Sunday, October 19, 2014

Peek at my Short Week

This week is a short academic week for us... which works out great for me.  On Saturday I got to spend the day with some AWESOME kindergarten teachers in Wisconsin.  Despite some technical difficulties with projectors that had me testing the limits of my underarm deodorant (TMI?) we still had a great time!
Thank you Kristi, Linda, and Jessica for the photos!

I made an error yesterday when I entered my conference sale dates.  I just realized that my store is still on sale today... so my error is your WIN!  My whole store is still on sale today.

Next week my school is celebrating Missouri Day.  This is an all day celebration of all things MISSOURI!  We will have livestock, mountain men (hubba, hubba), and I am even going to square dance with my coworkers... oh yes, it is on! 

We also have our parent teacher conferences this week.  I am looking forward to sitting down with parents.  I will try to put together a post to share how I do them. 

Friday, October 17, 2014


Conference sale!
Click on this image to go to see my store.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sight Word Instruction in October

Recently, I was asked how I teach sight words.  
Here is a glimpse of what we are doing at this time of the year.
It all starts with our word wall.  These words are gradually introduced (2 per week) and added to the wall.  They have magnetic backs so students can remove them.  We USE our word wall on a continual basis.
 I also print these words on cards.  Words are added each week and the students practice them on a nightly basis as part of their "homework."  ESGI makes this process SIMPLE... like super simple.
I also continually monitor their progress through ESGI.  I set weekly goals and send home progress letters to their parents.  This would have been a cumbersome process before ESGI.  It literally only takes me a few moments to retest my students and print out the reports.  

Based on these reports, I can differentiate their instruction.

We also do a LOT of whole group exposure.  
Each week we look for word wall words in our weekly poem.  
 Then we circle them in our poetry notebook.
 Mary from Sharing Kindergarten introduced me to these cards.  Each card has a hand motion and a sentence that anchors these words.
They STICK! 
 My students LOVE practicing them and my intervention students are really doing well with them.
You can read more about these cards in her post HERE.

We also love Maria Manore's interactive sight word books.  
She has a title for just about every word under the sun!  The students build the word on every page, so they really have to pay attention to the letter order.
We also play a TON of games!
 This is our fall version of Roll, Say, Keep.  
I have made the file editable so you can put in your own words.
We have just started working of fluency, so my Time Me! stations work great!
 This is our fall owl version.  Again, they are editable, so you can put your own words and phrases in.
We love using Abby's sight word unit.  
They love writing with a highlighter!
Stamping words during stations is always a hit!  You can find this editable file HERE.
We are still working on those sentences...
My students love these jumbo dice games.
SOMEDAY I will finish this unit for you all.  It is a station activity that we are using in our small group.
 It is like my Sequence games, but it is a printable file that can be used with the EVER popular paint daubers.  It's about 50% finished... maybe I will get it done over the weekend.

In small group we do a lot of word building with magnetic letters and cookie sheets.
With another group, we focused on the sight word "here."
With dry erase markers.  These are just handwriting pages that I slipped into a page protector.  
Our erasers are carpet samples that I have had for about a million years.  They work great!

 The we write the sentence on a strip of construction paper, cut it apart, then glue it in our learning journal.
There you have it!  

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Math Workshop and Math Journals in kindergarten

It is hard to believe, but we are almost finished with our 2nd unit in math workshop!  This week we are working on measurement.  We discussed the importance of aligning our measuring tool (in this case a string) with the object we are measuring.

 My students love working with a partner during our explore time.  

  I am so fortunate that my district allows me to teach math in an authentic way.  We are not bogged down by a series that does not offer real, hands on, exploration.

I was also able to snap a few photos of our math journals.

I am often asked how I "do math journals."  Simple... at the beginning of each month, I print the entire month's worth of prompts out.  Then, during math journal time, I select a prompt and read it to my students.  While I am reading it and the students are busy responding, I walk around the room and cut the prompts out.  I drop the prompt in the lid of their crayon box.  Then the students glue them in.

There is no advance prep.  I do not cut them out ahead of time.  Why I don't have them on Avery labels?   The answer is simple, I am cheap!  I don't use all 25 prompts each month.  I would cry BIG tears if I had to throw those unused labels away.  I also can certainly cut out those paper prompts WAY faster than I can peel and stick labels on everyone's journal.

We spend about 7 minutes on math journals a day.
It is becoming a well oiled machine!

This prompt asks that the students to number the pumpkins to tell how many.

 Yes, jack-o-lanterns appeared!
 This prompt was a little more sophisticated.  We had already covered this skill in our Guiding Kinders Math Workshop, so I was happy to see this skill stick when we reviewed it this week.

Again, this is what I love about math journals... they provide an opportunity to spirally review skills.  Each month of my units provide 25 CCSS aligned prompts.  Naturally, you are not going to have 25 journaling days in a month, so you can pick and choose the skills you want to reinforce.  You might decide to have the prompt mirror what you are doing in your math workshop, or you could select a prompt that provides a review.

Practice makes permanent!

You can find an entire year of math journal prompts by clicking {here}.
If you want to see a FREE sample of prompts, you can click {here}.

In other news... these first grade math workshop units are finished and are currently discounted.

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