Friday, December 30, 2011

"Snow" Painting



I few weeks ago, I pinned this cute picture. I knew I wanted to try the activity in my classroom but needed to "test" it out first to see how it would work.  I had my four year son and seven year old niece test it out for me!  It turns out this activity is great for all ages!





To get started, you will need:



 Step 2:

Let's create!

End results:

Need book suggestions? Check out these


Happy Teaching and Learning!


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

January Book Picks - Linky Party

I can't believe 2012 is upon us.  Luckily, school does not start until the 9th!   Most of these books will be used for teaching during science and social studies.

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

These books are great for all grade levels.  
I try to teach about the many people who
influenced the Civil Rights Movement.


Let is Snow. Let is Snow. Let it Snow.

No, snow in my parts of California!
But with these books we'll have "snow" much fun.



Celebrating Chinese New Year

The New Year begins January 23rd.
It's the year of the Dragon!  




I plan to share ideas, pinspirations and perhaps, a freebie or two to go with these book picks.  Now, it's your turn to link up or leave a comment about your favorites.


Happy Reading!



Monday, December 26, 2011

Do you Fold?

Have you used foldables in your classroom?  Recently, some of my students created these foldables during our study about Friends.  Here is how we created them.



Here are some uses for this activity. 

We used the graphic organizer above to help us organize our thoughts.  Since the kids were writing about a friend and needed to present it to their classmates, we practiced the vocabulary and the sentences many, many times as we made the Foldable.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Top 3 of 2011

Where did the year go?  I began 2011 with less than 100 Followers and I would love to end the year with 1,000.  (I'd love your help. If I reach this goal, there may be a giveaway.)   

Today, I am joining Fern Smith's Linky Party.

Here are my Top 3 for 2011

PostsMore »
Oct 13, 2011, 21 comments
21,385 Pageviews
May 15, 2011, 28 comments
14,393 Pageviews
Aug 31, 2011, 11 comments
13,687 Pageviews


Do you ever wonder which sites your visitors come from? Here are mine.

Traffic SourcesMore »

Thanks Deedee and Jenn!

And, here are some posts which reflect my teaching style; differentiated with bit of work smarter not harder.


3 Posts You May Have Missed
Instant Math Center Using Puzzles
On Safari to Africa
Dissecting Sentences

Happy Blogging!  Happy Following! :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Pinspirations - Linky Party

I am looking for some Pinspirations.

Here is a look at my board for January.  


As you can see, it is pretty bare.

Here is my social studies board.  Very sad.... :(



Share your favorite boards.  And because I have my Christmas shopping completed, let's make this a linky party.  Share your Pinspirations.  

Happy Pinning!



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Counting My Blessings

During the holidays, I am often reminded how blessed I am.  Today, I would like to share with you one of my favorite Christmas stories.  So, I created a movie using my Flip camera.  (Sorry, if it is not the best quality.  It is hard to read and videotape but I tried my best.)  Every time I read this story, I cry.  So, please excuse my crying.

video


As I read, I am reminded of my mother who was a migrant worker and the tough childhood she endured.  But I also think of my students; many of whom live in poverty.  Some, may not have any gifts to open this holiday season except for the one I gave them.   I think of my former student, who sleeps on the floor because he has no bed of his own.  I can't help but wonder if they are okay.  No child should be without.

So, as I sit here, enjoying the warmth of my home and the wonder that the holiday season brings to many of us, I like to stop and count my blessings.  I am lucky!  I could be just like Panchito or many of the students that I teach; but I made it.  I overcame the hardships in my life.

Are you blessed?


Monday, December 19, 2011

100th Day Find

While shopping today, look what I found.
Happy Shopping!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I Survived!


Wow!  This week was one of the longest, busiest weeks of the year!

I survived 20 conferences,  a 2 hour Student Success Team meeting, our kindergarten Winter Performance, and a walking field trip to our local grocery store! To top it off, we were on minimum days for most of the week and rainy day schedule for two of those days.

Here is a sampling of the week.
We made these as our Parent gifts.  They turned out great.  I added "fake" snow filler inside the ornament.
Pinterest inspired

We also made stockings which I filled with goodies to help them with homework; two dice, dry erase board, dry erase board marker, and a book.  The kids were so excited when they saw the dice.  They love kindergarten Yatzee and Roll a Sight Word.

For our Winter Performance we sang Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciado.  Find a copy of the book here.

Click image to hear my students sing!
This audio clip is of my students rehearsing.   I wish you could see their faces.  

Happy Winter Break everyone!  I am looking forward to three weeks of thinking about school at my own pace.  :)

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hanukkah idea....and More

Whew!  Assessments and report cards are finished!



We are performing for our families a collection of winter songs including The Driedel Song by Raffi.  Here are few Hanukkah activities we completed during our learning.




We made these pattern candles found here.  I used them to decorate the door. 

My students learned how to play the Driedel game which they loved.  Look at that smile! The kids could not get enough of this game.  

I also made a little book for my kids to read based on the song.  Unfortunately, I can't share because of the graphics but you can find the Hanukkah graphics here.
Source
And totally, unrelated, we are participating in a Gingerbread Exchange.  This kids enjoy looking at the map to find where our Gingerbread is from.  They are eagerly awaiting getting a Gingerbread Girl. Here is our display. We made gingerbread houses after reading Gingerbread Baby.  It was a great independent activity while I finished testing.  

Five more days until vacation!  Yeah!

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

I'm Busy

It's the busiest time of the year.....ASSESSMENTS!

I convinced  suggested that we purchase ESGI to use with our assessments.  I love it!  And, so do my teammates.  We are able to use some on the system tests and create our own assessments.  No more shuffling papers, gathering supplies, etc.  Just click and go.  Data in an instant!  (And, I don't know about your school....but we are all about data.)

Here is the problem! TESTING TAKES FOREVER!!!!!!  It is 1-1.  In the pre-reading section, there are 4 tests times 21 kids.  There are 3 sections. You get the drift.

My poor kiddos!  They loose valuable instruction time.  :(    I try to only test during center time.  But I still get those kids who want to show you their work or just stop by to chat.

So, I've created this little sign to remind them that I'm busy.  I plan to insert it into a little frame and display at my computer where I am testing.

Click image for your copy.
What are some of your tricks of the trade to keep kids at bay while you assess?  Let me know.  I hope I'm not the only one who has this problem.

Happy Sunday all!  I'm hoping to watch a lot of football while planning for the week and getting some report cards started.

Happy Teaching and Learning!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Word Study with a Holiday Twist

This week we tried something new for word study.  Our usual routine involves a teacher directed lesson and independent practice.  I remembered how much my students last year loved Write the Room activities so I created this one to meet the needs of my kindergarten students.


I "hid" cards around the room and the students searched for them.  I loved how engaged they were as they searched.  Some students worked together while others did it independently.  Afterwards, we read the words and sorted them into word families.  The kids loved it so much they have asked me to do it again.  So, it is now an option for Word Study during Daily 5; to maintain, I move the cards around each day to a new location.  Easy!

Would you like a copy?  If so, click on the image above. If you like, leave some feedback at my shop or better yet, leave me a comment on my blog.

I am also looking for more bloggers to link up on my December Book Picks. To do so, go here.  Lastly, I hope you didn't miss my post on TBA.   To celebrate the holiday season it included a freebie and recipe.

Happy Teaching and Learning!