Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Turnips and Dancing

I know, the title is a little....strange to say the least.

But let me explain.

I'll start with the turnip.  We are studying pushes and pulls in kindergarten and decided that a good story to share with the kiddos would be The Enormous Turnip.  It will be great.

Now the way we share them is through narrative inputs.  You can read about how you share narrative inputs by clicking here.

I guess I need to back track a little bit.  Today and tomorrow the kindergarten team at our school is out again for SEAL training.  Today, while sitting in my gym clothes in the training room (FINALLY gym clothes for work!) I remembered that I needed to scan the turnip pictures from the book and draw my background for it.  So I rushed home after training (that's a lie, I went to school first and then went home) and set to work on my drawing.  It took me two hours.

Because I was dancing.

A lot.

And it's really hard to draw when you're dancing.

Anyways, I did my drawing and tomorrow I need to have it laminated and then I need to finish scanning the turnip pictures.

Here are some pictures!
Here I was just getting started.  Set out my poster paper, the picture from the book I was going to emulate, my pencil and my music.

After drawing it, I traced it all out in black marker and erased the pencil markings.  My music is still blaring.

Then I colored.  With crayons.  Whoever said that you can't color and shade appropriately with crayons....was ABSOLUTELY right!

Voila!  All done!

I must say, I have had a TON of energy this week.  I started waking up at 5am and working out before school almost three weeks ago now and it really is amazing.  I was drop dead exhausted for the first week and a half, but this week it's not even fazing me.  I get up, work out, make myself a protein shake (that I end up drinking or the majority of the morning so it keeps me full and away from snacking on cruddy food) and then get ready for school.  And I get to school EARLY!!!!  

My smoothies always have Kefir, almond milk, raw oats, protein powder and at least 2 types of fruit (here banana and blueberries.


Ahem.  Over and out.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Donor's Choose

Only 29 days left to help us out with some amazing dramatic play materials!  We really need some costumes, play food etc to help reenact the amazing things we are learning.  And as I mention in my project, we really do play to learn and learn to play.  What better way to teach social skills than through play?

How fantastic.

Click here to check it out and spread the word!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Time to Carpe Some Diem

This New Years has really been about changing my attitude about the aspects in my life that I can control which, fortunately enough, are many.  Some things are clearly out of my control and no matter how hard I try they never will be in my control, so why put myself through the unnecessary hurt and stress?

I don't anymore.

So part of this entails realizing when to stop and how to give myself a break in ALL aspects of my life.
Anyways.  I'm trying to carpe all of my diems both at home and at school.

For school, that looks like trying out as many new strategies as possible.  Recently, our district introduced to us counting collections.  At first, it all seemed a little daunting.  But I have to tell you, it is probably my favorite thing to do for math.

Essentially we give baggies of materials from our junk boxes to our students (who are working in partners).  Each back has anywhere from 50 to upwards of 100 objects in them.  We also give them little cups, big cups, tens frames, plates, etc. to help them organize the objects.  We give them roughly 30 minutes (after our math talks and subitizing and rekenreks) to organize their objects however they want.  We have been practicing putting materials into groups of 10 and then counting by 10s to figure out how many objects they have.  They are doing a fantastic job with it.  I think one more week of just counting and then we'll start actually recording.

It is incredible how much they enjoy it, how engaged they are and how well they are doing with their counting skills.  Yay kindergarten!

In other news, here's our finished Three Little Pigs bulletin board.

Have a fantastic week and make sure you carpe your diems too!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Back Full Swing

There is no rest for the weary.  Not even during winter break.

Which unfortunately, is much of the reason why I have not written in so long.  I should probably just admit that keeping up with a blog is not my strong suit, but I LOVE sharing what I do so I refuse to give up!  It can be so hard as a teacher to find the inspiration to continue to create new materials, so whatever I can do to help I will do with gusto.

Anyways.  Off my soap box.

We are full blown into our Pushes and Pulls unit.  We are working with the California Next Generation Science Standards  and oh baby are they a doozy!  But we are having fun, experimenting with pushes and pulls.

Last week, we did an experiment with cars and marbles.  Our challenge was to move them from one end of the table to the other only pushing them.  They got pretty creative!  I had kids blowing on them, lifting the table, and pushing them with their fingers.  None of which I prompted.
This week, we are talking about pull.  And what better way to do that than by reading "Los tres cerditos y el lobo no tan feroz"?
This one was fun because we got to talk about the different forces the wolf could have used to knock down the pigs' houses.  We realized he could have pulled the doors down, he could have knocked the houses down by hitting them with hammers, by kicking them, etc.  To compliment this, we did a cute and fun craftivity.

Yep, craftivity.

Here's the teacher sample:
We made a wolf with construction paper, a house, and glued some writing lines on the house.  Then we wrote (English translation): To blow the house down the wolf can _____________.  They came out SO CUTE!  I'm putting them up tomorrow with a cute banner I made that says "Sopló y sopló y..."
All in all, it has been an excellent start back at school.  

I'm working on actually typing out the lessons we are doing for our units rather than keeping everything scattered in a file, so once I have that done it will be going up on TpT.

Speaking of which!  I have a new simple center I put up on TpT.  But first, let me explain it.  It's called, "Read It, Lace It, Write It" o sea, "Léalo, ensártalo, escríbelo".  

You will need:
* Letter beads
Pipe cleaners (cut in half)
Sight word flash cards
Recording sheets

Each student gets a little container or baggie with alphabet beads in them (have a mommy in your class put the letters in there that they will need to form the sight words, no more no less), a set of flash cards and a recording sheet.  They pick a flashcard, read the word, form the word with beads on their pipe cleaner (lace it) and then write it on the recording sheet.

Easy as that!

I'm doing this one next week - it will be one of my independent centers for a formal observation (eek!) with my vice principal (double eek!).

Click the picture to go straight to my TpT store!

Alright, I think I'm done for the day!  Hopefully my next post will come sooner than a month from now...