Writing Celebration

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Yesterday was our 2nd annual Kindergarten Writing Celebration and it was amazing! The kids worked so hard and were so proud of their stories. It was adorable! This was the setup:

Their first writing samples from the beginning of school were hung above, their final copy stories were in the middle, and the compliments pages are at the bottom. 

The whole hallway was filled with student writing!

We invited parents to come from 8:00-8:30, open house style, and teachers combined classes so that half of us could be out mingling with parents at any given time. Students were aloud to go with their parents and check out everybody's work. 

This was our turnout:

The place was packed!!!

Parents were everywhere! Kids were beaming!

And after parents left, we took our classes out in the hall to check out our friends work and leave compliments for each other. They were so cute!

Last year, I made these as keepsakes for all their hard work:

The outside has the event and a picture of the class. The inside has their final copy and compliments page. We'll take their stories down Monday or Tuesday after school and assemble these beauties for the kids again this year. I love doing little things like this to show off all their hard work. 

If you'd like a copy of the writing paper we used, just click on one of the pictures below. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Five for Friday (2/27/15)

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It's Friday!!! We made it!!! And it will be a miracle if I can stay up as long as my teenagers, but whatever...

We started the week with a little play dough smash to practice subtraction. It was a hit (no pun intended).

We started our poetry unit this week. We've studied a poem a week all year so hopefully it's a little better than last year. So far it's been fun. 

"Rain on the ninja, Rain on the tree, Rain on Captain America, But not on me!" 
He worked so hard. :) 

We had this conversation today:
Me: You guys are silly gooses!
Student: Silly gooses?!
Me: Yes. Y'all are a gaggle of goofiness.
Student: What's a gaggle?
Me: A gaggle is a group of geese.
Student: We're a GOOSE GROUP!! HA HA HA HA!!!!

This same student also told me she was having hot flashes the other day. She's five.

I bought this book:

There's a book study going on out there and it piqued my interest. If I can stay awake tonight, I'd like to read at least the first chapter. Wish me luck.

And today was FINALLY our Writing Celebration. Another post will follow soon with more details, but we were all so proud of their writing and how far they have come. Parents were excited, kids were excited, other grade levels came and checked it out. It was awesome!

Head on over to Doodlebugs Teaching to see what everyone else is up to!

Peek at My Week

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Are you ready for a little Sunday schedule time? This week is jam-packed with learning fun!

For writing, we are beginning our poetry unit. We have a poem of the week that we ready (almost) daily (stuff happens, ya know?), so they have been exposed to lots of poetry already. We've found sight words in our poems, circled rhyming words, mixed up the order and put it back together again, found special words like colors, vocabulary, etc. and it has been a regular part of our day since the first week of school.

I'm hoping with all this practice, they will have an easier time than in previous years writing their own poetry. We're starting by describing popcorn and writing a 5 sense poem about it. Tuesday, we'll write about frogs (to go with our water sources unit in science). Wednesday, is a Rainbow poem I found from The Bubbly Blonde Teacher and Thursday is the Rain class book from First Grade a la Carte. And for Friday, I found the CUTEST poem activity EVER! You can check it out here. I have to remember to take pictures on Monday and send them to get printed, and make dandelions, but it's too cute not to indulge a little. 

In math, we'll be starting subtraction. We have already touched on it many times, but this week, it's our main focus. We'll be doing the play dough smash, using separation mats, subtracting carrots, bye bye birdie math, and a lily pad toss. In this game, the kids toss 2 counters onto the mat and subtract the smaller number from the larger one. You could make a huge one to do whole group, but I find mine work better in partners than in whole group. 

Science is where it's getting really busy! We'll be reviewing landforms and water sources, comparing and contrasting fresh water and salt water habitats, and making models to explore ponds and oceans, and the effects of erosion. Tuesday, we go to the science lab. There, we'll study the effects of oil spills on wildlife. The kids will put a feather in a cup of water and describe the results. Then they will put a feather in a cup with water and oil (baby oil or vegetable oil) and describe what happened then. Then, they'll try to wipe the oil off with a paper towel and explain what happened. We'll discuss what that might look like on a larger scale, like the Gulf of Mexico.

There is a LOT of prep work for this week, but the learning that comes from it is priceless. :)

Head on over to Mrs. Willis' Kindergarten to find out what everyone else is up to. 

Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Welcome to the "Deep in the Heart of Texas" blog hop!  Over 40 Texas teacher bloggers have joined together to share what we love about our state as well as ideas and freebies that we love.  You will also have the opportunity to enter to win TpT products and/or TpT gift certificates by entering using the rafflecopters included in each post.  Down at the bottom, you will see all of the blogs participating in the hop.  Just click and you will be taken to their posts.  We hope you love what you find.  Happy Valentine's Day!

I grew up here back when it was a tiny little farm town. Population 4,444. It was cows and corn for miles. We had 2 dining options: The Old Dodge City Steak House, which has been closed for almost two decades, and the other steak house, Charlie's, which is now a bar. 

Today, it's about 10 times that size. We have enough restaurants to eat out everyday for a month and not eat at the same place twice. We just got us a brand new water park and the hotels move in this year. 

Our district now has three high schools, six middle schools, and twenty elementary schools! We had one school in the whole district 35 years ago.

My favorite new additions are the Target and At Home stores. And they're in the same parking lot! I'm hoping we get a craft store soon. It's an event to get to one now, I hate making that trip ALL THE WAY INTO AUSTIN (well, Round Rock really) just for some glitter. (I'm being dramatic here. It's about 15 minutes to get there, but some days make even that challenging.)

My favorite resource is Ball Words from Differentiated Kindergarten. My students are flying through learning sight words. They BEG me to test them on the next list. They cheer when we play sight word games. And there is a healthy sense of competition in the classroom--not the "I'm better than you" competition, the "Let's help each other all become great readers" competition. They push each other (nicely) to do better and become better readers, and they celebrate each others' successes. I LOVE it! 

This is our shelf of ball words at the beginning of the year. We've added sets as they've passed levels. 

I have a TON freebies I LOVE, but the most recent favorite find is this morning warm-up work from Teacher Idea Factory. I tried it one morning and I loved it so much I but the set. The kids love it too, and that has made all the difference. 

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Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

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Hi, y'all! Well, we made it! It was Friday the 13th and Valentine party day. My feet are killing me. I don't think I sat down at all until the kids went to PE at 1:00. Whew! 

We went non-stop from the moment they walked in the door! After their simple sentence morning work, we made our Valentine bags. 

They were done in five minutes...But that's okay! We had a TON of things planned so it's all good! After that, we read the book about Q and U getting hitched from Kreative in Kinder.  

I forgot to take a picture of the front, but you can see it on this little guy while he writes the room using the qu cards in the same pack. 

When our hats were finished we had a "bridal shower" for Q and U where we opened presents like quilt, queen, question, and quarter. The kids were all over it, but a couple of my super smart and serious ones kinda thought I lost it...

We drew pictures of what we would give Q and U after all the gifts were opened. 

As they finished, they wrote as many qu words as they could find in the room on their recording sheets. One of my girls who NEVER talks (I mean ever) said, "This is the best party EVER!) We hadn't even gotten to the party part yet!

About the time they went to recess, (only like 9am) my table already looked like this: 


But after recess is math. The candy hearts came out and graphing was happening! I didn't even have to remind anyone to graph THEN eat once they got to the tables. 

My fast finishers did a math write the room from my TpT store

The liked it and several were upset that we ran out time to finish it, but we had to get to lunch...

The party was busy! We started with the wedding of Q and U. We used this pack from Maria Manore over at Kindercraze. I was officiating and couldn't get pictures, but parents thought it was cute. And the kids remember to write Q and U together now. Lesson learned!

And what wedding wouldn't be complete without the chicken dance?

They were only a little excited...

Then we passed out valentines...

and ate a TON of sugar...

and signed the guestbook of who attended the wedding.

When the sugar was starting to slow them down, we sent them off to PE. I pulled out a container of wet wipes, passed them out to the table captains at each table, and the classroom was miraculously clean by the time we left the room. 

We passed out balloons purchased from PTO when we got back to the room, had a few minutes of downtime, then headed home. I had a few extra bubble wands from our Valentine party and promised them for quiet kiddos in the hallway. You could hear a pin drop, it was so quiet. I may have to get some more of those on clearance tomorrow!

The big fail of the day was my friend who decided to throw his sticky bug in the air right after he got it. It stayed stuck to the ceiling all day. I warned him...natural consequences...

But if that's the worst part of the day, then it wasn't that bad..

How did your party go?

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