Sunday, March 16, 2014

 Teaching Intercession and Spring Break!!!

We started working on number collection boxes right before Spring Break. Last year, I worked and worked with my firsties and some of them never did "get" it. This year, i don't think I really did anything differently, but most of the firsties seemed to grasp the concept a little better. I made one and explained it as I went, we made one together and then I gave them a piece of paper to make one by themselves. I was kind of dreading looking at the pages, but I was pleasantly surprised, most of them did a pretty good job. The next day we looked at some of them and then I put them into groups of threes. I thought that the ones that were struggling might understand it better coming form a classmate. I gave each group some dice to get their number and a piece of poster board. I told them that all of the groups that worked together would be able to use markers to finish their poster. That did the trick, they all  were working nicely, well I did have one that did have a bit of a struggle.

Here are a couple of the finished products.

The pink and purple circle WAS a clock showing 5:00 before someone got a little color happy with the markers. ;P

One of the boys in this group asked me if he could put the 11th month. :D

Last week , I was technically on Spring Break, but our district offers a full week of intercession for students are struggling. I was thrilled that I got to invite some of my students this time. We worked on number collection boxes a little more, but this time we glued "stuff" on to make our collections. Here is a picture of one, I forgot to take a picture of some of the better ones.
I think the doily is supposed to be a clock. lol

Here are a few things we did to introduce fact families to them. I thought it would benefit them to get a step ahead of the class.

We also worked on reading words cvc words and then add  Magic E.
Open the flap to find the magic E.

We worked on words families.

I used several pieces of construction paper for these. I folded them in half  and stapled them together to make a word family book.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

 Wednesday WOW 3-12-14

I'm joining Em @ Curious Firsties for her weekly linky Wednesday WOW.  Just take a look at your week and share some WOW moments whether personal or professional.
WOW it was eleven years ago today that my life changed in a most amazing way. My daughter, Delaney, was born. She has been a wonderful blessing to me. I couldn't have asked for a better daughter. 
Happy 11th Birthday, Delaney!

On a professional note, I was very excited last week when several of my students had a big jump in the oral reading fluency. One boy went from 20wpm to 38wpm, one girl went from 37wpm to 70wpm and another boy went from 47wpm to 99wpm!!! Now if I can get all of them moving in the right direction.

Our district Spring break started Tuesday (Monday we made up one of our numerous snow days). This week we have intercession for the kids who are needing extra help. I was very excited that I got to invite my firsties this time. At the other intercession, we didn't have very many teachers wanting to teach and since we are so tied to the test, I had to teach 3rd, 4th and 5th grade. I'm so excited to be able to work with my own students this time.

Enjoy your week!

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

 Wednesday WOW 3/5/2014

I'm joining Em @ Curious Firsties for her weekly linky Wednesday WOW.

My first WOW, I'm still kind of in shock about it. One of my moms came up to me the other day and handed me an envelope. WOWIE!!!!
These were inside, each has $50.00 on it! I work at a low income school, so I don't get many gifts from the children/parents. I have NEVER received anything this generous. I feel like a thank you just seems so inadequate. I think I am going to use the classroom card to buy supplies for Mother's Day gifts. There are some things I have wanted to do, but didn't have the money to pay for it, plus that mom will  receive something back wonderful generosity.

My next WOW is also money related, I hope that doesn't make me seem greedy, but I will tell you as a single mom, these unexpected things are ALWAYS welcome! I have long-term disability insurance which I have never used, hopefully never will. Last year the rep told me that I could get $50 for anytime I went to the doctor for being sick (not checkups). So I went through my tax stuff and  ended up getting $300.00 . That's good, but that's not my WOW. I sent one in for  this year and I got $200.00 for the one visit. I'm hoping that they changed their policy, that is wasn't a mistake. WOW

One last WOW, we always have a Black History program at school. I don't have a video of my class, but one day several kids were wanting to get up and "perform" for the class. This group of boys wanted to sing our song, "If You Miss Me From the Back of the Bus". since it had seven verses, I asked them to just sing the first one.

My class made pictures to go with the song that I made into a quilt.

