Thursday, September 29, 2011

Little Warriors: Apple Math and Literacy Centers

Little Warriors: Apple Math and Literacy Centers: So, last year I was new to literacy centers. I did the whole trial and error thing and finally figured out a system that worked for me that ...

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The First Grade Parade: No David! I’m a Peacemaker!

The First Grade Parade: No David! I’m a Peacemaker!: A few weeks ago, sweet Julie over at Mrs. Lee’s Kindergarten wrote this great little post about Peacemakers & Peacebreakers. Immediately,...

Baking Bread

Hello All!
It's been a little while since I've posted anything.  Getting Kindergarten going has been fun and exhausting.  I'll post pics of my classroom soon.

This week we are reading a couple of versions of The Little Red Hen.  We've also been working on properties of matter, and this week is how matter changes when heated and cooled.

So, I couldn't resist making bread!  This weekend one of my boys and I tested out the recipe so I'll know what to expect when we make it in the classroom.

salt and sugar



Almost forgot the eggs!!

He REALLY REALLY wanted to peek in the window!

Smells good!
Tastes good!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Conduct Chart Labels

Whew!  I've survived (and LOVED) my first week of Kindergarten.  It has been a crazy whirlwind of new expectations and experiences.  Each day has been better than the one before it, and we are learning something new every day.

I've made some labels to put inside my kiddos binders for parents to refer to when checking their conduct color.  These correspond to the colors of our conduct chart.

Conduct Chart Blog Post

Grab these labels at my TPT store!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Teachers' Playground: Introducing Writing Tools

The Teachers' Playground: Introducing Writing Tools: "It's beginning of the year AND it's kindergarten. With that being said, I needed an easy way to teach how to use writing tools, scissors, a..."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Schedule Cards with Pictures and Clocks

I created these schedule cards to post in my room to let the kiddos know what to expect throughout the day.  I couldn't decide if I wanted to have the time on them or not, so I made both.  When I get them up in the room I'll post photos.
Kindergarten Schedule Cards With Clocks

Schedule Cards

Here are the files on TPT if you are having trouble viewing.

With clocks

Without clocks

Thursday, August 11, 2011

ABC Station Ideas

Check out all the great ABC station ideas from Growing in Pre K!

Here's just a little taste.  I loved the silly band matching and clothespin case matching.

There is also a fun way to use all those bottle caps that I save and a great font sort!

Check it out!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Duplo Tower Race...

Totally Tots: Little Hands-On abc's and 123's ~ Duplo Tower Race...: "I love when games combine different skills. This game focuses on counting and fine motor skills, but can also focus on colors ..."

I love how many disciplines this hits!  Counting, adding, fine and gross motor!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Multiple Intelligences

Multiple Intelligences
How do you incorporate the MI?

I've been thinking a lot about how to incorporate more Multiple Intelligence focused learning in the classroom.  I found some pretty good info about planning and including activities to meet the needs of all learners.  I have some links down at the bottom that give examples of teaching using the different intelligences.

These are two tables about Multiple Intelligences from Emerging Perspectives on Learning, Teaching, and Technology

The article about Multiple Intelligences has a lot more examples, ideas, and research about Multiple Intelligences.  

Here is the article: Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles  written by Emily Giles, Sarah Pitre, Sara Womack.  I just thought they were too good not to share.

