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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Leprechauns, Gold and Shamrocks: St. Patrick's Day Fun

St. Patrick's Day brings us Leprechauns, gold, and shamrocks. Here are some of the fun activities we are doing to celebrate this magical day.
Do You Believe in Leprechauns?
The kids absolutely love doing survey graphs. Why? Because they get to talk to their friends!
Here's how we did our survey graph:
  • First, the children move around the room asking their friends if they believe in Leprechauns.
  • They put tally marks in either the yes or no column.
  • Then, they create a graph to show the results.
  • Last, the analyze their data.
Finding Gold Sight Word Game
I love games that can be used over and over again. Swat is one of those games. You can put anything on the cards and anything on the fly swatters and you have a new game. All you have to do is change the standard and change the clip art and the kids think it is a new game.
To play the game:
  • Spread the cards on the flower.
  • Give several children each a fly swatter.
  • Tell them the target word.
  • They seek for the word.
  • When they find the word, the leprechaun gathers the gold.
Cut a Sentence--Do You Have Gold?
Cut a sentence books are great for teaching sentence structure. The kids learns that the word with the capital letter goes first, the word with the period goes last. They also learn to use the reading strategy, "Does it make sense?" Invite the kids to move the remaining words until the sentence makes sense. Then, they find the picture to match the sentence.
Sharing Gold
This is a fun way to teach fair share:
  • Invite the children to roll a dice and count out that many pieces of gold.
  • Gather the Leprechaun's Pots of Gold game board.
  • The children share the gold so that each pot gets an equal amount of gold.
  • Last, the kids record their results on the recording page.
How to Catch a Leprechaun?
Here's how we made our paper plate leprechauns:
  • First, the kids paint the paper plate. Allow to dry.
  • Using pompoms, wiggly eyes, and paper, create a face.
  • Add hair. We used the crinkle paper you can find in the gift wrapping section of the dollar store.
  • Add the hat to the top.
  • Staple the paper plate leprechaun to several sheets of paper.
  • Invite the children to write the steps for how to catch a leprechaun.
Can We Make Green?
St. Patrick's Day is a great day to explore color mixing.  Here's what we did:
  • Give each child a Ziploc bag.
  • Put shaving cream in each bag.
  • In 1/3 of the bag put red and yellow food coloring, in 1/3 put red and blue food coloring and in the final 1/3 put blue and yellow food coloring.
  • Zip the top of the bag closed.
  • Invite the children to mix their colors together.
  • Which colors made green?
  • The children record the results on the recording page.
Shamrock Shakes
The highlight of the day is making Shamrock Shakes!
To make the shakes:
  • Give each child a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Add "green" sprite-leprechaun juice.
  • Invite the kids to mix them together.
  • Add rainbow sprinkles to the top.
  • Now it's time to drink our Shakes!
  • As a follow up, we invited the children to sequence the pictures of how we made the shakes.
  • Now, they wrote the steps to match each picture.
  • Or, you could do a guided writing lesson where you and the children work together to record the steps.
  • Or the children could sequence the pictures in a booklet.
  • On each page, they cut apart a sentence and put the words in order.
St. Patrick's Day Parade
To create a St. Patrick's Day parade here is what we did:
  • Invite the children to spin the spinner.
  • Whichever picture it lands on, the children locate that clip art and add it to the parade.
  • Keep spinning until all of the squares are filled. (They can land on the same thing more than once.)
  • Sequence the ordinal number cards.
  • Find black and white clip art to match the parade.
  • Invite the children to glue the clip are to match their parade.
  • Label each with the ordinal position.
These ideas are from this unit.
This unit was recently updated. If you already own this unit, go to your my purchases section and you can download the updated version.

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Monday, March 6, 2017

Using Assessments to Form Small Groups and a HUGE Giveaway

Is Data Driven Instruction a phrase that makes you twitch? Does it make you think of hours of standardized testing used to rate the effectiveness of your school?  If so, I have some good news for you!  Data Driven Instruction is your friend!  This post shares how to use easy assessments to help you determine what to teach, and to whom!
Small Group Instruction is a part of most classrooms. I use small groups during reader's and writer's workshop and during math and literacy centers.  Anytime my kids are engaged in self directed work that allows them to apply the things that THEY know, I can pull small group. The biggest question I hear is, "how do you determine who is in the small group?" Since I base all of my small groups on assessment, these groups are constantly changing.  The kids are unaware of these groups. I move around the room, while they are working, and collect the kids I want to meet with at my table. 
Recently, while working on number combinations, I made each of my children a necklace.  These necklaces are worn so that the children each know which number combination they are practicing. (And so do I!)
To determine which number combination each child needed to practice, I did this simple assessment, right on my ipad using ESGI.   Here's what I did:
  • Starting with three buttons, some of the buttons are in the open hand and some are hidden in the closed hand.
  • I said, I have ___ buttons in this hand. How many buttons are hidden in the other hand?
  • Repeat with several combinations for the number 3.
  • I want the kids to be accurate (get it right) and automatic (get it quickly).
  • If they are accurate and automatic for 3 buttons, move on to 4 buttons.
  • The great thing about ESGI, is that it will easily move to 4, as you continue the assessment.
  • Once the child is no longer accurate OR automatic, stop the assessment....that is their number.
  • On the child's necklace, use a hole punch to punch out all of the numerals where they were both accurate and automatic with the combinations.
  • The number they will use to build combinations will be the first number NOT punched out on their necklace.
Here's what's cool...if the children are making number towers using unifix cubes, they are doing the SAME activity, but they are each using their own number! This means that some children are using unifix cubes to make towers of  3 while others can be making towers of 4, 5, 6, etc. depending on the number on their necklace!
While the necklaces work well for an easy reference while the kids are working, ESGI will make my small groups for me! The easy bar graph will show me who needs to be in each group! The "green" section tells me who already has mastered the standard, and the "gray" section tells me who has not mastered the standard and who has not been assessed on the standard. Now, I can group all of the kids who need to practice 3 (or any other number) together for my small group activity!
Parents can help us, but who has the time to send weekly parent letters of the things we would like for them to practice at home? ESGI can do that for me, too! Each week, I can easily print out a letter for each child with the things they are still needing to master. This will let the parent know exactly which number their child is working.
But, most parents aren't also teachers. When we send home that parent letter, do the parents really know what it all means or how to help their child?  Again, ESGI to the rescue! I can easily print flash cards for each of the items on the parent letter. This puts something in the parents hand they can use to help their child. 
BUT, my favorite feature of ESGI is that it gives us a baseline of where the child started on each standard.  This allows me to see the growth that each child is making not just where they are!
The good people over at ESGI want you to see for yourself just how wonderful their product is! They are spreading the #ESGILOVE! Here's how you can "get lucky" in March!
  • All teachers who register for a trial account between now and April 10th, and who use the promo code ADSIT, will receive an extended free trial through August 31, 2017! That's right! FREE through August for all teachers who wanted to try ESGI but have not yet done so!
  • All teachers who register for an ESGI trial prior to April 10th will be entered to win a "Pot of Gold" mystery grand prize from ESGI!
  • This will also set you up to receive the $159 price point if you should decide to purchase in the fall.
  • a special bonus from me, all teachers who register for the ESGI trial promo using the code ADSIT, will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card!
Click (here) or on the lucky shamrock heart above, to get started! 
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

