Monday, May 30, 2011

Word Wall Linky Party

Ms. M is hosting a linky party for sharing Word Walls.

Posted by Picasa

Picture 1 shows the Word Wall in my Kindergarten classroom. I really didn't like the set up, but you work with what you have. My kiddos also have word walls that sit on their tables while they write, which they love! In Kinder we only have 18 High Frequency words that are a part of our curriculum. I put those up as we introduce each word along with color words, number words and vocabulary words.

Picture 2 shows my 1st grade classroom (before school started). Our reading program introduces at least 8 new High Frequency words each week. Last year I wrote on the back of each word card the theme and week that it is introduced (ie 3.3) which made it nice when I went to organize them at the end of last year. I also had a "Fancy Words" section of the wall. We read Fancy Nancy and talked about "fancy words", then when we came across one while reading we would add it to our wall.

In my new classroom I have a bulletin board that spans almost the entire length of my room so that's were my Word Wall will be. I also retyped my High Frequency words and made them larger and printed them out on bright yellow paper. I may have a kiddo with some vision issues next year so I'm getting prepped just in case.

P.S. - I am loving these linky parties, but I am so sorry for my crummy pictures. They are the only ones I have that really show my word wall or calendar, and my classroom is now a pile of boxes and furniture a thousand miles away from me.

Calendar Wall Linky Party

Little Miss Kindergarten is hosting a linky party for sharing your Calendar Walls.

Posted by Picasa

This past school year (2010-2011) I set up 2 classrooms. I started teaching 1st grade at one school and 5 days into the school year I was displaced. I had to switch schools and grade levels. I ended up teaching Kindergarten at a different school in my district (which I LOVE).

Pictures 1 and 2 show my calendar area in my Kindergarten classroom. I have a pocket chart calendar, it's wonderful and easy to use. I use calendar cover-ups from Creative Teaching Press. They are bright, colorful and create a different pattern for each month. The calendar set I have came with weather cards, and I found a "Today Is_______" set at the Dollar Tree.

We start off Calendar by singing our "Days of the Week" song and "Macarena Months" (both by Dr. Jean), then I pull out name sticks to choose kiddos to come up and help. The helpers get to do jobs like tell us what number comes next, what the pattern is, pick actions to show the pattern, fix the days of the week, choose the type of voice we will say the date in etc. We also count the number of days we have been in school by adding a number to our number line, a straw to our place value pockets, tally marks, and money. We also dance, sing and count by 1's, 5's, 10's and 2's.

Picture 3 shows my calendar area in my 1st grade room. We had the same basic routine, except the kiddos ran calendar, we also did "number collections" (different ways to make the date), and rolled (giant) dice to create number sentences.

Next year I'm hoping to take our different Math Standards and incorporate one activity a month with things like guessing the shape, naming coins, solving and creating number sentences.

I can't wait to see what everyone else does!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Summer To-Do List Linky Party

Littlest Learners is hosting a linky party. The topic is Summer To-Do lists. I decided to join in . . . . .so here we go. . . . .

Personal List

1.) Visit my family and friends in Washington State {check!}
2.) Help my BFF with Relay for Life. She is the event chair for this fabulous fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
3.) Spend a week as a counselor at a Youth Camp with teens from all over the northwest United States.
4.) Spend a week in Kotzebue (a village on the Bering Sea) helping to coordinate a renovation project and working with the youth in the village.

and of course my School List

5.) Create new literacy stations to go along with my Houghton Mifflin curriculum. I'm going to try doing workstations next year with my kiddos.
6.) Work on math stations (and participate in the Debbie Diller book study hosted by Mrs. Wills and other fabulous bloggers).
7.) Create labels for my classroom library (genre and authors)
8.) Work on my poetry folders for next year. I want to do a poem a week with my kiddos, so I'm going to start prepping the charts I will use for my whole group lessons.
9.) Get back in the building as soon as I can so I can start unpacking and organizing my new classroom (after being in the 1st grade pod this year, I am moving down to the Kindergarten hallway ao I get to be by my teammates!)

Friday, May 27, 2011

What skills are "essential" for incoming Kindergartners

A few months ago I was at the Public Library looking for books to go with our theme when I overheard a conversation between a parent and one of the Librarians. The parent was concerned that their child wasn't going to be "academically ready" for Kindergarten. She was wondering what skills her 2 year-old needed to have before starting Kindergarten.

I've been mulling over this question for awhile now, especially as my mind starts thinking about the start of next school year.

What do you think are the "essential" skills that kiddos should have when entering Kindergarten?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's Been Awhile

Sooooo, it's been awhile since I posted. I got caught up in the whirlwind of End of the Year testing, Report Cards, Field Trips and all the other events that pop up at the end of the school year.

I'm now in the "lower 48" visiting my family, and tomorrow I will be visiting my old school and reading to the Kindergarten classes. I am also going to be loading up on supplies at my favorite teaching store and Hobby Lobby (two stores we don't have up in the frozen tundra). So be prepared for some posts about new ideas and projects.