Saturday, September 29, 2012

Handwriting/Writing Center Idea

One of my consistent centers is my Handwriting Bucket.  In the bucket are 26 envelopes (one for every letter of the alphabet!)  The kids write each of the words from the envelope into their dictionaries during center time.  
Their goal is to practice and perfect their handwriting but also to expand their vocabulary (hopefully!)

I've been using this as as Handwriting Center for YEARS and decided it needs an update for next year!

I kept the "easy" pages with the lines like you see in the pictures:

But I also added a little bit more challenging version where the kids have to use the 3 handwriting lines:

AND and even more challenging page with a writing component (kids pick one of the words from the envelope and write a sentence/draw a picture about it):

I also added some fun picture cards (8 for each letter of the alphabet):

And there are also labels for the envelopes to keep the cards in:

Normally $6.00 on sale through September for $4.00!

Once this center is set up it will last the whole year!  Love simplicity!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Show and Tell

Show and Tell is a love/hate relationship for me.  The kids love it and I hate dread it.  

I try and make the kids stick to the focus letters of the week.  This week's focus letters were N and P.  Most of the time the kids DO bring things that start with N and P.  

But it never fails that someone will bring something totally unrelated.  
This week I had a key chain in the shape of a cat.  I tried really hard to think of a way for it to fit into our show and tell.  
I don't want to tell the kids they "can't" show something they are proud of!
So. . . we decided it was  "P" show and tell because cats PURR. 
 It's the best I could come up with. . . 

I feel like I do get a few standards covered with Show and Tell:

Phonological awareness
2b Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.

For each S & T we clap the syllables.

Speaking and Listening:
Participate in collaborative conversations with 
diverse partners about kindergarten topics and 
texts with peers and adults in small and larger 

a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., 
listening to others and taking turns speaking 
about the topics and texts under discussion).

b. Continue a conversation through multiple 
4. Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.  Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and 
ideas clearly
The kids "Tell" us about their S & T and then they have a chance to ask questions about the S & T.

Counting and Cardinality K.CC
2. Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1).
We tally  mark and skip count.
3. Write numbers from 0 to 20. Represent a number of objects with a written numeral 0-20 (with 0 representing a count of no objects).
Count to tell the number of objects. 
4. Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
a. When counting objects, say the number names in the standard order, pairing each object with one and only one number name and each number name with one and only one object. 
b. Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
c. Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
5. Count to answer “how many?” questions about as many as 20 things arranged in a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration; given a number from 1–20, count out that many objects.
Compare numbers.
6. Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., byusing matching and counting strategies.
7. Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.
We count and write the number in each letter group.  Talk about which group has more/less, etc.

So, when I think of the standards being covered it makes me dread it a little less.
Plus, like I said, the kids LOVE it.
And really. . . school is about them not me!

S week Show and Tell.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Number Introduction Time! (Freebie alert!)

This week we'll start introducing #'s 1-10.  We take 2 days for each letter.

Day One:
1.  Read a story about the number being introduced.

2.  Smartboard File for discussing Number Sense.  Kids pick pictures representing the number and move them above the line.  Pictures not representing the number stay below the line:
Available on my TPT for $2.00 (click picture)

3.  Independent practice page:
Available on TPT for $2.00 (click picture)

4.  Math Centers for hands on practice and review of old skills.

Day Two:
1.  Review of Number Sense by completing top of this page together:
Download this file for FREE (click picture)

2.  Number writing practice on bottom of worksheet above.
Each number has a chant we say as we draw the number. I'm sure you've seen these (or version of) before:
1:  Straight line down.  One is fun.
2:  Around and back on the railroad track is two, two, two.
3:  Around a tree, around a tree, that's the way you make a 3.
4:  Down and over and down once more, that's the way you make a 4.
5:  Down and around and a hat on top, man alive you've made a 5.
6:  Down and a loop, a 6 rolls a hoop.
7:  Across the sky and down from heaven, that's the way you make a 7.
8:  Make an S and do not wait, go back up and close the gate.
9:  A balloon and a line, that's the way you  make a 9.

3.  Math Centers for hands on practice and review of old skills!

Don't forgot to check out more freebies on Teaching Blog Addict!

Freebie Fridays

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Alphabet Exchange

Chrissy over at First Grade Found Me (adorable blog by the way!) organized the alphabet exchange this year. What a LOT of work!  Thank you Chrissy for getting this organized and keeping everyone "on task!"  

So far we've received 3 letters and the kids are sooooo excited about it!

We display our mail in the hall and keep track of where the letters some from using the map (picture at top.)

We also keep track on our smartboard:

We are super excited to get the rest of our letters. . . and for those of you in the exchange (Group 1) we are sending our D's out on Tuesday!

