Thursday, March 13, 2014

It's a Chick!!

So sorry this post is late today, but we had some super exciting news in kindergarten!!  As part of our Embryology in the Classroom project, each of our three kindergarten classes received an incubator, and each incubator has three eggs.  We have been waiting and waiting for something to happen, and yesterday something finally did!!

My team mate, Danielle, had the first egg hatch.

This little guy had a rough start!  However, he has really perked up and is doing so very much better!  Her littles voted and his name is Muffin.  How cute is that!!  (Although many of the teachers in our building have taken to calling him 'Trooper' because of everything he went through during his first 24 hours!)  Danielle also had the SECOND egg to hatch!!

This tiny peeper got to move into the brooding house this morning and is now happily hanging out with Muffin.  Her littles named this one Raven, after our local football team!!  Love it!!! 

My other team mate, Heather, had the next chick hatch!

Isn't it crazy how different all the chicks look??  This little blondie was named Rosie by Heather's class. 

 My class was the last class to have an egg hatch.  Sometime last night we had our newest addition to Room 130!

Yesterday morning I noticed this tiny crack, and when I came in to school this morning, there was a chick waiting!

Our little baby has to stay in the incubator for 24 hours so he can dry off and get all of the fluid out of his little lungs.  Hatching out must be EXHAUSTING work, because our baby has been quiet and sleepy most of the day.  Trust me, you would HAVE to be exhausted to be able to fall asleep in this noisy room!!  We haven't gotten a whole lot done this morning due to all of the excitement, but my kinders did vote on a name for our baby.

These are the names they came up with.  After I listed them all on the SMART Board (and yes, it does make pretty much all handwriting look sloppy), I gave them each a number.  My littles then wrote the number of their choice on a 'secret ballot' (index card folded in half) and I tallied up their votes.

It was a close one, but our chick's name is Peep.  I'm really glad that one got the most votes, 'cause I thought it was a super cute name!!   I will be adding more pics of our 'chicklins' (one of our kiddos calls them that, how sweet!!) as they grow!  My kiddos are very proud chick mommies and daddies!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pocket Chart Activities

It's HUMP DAY!!  Thank goodness we are halfway through the week!  It's been such a crazy winter, I'm not used to these full weeks of school!!  :-)

St. Patrick's Day is Monday, and I am finishing up some last minute activities.  I wanted to focus on some Pocket Chart Activities, since I haven't had anything new at that center in a while.  I have made three activities, two for language arts and one for math.  Each activity will be offered separately for $2.00 an activity, or you can get the MEGA PACK of all three for $4.00 and save $2.00!!  My littles have been LOVING the new activities!

For this activity, students are reading CVC words from various word families.  When setting up the activity, they will choose a type of  'gold coin' which they will be searching for.  I have included some coins in the packet, or you can use two different colored chips or counters.  I found a package of multi-colored coins in the Mardis Gras section of The Dollar Tree.  Students take turns reading a word, and if they read it correctly they can check behind that card to see if a coin is there.  If it is one of 'their' coins, they can keep it.  If it belongs to the other player, they are to leave it there and the other player can try to get that coin on their turn.

Yesterday I posted about the other two pocket chart activities I made for St. Patrick's Day.  I have put all three activities into one MEGA PACK that you can purchase for $4.00, or you can get the activities separately for $2.00 a piece.  Buying the MEGA PACK saves you money!!
Make sure to snap up this great deal before St. Patrick's Day is over!

Finally, I'd like to talk to you about a rhyming activity I made to go along with St. Patrick's Day.  In our district, kindergarteners complete the ELS (Emerging Literacy Survey) Assessment, which measures their phonics skills as well as their ability to recognize and produce letter sounds, and to read words by sight.  We take this test three times a year, and after the Winter Session we noticed that, as a whole grade, kindergarteners were struggling with recognizing and reproducing rhyming words.  We as a team have been trying to throw as many rhyming activities at them as we can think of!  I came up with an activity that could be used as a Concentration/Memory-type game and/or a Go Fish! game.

