Saturday, March 30, 2013

Welcome Spring - Time to Wake the Bears!

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year.  At my house, we have a contest every year to see who can find the first robin!  It gets pretty exciting and usually involves screaming.  This year we found one quite early!  The "winner" must make "worms and dirt" for the entire family.  This is what gave me the idea of a fun way to awaken our "hibernating" bears.

In December, we buddied with a first grade class and we made teddy bears using construction paper.  Each boy cut one out from a form and then was instructed to make pajamas, so he would be comfortable while he was sleeping.  I made a cave, (inspired by Laura from Kinder Kraziness.)  I used an empty copy paper box that I covered with brown paper (and I crumpled a big sheet of it on top to make it more "cave" shaped.)  I also made a special entrance to the cave and added some batting, so the bears would be comfortable.

Each bear got his own blanket, a rectangular piece of flannel I cut and added fringe at the end.    The boys just loved the idea of their bear having his own blanket.

We made signs for the cave - "Do Not Disturb!"  "Bears Sleeping!"...  attached to popscicle sticks.  And one big sign "Hibernation Station."
We were on break the last 2 weeks (when spring arrived) and we had to plan something to get the bears up.  I have always celebrated the beginning of hibernation... but never done anything when it is over.  So the first grade teacher and I decided to send out postcards to the class.  They were told to color the card and bring it back to school... and we would celebrate and wake the bears.
This is the postcard they received.  I just used clip art from word and a coloring page insert.
Then we read the book Hopper Hunts for Spring.  The author is Marcus Pfister (author of the Rainbow Fish...) and he has a series of books about "Hopper."  If you are not familiar you really must get this one.  The rabbit learns that "Spring is coming" and he thinks it is a "new friend."  So he sets off to find spring.  "Spring, Are you in there?"  He never finds spring, but he does find a friend.  The bear he wakes up, but who is so helpful.

So, we then "woke" the bears.
And of course we finished with a treat - Worms in Dirt.
Pudding, oreos (they crush...), gummy worms, and spoon.

Happy Spring! 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Word Family Freebie

Today I am posting a freebie in honor of my one year anniversary blogging.

I initially set out just to share my passion for teaching and to give back to the many out there that have helped me along the way.  I have really enjoyed it.  This process has taught me so much about the web and I am proud that I taught myself all I have accomplished here.  Thanks to the many who have answered questions and continue to inspire me to be and to do better.

Word families are always fun in Kindergarten.  This year, we have been making houses.  The name of the word family it at the top... and the "windows" become illustrated members of the family.  My class loves making them.  Beyond making them, I wanted them be successful at remembering them and reading them.

So I created a book.  Click here to grab your own copy. It is intended to be copied in a 2-sided format.  Add as many extra pages as you see fit.

As learn a new word "family", we add to the book.  My class loves it.  Be sure to add the page numbers as you go.  Each student keeps it in his reading box. 

Hope you like.  Please let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Educents and freebie

I just learned about a new site that is opening on April 2nd.  That happens to be my daughters birthday and I know that only mean good things.  Great things for us teachers with daily discounts.

Educents is the name.  Click there and you will get to sign up and get a coupon for $15!

I love a bargain.  Hope you do, too!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Erin go Bragh!
That is Gaelic for "Ireland forever!" 

I am so happy to be back in Kindergarten.  Feeding and fueling imagination is so very fun.

On Monday of this week, I told my class that I had heard that last year, the Kindergarten classroom was trashed by a bunch of leprechauns. "That is not happening this year!"  They were encouraged to start thinking and to get planning.  "Thursday, we will make and set traps."

I teach in all boys school, so you can imagine the excitement.  They could hardly wait.  Thursday morning they got right to it.  The boys had this notion that the leprechauns would be attracted to shiny objects and jewels. 

You have to read this book to your class. Click here to find it on-line.
It's an adorable book about a brother and sister who prepare for St. Patrick's Day.  They fill their bedroom with wonderful traps before going to bed.  We had so much fun discussing which ones were clever, might really catch the leprechaun, how it would actually work, and more. 

Here are some of our traps.  I love the signs they made.

Sadly, Friday was a snow day and now we are on winter break.  I plan to go in tomorrow to clean up... and I may just find a mess...

Happy 100th Day!

We celebrated our 100th on Tuesday.  This is the latest we have ever done so. With Hurricane Sandy, a nor'easter, and a few snow days, it got pushed so far!

Nonetheless, the boys were very excited about doing so.  We began with a breakfast.  One parent was allowed to join their son for our morning events.  We had bagels, fruit salad, donuts, and beverages.  

After all  were well fed, the work began.  Stations were set up.  

Roll to 100!
Tally to 100!
Estimate and then determine exactly how far 100 steps will take you.
Strike a pose (using our 100th day frame)!
Make a crown.
Create a trail mix of 100 goodies.

Each boy got a ticket to punch after each center was completed.

We had a terrific day.  Of course we also, did 100 exercises, counted to 100 and back, read (listened to) 100 pages, and wrote our first names, and then our initials, as many times as possible in 100 seconds.
We made it!