Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spring has Sprung {finally!}....and Instagram!

Phew!  The weather is FINALLY starting to feel more like spring.
I think I said that in my last post or two but then it was freezing *literally freezing* again!
We have actually had warmish weather for 4 days straight!
(*fingers crossed that it lasts this time!*)
 
So with spring starting to come around, we brought the signs of spring in our classroom.
Here's what we've been up to!
 
 




 
You can find all these activities (and LOTS more!) in my best-selling
 
 
Okay, don't laugh at me!  For those of you who know me (and have gotten to know me through my blog) you know that I am not the most tech-savvy person.....BUT I do love to learn and I learn quick.
Especially if it's something I love.
 
So yesterday I discovered Instagram.
I had heard of it before, some friends have been on it for months, but I thought it was way too hard and I just didn't have the time.
Well, let me tell you, it's super easy and SO.MUCH.FUN!
I am addicted!
 
 
Just in time, too, because today begins Teacher Talk Tuesday on Instagram.
You can search all the amazing picture other teachers (and now myself!) have posted by using:
#teachertalktuesday
 
And while you are there, be sure to come and follow me!
 
I just posted a few pictures of what we did today - fine motor skills activity, butterfly lifecycle, classroom pics....more to come on my blog this week!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Coin Posters FREEBIE!

Can you believe it's nearly May?
What?  Really?
Where did this school year go?!?!
 
We sat down this week to plan for next month and a big focus is on teaching coin names and values.
I created these coin posters to help my students remember them.
(I have included both US and Canadian coin posters in the download.)
The fabulous graphics are by Michelle from The 3AM Teacher.
 
Click on the picture to download your freebie!
 

The poems have been around FOREVER - I remember some of them from when I was in kindergarten!  They are by Anonymous as far as I know (my math teacher resource posted them that way but if there is an author please let me know!)
 
 
I wrote the two poems for the Canadian "Loonie" ($1) and "Toonie" ($2).
 
Hope you will find some use for these!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Winners, updates and happy Earth Day!!!

Thank you everyone who read and commented on Saturday's blog post,
The Magical Product Swap.  I'm so sorry that I didn't post the winner sooner (I was having a battle with my internet for most of yesterday).
 
As you know, I teamed up with Greg Smedley-Warren from Smedley's Smorgasbord of Kindergarten and the winners will receive his Dyno-Mite Addition Packet and Spring Literacy and Math Centres, since we reviewed each others things for the product swap.
 
So....the winners are:
 
1. Christine
 
2. Stacey White
 
(Please check your inboxes for the prizes!)
 
And, of course, today was Earth Day! I just love this craft from Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade. We did it last year and we had to do it again!
This little sweetie wrote "Don't waste the water!"
 
Also, I've been working hard these past few weeks on some units.
I just posted this unit, Let's Go, to TpT the other day....it's perfect for your transportation theme.
 
 
To accompany this I made a new Transportation Write the Room activity.
***I also updated my Write the Room Complete Set to include this activity so if you have already purchased this please go back and re-download)***
 
 
And here's what's coming up....
 
 
My Community Helpers unit should be ready by next weekend....so far it's PACKED but I wanted to add some cute crafts to it so stay tuned.
 
I've teamed up once again with the fabulous Tanya Solano from Ms. Solano's Kindergarten to create....Creepy Crawlies, a unit all about insects! 
It will be posted by the end of the week!
 
 
Lots of stuff coming...I'll keep you posted!  Have a great week everyone!



Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Magical Product Swap!

MrsStanfordsClass
I am so happy to be a part of Jessica Stanford's Magical Product Swap!
(Love the graphic by Michelle - The 3am Teacher)

My fabulous partner is Greg Smedley-Warren....you probably already know him through his blog, Smedley's Smorgasbord of Kindergarten...if you don't, get over there! 
I love Greg and his blog - he does so many wonderful things with his kinders and he's such a funny guy, too!

So we got to talking about what we are doing in our classes now.  We actually just wrapped up our Dinosaur unit (you can read about that here and here) and learned simple addition and subtraction skills. 
I HAD to have Greg's Dino Mite Addition: A Common Core Aligned Math Pack.  It covers all the skills we are learning (and more!).
This unit is PACKED with so much to do!  My students are so confident now in addition thanks to the fun and engaging activities found in this pack.
I love how there is a variety of worksheets, all differentiated, to suit your students' needs.
For instance, I have a JK/SK split with various needs and I found all the worksheets and activities I needed each group to work on ready-to-go!  There was something for every student in my class inside this pack.
My students just loved these addition circle maps.  They had to find all the ways numbers can add up to make the number in the middle!
Numbers 2-10 are included.  We worked on a different one each day.
  I have these small dinosaur counters and thought they would work perfectly with these placemats.  I love how there was room to "work" on solving the problem.  Students used the counters to visually see what they were doing.
Greg's pack comes with counter cards so don't worry if you don't have these plastic ones.  Those work great too!
These worksheets are actually in colour but I photocopied them in black and white so that each student could put it inside their math journal.
I also put several of these questions up on the SMART board (I didn't take a picture - trust me, you DO NOT want to see how I draw dinosaurs!) but it was the perfect activity for the students to be engaged in and made for a great lesson.
This pack comes with LOTS of these questions which you could use as a centre on your SMART board or for your math journals.

This was probably my favourite activity in the pack (although I loved them all!).
Here the students are putting together the puzzle pieces by solving the addition sentence.

These cards were a great way for students to practice making two groups and adding them together to get the sum. (I used my counters but, again, Greg provides dinosaur cards to use as counters).

After doing that activity, we worked on this worksheet to apply our knowledge and try to write an addition sentence.  Students really understood what they were doing because they coloured the dinos in and then added them all together.
And the best part, they could do this independently because of all the practice we had during the week from Greg's centres!

