Wednesday, March 30

CHICK, CHICK, DUCK!

Okay, I love chicks just as much as the next person, but put a little food in them and watch out!  It was soooo funny watching my kinders make sounds as the chickies p**ped on the floor while we were petting---I mean--observing them!  My friend, Mrs. Burgess, had a duck in her classroom and she was kind enough to share with us.  Thank-you so much--we loved the duck, "she" was simply adorable.  I started thinking, wouldn't it be fun if we could hatch ducks next year!  That would be a great surprise for my kinders because a few of them were telling me how they hatched eggs in preschool.  I'll have to look into that!  No matter how many times they get to see the chicks hatch, they (and me) are amazed to see the miracle of life!  Now the hard part, choosing someone to take the new family home.  We talked about keeping the chick family together and we decided that we would be happy for whoever was chosen.  The notes are being collected, a name will be drawn from the hat tomorrow, and the chicks will be going to their new home on Friday, it has been fun!

Back in time---first two chicks to hatch.

My kinders were very curious about what the inside of the egg looked like and what was inside, so we had to check them out!  I put a couple eggs on top of the incubator and we talked about what they were seeing and why it looked the way it did.
Our babies are so cute.

Monday, March 28

MY SPACE RACE game

Thank-you so much for everyone's support on my first featured item on the TpT site.  I was feeling pretty yucky this weekend
--I caught the stomach bug--

and it was nice to read the wonderful comments today!  Thanks so much!  I have posted a similar game called Bunny Hop to celebrate the spring/Easter season.  I will post picks of my class playing this game when I get back to school.

Thursday, March 24

LITTLE MISS ZOE

Last year about this time our chickens had hatched and we were getting ready to put the incubator away.  I was given a tiny kitten whose mother had abandoned her when she was two days old.  So I became a surrogate cat mom for her and her brother; she weighed 2.8 ounces.  Her brother, Charlie, only lived for one week.  So, "Little Miss Zoe" is a tad bit spoiled!

(Yes, that's lightbulb above her!)

(Here she is all nice and comfy!)

I didn't know very much about taking care of kittens so I began researching and learning more than I ever wanted to know about cats and kittens and I pulled out that incubator for a second time to help keep them warm and safe.  I found out that kittens are a lot like human babies because they have to be fed (often), burped, bellies rubbed, and wiped down and cleaned.  There are a lot more things that I learned, but I won't share--I am sure you can guess!  I never considered myself a "cat person" but I wouldn't exactly consider Zoe your typical cat...She loves wrestling with Lucy, our mini-pin/beagle mix, who also tries mothering Zoe.  Lucy would get up with me everytime I fed her and sit by my feet or next to us on the couch--It was so sweet.  We do have another cat in the house, Oscar, and he IS a typical cat and does NOT want anything to do with Zoe.  I don't think she even knew he was in the house until she was six months old!  She also loves water--probably because she was bathed a lot as a baby--she even gets into the shower and rolls around.  She is very loveable and greets us when we walk through the door.

Here she is "posing" for the camera!
Happy Birthday Miss Zoe!

Wednesday, March 23

BIRDS, BIRDS, BIRDS

We wrote more WOW Chicken Facts today on our big chart paper together; tomorrow we will each write about our own WOW facts that we learned.
My kinders helped me pick out our "ch" and "sh" words.  We have also talked about adding an "s" if we are talking about more than one and we needed to circle the plural words.  They are so smart!
 
We read this book yesterday to gather facts about chickens, eggs, and chicks.  I've had it for a while and they love the real pictures inside. We created a drawing of an egg and labeled the different parts; it is hanging by the incubator.

We also watched The Magic School Bus:  Cracks a Yolk on United Streaming.  My class loves watching these videos and they are learning at the same time!  Because our day is packed with lots of things we are doing, we use our rest time to view the videos.  Our rest time is called-- Read, Write, and Rest--my kinders can choose to read by themselves, write in their journals, or rest on their towels and we either listen to soft music or watch a learning video.  During this video the only choice was to watch because we were watching to gather facts.
I used this book to shape our writing workshop today.  I began reading about how baby bird fell out of her nest and was unable to return to it because she couldn't fly.  Frog said that he would help her build a nest so we talked about what they would do if they were Frog and what they would use to build the nest.  Here are a few of my writers...
"I made a nest for  a bird.  I made the nest out of sticks and rocks."


