Friday, March 7, 2014

Five For Friday and DEN Star Report

I have been playing catch up all week after being out sick 1 1/2 days last week and then out of school 2 days this week for Mardi Gras. I have added pictures from last week's Five for Friday, so if you are interested you can go back and see pictures of our great space unit! 

Common Core Writing
Speaking of Mardi Gras, we are finishing talking about opinion writing this week by writing about why we like Mardi Gras. We graphed our opinion last week and everyone liked Mardi Gras (surprise!). Wednesday we made our graphic organizer stating 3 reasons we like Mardi Gras and Friday we did our final writing. I think they are doing really well. Our school is using the book by Gretchen Owocki, The Common Core Writing Book - Lessons for a Range of Tasks, Purposes, and Audiences. I like this book because it breaks down the writing standards making them teacher friendly and it gives different examples of writing maps/organizers for each grade and each standard. 
Our Graphs from last week:
(Left- Are There Aliens in Outer Space, Right Top - What kind of Weather do You Like Best? Warm, Cold, Both, Right Bottom - Do You Like Mardi Gras? Yes is inside the hoop, no is outside.)

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss
I love talking about Dr. Seuss! Unfortunately this is a short week for us due to Mardi Gras. It was very hard to narrow down all the Seuss books to fit three days but I did. 
Wacky Wednesday - we had a picture search to find all the wacky things like in the book. We drew a picture of what a Wacky Wednesday might look like.
And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street - We made a list of the many, varied and unusual things we might see on Main Street (the street our school is on) and drew a picture.
 One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish - we drew Seuss inspired fish (directed art) and in math we did a math story problem with red and blue fish. We then discussed and wrote number sentences.

The Cat in the Hat - we wrote about what we would do if Thing 1 and Thing 2 came to our house and made a directed art Cat in the Hat. 

Report Cards & ESGI
Next Friday is the end of our 3rd quarter. In our (county) system all Kindergarten classes are given the same, standards based, assessment. This year we have begun using an online assessment tool, ESGI - Educational Software for Guiding Instruction. Click here to go to their home page and watch a video all about ESGI and set up a 60 day free trial. 
Features I like: Create your own tests!!! Class report listing all standards and scores - making entering grades (G, S, N) into the computer easier. Flashcards can be printed or emailed to parents showing what their child missed during the assessment. Since we do so much one on one assessing in Kindergarten, I begin testing early. This way I can send home any flashcards for extra practice and retest those students a little later because they are only retested on what was missed!

I usually do an entire blog on Discovery Education "DEN STAR" but this week, I just did not have time! So here is my weekly (usually Wednesday) DEN STAR Report!

First what in the world is a DEN STAR. The Discovery Education Network STAR is a program from Discovery Education. Discovery Ed is awesome! If you have read my blog you know what I am talking about. If not, click here for more information!
To become a DEN STAR, you have to be willing to utilize DE, learn more about DE, share with and teach others about DE and what you are doing in your classroom. One way I am sharing and teaching others is by posting information on my blog (usually on Wednesdays). 

Here is how my kiddos and I used DE this week:
As an introduction to Dr. Seuss we looked at a Board created and submitted by a student about Dr. Seuss - my kids were surprised that he was a man not the cat! The board contained pictures, a short book list, a little information, and a video about great authors. Then during "nap" time aka "Mrs. Spriggs needs to assess each child one on one and needs it to be quiet" time we watched some of the "The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss" episodes - which I had never heard of so I had to Google it! (FYI: From Wikipedia: The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss is an American live-action/puppet television series based on characters created by Dr. Seuss, produced by Jim Henson Productions.)

This week is probably the week I have used DE the least. Next week we are starting our unit on Sea Life and we will be using songs, videos, images, graphic organizers and much more! Check back on Wednesday and I will post about the tools I am using next week!
House Hunting
My husband and I purchased our new home 3 years ago April. We love our home and our neighborhood but we have decided we either want to upgrade and add on or build. I have been all over Pinterest and found an almost perfect house plan that I love! I have been researching "what I wish I had" blogs and making lists of the essentials for each room/area of the house. Then this past weekend we spent 3!!!! hours looking at homes in a neighborhood very close to ours. This neighborhood is being built by builders and you can pick out your house plan from a certain list and then choose different aspects of your home - again from a certain list. I am now torn, do I want to build with this builder or stick with my original plan? We are still asking lots and lots and lots of questions from the builders to get more information about what kind of choices we have in materials and add ons and such.
Have any of you had experience with this???? Any insight, tips, or opinions WELCOME!

Thank you for stopping by! I cannot wait to see what you guys have been up to this week! 

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