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Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year's Resolution - Technology

I am linking up with Kathleen at Growing Kinders to share our New Year's resolutions.  Today we are talking about technology.  I LOVE technology! The downside is how much time it takes to find the best technology, figure out how to use it effectively, and teaching the kids how to use it.

The thing that I am using right now that I LOVE: - This website allows me to input my kiddos and then assign them books to read at their level on the computer.  They can have the book read to them, then they can read it themselves and then there are comprehension questions that they answer about what they have read.  I can then get a report about which questions they answered correctly and which they got wrong.  You can also have them read the book into a microphone and it will take a running record of them reading!  You do have to purchase a subscription to the website but I LOVE it!

My Resolution:
   Incorporate the iPads we have into math centers and use the iPads more deliberately.  I have 3 iPads in my room and access to 10 more.  So there really is no excuse for me not to be using them more.  I do use the 3 that are in my room for literacy centers everyday.  My kiddos also use them for free choice centers in the afternoon. They love to explore all of the apps!  I just need to put the time in to find the best math apps we have loaded and then put them into my math center rotations.  I guess I know what I will be doing when I get back to school.

I'm off to add that to my To Do list!  Be sure to go to Growing Kinders and check out all the great ideas and enter Kathleen's giveaways!  I know I did!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Snow Day Snowflakes

So it is a snow day here in Wisconsin, no school for me today!  Although my own kids school didn't get as much snow so they have school today.  It is weird being home alone today.  It of course makes me think about all of those who won't have their kids home at all.  Like so many others I have found it hard to break the silence of the weekend and get back to blogging about the day to day stuff of the classroom.  My thoughts and prayers continue to be with all of those effected.

So I thought I would get back into the grove by telling you about a project that we worked on this week for Sandy Hook.

I was reading Charity's Facebook post at The Organized Classroom about the PTA in Sandy Hook asking for snowflakes to decorate the new building the students of Sandy Hook will be moving to after the holidays.  I thought this was a great idea and something my kiddos could do (and not even know why, as many of them have no idea what went on).  So yesterday we embarked on learning how to make snowflakes!  A project that would usually make me stressed out with all of the little paper scraps and glitter was SO much FUN!  The kids loved cutting and were AMAZED when they opened up their papers at the designs they had created!  I pre cut 9"x9" squares of paper and then folded them into smallish triangles. So all they had to do was cut.  Those that had trouble cutting through the thickness of the paper just unfolded it a little and then cut.  I even had two sweeties who went around and helped clean up all of the scraps without being asked to!!!  Then we broke out the runny glue and glitter.  They loved that I let them put on the glue and glitter! It was such a fun time, and I was able to relax and really appreciate the joy  and excitement that this brought them and me! I am excited to put them in the mail when we get back to school tomorrow.

They are accepting snowflakes until January 12, 2013.  They can be sent  to: Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514. Click here to find the Connecticut PTSA website with more information.

Friday, December 14, 2012

What to Say????

I can't even imagine going through what has happened in Connecticut. My heart goes out to all of the families, loved ones and everyone touched by this  awful event. Praying is the only thing I can think to do, besides hug my own kiddos tonight and students on Monday. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Reindeer and No Voice

Soooo......has anyone every tried teaching a room full of (talkative) I mean curious kinders without a voice?  Yes you guessed it that is what I did today!  It was interesting to say the least.  Thank goodness for classroom amplification sound systems!!! I don't know how I would have made it through the day without it.

I started the day with the good old guilt know....."I need you to be on your very best behavior today and help  your teacher out because it is hard for me to talk.  I know you will all be great listeners and not make me say things over will do them the first time I ask so I don't have to use my voice as much".  So that worked for ohhh about 10 minutes.  But overall it was quieter in my classroom than usual for most of the day....I may have to try whispering more often!

I hope my voice is better tomorrow.  You know it is bad when your secretary asks if she can get you a sub for tomorrow!  But it has to be better by Friday because we have a field trip!  Oh and did I mention it is an outdoor field trip and I live in WISCONSIN!

Oh well!  Since I wasn't able to talk much we did lots of projects today.  I did attempt to read them the story Who'll Pull Santa's Sleigh Tonight? (because the reindeer are sick just like me). I think the kids heard me whisper read it to them.  The hot chocolate made the reindeer better so we will see if I get hot chocolate tomorrow! Then we made this adorable Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer hat.  The kids loved it and they looked so cute!  Sorry no pics of my kids wearing them of course, just a picture of the hat itself. And that may or may not be my hubby modeling the hat for you...and I may or may not have told him I was taking it to put on the blog. I can't take credit for the idea own kinder daughter came home wearing it last naturally I had to borrow the idea to use with my kiddos!

I made a template of the antlers in case you wanted to make it.Just click here to get it. You can print it on card stock and have the kids or a parent helper trace them or you can copy it right onto brown construction paper.  The piece of construction paper that the nose is attached to was about 3 inches.  On the ones I made with the kids we added glitter to the noses (so they would glow of course and what project isn't better with glitter!) Hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Currently and a Freebie

This is my first time doing the Currently but I just love reading everyone's so I thought I would give it a try!

I spent my summer reading both the Daily 5 and CAFE books, so I am TRYING to implement them in my classroom this year.  I am doing OK.  I am not really doing all 5 activities and I am still doing some literacy centers.  But my kiddos are doing the Read to Self, Read to Someone, and Listen to Reading.  I was having trouble figuring out a quick and easy way for them to make their choices. So what I came up with is in the picture below.  When my kiddos come in, in the morning they grab their clothespin from the table and put it on the chart by their choice for the day.  If they are reading to someone, the person who is clipped on the same number is their partner.  My original plan was to have 2 or three of these charts and they would clip for each session that we would do, but are only doing one session so.....I only have one chart.  Click on the picture if you would like to download the chart for yourself for free!  I would love to hear from you if you download it!

Be sure to head over to Farley's blog and catch everyone's December Currently!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Gingerbread Sight Word Book Freebie

Ooooh! I am so excited to link up with the wonderful bloggers at Freebielicious for Fabulicious Freebies on the First!!!  My freebie this month is for a sight word book that I made for my class. It is for my favorite unit of the year (or at least this time of the year) GINGERBREAD!  I love love love reading and comparing all of the different gingerbread stories, in fact I have so many we do the unit for 2 weeks! (I think I could probably do it for 3 or 4 weeks) 

Anywho... my kiddos loved working on The Gingerbread Man Ran sight word book this week and everyone (ok almost everyone) can read the word "and" now!  Just click on the picture below and it will take you to the download for this freebie!  I hope you like it!  I would love any feedback you have! Now I am off to check out all of the other freebies in this linky party!! Enjoy!

        Click this button to take you to more Freebies!