There is a set of cards with a rainbow background and a set with a pot of gold background.  They rhyming words are in pairs, so 'hug' would be on a rainbow card and 'jug' would be on a pot of gold card.  This is a way for students to self-check at a glance. If they flip over two cards with rainbow backgrounds, that should tell them those words won't rhyme.  You need one of each to make a rhyming pair.  The activity also has differentiated cards.  There is a set of cards with rhyming buddies as pictures and another set with them as words.  There are also several different recording sheets.  Some are for students who still need to cut and paste to match rhyming buddies, and there are others for those students who are ready to move on to making sentences.

This assessment sheet students can cut and glue rhyming picture words next to their rhyming buddy.  This activity is easier than the second assessment sheet.

This assessment sheet is for students who are ready to make sentences.  They choose two of the rhyming buddies from the box, sound out the words, and write them on the lines.  They then must illustrate their sentence.  This part got a lot of my littles today, they did not draw the sentence, they drew other things.  So we'll keep working on remembering to make your picture match your words.  In my room, we have been learning all about the 5 parts of a sentence as well as how to code them.  My littles will be coding their sentences to find the capital letter, ending punctuation, subject, verb, and if it makes sense.  They are getting REALLY awesome at coding their sentences, so I KNOW the first grade teachers are going to be super-impressed with their sentence skills!!

I hope you stop by my store and grab a few of these activities for yourself.  While you're there, please become a follower.  I'm almost at 100!!  Have a super-duper rest of the week!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Activities

It's Tuesday!!  St. Patrick's Day is less than a week away!!  Since it is my favorite holiday, as well as a reminder that spring is right around the corner, I wanted to make a few activities to incorporate the holiday into my classroom.  I needed a new activity for my Pocket Chart Center, so I made two that had a St. Pat's Day theme.  One is a Language Arts and the other is Math.
This activity has students reading sight words to check behind them to see if there's a leprechaun hiding there.  After I printed out the cards, I glued them onto sheets of construction paper.  I used colors that matched the groups I have.  Red, blue, and green are the colors of my groups.

My students pick the set of cards that match their group and put those into the pocket chart.  Then they hide the leprechauns behind them and take turns reading the cards to check behind them and see if they can catch the leprechaun!

The other activity I made for the pocket chart was for math.

In this activity, students choose a numeral card and have to find the matching set.  Once found, they can check behind the set to see if there's a pot of gold hiding there.  They can continue searching for pots of gold until they find them all, and the one with the most cards is the winner!  :-)

Tomorrow I'll be sharing all about my newest rhyming activity.  On our kindergarten assessment, as a grade level we showed a deficit in rhyming skills, so I'll be making several activities to try and help address that need!!

Monday, March 10, 2014


 Happy Monday all!!  For my neck of the woods, it looks like this might just end up being our 2nd full week of school since Christmas Break!  There is a rumor of more snow coming, but I choose to believe that it is only a rumor and we are done with snow and ready for spring!!

On Saturday, I had the most AWESOME opportunity!!  I went to the Read Aloud Delaware Conference, where the key-note speaker was Eric Litwin, the author of the awesome Pete the Cat books!!  I was BLOWN AWAY with how funny and engaging he is!  He has us all singing and dancing in our seats, and it was so much fun!  I was even able to get one of my books signed!!

He was such an amazing presenter!  I truly enjoyed his workshop, where we learned all about some BRAND-NEW characters he is coming out with in the summer of 2014!!  He is under strict contract obligations, so he asked us not to share any of his new stuff yet.  He also asked that no pictures, videos be taken during his presentation, except for one time where he let us record him performing his very first book I Love My White Shoes!  I CANNOT WAIT to show the video and the signed book to my littles on Monday!  They are going to love it!

I would highly recommend going to see him perform if you ever get the chance to!!

Last week our super-wonderful 5th Grade Buddies had to take our State Assessment, the MSA.  They had two days of Reading testing and two days of Math testing.  When I taught fourth grade, I remember how exhausting and stressful this test can be for the students and for the teachers!  Since our Buddies have done so very much this year to help us out, I wanted to take this opportunity to show them how much we appreciate them!  I made some simple treat tags with a small note of encouragement that I had my littles sign and taped them to a specific treat.  On Tuesday, we gave them Laffy Taffy.  Wednesday was NERDS, Thursday Gobstoppers, and Friday was Goldfish crackers.  My kinders hand-delivered the notes to their 5t Grade Buddies every day they tested last week.  I really think that both classes enjoyed the process!!

