Thursday, October 25, 2012

Character Development Freebie

Click on this picture to receive these free pages below.

This week in class, we began a character development unit on "Choices". Students are sent home with an "I Will Obey" chart. They take it home and hang it up in a prominent place. Each time their parent asks them to do one item from the list and the student does it the first time they are asked, they can place on sticker on a corresponding square until their entire page is filled. 

Here, in this packet, I have created an "I Will Obey" chart that students can take home and work with their family. I also created one that teachers can use directly in the classroom. Once the chart is completed, the student can turn that in for a prize from the prize box.

In this packet, students will draw and write about a time they made a good choice and about a time they made a bad choice. This year I would like to make a Photo Story with their pages and create a podcast of them sharing about their pages. The podcast can be put onto an iTouch and placed in the Listening Center to be listened to as students look through the class book.

Something I did last year that was really fun for the students:
Put the students in pairs and have them brainstorm about something they should not do at school. They then pose in a picture pretending to act out the bad behavior and the teacher takes a picture. The students then pose for correct behavior. The students who hardly ever "break the rules" really have fun with getting to pretend to do so just for the picture. I printed my pictures out and had a written page next to it with what students would say about the good and the bad picture.Pictures are then placed into a class "Choices" book. 
It was a very popular book!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

CVC Word Work Freebie

It is that wonderful time of the year when my student are really taking off with the reading process. So far, my students have worked with these letters: 
l, o, g, h, t, p, a, n, and m. Some of the students were struggling more than others with getting the sounds down, so I create these mini packets for them to practice more with. The pages are such that my students will repeat and work with the same words on each page.
I hope you can use these with your students.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Math Games with Target Dollar Pieces

I found these acrylic acorns in the dollar section at Target recently. They were packaged as holiday decoration scatter such as would be used like confetti. They came in a bag of 100 and were just big enough that I started to wonder how I could use them in my classroom. I bought 2 bags and brought them to school. At first, I just put them in the math area to see what the students might do with them. The children were drawn to play with them. They counted them and made up stories about them while they played with them.

As we began to identify and order numbers 0-10, my students began to count them and group them by 10's on their own.

The students began to make up games using these pieces. They happen to be perfect game-sized pieces. You can see the size of the acorns compared to the student's hands below.

Today, our class played "Bingo" with cards that had 8 of the numbers from 0-10 on them. The students used these acorns as place holders on the Bingo cards.

My students however, were not too interested in the game of Bingo at first. However, when I had our two classroom friends, "Mr. Harry" and "Charlie" play, everyone played this game. I sat my two puppet friends at the math center area after lunch today and most of the class rotated through this center to play the Bingo game with the acorns. I put a puppet on each hand and acted out a Bingo game with appropriate vs. inappropriate behavior during the game. I wanted to show the students that they can have fun without having to be the winner every time. They were hysterical with laughter! These puppets fit perfectly over a container of Clorox wipes (that's how I sat them at the table like this).

We also used these acrylic acorns to play a math game called, "Blast Off". I believe the game idea came from "Mailbox for Teachers".

Materials needed:
  • 1 game board with a rocket ship drawn on it. The rocket ship has 7 blackline circles drawn on it.
  • 7 plastic game pieces (acorns in this case)
  • 1 die
  • 6 linking cubes per person

Each pair of friends takes a rocket ship game board that has 7 circles drawn on it. I place a plastic acorn in each of the circles. One of the two players rolls a die. Whatever number comes up, the student takes that many linking cubes and builds a tower. The other student rolls the die and builds their linking cube tower. Whoever has the largest tower wins and takes one of the acorns off the rocket ship. The game continues until all the acorns are won. The player with the most acorns wins. We then try the game and change the rules such that the player with the smallest tower wins the acorn.

Students have also mixed these plastic acorns with our plastic bear manipulatives to make AB patterns across the carpet. 

I can not wait to see how many more uses we can come up with to use these acorns in our classroom. If you had these pieces in your room, how would you use them?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Missing Numbers in the Pumpkin Patch

I have been away attending a two day unconference, learning about some great new tech tools to implement in my classroom. As a result, I have not been creating too many new things for my students. If you have not attended any conferences yet this year, consider stretching yourself a bit by checking out what is offered in your area. 