The other first grade teacher made some really cool pictures, She traced some famous Black Americans  
and then let the kids color them, then she went back and traced the lines with a black marker. I loved they way they turned out!

I'm glad we performed early in the program because some our of 4th and 5th graders lip-synced  to some great performers. Here's Michael Jackson.

 Here's The Jackson Five.

There were some other performers, but I didn't video them all. They also did powerful quotes and then some were dressed as famous African Americans and read a short bio. The parents and everyone was WOWed.

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

 Whew! I Think I Can See Some Light...and Spring Break is Getting Nearer!!!

I haven't posted recently because I have just been swamped! I think I told you that our other kindergarten teacher retired, my principal hired someone from the admin building. We were all so happy!!! She has a teaching degree but had never taught. She came in and had 2 days to try to get the room in order. She took the kids on Wednesday and then on Wednesday evening...she resigned.  ):   ):   ):   That is for that poor group of kinders that just keeps getting split up between classes because most of the time we can't find a sub. After that incident my principal has been teaching the class except on days that she had principal duties that can't be ignored. She thinks she may have another person, but after the last experience....

The main reason I have been swamped is Boxtops. Our PTA was in charge of boxtops the last two years. At the beginning of the year, our PTA sort of just went bye bye, not sure what happened. I asked the principal if I could take over collecting the boxtops. So when I got online to register as coordinator, our school account was empty. No boxtops sent in ever. I talked to the principal about it and ton Valentines Day blue the PTA president dropped off a BIG bag of boxtops that were already on collection pages. As you can imagine a lot of them were out of date. Most of them were two years old (names and teachers were on the collection sheets). So I started the task of tearing and cutting them off. The next deadline was March 1 so I was under the gun. I seriously must have spent at least 30 hours messing with those things, but on Thursday, I put all $432 worth of boxtops in the mail and threw probably another $200 worth of out of date ones in  the trash. Since I am doing this by myself, I decided to make it as easy as I could. We have a big plastic jar in the office that the kids drop their boxtops. They write their name on the back and we draw 5 or 6 names every week for a small prize (pencil, fancy eraser, etc....). I got the idea from Delaney's school and I like how it kind of helps motivate the kids to bring in the boxtops. I told my kids if they saw a box in trash with one on it, bring it to school and I would cut it off for them...well I did say as long as the box didn't have food on it. ;P

Despite having four kinders in my room everyday, we are still learning. We are just finishing up with fractions. I had to squeeze them in before our final benchmark test that was on Feb 20. Yes you read right our final benchmark on Feb 20. You can probably guess why they moved the date up...state testing. grrrrr  Anyway, we did some fun stuff with fractions. We did marshmallow fractions using the colored marshmallows, of course the kids liked that since they got to eat them when we finished.. We also did name fractions. I found it here.

I wanted to do the Fraction Pillars from Cara Carroll and I probably will still do it, but while we were working one day I decided to try "Fraction Cream Cones".   The kids talked so much about ice cream while they were making them, I decided to go ahead and have them write about ice cream.

They all wanted to add sprinkles, I was going to get something for them to glue on, but they drew them on before I got a chance. ;P.

I also introduced compound words last week. We used my Funny Fish pack from TPT

I showed the kids a few examples and then I gave them a page with four fish on it. they were pumped up and ready to go. the next day I passed them back out and had them pick out their favorite.They put that one on a 81/2 x 11 piece of paper that will go into a  class book.

Here I thought we were on the downhill slide to Spring and Old Man Winter is rearing his ugly head one more time this weekend. As much I as I like being out of school, I really hope we don't have another snow day. We, teachers are making up 6 days at the end of the year which means my last day is June 10. I think I may use a sick day at least for the 10th if we can.

Have a restful weekend!

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

 Wednesday WOW 2/12/14

I'm joining Em @ Curious Firsties for her weekly linky Wednesday WOW.

Wow, it was 48 and sunny today, after the last couple of weeks it felt like a summer day. We were finally able to take the firsties out for recess. It was wonderful!

