Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Behavior Code

About a month ago, I was listing to a rebroadcast on Doctor’s Radio (Sirius/XM), and they were discussing challenging children/students.  It was late at night, and my family was on a four hour roadtrip.  The kids were sleeping, and my poor hubby was forced to endure the broadcast.

However, the broadcast and book intrigued me. It was written by a behavioral analyst and a child psychologist. We all have had challenging students. Some are students that we can “handle” are some are students that make us pull our hair out and gain 10 pounds, right?! Maybe this book will answer some of our questions and give us some insights into why some children behave the way they do and give us some possible solutions for the behaviors.

As soon as I got home, I ordered the book and added it to my ever growing summer reading list.  I would love to hear if any of you have read this book! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Portfolios

Do you portfolio?  {I wrote a post about portfolios last year too.  You can read it here.}

This year, I had the kids do the portfolios a little bit different.  Instead of only giving them a page at a time to complete (which can be an absolute beast to get organized at the end of the school year if you don’t keep up on filing!), I put all of the pages inside of their three ring binder.  This worked out PERFECTLY.  The portfolios were ready to go at the end of the year, and I only needed to add monthly writing samples from their journals. (Which I am working on – they should be ready to upload to TpT by the end of the week!).

I didn’t have time to snap many pictures – (I’m sorry!), but here are two!

I put any extras – like their memory books and other writing samples in the pockets.

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Everything is in chronological order starting with September.  They fill in a calendar page, an alphabet page, and a number page.  At the end I also include a few writing samples.  It’s so fun to look through all of the pages and see how much they have grown.

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On the last day, we had our Parents, Pirates, and Portfolio day.  Parents came in, we watched the slide show, cried a little bit, paged through their portfolio’s and said good-bye for the year.

This year, I found this book in the Scholastic book orders and included that with a copy of the slideshow.

Many of my kinders I won’t see next year since their families are being transferred to a different air force base.  It’s bittersweet, but I am glad they have a little piece of Kindergarten to take with them!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In Pictures and in Words Book Study

Guess what’s coming…..it’s a summer book study!

I am super excited to be a part of this book study hosted by my good buddy Deedee Wills! We will be diving into Katie Wood Ray's Book, In Pictures and in Words.  Do you know Katie? If you don’t you MUST meet her!  She is the guru of writing, and is fantastic!

I’m always wanting to learn more about writing with little ones.  Writing time is my absolute FAVORITE time of the day.

So, are you going to work through this book together wish some of my favorite bloggers!!??  Read the details below:

When does it start? 

On June 22nd, Deedee will launch the book study on her blog.  Then each week another blog will host a section of the book. 

How do I participate?

You will want to follow the blogs who are hosting the chapters (so you won't miss anything).

If you have a blog:  You can create a post (using our guiding questions) and link up with the hosting blog.

If you do not have a blog:  You can simply comment on the blog with your reflections.

The beautiful thing about blog book studies is you can check in whenever you want.  If you have plans during this time of year... no worries... The information will be here waiting for you!

What is the schedule?
Deedee created a book mark to help you along the way.  It has the hosting blog, dates, and guiding questions.
Simply print it out and keep it with you as you go through the book study.

Giveaways?
You bet!  We will give away gift certificates for books from

We have more exciting news about this book study soon!  Yipee!

Are you SUPER excited??  Comment below and let me know if you are going to join in! Quick….click away and go buy your book NOW!

Monday, May 28, 2012

I.O.U.

memorial day 2

I feel privileged and blessed to be able to teach the children of the men and women who serve in our US Air Force. I teach on an Air Force Base, and I see the children’s sacrifice’s EVERY day.  Thank you for your service to our country, and the sacrifices you make each day for our freedom.

memorial day

As we enjoy our bbq’s, families and celebrations….remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and honor those who still continue to give for the protection and freedom of our country. Raise a glass in honor and a say a prayer in thanks.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Argh, Matey!

We had the BEST last 4 days of school this week.  The kids had SO much fun!  They were all very well behaved (can you believe it!) and were engaged in learning (yes, learning!) the whole week.  I am SO proud of them.  I think it helped that our beach centers were TONS of fun!

