Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"D" is for "Lots of Dots" and a freebie

We recently celebrated the letter "D."

Together we learned to write the letter, find words that begin with this letter sound, make a list of the many words know that begin with it, do a craft and more.

One of the activities included completing individual books.  You really should try this!  They were all so very excited.  "This is my best day ever!"  "Can I keep this book?"  "I love this book!"

It is a book that just covers so much.  It is math, illustration, reading, and totally engaging.

You will need a packet of the colored dots from a store like "Staples" - the ones frequently used for tag or yard sales.  You could use bingo dabbers, just be careful it does not bleed through to the back of the page...

The book is titled "My Lots of Dots Book."

You start with one dot on the first page and build to ten dots on the last page.  I have the class write the word for the number on each page and then put the page number in the corner in a circle.  That way they have a reference for the word they wrote...

One dot can make the sun.

Two dots can make the eyes of a bear. 

Three dots can make marbles in my hand.

And so on...

Here are some photos.

Here is your freebie.
If you would like to make this book with your class, click here for link to the document.
Let me know how it works. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Valentine's Day

February is here!  Can't believe it.  Sounds so crazy, but the past month went by so quickly.

February is filled with so much activity, Groundhog's Day, Valentine's Day, Presidents Day, and the 100th day.  I know this month will go by even faster.

We had great fun with the Groundhog predictions.  We watched a video about groundhogs and then we made a simple craft from Mailbox.  Paper lunch bags with the tops rolled down became the "den" and the students colored a cute groundhog which was then glued inside to seem as though it was "peaking out."  Lastly they got to attach a sun or a cloud - matching their own prediction. 

Most of the class predicted that he "would" see his shadow.  Well, yesterday, Punsutawney Phil did not see his shadow.  Will we really have an early spring?  Time will tell.

Now to Valentine's day.  I love this holiday.  Some say it is too commercialized, and maybe that is true.  But the best Valentine's are the hand-made ones, if you ask me. 

This is one of my FAVORITE Valentine books.  Click here for more on the book.
Eve Bunting and Jan Brett together in this book - You know it has to be good!
The heart of the book, (pun intended) is witnessing the bears celebrate Valentine's Day for the very first time.  Of course, they are usually hibernating, so they miss it.  Mrs. Bear sets her alarm to get up early and set out all of her preparations.  Mr. Bear is terribly difficult to wake up.  Each year I enjoy the discussions about the various tactics used to wake him.  In the end, they celebrate with great treats, fun poems written for each other, and lots of happiness.
Encourage your students to create their own rhyming valentines for their families.  Stay tuned for some of our creations. 

Here are the Valentine bags we made to hold all of our goodies from each other.

Monday, February 18, 2013

IPad Apps for the classroom

We have a set of IPads that we share between 2 classrooms.  There is enough for one-to-one use when working with just one class.  Other times, we have the students team up for work in small groups. 
I am linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten to share some apps that haved worked well with our students. Be sure to click on the link above to check out what others have shared.

For Mind Challenges - puzzles:
  • Where's My Water
  • CrossFingers - a favorite!
  • Puzzle Penguins HD for IPads
  • Trainyard EX
  • Build a Train
  • Cut the Rope
  • Flow Free
  • Symmetry Game Free
For Math -
  • MathBump HD
  • Dino Math
  • Mathmateer = They love it because you can build rockets...
  • Space math - for higher levels
  • Coin Genius
  • Zoom  - good for number sense.
  • Math Bingo
  • Counting Caterpillar
  • Happi 123
  • Hungry Guppy
  • Math Series
  • Bugs and Buttons
  • Bugs and Bubbles
  • Love to Count 123
  • Monkey Math
  • Math Fact Master - Has so many levels!!! ****
For Reading and Phonics -
  • Word Search
  • Build a Word
  • Bluster
  • Chicktionary
  • iWriteWords
  • Letter School
  • Starfall
  • Monkey Word
  • Fry Words
  • Reading Raven
  • Scribble My Story
  • Doodle Buddy
  • Tic Tac Toe Phonics
  • Pic Collage
  • Educreations
Just for fun:
  • Toca Hair Salon - all my boys love it.  You have to check it out.
  • Easy Bake Unlimited Oven - you can make cupcakes, cookies... and decorate to your hearts content.  The kids love it.  I let them do it on their birthday.

There are so many out there.  I suggest you spend some time and try some in the App store...  get the free versions and see if you like it...

Here is a great blog to check out and follow.  I Teach with IPads.  It is loaded with lots of practical info and sharing. 

Good Luck!