Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sharing Sunday-December

 I had such a great time discovering some new Holiday resources for my kinders! This is one of my favorite times of the year and I hope that this can help with your planning during this busy time. Click on the images below to download the PDFs. In the PDF file, all of the images are hyperlinks and will take you directly to 
each resource. 
These are some of my absolute favorite holiday books-especially Mooseltoe! Check out GoldenGang Kindergarten's blog post, which has some great activities to go with this book.  
 SCORE! I think I've found my NEW favorite holiday book-Stick Man. It's about a stick who is trying to find his way back to his Family tree during the holidays.  It has rhyming words, repetitive phrases and would be great for sequencing. I did not find a lot of kindergarten friendly resources for this book so I will likely create my own, including an activity where my students can transform their stick into another object. 
 I love this activity because students can do this multiple times by comparing their name with several of their classmates'. They can compare the number of circles, numerals and also determine which snowman is taller/shorter than another.  
These are just a few of the craftivities that I love to do with my students during the last week before the Holiday break. The handprint calendar is a parent favorite every year. However, when our "frozen" bells arrive from the North Pole-the kids lose it! Last year, they talked about it for at least a month.
Head back to the The Primary Peach for MORE December fun and freebies

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Using Padlet in the Classroom

I'm blogging over at The Primary Peach about Using Padlet in the Classroom
Click on the image below to check out my blog post!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Retelling of the First Thanksgiving

Padlet is one of my favorite tools to use to collaborate inside the classroom and beyond our four walls. This week we retold the events of the First Thanksgiving using the ShowMe app and then used Padlet to store all of our videos. It makes them so much easier to access when they are housed in one place.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sharing Sunday: Thanksgiving Goodies and Freebies

This is my first Sharing Sunday post and I had a blast discovering some new Thanksgiving resources. In kindergarten this is one of our Social Studies Standards and one of my absolute favorite topics to teach. I'm linking up with my Primary Peach buddies to make planning easier during this busy time of year. Click on the images below to download the PDFs. In the PDF file, all of the images are hyperlinks and will take you directly to 
each resource. 
Make sure to head over to The Primary Peach to see more amazing November resources.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Flipped Learning in K!

After reading The Flipped Reading Block by Gina Pasisis this summer with my friends Maggie's Kindercorner and Mrs. Price's Kindergators we were were inspired to plan some lessons of our own. This is the first lesson I've created for my students, which addresses one of our GPS Science standards.  I created this slideshow in Shadow Puppet and then dropped it into each one of my students' journals.
I found this video on You Tube, which teaches the animal babies in such a fun, interactive way. She also labels both the mother and the baby as she sings the songs. My students really enjoyed this!
I also attached a sheet for my students to complete after they watched the slideshow and the video. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fall Freebies and Giveaway!

This month at The Primary Peach we are sharing our Fall favorites, freebies and giving away a $50 gift card.  Head on over to check out my Fall favorites and enter this giveaway. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Keeping track of Peer Suggestions with Padlet

Tech Tuesday at the Primary Peach

It's Tech Tuesday over at The Primary Peach and I'm sharing about my fave tech tool-Seesaw:The digital learning journal 
Click on the button below to check out my post which includes helpful step-by-step directions and great student examples. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sneak a Peek at The Primary Peach

I am so excited to join the awesome educators of The Primary Peach- a collaborative blog for Georgia elementary school teachers.  

All month long we have been peeking into the classrooms of some phenomenal teachers. Click on the image above to see these pics.    Check out the calendar for the rest of September and don't forget to pin these great ideas!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Retelling of "The Recess Queen"

This week our students practiced retelling familiar stories. They absolutely loved "The Recess Queen" and had a blast doing the oral retelling before we used the ipads. The Showme app is great for creating multiple pages and doing voice overs.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Sight Word Poetry Journals

It has only been one week, but our kindergarten students are doing such a great job with their sight word poetry journals. We practice reading the poem together, identify the sight words and discuss possible illustrations.  Here is an awesome example from one of our students.

