Saturday, September 29, 2012

Columbus Day Mini Math and Literacy Unit and a Freebie

I cannot believe that Columbus Day is already right around the corner, which also means, Parent-Teacher Conferences are coming soon! I don't know about all of you, but this school year seems like it's just flying by! We have been knee-deep in team planning, tons of professional development and we just found out it's our year to rewrite curriculum. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to up my Coke and Dr. Pepper drinking to 5 cans a day to make it through the next few weeks.

Today, I carved out time to work on a Columbus Day mini unit. On the actual Columbus Day holiday, our local Fire Department is coming for Fire Safety Week and I won't be able to do a lot of these activities with my kiddos this year. However, I hope that some of you will have more time than we do.

I just created a Columbus Day Mini Math and Literacy Unit and posted it on TpT. It's filled with activities that cover Math and ELA Common Core State Standards, as well as, several Social Studies expectations. The unit is 48 pages long and should go well with most of the books that you will be reading to your students. Click on the picture above or any of the pictures below to take you to the unit on TpT!

Columbus Day Mini Math and Literacy Unit includes:
  • Pages 2-3: We Celebrate Columbus Day Song (Color and Black/White) (Freebie) 
  • Pages 4-9: We Celebrate Columbus Day Pocket Chart Song and Pictures 
  • Pages 10-15: Would you like to be an explorer? Graph, Headers, and Analyzing Class Results Response Sheet(Color and Black/White) 
  • Pages 16-19: Number Slit Book (Numbers 1-5) 
  • Pages 20-26: Ten Frame, Base Ten Block and Number Match Up 1-10 
  • Pages 27-31: Syllable Sort and Self-Check Sheet 
  • Pages 32-34: Skip Counting by 10's 
  • Pages 35-36: What Comes Next? 
  • Pages 27-42: Write the Room Picture Cards and Response Sheet 
  • Pages 43-45: Pattern Cards 
  • Pages 46-47: Spin and Graph
Click on the picture below to download a freebie song from the packet. It's called We Celebrate Columbus Day and can be sung to the tune of Jolly Old St. Nicholas.

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Friday, September 28, 2012

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves Mini Math and Literacy Unit

I finally listed my unit There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves. Take a peek at it on TpT! It is only $3 and includes enough resources for two days worth of activities. This was the first Old Lady book I've done with my class this year and they absolutely loved the spinner/graphing activity. It was so wonderful to see them engaged and having conversations about whose turn it was and getting excited when it was their turn. :) I love lessons like that!
Click on any of the pictures below to take you to TpT! 


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Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Science of Magnets in Kindergarten: Ideas and Resources {FREEBIE}

Exploring Magnets is one of my favorite units to teach in Science! This year, we've been working really hard to integrate Social Studies and Science into all our Math and ELA Common Core Standards.

So, for my formal observation I decided to center my lesson around using our five senses to explore magnets. My kids had explored magnets the day before, used them around the room, made observations, watched iron shavings being pulled across paper and all those other fun things you get to do with magnets.

I thought the kiddos would have been a little less excited on the second day, but did I ever underestimate my kiddos! We read the book Magnets Push, Magnets Pull and used bar magnets to use our five senses with the magnets. Although they were totally engaged in the lesson, the majority of them were talking over each other to answer my questions. Yikes! :) I haven't gotten to have a conversation about the observation with my Principal yet, but hopefully, it wasn't too crazy!

Here's a copy of the resources I created in case you'd like to use them, too! Just click on the picture to download your freebies from Google Docs. The first two pages are student response sheets (color and black/white). I used the color version with our projector. The other pages are signs for a large anchor chart with student responses.
 Here are a few other magnet ideas I found.

Magnet Song 
Magnets Rock

5 Day Lesson Teaching About Magnets in Kindergarten

Free Printable Magnet Sort


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Thursday, September 6, 2012

What the hexagon is that shape? Hexagon Song {FREEBIE}

Poor little hexagon! It's so misunderstood and so commonly confused with the octagon. I'm pretty sure it suffers from major hurt feelings because kids just don't seem to be able to make the connection with it that they seem to make with the 8-sided stop-sign-shaped octagon. :)

After testing my kiddos on 2D shape recognition Wednesday and 60% of them not being able to recall the name of the hexagon after several days of direct instruction, I knew I had to do something to help. So, I came up with a song and a simple worksheet that I'm hoping will help them remember this time. (I'll let you know when I retest next week.)

I hope you will be able to use the song and worksheet in your classroom, as well. Just click on one of the pictures below to grab a copy.


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Have you ever been on a hayride? Graphing and Analysis {FREEBIE}

This weekend, one of my best teacher friends and I are in charge of our local Community Teacher Association's funnel cake booth to help support scholarships for high school seniors. I think all the preparations and the anticipated change in temps for Saturday have me feeling like fall! I love fall and can't wait to start decorating!

