Saturday, January 16, 2016

More Play and Learning

Time has gotten away again! Let me catch up to what's been happening in our room with play based learning.
I turned my writing table into a jeep and they wrote about jungle animals.

We published our first book! Woo hoo!!

I created a science lab for Halloween!

We did a little fishing for rhymes at Steele Lake. 
We created Mayflower Ships and tested if they would sink or float.
Coffee Anyone?!

We did a little snow spelling.

Our thinking poses about Artctic animals is my favorite!
Of course there was a lot more, but I always forget to take pictures :(
I hope some of these ideas will help inspire you to make keep learning fun and bring play back into Kindergarten. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Play in ELA Stations

Is it just "play" or are they learning? To me play is learning if done in the correct way. When I prepare new stations, which most of the time is weekly, I have to ask myself "Are the students reading or writing?" If so, is it meaningful writing or reading. At the beginning of kindergarten it may not look very meaningful to others, but you all know if they are practicing those letters it all pays off later on. 

So how do you encourage kindergarteners to write? Build a ship! 
Yep! Look how enticing this is for a little one. They can't wait to go there to create their treasure maps. 

We worked on map skills and had to add a little fun Friday....
We made "earth" cookies after discussing differences between a globe and a map. Blue frosting water and green sixlets land = one yummy earth!

This week I set up a grocery store to get students excited to read and write.

You know you want to come and play... to be five again, ahhh. First you have to fill out your grocery list before you can "shop". Love making those lists!

The kiddos have asked to keep the grocery store for next week. I also asked them what things they like to work on at other stations. I love their input, makes it more meaningful to them. Do you ask your kids what they want to work on?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Play and learning

Exhausted is the only word I know since school started. We are now into our third week of school and my kiddos are starting to meet my expectations... No turning in scribble scrabble, you need to try, people are not purple, we can't whine or cry to get our way, yes you have to be nice to others and share. I could go on forever but I'm sure you completely understand. I needed some excitement in my room and learning at the same time so as usual I go all out with my stations.

At blocks they are putting stickers on Mine Craft Blocks to build their name. Yes the coolest paper blocks ever according to my kiddos. 

At writing they are learning to write names and use envelopes to mail it off in our mailbox. 

In dramatic play they are optometrist and opticians. This has been the hot station! They have to read the letters to see if they need glasses and then the doctor may also write them a prescription. Ha, ha gotta love it!

At sensory they are bakers and can bake up some letter cookies with the Young Living oil playdough that I made 😍 or they can use the paper chocolate chip cookies above and put their ABCs in order. I love listening to them sing the song and help each other. 

I thought I may keep these stations up for next week since it's a short week, but I'm excited about teaching maps next week and having some new "play" literacy stations. 

Check back to see what I come up with next!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Makeover Time- Class Reveal

I took some time off from my blog (a whole year, yikes!) and therefore I thought it would only be appropriate to start fresh with a new blog design. Woo hoo! 

Here are some things I had worked on over the summer:

Yep a little fun with reading nursery rhymes, jokes, and poems! I'm so excited to use this. 

I also wanted to try brag tags this year so I started creating my own and have 30 made so far for academics and behavior. 

I Mod Podged some clipboards to hang student work on. 

And painted a few cool canvases! 

Here's the before:

Here's the after with my Superhero theme. I'm in love!

Love my reading area!

As you can see I have no tables and chair. 😁 I'm doing without them this year and in place have clipboards with other seating. 

Today was our first day of school and so far so good! We do a phase in this first week so Monday-Wednesday we take 1/3 of the class each day and then Thursday and Friday 1/2 class each day. 

Can't wait to see my group of kiddos tomorrow!!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

First Blog in 2014- Penguins

How many of you were suppose to start back to school today? Yep, me too. Here in Tennessee it is so cold that we have today and tomorrow off. I know all you up north are laughing that 6 degrees is nothing compared to what you have, but to us.... IT'S COLD!!

Today is also a special day, my oldest turned 10 today. OMG.. where has the time gone.
He was complaining (like any typical 10 year old boy) that he wanted to stay home for his birthday and why wouldn't I take the day off so he could. Ha, he got his wish.
Anyways, we had a teacher day last Friday so I had a chance to get things ready for our Penguin theme when we go back to school. Here are a few things we will be doing.
Dramatic Play center- In the black bins are supplies for
"How to make Hot Chocolate" &
"How to make soup"
Here is the sign... Click on the picture
The how to make soup is still in the works today ;)

a little compare and contrast with the Fairy Penguin and Emperor Penguin

Have you ever made "Fake" Snow!! OMG it is the coolest thing. I found it here

Momma's Fun World: Make your own "Fake" sensory snow
My daughter and I had to try it out

This will go into my Science/Social Studies center with some magnifying glasses to look at the penguins. By the way, I got the penguins at Hobby Lobby in a Penguin Toob. Use a 40% off coupon and you pay a little over $5. My daughter had to look up each penguin also.
I made this to go along with the station so they could copy down the recipe incase they wanted to try it at home and of course what better way to get them reading at the station.
I have some more exciting things going on at my centers this week, but of course I forgot to take pictures. I cant promise you, but I'll really try to get those so you can see some other ideas.
Hope you all are staying warm today!!


Friday, December 27, 2013

PENGUINS freebie

I have been so busy this last month and neglected my blog. So I will be giving you a freebie below.

Like me, many of you may be teaching about Penguins in January. I love this website from National Geographic Kids.

Emperor Penguins Image

I also try to get my kiddos reading EVERY day in small group, but I couldn't find anything that covered compare and contrast on a kindergarten level. So I created an emergent reader about Emperor Penguins and Little Blue Penguins (also called Fairy Penguins).  Click here
Please leave me some kind words as to what you think :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Where does the time go?!

I really can not believe it has been over a month since my last post. Do you ever feel like your running circles and getting nowhere? Ooh... I got that feeling. I have really tried to incorporate our new reading series, but I gotta tell ya, I LOVE thematic teaching and I can not figure out how to get the two to flow together. (sigh) anyone felling me? So here I am going out on a limb and putting the reading series aside and teaching the way I get excited about teaching. My kiddos learn so much more.

Wait I gotta back up first, this all came about because on the way to school I was talking to my kids about The First Thanksgiving and my 9 yr old son says "why do I need to know about that, I'm not talking a test over it?" That about killed me, knowing that's the way he thinks and that's what our schools are coming to, due to ALL THE TESTING we are required to do. So anyways let me get back on track (you know us teachers loose our train of thought, every once in a while)... I decided I was going to teach the way I love to and hope my kiddos go home excited and tell their parents all about what they learned.

We jumped right in, exploring the Mayflower. I wanted them to see how big the Mayflower was and what better way than seeing it measured out. They all predicted they would be longer because kindergarteners are SO BIG 😉.

They also were given play dough, a fork toothpick, and paper. The only directions I gave them were to create a ship that would float. Ships are being created....

And the ship has sank.....
If you would like the recording page click below
We graphed and analyzed our results.
  I didn't do very well taking pictures of all the other activities but my kiddos sure learned a lot about the first thanksgiving.