Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thinking Maps Thursday and Dr. Seuss

This post will share with you some Thinking Maps we worked on this week! You can see below we have been talking about Dr. Seuss.
What do we know about Dr. Seuss?
Creating word family chunks
Shared Reading 
During Daily 5 this week, I just typed some of his books on charts.  The kids LOVED reading them!
We added to our Poetry Books
click here for downloads 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Draw and Label it Math Book

  I know many of the math vocabulary words we use can be unfamiliar to kindergartner's, especially the word NUMBER SENTENCE. I will be in the middle of a math lesson and ask students for a number sentence and get looks of confusion. Someone will shout out, "What's a number sentence?'

 You can see the math chart below that we added to our math word wall.  Sue O' Connell's book  Math Process Standard Series Communication suggested having students draw and label math sentence.  


1. The child reads the number sentence on the page.

2. The child draws and labels each part.

Here are some examples

I was surprised when we worked on these little books because they seemed to get it right away. I am sure I will still have students shouting out WHAT'S A NUMBER SENTENCE?? But I think this lesson will help.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Daily 5 Word Work

I am getting ready to go back to school after a relaxing week off! This vacation week has helped me organize my class a little bit and reflect on things that are going well and things I want to work on. I can't believe how fast the school year is going by!

 Daily 5 Work

 During Daily 5 time, the kids always get to make choices as long as it connects to reading. The only MUST DO station is sometimes word work.  

I decided to make this sheet, so the kids know their job is to complete at least three-word workstations during the week. Can they do more? Absolutely! You can see that all of the stations are simple and familiar. 

Reflection Piece

On Friday, I plan on having the whole class reflect on what they learned connected to the word work for the week. I know this will be tricky for some kids to do. I hope to share some responses on Friday! 

 This reflection piece is also going to help me see where kids are at and what they are taking away from the large group lessons. 

 Happy almost Monday!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Lunch Box Letter Books

I blogged last year about a station I used for word families that are called Lunch Box Letters. Lunch Box Letters is an easy station to put out during Daily 5 Time.

The kids build the word, write the word and make an illustration. This template has twelve-word chunks with the A vowel. I will upload the other word chunks soon! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

100 Day Scavenger Hunt

Here are some 100 Days of school things I plan on doing this week.  We have Valentine's and the 100th day on the same day...CRAZY!!

The kids travel to different classrooms so they can tally stuff on the list above. 

Above I am having the kids, do bingo dots, but you could do fingerprints or draw hearts/shapes. The paper is legal size.

This sign gets glued on the front of their hats. We make the hats with all the CRAZY strips. They drive me crazy, but everyone on the team likes them! 

Click here for hat labels

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine Story Math Problems

I recently shared a post on problem-solving.  Here are some story math problems focusing on valentines and hearts. 

click here for download

Friday, February 8, 2013

Personal Narrative Writing

I always start my school year teaching students to write about what they know. I recently blogged about how I have been doing units of study from Tony Stead and Linda Hoyts book Explorations in Nonfiction Writing. My class just finished writing How To's, so I decided to revisit Personal Narratives. Below is the anchor chart from the first week of teaching features of a Great Personal Narrative. There is an anchor text that is used to help students. It is a wonderful example of a personal narrative.
When it come to the writing workshop, I am a BIG believer in the process of writing. I am the biggest Katie Wood Ray fan in the whole wide world.  I am a HUGE believer in child choice so very rarely do I assign topics.

Class Whole Write

The class always starts with a Pre-Assessment, so students wrote a personal narrative story.
On day one we read the mentor text and focused on what we noticed about the beginning of the personal narrative. We took a vote on what we would write about as a class write. We decided to write about our Apple Picking Field trip that we took in the fall.

Timeline of The Writing Unit (quick version)

Timeline of The Writing Unit

Day One: Students each got a piece of paper to write about the beginning of the apple picking field trip.
Day Two: Students wrote the middle.
Day Three: Students wrote the ending.
Day Four: Student got all of their pages back to reread and fix up any mix-up. Students could also use a pen to add any information missing or to make their stories more interesting.
Day Five: The book gets put into a class book called The Special Day in Kindergarten.
Day Six: Students start their personal narratives.
When students write their personal narratives, it is recommended that you follow the same structure
Day One: The beginning page
Day Two: The middle page
Day Three: The ending

What I like

I think the idea of zooming in on one event at a time helps beginning writers. It is providing more scaffolding than the typical workshop time.  I realized that one big difference for me was using the word EVENT. I have never explained a personal narrative as an event that happens in someone's life. When a few students wanted to write about Star Wars and Ninjago it was so easy for me to say, "Is that an event that happened to you?"

What I like about the class book below is the range it shows me of the whole class as writers in one spot. I think next year in the fall this would be the perfect piece of writing to share with parents at the parent conference. Of course, I would be focusing on their child's section.

 Check out our book below!  I tried to type each page, but some pages were giving me a hard time!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bunk Beds And Apple Boxes

Years ago my school had some professional development training with Math in the City. One of the things that my school district bought from this training were Rekenreks for each classroom. Of course, they bought everyone Rekenreks but did not show us how to use them!!!!  I knew Math In the City had published math units and was excited recently to find that I could buy individual ones.
The math investigation begins by reading a story about the sleepover.  Heinemann does sell the book series with the beautiful colorful illustrations.  I love any math book or product connected to Catherine Twomey Fosnot. The story is about how every time, Aunt Kate goes does stairs to get snacks the kids trick her by changing their arrangement on the bunk bed. The story explores arrangements of 8.

Quick Reflection

My school uses TERC Investigations, and we explore the problem I have five crayons some are red, and some are blue. This crayon problem can be challenging for a kindergartner.  This bunk bed problem is a similar kind of problem. I love how the investigation begins with a story, children act out the bunk bed story(getting into different arrangements) and then they use the Rekenrek to make some of the combinations.  On the third day of this Investigations, the kids loved creating sleepover problems. The kids could pick any number for their problem.  You can see the book below. I typed their words to make it into a published class book.

There is also a math bunk bed game to play.

We use the Rekenrek to show all the different combinations the kids
can trick aunt Kate. 
Math In the City Bunk Beds and Apple Boxes
My tech person Nicole sent me this excellent site simplebooket. If you are a teacher, you can get an education account for ten dollars a year. It's easy to use. You can't add audio, but there are so many cool things you can do on this site. Next week I hope to blog about the second half of her book Apple Boxes!
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