Saturday, January 22, 2011

Building 3D shapes

One of the math objectives that a kindergartner in NC must be able to do is build a 3D shape.  The particular 3D shapes they need to build are a sphere and cube.  Now, sphere is pretty easy.  A good old container of PlaDoh works great for the kinders to roll into a ball.  Where the tricky part comes in is with the cube.  My team has used the marshmallow and toothpick lesson for a while now and it works well.  However, I am always looking for another way to get the concept across.  So my fellow educators, how do you teach your students to make a cube?  Let me hear your wonderful ideas.  I know you have some.  :)
Each kinder is given 8 marshmallows & 12 toothpicks.

It is very interesting to watch the students problem solve.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Cheap Pointers for Reading

Some of my students still have a hard time pointing at words in books as they're reading.  They are constantly losing their spot.  So I tried to think of a fun, yet inexpensive way to have the kids point to each word.  So I went to Michael's, bought foam stickers and put them on the end of a popcicle stick.  These pointers stay with their 'Baggy Book'.  Baggy books are leveled take home readers.  I change the pointers about every month.  So far my kinders have received ghosts, bats, pumpkins, leaves, candy canes, stockings, and for January snowflakes.  You wouldn't believe how excited these pointers get the kids.  They anticipate each month and guess what will be on their pointers.  :)
                                      Some of the pointers the kids have received.


Martin Luther King, Jr.

Due to being out for the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday, my class spent Tuesday learning about his life and the role he played in equal rights.  It is always so interesting to see the shocked expressions on the faces of my kinders when we talk about how things were for African Americans decades ago.  I try to put it in their perspective by sayin 'What if only white people could eat at McDonald's?' or 'Black families would have to wait until all the white customers have checked out at Target until they could have a turn.'  It is so hard for them to understand something so terrible.  Once we read several books on Dr. King, the kinders made their own portrait of the Civil Rights activist.  The art project is courtesy of TLC.  I love how each project has its own look.  Too cute.

                                               The stories we read in class.

                                           Examples of the Kinder's creativity

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ready for Normal...

Happy Saturday to all!  I am not sure about where you live but here in NC we had snow early Monday morning and in the end we had about 4 1/2 inches of snow.  Of course, there was no school on Monday.  Then early Tuesday morning, we had a layer of ice that had developed on top of the snow. So for the remainder of the week, we were out of school!  Now, I love a good snow day as much as the next girl, but all week?  I was able to go into school on Thursday and Friday and got a lot of things done.  On Friday, some of my K team and I developed a whole new way to set up our literacy and math stations.  Details on this will be coming soon.  I am really excited about our plan and it will be put into place the first week of February.  

So I am sure my little darlings will arrive Tuesday morning (we are out Monday for MLK's birthday), full of energy.  Luckily, I have lesson plans from last week to do.  Thanks to all the great units put on TpT, I have so much to get done for my arctic unit.  I can't wait to post pictures of all the fun activities.  Have a great rest of the weekend!

Below are some pictures of my boys enjoying the snow.
                                                        Ethan & Gus ready to sled.
                                                        Charley our Labradoodle

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Welcome to Letterland


I know there are a lot of phonics programs out there but I wanted to give my two cents about one of the best phonics programs I have found.  It is Letterland and it works!!!  My team adopted this program this year and we are amazed at how much the students have learned in such a short time.  This program is about a secret place called Letterland.  Each letter is a different character that will help the kids remember its sound.  The kids are in love with these characters and even the parents tell me that the kids talk about it at home nonstop.  How wonderful is that the the kids are so excited about learning!  I love it!!! Check out the website for the program at
  Even our first grade teachers, who have been die hard Saxon Phonics fans, have used Letterland this year and are very happy and excited about what it is doing.  What phonics programs are you using in your schools?