KinderGals: March 2014

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How To Use Dual Monitors with Your Computer

Do you use a dual monitor? I am LOVING mine. It took me a while to join the team, even though my husband has always used one. As I was watching him work it sure looked easier to click and drag from one screen to the next than opening and closing windows like I was doing. So you might ask, “What took you so long to get that second monitor?” WEEEELLLLLL, as you know if you read my blog, it comes at no surprise that I am not the most tech savvy person…and that’s saying it lightly!!!   I hate not knowing how to do things for myself, but  I finally sucked it up and asked him if I could do that using the tv that sits on my desk. He said, YES!
If I can do it, you can too! So here’s what you have to know…
Slide1First of all your monitor either has a RGB (red, green, blue) plug or a HDMI plug depending on the monitor you are using. You second monitor has to have the same plug. Since mine was HDMI, I purchased a HDMI cable from Best Buy. The cable plugs into the HDMI plug on the computer and on the second monitor. It really is that easy.  If you have RGB you will buy an RGB cable. (HMMMM I only know these things because I am married to the biggest tech nerd! Smile )
And what do I reeeaaaallllyyyy love? If you look at the picture, right there on the remote control there is an HDMI button and a TV button. So I can change back and forth from tv to second monitor just what a push of a button.
Here are some of the ways I have used the second monitor already…Slide2
1. I love having two power point presentations open at the same time. It makes it easy to compare, cut and paste….
2. I love being able to keep the power point open and open up my documents folder in the other window. I can select from that window if I want to open another document without closing the first power point.
3. I am able to keep my clip art folder open while I am working to see what clip art I have available. So if I am making something with a “camping theme” I can see all of my camping clip art without going to insert or opening another window on top of the power point.
4. I am able to open my email in one window and a power point in the other window. Then, I can click and drag the photos that are attached in the email over to the power point.
I am sure there are tons of more ways to use the dual monitor. How about you? Share away….How are you using a dual monitor?
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring PEEK at my WEEK-FREE Writing Anchor Chart

Even though today has been rainy and cold, what a beautiful spring day we had yesterday! Spent the day at a mountain bike race with my son and visiting with my daughter in law and her mom. I asked on facebook how others were spending their day. I wasn’t surprised when a lot of teachers were taking care of household chores, chauffeuring kids, or working on lesson plans. I was most jealous of the teacher on a great beach vacation and most amused by the teacher who was helping her husband catch frogs for a research project! It was most exciting to hear so many of y’all make reference to working on something we had done in a workshop.
I have to admit I really wanted to come home from church and curl up and take a nap. It was raining, dark and I wasn’t on baby duty! Instead I found myself sitting in front of the computer. 
I finished up the Peek at My Week for Megan’s class.  Soooo glad that we are talking about Spring. Maybe that will help keep winter at bay. Also really excited to be starting a new unit in Reader’s Workshop!
In Reader's Workshop we are "Revving Up!"
During this unit of study you will teach your students to “rev up” to read. The unit begins with lessons that teach students the importance of getting ready to read a book before actually starting to read the words. After students understand how to get ready to read, you will teach them lessons about using letter sounds to figure out words.
In Writer' Workshop we are moving on to "How to..." Writing. You can grab this free anchor chart at the bottom of this post.
Many of our literacy centers are based on our Spring Theme.  But, a few of the activities, Magnify It; Cut, Stack, Staple, Read; and Cut a Sentences are repeat favorite. I love it when I can repeat the same familiar activities. This keeps the instructions to a minimum.
 Math Activities continue with our Spring theme.

If  you want to enlarge these plans, go (here) to print them out.

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Five Fun Activities for Saint Patrick's Day and a FREE Game

Ever feel like you teach from one holiday to another? I love celebrating all.the.holidays! This post has 5 fun activities that we do to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day!
Once again on a Sunday night I find myself in a hotel room…this time in Charlotte, NC.  To say the least, last week was a whirlwind of a week. I started off the week in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the two day Common Core Seminar. Can I just say, I don’t think I have ever seen that much snow. It was so deep that I actually looked into a snow bank outside of the hotel room window. I was able to catch up with my good SDE friend, Kim, and I also met a new friend Jill from ABC’s and Polkadots.  Tuesday night Andy flew into Grand Rapids and Wednesday morning we headed out to Chicago…more cold and snow! 
The ASCD Early Childhood Conference in Chicago is a HUGE conference…1,500 teachers!  Good Golly! This is AN EVENT to say the least….Lots of teachers, great sessions, and super nice location, PLUS….. I get to see some of my favorite people! There’s Kim Jordano from KinderbyKim, Kathy Griffin from Kathy Griffin’s Teaching Strategies, Shari Sloane from, Deanna Jump from Mrs. Jump’s Class, Deedee Wills from Mrs. Will’s Kindergarten, and Linnea that keeps us all straight! Of course Andy was there, too. Someone had to take the picture!
Saint Patrick's Day Fun
Do You Believe in Leprechauns?
This is a fun center for math. Invite the children to take a survey from their friends by asking them if they believe in Leprechauns. As they ask their friends, they should make a tally mark in the yes or no column. Once they have asked several friends (no more than 8 for either column), they color the graph to match their tally marks. Now they are ready to analyze their data. This is great practice for teaching ways to compare data! The favorite part, walking around and asking their friends!
Sharing the Gold
This is another fun math center. You need a game board with 4 sections, a dice with multiples of 4, and some counting pieces. Invite the children to roll the dice and count that many pieces of gold. Invite the children to try strategies to determine how many pieces of gold belong in each pot. Once they have a "fair share", they record the share on the recording page.
Spin a Parade
One more math game...Saint Patrick's Day is often celebrated with many parades. For this activity, the children will create a parade and indicate the ordinal position of each thing in the parade. First, invite the children to spin the spinner.  Select a clip art picture of whatever the spinner lands on and place it on the parade game board.  Continue until the game board is full. (They many have several of the same thing depending on where the spinner lands.) Glue paper versions of the parade. Sequence the ordinal position cards and record the ordinal position for each thing in the parade.
Where is the Gold?

This fun cut a sentence book is perfect for Saint Patrick's Day and teaching sentence structure. Make each child a pot of gold book. Invite them to cut off the first sentence. We are working on phrases such as "said the girl." The children put that phrase at the end of the first line. Manipulate the remaining words to complete the sentence.  Find the picture to match the sentence and glue it under the flap. Repeat with all 4 sentences.
The Shamrock _ock Book

This is a fun, easy literacy center. Make a book for each child.  Invite the children to cut apart the pictures. Glue one picture on each page. Now, decide what the "onset" needs to be added to "ock".
These ideas are from this Hooray for Saint Patrick's Day unit.
Sight Word St. Patrick's Day Game
You can grab this fun St. Patrick's Day Game at the bottom of this blog post. Here's how to play:
Spread the gold coin cards out on the floor.
Pick two children and give each one of them a fly swatter with a leprechaun picture.
Say a sight word.
Invite the two children to find the coin with the sight word.
"Swat" the gold coin with the fly swatter.
Peek at My Week
Here are my St. Patrick’s Peek at my Week Plans. You can download them for free by clicking on the image.
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