Table 1. Summary of the Eight Intelligences
Intelligence AreaStrengthsPreferencesLearns best throughNeeds
Verbal / LinguisticWriting, reading, memorizing dates, thinking in words, telling storiesWrite, read, tell stories, talk, memorize, work at solving puzzlesHearing and seeing words, speaking, reading, writing, discussing and debatingBooks, tapes, paper diaries, writing tools, dialogue, discussion, debated, stories, etc.
Mathematical/ LogicalMath, logic, problem-solving, reasoning, patternsQuestion, work with numbers, experiment, solve problemsWorking with relationships and patterns, classifying, categorizing, working with the abstractThings to think about and explore, science materials, manipulative, trips to the planetarium and science museum, etc.
Visual / SpatialMaps, reading charts, drawing, mazes, puzzles, imagining things, visualizationDraw, build, design, create, daydream, look at picturesWorking with pictures and colors, visualizing, using the mind's eye, drawingLEGOs, video, movies, slides, art, imagination games, mazes, puzzles, illustrated book, trips to art museums, etc.
Bodily / KinestheticAthletics, dancing, crafts, using tools, actingMove around, touch and talk, body languageTouching, moving, knowledge through bodily sensations, processingRole-play, drama, things to build, movement, sports and physical games, tactile experiences, hands-on learning, etc.
MusicalPicking up sounds, remembering melodies, rhythms, singingSing, play an instrument, listen to music, humRhythm, singing, melody, listening to music and melodiesSing-along time, trips to concerts, music playing at home and school, musical instruments, etc.
InterpersonalLeading, organizing, understanding people, communicating, resolving conflicts, sellingTalk to people, have friends, join groupsComparing, relating, sharing, interviewing, cooperatingFriends, group games, social gatherings, community events, clubs, mentors/ apprenticeships, etc.
IntrapersonalRecognizing strengths and weaknesses, setting goals, understanding selfWork alone, reflect pursue interestsWorking alone, having space, reflecting, doing self-paced projectsSecret places, time alone, self-paced projects, choices, etc.
NaturalisticUnderstanding nature, making distinctions, identifying flora and faunaBe involved with nature, make distinctionsWorking in nature, exploring living things, learning about plants and natural eventsOrder, same/different, connections to real life and science issues, patterns

Table 2. Multiple Intelligences: Classroom Application (Table added by Brandy Bellamy and Camille Baker, 2005)
Teacher CenteredStudent Centered
  • Present content verbally
  • Ask questions aloud and look for student feedback
  • Interviews
  • Student Presents Material
  • Students read content and prepare a presentation for his/her classmates
  • Students debate over an issue
  • Provide brain teasers or challenging questions to begin lessons.
  • Make logical connections between the subject matter and authentic situations to answer the question "why?"
  • Students categorize information in logical sequences for organization.
  • Students create graphs or charts to explain written info.
  • Students participate in webquests associated with the content
  • Use props during lecture
  • Provide tangible items pertaining to content for students to examine
  • Review using sports related examples (throw a ball to someone to answer a question)
  • Students use computers to research subject matter.
  • Students create props of their own explaining subject matter (shadow boxes, mobiles, etc...)
  • Students create review games.
When presenting the information, use visuals to explain content:</br>
PowerPoint Slides, Charts, Graphs, cartoons, videos, overheads, smartboards
  • Have students work individually or in groups to create visuals pertaining to the information:
  • Posters; timelines; models; powerpoint slides; maps; illustrations, charts; concept mapping
  • Play music in the classroom during reflection periods
  • Show examples or create musical rhythms for students to remember things
  • Create a song or melody with the content embedded for memory
  • Use well known songs to memorize formulas, skills, or test content
  • Be aware of body language and facial expressions
  • Offer assistance whenever needed
  • Encourage classroom discussion
  • Encourage collaboration among peers
  • Group work strengthens interpersonal connections
  • Peer feedback and peer tutoring
  • Students present to the class
  • Encourage group editing
  • Encourage journaling as a positive outlet for expression
  • Introduce web logging (blogs)
  • Make individual questions welcome
  • Create a positive environment.
  • Journaling
  • Individual research on content
  • Students create personal portfolios of work
  • Take students outside to enjoy nature while in learning process (lecture)
  • Compare authentic subject matter to natural occurrences.
  • Relate subject matter to stages that occur in nature (plants, weather, etc)
  • Students organize thoughts using natural cycles
  • Students make relationships among content and the natural environment (how has nature had an impact?)
  • Students perform community service
Again, these tables are from Multiple Intelligences and Learning Styles  written by Emily Giles, Sarah Pitre, Sara Womack.

The following is from a great article from Dr. Thomas Armstrong at this link:

"When Planning a Lesson, Ask the Right Questions!   
Certain questions help me look at the possibilities for involving as many intelligences as possible:
Linguistic: How can I use the spoken or written word?
Logical-Mathematical: How can I bring in numbers, calculations, logic, classifications, or critical thinking?
Spatial:  How can I use visual aids, visualization, color, art, metaphor, or visual organizers?
Musical: How can I bring in music or environmental sounds, or set key points in a rhythm or melody?
Bodily-Kinesthetic: How can I involve the whole body, or hands-on experiences?
Interpersonal: How can I engage students in peer or cross-age sharing, cooperative learning or large-group simulation?
Intrapersonal:  How can I evoke personal feelings or memories, or give students choices?
You won't always find ways of including every intelligence in your curriculum plans.  But if this model helps you reach into one or two intelligences that you might not otherwise have tapped, then it has served
its purpose very well indeed!"

