Thursday, January 29, 2015

4 Thinking Maps to do with the Snow

This blog post will share snow related Thinking Maps. 

Are you ready for more snow in New England? YIKES!!!

Bubble Maps
Describe snow in this Bubble map.
Describe a snowman. 

Brace Map Snowman 

Flow Map How To Make A Snowman 

How To Make A Snowman Book

 no lines or lines 

How To Build A Snowman U Tube
{lOVE this}

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

3 Snow Word Work Stations

Finally, it stopped snowing in New England.
We have a ton of snow!!

I am ready to get back to school tomorrow!!!!
This week's post will share with you snow related
work work activities to do in the classroom.

At work work this week have students
create acrostic poems. 
{ Snow, Winter and White}

Learn a new song at Shared Reading time!
Have students make skinny books using the pattern, 
I _______________ in the snow.
Thank you Nellie for this idea! 
Nellie's article about Skinny Books. 

If you have an I Pad in your classroom, make
these beautiful snowflake poems! 

Happy Back to School! 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Football Dice Game

Living in New England, it is an exciting week for football and snow! 
Here is a  football dice game.
 Roll Two Dice =Find the sum
Color in the number you get
The first person to color in their ball is the winner.
Cut on the dotted lines and take your half home.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Under The Snow

It finally snowed in New England, so this is the perfect book to blog about.

Under The Snow 
Written by Melissa Stewart 

About the Book:
When it starts, snowing have you ever wondered what happens to all the creatures in the world? Most people know that bears hibernate in the winter, but what happens to the ladybugs, bees, voles, and chipmunks? Melissa Stewarts’ book Under the Snow takes us on a marvelous adventure about what happens to creatures in the forest, fields, ponds, and wetlands.  This book is beautifully written and full of fascinating information. The watercolor illustration further engages the reader.

Under the Snows is a must buy book for teachers.

This book teaches the reader that the world is full of fascinating things. Thank you, Melissa Stewart for taking the time to stop, listen and learn about the world and sharing it with us.

Bumper Sticker for Book: A book that leaves the reader with a sense of wonder about nature and animal facts.

Comments from Kindergarten Children: I liked this book because there was a salamander, and I saw one at my house. I learned that some animals move and some don't. I learned that some animals dig tunnels and eat bark.

Ideas in the Classroom:

    Look at the cover of Under The Snow and have students guess what they think will be under the snow.

    Melissa structures this book in an interesting way. She lists different habitats and then information; an older student could write a story similar to her style. Look closely at how she uses ellipses.
   After reading, this story, students can write about what they learned about animals under the snow.
    Have the student generate wonder questions by using their imagination suggesting animals, not mentioned in the book.
• The words Melissa uses help us paint a picture in our mind of these creatures. On the second reading of this book, record amazing words and phrases on an anchor chart.
   Melissa has a wonderful video about where she got the idea for this book… a must see!
Check it out below.                                

Thank you Susan for sharing this book with me!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Word Family Books

This post will share you some word family books 
you can illustrate and read during word study time.
{Word Families AT, AM, AP, AD, AN}

Read a book to the class
talk about the rhyming words from the story.
{book suggestions below}

Build words using letter cards or magnetic letters. 

Make a list of the word families.

Have students work on individual books.
Have the students make illustrations.
{Each book has six words and a blank template}

click here for word family books

Some Books Suggestions
If you have any I would love to hear from you! 

Monday, January 19, 2015

The Bean Adding Game

This is an easy game to play. 
All you need, is a number line, dice and a recording sheet. 
You can use beans or pennies.

When students have played a few times, you could
have them record the number rolls.

How can I differentiate instruction?
You could let students add or subtract the dice.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How To Writing With Thinking Maps

This week I began procedural writing with my students. I decided to kick off this unit by using thinking maps.

Prior to this lesson, the students were told that they were going to be learning about How To Writing.

How to stories teach someone how to do something. Right away students came up with some ideas.

