Friday, February 21, 2014

My Five for Friday!

 I am finally getting back into the swing of things after the holidays and the craziest month (January and half of February) of my life!  I have linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share with you 5 things my class and I have been up to for the last few weeks!
Picture taken by a student using the IPad, guess they know how the camera function works!!
 Digital Renaissance in Kindergarten
I had the chance to go to see our counties Digital Renaissance in action. Gulf Shores schools (elementary, middle & high) have been utilizing technology for a while. 3rd - 12th grade students all have a MacBook while K-2 classrooms have between 6-8 iPads the students share. This was a great opportunity to see how the class and teacher uses technology. A lot of teachers I saw had students using virtual libraries, Keynote, Board Builder (this is in Discovery Education's website) and a class Moodel page. This year Kindergarten is getting (some day) 12 IPads which puts us at a 1:2 ratio. Next year we should get enough to make us 1:1. Do any of you use IPads in class? What are some of the ways you have incorporated IPads into your day?
This month I have also began the training to be a Discovery Education Network Star (sounds fancy right!). As I have said before, Discovery Education is a fabulous sight our county has purchased (subscriptions) for our use. As I learn more and more about the fabulous resources, I will be sure to share them here! Check out my shadow lesson below (#3) for a little taste of what DE can do in your classroom!

I thought we would never make to 100! With all this crazy winter weather here in the deep south the 100th day changed 3 times!!!!
This year we celebrated not only the 100th day but (because we ran out of time on the 100th day) we also celebrated the 101st day of school. Some of our favorite activities on the 100th day of school, as voted on by the kiddos, were: doing 100 exercises, reading Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten, counting/singing along with different YouTube videos (by 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s), and making hats with 100 drawings.We also took pictures using an app to make us look really old and then the next day wrote about what we would do if we were 101! The kids LOVED seeing the pictures and a lot of them came up with some really good answers! What are some of your favorite 100th Day activities?
Our finished writing samples:
 If I were 101 I would, be in Heaven.
 If I were 101 I would do nothing and be a skeleton.
If I were 101 I would knit. (I love her illustration of herself knitting!)
Groundhog's Day & Shadows
I completely stole this EXTREMELY cute idea from Welcome to Room 36!
I used letters from Lettering Delights to make the words and clipart from Little Red's Clip Art for the cute groundhogs on the bottom.
Since Groundhog Day fell on a Sunday this year, we started this project the Friday before. We made the cute groundhogs using different shapes (hello math lesson) and then graphed our predictions. We also completed the cute recording sheet from Welcome to Room 36 to record the actual results on Groundhog Day the following Monday. (seen below)

Two fantastic books we read about shadow!
We read the first book, Who Will See Their Shadows This Year, when we were talking about Groundhog Day. It is really cute!!! When the different animals see their shadows crazy things happen. Then kids thought it was hilarious. I have planned a writing activity to do with this book next year - What will happen if you see your shadow?!!
The second book, Shadow Play, is really cool, I was even surprised by the ending. I don't want to say too much but it is about a a circus side show with shadows. REALLY great book!!! We read this after starting the science unit on shadows, it is a good follow up to the Reading Rainbow episode about the poem "My Shadow". 
This is the first year I have spent this much time on shadows and we had a blast. Discovery Eduction has a great lesson plan aligned with 1st grade common core all about shadows. I used it and modified the lesson to fit my Kinders! The lesson uses the poem "My Shadow" by Robert Louise Stevenson to not only learn about the science behind shadows but to also learn about poetry, vocabulary, author's craft, narrator verses speaker, as well as comprehension skills and writing skills. I tweaked this lesson to cover my ELA and Science course of study for the week. We used fiction and non fiction video segments to learn about shadows as well as some actual shadow making (inside since it rained all week). We used the closed captioning during the poem (from a Reading Rainbow episode) to find sight words and vocabulary words. We searched DE and found additional materials about shadows such as songs, graphic organizers, pictures, animations, and much much more. This is the second lesson plan from DE I have used this year. Some of the best parts of these lesson plans are:  DE provides essential questions for use in Project/Problem/Challenge Based Learning, there a links within the lessons to the digital resources you will use as well as links to printable resources, the lessons are very easy to understand and tweak to fit your classroom. I simply cannot say enough about Discovery Education, it is an amazing tool!!!

Valentine's Day
Most years I have made little Valentine's Day bags for my kids to put their Valentines in they pass out. This year we have been pressed for time since we have missed days of school due to weather and a lot of professional development that all hit in January. So, instead of taking up teaching time making boxes, the entire grade level decided to send a letter home to parents asking them to help their children decorate a box of some sort. I shared with them my Pinterest board where I had pinned some examples (here) and sent home a few pictures of examples.
My little happy for the kids was last minute but I think it turned out really cute!

I have begun to rub off on my parents, the mom getting cupcakes for our Valentine's Day party said she just had to have frogs on our cupcakes!!! 

Welcome to the World Baby Girl!

Earlier this month a few friends and I hosted a baby shower for our friend Amanda and her sweet baby girl! One of the things we found on Pinterest and did for the shower was to have everyone fill out an envelope with their name and mailing address for Amanda to write thank you notes. I had Amanda bring the envelopes for her thank you note stationary she already had and the guest filled out their information on those. If she did not already have thank you notes, that could have been a gift to her from us. Amanda loved the idea!!!

I also made a very cute banner for baby Arabella using letters from one of my favorite graphics websites. Lettering Delights! You get tons of free fonts, letters, backgrounds, and more just for creating an account and signing up for their news letter!

I am so happy to be back in the swing of things and blogging again! I cannot wait to see how everyone else has spent their week/month!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

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