With all of the days off, we just now hit our 100th day of school on Monday. since we have gotten so off track from snow days, I kind of did a condensed version a 100's Day Celebration. One thing that turned out even better than I expected was "100 Word Search". The boys and girls worked with a partner. They walked around the room in search of 100 words that they could read. They loved this activity and I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't get too loud. I loved watching how engaged they all were in the activity. Here are a few pictures  I took:

I have one more WOW, isn't it cool how the internet/technology brings people so much closer. I got an email from a principal in a school in Cambodia. She had seen my "My Little Pony" sight word game on Pinterest and was wanting a copy of it to help one of her students that loved My Little Pony. I know I have personally asked several of you for advice, help, etc... and you have always graciously and generously helped me out. I'm glad I was able to her out.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

 Wednesday WOW 2/5/14 with a FREEBIE

WOW, I was talking to a friend from church, she and her family have only lived here since June. Anyway I said something to her about turning 54 in March, she said, "You're kidding, I thought you were 45!"  Wow that made me feel good! Then the next day she sent me a text. she had asked her husband how old he thought I was, his answer was 42! Double WOW!!! I really don't think I look that young, I think having a 10 year old threw off their guestimator! But it did make me feel good, even if it's not true! lol

WOW! Don't you love it when a lesson turns out great? We have been working on place value    
            the last week or so. While perusing through Pinterest,  I found this from Jennifer Oyler

I loved the idea, but before I had a chance to do it with my firsties, 

So I sort of combined the two ideas. I didn't want to do their first name because some of my kids have nine letters in their name. So I decided to have them do their initials.The day before we were going to do it, I showed them an example using my initials. We did have to have a discussion on what initials were. I told them to make sure they knew what their middle name was when they came in the next day because I wouldn't have time to look up everyone's. I also told them if they had more than one middle name to pick out one of them to use. 

So we started out reviewing my initials to make sure they remembered what we were doing. Then I put a copy of the alphabet  on the smartboard. I highlighted the parts of the letters we thought we should use "longs". We decided as a class that the "Cs", "Gs", "Qs", "Os", and "Ss" would have to be made using only "cubes". Here's what we came up with.

After that we sort of set up an assembly line to get our materials. I gave each child 10-12 "longs", if they needed "cubes" they had to cut them. They put their initials on construction paper and then I made a recording page to go at the bottom.

Here are a few of their pages. The first girl does not have a middle name. What they did was write the initial and then count what it was worth. Rozlyne's R was worth one long and 16 cubes or 26. The challenging part was to then draw it using the tens and ones of the number (2 longs and 6 units). I'll be honest, I didn't think about that being a little over their heads when I was planning it. I had them come up and I worked with the ones who needed help. It was cool to see the lightbulb come on as they"got it".

It was interesting to watch how they made the letters, as you can see this little girl struggled with her M.

 On Arabella's, you can see that they also had to count all of the longs and units and then write what their initials were worth. The next time I do this I will have it on the recording page.

I really liked this activity and the firsties did too. I think we are going to try it again instead of doing initials, I think we may do words from the -ar family or the -ay family. Practice a phonics skill and a math skill in one!

If you are interested, here's the pages I used. I did add a page for with four slots to record the word families so those who wanted a challenge could do a word like play.  BTW there are two blank hundreds charts. I printed them both on one page because I wanted to use 9 x 12 construction paper.

Can you believe it? We just hired a kindergarten teacher at the beginning of January and at the end of January our other kindergarten teacher retired. We only have eleven regular classroom teachers and this makes the second one to retire and we have had one to quit. Our PE teacher also quit, but she had just finished up getting a nursing degree. It has been a tough year for our teachers and an even tougher one on the children. Seven out of the eleven classrooms have had students juggled around due to the teachers leaving. I don't know what is going to happen with this new development. I'm hoping that we will be able to hire someone quickly. Most of the days the kids have been split up into different classrooms, as you can imagine kindergartners with a pack of papers isn't a good learning situation. :(  

Since the new kdg teacher hasn't been trained in the easyCBM (and she can't log on to the site), I have been trying to get the kinders tested during centers and my plan time. Yes! I only have 4 left to test of 49! It will be a big WOW when I finish. 
I found this on pinterest the other day. I really liked it.

Stay warm, we are having bitterly cold weather the next few days here in Oklahoma.

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