In the mean time, I created a little freebie for you that will hopefully come in handy if you are headed to the pumpkin patch soon!  Have you ever been on a hayride? is a class graph and analysis printable to help get your students excited about fall! Just click on one of the pictures below to grab your free copy! Enjoy!


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Monday, September 3, 2012

How do you celebrate Grandparent's Day?

We are gearing up for our Grandparent's Day Celebration next week. For the last three years, we have done something a little different. We use to celebrate in our own classrooms in which we had two separate sessions to fit everyone in. (It took over 2 hours!) We would introduce everyone, eat snacks, sing songs and do a craft or let students and their grandparents tour the classroom.

Now, we have all three Kindergarten classes say the Pledge of Allegiance and then sing a couple of songs in the gym. Then, we break up into groups. Last year we happened to have the Book Fair at the same time as our Grandparent's Day Celebration, but we weren't as lucky this year. So, we will sing our songs, say the Pledge and break into groups. We will likely rotate between cookies and drinks in the cafeteria, pictures in the lobby and a tour of our classrooms. The entire thing only lasts about 45 minutes now. Plus, this year we are having the celebration on an early release day, so students won't miss as much time at the end of school if their grandparents choose to take them home.

If students don't have a grandparent that is able to make it, we have special friends that will take the place of their grandparents so no one feels left out. If you are looking for ideas, I found a few fun things at the following sites and blogs. I also created a Grandparent's Day Board on Pinterest and added an Amazon widget at the top of this post with some of the books we read before Grandparent's Day.


What are you doing for Grandparent's Day this year?

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat Mini Math & Literacy Unit

I know that not everyone celebrates Halloween, especially at school, but I went ahead and made a unit to go along with the series of Old Lady books by Lucille Colandro because a few of you had asked about it. This unit goes with the book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat. The mini math and literacy unit has lots of activities that can be used for whole group, small groups or literacy stations.

Here are a few examples of the things you will see in the unit. Just click on one of the pictures below to take you to my TpT store. 

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Finally feeling caught up!

I feel like I've been a completely neglectful blogger lately, but this was definitely one of the busiest beginnings ever! I hope you will all forgive me! My daughter started Kindergarten and my son is now in junior high. I had a friend who had heart surgery the first Friday of school and a friend who had brain surgery just two days ago.Our schedule this year is crazy busy and a little choppy so it makes getting things done a little harder than usual. It seems like we've had little mini meetings every other night after school. Add all of that to the normal craziness of the first few weeks of establishing rules, procedures in Kindergarten, a Zero Hero visit, two tornado drills, two fire drills, four intruder drills, a substitute when I attended a field trip with our upper elementary students, a co-worker on maternity leave, a guest reader, three student birthdays and getting to know students and their personalities and abilities and I've just been plain exhausted! Oh, I've been teaching, too! :)

Here are a few of the things we've been up to since the start of school.

 Kissing Hand Cookies for the first day of school

Zero Hero flew in from Zero Planet! He flies in every 10th day through Day 100. Each time he comes, he brings an item that is shaped like a zero that the kids have to guess using 'big questions'. For example, is it something you can eat? I'll try to write a post sometime that includes all the items we use. This time, he brought us colored reinforcement circles that was money on Zero Planet. We usually use it as jewelry, but I messed up writing what it was on the Post-it for Zero Hero. Oopsie!

Braxton, our school's pet therapy dog, came for a visit with our Counselor.
I received a super sweet thank you card from a Kindergarten teacher in Joplin who wrote to thank me on behalf of her fellow teachers for sharing ideas after the tornado. It made my day!
My wonderful friend, Lisa from Teaching Kindergarten Kiddos, emailed author Elizabeth Schoonmaker (above) about using her book Square Cat in her classroom during a unit on 2D shapes. Lisa then gave Elizabeth my information and she so kindly offered to send me an autographed copy of her book, along with an autographed copy to giveaway to a lucky reader. I was beyond thrilled! Be watching for a giveaway soon! Here's a link to how Lisa incorporated the book with her student's square projects.

If you can't wait for the giveaway, head on over to Amazon to order your copy! 

Super, duper, sweet Shannon from Kindergarten Hoppenings, sent me her Monster's Unit out of the blue! It was such an incredibly sweet gesture and so very generous! I hope you will immediately go check out her unit on TpT or Teachers Notebook.

Well, in case you can't tell, I just love this little bloggy world that brings us all close together and gives us the feeling of being in each others classrooms, even if we are miles and miles away, we aren't so far apart in this little part of the world! {Group hug!}

Over the next few days, I will be posting about Grandparent's Day and also, what we hope to be doing for Patriot Day and Constitution Day.

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