So now that it's (nearly) feeling like spring, we are going to be pulling a lot from this unit, Adding Unicorns!, from Greg next week.
It's just about the same format as this Dinosaur unit but perfect for spring.

Best part is, he bundled both of these great addition units together!
You can find the bundle here.

Here's what I plan on doing on Monday for Earth Day.
Since I am now totally loving Greg's stuff, we are going to do some activities from his Love the Earth unit.
If you are looking for really fun and engaging activities, you MUST check this product out!

Be sure to visit Greg over at Smedley's Smorgasbord of Kindergarten to read all about his review and follow his blog.....and he has a surprise for you too!

I had so much fun (and so did my students!) with all these new activities.
Greg and I want 2 lucky people to win his fabulous Dino Mite Addition: A Common Core Aligned Math Packet and my Spring Literacy and Math Activities Pack.
Leave a comment below telling me your favourite dinosaur and I'll choose 2 winners tomorrow morning at 8 am EST.

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, April 12, 2013

We "dig" dinosaurs!

Today was "FUN FRIDAY" in my class. 
Each week, the students look forward to this special day!
Today was extra special as we had a "Dinosaur" day where the students got to be paleontologists!
(Okay, I have seen this word spelled, like, a million different ways!  So please excuse my spelling if you spell it differently! HA!)
 
Our classroom (and hallway) turned into a "museum" - literally!  We had dinosaur this and that everywhere today!
My student teacher, Ms. Bucci, created this cute display for the door and hallway so the students could feel like they were really at the museum.
 
Of course, our museum had to have a few dinosaurs on display.  Ms. Bucci and my volunteer, Ms. Josie, created these dinos.  The students learned various facts about each dino (sorry a few are cut off!) and placed them underneath.  There is also a title which was the name of our school.
(I wish I didn't have to block if off but our Board does not allow our school name, photos of the faces of students, nor names to be posted online).
 
Here I am with my teaching partner, Mrs. Parisi (centre) and my student teacher Ms. Bucci.
We are standing in front of the doors to the museum (my classroom).
 
I put rib bones into the sand box for the students to "dig up the dinosaur bones".
(Don't worry - the rib bones were thoroughly washed and bleached before throwing them in!)
 
We dug for "bones" (chocolate chips) using a toothpick.  The students had to be careful they didn't break the cookie.  It looked easier than it was!
Best part = eating it up afterwards!
 
Of course, to be a "real paleontologist" we had to wear hats and have badges.
So we made and decorated this hat (from Mrs. Parisi's Dinosaur unit) and coloured our badges with our pictures on it (from Michelle Walker's Dinosaur and Dodos unit).
 
Here's close up of that adorable badge!
The kids wanted to wear them all day long!
 
We finger painted and used dinosaur stampers to create various scenes.
(I love how this student painted the Brachiosaurus eating leaves because it's a herbivore!)
 
We had lots of fun reading our pocket chart story about dinosaurs too!
 
You can see my post on our dinosaur centres from last week by clicking here.
 
Check out lots more fun things in my dino unit!
 

Saturday, April 06, 2013

A "ROAR"ing good time with dinosaurs + FREEBIE!

Dinosaurs is definitely a favourite unit of mine to teach!
EVERY.SINGLE.STUDENT has a blast when we do this unit and wants to learn more and more!
 
 
Mt student teacher, Ms. Bucci, started the week off by bringing in this large egg she "found" in her backyard.  We made guesses as to what could be inside and then, after lunch, when the students returned into the classroom, the egg had cracked open and we found a dinosaur inside!
This idea is from Deanna Jump's Dinosaur unit.
 
Ms. Bucci also found this egg at the Dollar store.  You put it in water for about a day and it starts to crack.  Out pops a dinosaur!
I can't tell you how many kids would just sit in front of it and watch it!  They loved it!
 
We had fun learning with our dinosaur centres this week.
 
Here is the Dinosaur Write the Room activity.
 
Working on ending sounds.
 
Writing CVC words.
 
My Kinders love using stampers so I just had to create an activity for them!
They are stamping and reading sight words.
 
Using magnifying glasses to read and record sight words.
 
Creating patterns on a stegosaurus.  This idea was taken from Julie Lee.
 
Seriating - ordering the dinosaurs from smallest to largest.
 
We've been working on counting by 10's so the students had to put the dinos in order by 10's and record their answers.
 
This week we also started working on addition.  Here the students had to count the dots on the dinosaur eggs and add them up.  I showed them how to use counters to help them add if they needed it.
 
I just revised my Dinosaur unit - and DOUBLED IT IN SIZE!!!
Please go to My Purchases and re-download it if you already own it. 
 
 
You can find all of these centres (except the stegosaurus pattern activity) and LOTS more in my Dinosaur Literacy and Math Activities unit on TpT.
 
 
 
I posted about my Writing Centre posters a while back.  If you haven't read that post, click here to take you there.  I love using these posters at my Writing Centre.  Students can refer to them when writing theme-based words, stories, or simply labeling their pictures.
 
I have my Writing Centre posters available for FREE in my TpT store.
I just uploaded the dinosaur poster to go along with it.
If you'd like a copy you can click HERE to take you to the entire file.
 
Some of the new clipart I added is from DJ Inkers!
I use a LOT of her clipart (I have a license to use it in my products that I sell).  It's so adorable!  I have had a few of her CDs for years so I was so happy last fall when we were able to purchase a license.
 
You can click on the DJ Inkers button on the top right hand side of my blog to take you to her website if you'd like to purchase clipart of your own.
Trust me, you will get addicted quickly!
 
We will continue to learn about dinosaurs this coming week with lots more activities - including our classroom "museum" and a dinosaur dig!  Stay tuned!