Thanks again Chrissy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shoe Tying With Pete the Cat

Shoe tying. . . not a school skill, I know.  BUUUUT Pete the Cat came today to encourage us to tie our own shoes!  

We read the book Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes and then talked about how Pete wants us to have safe feet.  He sent a poster to school and the kids get to sign it once they can show me they can tie their own shoes:

He also sent each of the kids a License to Tie and a certificate:

I don't teach shoe tying but I do encourage it! 

Now when a kinder asks me to tie their shoes I can say, "Ask one of Pete the Cat's friends who knows how!"  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Right and Left

I LOVE teaching left and right!  
. . . deep breath. . . sigh. . . .

Above is a pic of one of the activities we worked on.   The small cards are numbers and tell the kids how many counters to put on the hand.

We've also been singing Harry Kindergarten's Left and Right Robot song.  
Over and over and over and over. . . .

We've been twisting away with Patty Shukla!

We've also been jammin' out to the Hokey Pokey and rocking out to Mother Gooney Bird by Dr. Jean.

Of course we had our Smelly sticks out too!

I need a machine that has 2 buttons:
When I push button one it will say, "You have fabulous behavior, show me your right hand for a Smelly Reward!"
Button two will say "You have fabulous behavior, show me your left hand for a Smelly Reward!"

Anyone have that for sale in their TPT store??

Seriously though, whoever thought up Smelly Rewards is a GENIUS!  Thank you from the bottom of my <3 !

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mrs. Muncher!

Mrs. Muncher visited yesterday.  She is an oldie.  Her hair is falling out, her eyes are sagging, and at some point a few lovable children't tried to pull the letters off her tummy. The kids still love it when she visits though. . . probably because she always brings something fun to share with them!

Is it sad to say I've been teaching so long I don't remember where they original idea for Mrs. Muncher came from? We used to "feed" her while practicing sounds during centers but my genius coworkers introduced me to the "Mystery" game and the kids LOVE it. . .  so now she has a new purpose!

The kids have to guess what's in her tummy before she'll share with them.   I give a clue and the kids make some guesses.  Then I give another clue and they can guess some more.  I give 3 clues in all and HOPEFULLY by the 3rd clue we get the answer right.

Clue #1 today was "It starts with the letter T."

After a few guesses I gave clue #2 "It is brown."
(The crossed out words are words that were guessed that didn't make sense anymore after we heard the 2nd clue.)

Then clue #3 "You can eat it."
(We crossed off some more words but I forgot to take another picture.)

It's actually harder than it sounds. 
 They get off track on the 2nd clue and really off track on the 3rd.
I started to hear guesses like "chocolate, donuts, hersery's bar, etc."
(I don't write those answers down because we have to agree the answer "makes sense" before it's added to our list.)

I finally gave up today and gave a 4th clue "Sometimes they give them out for treats at banks."

Woo-hoo!  They finally guessed it!

Tomorrow she'll have rocks in her tummy!

Throughout the first semester she'll bring us something to represent every letter of the alphabet.  The kids get really good at guessing  what's in her tummy by December.
 (Then Mrs. Rist's Muncher Money is gone and she goes into hiding until next year!)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Eyes on the Word!

Our "Eye Pointers" came to live with us today!    They help us point to the words we are reading on the page.

The sight word book in the picture is a freebie from Hubbard's Cupboard.

When I say "eyes on the word" it's a quick reminder to have your own eyes and your pointer's eyes looking at the words as you read.

The pointers live in our table buckets right between our wipe board markers and our wipe board erasers (old cheap gloves left over from lost and found last year!)

Everyone needs a home!   : )

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Do not miss out on Surfin' Through Second's Fabulous 500 Giveaway!  It's starts today so click the picture and surf on over!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Zero the Hero!

Zero the Hero made his first visit today!
Isn't this guy cute?  Check  him out here.

  Yep, 10 days done!  I was soooo excited to get Zero's first visit over with started that he came right away this morning!

**We read our Zero the Hero story**

My coworker Tina had an adorable story and we updated it with some new clipart.  The kids loved it!  For your free copy click this pic:

We worked in our Zero the Hero book that Zero left us. 
(I pulled the book up on the smartboard so the kids and I could do it together. I LOVE  my smartboard!)

To look at that packet on TPT ($5.00) click on the pic:

**We sang Dr. Jean's Zero the Hero NumberStomp*
of course!

**Watched Schoolhouse Rock My Hero Zero**

**Zero brought us string and beads to make ourselves necklaces with 10 beads**
(we noticed the beads were shaped like zeros!) 

And an hour later Zero the Hero said good-bye!

After our visit my coworkers and I stumbled across this book in our library:
Absolutely going to use it next year on Zero's first visit!  Will have to be on day 20's visit this year!

The author also has a story out called One that looked amazing also!

I know, corny. . . but I am SOOOO excited for 3 days off!