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Arctic Animals Fun!

Comparing and Contrasting Polar Bears & Walruses using a venn diagram.  
{All of the directions for the crafts and the venn diagram strips are included in my Arctic Animals unit).
EXCUSE the fact that it says, live in Antarctica!  Mercy!  I didn't even realize I had made the mistake until a sweet person told me.  Ya know how your brain just kicks into auto?  As a class we read these together and we read, lives in the Arctic.  (didn't even notice the mistake).   In fact, when we read it the kids immediately broke out in song,  "The polar bear lives in the Arctic.  He never gets cold in a storm...."
Sorry about that y'all!  It has been fixed on TPT.  :)

A close up of the Polar Bear glyphs!  So stinkin' cute if I do say so myself!  :)

Polar Bear schema chart!  Thanks for the inspiration, Debbie Miller!

Polar Bear lesson plans.  Click to download.

This week we are learning about American Symbols!
  1. If you already have my America unit you will want to go to your My Downloads folder and get the revised version.  I just added a black and white emergent reader to match the Shared Reading colored version that is in the book.  :)

Making Inferences with Tooth Trouble

Tooth Trouble  is an adorable book that the kids LOVE!
We read the book and made inferences about Wilbur. 

Next, we used our inferencing skills to answer the question, 
Why do you think Wilbur changed his mind about going to the dentist?

Because his grandpa's teeth were all broken.

He does not want to look like Grandpa.

Wilbur changed his mind because he saw his grandpa's tooth.

Because his tooth hurt.

Because he did not want his tooth to fall out.

Kindergarten writing is so adorable!  When I look at their writing I am so proud of how far they've come with stretching words and writing complete sentences.  Just three months ago we were still just doing labeling!  
Kindergarten is a year full of amazing growth.  I LOVE it!  

Here are my missing lesson plans for Thursday and Friday of last week. 
I will post this week's Polar Bear plans this weekend.  

The above lesson is included in the Arctic Animals unit.  

Tomorrow is Friday y'all!  Have a fabulous day with your little sweeties!

Letter for 100th Day

Do you want to have your kids dress up like they are 100?  Need a letter for the parents?  
{I would love to hear how it goes}  My kids were so stinkin' cute.... posting a picture is almost worth the risk of getting fired.  "Bock, bock"'re right!  I'm a CHICKEN! 

100th Day of School Fun!

Friday was the 100th day of school and we had sooo much fun!  We had the kids dress like they were 100 years old.  OH.MY.WORD!  They were so stinkin' adorable!  I would love to be able to show you pictures but {sigh} my district has strict rules about that.  One picture of a kid on a blog= FIRED! {gulp} You'll just have to take my word for it.  
We did a lot of fun math games and activities and the kids didn't want the day to end.  
Most of the activities we did are included in my 100th Day unit on TPT.
Click the picture at the bottom of this post if you want to check it out.

These 100 year old portraits  turned out adorable!
Don't ya just love the wrinkles!

We made these class books that are also in my unit.

If I had $100.  I would...

buy a dog.

buy a necklace. 

buy a baby and baby food.

buy a pony.

buy a shark.

100 days ago I didn't know...

how to do the smartboard.

how to play computer.

how to do the 100th day of school.  {she drew herself as a 100 year old and she is saying, OU because her back hurts!  :)  So cute...I could die!}.

I can't believe we've already completed 101 days of school.  The time is flying by!  
I know many of you probably still have a way to go until you reach your 100th Day.  
We go back sooo EARLY!!!

I hope you had a Marvelous Monday!!

Walruses, Literacy Centers and Guided Reading, oh, my!

We made these adorable walruses from my Arctic Animals unit today.  I love how they all turned out so unique.  Our penguins are still fishing on our bulletin board so the herd of walruses won't be hung up until next week when we use them to decorate our polar bears and walruses venn diagram.  I will post a pic next week when they are all hanging.  

So, I've had some questions about how I do Literacy Centers.
This is a picture of my Literacy Center board.  
The pirates on top match the groups.  For example,  I have 5 kids in the pirate group, 5 kids in the anchor group etc;
Each group goes to the centers below their icon each day.  The first row shows their "have to"  and the second row shows their fun center that they can go to when they finish.  

My classroom is Teeny-Tiny so there is no room to keep centers set up.  My centers are stored in the system shown below.  The group captain goes and gets the center drawer and takes it to the table where the group will work.  The ABC center always has activities that relate to phonics.  For example, this week we are doing an ot, op, og picture sort.  The kids sort the pictures into the appropriate group, glue them down and then stretch the words to write the sounds.  You can download a sample of them here. {The clipart for these is from djinkers and carson dellosa}.
Word Work usually always involves an activity from my Popcorn words units. 
and the other ones are usually "themed" centers (see lesson plans).
Writer's Workshop and Reader's Workshop are completely separate and aren't done during this time.  
My district requires them to have their own block of time.

