KinderGals: November 2014

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Peek at My (our) Week-Christmas (trees), Freebees and More Travel

This post is just what you need to get ready for the Christmas Season! It has a week worth of lesson plans, 2 freebees, an interactive writing lesson, and the cutest gifts you will ever give your kids! Get ready....the fun, and craziness, of December is here!
Let the count down and craziness begin! Yep, 15 days of pure, no holding back, gotta love it….craziness!  I love working with teachers, but, this is the time of the year that I miss the classroom the most! No other profession allows you to spend an entire month watching the excitement build. To be quite honest, until Matthew was born last year, Christmas morning just hadn’t been the same since I left the classroom. The build up,the excitement that only children can bring…pure sweetness.
So, what is Megan doing in her room this week? It’s hard to believe that we are finishing up Unit 4 for Reader’s Workshop. We are now meeting with all the children for guided reading during the work time! Our kids are loving the nonfiction books that we made. My friend Bert put it best…my struggling readers feel so empowered! They have the same book as their “smartie” friends—the same pictures, the same features, only the level of text is different!
We are also finishing up our mini unit on list making and pattern writing. I love the pattern writing. Each child feel like a writer! It is a high success unit! Here is a sample of what pattern writing looks like.
workshops Jan 041
week 16 Christmas
We are mostly using ideas about Christmas Trees this week. See below for links to the freebees! We are going to talk about using our senses to figure out what is in a Christmas gift on Monday and Tuesday during Science. What does it feel like? and What does it sound like?
We started a new Math Attack Unit this week for the December/January theme.
You can download a copy of the lesson plans here to save for future reference!
Here is a picture from last year where we made the gingerbread houses. I bought 3 kits. Each child was able to decorate one part of the gingerbread house. Then, a parent volunteer helped to “glue” them together!
Scroll to the bottom of this post to snag this free file. There are more activities for this song in our Trees Unit.
Here is an interactive writing activity we did a few years back. You can read more about how to do it (here).
You might have started thinking about gifts for your kids. These are by far the best gifts we ever gave.
Here’s how:
  • We used a shower board from Home Depot and cut it into lap board sizes.
  • Then, we hot glued ribbon along the edges.
  • We used a paint pen and wrote their names.
  • Finally, we attached a dry erase marker with a velcro dot!
I remade the Christmas Math Game Pack this week. If you already own it, be sure and go to your “my purchases” section on tpt to get the updates.
I also remade the Christmas Literacy Game Pack.
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Do Your Kids Like Each Other?

Do the kids in your class like each other? Last year, I had a group that really needed some positive motivation to get along. I created these "good friend" badges to help highlight students who were being good friends! At the end of the academic segment, I would highlight that student and explain to the other boys and girls what the student did to earn the award. They got to wear the badge all day! At the end of the day, I would take off the badge and put the sticker on them. This made sure their parents knew that we were supporting positive friendships in our classroom.

I hope this helps you establish good friendships in your classroom!
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Monday, November 17, 2014

Student Lead Conferences

This year I have a new administrator. I just LOVE her. She has decided to implement student-led conferences on all grade levels. At first, I was very apprehensive! Now, my kids and I are SO excited.
Here is an excellent example of a primary grade student-led conference:

I have found that it has really made my kids excited about their learning. One of my sweeties said to me today, "Mrs. Merrell, I am going to put EVERYTHING I am good at in my conference folder."

I created a few things to make conference planning easier.
First, I sent these two notes home. The first note explains the idea of at student-led conference to the parents.
The second note was for the parents to sign up for a conference.

 Then, we got to work actually planning what the students would share during their conference. I created a binder to house all of there work.
Then, I created a divider for each child.
Next, behind each child's name, I put 4 different sheet protectors. In each sheet protector, the child will have their learning target and their work sample for that target. This is what they will actually share with their parents.
 Right now, I have only made target pages for math, reading, language arts, and writing. We plan on adding science and social studies in the spring! 
 I can't wait to see how these go. I will be sure to let you know! Be sure to let us know if you have ever had student-led conferences before. I'll take any advice and pointers I can get!!
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Sunday, November 16, 2014

Peek at My Week-Thanksgiving

Going to keep this short and sweet today…I’m kinda overwhelmed with life! Ever been there?
In reading we are still working on book patterns and in writing we are continuing our list writing unit. We are using nonfiction text for our guided reading groups.
Our centers and small groups are centered around Thanksgiving theme.
In Math we are starting our new unit on Number Combinations.  Sorry so short…but it’s the best I can do.  You can download these plans (here). Hop on over to Deedee’s blog to see what other bloggers are doing this week.
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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Peek at My Week Veterans Day—New Writing Unit

Here’s a little peek at what is happening in Megan’s room this week! Remember you can download this lesson plans (here) to save them for future reference!
During Reader’s Workshop we are starting to look at different types of patterns and how we can use those to help us retell stories.
So excited to start a new unit in Writer’s Workshop. We are starting our list making unit. I just love this unit because the kids feel so successful. This week we are just starting with “What are Lists?” and generating ideas of things we could make lists of.
Slide1Have you tired the Non-fiction guided reading units? Our kids are absolutely loving them…and so are we! This week we are using the “Veterans Day” and the “Where Does Wool Come From?” books. 
Slide2We are mostly using Veterans Day as our source of ideas this week. Can’t wait until Friday to make the wreath cookies and to do the gravity sort!
In Math small group we are finishing up Unit 3: Counting and Comparing. The games this week are a repeat from last week…except instead of comparing sets the children will compare numerals. Next week we are moving on to Unit 4: Combinations to 5
Be sure and hop over to Deedee’s blog to see what other teachers are doing this week, too!
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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Peek at my Week 13-Finishing Up Fall and Looking ahead to Veteran’s Day

Maybe it's because I was raised in a military family, but this day is very meaningful to me.  My dad served in several wars serving as a medic in the Air Force. This post has some of the activities I do with my young kinders to share the importance of this day.

What a weekend!! Went to Lane’s Packing Plant, out to lunch, Halloween get together and dinner with the kids, trick or treating, Pumpkin Destruction Day at Rock Ranch, birthday dinner for Andy, and now spending the entire day on my computer!
YOU CAN DOWLOAD THESE PLANS (HERE) AND SAVE THEM TO YOUR COMPUTER FOR FUTURE REFERENCE. There are also links to all of the resources mentioned.
We are excited about tomorrow…we start my favorite unit..Discovering Patterns. We are really working on level A text to show children how they can use patterns to help them figure out words in various positions in the sentence.
In Writer’s Workshop we decided to spend a week reviewing all the things that writers do to “Help the Reader”. Next week we are moving on to Lists.
We are finishing up our October Non Fiction Guided Reading Unit this week and will start on the November Unit next week.
Our centers and small groups this week are a combinations of apples, pumpkins, and fall. Even though we had a cold weekend, Fall is really just getting started in the south. The leaves are turning and the temp is cooling so now is the perfect time for the kids to make connections to all that we have learned the last few weeks.
We are finishing up our study of the numerals 0-10 and will start on the teens next week. This isn’t just a numeral recognition activity, but a deeper level of understanding…exactly what does that numeral represent and what are the different ways to use the numerals mathematically. 
This week in Social Studies we will read some books about Veterans Day (yes, there should NOT be an apostrophe), check out the internet for resources, and see what else we can find to help us learn all about Veterans. We will make our Veteran paper doll and start making our non fiction books. 
Here are a few things we did last year. Next week we will do these and many other Veterans Day activities so come back to see next week…. Smile
Now, hop on over to Deedee’s blog to take a peek at her week and the week of other bloggers as well.
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