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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bat Brace Map and More!!

I am really enjoying teaching these days with all these fun seasonal activities!!

These pumpkins brace maps were all the rage last year and everyone had their version-even me! I used mine for the specific purpose of writing from a thinking map.
I am posting it here in case you could use this.

This week we had a Zero Hero day.  This entailed a Zero the Hero challenge!! Each student had to create 5 groups of 10.

Several students completed the challenge.  Those that did not have time, were able to combine with another student to complete the assignment.

We worked with our Dollar Tree Creepy Creatures to compare number sets and I introduced the symbols that are used to compare. We used craft sticks. The students were responsible for making the correct symbol for each problem.
Here is a worksheet I will use sometime soon and I am sharing it below.


I was very excited to do this interactively with the class!  The "s" in green was brought on by a teachable moment where it was decided to make things plural.  I chose green to highlight the "s" and to help students remember that its job is making things more than one.  We also had the conversation about "feet" already being plural. We also highlighted our targeted high frequency word "have."
Again, students made a copy of the map to write from.  We did an oral rehearsal for each part before writing.
Here is a copy for you if want to try it.

Conveniently, we were ready for our letter Jj lesson when I wanted to make a paper Jack-o-lantern.  I love it when things work out like this!

Freebie Fridays

Thursday, October 17, 2013

October Activities in Kindergarten

The theme of the week was to try and cram as much fun in as possible.
I am obsessed with headbands!! I try to turn as many activities as possible into a headband.  This worked out really well for us because it fell on a Zero the Hero day and we practiced our counting by tens!  

I know there are many number ordering activities out there, but they weren't quite right for me.  I need black and white versions that are small enough to fit on the headbands! I made these myself.  You are free to take any of these you might be interested in!

The students and I had a great time with this!

I used these creatures last year to introduce addition. 
I am planning that for next week, but we be began with counting and comparing numbers with these.  Click on the image below to see last year's post and get a copy of the addition sheet.
Like many of you, we have also been working on bats!
We have created a simple circle map together, made our bat projects, and read our itsy bitsy bat books with our 2nd and third grade reading buddies.
Bat project here!

The one thing I am most proud of is this double bubble map comparing a nonfiction bat book to a fiction bat book!! 

My partner teacher thought this was rather ambitious, but the kids got it!  Probably, because I don't open a book with out going over the parts of it! 

Unfortunately, it is black and white.  I think it would have looked so much better in color, but we are a small school and that makes us a poor school.

We finished up with our predictable chart.  The students liked getting their sentence and having to put it together like a puzzle.  This was also a great time to teach students about directionality, capitalization, and punctuation of sentences.  I like using predictable charts because they can fit into any topic you are working with!
A copy of a lesson plan is found on the first 3 pages, if you aren't familiar with the procedure.

 powered by MyBookezzz.net
A list of possible topics for a predictable chart can be found here.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Cookie's Week Activities (Freebies)

A few weeks ago I had a meeting with a group of kindergarten teachers in my district. We were talking about days of the week not beginning written into the common core standards.  We laughed at the thought of not addressing this!  How would first grade teachers feel about that?!! Of course, we would be teaching them!!  

One of my favorite books that addresses this concept is Cookie's Week.  Unfortunately, there was not a lot out there, so I came up with some of my own activities.  

One of our activities was making a Cookie's Week retelling puppet. Students used the picture clues and the days of the week listed on the body to retell the story.
This is a different way to make the puppet using black construction paper and a craft stick for a handle. My students retold the story to the class during a short day when there was not time to start something new.

We also worked on a interactively written Thinking Map.
Students had to describe Cookie for this bubble map.  I modified the interactively written part based on students selected.  Sometimes, I had them only write the first or last letter they heard in the word while I wrote the middle.  The most able students wrote the entire word or most of the word. 

I followed up this activity with a writing assignment.  Since this was the first time students have written a sentence, I gave them a lot of support.  They only had to write the last word on their own. I also modified this by allowing more able students to choose the word from the map that they wanted. The others had to copy my example.
Then for fun and to practice following directions, I gave them a directed drawing lesson for Cookie.
We also used coloring pages from Making Learning Fun to make a book.  She has other Cookie books available on her site, but I found that they were too difficult for the beginning of kindergarten.
This student is very enthusiastically pointing to and reading the sight words he knows!!

We did our Cookie paper plate project again this year.
This time I used my circle punch to cut out Cookie's green eyes and I used my heart punch to cut out his nose.  This was a huge time saver!! The ears were cut by hand.  Students drew the mouth and whiskers with a marker. 
Have fun with Cookie!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday