Thursday, October 27, 2016

Two Hoots and A Holler: October Happenings

Hoot #1

This week we continued to learn about bats, spiders and all things spooky for Halloween! The students had a great time painting and creating their bats from paper sacks. This original idea was from Kimberly Jordano.
Clorox Wipe containers work great to help hold the bag in place!

By the way, we do not have uniforms at our school. The students are mostly wearing orange to bring recognition to stop bullying.

After the bags dried, they were stuffed and stapled. Eyes, ears, wings and feet were glued put in place. 

Our final step: Each student had to wrote their favorite "at" word on their bat.
"Going Batty with the "at" Family!
These kiddos were also jumping at the chance to learn all about spiders!! First, we made covers for our spider books by marble painting using white paint on black construction paper. These web paintings turned out great! I wish I had taken pictures of the finished product!

Next, we did a little science and ate just like a spider! This activity can be purchased in Deanna Jump's TPT store.  It is a wonderful way to teach students the process of how spiders prepare and eat their food.

Of course, no unit is complete without a hat!!

This was the last activity of the day! The students had a blast with this! It has become one of my favorites and theirs too!
Large milkshake straws were cut into thirds. I bought some plastic spider rings at the dollar store. I just cut the ring part off and you are ready to race. The students line their spiders up at the end of the table. When the whistle blows, they blow through their straw and continue to blow until it falls off the other end of the table.

The crowd cheers!!!

To help us get in the Halloween spirit even more, we also read several books that were all about monsters!  After reading Even Monsters Need Haircuts we created our Frankenstein monsters and we compared our name with his by counting letters, vowels, and syllables.  

Hoot #2
As many of you know, October is a busy month with all of the events and happenings....there is Bully Prevention Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness, Red Ribbon Week, and Halloween; but October isn't complete without a visit from our local fire station!  A visit from fire fighters and paramedics came to talk to our kindergarten kiddos about fire safety and prevention.  The students even got to get in the ambulance and see all of the tools the fire fighters use on the truck.  Their day ended with getting their very own red fire fighter hat and activity book!  They could hardly wait to wear those hats home!  

Thank you Walls Fire Department and Desoto County Emergency Medical Department for taking out the time for our students!  They LOVED seeing the trucks, equipment, and gear! 
This Week's Holler...
This week's holler is the best yet. It goes out to our best friend, Stacey Brantley! Stacey and I met 16 years ago when we became neighbors. We became friends pretty quickly.  Stacey was going to school to become a teacher and I was experiencing my first year as a teacher. As the years rolled on, we became strong teachers, but even more importantly we became inseparable friends. She is currently a First grade teacher at Murrell Taylor Elementary in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Her talent with those students is something that would just put a smile on your face. Stacey is not a teacher that you can find on the internet. No, she doesn't have a blog or a TPT store. So you may be sitting there wondering why I would even tell you all about her. ????
Stacey had a beautiful baby this past summer. 8 weeks later, she found out she had breast cancer. Needless to say, her world was turned upside down. (Mine too for that matter!). She is handling it like a champ! Not only is she handling it, she is THRIVING!
So this October is a little different this year for me than most.  I couldn't let Breast Cancer Awareness month go by and not give a shout out to my best friend ! No, this cancer will not define her! She shows up every day to be there for her students.  Those students love her and her bald head, that she proudly shows because she wants her students to understand that it's OK to be yourself, and that it is OK to accept everyone! That is a life lesson, folks! Her strength and dedication to her students inspire us daily.  
I could go on and on and on and on....
She is amazing!!
We are blessed to be inseparable friends!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Two Hoots and A Holler: Kindergarten Activities

Hoot #1
 Fall is finally here!  The weather is cooling off more and more each day, the leaves are starting to change colors, and it just smells like fall outside!  Fall is by far my favorite time of the year.  I love teaching about ALL things that are Fall.  We have been learning about bats and spiders.  These kids absolutely LOVE learning about different creatures! They are using vocabulary words in class such as venom, fangs, nocturnal, arachnid, echolocation, mammals, colony, etc.  It is amazing what kids can do when they are interested in what they are learning and having fun!  Check out some of our fall activities we have been doing in class...

