KinderGals: March 2013

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Only in California will you see…., Kim’s Morning Circle Time, and How Long Have You Been in Your Classroom?

So what will you only see in California? (Well Maybe in Florida, too!) The kids hang their book bags outside!!! Yep, that’s right…outside. Kim has a door that leads out onto a covered porch and paved play area that is all fenced in. The kids can actually work outside during the day! The weather was just beautiful, mid 70’s. So I asked, “How many days are like this?” Her answer, “Probably 75%!” JEALOUS!!!! So what’s in the other photos…Top left….when the teachers blow the whistle on the playground, everyone has to sit down. Then, they were able to give directions. What a great way to get their attention in case of an emergency instead of having children run and line up. It was pretty awesome to watch! Top right…a view inside Kim’s room. Bottom left….Kim’s kids earn leopard spots for good behavior!Slide18
Kim calls her helper of the day, the Lifeguard. They have this special lifeguard stand to sit in during the day. They also assign all of the jobs for the day. Then, they read the jobs out loud to the rest of the kids. Great reading practice!
The weather wizard checks the weather and then reports to the class. She took the weather notebook and colored in the graph. (She wasn’t coloring in December, she was flipping to find the right month.)
Another job was the poetry card holders. There are four of them. They each select a poetry card to hold and those are the poems that the class says that day. Remember Kim’s poetry notebook that some of the kids were reading from in my post on Reader’s Workshop? Well, these are the poems they are reading. Kim has a Poetry Pack on tpt that has all the student pages and a photo of the large cards. It doesn’t have the patterns for the cards. There were lots of other jobs too, but these are the only photos I took. So why didn’t I get more? Well, I had a job, too. Kim has been in the same classroom for 20 years. Her school is undergoing a totally gut remodeling. They are moving one grade level at a time to portables while they gut and redo their rooms. And guess who has to move to a portable now? Yep, Kim. So I spent an entire day packing boxes. I thought I had a lot of stuff….no she has a LOT of stuff!
Remember the books “Where’s Waldo?” Well here’s a new book, “Where’s Kim?”
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Reader’s Workshop—What’s Your Format?

Are you doing Reader's Workshop? As I present around the country teachers share with me WHY they aren't doing it...they don't know how to get it started, what it should look like, what is the format. Here are some pictures taken in my friend, Kim Jordano's, room of Reader's Workshop in action!
While I was in Kim’s room, she wanted me to model a Reader’s Workshop mini lesson. Kim and her team are using the units that Michele and I have been writing. They are just getting their feet wet and are on unit 2. This is a great time of year to give it a try. If you aren’t doing Reader’s Workshop, now would be a good time for you to try, too. Why? Because your kiddos are already under control and if you mess up…oh well…they already have it anyways! Then, in the fall it won’t all be so new to you and you will feel more confident. Anyways….back to the lesson…
Here’s the format for the mini lesson:
1. Connect: “Remember Yesterday when we….” So here I reviewed all the ways they have learned how to read a book with their friends using the anchor chart “Reading with Friends” from unit 2.
2. Teach: “So today I’m going to show you how…” So here I told them that good readers like to share and talk about books with friends. And one of the things we like to share is our favorite part. “Now let me show you what I mean….” So here I modeled finding my favorite part in a story that Kim had read to them earlier. I took a post it note and put it on that page. I told them I put it there so that I could remember what I wanted to share, but that then I could keep reading until it was partner time. Then I called up one of Kim’s kids to sit back to back with me while I showed them what it should look like. Finally, I had Kim signal that it was partner time and we turned side by side to share our favorite parts by turning to the page with the post it note.
3. Active Engagement: “Now let me see you try….” So we gave them each a book and a post it note. We gave them a few minutes to look through the book to find their favorite part and mark it with the post it note. Kim then signaled partner time and they turned side by side to share their favorite parts with their elbow partner by turning to the page with the post it note. We gave them their sticky note folders and had them place the sticky note right in the spot for favorite part. They then drew a heart on the sticky note.
4. Link: “So remember boys and girls, today and every day,good readers….” So here I reminded them that good readers think about their favorite part while they are reading so that they will be ready to share it with a partner. And, that they can mark it with a post it note so that they won’t forget and can keep reading. “So boys and girls, what do good reader’s do?” Here I have them say it back to me…
Then it was Application Time….
Here Kim’s kids were reading with friends. They had already read privately back to back, but I didn’t snap a picture. Loved the two girls reading their poetry journal and the alphabet card together! They were all so engaged, I could tell that Kim had done a great job teaching those lessons! They knew the expectations!
Here some friends were taking turns with the same book and some friends were also taking turns each reading a book from their own book box. The reason you don’t see the kids using the post it notes, is these pictures were actually taken the day before during application time before we had introduced the sticky notes!Slide27
Here are Kim’s book boxes. She has a poetry notebook, an alphabet card, a sight word card, their phonics readers, leveled readers, and books they have made themselves.
So what’s the teacher doing during this time? Well, she is working with kids! She might be walking around conferencing with individual kids or partners, she might be doing guided reading, she might be directing book shopping. As Kim’s kids were shopping for new books, I was listening in. I was impressed with their talk to each other. They were showing books to their friends and talking about why it would be a good choice for them! Loved it. BTW, Kim did direct them to a table holding books with a certain colored dot for them to shop from. This is how she levels her books so that each book is a good fit for their level. Then, they decide if it is a good fit, by interest.
Now it’s share time….
We called the kids back to the carpet and talked about all the good things we saw. Then, I showed them the new anchor chart that says “What can I share with a friend?” And we talked about sharing our favorite parts.
So how’s your reader’s workshop going? I just love this time of year when they are putting all the pieces together and are really growing as readers. Here are all the units that Michele and I have written:
Unit 1: Blasting Off with Reader’s Workshop
Unit 2: Powerful Partnerships
Unit 3: Digging Deeper
Unit 4: Discovering Patterns
Unit 5: Revving Up
Unit 6: Diving In
Unit 7: Building Foundations
We have bundled some of the units:
Units 1-3
Units 4-6
We are currently working on Unit 8. It is going to cover all the standards about characters, their adventures and experiences, and performing. It should be ready by the end of March.
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Where’s Patty? A Leprechaun Moves In!


This has been the best week! I am in California for the California Kindergarten Conference on Friday/Saturday. Since I was going to be on this side of the country, I flew in on Monday to stay the week with one of my best friends, Kim Jordano, from kinderbykim! You know how when you are teaching you “just know” when you are totally going to be friends with a new teacher to your school? Well, I met Kim at a conference where we were both presenting! And yep, you guessed it….I “just knew”. We have been friends ever since, from all the way across the country! So I’m going to spend a few posts to tell you all about the great things we did/she did in her class! I decided I better start with St. Patrick’s Day since it is fast approaching! So here it goes….

Kim and her teaching partner, have a leprechaun actually move into their room. Each night they add a new piece of doll furniture to a growing collection. The kids are so excited to come in each morning and see what furniture has been added. That cutest little girl ever, is Kim’s precious little girl, Gianna! She is in the kindergarten class next door. Each day this week she was up before us, dressed and ready to go to school. She wanted to find that leprechaun! Her teacher had this special little green flashlight that was a special leprechaun light. They would use it to look around the room to see if they could find the leprechaun. Her teacher also had this special little noise maker…kinda sounded like a fairy noise. She told me that she took it out of a dog toy! She kept it in her pocket and every once in a while she would press it! She told the kids that was the sound leprechauns make! The kids would get really quiet to see if they could see the leprechaun! Oh my word! Talk about fun!


Here are the centers that Kim had planned! The board on the left is how her kids know which area to go to. Hmmmm, didn’t ask her why there are only 4. They visit one area each day so I’m wondering what they do on the 5th day. I’ll have to ask her that tonight! Kim’s reviewing how to use the word bank to do their leprechaun writing.


Top left….they made a mirror for the ABC art book and they did a secret sight word scramble from her packet on tpt  and then wrote their sentences. Top right….they made a shamrock napkin book by cutting the pictures and then they glued them inside the napkin book to write the sentences. They also did their Say it, Clap it, Write it book from her See it, Say it, Sound it packet on tpt. Here they say the word, then they clap the syllables, and finally they stretch out the word. Bottom…First, they made the bubble map of describing words for leprechauns. Then, they used the directed drawing directions from her Draw and Write packet on tpt to draw the leprechaun. Finally, they wrote a piece about leprechauns using the bubble map they made. Love these little stands that she hangs her samples from. Keeps them from getting lost on the table!


Here is a cute math activity  from her Jazzy Math Journal packet on tpt they did for St. Patrick’s Day! You can read more about Kim’s great adventures on her blog over at kinderbykim!

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

Teachers Gone Wild: Dollar Store Style!

What teacher can pass up a good deal at a Dollar Store? So while I was working in Louisiana, these teachers wanted to take a field trip to the Dollar Tree. Look to see what we found!

So while I was  in Baton Rouge for Destination Common Core, some of the teachers invited me to tag along on their Dollar Store Trip! Oh my word!  Now if you know me, you know that I couldn’t have been happier! It is like my all time favorite place to shop! It was a wild and crazy time! I think we filled about 5 carts full of things. While shopping we ran into a veteran teacher who spotted us as teachers right away. The lovely lady in the lower right hand corner taught school for 45 years! Yep…you heard me…45 years! And she lived to tell about it…
Here are some of the things we bought….
Here’s how to play Easter Bowling. Fill an Easter Egg with sand and hot glue it closed. Then, invite the children to stand up the pins and roll the egg to see how many they can knock down. You can use this for number combinations or for subtraction.
Here are some more “math” finds! With the pill box, use a saw and remove the Friday and Saturday sections. Now remove the large blue letters with nail polish remover. Inside of each section add a two sided counter and seal closed. Invite the children to shake the “fives frame” and record the number combination.
The stickers are used to make addition sentences, story problems, or number combinations.
For language arts here are some of our finds:
The drink stirrers make great pointers.
Add magnetic letters inside of the magnetic cookie tin for making words.
The plastic party favors are great to use for word frames.
More reading ideas: Use an exacto-knife to cut a hole in the frog’s and cub’s mouth. Invite the children to feed them og or ub words.
Use the carrots to make cvc words. on the top of the carrot, around the edge, write various onset letters. Then, on the bottom half write the rime. Have children twist the egg to line up an onset with the rime. Now, write the word.
Use the cars to segment phonemes. Make a “3 space” parking lot. Have children park the cars in the spots as they segment the phonemes of a 3 phoneme word. This is like sound boxes.
Use the photo frames to stretch out words. Place a small toy or word card in the frame part. Now use the dry erase pen to write the word where the message goes.
So have you been doing any dollar store shopping lately? Leave a comment with your favorite purchase!
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Be Careful What You Ask For!!!