This week, my students began looking at identifying and ordering the numbers 0-10 and did not do too well with some of the numbers. I created one of the sheets in this packet for them to practice and added some others that will be covered in the future: identifying and ordering 1-20, counting by 10's to 100, and counting by 5's to 100. You can click on the picture above to receive your FREE copy.

Another issue I have noticed in my class is that students are struggling to write their numbers correctly. Perhaps they are not writing the numbers on or in the lines I provide. Some of them write their numbers backwards. Others are writing their numbers like letters (ex: the 5 looks like a 6 and the 9 looks like a p.) I don't say this to them, but my son's first grade teacher used to make the students laugh when they accidentally reversed their 9's on their math sheet. She would say, "Oh dear, you P'd on your paper!" Say it out loud and you might laugh too. I can't quite bring myself to say it to students though. In an attempt to help them with the ordering of numbers process AND the writing of numbers correctly, I went to Lakeshore Learning and purchased a set of dotted rubbers stamp numbers 

Follow-The-Dots Number Stamps

and large ink pads. In small groups, I have the students stamp the numbers in order from 0 - 10. Suddenly, the students were engaged and ordering their numbers correctly, AND receiving extra practice with writing the numbers correctly. They even asked to do this during their afternoon center time. I gave them a number line to read and follow.

I would LOVE to hear about ways you help your student to actively identify and order numbers 0-10 and 0-20!

Enjoy your free packet!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Handwriting Strengthening Idea

Have you ever seen these plastic O's? I found them at RAFT (Resource Area For Teachers). Their mission statement is: "RAFT transforms teaching through the use of engaging ‘hands-on’ educational activities that inspire the joy and discovery of learning."

I saw these O's on a shelf and picked them up just knowing that I could come up with something to use them for. Then, I found these plastic tweezers and an idea began to form.

It got even better when I found the plastic container with the dividers.

I am always looking for ideas to help improve student ability to grasp a pencil. I just kind of put the three of these items out for a center to see what the students would do with them. I was pleasantly surprised!

They started to sort the pieces out (and some were even counting them).

Then they used the tweezers to organize the colors into more stable groups. They LOVE this activity and ask for it each day. It is such a simple activity,  but they truly enjoy it. I love that using the tweezers helps to strengthen the same muscles they are using for handwriting.

Other ways my students use these plastic O's:

String them in AB, ABB, and ABA patterns
String them by color in groups of tens to 100
Use them as game pieces

If you had these in your classroom, how would you use them?
Do you have activities you do to strengthen handwriting muscles for your students?

I'd love to hear!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Seasons Tree Craftivity

My class is studying the four seasons in science. We have to do a lot of show and tell as well as projects that make this come alive since my students live in an area that really only experiences some of the full experiences of the seasons. We do not see snow here unless we go about 4 or 5 hours north east from here.  

One of the ways that I bring an understanding of the four seasons to my students is by creating a Seasons Book in which we paint a background and decorate a tree based on the season. 

Today, we created the "Spring Tree".

First, we painted the bottom "grass" of the paper with green tempera paint on light blue paper. We painted the top with silver sparkly tempera paint so that it still looked like the sky. The silver glittery paint was so thick, the students scooped it with their paint brushes and said they were painting clouds. They enjoyed that a lot.

Next, they glued a cut-out of a tree with branches onto the paper. We have a die-cut machine that we use to create these trees. We then roll up small squares of tissue paper and begin to fill the tree in. We use greens for the leaves and light and dark pinks for blossoms.

If this picture were matted it would look more "finished" and would make a nice classroom display. I plan to comb bind each finished tree into a book for my students. Another idea I had for a cool display was to make a quilt-like display of the seasons by hanging up four seasons of the tree across the wall in a repetitive pattern.

Coming soon: 

pictures of the fall tree: on yellow paper drawing a farm scene with corns and pumpkins in the background, painting the background with water color for a crayon resist in which you can still see the corn and pumpkins, and using self-stick leaf stickers from Oriental Trading. We usually just die-cut super small leaves out of paper...but our Resource Room leader knew we do this project each year and she thought of us when ordering the self-stick leaves. I can't wait to see how they look. Some leaves will also be in a pile on the ground.

pictures of the winter tree: on white paper, painting the sky with a deep blue sparkly paint. We glue cut up sparkly plastic snips of "snow" to only the branches. I think this is ordered from Discount School Supply in bags. The students LOVE this.

pictures of the summer tree: on light green paper, the paper is painted similar to the spring page, but using light green or tan paint for the gound. The top of the tree is filled in with cut up pieces of light and dark green paper.

