Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Easy to Prep Individualized Letter Name and Sound Games

We are working diligently on letters names and sounds in our classroom.  On Tuesday, while we were playing our Name that Letter game (see below), one of my kindergarteners came to the letter P and said, "Miss Gill, I know this one. " My thoughts, "YES.....YES....YES!" I even think there might have been a fist pump in the air. I was so excited. Anyway, the kiddo then says, "It's the letter Poo!" Ha! So close.

Here's a look at the Name that Letter game. The object of the game is to clear your card. We use just basic letter cards for this. I teach capital and lowercase letters together so these cards are a mix. We say all of the letters together a couple of times and then cover our letters with these clear colored chips. I then work my way around the reading table and "steal" chips from the kids. If they can read the letter under the chip, I keep the chip. If not, the chip goes back on the letter and they have to practice it until I come back to them. I also use this game for letter sounds and sight words. The kiddos love it and I love that it is very individualized, easy to plan for, and fast paced.

Another game we play is Roll and Read. The object of the game is to roll the dice and read/say the letter that corresponds to that letter. I got the mat from Primary Essentials from her R-Blends Roll and Read freebie. For this game, we are currently using magnet letters. If the kiddos can read the letter, they replace the letter with a new letter. If not, they practice the letter and keep it on the mat until they roll the number again and are able to read it. Just like the chip game, this game is very individualized, easy to plan for, and fast paced. I also change this game as we grow in our reading skills. Currently we are doing letter names and sounds, but soon it will be replaced with different phonics skills and sight words.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rockin' Out with Pete the Cat

I was trying to find a way to make Monday better and then I thought PETE! I talked briefly in my post on Friday about the great video of Mr. Eric reading Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes and I thought I would link it up for you.

My kiddos and I watched this today and the kids loved singing along with Mr. Eric. They thought he was too funny.
This week part of our center time is the Wheels on the Bus and look who I found riding the bus! Ha! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Five for Friday: Spetember 6th

Happy Weekend Everyone! I am linking up with Doodles Bugs Teaching for another installment of Five for Friday!
Be sure to stop by an get a peek at everyone's week. :)
1. Someone is a Genius!
 I found this on the kindergarten math book that I inherited. So genius! No more bindings that come unraveled. It looks like the creator just hot glued the bead in place at the end. When I find out who did this, I will be shaking their hand.
2. Just had a good laugh at myself.
Apparently, I am a subconsciously a little more wiped out this week than I thought. I was just cleaning my kitchen counters and realized that I have had my eye drops sitting by my coffee maker all week. Ha! Hmmm...that's one way to get a refreshed morning look. I am just going to leave them. It seems like a legitimate plan. :)

3. Just when I thought I was done laughing at myself!
I would like to start by saying that I love my calendar. I was so fortunate to have inherited a homemade calendar set from a former teacher. She made all of the months of the year letters different to match the month (these ones are made out of wallpaper) and each month, the date cards are different picture patterns. Love it!
Now here is where I can't believe that myself and all of the adults that has been in my room this week. I was off by one day on the date this week, THE ENTRIE WEEK! Oh my! I'll just quickly change it Monday and cross my fingers that no one notices.
4. For the Love of Pete
I had an unfortunate/fortunate event happen this last week. I was out of town last Friday and had requested one of my favorite subs for the day. Upon arrival, our school realized that 2 other teachers didn't have subs so they pulled mine for another classroom. Here is me grinding my teeth. They then split my kiddos with the other 2 kindergarten classrooms. Let's be fair....... at first I was very upset understatement because of all of the planning, the inconvenience to my coteachers, and to my kiddos but now I think it is a blessing. Let me tell you why, I planned for the sub to teach Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes sub plans by Peace, Love, and Learning. They are very thoughtfully done, too fun, and free! Since my sub was pulled though, I got to teach about Pete. Yay me! I love me some Pete!

The kiddos really liked making a Pete book of their own, and we practiced tying our own shoes after matching up the shape shoes.

Here's our interactive writing of labeling the parts of Pete. The kiddos loved sharing the pen and we will be doing much more activities like this. Also, if you have never seen Mr. Eric read/sing this story, I highly recommend that you You Tube it.
5. Quick Assessment for the Start of the Year

I love having a sign in during Back to School Night! Just looking at their handwriting tells you so much about a child and where they are in their learning. With a quick glance, I can tell who is able to write their name without assistance. Who knows their capital and lowercase letters and how to form them. It also tells me how the students fine motor skills are.

I also then have them sign in every morning. It is amazing to see how much they grow in a short amount of time.

Thanks for stopping by! Have an amazing weekend!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Watercolor Fun: Making Butterflies

Oh my.. the days are just flying by! I find that I am sacked out on the couch by 8. Ha! We started the year learning about the Very Hungry Caterpillar and finding items around our room that were in the story like the sun and moon. We could also find Very Hungry himself on our nametags. As part of our center time, we put together some colorful butterflies that are super cute and will be a bright addition to our classroom.
All you need to make these are:
  • Coffee Filters: 2 per child
  • Crayola Watercolors: 1 do one set for every 2 students. (Do Not Substitute for another kind of watercolors! I used the Target brand this year and they weren't as bright and some of them were cakey and had to be redone.)
  • Small paintbrush: 1 per student
  • Water cup: 1 per student. I let everyone have their own because, believe it or not, it prevents spills since the kiddos are not reaching for the water.
  • Plastic tray or Wax Paper:  1 per student. I put these under the coffee filters when panting for easy clean up
  • Doll Pin Clothespin: 1 per student
  • 1/2 of a Pipe Cleaner: 1 per student (You can use any color but I like black.)

Here what one of kiddo's works in progress. I promised I helped him switch out his water after taking this picture.
Here are some examples of done and dry coffee filters. I like to show examples of patterns they can do before they start painting. Be sure to show your kids how to add just a little water to the watercolors. They can get a bit carried away.

After they paint the 2 wings, have them paint the body. I love the doll pins clothespins because they look just like a little head and body. I found these at Hobby Lobby by the wood crafts.

The next day, after your butterflies have had a chance to dry, tuck and scrunch the first wing into the butterfly body.

Then add the second wing.
Finally, add the anetannaes and fan out the wings and you are done. Wah La! I always make sure to write my students' names on the backside of the pin with a sharpie.
The weekend is close. Hang in there!