A wonderful friend of mine shared with me that she had decided to do a pirate theme to end the year.  That got my brain spinning! I ended up staying late on Sunday night to prep some fun pirate stuff – I am SO glad I did!

Here are some pics of what we did over the last 4 days:

We read LOTS of pirate books!  The Pirate Pete books were definitely a favorite! It was REALLY funny when he was searching for the “booty.” Oh man.

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If your school has access to Tumble books, both How I Became a Pirate and Pirates Don’t Change Diapers by Melinda Long are on there.  The kids love “watching” books on Tumble books!

We also have fun subtracting with pirates!

 

We made these ADORABLE pirates that were inspired by {this} as seen via Pinterest.

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We used Crayola’s skin color paints (on a paper plate).  For the hat, I just traced the plate and a piece out of the middle so the hat was about 4” high.  (Make sense? I got 2 hats out of one circle).  The “ties” are just 1” x about 6” maybe and the kids just cut those in half.  I used my handy dandy circle punches for the dots on the hat and the eyes.  I used a larger circle punch for the eye punch and just trimmed the top part off.  It was a SUPER simple project.  I just all of the circles when they were working – just walked around and punched circles for each table!  Don’t you just love the pipe cleaner earring too?!  We hung them from the ceiling for a couple of days and they were SUPER cute!

My kids can NEVER get enough of these games!  The first one is a sight word game in which I hide the treasure chest behind one of the cards, and they have to read the sight word to find it.

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This is another fun game in which they sit in a circle and pass the treasure chest around.  They pull out a sight word and if they can read it, they put it in the middle – if they can’t it goes back in the box.  There are other fun “action” cards in the game as well.  These are both in my Swashbuckling Sight Word Games pack.

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I found this AMAZING box at Really Good Stuff a couple of weeks ago on CLEARANCE and I knew it would be perfect for this game! I just used a basket before, but this makes it EVEN MORE FUN!  I printed the cards a bit smaller for this game – I just printed 2 pages on 1 and it worked perfectly!

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We also played this roll and color sight word game from Deanna Jump’s Pirates Math and Literacy Fun pack.

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and we played this game from KinderbyKim (Kim Jordano).  This is in her Pirate Pack.  I modified it slightly and cut out circles and added tally marks for the kids to pull from the treasure chest (ahem, a paper bag) because I was short on time.  But, she does have game cards to play this game included in the pack.

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After we read Deanna’s book from her Pirate Pack, we talked about what we would do if we were pirates.  IMG_3567IMG_3566

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On our last day, we had SO much fun dressing up as pirates!

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We made hats and we all even had eye patches! I wish I could show you how cute their faces were! They were adorable!!

We also played “Parrot, Parrot on my Head!”  So.Stinkin.Fun.  If you haven’t heard of Katie and Company, you need to stop what you’re doing NOW and go over to her website and check out her goodies!

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I actually pinned the parrot hat on my shoulder for most of the day, and the kids thought it was hysterical Smile I’m sure Julie will be at I teach K in Vegas, so be sure to save room in your suitcase! Her stuff is A.MAZ.ING! I already see some new things that I don’t have! ahhhhhhh!!!! Intervention, please!

We also went on a treasure hunt. SO. FUN.  How lucky was I that someone was throwing out this treasure box.  My thermal bag from 31 fit perfectly inside of it. I put the scavenger hunt cards all around the school and we came back to popsicles! FUN!

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Here’s a little pirate booty for you! If you would like the Scavenger hunt cards – here they are!

treasure hunt

To end the day on Thursday, parents were invited in for our portfolio day.  I’ll post more about our portfolio’s on another day.  It was a PERFECT end to the last day of a great year!

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I’m certainly going to miss this year’s crew, but I’m excited for more adventures in Kindergarten next year!

PS – I’m thinking that I need to make some Pirate themed math and literacy centers for next year – are you interested??

Monday, May 21, 2012

Let’s Go to the Beach!

