Thursday, January 27, 2011

Polar Bears

Here are just a few quick pictures of what we did with polar bears last week:
We observed the polar bears at the San Diego Zoo just about every day…(how exciting!)
We did our weekly “making words” activity with POLAR BEARS.  The kids are getting so good at this!
You can download this activity here. (I’m working on a whole set of making words activities for February).  I do this every Friday and the kids look forward to it!
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We made these super sweet polar bears from the directions from Heidi’s Blog.
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And some math problem solving…the kids are getting so good at this! I love it!!
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We wrote polar bear facts…
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And did a directed drawing of a polar bear and then labeled it’s parts. 
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And, of course reading lots of fiction and non-fiction books. Including….
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Now, as I was reading this book, I had a huge text-to-self connection but I couldn’t share it with the kids – so I’ll share it with you all.  I  just started watching Lost on Netflix while I run on the treadmill – I’m only on the first season, so don’t give anything away!  Well, this book explains the whole polar bear thing on the island….you’ll have to check it out!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Groundhog’s Day

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My friend, Kim Adsit, has an ADORABLE new Groundhog’s Pack out – oh my goodness, this is the cutest!  The packet includes ideas for math (measuring and graphing), a tree map,non-fiction writing,  compound words, science (animal coverings) and so much more! Be sure to check it out!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Penguins and Winter Fun! {Math & Literacy Centers}

I love getting new centers out for the week! The children are so excited to have “new” centers! What is so wonderful about kinders is that they don’t realize that they are practicing the same skill over and over again!  I like to keep things “similar” so that the children know exactly what is expected from them each week.
{Literacy Centers}
I LOVE this center! This one is from Julie Lee over at Mrs. Lee’s Kindergarten.  I picked just a few blends for the children to practice, but she has many available for download.  Go and check it out – she would love to hear from you!
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I made this response sheet to go with the center.  You can click on it for a free download!
fishy blends
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This game is in Deanna’s Penguins math and literacy pack.  The children are playing “go fish” and matching CVC words to their pictures.
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The children take three picture cards, decide which one doesn’t rhyme and write the words on the response sheet.  Rhyming oddity is the next step in developing phonemic awareness.
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The children read the word and sort it on the correct word family.  I choose to use the short e word family words since we had just finished practicing those.  All vowels are included in the center so you can choose which one you would like to use.  For the sorting mat, I simply cut out some “snow” from white paper and glued the house on top!
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This center is too cute for words! I love the clipart! The children sort the CVC words according to their medial vowel, and stretch out the word to write on their response sheet.
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{Math Centers}

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Finding things in the room that are smaller, taller, and the same size as the penguin, and then measuring the height and width of the penguin with a ruler.
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This child is using the double sided counters and counting how many penguins and polar bears there are.  The children write the number on the line and then circle the number that is greater.
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Cold Cash! Penguin money spinner and graph.  The children will write the value of each coin in the correct space.DSCN4980
This center is ordering number from smallest to largest, and then from largest to smallest.  I have sets of penguin playing cards that I used, but the pack has penguin playing cards ready for you to use!
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Penguin Pennies: The children roll the die, put that many pennies on the penguin and then repeat.  They then complete the addition sentence.
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In this center, the children pick a card (these cards are not included in the packet) and write the numbers that come next.  The bottom portion has a challenge for the children!
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Penguin number word sequencing.  There are 2 other options available in the pack as well for number sequencing.
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Penguin money roll and tally.  The children roll the die and mark with a tally mark the coin that it landed on. 
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(I use my document camera to write the words as we go!)
Hope you like these centers! If you are using them in your classroom, please leave a comment and tell me how much your kiddos love them! {or better yet send me a picture of your children working on them! You just might see your classroom on my blog!}
Next up – Polar Bears…

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is it cold enough?

I found it fitting that on the day we started learning about Arctic Animals, the temperature outside was this:

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No joke, folks.  This was the temperature according to my car when I got to school.  I watched it go from –11 to –19 on my drive.  With the wind chill it was about –30. YUCK.

While we read If You Could Go To Antarctica, we created mental images about what it would look like and feel like there. um.  All we needed to do was look out our window.  We learned that Antarctica is the coldest place on Earth.  Guess what the temperature was at 10 a.m.??  ND: –19, Antarctica 32.  I guess we got them beat.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Arctic Animals Sight Word Game

My students love to play this game – they never get tired of it.  I change the theme, and they are just as excited about it as the first time I presented it.  It is a great way to practice and reinforce sight words.

The full packet is available in my TpT store, but here’s a sample to get you started! There are 51 Kindergarten sight words in the full packet, plus two options for recording sheets/literacy centers.

Enjoy!

Arctic Sight Word

Mittens and Hot Chocolate

I could sure use some hot chocolate today! It is cold and blustery here – why do I live here again?
Last week we had some fun with hot cocoa and read many different versions of The Mitten.
Here is a glimpse into our room:
Well, I thought of took pictures of our hot chocolate science experiment, but I guess I forgot!  We made predictions about what we think will happen if we put hot chocolate powder in hot water and in cold water.  The children drew their predictions in the reader’s response journal:
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It was so fun to listen to them talk and discuss with each other would might happen.  They all have prior experience drinking hot chocolate, but most have never made hot chocolate for themselves.  Many of the colored in the water red for hot and blue for cold! Adorable!
Then, I boiled up some water (I brought in my electric teapot), and put powder in both the hot and cold water.  I put the cups under the document camera so the kids could really see what happened.  We observed and charted our observations.  We watched for a few minutes and decided that hot chocolate powder dissolves better in warm water Smile
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(Can you see the chunks of hot chocolate powder in the cold cup?  Great observations!)
Staying on the hot chocolate theme, I introduced them to the teen number missing number game. They LOVE this game.  Most kids choose it when they are done with their math centers.  Not sure if it’s because of the dry erase markers or what!?  Doesn’t matter to me, they are having fun practicing sequencing numbers!
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And we played our missing marshmallow sight word game almost every day!!  The kids even asked to play this game during free choice time.  It’s so fun to watch them figure out who is going to be in “charge” and hide the marshmallow!
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To add a little bit more to the game, at the end of the week, the children got white boards and markers and wrote the words as they were guessed.  So, instead of turning them over, they had to write the word on their board.  They had to re-read the words on their boards to figure out which word to guess.
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On to the mittens….. here is the cover of our response book.  I think I cut the mitten thumb a bit too big – looks kind of awkward! oops Smile
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We read a different version of The Mitten every day and made a list of the characters in each one. The children were excited to hear the story to pick out which characters were different and which were the same!
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On Thursday, we read this book:
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and wrote about text-to-text connections:
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And on Friday, we read this book:
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and talked about text-to-self connections:
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And math problem solving for the week:
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