This is truly a fun project that the students love. I hope you will try this out!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reading Log Freebie

By October, my kindergarteners have really delved into the reading process. We use Saxon phonics and introduce letters in a sequence that allows them to begin to build words to read by the third week of school. We have covered them in this order: l, o, g (reading a word now by third week), h, p, t, a, and soon, n. Those letters together can be used to make about 20 different words. I am working on a Word Work packet that utilizes these letters and resulting words at the moment.

To help students jump into the reading process, I created this Reading Log to be used at home to keep track of reading. I request that parents spend at least 3 times a week, 15 minutes a day reading to their child. I often tell parents to let the child sit on their lap and have the child use their finger or a pointer to touch the words as the parent reads to them. This helps the child to begin to understand how to follow words.

I am sending out my Reading Log for all of you to use with your classes. Just click on the picture above!



Thursday, October 4, 2012

Classroom Centers

Are you looking for some great ideas on what to do in classroom centers? I enjoy running centers in my classroom, but I often find that students working in a center will finish before others in the same center. This can lead to "off-task" behavior and cause other problems. I was so thrilled to find a solution that has already worked in my classroom on the first day I tried it!

Krissy over at Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business has the perfect solution for all of us! Click HERE to read all about it and see her great pictures.

She includes links to centers created by herself as well as other teachers. She also includes pictures that show how the centers are set up and how students are using the materials. 

Every item that was created for a center is of very high quality. My students were especially thrilled by her Pokey Pin centers. 

I have found Krissy's posts to be especially informative and wonderfully varied. Hop on over and consider following her blog so that you can be up to date on what she has to share with you next! If you do, drop her a note and let her know that Sea Bear's Kindergarten sent you!

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lessonopoly: An Open Education Resource

Click on the pumpkin to receive a free Lessonopoly math lesson on  ordinal position with pumpkins.

Have you heard of the Open Educational Resource website called Lessonopoly?  Watch the short video below to hear about the purpose behind this amazing site.

LESSONOPOLY :  click on the link to the left to learn more about how you can access many lessons for free. Find out how you can contribute lessons as well!


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Free Pumpkin Bar Graph Activity

Here is another pumpkin math activity I created for my classroom. Click on the picture above and you can have it for FREE!


Fall Owls Craft

After putting paper on the bulletin board, I cut a large yellow moon out of poster board and place it as though it looks like it could be seen through trees. These owls were created using simple shapes in a step-by-step direct instruction lesson. If you would like the pattern for them, it is on DLTK's website. Just click OWLS to get a copy. The trees were made with brown bulletin board paper. The trunks are made by scrunching up a 3ft x 2ft sheet of the paper. I tuck it in toward the middle to make it look like a tree trunk. I try to "fold" the paper in up and down lines to mimic tree bark. Then, I cut pieces of the paper that are about 3ft x 5 inches. You don't have to be exact. To make smaller pieces, I tear of pieces into whatever size I want them to be. I twist and scrunch the pieces and then open them up again. I then twist them into "branches" and tuck the branches into the trunk. I bend the branches the way that I want them to be and staple them to the board. I created the sign between the trees that says: Whooooo made these? Kindergarten! That's Whooooo!

I hope you all are enjoying the beginning of autumn. If you have any "Go-to" fall projects, leave me a note about them. I am always looking for new ones to try!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Clip Art for FREE!!

I am a New England girl, transplanted to the West Coast. This weekend, for some reason, maybe it is in my blood...I keep thinking about the beautiful scenery of my childhood in Massachusetts. Leaves, white houses with black shutters, and lots and lots of pumpkins!

I decided to try my hand at creating a pumpkin graphic for a worksheet for my classroom today. I don't have the best software for creating graphics. I created these pumpkins using Publisher, Gimp, and Paint.

I am sharing these pumpkins with you. The great thing about the fact that they have a transparent background (thanks to Gimp!) is that the pumpkins can be resized to look exactly the way you would like them to. You can stretch the pumpkins so that they are wide and chubby or tall and thin. Or you can simply use them as is. If you do use them, please let me know what you think. I enjoy trying to create my own graphics and would LOVE to know what programs you might be using to create graphics. Click on the picture to receive the free pumpkins.


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