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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Winter Snow Unit

I am surprised that I am so excited about doing a unit about snow.  Considering I used to have to deal with this...

You can see how high the snow is by looking at the light post.  This is a result of a little thing called "lake effect snow."  That means you are going to get dumped on with snow on a regular basis.

But here I am now in snow-free Southern California.  Teaching kindergarteners about snow... Huh?
Snow problem! 
(I crack myself up.)
 I went out and picked up some of this. We made
some snow and each child was able to feel it. Then we made a bubble map. This was a great language development lesson. We are continuing this lesson with writing activities.

I never thought to do shared reading with nonfiction print before common core.  I made a snow fact chart and students are working on a snow fact book.

We also did some snowflake math.

Here is a YouTube video of  basically what the kids got to see.  The video uses more "Grow Snow" than I did.  (I couldn't activate the snow and record at the same time.)   
Enjoy this video and more snow unit to come...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Snow Unit Activities and Review

Back to business!  We started a snow unit of study this week. We began with a short video found on Discovery Education.  It explained the conditions required to have snow and it had very good video of real winter conditions.  This is something children here are not exposed to.  The climate in southern California is not conducive to creating true winter weather.

Then we interactively wrote winter words that we brainstormed on our penguin chart.

Each child received a "Winter Word" book from Enchanted Learning to follow up this activity.

We had a little fun painting a snowflake with this idea from PreKinders.

We reviewed CVC words with an activity I learned long ago.  It is a McCracken strategy for teaching phonics through writing.  You wouldn't  think the children would be excited to sound out words and write them, but they are! I think the children love it so much because they get to use a whiteboard and a marker! I start by telling them the number of lines for the number of sounds they need to listen for.  They draw those lines and then I give them the word. They need to write each sound on the line to create the word.  We go over each word on my whiteboard at the front of the room. If there are any who don't get everything correctly written, they get to see what they did wrong. This is a great way to quickly assess students since when they hold up their boards you can see quickly who has it and who doesn't.

We also used these sight word coloring sheets from Starfall to review high frequency words.   
Did you know that you can get these as a free samples from Starfall?
 It is better if you purchase the yearly subscription and have access to everything.  I purchased it when my son was in kindergarten and it was great.  I was able to use it at home for him and for my classroom too. At any rate, this is a "color by word" free demo.  You can edit the words on the list to match those you need to review or teach.  Visit their site by clicking the link below:

(I am not trying to advertise for Starfall.  I have just found, in my experience, they have useful items.)

Monday, January 14, 2013

100th Day of School Freebies

I updated this post yesterday and I added some badges you might like for your class.  Scroll to the bottom for those. 

Maybe I am looking in the wrong places.  I can never find a simple 100th day template so the class make a mask or a hat. I decided to make one myself.  I am sharing this with you today.

My son is modeling some of the ways one might want to use this template.

Decorate with markers, foam shapes, feathers, tissue paper or anything else you can think of!
 100th day template

I love wearables for students so I made 2 versions of 100th day badges as well.

100th day badges  
 Copy on cardstock, cut out, hole punch, and use a safety pin to attach or string for a necklace.

 Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Free Teacher Resource Websites (part 2)

While just about everyone of you has returned to work from your holiday break, I remain one of the few still on vacation and I won't return until Friday. Why?
Furlough days that were given as a result of California's fiscal mess. On the plus side, it is the reason I have time to outline these websites for you. This is a big job, so I hope you have found something useful for you. 
Here are the last 4.....

Crafts, crafts, crafts. These crafts are organized by age level, holiday, season, or theme.  This site has a different selection of craft ideas including printable paper crafts and dioramas. There is a section of art recipes for making your own art materials. Each craft idea has layed out step by step instructions. Also, included templates for those of us who cannot draw!

This was the first site I began using when I went back to teaching Kindergarten again.  The author gives permission to copy her activities for classroom use. She has educational focused materials, crafts, and coloring pages.  This is another enormous site that will warrant some exploration. I recommend checking out her nursery rhyme section. She has sister sites KidZone.ws and Coloring.ws that have even more resources available.  I like the itsy bitsy books available at KidZone.

This site “features free fun preschool lesson plans, educational early childhood activities, printable crafts, worksheets, calendar of events and other resources for children of preschool age.” (First School)
Believe it or not, this is another sister site of DLTK. The activities are definitely more appropriate for preschooler. The worksheets have larger pictures and fonts and much of the curriculum is alphabet and number based.

This last one is a big one.......................

