Thursday, November 24, 2016

I can do that with Kahoot!

Do you want to make your Kahoots even more engaging? Click on the image below to check out my blog post at The Primary Peach.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Pumpkin Pie in a Bag

This no bake activity was a hit in my classroom and it's so easy to make! It literally took 10 minutes. 
My kinders loved helping me crush the graham crackers, taking turns using the rolling pin.
Then, we mixed the vanilla pudding and milk together. We had to knead that well, so a lot of students were able to help out. 
We added the pumpkin pie, cinnamon and ginger to the mixture and kneaded again
Then we added the graham crackers, pumpkin mixture to the cups and topped it with whipped cream. 
Then we dug in! They loved it!
Just follow the directions below and you will have pumpkin pie in no time!
If you try this in your class, I would love to know how it turned out!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

How to use Post-Its for Easy Assessments

Check out my post over at The Primary Peach on how I use Post-Its for easy assessments in my Kindergarten class. Click on the image below to get there:)
I would love to hear how you are using Post-its in your classroom.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Book Creator and Seesaw

This year in kindergarten we used Book Creator to write books and stories.  By the end of the year my students became experts and decided to start typing their stories. Here a few of the stories written by my kinders and uploaded to Seesaw.
Jayden wrote about his family's trip to Six Flags. His story is a great example of our work in the UOS and telling a story across pages. 
This student wrote about her family's trip to the pool and she wrote across pages with a different experience on each page. 

I love this student's complex sentences and transition words. He was the one who started the typing bug in our class. After he shared his book, all of his classmates wanted to give it a try.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

End of the Year Poem Freebie

We are celebrating our 1 year Blogiversary at The Primary Peach! 
To show our appreciation, we are linking up and posting freebies for you!
Do you need a sweet and simple way to say goodbye to your kids this year? This encouraging poem would be great to attach to an end of the year gift. Click on the image below to get this freebie. 
Click on the image below to head back to The Primary Peach and enter to win an Erin Condren Planner!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Spring into April: Hands-on Earth Day ideas

Spring into April with some hands-on Earth Day ideas. Click on the image below to check out my post over at The Primary Peach.

Friday, April 1, 2016

App Smashing with Buncee and Seesaw and Freebie

Seesaw is the go-to app in my kindergarten classroom and we're always looking for new ways to use it. About four months ago I discovered a presentation tool called Buncee that you can use on the web or download as an app.  
Buncee functions somewhat like Powerpoint in the way that you can add slides- but a more kid- friendly version. They have numerous templates that can be easily adapted and uploaded to students' Seesaw journals. The images shown below are just a handful of the many educational templates available.
  You can also build your own slides using text, animation, videos, stickers, drawings, QR codes, etc. I absolutely love the multimedia choices that are available to add to presentations. 

Here is a acrostic poem template I created this year. It literally took 5 minutes to make! I simply uploaded it to their Seesaw journal and they used the draw feature to add words and illustrations.  
I also used Buncee to give my students and their parents ideas for their Flat Stanley project. I used one of their backgrounds, but then added my own text and pictures. 
Since this was a slideshow I used the link option in Seesaw to upload it for my students. 
You will see this option in Seesaw, then it will prompt you to add the URL link.  In Buncee, after you finish your slide(s), you choose "Share" and then copy and paste the link provided.

I also used this appsmash in reading. For a simple assessment, I created this template and dropped it into their Seesaw journal.  After reading the book Flat Stanley students were prompted to draw their favorite part of the story.                                                                                                                                                                     
Math is another area where I used the Buncee/Seesaw combination. In the second half of the school year, we began tackling word problems. However, I soon noticed that some of my students still needed practice with smaller numbers, so I used Buncee to create differentiated word problems.  
Then I uploaded it to Seesaw and added my voice to give them directions. Like PowerPoint, you can duplicate slides in Buncee. So I created two slides to differentiate for my students. 
These are just a few ways that you can use Buncee in your classroom. I would love to hear how you are using Buncee and Seesaw with your students.  Check out the Buncee website to create your own account. If you don't have Seesaw, it is an absolute game changer.  Go to their website for more appsmash ideas and to sign up for FREE.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Poetry and Sharing Reading in Kindergarten

