Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ten Little Pumpkins Freebie!

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I'd appreciate your support! ~Thanks!!!

To celebrate the beginning of Fall, my Ten Little Pumpkins book will be free through October 1!  

Happy Fall Ya'll!!! 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Apple Everything-- & Apple Art!

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 We painted apple trees for all seasons after reading The Apple Pie Tree. Detailed instructions below.
The red apples in the center are just paper plates painted red!


Of course, for September Science, we have been learning about apples.  I love a good Apple unit because it is so versatile and cross-curricular. 

We have read tons of apple books such as:  

             Applesauce Season   
         Apples A to Z

and Apples.

We tasted apples:

and graphed our favorite ones:

We made an Apple Counting Book:

and colored the parts of an apple:

And finally, we painted apple trees for every season to go with the Apple Pie Tree:
First, we folded our paper into fourths.  (Well, I did this part but you can live on the edge if you want!) 
 And we painted the 4 trees.

Another day, we decorated the trees with cotton for Winter, tissue paper for Spring, green beads for Summer, and red pom poms for Fall.

I love how different all the trees look!  I am not done with the bulletin board yet, but I will post a pic of the finished product when it's done!

Tomorrow, we will make applesauce in the crock pot to taste.  My recipe is:

10-12 Granny Smith apples
3/4 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 c water

Peel and chop the apples.
Put everything in crock pot.
Cover and set on High for 3 hours.
Stir occasionally.  Mash with a potato masher.
Let sit uncovered 1 hour to cool before serving.
Serve in paper cups with a plastic spoon. :)

And then, I will joyfully celebrate the WEEKEND!!!


Monday, September 17, 2012

The Writing Is On The Wall...

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Wow, the school year is rolling now!  We are so busy every day I can't believe how exhausted I am when I get home! 

I thought I would share my writing wall today.  I write the kids' names on white tag board and they glue black beans to it.  We let it dry overnight, then they watercolor the whole thing.  They always love the colorful writing wall!

These are our initital writing samples and self-portraits.

 I usually end up letting them do the black bean name activity again so they can take it home.  I think we will do it again later this week!  It's a very peaceful activity-- nice for a Friday. :)

Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Positive Discipline Plan

So..... let's just say I've had a need to put a Positive Discipline Plan in place for a student who really struggles with rules and authority.  So far, it has made a difference.   Basically, since he needs more reminders than average, my regular classroom system was not working for him.  He knew he would not succeed in following the rules all day so he really didn't even try.  The whole day with him felt like a GIGANTIC wad of we had to try something different.

How it works:  Each morning I write his name on the board and under it I draw 5 stars.  He gets a warning, but if he breaks a rule, he comes up and erases a star.  Having him be the one to erase the stars shows him 1) that I trust him and 2) that keeping/erasing the stars is in HIS POWER! 

If he has any stars left at the end of the day, he gets the class reward.  I usually give out stickers at the end of the day and prize box on Friday.

I have also included a communication sheet because his mom likes to get something in writing each day so she can follow through at home.  So far, it's working and the whole room feels more positive.

How do you deal with challenging students?  Please leave a comment-- I'd love to hear your ideas!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day (Yay!) & A Spidery Freebie

Well I made it through Week 2.  Barely!  At my school our Kindergarten enrollment was down slightly, so this week we had to collapse a class.  I got five, count 'em FIVE, new students on Wednesday, putting me at 25 students.  I had 24 last year, so it wasn't a huge shock, but starting with 20 was so nice and so much more conducive to the learning that needs to occur.  <sigh>  But I guess the people who really need to know and understand that aren't paying attention.

So what did we do?  More procedures and practice, practice, practice!  We practiced tracing our names.  I use the FREE worksheet generator found HERE.  We made a Cheerio necklace (fine motor and snack time rolled into one!)  We sorted bears by color and apples by size.  And we sang and moved A LOT.  (Did I mention that of my 25 students 17 are BOYS?!-- yes, we'll be moving a lot all year!)

Some of my favorite music/movement CD's are below.

They especially love the song "Who Let the Letters Out"-- 
we sing it after we review our Zoophonics sounds!

There are tons of fantastic songs on this one : "The Body Rock,"  "Animal Action,"  "The Freeze".....
I keep this one at the ready at all times for a quick movement break when the wiggles set in!

We sing the Good Morning song and The Number Rock every morning.  This one also has "Popcorn" and "The World Is A Rainbow."  I've been using this CD every day since my first year teaching Kindergarten 12 years ago!

One of my goals for this year is to put all of my classroom music on an ipod so I don't have to dig through my pile of CDs looking for a song!  (Or deal with scratched CDs!)  I have a Donors Choose project going for the ipod.  We'll see if it gets funded!  If not.....I might just spring for one just to save my sanity!

Ok, I promised you a freebie, so here it is!  I know it's only September, but October is just around the corner and this one is just perfect for a sight word review and to go along with a Spider unit. This will be free until Spetember 15, so grab it now! 

If you download, please leave a comment and join my site!  I'd love to know what you think!  :)

Have a great SHORT week!!!