KinderGals: December 2012

## Monday, December 31, 2012

### Happy New Year

It's almost that time! Most of us will head back to work on Monday. I love having a "Happy New Year's" party my first day back. Here are some pictures from last year. Instead of starting right into a new topic, we spend that first day back learning all about the customs of New Year's Day.
Hockey or Football Survey Graph
For one of our math centers the children did a survey graph. They asked their friends if they would rather watch football or hockey on New Years Day. After asking their friends, they create a graph to show the results. Lastly, they write their analysis.
Ordinal Number Trinket Cakes
The children create ordinal number trinket cakes. I folded a piece of long construction paper in half. Cut slits in the top half. Invite the children to glue down the color cupcakes onto each flap. Under each flap glue a trinket that is hiding inside of the cake. The children complete the recording page by lifting the flaps and recording which trinket is in each cupcake. The cool thing...everyone's will be different depending on the order they placed their trinkets.
In the morning when the kids come in, we pretend it is New Year's Eve. We count down until 12 noon. That is our New Year's Eve Celebration. This is a great way to connect the number 12! We talked all about 12, tally marks, dominoes, ordinals, etc.
What Do You Eat on New Year's Day?
Maybe it's a southern thing, but on New Year's Day we eat black eyed peas, cornbread and turnips. The truth is, I must not be southern, because I don't really like any of those foods. But, my kids would never know it! We make cornbread at school using the Jiffy mix cornbread. We either have canned (if I'm in charge) blackeyed peas, or fresh ones (if a parent is in charge)!
The kids really amaze me. Some don't want to taste either...I never force it! But, most love it! After eating the cornbread and black eyed peas, the children make a face. In the mouth, they draw peas, cornbread, both or neither. We used the faces to create a double bubble map.
The kids made theirs as we went along.
Countdown to New Year's Day
On a strip of black paper, the children sequence the numerals 10-0. I glue the strip onto a horn like in the photo above. When we count down to New Year's, the kids blow their horns.
New Year's Day Party Hats
But, we don't just blow our horns. The kids each make a face like the one above. When it's time to count down, they put the face in front of their face and place the horn in their mouth. Now they are ready for a party!
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New Year's Day Circle Map
It isn't a celebration without a little bit of glitter. The kids each make their own mirror ball by covering a circle with silver glitter. On the circle map, we write all the words that define New Year's. Then, we glue the circle map onto the mirror ball.
Our Year In Review Tree Map
We made a tree map by thinking back to each month we have been in school. We thought about something we did each month to record on the tree map.
Firecracker Cut a Sentence Book
In one of the literacy centers, the kids did a firecracker cut a sentence book.

These activities are from my Hooray for New Year’s Day Unit.

Here’s to a great year!

## Sunday, December 30, 2012

### So where have I been…..

Oh my goodness…It has been nearly 3 weeks since I did a blog post. This has been a crazy few weeks. Right before Christmas, Andy took me to NYC for the weekend! We are only a 3 hour drive away, so this GA girl wanted to see Christmas—New York style. And let me say, they didn’t disappoint!  We went to see Wicked and Mary Poppins (Wicked has to be the best play I have ever seen!), walked through many parks all decked out for the holidays, ate way too much food and did a little shopping (well maybe more than a little!)

Then, we headed to GA to spend the holidays “at home”! It was great to spend some time with the kids and my mom and sisters as well as catch up with a few friends. The time just went by too quickly and I kept thinking it was almost over! On Christmas morning Andy made our traditional breakfast—pancakes! I’m glad I married someone who could cook. If they waited on me to cook something…we would starve!
For those of you who don’t know, (Is there really anyone I haven’t told?), Andy and I are going to be first time grandparents. So after the holidays, we went to “First Glimpse” with Megan and Nick to see if they were going to have a baby boy or a baby girl. When it was time to reveal the gender of the baby, we all hid our eyes so we couldn’t see. We had the results sealed in an envelope and gave the envelope to Megan’s best friend, Jaime. That was on Thursday. So for 2 long days we waited, And then yesterday, we hosted a Gender Reveal Party at the house and invited Megan’s friends, family and a few of our close friends to share in the good news with us. We had everyone wear pink or blue as to which they thought we were going to have. I thought boy, but voted girl (I need to buy some hair bows.). We had people graph their guess on the clothesline and took their photos with “bows” or '”mustaches”. We ate pink and blue treats! Megan and her friend, Jaime, decorated the box. Friday night Jaime took it home and filled it with balloons to match the sex of the baby! She was the only one who knew. So, at the party, Megan and Nick opened the box. And, they are having a…..

BOY! We are all beyond excited!

TToday, I got back to work and met up with my partner in crime, Michele, to work on Unit 7 for Reader’s Workshop. We went to Panera Bread, had lunch and then took up their table space until 5:00! I love to work with her. After catching up on girl talk, we spent the afternoon talking about reading and how we think children learn to read, how to sequence the next unit, what the mini lessons should be, and what “pieces” do we need to make for the new unit! The new unit, yet to be named, will focus on ways to figure out words and  author’s craft! We will now set to work, with us each doing our part. We then put it all together and check to see that everything flows like we want it. It is a long process, but I think it really makes for a great unit!

## Monday, December 3, 2012

### Look who I got to see and what’s new in reading…

What a cuh-razy two weeks! Last week I was in IL for the Kindergarten conference and got to see Jack Hartmann. “I love me some Jack Hartmann music!!” He was the keynote speaker and brought the house down with his upbeat songs including the Vowel Sound Hound Dog and the Penguin Dance. You can find his music (here). I love his “Vowel Sound Hound dog” song so much I made a little music book to use along with it. You can see it (here).

Also, at the IL kindergarten conference I was able to connect with my good friend, Kathy Griffin. Now ya’ll know I am not a technology queen. In fact I am quite challenged in that department. But, Kathy is beyond smart! She has made multimedia files for smart boards or any type of digital projector. If you are looking for ipad activities, songs, books, or games…she has those too! You can check them out in her tpt store (here).

This week I started in TN for the Destination Common Core! When I checked in the hotel there was this beautiful tree in the lobby.

Then, I looked up and look at what I saw!! Loved it, a cowboy hat for the tree topper! Yee Haw!

If you came to any of the conferences when I first started presenting, you might recognize this girl! This is my sweet friend, Wendy. We actually presented together for a few years. Then, Wendy stepped back from presenting while she raised her young family. But, she is now living in TN, so she made the trip to Nashville to hang out for a few days. This is one super creative teacher! She has started a blog called Outrageous Fun in Room 321. She is also selling her things in tpt. She has a new super cute Christmas Pack that is way cheap! You can check it out (here!)

I’m loving my new Destination Common Core Workshop! Those Tennessee teachers rocked it! Look at all the teachers that came! We spent two days together and they were a blast!

Next week I will be in San Antonio and Dallas for my other seminar…DI for the Little Guy! If you haven’t registered and are looking for a fun day—you can check it out. Maybe you can even teach me a “Texas Boot Scootin Dance!”

And last, but not least, Michele and I have finished Reader’s Workshop Unit 6! We are super excited about this unit because we both love to teach non fiction text and this unit is all about non fiction! During the holidays we will be getting together to hammer out Unit 7! I just love working with her and all the brainstorming that we can do over pizza! These are just some of the things in Unit 6. Click on the picture to see more.

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