Thursday, February 25, 2010

Read Me Week Continued

I fixed my door and added the book's character. :]  "Oh how many feet you meet!"

Today was PAJAMA DAY, and tonight we had a family night AKA a PAJAMA PARTY!! The families had 3 places to visit on a rotation. I manned the "Sleepy Snakes" library. We had a hot chocolate, cookies, and a fabulous storyteller. The other 2 places were the "Pooped Penguins" FRC, where families heard from NPT about how to make reading fun, and the "Bedtime Bears" cafeteria, where families played literacy-related board games. Then the families had pizza and took home new books! We had a huge turn-out, and I think it went great! 

I also must add a couple of other doors that turned out really cute... I'm sure I'll add more later.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Read Me Week

It's "Read Me Week" at our school. One of the events involved is a door-decorating contest. Kindergarten chose to do a Dr. Seuss theme. My class read The Foot Book. I just realized that my parent volunteer spelled Seuss wrong! Haha, I'll have to remember to change that tomorrow...

"Left foot
Right foot
Wet foot
Dry foot
Slow feet
Quick feet
Up feet
Down feet
Small feet
Big feet
His feet
Her feet
Up in the air
Over the chair
Oh, how many feet you meet!"

(The last picture has everyone's feet up in the air in a circle. It's really cute!)

Last year, kindergarten went all out! We went beyond the door, and transformed the entire hallway! We each chose a book for an ocean theme. My class read A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. Each child painted a new house for Hermit Crab and added something to it to make it better, just like in the story. Can you believe there are actually 4 doors in this picture?!


"I’m a little like that hermit crab I’m growing in my shell;
Soon enough I’ll move along saying goodbye to Kindergarten’s bell.
I’m a little like that hermit crab, I need the safety of my shell.
Yet every month I’m bigger, the length of my clothes will tell.
I’m a little like that hermit crab, this school is my ocean floor.
There are endless possibilities, so much world to be explored.
I’m a little like that hermit crab, I’m stepping out real soon.
Please applaud my courage, even small bells ring a tune.
I’m a little like that hermit crab, and though it’s sad to be parted;
I know the world awaits me- and I can’t wait to get started!" (Pat Ammons)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Word Walls

This word wall takes up a huge corner of my room. My teaching table is located in front. The picture cards may not make sense. Take Xx for example. What does a cat clawing at a mouse have to do with anything that begins with x? Well, nothing! The picture represents the sound the letter makes: "The cat claws at the mouse. /ks/ /ks/ /ks/." The sound is also tied with the motion of clawing. I love sound cards!! We have many fun ways to review our words such as saying the words in different voices (monster voice is their favorite) or spelling the words with frog jumps. 

This is more of a student-use interactive word wall at the writing center. The words are Velcroed on, and I encourage my students to take down the word they are using to copy it. If front of this mini-word wall, is a trifold poster of all the sound cards described above.

Each student keeps a Word Worm booklet inside their Home Folder. The first page is a worm with our first five sight words, he second page has the first ten, the third page the first 15... On Worm Word Wednesday the Worm Word Wizard shows up, which is just me wearing my wizard's hat. Each child has the opportunity to try to pass the page he/she is working on. The page shown above is actually the first page of our second book, which has all new words that they don't even have to know in kindergarten. My students love their worms, and so, more than half the class has already mastered the 40 kindergarten words (of which, they only technically have to learn 25). I even have a few who are looking for me to make a third book! 

 My students love to use our names word wall. Since the names are on a pocket chart, they can take a name to their seat to copy it and then put it back. 

This is what our math word wall looks like right now. It's in our "Marvelous Math" center.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


We haven't had school this week. 
Darn those slippery roads.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents and Money

President's Day is a federal holiday officially known as "Washington's Birthday," but always falls on the third Monday in February. Although we celebrate Lincoln's birthday this month as well, it is not a federally designated holiday. 

We have all heard the story of young George Washington chopping down a cherry tree and telling his father the truth. Washington's biographer Mason Weems made this story up as a way to show Washington's honesty. It's a good lesson about the qualities good leaders have. The story can be found at  

Abraham Lincoln was also known for his honesty and even nicknamed "Honest Abe." He teaches us that the truth is not worth sacrificing for any gain, no matter the size, and telling the truth is an essential lesson for all, no matter who you are or what you do.

Abe Lincoln's Cabin of Values from Moreofamom. com

In this month, we also celebrate Black History Month. "The remembrance was founded in 1926 by United States historian Carter G. Woodson as "Negro History Week".[1] Woodson chose the second week of February because it marked the birthdays of two Americans who greatly influenced the lives and social condition of African Americans: former President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass." (Wikipedia, Black History Month) 

And what better time to begin our unit on money as we are already in to a discussion on the presidents. Students are expected to learn the name of each coin and its value. They also need to be able to count easy combinations of money, like one nickel and three pennies. We do penny and quarter rubbings along with our Washington and Lincoln people that we put together. I love to use songs and rhymes to teach... 

