjoy!
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Teacher Blog Tuesday!

I am so excited to be one of the feature bloggers on Dana's blog!  Fun in 1st Grade is such a wonderful blog.  Dana has some great ideas, and she has some great things in her TpT shop!  So, click the button and head on over to read all about little ole' me!

Thank you Dana for giving me the chance to participate!

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Is it Spring yet?

My para's creative side is definitely in full swing now.  She has almost the whole hallway decorated!  She just completed our spring styled door cover as well as a floral mural!   Here are a few pictures of the flower garden mural:

 Look at those roses!  Isn't she amazing?!  She's added a few insects to this as well as a sun and clouds; I will post an updated picture soon!  We are working on creating some rainbows and bumble bees to add to her St. Patrick's Day and Bee Hive displays.

To tag on to get Spring fever I have created a Word Family recording sheet.  I am using this in my room a few times a week.  Since I have removed our Counting to 100 Days Tree, I hung a chart where that was and we are using it to make word family words.  I pre-write the ending 6 times.  I then ask students to think of a letter that they could put in front of the ending to make a word.  They then find the letter and put it right in front of the ending on the chart.  Once we have the six words the students go back to their seat and write them on this paper:
You can download your copy of this sheet for FREE by clicking on the image.  Happy March!

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Currently...

It's that time already!  I love when March rolls around.  To me that signifies that spring is around the corner!

Listening:  My daughter pretty much runs our Netflix account here, lol!

Loving:  Spring is coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOOHOO!

Thinking:  So glad that my hubby has a non-retail job.  He's worked retail since we met (11 years ago).  It's nice to have nights and weekends off with him!

Wanting: Who doesn't like ice cream.  I want Vienna Mocha Chunk ice cream with hot fudge, whipped cream and sprinkles!

Needing:  A need some down time where I can read at least a chapter of a book!

Like:  March - like I said before, it means SPRING IS COMING!

Love:  My hubs new job!

Hate:  Mice - They freak me out!

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