Last week when I posted about heading “north” to do some training, I pleaded for a little bit of measurable snow! Well…I got what I asked for! Now, I know for  Minnesota, North Dakota and others that this isn’t a big deal, but to me I finally saw enough snow to measure---7 inches! Many schools in Iowa closed for the day or had a late start so we really wondered if anyone would show up! We set up the registration, put out breakfast, set up the displays and hooked up the computer and began to wait! Well….if the elevator door didn’t just open up and out walked 4 very excited teachers! We told them how surprised we were and we were convinced they would be our only teachers that day. But, while we were suppose to have 100 teachers, 40 teachers we able to brave the weather and meet up for DI for the Little Guy! I had them all pose for a picture to show off their teacher determination!Slide1
That night we headed to Nebraska for the next day! The biggest surprise…some of the teachers who couldn’t make it to Des Moines showed up in Omaha! I also met Missy and her group! She was super excited about the Nebraska Kindergarten Conference in July! Deedee Wills, Shari Slone, and I will be there for two days! I am sure Deedee and Shari are planning great things and I can’t wait to see their workshops! For my part, we are doing a full day of make and take! Yep, you heard it…make and take! We will spend half of the day learning some new literacy ideas and getting to make some of them. Then in the afternoon we will do the same for math! Who’s in?
So what do we talk about at the DI for the Little Guy Conference? Here’s a pictures of the teachers looking at some math story problems. We had been talking about using Bloom’s Taxonomy as a way to go deeper into our standards. So here’s the question…Which problem is at a higher level of Bloom’s? The one on the left? Or the one on the right?
Did you guess right? The one on the left is more challenging. Here’s my thinking:
The story problem on the left works at the Create or Synthesis level of Bloom’s. The kiddos have to create the story problem. The story problem on the right works at the Application or Apply level of Bloom’s. Here the children have to apply what the know about operations to the problem.
Here is another post related to this topic.
In this post I was talking about Conceptual, Pictorial and Abstract Learning? Which do you think these are?
And finally…Shari has out her new CD, Oldies but Goodies! I am going to see her next week in Chicago at the ASCD Conference and I can’t wait to get my copy!!!
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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Guided Reading With Kath’s First Graders

When I was in Kath’s first grade room a few weeks ago, she wanted me to model some guided reading lessons.  I took one of her higher and one of her lower groups. My intention was to show how I can teach the same standard to both groups of kids, just modify a bit. I also wanted to show how I could use nonfiction text to teach the different ways to approach a text.
Guided Reading Lesson (Higher Readers)
Word Work
For our word work time we started off by talking about word endings, er and est.  They had been working with word endings during their phonics and this book was full of them.  After building a few words we looked through the book to see if we could be detectives and find some of them.
Picture Walk
We explored that nonfiction text could answer our questions. So we looked at a few of the photographs in the book and talked about what we thought the author would teach us on that page. Kath had been working on questions words, so we put our thoughts into questions. Then, I gave them each one of the text boxes below. I had them write their question.
Independent Reading
We had now set a purpose for reading. It isn't necessary for the kids to read the entire book. They looked through the book to find a picture where they thought the author might answer that question and read only that page. If it answered the question, they wrote it on the text box, if not they looked for another picture where they thought they might find their answer.
This was a good way to show them that we don’t always read an entire non fiction book, only the part we are interested in or the parts that answer our questions. I did send them off with the book in tow so that they could finish reading the other parts that interested them.
Guided Reading Lesson (Lower Readers)
Word Work
With one of her lower groups, we also looked at word endings, but this time only adding an “s” to words. We were working on the same standard, just at a different level of difficulty. After building some words, we looked through the book to see if we could find any of those words.
Strategy Practice
Kath was doing a lesson on Arctic Animals, so I constructed some pattern text and invited the children to think of Arctic animals to put in each of the boxes. We talked about the text on the page until they noticed the pattern. We talked about how patterns can help us read. Once we figure out the words in the pattern, the rest of the pages were really easy. Then, at the bottom we added a “surprise” ending just like real authors!
Independent Reading
Then, we went back to the book to see if we could find a pattern there. And they did! We worked together on the first page, then I said the rest of the book is going to be so easy because you already know the pattern.
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