I am working on a mini literacy center management resource that will be a FREEBIE.  It will include management ideas and icons, etc;  It should be available in the next few weeks.  

During this time I am pulling Guided Reading groups.  I just pull them from their center to come to me and then when I am finished with them they go back to their center activity.  I have a Guided Reading unit on TPT if you want to check it out.  It includes my word work activities, comprehension activities, and all of my planning sheets.  

These are some of my planning templates.  The names have been changed to protect the innocent! LOL

This running record form is printed two to a page and it allows me to do a quick running record on a child and then circle the strategies he or she is using well.  I think jot  a quick note about what we still need to work on.  This is also in my GR unit.  

Google docs is giving me fits with uploading right now!  Grrr!  I will have to post my lesson plans and the writing conferring sheet I promised tomorrow.  

Happy Thursday friends!

Walruses and Writers Workshop

Common Core Standards Posters
Essential Questions

So.... many of you have asked, " How do you get your kids to write like that?"
So, here's your answer.  First of all,  I am totally in love with the Philosophy behind the Workshop Model.  I teach my kids to write by doing a quick mini lesson where I model the writing process.  I think out loud as I write in front of them,  Then, they have the opportunity to practice what I've just modeled.  They turn and talk to their partner to plan out what they are going to write about and then they're off to their writing spots to write.  If you are interested in learning more about Writer's Workshop, Deedee Wills and I have created writing units that are wonderful for explicitly showing you how to get your kids to write a variety of genres.   

Secondly, you will notice that the Common Core Standard (in the first picture) says, WE CAN PARTICIPATE IN SHARED RESEARCH AND WRITING PROJECTS.  So what this says to me is, I teach Kindergarten and my kids don't have to do it all alone.  I can be their guide as we learn this new genre of writing.  We have been writing since the first day of school using our pictures to tell a story and labeling even if that meant that some of them only wrote the beginning sound.  Then, we moved on to writing small moment stories about our lives and stretching and writing words.  This was a slow process.  But oh, my word!  The kids have made HUGE progress.   Nonfiction is a little bit tougher for them so I am glad that we can "share" the writing process and do it together.  So today we talked about our schema for walruses and read the nonfiction book from my unit.   We used our schema and new learning to brainstorm what we should write about.  The kids decided that the tusks were very important to a walrus so we decided that we would write about them.  We came up with, 
Walruses use their tusks for protection.  
They use them to climb up on the ice.
After we decided what we were going to write we got busy!  

So to start I wrote Tusks on the top line and they just copied it.  
Then I started writing our first sentence.  I wrote Walruses and again they copied it.
Then, I had them stretch the word use themselves and they wrote it all on their own.  I never even wrote it on the board because I wanted that to be their work not mine.  You can see that I then wrote their tusks for (normally I wouldn't have written the word for since it is a popcorn word but I knew we had a HUGE word coming up so I went ahead and wrote it).  Next, we had to write the word protection.  WHEW!   Can you believe it?  To do these big words we make it FUN!  We used a tambourine to clap out the syllables so that they could hear each part.  (I do not stretch it for them.  We clap the syllables and say pro tec  tion together and then they have a go at it).  
We followed the same sequence for the second sentence.  The only words I wrote for that sentence was They     them

Here is one of the student's writing samples.


NOTE: After we have done one or two writing pieces together the kids are able to do them all on their own.  They brainstorm the topic they want to write about and get right to it.  By the end of our nonfiction unit they are experts at writing All About books.  

Here's what one of their writing pieces looked like from our small moment study.
During this unit of study I don't help them write at all.  Unless I'm conferencing with them.
This student wrote
For Christmas I got a Koda Kumi wii game for Christmas. 

Whew!  Lots to conference on but still great for a Kindergarten cutie!  We worked on leaving finger spaces between our words.  I didn't have him erase all of his hard work and start over instead we practiced on a whiteboard.  Then, I wrote on the post it note, Today we worked on leaving finger spaces between our words.  I keep conferring notes on each child in my conferring notebook so that I can remember what we've worked on and where we need to go next.

Alrighty, that's that!  I hope I helped answer some of your questions.

If you want to check out our writing units you can click on the picture below.

Click on the picture below to download tomorrow's lesson plans.

Walruses Day 1

Hey y'all!  I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  It was so nice to have an extra day off!  Tomorrow we begin our Arctic animals unit and our focus is on walruses.  

Click on the picture if you want to download my plans for tomorrow.
Most of the things I will be doing this week comes from this unit.

My son plays varsity basketball and we were out of town for games so I didn't get a chance to post what we did on Friday.  Here are some quick pictures.
Penguin facts

Our penguin glyphs and glyph books from my Penguin unit.

We did a directed drawing and bubble map for Tacky the Penguin.

Have a Terrific Tuesday!  


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