Friday, January 30, 2015

Writing Gone Wild

Hey Kinder Krazies! We have really taken off in our writing!  My kinders seem so eager to write and share.  I usually do my writing lesson in the afternoon as we try to relax and finish out the day.  After I finish my mini lesson, the students get their folders and head off to wherever they feel comfortable to write.  It may be a table, the floor, the reading loft, or the back porch.  It really doesn't matter to me as long as they write the entire time.  This gives me time to walk around to students to conference with them about their writing.  There has even been times that I have told them that time is up and that we need to move on to other things, and they have begged to continue just a few more minutes!  I was so proud!  Can't wait to share more exciting news with you next week!   Have a great weekend!
               Leslie is using the word wall that I printed and put on the back of their writing folder.  I thought that this would make it easier for students to find words that may be causing them trouble.

This is our newest Jitterbug, Charles.  We are so happy that he is with us.  He is such a hard worker.
Usually my rule is no talking during writing time, but in this case, I let it slide.  Another child was asking this child's, "What am I missing in my story?"  Although I appreciated that they were staying on topic and were giving good advice to their friend, I told them that we can discuss that when we return to the carpet.  This will make another great mini lesson!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

100th Day of School Blowout!

We have survived our 100th Day celebration!
I created 100 Day centers for my students to enjoy.  They
Loved them!  In this picture they are creating their 100th Day of school hat!

                                                            Students walked 100 steps!

Other students wrote their numbers to 100,  put together a 100 piece puzzle together and built a 100 cup tower.  Of course, no 100 day celebration would be complete without a 100 Day Snack!  What fun centers/workstations did your class do today?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

It is Snowing Winter Activities!

Whew!  Sorry we haven't been posting blogs lately!  Since we have gotten back from Christmas Break, we feel like we have been running non-stop!  We have been working hard on getting this unit together for everyone!  I hope you will check it out on our TPT store!

 In class, we have been working on winter activities and New Year's activities.  We have implemented a new way to do our centers, and we began our writing workshop.  Last year,  I experimented with starting it later in the year, and I learned that my student's writing was better if I waited to begin writing workshop.  Now that I think about it, it only makes sense!  If they cannot recognize letters or write letters, what in the world made me think writing was a good idea?  Yes, they could draw and dictate to me, but I felt like the focus needed to be put elsewhere.  I put a lot of focus on handwriting, phonics, and phonemic awareness the first semester; this really helps students prepare to become great writers.  Also, by waiting until 2nd semester to begin writing workshop, students are more mature and eager to write.  There is not any crying and whining, and I don't hear "I cant do it!"  Students want to try to write and actually ask for it!  Of course I am not saying that I didn't do writing at all the first semester.  We did shared writing activities, and I did a lot of modeling.  I do not expect them to be independent writers until after Christmas. Here are my students enjoying WOW time (Work On Writing). . .
Students LOVE working on the floor!  I even took out some of my tables and chairs! (Thanks to Greg Smedley of The Kindergarten Smorgasboard for sharing that idea and letting us visit his class in action!) 
They LOVE using their "Writer's Toolbox" to help them write!  You can hear a pin drop in my class during writing time.  IT IS SO QUIET!! 
Just one sample of MANY awesome stories!  I still write the correct word/spelling on the student's work.  Some say that is a BIG NO NO, but I want to be able to remember what they told me when I am looking back at it.  I have never seen any harm in doing that, as long as you are not changing their thoughts or words. 
OH!  Let's not forget all the testing that has to be done this time of year!!  Sometimes all the testing gets overwhelming!  Thanks so much to other bloggers sharing ESGI!  This assessment site has saved me a lot of time and stress!  I will NEVER teach another year without it!! It is awesome and worth every single penny!!

These students are hard at work during our center time.  I am loving our new center rotations!  Many thanks to Greg Smedley (AGAIN) for sharing and allowing us to visit!  Just one visit in his classroom, and my whole outlook on teaching kindergarten has changed, for the better! 
Needless to say, there is A LOT going on this time of year in kindergarten!  I am loving all the changes in my classroom that the new year has brought.  Don 't hesitate to ask any questions, I will be glad to share what works for me.  Hope ya'll are having a wonderful week....It is almost FRIDAY!! :)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Our Second Leap. . .

Happy Sunday Everyone!   I have to say that we are truly blessed to have such wonderful people around us that are so supportive and understanding.  Even though I took that leap of faith by starting this blog, I still am nervous about taking an even bigger leap and putting ideas on Teachers Pay Teachers.  So after a lot of procrastination, I decided to just do it!

Today I  have been busy getting things together for our Teachers Pay Teachers store.  I have spent most of the day looking through hundreds of documents we have made over the years on my hard drive.  Whew!  That was a job in itself!  I think I have saved EVERYTHING!!  Anyway, I picked a few things that I wanted to share with everyone.  I hope that it is helpful.  Go to our TPT store to check them out by clicking the link below.

In the meantime, ya'll keep those encouraging words and that great advice coming!!  
It is very much appreciated!