Video segment about me, by the school district

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Color Mixing and Freebies

Book Cover of White Rabbit's Color Book
Hello everyone!  I'm doing my color theme right now at school, and I don't think any color theme is complete unless you bring in some science and talk about mixing.  Most of you know about the book Mouse Paint - I've done a previous post about that book.  But there's a book that I think is also super cute: White Rabbit's Color Book by Alan Baker.  My kids also noticed right away that this book is very similar to Mouse Paint.  In fact, I didn't even ask them the question.  They just started blurting out "Wow!  Mrs. Dudley, did you know that this book is just like that other book, Mouse Paint?"  I just smiled and said "I wonder how that happened?"  And then the kids giggled because they knew I planned it.

The night before I read the book to my class, I made this sheet where the kids have to color the final rabbit in each row to show what the rabbit looked like after dunking himself in paint each time.

I also have this new color series of books that I made and posted on TPT:  Interactive Color Guided Reading Books.  I've been using them in the class and they've really helped my students learn their color words as well as their sight words.

As I was thinking about this post, I remembered that I had made a color mixing guided reading book, once upon a time.  So this morning, I searched and - sure enough - I found it.

It's so funny to me that I have so much stuff I actually have to start cataloging what I've already made so that I don't make it again!  Do any of you have to do that?

Since we're all going crazy with Common Core right now, I thought I would also put in the language arts standard that I think relates best to this topic:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.K.3:  With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

Does anyone know if cause and effect is anywhere in the kindergarten reading Common Core standards?  It seems to me that that's actually what color mixing would be, but I couldn't find it.  Maybe it's in the first grade standards?

Please let me know if any of these freebies are helpful.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Counting Core Comparing Numbers

I'm not sure if there's a place that any of you know of to find mathematical concept books.  Since I didn't know of one I researched many number books and found these to be more specifically about comparing.  The Common Core standards that I'm doing right now are:

K.CC.6:  Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.

K.CC.7:  Compare two numbers between 1 and 10 presented as written numerals.

If your children already know numbers 1 to 12, I found that giving a pair of students twelve-sided dice really helps them to discuss which number is more and which number is less.  Tip: If your students don't know numbers, it's better to give them cards where they can count groups of objects.  I made this ten-frame comparing book that works really nicely to clear up any misconceptions about more and less, and to show them how to represent numbers in several different ways.  I hope you enjoy this freebie!

I also went looking on the internet for helpful videos and found these:

There's a really cute song by Miss Jenny called "Alligator Greater/Less", from the album "We Love Math".  It matches perfectly with the concept of more and less.

Finally, I really enjoy using technology in my classroom and these web sites are free and easy for kindergartners to use: player.html?movie=sfw42183

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Writing Fundamentals

I feel like I'm coming back to a long-lost friend.  I don't know why, but I have to say that after 22 years of teaching, this year has been the most overwhelming.  Friends, why is this happening?  Are you feeling overwhelmed?  Is it Common Core?  Is it that we're testing way too much?

Anyway, we started Writing Fundamentals this year and I've been pulling my hair out.  I'm desperately trying to understand how to get kindergartners to write more.  In my struggles, I made up a couple new papers that you all might like.  The book that inspired me was Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk.

The book really stresses that you should write about what you know.  I really appreciate that message.  I mean, it's more motivating to pick your own topics, and you can picture things better if you know the subject matter.  So I thought, why not make up some papers for what you love, what you dream about, and what makes you happy.  These are all topics that my students really got into.  They couldn't wait to go back to their seats and write!

Another thing I just tried yesterday was a lesson on labeling.  Another teacher in my building, Lauren, found this idea on Pinterest.  You write the body part labels in front of the children as they shout out parts of you that they want labeled.  I also asked them what letter the word started with, since this is the beginning of the year.  One little girl even knew how to spell "foot".  It was really fun, and the students went back to their seats with a Body Parts Folder that I created, and proceeded to make their own labeled drawings of their bodies.

Oh, I almost forgot that I used the songs "The Body Rock" and "Body Talk" by Greg & Steve as engagement for the activity.  They worked really nicely to prepare the students for a lesson on body parts and the labeling activity.

I'd love to know some ideas from all of you for early writing.  Please leave a comment below.