"The frog tried to catch the bird.  And I was buiding a nest.  I am using the sticks and rocks."
--She used "you zen" for the word using--guess she was segmenting the words! :0)

"I was making my nest with rocks and sticks and weeds and the bird will help me."

I have a small group during writing workshop and these are the students that share with the class.  I put their paper under the document camera and they read it to the class while pointing with a pointer and then call on two people to give support with "kind comments" or "kind questions".  The last paper listed above has a star because he was a student in my writing group today.
I finished reading this book after my group shared their papers.  We loved this book because Frog and baby bird worked together to solve the problem!

Our New Additions

I was checking on my fish before I left for the day and lo and behold--I saw one, no, two new guppies!  As I continued to search for more I moved the mama into a bowl by herself (which she did NOT care for) and I moved all the others to a different bowl.  With the help of my neighboring teacher, Mrs. Knight, we began to search!  After it was all said and done we had found seven babies!  My kinders are going to be so excited tomorrow when they arrive.  The babies probably showed up around a week ago, based on their size.  We put them in a small floating container so they would not need to hide and would be able to get all the food they needed to help them grow faster.  Okay, Okay--I was excited about the new babies!  Here are some pics--you might need to squint as you move closer to the computer--they are very small!

This is the container with the little guppy babies.
A close up of the mama guppy.


These are the babies and some of the bigger guppies. 
We have 11 bigger guppies and 7 new babies.
I feel a Morning Math Story brewing...

Tuesday, March 22

Humor of the Day

Our eggs came, and with that being said, we were super excited! 
As I was taking my kinders to the library we were sharing some of the chicken and egg books that they had from last week and were returning today.  As they were walking in and I was waiting for them to pass, one of my little boys said, "Mrs, Gaither, this has been an egg-citing day!"  I said, "egg-citing?" I was not sure if I had misheard him or if he was being clever.  He assured me that he meant what I heard and I laughed at his joke and we did a "thumbs up"! 
What a clever little kinder...

THE CHICKS ARE HERE!

My kinders are super, super, SUPER excited about the eggs in our classroom, so we needed to lay down some green tape!  The eggs came while we were at lunch and recess.  We have seven eggs and very quickly we needed a review about our voice levels and touching the incubator...but they are super excited!  I think they did really great with control today!  It was all a little overwhelming--they were sure the eggs would hatch today.  Oh my, fast forward through chick lessons to ease the worry of hatching chicks today!  We talked about what was going on inside the eggs and what we could do to help the chicks grow.  We also talked about WHEN they would begin to hatch.  My kinders had a better understanding by our last recess, whew!  Now we can gather our facts and have some fun! 
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Sunday, March 20

Space Race 0-31 Counting Game

I have uploaded the entire Space Race counting game to my TpT store--FREE
If you enjoyed the preview from Day 7 FREEBIE, follow this link to download the entire game. 


Saturday, March 19

Space Game FREEBIE #7

I hope you have enjoyed the freebies this week!  I had a blast sharing with everyone and learned a few things along the way!  I wanted my finale this week to be a little more hands on for the kiddos and I hope that you will enjoy it!  I created a math counting game for my kinders called Space Race.  The object of the game is counting numbers 0-10 with one-to-one correspondence.  Students will flip a penny (or any coin you want to use to aide in recognition) and heads will move 1 space/tails will move 2 spacs.  The student will then say the number their astronaut landed on and count out that many "space rocks".  The astronaut to reach the rocket first and count to 10 will be the winner!  I have included paper icons for the space rocks----BUT-----I prefer to use some REAL space rocks that I found at the Dollar Tree.  Isn't that AMAZING?

To help save on ink, you may want to download the file and save to your computer; then  print off the gameboard and astronauts.

