Monday, March 27, 2017

Easter Listening Center

Keeping the boys and girls in kindergarten and first grade interested in reading all year long can be challenging.  That is why I have been working so hard this year to find stories the kids will be motivated to listen to.  It is more work than you think.   Creating an engaging listening center is a lot different these days, my students prefer to listen and watch stories on the ipad.  
When I first got my ipad I was able to find lots of story apps for $1 however that has not been the case lately.  In fact many of the stories can be costly or the apps are confusing for young readers to manage on their own.  So I have turned to youtube and the generosity of the wonderful people who are reading the stories and recording them.  

I find links on youtube and filter out the surrounding advertisements and create my own qr codes. My students use this center on their own as part of my weekly reading block and I want to make sure the links are safe for them.  Each week my students are required to listen to one story on the ipad and complete a listening form.  I use all sorts of different forms I have collected over the years on Pinterest and various other sources during the first two quarters. 

However, once third quarter starts I have the students start to complete the forms attached to the unit.  We start with the simple ones and work our way to writing our own letter on lined paper. 

I like to print out the listening cards on card stock and laminate them.  I punch a hole in the corner and gather them together with a ring.  I keep the cards in the ipad basket.  Another teacher at my school hangs the cards up on the students’ lockers.  Another organization idea might be to keep them in a small binder or create a bulletin board with the cards in your reading center. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Teaching Letter Writing and Story Elements

I use the bookmarks as a guide to help my students with spelling and as a reminder of what I expect in their letters.

On Monday each child picks a book at his/her reading level.  Then they practice reading it in class by themselves and with
their friends each day. They take the books home each night to practice with their families.  I also try to check in during the week.  

On Thursday the students begin to write their letters to me.  When I introduce this project each year I start simple with
one or two elements and we add a new element each week as we feel comfortable writing.
When the students complete their letter they sit down and conference with me. We talk about each sentence and we discuss the positives and what we can work towards next week.  After our conference the children draw a picture on the back of the paper.

You can get your FREE copy of the bookmarks and letter writing papers at my TPT store HERE

Monday, March 6, 2017

Counting the Gold for FREE

I am still working with this little guy on number identification to 20.  Well to be honest we are still working on identifying numbers to 12.  He still needs go back to a number line and count and recheck for 8,9,10,11, and 12.  

So I put this little St. Patrick's day game board together for him. It is similar to some adding boards I saw on Pinterest, however we are just identifying the numbers.  I picked up some gold coins at the Dollar Store to use as markers.  

Unfortunately dice will not work for this game so I made some cards. The cards work out great because then he is reading the number two times. 

On the other side of the game I just typed up a bunch of gold for him to practice reading numbers.  

This little guy is adorable he loves to play games that are seasonal. 

  I also thought my advanced kindergarten guys could use this as an addition game as well.  They could flip two cards over and add them together and find the sum.  

You can find this game at my TPT store for free.  
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Kindergarten Assessment Binder

I created this packet for myself this year because I started to notice that whenever I need to assess one of our young students I am searching for all the materials.  I feel like I am wasting valuable time getting organized.
I have been away from kindergarten a couple years and several times I forgot to assessed the back section of the assessment.
So I put together these pages and the materials needed to complete the assessment all in one place.  Then I only need to grab one binder when it is time to assess. 

My binder is always ready to go.  I have all my copies in the front and back pockets and pencils and other supplies are in this pencil pouch.  
 Materials found in the pencil pouch:
•3 hole pencil case
•Yellow and red counters (I like to use animals.)
•Small box of crayons
•Several sharpen pencils
•Four different colored markers (four each quarter)
•Reading Pointer for student
•Stickers (The students love getting stickers for a job well done!)
 Each slide of my Powerpoint has several letters, numbers, shapes or colors.  I have the students read each line and record the results.  

I have used the binder several times already and I just love it.  I find it easier to use than the flashcards that we were using. 

Another thing I did for quick assessments or quick checks as I like to call them is I loaded the PowerPoint onto my Google drive.  

Then I can use my i-pad or i-phone for quick checks because sometimes I am not always working in the same room or even on the same side of the building but I do have my phone with me. 

  I can always make quick notes on a post it and then record it later on a formal sheet for the parents.

You can find more information at my TPT store if you are interested.   

Friday, February 3, 2017

Valentine Math Ideas

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I am seeing lots of colorful hearts everywhere in school and at the stores. This week I have a new lesson for the kindergarten students thanks to Oriental Trading.  They gave me these wonderful ten frame trays and valentine erasers.  Which are perfect because the kindergarteners are just beginning to learn about decomposing numbers. The trays are so nice and easy to use.  I like that they are easy to wipe off the germs. I don't know about your classrooms but it seems everyone at my school is coughing and sneezing.  

I created a simple little worksheet for the lesson and it is in color to match the heart erasers.  It is also a FREEBIE and you can download here... something simple and fun to help the students learn during the month of February.  
 The kids are loving the heart erasers.  I am using them with several different age groups through the day.  
 I had my little four year olds sorting and counting the heart erasers by colors.  Then we use them as markers in our Alphabet Bingo game.  

Another group was working on patterning and having tons of fun creating patterns with the hearts.  

I also received from Oriental Trading these sensory cards.  At first I was just using them with the four year olds in our little sand boxes.  Then we started using the cards as flash cards and if a student mades a mistake on the number he traces the number 3x with his finger. The boys love touching the cards.   

One of my five year olds is working on what number is missing.  So I pulled out these cards and it is so easy to set up the numbers in a row and then figure out what is missing.  The little girl loves this activity as well.  

Don't forget to look for the coupon link on the OT site.  Scroll all the way down to the bottom and look at the links on the left.  If you are anything like me, I always like to save anything I can. 

Thank you Oriental Trading for the wonderful products.    
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