Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Caution: Picture Overload!

Oh my goodness, it feels like it has been FOREVER since I put anything up on here!! We had Spring Break and then I had my finals for grad school and had zero time for updating my little blog! Well I am happy to have all of that behind me (the finals at least, not Spring Break!) and I am back in the groove! Here is a little of what we have done so far this week:

This week we are learning all about caterpillars and butterflies. We were so lucky that our Science Lab teacher found caterpillars in her yard and gave them to us right before they went into their cocoons! Here they are in their cocoons inside the little home we made for them.

One of our craftivities we did this week was on caterpillars and butterflies, another glyph. Oh, how I love glyphs!

We even got to act out the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

One of my projects for my grad school finals was to write up a big 25 page long paper on some of the activities I do in my class that assist with reading. I took pictures of my students completing these activities and figured it might be nice to post them on my blog as well :)

This activity is something we do as a pre-assessment and a post-assessment on many of our units that we study. It is called a Graffiti Wall. For the Graffiti Wall, I have four big pieces of bulletin board paper and write four topics relating to our theme. Our theme for this particular lesson was Spring and the topics were Spring Weather, Spring Clothing, Spring Activities, and Plants and Animals in the Spring. Each table has four students at it and they get 5-7 minutes at each paper to write a sentence and draw a picture relating to the theme. When the 5-7 minutes is up, I have them rotate to the next station. This is always a big hit, you can literally hear a pin drop in my room when we do this (which in kindergarten is a big feat!). Here are the pics:

Another one of the strategies I used was the game boards found in Words Their Way and using educational games to track reading success. Throughout the year I put out a few game boards at a time and the students play these games during centers. These games can be geared towards whatever strategies I am trying to help my little ones develop at the time. We have games that focus on beginning sounds, middle sounds, ending sounds, sight words, decodable words, CVC words, etc. Once my kiddos have become very strong in a particular area of focus, I switch out the game for new one in order to keep it challenging. I must have about 15 of these game boards and keep making more, I can't get enough of them! Here are some pictures of a few of them:

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Easter!

This whole week (Monday-Wednesday) we celebrated Easter before we left for our Easter Break (woohoo!). We made Easter Egg "Stained Glass" art projects to hang up in our windows. These are similar to our "Stained Glass" crosses we made during Catholic Schools Week. It is hard to tell from the picture, but the template was made from a deep purple cardstock which we then put contact paper on one side, let the kiddies put cut up pieces of tissue paper on them to decorate, and then covered the other side with contact paper again. I wish there hadn't been a strange glare that makes everything look so dark, but they ended up turning out very cute!

Then we had our Easter Egg hunt. The children in my class all have numbers they are assigned to which helped to make filing their papers, changing centers, etc easier. Prior to the hunt, I labeled all of the eggs with each child's number. This made the hunt a little more challenging. Instead of just running around grabbing every egg in sight, they had to go find the eggs that had their numbers on them. This also helped me make sure everyone had the same number of eggs.

Two of the boys checking their numbers :)

One of my boys checking the numbers.

Then came the highlight (for me!)- our Easter Cross lollipops. Each student got to make their own cross lollipop. I swear, they were more excited about this than the Easter Egg hunt because it was something they've never done before. They were super easy to make too! The kids picked out 5 Jolly Ranchers, put them in a cross formation on the shiny side of aluminum foil, and we baked them in the oven on 325 degrees for 6 minutes. When they were done, I pushed the sticks into the melted Jolly Ranchers and gave them a little twist. Once they cooled down, we put them in sandwich baggies, and tied them with cute ribbon


 I cannot take credit for this wonderful idea, it came from