Here are some other links with info about Multiple Intelligences.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Clutter-Free Classroom: Birthday Displays - Setting Up the Classroom Serie...

Clutter-Free Classroom: Birthday Displays - Setting Up the Classroom Serie...:

I loved all the different birthday displays, but I think I want to try the picture chart!

Clutter-Free Classroom: Birthday Displays - Setting Up the Classroom Serie...:
"This post is part of my Setting Up Your Classroom Series. Click here to view more posts from the series . There are tons of commercially-ma..."

Whole Brain Teaching

Little Miss Kindergarten - Lessons from the Little Red Schoolhouse!: Whole Brain Teaching:
"I saw a Whole Brain Teaching video clip on on of my favorite blogs the kinder polka dot patch and I had to look this up and post this for..."

I love at the end of the video how they explain that the rules are rehearsed every morning, after lunch, and after recess.  That's a lot of practicing!

Here's another Whole Brain Teaching video.

I can see that there are a lot of things that would fit with my style, and a few that I'd probably skip.  I watched a few YouTube videos of classes that use Whole Brain Teaching that seemed extreme, but I think I could easily fit components in to fit my personality.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Conduct Chart

I looked and looked for a conduct chart that would fit my needs exactly, and I found a lot that came close.  There were a lot of really cute ones out there, but I wanted mine to have STARS!  So, I went ahead and made it myself.  Here it is:
The levels are Super Star, Awesome, Great Job, Ready to Learn, Slow Down, Teacher's Choice, and Parent Contact.

Everyone will start out on Ready to Learn.  That is the green section which is a bit larger than the rest.  Then, everyone will move up or down throughout the day.

I've seen a few different ideas about what reward a student might get if they end the day on Super Star:
1.  A special sticker in their take home folder.
2.  A sticker on an incentive chart to earn a trip to the treasure box.
3.  A line on their wooden clip, and after 5 or 10 lines they get to trade for a new COLORED clip!

Moving below "Ready to Learn" a child first lands on "Slow Down" and then, "Teacher's Choice."  At this level I will conference with the child about his/her behavior and depending on the actions, decide on an appropriate consequence.  At the level of "Parent Contact," the child's parent will be contacted by note, email, or phone call to discuss the behaviors, and how we can guide him/her back onto the right path.

Grab these here at my TPT store!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Gummy Bears

Gummy Bears!
I just had to repost this from Dr. Jean and Friends!  It's an interactive song that is sung to the tune of Five Little Ducks.  The song is on her CD Is Everybody Happy?

I love the suggestion that you can make it seasonal.  I'm thinking 5 LITTLE ROBOTS or 5 LITTLE ALLIGATORS...

I'm going to have some fun di-cutting shapes.  I'll post pictures when I've made some!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Totally Transitions Tips

I've been spending a lot of time lately updating my website to document my journey into Kindergarten, but the start of school is just on the horizon and I'm starting to feel less than prepared.  My main worry?
I know how important routines, schedules, and transitions are for Kindergarteners, so I've scoured books and the internet for transitions that I LOVE!

Top 5 Transitions Tips
Drumroll, Please

Transitions Tip #1
Music Playlists and Sound Bites

Simply 2nd Resources uses pre-made playlists for beginning the day, transitions, calming, and ending the day.  Check it out!

Primary Connections uses music sound bites like "Aye Aye Captain" from Spongebob Squarepants to signal it's time to clean up. 

First Class With Mrs. Mac uses sound bites of theme songs from popular movies or television shows like Jeopardy or Mission Impossible.

Curls and a Smile plays a song that give the kids time to clean up AND DANCE (if they finish cleaning up quick enough).

Mrs. Bee's KinderGarden  uses a song to gather everyone to the carpet, and if everyone is in their spot by the time the music ends, they get a "gumball" on the incentive chart! (I LOVE IT!!)

Gracehopper Learning loves Dr. Jean CD's.  (As a newbie to Kindergarten I must admit that I don't have any.  So, this is something for me to check out!)

Monday, July 25, 2011


Well, I'm finally at a stopping point for my website.  I've been gathering and organizing lots of information about great teaching and posting it to my website.  Next, I'll be posting more personalized information and pictures from my class IN ACTION!  
That will be lots of fun!

I'd love to hear what you think!

I'll be posting more soon about my Back to School plans, Classroom Organization, and First Day ideas!
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