Friday, September 30, 2011

What is it? Letter or Number?

This week we worked on identifying words, letters, numbers and shapes.  I noticed some students were confused with these terms when I gave them their initial assessments.   This was especially true of my students who did not come to school with this basic vocabulary or are learning English.   We created this chart together.


Each child was given a card and had to think where it belonged.  I gave my experts the cards first and asked how they knew the answer.  Later, as part of their math workstation, the students sorted their own set.

Click here to get yours.
If you plan to use these with your students, please leave a comment.   Happy Friday!

Happy Teaching and Learning!


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Science Experiment Linky Party

Science Week
Join me in sharing your favorite science experiments and activities from your classroom or home.  I shared one recently here.

The next science lesson we conducted, tied into our mini unit but also served to support the needs of my students.  My class this year is primarily English Language Learners who have limited vocabulary.  I wanted this lesson to be interactive but also helped to build academic vocabulary.

This lesson was conducted over a period of days.  On the first day we used our senses to describe the outside of a coconut.  On the next day we opened up the coconut and repeated the same procedure.

Here is what our findings revealed.

Throughout the process, children were encouraged to think of better words than "circle" or " taste good." This was especially true when investigating the inside.  They easily could say it was white but it took many times of touching the coconut to get someone to say if felt wet and to explain why.  In the future, I plan to conduct a science experiment for each of the senses.  I found some very simple experiments to try.




Now, it's your turn to link up.   Link up, comment and connect with fellow educators about science.


Learning with Mrs. Parker




Happy Learning and Teaching!
 

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Science, My Dear

I love to see children excited about learning!  There is nothing as rewarding as when children ask when will we have science.   We began our venture into the world of science during our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom mini unit.

To begin, we watched this video.
This was a perfect way to start our investigation.  I loved how we were able to conduct the experiments right along with the video.  Students were able to make a hypothesis, conduct the experiment and see if prediction was correct.


We also used a simple data sheet to record our learning.

Check back later in the week to see more of our learning.  In the meantime, don't forget to check out other videos at 
Science Week


Happy Teaching and Learning!

Science Books

Science Week is here! 

Science Week

I hope you are enjoying browsing at the amazing blogs and science books out there. Here is my list.

Favorite teacher resources



Student Books
Great for teaching properties of matter.

Many Eric Carle books are great for science.

Love the text in this series.  Simple for early readers.

Great for beginning of the year.
These books are great for vocabulary development.

Coming Soon
Pre-order your copy here.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom


We had a great week exploring the wonderful world where anything can happen....
This book provided lots of opportunities for cross curricular study. 
I enjoy this book so much and thankfully, my students did too.

Here are some of the activities we completed.
  • For math, we used this book to help us count.
  • One of our alphabet activities was to match upper and lower case letters. 

Grab your copy here.

  • Look at these adorable hats!  The kids did wonderfully listening and following directions for this multi-step craft.  I loved how each one turned out different! 


Stayed tune for more Chicka Chicka Boom Boom inspired learning!

Happy Learning and Teaching!

 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Learning with Pete the Cat

We have had such a groovy time learning with Pete the Cat!
Our first unit of study in math was to identify our colors.  This was easy for most but there were a few who did not know this.  Each day as we've learned our colors, we have colored a page from our Pete the Cat book which I adapted a bit from here.  

We have also used Pete the Cat as our inspiration for writing.  As seen in the above picture, we wrote together this speech bubble about the colors.  Each child had a white board to write on as we created the sentences together.  I also had a few helpers for this interactive writing piece as you can tell by the the upside down e.  Oh, well.  We wrote! The bulletin board is displaying our first opinion piece; a Common Core Standard.   I highlighted the color word for them and most were able to trace over it.  Some actually copied the word.  


We concluded the week with the making of our Pete the Cat puppets.  They look adorable!  The kids were so attentive during this following directions and cutting task.  Thankfully,  I had the help of my once a week aide who assisted  during this task.  


Stay tuned for some science!
We conducted our first experiment today!