I am offering my treat tags up as a freebie, in case your littles partner with an older testing grade!  Just click on the picture to go to my TPT store and grab a copy for yourself!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Egg-citing News!

We had a very egg-citing delivery to our classroom today!  We partnered with our local 4-H program and they have delivered incubators to our classrooms with three eggs in each.  They cam to us well into their incubation process, and they should hatch sometime next week!!
The blue one in the middle is really interesting to my littles as they are DYING to know what hatches from the blue egg!!  4-H really hooked us up this year with the incubators!  They have a digital temperature display with a count down to the hatching date.  There is also a buzzer that lets me know when the incubator is running out of water.  This is my second year having an incubator in the classroom, but this is the first year we have the fancy incubators!

We have been learning all about the life cycle of a chicken and we will be observing the eggs until they hatch, and then we get to move the chicks into their 'brooding box', which will be their home until they are big enough to move to a local farm.  I have been working on a few activities to go with our awesome incubators.  So far, I have an Easy Reader to use during guided reading that contains an assessment on the life cycle.

I also have a few colorful signs to hand in the hallway and let the rest of the school know what's going on with our incubator and our chicks.

This one we use to let passerby know how long our eggs have been incubating for.  We learned that chicken eggs need to incubate for 21 days.

This sign helps with our countdown to the big day!

After they have hatched, we keep track of how many days old they are.  I also post a few pictures out in the hallway with these signs.

These products are not yet in my TPT store, but they will be by tomorrow night!  Until then, you have a chance to win them before you can buy them!  If you want to win a set of these materials before they go on sale, you will need to do three things.
      1. Follow my blog by clicking on the BlogLovin' button.
      2.  Follow my TPT store by clicking on the 'Follow Me' button under my name. 
      3.  Leave a comment that you have done the above two things.

The first five people to follow all three steps are the lucky winners!  Good luck, and I hope you win!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Come On Spring!!

Holey Moley, yesterday was yet ANOTHER snow day for us!  I took advantage of the three-day weekend and spent my time making products for my TPT store.  Since I am heartily SICK of winter already, and MORE THAN READY  for spring to get here, I created some products with a more spring-time feel.  Since my very favorite holiday is only 13 days away (St. Patrick's Day) I made a freebie to help celebrate!  Plus, once St. Pat's Day gets here I know that spring only a few short days away!!

In my room, I have a small handful of students who have still not been able to master their alphabet recognition, by letter name or letter sound.  In my school we are SO VERY LUCKY to have a full-time RTI teacher.  For any of you who are unfamiliar with that acronym, RTI is Response to Intervention, and it is how our district addresses the varied needs of our student population.  Our RTI teacher, Mrs. Jeffers (or Jeffers and she is fondly known) takes our struggling littles for 30 minutes every day to reinforce their alphabet skills.  Since I figured she was probably getting a bit tired of going over the same four letters over and over again, I created an activity where those students can draw an alphabet card, ID it by name or sound, and then find the matching letter on a response sheet and dot it with a BINGO dotter.  They LOVE to use those dotters!  Follow the pic to my TPT store to grab a copy for yourself, if any of your littles still need help with alphabet skills.

I am also hard at work on some St. Patrick's Day activities, including having a very sneaky visitor who does lots of naughty things around the school!  This is one of my absolute FAVORITE STEM projects, and I can't wait to get started on trying to trap that sneaky guy!  Here is a St. Patrick's Day activity that will help you littles with their number partners for the numbers 5, 6, and 10!  It uses double-sided counters and those ever-so-wonderful double-sided counters!  Click on the pic to go to my TPT store to get a copy for yourselves!

Last, but certainly not least, is a little freebie I've cooked up for you!  Since I am so very ready for spring to get here, I made a St. Pat's Day themed activity where students match a teen number card to a set of shamrocks.  There are even two assessment pages included!  Click on the picture to go grab a copy for yourself, and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE become one of my TPT followers! I only need 10 more to get to 100 followers, and then I have another freebie for you!

Stay tuned for more upcoming products and freebies!  My kinders are helping to encourage their 5th Grade Buddies on their State Assessment this week, so I will be sharing the cutsie treat labels we've used this week!