Sunday, July 31, 2011

Classroom Rules

I found Whole Brain Teaching last summer and became a follower.
 We also read Bono the Monkey, a cute story about a  naughty monkey who learns to follow classroom rules, so I've adapted some of the rules.
We learn these rules with hand motions and review them everyday.

I think it's great because if pushing becomes an issue,
I just ask, "What's rule #4?"
But my favorite is Rule #5,
How does that old Mama adage go?
If Teacher ain't happy,
Ain't Nobody happy :)
Rules English

Each rule has hand gestures:
1-cup ear, point to the teacher
2-raise hand, make talking motion with hand
3-raise hand, make walking motion with 2 fingers
4-motion no with fingers, grab your wrist, and motion no with fingers again
5-point to teacher, smile, trace your smile with index finger the
and say "ding" and flip pinky finger up (like Austin Powers)
Rules Spanish

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

We begin our day every morning singing these songs.
Each student chooses a partner, shakes their hand, and sings along.

I thought this would be a nice addition to our poetry journals.

I'm not sure if these documents are embedded correctly.
If you click on the pictures above, it should direct you to Google Docs.
Let me know it works for ya :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Trash Can Dice Game

Joining the Linky at Little Miss Kindergarten.
This is a game I used when I taught 2nd grade.
I used the overhead projector, but a Smartboard would be even better.
Divide your class into 2 teams.
Choose a Team Leader (I usually chose someone shy).
To keep the momentum going, the teacher rolls a large dice.
The first team decides if they would like to use that number
in the hundreds, tens, ones place or in the trash can.
I ask them to huddle together, make the decision together, once everyone agrees,
the Team Leader raises their hand to voice the decision.
Repeat the process with the second team.
The team with the largest number wins!

This is a fun way to reinforce place value.
Students quickly realize larger digits in the hundreds place is best,
and smaller digits go into the.......Trashcan!

Click the picture below to download :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Capital/Period Song

Miss Kindergarten is hosting a Linky about songs
we sing in the classroom.
I use the above song to reinforce capitals and periods.
After our writing mini-lessons, we sing this song as we go to our seats and get our journals ready to write.
Below you'll see the Spanish version we sing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My 3 year old cutie pie made a fishy
then asked for blue playdough for the ocean.
My jaw dropped, she has her Daddy's talent :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Testing, Testing, Do I Work?

Okay, so here's my new button!
But I'm not sure if it works (crossing fingers).

I would really appreciate some feedback. :)
Ooops, I forgot I didn't post the code,
ohhhh codey-code-codes.....
Oh wait! Big thanks to Mrs. Mac for all your help!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Keyboard Practice

How do yo teach Kinders how to use a keyboard?
Two years ago I used the form below. I sent it home before we went to the computer lab so I didn't have to spend as much time showing them where the letters were located.
I also asked my Kinders to do bunny ears with their left hand and press the "d" with their right hand (control+alt, delete). It worked out great, most of my kiddos were able to find all the letters and numbers they needed.
Last year was a little slower because I misplaced this form, but all my students were finally able to log on.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Here's my lil' cutie pie A.K.A. Captain America
wishing you all a Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Book Whisperer Ch. 2

I'm joining the The Book Whisperer read along hosted by Thinking of Teaching

I liked the term "developing reader" instead of labeling students as struggling.
"They may lag behind their peers on the reading-development continuum, but they are still on the same path." (p.25)  Her answer to helping the developing reader?  More reading.
"I have seen a heavy dose of independent reading, paired with explicit instruction in reading strategies, transform nonreaders into readers." (p.25)
Being a Kindergarten teacher, I am a teacher of emergent readers.
I hope to implement a book buddies program (see here) that will help my students read more at home.

The "dormant reader" would best describe my son and oldest daughter.
My son is is so smart and I so was surprised to hear that he didn't like to read.
When I bought The Book Whisperer he was even curious to see if it could make him love reading.
My daughter has never voiced an opinion about reading, but she doesn't read.
I think this is probably where I would see myself also. 
 I'm not the avid reader that Donalyn Miller is, but I do love to read a good book.
 My son did just finish reading a book that was recommended to him though.
Hmm, maybe I could just take them both to the bookstore and really encourage to look at books that may really interest them.

The "underground reader" is most definitely my younger daughter.
She loves to read.  She devours books.
Summertime, free time, anytime is always a good time to read.
She's a sophomore in high school and has to read The Odyssey this summer,
but just told me today that she read a book a day last week and is now focusing a little more on her required reading. (And yup, she's enjoying that one too :)

"What I thought my students needed each week when I wrote my lesson plans was not as important as how I responded to their needs they expressed them to me." (p.21)
 I am encouraged by this book, to really take a good look at my guided reading program
and to listen to the needs of my students and children.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Classroom Shopping Linky

How sad is it that I can TOTALLY RELATE to this man....

I love back to school shopping!
I've only been off 1 week, but the teacher inside me just can't pass up a good deal.
We teachers always have our eyes open to the possibilities, don't we?

I made the mistake of not buying these last year, and regretted it ever since.
These will make really cute book bags for students to take home.

I read a great post on Mrs. Lemon's blog, Step Into Second Grade,
about Book Buddies.
She has some great ideas and resources for students to take home books.
I especially loved her informational sheet about, 
"Why can't I skip my 20 minutes of reading tonight?"
I'm hoping to get everything translated and ready to start with my new Kinders in the fall.
Wait, I go back August 16th, so I guess in the late summer, yikes!
Head on over to Kristen's Linky at  Lady Bug Teacher Files for more super ideas.