Money Song Dr. Jean - Is Everybody Happy? 
(Tune: "Shortnin' Bread")

I like money to buy things at the store.
Money, money, money, I always want more!

A penny's worth one cent.
A nickel's worth five.
A dime's worth ten cents.
A quarter's twenty-five.         Chorus

Lincoln's on one cent.
Jefferson's on five.
Roosevelt's on ten cents.
Washington's on twenty-five.  Chorus

A building's on one cent.
A building's on five.
A torch is on ten cents.
An eagle's on twenty-five.       Chorus

Penny, Penny (unknown)

Penny, penny, easily spent -
Copper brown and worth one cent.

Nickel, Nickel, thick and fat.
It’s worth 5 cents – I know that.

Dime, dime, little and thin.
I remember – you’re worth 10.

Quarter, quarter, big and bold.
It’s worth 25 – I am told. 

I Got A Dollar (Inspired from Little Rascals)

I got a penny (3x). It's worth 1 cent.    
I got a penny (3x). It's worth 1 cent!

I got a nickel (3x). It's worth 5 cents.
I got a nickel (3x). It's worth 5 cents!

I got a dime (3x). It's worth 10 cents.
I got a dime (3x). It's worth 10 cents!

I got a quarter (3x). It's 25 cents.
I got a quarter (3x). It 25 cents! 

Our coin purse, or money bag project using a paper bag, hole punch, pipe cleaner, coin stamps/stickers...
Now that I think about it, it would make a cool wallet to fold the same way, but leave off the pipe cleaner. I encouraged the students to store some coins inside to practice with. To better encourage my class to learn the coins and values, I'm bribing them with getting to put a toy cash register in a center. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love is all you need...

I fell head over heels in love with Brent when I met him the summer of 2005.  We held our sweet wedding ceremony on May 10, 2008. I'm still madly in love with him, and I feel like such a lucky girl.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


We had a fun day full of Valentine's activities. Students made bags for a card and candy swap for tomorrow. Students reviewed sorting, counting, and graphing with Sweethearts. Students dictated five things they love about their mothers and/or fathers and colored the page. Parents will love this as they completed the same page for their children. I am going to read them to the class during our party tomorrow. Students also made heart-shaped cards for their parents.

100th Day

Our 100th day of school was on February 10. It was pushed back for 5 snow days!! Finally we squeezed in our eventful celebration of 100 between Groundhog's Day and Valentine's Day. 

It began as an exciting day doing all the calendar time transitions from 99 into 100 including straws in bundles, coins into a dollar, units and rods, tallies, etc. As a class, we used receipt paper to write 1-100 in alternating colors, or as they know it, an AB pattern. Then everyone filled in their own 100's chart. We also drew hilarious pictures of what we think we'll look like when we are 100 years old. Everyone also brought in 100 pennies, toothpicks, candies, etc. to count. And I almost forgot! The class made crowns the day before on which they glued school buses counting by tens to 100 around. They got to wear them for this special day.

On top of all that, it was a Wednesday. It is also known as "Word Problem Wednesday," during which the whole school completes a grade-level specific word problem, and "Word Worm Wednesday." The latter is a day that I created in which I wear a wizard hat and assess the students on sight words which are tiered in a book of worms from 5 sight words to 40. This has been a wonderful way to motivate students. Five of my students have already completed the first book of 40 words and are now working on a second book containing 40 new words, which aren't technically assessed until first grade. Three of those students have already mastered the second book as well! 

Therapeutic Doodling

I doodle and find quotes. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kids say the darnest things...

1. After finding out the class fish was pregnant, a girl with all sincerity and concern says, "We need to put a fish doctor in there!"  (H.J.)

2. After a close look at our calendar, a boy says, "Hey everybody, I have an announcement! We only have two more days until our 100th day of school!"  (D.F.)

3. When I told the class that it was about to be my birthday, a girl said, "Are you goin' to the cluubb?" (T.H.)

4. While pushing a toy car around, a boy starts singing, "Going to the clubb..." (C.G.)

5. "I've been acting so foolish." (T.W.)

6.  I told the class that the library was closed for checkout because of the book fair. A boy says, "Why won't the book fairy let us check out books?!" (D.F.)

7.  This little girl was playing with a dollhouse that had a blender. She said, "Momma's gonna mix some drinks cause she's got a date." (Z.P.)

8. A student's attempted insult to other kids... "Ball-headed." (E.P.)

9. I was beginning a discussion about leaders, and I showed the class a picture of George Washington. I asked the class who it was. They didn't know. I told them he was the first president. "Barack Obama!" I said "George..." and I had two responses "Bush" and "Clooney!" (T.T.)

10. "May you please repeat that? I was daydreaming." I told him something to the affect that he needs to pay better attention and stop daydreaming. His comeback - "Well I don't have very many dreams at night!" (D.F.)