President's Day: Crafts and Activities

President's Day is just around the corner. We are getting ready to celebrate in patriotic fashion.  Here are some of the activities we are doing.
George Washington Cut a Sentence Craftivity
This is a fun twist on the traditional step book. Here's how you make it:
  • Stair step 3 pieces of paper. Fold in half and staple at the top.
  • Round of the edges to make the shoulders.
  • We used patterns to make the face and hat.
  • For the eyes, we rounded off squares.
  • The hair is polyfill.
After making the books, the children added the sentences.
  • Cut off one sentence.
  • Cut between the words.
  • Put the word with the capital letter first and the word with the period last.
  • Manipulate the other words until the sentence makes sense.
  • Find the picture to match the sentence.
Abe Lincoln's Cabin Craftivity
Sharing Cherries
There is a tale about George Washington cutting down a cherry tree. The kids love this fun activity to learn fair share.
  • Roll the dice and count that many cherries.
  • Share the cherries between the trees.
  • Record the answer on the recording sheet.
President Day Numbers
This is a fun way to remember the numbers associated with president's day while learning to compose and decompose numbers.
  • Give the children a number associated with president's day.
  • Invite them to build the number on the 10's frames using Abe Lincoln and George Washington heads.
  • Color the tens frames to match what they built.
  • Write the numerals to represent the number. 
This is a great way to move from the conceptual level (building the tens frames), to the pictorial (coloring the tens frames), to the abstract (writing the numerals.
George Washington and
Abe Lincoln Story Problem
Here is another example of children developing understanding at the conceptual level.
  • Reproduce a set of clip art animals.
  • Invite the children to manipulate the animals to solve the equation.
  • Once children are able to do this and explain the process, then they are ready to move to the pictorial level.
  • However, it is okay for children to use numerals and symbols to REPRESENT their answer AFTER solving conceptually.
Making Washington Words
Ever give your children a "big" word and invite them to make little words? What happens? I know in my class one child would understand, and the rest just copied whatever he wrote. I knew there had to be a better way. Here's what I did:
  • Give the children the letters in the big word.
  • Give them a list of words.
  • Invite the children to try and make the words.
  • Mark on the recording page if they can make the word or not make the word.
Making President Words
OR... give them the letters to make the big word. Invite them to make words in a word family.
  • Find the "e" and "t".
  • Then, invite them to place each letter in from of "et". Does it make a new word? If so, write it on the recording page.
  • Do this with several word families.
These activities are from the Hooray for President's Day unit.
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Monday, February 6, 2017

Teaching Words with the Show and Tell Apron

As teachers we are constantly looking for a way to have engaging activities. The brain learns by pattern but seeks novelty! That means that we have to constantly change what we are doing so that their ever growing brains sit up and pays attention. I *might* just have a new novelty for you to add to your teaching tricks!

Ever met someone who made you smile all.the.time!?  I have...her name is Sandy.  She is the nicest, funniest person, EVER.  I met her in Vegas at the I Teach K conference when she gave me one of her precious Show and Tell Aprons. She also gave me some cards to build sight words in the pockets. I was doing a session on words so this was perfect. I wore the apron during my presentation and modeled making the words. Those teacher didn't walk, they ran, to her booth! They bought her out! She sold every single one!
What ways can you use the apron? Here are a few of my favorite ways.  Make a sight word in your apron. After discussing the word, cover each letter with a blank card. Invite the children to write the word on a dry erase board, in sand or with shaving cream.  Reveal your word one letter at a time. Invite the children to check their word to see if it matches the word in the pocket. IF not, discuss and cover the word again. Now, the children try the word again. Keep repeating the process until the children can write the entire word. This process trains the brain to look all the way through the word and not at just the first letter. 
Little did I know that there was so much you can do with the Show and Tell Apron. How fun at the beginning of the year to use the apron to make their names. Put the name of one of your kids in the pocket. Cover with blank cards. Reveal one card at a time to see if they can guess whose name is in the pocket! OR Mix the letters up. See if they can get them in the right order in the pockets.
Another way to use the Show and Tell Apron is to use the sight words and picture cards to build rebus sentences. Build a sentence like the one above. Invite the children to read the sentence. Now, place another picture card in front of the one in the pocket. Read the sentence again. Repeat, pattern reading builds prosody. Prosody is the natural rhythm that comes with good reading. It is essential for children to develop prosody if they are going to become fluent readers.
Want to read more about these aprons and how you can use them in your classroom? Hop over to my friend Deedee's blog and see how other teachers are using them.
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Friday, January 20, 2017