Okay, so we are in the middle of the midwest and there really isn’t a beach – unless you count the shorelines of the 10,000 lakes in Minnesota and the Red River of the North.  But, we can use our imaginations, right?
I needed something for this last week of school that would keep the kids engaged in centers! So far, after day 1, they are doing great!
Here is what is in my drawers for the week:
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At this center, the children “dig” in the sand for shells and write the digraph that they here on each shell.
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The children LOVE these mixed up sentences, so I knew that this one was a perfect center for this week.IMG_3554
And anytime we can use those fishing poles from Lakeshore!  Inside the fish tank are fish with sight words on them. They fish out the fish and write the sight word.
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This center was a hit! The children sat on the floor and tossed the ball to one another.  They wrote the word that their hand was closest too.  Fun!
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At this math center, the children scooped out some shells, counted them, and wrote the number and tallies.
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We needed a little bit more practice with subtraction too!IMG_3559
Practicing time to the hour.
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And the always popular count the room!
Stay tuned for some fun pirate activities we are also working on! The kids are having so much fun.  We have our field day tomorrow, and we are done on Thursday.  Phew!

Want to try these centers yourself? Click below to find them on TpT!
Just click on the image!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Plants and Seeds

We have just 4 days left until we are done for the year! I don’t have much for you – I guess I’ve been a slacker in taking pictures these last few weeks. 

We did our unit on plants a few weeks ago. I don’t have many pictures … sorry!  Here are a few that I had on my computer:

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We did this fun painting project during free choice time at the art center. The kids just dipped a plastic cup in paint and then added the petals with a q-tip.  They just used a marker to add the stem, leaves, and grass.  Later in the week we measured the flowers with unifix cubes.  This project was inspired by an idea from Kim Adsit.

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This writing project is one of my favorites of the year!  We read the book My Garden by Kevin Henkes, and the kids create their own gardens.  Love their creativity and imaginations!

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Here are our cute little flower pots that we made.  It might be hard to see in the picture, but I cut up little squares of tissue paper and the children glued it to their cups (they painted it on with a mixture of glue and water).  I only used primary colors so the children could see the color mixing.  The signs came from Kim Adsit’s plant unit.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some pictures from my beach/summer unit! I forgot to snap pics on Friday!

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Hear All Giveaway Ending Soon!

This giveaway ends soon!  You only have 2 days left to enter.  It’s super easy – just enter – nothing to do for this one!!  Quick – scroll down and enter!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May Song and a Mother’s Day Idea!

Sorry for the delay in posting! It’s been cah-razy around here!!

Here is the May song for you! Hope you like it!

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I also wanted to quickly share with you a super fun and easy mother’s day idea with you before it’s too late!

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Aren’t they PRECIOUS!?!

These are actually mine :)  I had my girls make me some too so I could show you since we’re not done with them yet in class.

Here is what you need:

Shrinky Dinks Shrinkable Plastic - 8 x 10 inches - Set of 10

I LOVED Shrinky Dinks as a kid! My brother and I made all the pieces for a Christmas mobile one year! My mom hung it up every year for us.  I found my pack at Michaels. They are about $6 a pack.

You need a pretty good sized circle to start with – about 3 inches or so – I traced the lip of a styrofoam cup.  You could also use a big circle punch, but mine didn’t punch it out very well.

Cut out the circles and punch a hole in the top – you could do this after they have drawn their picture, but don’t forget! After you bake it, it’s too late to punch a hole. (Unless you use a dremel!)

Have your kiddos use a colored pencil to draw a picture of themselves and their mom.  I also used a sharpie marker to write their initals and the year on the back (the shiny side!)

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Set your oven to 325.  Line a baking sheet with a piece of brown paper bag.  Set your pieces colored side up.  It goes super fast, so be ready!

Gather any children in your house to watch – they think it’s SUPER cool!

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It only takes a minute or two.  They will shrink and curl up and then go flat.  Wait about 30 seconds after they get flat and take them out.  I used another cookie sheet and just pressed down on top of them for about a minute until they were cool.

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SOOOOO CUTE!!!

Add a jump ring…

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And some elastic cord and beads…. and voila!

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Now, my kiddos at school certainly won’t be using these fancy beads! They are from my personal stash, and are a bit too spendy to use.  I have a TON of pony beads that I’ll let my kiddos use.  I don’t think their mom’s will mind! 

Hint:  When you tie your elastic cord, add a tiny drop of super glue to the knot to keep it tight!

I’ll be sure to post the finished product!  What fun crafty things are your kiddos making for the special lady in their lives?

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