If you are not familiar with or using WBT then you need to visit this site! You begin by signing up for a free account this will allow you to access the free resources. There are videos, web-seminars, and ebooks available.  These will teach you the basic components of implementing WBT in your classroom.  I started implementation of the classroom management techniques this year.  I can’t impress upon you how much this has helped me deal with problem students.  You should go to “first steps” to begin. I was very, very fortunate that I was able to attend a free training seminar.  (I live in southern California and conferences are regularly held in this area.)  I was trained in the first steps in a day.  If you are in this area, select “calendar” and look under “upcoming events”.  You will have to sacrifice your Saturday, but it is well worth it!

The ebooks are free to download but have a caveat.  You must promise to submit evidence (by email) of sharing the WBT website with 10 people.

After you have implemented the classroom management you will want to get the free ebook entitled “Practice Cards.” This is a free resource that you will want to help you with WBT classroom management. 

There are other ebooks that I recommend for a kindergarten teacher.

Biffytoons Manual
This manual instructs you on how to teach sight words WBT style and includes posters for each word.

Kindergarten Power Pix:  Math and Language Arts
These manuals give lessons for teaching core concepts in Language Arts and Math.  They include posters for those concepts.   You will need to select the posters and lessons that are relevant to your standards.  When this resource was created, they were aligned with the old California Content standards.  We are now transitioning into Common Core.  I actually downloaded the “First Grade Power Pix” because I found that some of those old California standards are now to be addressed in Kindergarten under Common Core.

Here’s a tip:  Keep your poster and the lesson together in a plastic sleeve. Put the poster on the front  and glue the lesson to the back.  You can teach your lesson, hang your poster, and put it safely in a binder to use again next year.

I know I haven't even scratched the surface...

If you have a website you love that isn't listed,  please share it by leaving a comment.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Free Teacher Resource Websites (Part 1)

Hello. Do you want free teaching resources?  Oh, I had you at “Hello.”  ;)

In this post, I am going to share some of my favorite websites that offer free printables, craft activities, and resources. You may be familiar with some of these sites, but I hope you will still be able discover something new.

Read the description and if the site sounds like it is a good fit for your needs then click on the link to visit the site.

You should bookmark this page if you need to return!  After all, these are awesome websites that you may want to explore!

This site offers a multitude of crafts for children of kindergarten age.  The crafts are mostly themed by holiday and seasons. Detailed directions are given for each project. If you are feeling uninspired, you should check out this site!

This site offers resources for use in prek/kindergarten classes.  I enjoy and use the literacy section of this site.  The author has provided many emergent readers that have a sight word focus or a content focus.  She has given permission to copy and use these for your classroom.    

The author of this site invites teachers to use these resources in their classrooms.  There are printables for crafts, phonics, popular stories, and nursery rhymes just to name a few.  I really like the section under “Stories and Props.” The area called “level 1” is most appropriate for kindergarten.  It offers a beginning reader story read aloud online to the student.  Then there is the matching printable story available in PDF to print out and give to students to practice on their own. You should check this one out!

This site is massive.  You can search through the site quickly by checking the list of printables by activity or theme. I usually check by theme since I often teach thematically.  I also love the “printables for popular books” located in the listing on the home page!!! I love this webpage and it is very often one of the first places I look when beginning something new.

This site offers resources spanning from preK to second grade. She offers a section of popular themes. I plan to check those out further myself!! I have kept this site bookmarked on my browser because she has “site printables” available and I have referred to those often!

If you are planning a class party or celebration, you should check Activity Village.  It is loaded with all kinds of fun stuff from crafts, puzzles, mazes, some holiday themed educational worksheets, and game suggestions.  They have printables to the hilt and they are themed by a topic, holiday or season. They are continually adding to the site so you will want to keep this bookmarked and check back often. One of the great things about this site is that they include templates with their craft instructions for those who are artistically challenged! FYI: The site is based in the UK, so some of the holidays and spelling will be different from what we are used to.

To be continued...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Long a Coloring Page Freebie

Here is the last of the long vowel coloring pages. (If you want the other vowels and do not have them, see the previous two posts.  Also, I made a cover in case you wanted to make it into a booklet. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Long i, Long u Coloring Pages Freebies

    Happily, I have finished more long vowel coloring pages sooner than expected!

Only one more vowel left!  To be continued...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Free Solid Shapes Reader and Long e, Long o Coloring Pages

 This link will take you directly back to the "Freebies on the First" post or you may click the "my blogs" side bar to return to the Freebielicious general site. Thanks for visiting me!!

 What a wonderful way to start off the new year-sharing and giving!! I wish everyone the best-health, wealth, and happiness for 2013! 

Here is an emergent math reader for you.
Solid Shapes Books 


  Here are the some long vowel sound coloring pages that I have redone to make them nicer looking.  I really had fun coming up with the alliteration sentences that focus on the vowel sounds. I hope these will be useful for you in your classroom.


I have another post with two more free vowel (i and u) coloring pages!  Go to the next post and grab them!!!