This download is only part of the whole package, I am still finishing the details of the other pages and when I am finished there will be a game board for numbers 0-10, 11-20, 21-30, and a mix of numbers 0-31.  I will have the entire package available on my TpT store tomorrow (I hope)...if you follow me I believe they will send an email to you to let you know that I have placed another product in my store.  I only have a few items there right now, but I am more projects in the works.  Thanks again for all the support and comments.

Friday, March 18

FREEBEIE Day #6 Wow Facts about Stars

We were beginning a unit on space last week when we read a book called The Night Sky and my students became very interested in constellations.  We explored to learn a little more and they drew their own constellations on black paper with a piece of chalk.   we extended this activity into the next day and wrote about what it looked like in our minds and also told the reader a little more about it.  (It was shared in an earlier blog).  This week we wrote WOW facts that we learned about stars during our research.  The students then used their graphic organizer and picked 3 WOW facts they learned and wanted to write about.  Here are a few of their papers...

The 3 WOW facts on this paper are:
The sun is a star.  Stars blow up.  Some of the stars are little.

The 3 WOW facts on this paper are:
The sun is a star.  Some is shining.  Some blow up.

The 3 WOW facts on this paper are:
Stars are made from gas and dust.  There can be baby stars and big.  Some can blow.
 download here for the worksheet


Thursday, March 17

FREEBIE Day #5

I went shopping this weekend and found some great items for my room.  Here are some of the things I picked up and what I did with them.
I purchased 4-5 bags of the coins and 3 bags of the shamrocks to use for a math activity today.  I mixed them together and put them in this wonderful container so the students could just grab a handful.  All three items were bought at Michaels.  The best part is that St. Patrick Day items were 50% off!
Here is the FREEBIE for the day...the worsheet that I used today.  My kinders loved it and it was a big hit during our special St. Patrick work stations.  They loved holding the pieces in their hands and moving them as they counted.
I am having some problems loading my pics from my camera, so I will try again tomorrow--maybe I need some sleep.

Wednesday, March 16

St. Patricks's Day FREEBIE #4

I had computer issues tonight so this is a little late in posting...

Tomorrow will be a BUSY day!  I have my magic powder measured and packed.  I also have my Lucky Charms cereal packed and ready for their graphs.  So I decided that I would share the graph with you.  Sorry it might be a little late if you don't already have the cereal--but Friday might make a great day for a snack!
download here

Tuesday, March 15

Leprechaun Pudding Freebie day 3

Here is something I will be doing in my classroom Thursday morning...
You might have already seen something like this, but if not,  here you go!


Monday, March 14

FREEBIE Day 2

I have small groups in my room during math, reading, and writing.  It is helpful for me to have a handout to keep notes while conferring with the students.  I was given the original form by a fellow teacher, Mrs. Wills, but I tweaked it to fit my needs.  There are two pages and I copy them back to back.  When the form is filled I just file it in the student's folder.  I hope it will be helpful for you, enjoy...


Snow Day


WOW!  We have an unexpected snow day today so you know what that means...
HOUSEKEPING!
I will be going in later this morning (provided the roads aren't too bad) and re-organize my classroom.  I say re-organize because the last time I was extatic about the organization in my classroom was mid September...
Maybe it happens to you, you teach, test, and explore with your students and papers get stacked...some eventually get to the right place while others stay on the stack.  Today is the day to UNSTACK and organize those piles.

Sunday, March 13

Lucky 7's

Are you feeling lucky?  Well I am!  I am so lucky that I get to do what I love everyday--and I want to share some of my resources with you.  For the next 7 days I will posting FREEBIES on my blog for you to download.


writing paper download

Kindergarten Constellations


My students has sooo much fun making their constellations with the chalk and black construction paper.  We continued this project into our writing workshop the next day.  The students used their imagination and drew a picture of what inspired their constellation and then wrote about it.  I have included some pictures of their writing.  They did a wonderful job and I would love to be able to share them all!

He did a really great job mathcing his stars to the picture in his mind! 
 He wrote: I like my stars.


This constellation is about an alligator. 
He wrote:  Alligator tries to eat a fish.

Sorry the pictures are not the best...my camera wasn't working and I took the picture with my cell phone.

