KinderGals: December 2014

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year Activities

Each year on our first day back to school, we have a day long Happy New Year’s Celebration! Here are a few of the things we do—Hooray for New Year’s Day!Slide12
I purchased these party horns at the Dollar Tree for each of the kids. Then, after we rang in the “New Year”, I cut off the blower part and we glued the rest of the horn to our New Year’s Day party face. In the speech bubble the kids wrote something they might say to ring in the New Year.
Another thing we did on our first day back after the holiday was to cook black eyed peas and cornbread (that’s how we do it in the south!). Then, the kids created this face. In the mouth, they drew what they wanted to eat: only peas, only cornbread, or both! Then, we used the faces to create this double bubble map.
We also created our own “ball” to drop! This is a great review of a sphere! On the circle map, we wrote words that we had learned that are associated with New Year’s Day/Eve. These ideas are from the resource: Hooray for New Year’s Day.
Here is another post with more pictures of our Happy New Year celebration.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Tips and Ideas From Kim's Seminar

I’m sure as the New Year approaches we are all thinking of New Year’s Resolutions. I have made my share of resolutions---lose weight and exercise more seem to always top the list. As I think about resolutions for 2015, I wanted to think about resolutions that would save time! Yep, that precious thing that we never seem to have enough of--TIME.  How can I spend less time on work and more time on my family and friends, but still be the kind of teacher that I know I want to be? It isn’t in me to “settle” for anything but my best, so doing less has never really been an option.
That is what I love about this seminar…How can we “do it all”—have meaningful, engaging activities, develop higher order thinkers, provide authentic, research based lessons, and still be able to sleep!?!?!?
So what will we do on these two days? I can’t wait to share how using the workshop model of teaching puts the kids back in charge of their own learning! How you can provide quality lessons that target your standards while each child is able to “plug in” right at their own level!
Like…what do you do when some of your kids are writing text and others are still using drawings or scribbles? Or how do I move them from drawers to writers? This chart, along with others that I share, is one way I help my kids make that transition.
Ever try to get kids to really work together? I mean, not just work in the same area or on the same activity, but to be truly engage in meaningful conversations? If I want these conversations to occur, what do I need to do to make that happen? That is another of the many things we will talk about!
We will also visit the Eight Step Process. Ever heard of it? This is a great way to ensure that your teaching is reaching the kids it needs to reach. It makes sure that your fabulous lessons are targeted to the right group of kids and on the standards you need to cover!
Another thing that we can do to save tons of time is to really re-evaluate our center time. How much time are you spending creating centers that have a one shot answer, that take less than 10 minutes for the kids to do but hours for you to prep? Or, how do we move from simply going the “no prep” route and reproducing pages to keep them occupied to a more authentic form of teaching where children are engaged and developing understanding beyond what we thought possible???
How can we use centers as a way to revisit standards that we have already taught but want to maintain? How can we use centers as a way to keep kids busy while we pull small groups of children based on formative assessments to ensure that EVERY child is moving forward?
We will also talk about lots of fun math activities, many of which you can go back and do the very next day! BUT, how can we get the most from each activity—Questions!
The slides in this post are just a few of the many ideas you will see during the two day training!
I hope I will see lots of ya’ll this year while I am on the road in 2015! Each month I try to post where I am going to be, but you can always check the SDE website!
One thing I love about going to seminars myself is that not only do I learn new ideas, but I also realize that many other teachers are struggling with the same issues that I am! It is like a shot in the arm---new ideas, reminder of ideas I have done before but stopped doing, networking with other teachers, and spending a day laughing, learning and loving being a teacher!
Here are a few events from January you might want to check out! Just click on the picture and you can register for any of these events.
Happy Teaching! Living, Laughing, and Loving Teaching
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Peek at My Week-Reindeer and Trains


This is going to be an incredibly short post! Shopping, decorating, wrapping, and parties are taking all my time…and I wouldn’t have it any other way! But, I wanted to give you a quick peek into what we are doing in Megan’s room this week! How exciting to be starting Unit 5 of Reader’s Workshop! This is when things get serious! We are really hitting those reading strategies and habits of good readers! How exciting that all of our kids are now in reading groups! In writing, we are finishing up our mini unit on making lists and writing patterns. Next week we will move on to opinion writing. We are using our train non fiction book as we are going to do the Polar Express this week! Yeah! And….we are also learning all about reindeer!Slide2

Here’s what we are doing in our literacy block and during science and social studies!


And…finally here are our math plans….Remember you can download these plans and save them for later! (here)

Like I said…short and sweet! Be sure and hop over to Deedee’s blog to see what others are doing!

peek at my week button

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