Hoot #2
Centers are one of our favorite times of the day!  It is the time where the students get to be kids and show what they know.  Cooperation and interaction with each other is encouraged, and the activities are developmentally appropriate.  Here are some of the things we have going on during center time right now...
 I spy letters is a HIT!  The recording sheet is in our TPT store for free!  Hop on over and grab it! 
The kids love walking around the room and finding real life objects to measure with unifix cubes and paper clips!  Measure the Room is a favorite during center time.  
The good thing about our classrooms being renovated is that it forced us to have to go through everything!  All of the letters, numbers, colors, etc. that we purchased and had laminated are just sitting in a box not being used.  I was about to throw them out, then I thought why not make it a center?  So the students now can put numbers and letters in order using old teaching materials I used for my classroom.  No prep!  It was already done for me! 
Our read and write the classroom is always a favorite too!  I think it is because they just really like using clipboards!  haha  Right now we have fall words hanging around the room for students to find, read, and write. 

This Week's Holler... 
This week we are hollering at Marsha at Differentiated Kindergarten!  We are always checking out her posts! We absolutely love her more recent post about her morning stations! We love that everything she does is developmentally appropriate! Thank you for share all of your wonderful ideas Marsha!!
Differentiated Kindergarten

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Two Hoots and A Holler: Class Activities

Hoot #1

Last week one of our focus letters was Rr.  To celebrate Rr, we learned all about rainbows and their colors.  Of course we learned the "Rainbow Hair" poem!  The students loved it, and they did so good remembering the order of the colors in a rainbow.  Check out these kids and their rainbow hair!  These are always a class favorite! 

Hoot #2 
Our second hoot is all about measurement! The kiddos had a blast measuring around the room. For those wondering, we use Deanna Jump's math units.  The students love them, and they cover all of the standards and then some! Students need to be able to explore and have conversations between each other. I love the hum of collaboration that happens in my classroom in these moments.

This Week's Holler... 
This week's holler goes out to Keeping up with Mrs. Harris! This blog is awesome!!!! I loved reading her post "5 Reasons to Shut Your Door and Plan!" I can not tell you how this post spoke to me! Jodi and I have had so many conversations about this topic! I loved her post "You Are Enough." Don't we all need to hear that !?! Go check her out! You will not regret it!!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Two Hoots and A Holler: Making Kinders Aware

Hoot #1
We had community volunteers visit kindergarten and first-grade classrooms to tell the adventures of Stormy the raindrop as part of the county's Stormwater Awareness Week.  Our volunteer that read to our classes just happened to be our dear friend, Mrs. Selby! Mrs. Selby is a retired preschool teacher who taught at our school for years!   Our kids LOVED hearing her read and act out the story and learn how to keep water clean.  One thing is for sure...Mrs. Selby hasn't lost her touch one bit!  She had our classes laughing, participating, and answering questions.  After the presentation, each student got to take home their own Stormy the Raindrop activity book.  Since listening to the Mrs. Selby talk about pollution, our students insist on cleaning up the playground at the end of recess every day! 

Hoot #2

International Walk to School Day was October 5th.  Our entire school participated in our annual Walk to School Day!  Even some of our parents joined us for our walk.  Our local police department helped us out by blocking off the road in front of the school during our walk.  Our students do not live close enough to walk to school, so this created a great teachable moment for us!  We got to discuss  how there are other ways some kids get to school besides a car or bus.  We talked about how in some areas students can walk to school or ride a bike to school.  The weather was perfect this morning for this! 

There is my fellow glitter girl cheering the kids on as they walk! 

This Week's Holler...
This week's holler goes out to Maria Gavin at Kinder Craze!  We love her classroom makeover!  What really caught our eye is her blog on how to build a classroom library.  We are in the process in rebuilding ours, and there was a lot of helpful information to get us started in the right direction!  She has TONS of ideas and activities to use in your classroom!  Go check her out!