Science Week


Happy Teaching and Learning!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This and That

My kids are doing a great job getting into the groove of being in school.  For the most part, they have a pretty good attention span and can "work independently" for about 10 minutes.  I have been able to complete some pre-reading and math assessments using my free trail offer through ESGI.  I really love the instant feedback you get from the assessment.  So, unlike our current system.  (Click on the link in my sidebar to find out more. ) 


I am hoping to begin Math Work Stations next week.  So, this week we are practicing a few math games that will become the basis of some of our work stations.  We learned about taking turns while playing CandyLand.  We also played a dice game based on Brown Bear, Brown Bear.



The kids did a great job!  Our mini lesson focused on recognizing the number of dots without counting.  Many were able to do this at least up to four.  Not bad, for our first go at this.  Then, we got to use the dice to roll and color our Brown Bear Worksheet.  This was a great way to practice our colors and counting without it looking like that's what they were doing.  :)  We even had time to share our work and analyze the data.

How are math work stations going for you?  Your words of wisdom is greatly appreciated.  I'd love to hear what's happening in your room.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Tribute

Let us not forget.  God Bless America.

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Turn. Your Turn.

I began using My Turn. Your Turn. at the suggestion of the special education teacher to help our students who were mainstreamed into my classroom.  It was a term that she used with them to know when it was "Their Turn" or "Her Turn."  As an inclusion teacher, I realized how important it was to have common language.  I also liked how well they responded to it.  Many children have trouble realizing when it is appropriate to talk or in their cases just get up and move onto something else.   What I realized while using it with them was how well all my students responded to the term.  If a student interrupted, I asked "Who's turn is it?".  Many times, silence followed.

Now, that I am "starting all over" in kindergarten, I have been using this with my students.   They are doing very well with it too.  During the teacher directed lesson, I will say, "It's my turn."  I remind them that during My Turn,  I will do most of the talking.  I also let them know that it will be Their Turn next.  If a student interrupts inappropriately I simply say "My turn." If they keep talking, I ignore.  Most times, it works.  I must also note, that I have a really quite class so far.  (We're still in the honeymoon stage.)  I also have a fair amount of students who are non-verbal; by choice right now.  We will keep going over this procedure until it is internalized by most students.

Hope this helps those who were curious.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day


Today was the first day of school.  It was an almost uneventful except for the rainy day schedule.  Yes, rainy day schedule!  

The kids did an outstanding job!  Almost all of them, recognized their name and could write it.  We got a lot accomplished for a half day.  We read several books including Pete the Cat, drew a picture of ourselves, and practiced our colors.

We also learned one of our procedures: My Turn, Your Turn.  This really helped them to know when they could just chat away or when they needed to focus and listen attentively.  

Tomorrow is a full day.  I am going to be brave and bring out the scissors and glue!  We are going to look for items from magazines that are red and orange.  Wish me luck!  Let's hope everyone goes home without a new haircut.  

Happy Learning and Teaching!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Thank You

Thank you to my fellow bloggers who voted my blog one of their Top Ten.
Please show them some gratitude by visiting their outstanding blogs.


 


I Follow close to 200 blogs; all of which I love for enriching my teaching and learning.  


Happy Teaching and Learning!



The End of Molasses Classes

Ever since I started teaching, I have loved to read books written by other teachers.  I find them informative and inspirational.  Some of my favorites include Educating Esme, The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter, and a Room With A Different View.  

This summer I was lucky enough to read The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark.  I read much of this book with tears falling down my cheeks as I became immersed in the lives of the people who make the Ron Clark Academy an extraordinary place for teaching and learning.  The End of Molasses Classes is "filled with the magic, the successes, the heartbreaks, and the triumphs that are the Ron Clark Academy." The vignettes are a snapshot of how the Ron Clark Academy seeks to ignite a passion for learning in and out of the classroom.  At times followed by a Do This suggestion, it told how you could apply this method in your classroom or school.

The End of Molasses Classes could not have come at a more timely manner as our school is going through a period of change; new leadership, lower than expected test scores, and perhaps, a much needed time for our school to self reflect about our current practices.

This was my favorite quote in the book.

If you'd like to know more go here.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

I received a copy of The End of Molasses Classes by Ron Clark.  This did not affect my opinions about this book.