Shared reading is definitely one of my kinders' favorite part of each day. They love poems and songs, so I use them to help my students: make connections, build phonics skills, identify text features and love reading!(Rog, 2011). Each week we have a sight word poem that we read multiple times and every time we interact with it we have a different focus.
When I introduce the poem to the students, I read it aloud modeling appropriate fluency and expression. We also discuss the big ideas in the poem and make personal connections. When I read it the second time, the students echo me after each line. 
Stikki Wax is a popular item in my class and we love to use it highlight specific words. During this reading of the poem, we find rhyming words, sight words, long vowels, short vowels, etc. Then we use the Stikki Wax to identify these special words. 
Of course, we read the whole poem again, but this time I have parts of the poem in a pocket chart on sentence strips  I use words, phrases and sentences and students will take one of these and match it with the poem on the Smartboard (see picture above). 
This time when we read the poem, I have a student lead the tracking and of course they get to pick the pointer of their choice. Students are invited to identify sight words, rhyming words that they recognize in the poem. One of our favorite activities is the guess the covered word.  I cover some of the words with sticky note and students will try to predict the word. If it is a high frequency word then we try to spell it, like the child in the picture above. 
Each week, students will take the poem home in their Sight Word Poetry Journal. They will read the poem with/to an adult, identify their sight words and add an illustration. 

This has been a weekly literacy activity for four years in my class and every year the students love it!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Writing Celebration

We use the Lucy Calkins' Writing Units of Study and I truly believe that it challenges our kinders to be better writers. At the end of our how-to unit, we asked parents to help by taking pictures of their child showing something they knew how to do.  Then they brought the pictures to school and during Writer's Workshop we added the written directions. We shared these for our Writing Celebration and our students loved being able to teach our guests how to do something.
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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sharing Sunday-April

The authors at the Primary Peach are back this month to help you get a head start on planning for April.  I've included some newly discovered Earth Day ideas and resources as well as some that were a big hit with my kinders (Shaving Cream art). Click on the images below to download the PDF file. In the PDF file, all of the images are hyperlinks and will take you directly to each resource. Happy Planning!

Head back to the Primary Peach for more April resources.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Engaging Young Writers-Chapters 1 and 2

Welcome to the "Engaging Young Writers" book study. Follow along with me, Kristen's Kindergarten, Maggie's Kinder Corner and Mrs. Price's Kindergators as we read and reflect. Please feel free to add your own comments-we love collaboration!

Question 1: How does bookmaking encourage children to be writers?
At our school, using the Lucy Calkins' writing UOS, has helped our students to see themselves as authors. This is the underlying idea in each session- students as authors. When you talk to children as authors they begin to see their favorite writers as peers and try to recreate their favorite conventions. Here you see a student who wanted to imitate his favorite non-fiction books.  So he wrote a fact about dolphins on each page and added an illustration to match. 
During our read alouds we have developed a routine of examining the texts to identify features that interest us-like the speech bubbles of Mo Willems books or the side page previewing in Jan Brett's "The Mitten". The more our students integrate their favorite ideas the more they take ownership of their writing. 
Question 2: How do you honor approximations?
Developing self-efficacy as a writer is difficult for some young students because they feel as if correct spelling is the goal of writing. If they don't get it right, that can destroy their confidence. Dispelling this myth while coaching them through the writing process can be a feat. In my class, I use this chart to help students understand that their kid spelling is good enough.  
This idea was a take away from Katie Wood Ray's book "About the Authors". It helps students not to microfocus on conventions and spelling, but it frees them up to try different techniques from their favorite authors. 

Question 1: What kind of writing do you tend to lead your students towards?
I'm not sure why, but I think I automatically lead my kids towards personal narratives. They like to write about trips, their favorite toy, etc.  One thing that I love about the UOS, is that students are doing teaching books in the beginning, so they are writing about a self-selected topic.It could be their family, an animal or a TV show- it's their choice!

Question 2: How does the idea of various entry points fit into your classroom writing routine?
The idea of entry points is an effective way to differentiate for young students. Glover states that, "The more meaningful writing is to the child, the more energy he will have for writing". This is so true! I have looked across the room and witnessed a student who appears to be in agony at the thought of writing another word.  Great teachers know that "low energy" must be counteracted with an entry point that has meaning for that child. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sharing Sunday-February

The authors and the Primary Peach are back this month to help you get a head start on planning for February.  I've included some recently discovered resources as well as some that were a big hit with my kinders. Click on the images below to download the PDF file. In the PDF file, all of the images are hyperlinks and will take you directly to each resource. Happy Planning!

Head back to the Primary Peach for more February resources.