The Primary Peach

So excited to become a contributing author over at The Primary Peach.  This is an awesome collaborative blog for Georgia Teachers.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Counting books in the Seesaw App

One of the many reasons that I love the Seesaw app is that I can share items like this with parents.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Flipped Learning Book Study Chapters 5 and 6

 Participating in this book study with my friends Maggie's Kindercorner, Mrs. Price's Kindergators and  Kristen's Kindergarten has sparked such a great dialogue between us.

In my classroom, flipped learning has primarily taken the form of home-to-school projects. For these projects, parents and students were responsible for finding information about a topic.  After a specified period of time, students brought their projects back in and presented the results to their classmates. This is an example of a country project where students researched the country of China and put their information in the form of a poster. 

I have not used writing skeletons, but I do understand how they can be useful when implementing flipped lessons in kindergarten.  Young students may not be able to independently record their ideas in a blog post, but a writing skeleton can make this task a bit easier. It might also be effective with this group to have a short phrase written down and have them fill in the blank. They could use this to help them type a response. 

I think this depends on what you are assessing.  More than likely, younger students are depending on an adult to help them compose and upload their post.  I think that a formative assessment of their posts would not yield an accurate account of what they know on their own. However, assessing older students would capture what they know on their own.
 When I taught third grade, some of my advanced readers were part of a book club that operated like a literature circle. However, we did not have an online component.  I would love to do something similar in kindergarten. My friend Sharon Davison has a Summer Reading Blog for her students.  I love this idea and I thought about creating one for the entire school year. It is a blog specifically set up for students to write about their reading. I absolutely believe that kinders can do this.  They could not only write but post pictures of characters, settings and maybe a pictoral retelling of the story. 
For me, modeling how to interact with the text is crucial if you want students to do the same. Engaging with the text is at the heart of reading. How do you do this? Think alouds are a great way for teachers to make their own thinking visible where students can see the strategy in action.  This poster from Choice Literacy contains the type of information that students might need to help them engage with the text. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tech Survey Freebie

In my classroom this year, we will be using a variety of technology tools to communicate with parents.  In order to determine the level of technology access among my families, I will ask parents to complete this survey.  Click on the image below to get this freebie from Mrs. Price's Kindergators.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Flipped Reading Block Book Study Chapters 3 and 4

Chapters 3 and 4 of The Flipped Reading Block reinforced my belief that consistent modeling of reading behaviors is essential even with the implementation of blended learning. One of my biggest takeaways from this chapter was the following quote by the author. 
What a simple, but powerful way to characterize the differences in the types of readers that we work with everyday.
If students are practicing a specific strategy or skill at home this translates to more time for reinforcement or "we do" instruction at school.  I like to think of it as providing the necessary background knowledge for a specific concept. The author discusses using the same text for a flipped lesson and then repurposing it for something else in the classroom.  The idea of giving students multiple interactions with one text is not only practical but good practice.  
As a kindergarten teacher I am thinking about a simple reading task,where you might capture an image of a book page like Pete the Cat. Then you would ask the student to draw the setting of the book or identify the characters.
 In my classroom we do turn and talks at various points in the day. However, this type of activity is deliberate and modeled from the beginning of the year. I use a Whole Brain Teaching signal where I clap twice and the say "Teach", in response the students clap twice and say "Okay". At that point they turn to their partner and start their discussion. In this video, a first grade teacher uses this strategy as well as many others. 

 One aspect of flipped learning that I love is the potential for differentiation.  At the kindergarten level, most students in the same GR group have similar types of reading behaviors. Flipping a lesson would be a great way to differentiate within that group. Running records can help to identify strategies that students can practice at home. You could snap a photo of a book page and direct them to apply the strategy that needs to be reinforced. 
Currently, I do not have a book club set up in my classroom.  However, when I taught 3rd grade, one of my small reading groups functioned as a literature circle. We met multiple times a week and focused on a specific strategy. Every member of the circle had role that defined how they would help their classmates to interact with the text. Retrospectively, how much more engaging would that group have been if I had flipped some of their lessons. I can even imagine some of those students designing their own activities to do at home. 
Head on over to Maggie's Kinder Corner, Kristen's Kindergarten and Mrs. Price's Kindergators to read their thoughts about Chapters 3 and 4.