                                     

Thursday, March 10

Kindergarten Humor of the Day

Two of my students were playing with the trains on the carpet before class began and this is the conversation that took place as I quietly watched.
 K:  Do you have a heart? 
C:  Ya, everyone does. 
K:  I don't think I do. 
C:  Put your hand on your chest like this, and he placed his hand over his heart; K repeated what C had shown him. 
C:  Do you feel that? 
K:  Ya
C:  That is your heart.
K:  Oh, I didn't know I had one.

I smiled a little to myself and was very proud that C showed someone that they had a heart!
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Constellations

We began drawing our constellations today, but they are not quite finished so I will wait a while before I post pictures.  We used a constellation card and a flashlight from our space backpack to make constellations on the smartboard.  My students LOVED it and were so excited to get started on their own constellations.  We will be writing tomorrow to describe our constellations and our inspirations.  I found a great website today--from NASA--and their are lots of information and fun games to play!  There is a lot more on the nasa website that I haven't seen yet, but don't let that stop you from checking it out...


Wednesday, March 9

The Night Sky

Today we began our unit on space exploration and we created a chart about what we knew about space.  I did not give them any prior knowledge in our discussion so it was very interesting to listen to their comments.  This was a very quick introduction before lunch so there are only a few names on the chart.

During our rest time we watched Magic School Bus:  Lost in Space.  The school purchased a membership with http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/ and there are tons of educational videos and resources we use in our classroom. 
We did find out, with help of the video, that pluto is cold--way to go Miss M.!

Later in the day we read The Night Sky by June English.  It is a super-science reader from Scholastic.  The book is an introduction to the moon and constellations.  My students noticed that the constellations look like dot-to-dot puzzles so...
we moved to the smartboard and I put the book under the document camera and we drew the little dipper in the picture.  We talked about how people long ago imagined that they saw pictures in these shapes.  With about five minutes left I put some dots on the smartboard and told them that I was thinking of a picture and to use their imagination to figure out what it looked like.  They loved it and I made a quick decision to shape our learning for tomorrow...we will make our own constellations and write about them.  I love it when lesson plans change like that! 


Monday, March 7

Marble Party


We filled our marble cup last week and today was the day!  It is a little crazy for me because we were unorganized for a little while, but I think they need this time to celebrate the good behaviors our class has had and play like kids.  The morning started off like normal...but we all knew it was coming!  Last week we decided they would bring something from home to share and I would take care of the snacks - popcorn and soda! 
Everyone was so excited!  We had a good time, everyone shared, and I even managed a few reading assessments at the bean table.  I would say that the day was a success!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss

I wanted to share a couple things we did last week to celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday.  We dressed up like Dr. Suess characters and everyone made a hat so other students who didn't dress up could look like the cat from the book Cat in the Hat
Here's how we did it...
I drew the outline of the hat on a folded piece of construction paper and my students held both pieces together and cut at the same time to make two hats.  The next step was to glue the white strips of paper to the hat and then cut off the extra from the sides.  I cut another strip of red for the bottom and we measured around their heads.  The top pieces of the hat was stapled together to add stability. 
Here is one of my kiddos reading while others are finishing up. Later, we shared some Dr. Seuss books they brought from home.

We read Green Eggs and Ham and we talked about what they thought it would taste like--good our not.  I had a Vinn Diagram on the Smartboard and asked the question--Do you think you will like green eggs and ham?  They moved their names into one of the circles--Yes, No, or Maybe.  We tasted the green eggs and ham and then put our names on the bar graph for Yes--I liked it, or No--I did not like it.
I read Horton Hears a Who and we made flowers, like the one in this picture, to take home.  We also watched the movie with the other kindergarten classes for our February Positive Party.




Thursday, March 3

Making Connections With Our Friends

My students love working together with their friends during literacy stations so I created a new station that we tried out today.  During my literacy stations they have a buddy (2 people together) that they work with to complete a task at a work station.  They love the magnetic word station where they are able to recreate our word wall/popcorn words.  Today they practiced this game together and instead of using the letter tiles or the magnetic letter tiles they used the sheet to record the letters of the names and then cut apart so they could build words.  It was a big hit!


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