One boy said, "I can write a How to Play Basketball."
Another, "I can teach how to play football."

Step #1
We began by filling in a Circle Map Getting Ready for School. Each child worked on their Thinking map.

Starting with the Circle Map allowed the students to think about what they do in the morning without having to worry about sequencing or writing the words.

The students came back to the rug and shared the different things they do in the morning to get ready for school.
We made a class Flow map on How to Get Ready for School.
During this part of the lesson, we shared what was on our Circle Maps and what order the day goes for most of us. We agreed on most of the steps. Students were told that they would have the opportunity to write their own How To Get Ready for School book and they would include more details in their stories.

We labeled our Flow map with action words. We read a book called Verbs by Kate Biggs.

Step #4
We shared different ideas for How To stories. Students filled in a How To sheet.
Click here to see their ideas. My favorite is How to go bird watching.

The following day the students each wrote a How To Get To School book. Tony Stead always has you start the unit by everyone writing the same topic together. I think using Thinking Maps prior to the writing was beneficial for helping students organize their thoughts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Word Work Making Words

I blogged last week about how I am structuring word work time in my classroom.

This blog post will share with some word work stations I do in kindergarten.

Making Words 


I found this center much more manageable when I put out these little white boards I bought at Lakeshore.

 I put the magnetic letters on the board. The students come over to the table and work on one word at a time. When the student finishes, they pass the board to someone else.

{All of the five words that we are working on for the week}

Using magnetic letters can be confusing and messy in the beginning. I try to have an adult at the table the first few weeks. Once students are comfortable making words I, introduce the recording sheet.

words recording sheets 
{ word list from Teacher College }

Fountas and Pinnell suggest...

 Whenever possible, have children manipulate magnetic letters. These letters can be used for many purposes-sorting, building, manipulating words, changing letters to make new words, as models for writing the letters.

 I got these little containers at IKEA I think in the spice section.

This year I have two word walls. One wall is for words that everyone in the class is learning and expected to know. We add words slowly to this wall once we learn them.

The other word wall I use for the students who came to kindergarten knowing a lot of sight words. I have the wall above filled with sight words we are learning. There are words on this wall that we have not learned yet. This wall makes management easier for me. I can quickly take words down and use them during station time.

The Alphabet Station

{Using an Alphabet Chart}

On TPT, this year I bought Joelle's Beginning Sound Match Up, and I love it! It is an easy game that uses magnetic letters for matching. I think it is a great station to add to your word work time.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Grab-Bag Addition

Last week I shared Grab-Bag Subtraction, this week we will learn Grab-Bag Addition.

Materials Needed: A Brown paper bag
                               Recording Sheet
                               Ziplock bag of counters

 One partner puts some counters into a paper bag, naming the number selected and recording it on the record sheet.

I am putting five in the bag.
(record the number five on the sheet)

The other player does the same.

I am putting three in the bag.
(record the number three)

Both partners write the number combination on their recording sheets and predict how many counters are in the bag altogether.

The children then pour the counters out of the bag and count them to check the total.
Assign a number to each group letting them choose from a collection of a given number.

Make different cube bags for students to use they 
don't have to use all of the cubes in each round

I recently read an article written by Kathy Richardson called Too Easy for Kindergarten and Just Right for First Grade. At the beginning of the article, she writes about selecting numbers for students to work with at math time.  Kathy writes:

My goal is to give all the children in a classroom activities that keep them thinking and working at the edge of their understanding. Even though my intent is to keep children challenged. I often find myself recommending smaller numbers than others might suggest. An ongoing question for me has been "What sizes of number are appropriate for children?'

Sometimes I assign everyone the same number to work with, when playing a math game. Reading this article reminded me that we need to provide opportunities for students to be working with just right numbers all the time. We do it so easily during reading workshop, why not at math time.

Grab-Bag addition is a wonderful game from Kathy Richardson.

Happy Counting!

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