Winter Fun and MEGA Giveaway

Hello Winter! Where are you? When it is in the 70's, even 80's, in January you begin to wonder if we just skipped winter and moved on to spring.  But, it is winter in our classroom! We might not see snow, we might not feel the cold, but that doesn't keep us from talking and learning about it! The kids are so excited they can't stand it! Read this post to see some of the fun things we are doing.  Be sure and read all the way to the bottom to see how you can win a great prize!
We made a cut a sentence snowman book. The children sequenced pictures and sentences to show how to build a snowman. I made fun step books and cut them into the shape of a snowman for that little touch of novelty.
How fun is this song? We used this song during math to build number combinations for 5. We also used it as a center! The kids are reading, singing, and making number combinations all at the same time.
This was a super fun game. The kids work with a partner and use unifix cubes to compare who has more. To play the game, each child breaks their cubes in half. They place one half of the cubes on the game board and compare. Spin the spinner to see who wins. Record the results on the recording page.
We learned about the 4 seasons and how winter fits in. We made this 4 seasons tree map where we recorded information about each season. The kids made their own lift the flap craftivity. Under each tree flap, they recorded information about the seasons.
A true class favorite! The kids lay the cards in an array showing only the blank card for each suit. The first player turns over one card. They look at the array and located the position where that card belongs. They pick up the card that is laying in that position and replace it with the card in their hands. Continue until all the cards are face up in the correct position.
This is such an easy game that we can play all year and just change the clip art and dice to create new games. To play, put the marker in the middle of the strip. The first child rolls the dice and moves the marker that many spaces towards themselves. Then, the second child rolls the dice and moves the marker that many spaces towards themselves. See who can move the marker off of the strip first.
Here are a few more games that are super easy and can be played all year just by changing the standard and the clip art. "I have who has" is a old time favorite. "Roll, say, keep" is another game that is great for early finishers. To play, put one of the snowballs in each of the squares on the snowy game board.  Roll a dice. Locate that square on the game board. Read the word on the snowball in the square. Move the square off the game board and replace it with another snowball.
 This is a great way to teach measurement, comparisons, and counting all at the same time. The kids use the snowmen to measure how tall they are and how tall their friend is. Record the results. 
Another fun all year game is this number line game.  To play the game give the child a number line. Invite them to put a snowflake on each numeral.  Make a game piece by attaching a paper clip to the back of a snow kid. Invite the children to roll the dice. Move the snow kid down the number line that many spaces. Remove the snowflake. Roll again. The child can move forward or backwards on the number line as they capture all of the snowflakes.
These are 4 of the titles from the January Guided Reader unit. We used them to help us develop schema, since most of them have never even seen snow!
These cut a sentence books are simple yet meaningful. The kids cut apart a mixed up sentence. They get the sentence in order. The kids are learning to look for the capital letter to begin the sentence and the period to end the sentence.  They manipulate the remaining words until the sentence makes sense. Then, they find the picture to match the sentence.
This is a fun survey graph, perfect for The Snowy Day.  The kids take a survey to see which activity their friends would like to do on a snowy day! Perfect way to practice using a graph to compare!
All of these activities are included in this special priced Winter Mega Unit. For this weekend only, this mega bundle will be nearly 50% off. The regular price for this bundle would be $42. You can grab it up for $25.  This special price lasts until midnight Sunday.
Now...what about that MEGA Giveaway:
As we are teaching all of those fabulous activities don't you find yourself sitting on the floor, crawling around, etc. Are you doing things that you would not want to do in your Sunday best? Yet, we want to look professional! I have found the answer...LuLaRoe! Are you addicted yet? Have you heard of their "to die for" leggings? Megan has fueled her obsession, which she has now passed onto me, by opening her own LulaRoe Boutique. This is Ginny, Megan and me all sporting our LuLaRoe!
You can win $10 to Megan's LulaRoe store and $10 to my tpt store or the Winter Mega Bundle. We will pick 5 different winners on Monday!
Here's all you have to do to be entered win:
Follow Kindergals on Facebook!
Follow Kindergals on Instagram!
Join Megan's LuLaRoe Boutique on Facebook!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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