Video segment about me, by the school district

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dr. Seuss is On the Loose!



Hi friends!  I hope this isn't too late for Dr. Seuss' birthday.  This post will contain places to find games, links to people reading books, freebies, and some ideas that worked in my kindergarten class.

Let's start with games, because our kids just love them and so do we!  I found some really great games on the PBS Kids web site.  The games are fabulous for pre-k or kindergarten in my opinion, because the characters are giving the students directions and they're really easy to follow.  I just found this site today!  I'm very excited to try them out tomorrow.  Some of the games cover skills like mapping, visual-spatial, size sequencing, position, shape recognition, and rhyming of course.  Seussville is also cool.  The games on that site are dealing more with coordination, but there are also some really nice activities in PDF format that you can print out for your class.  For first grade there are some rhyming and alphabetical order pages in the Cat in the Hat booklet.  For pre-k and kindergarten there are some mazes and coloring papers.  I'm going to try the rhyming sheet with my middle and top kids; I don't think my low kids would be able to do it.

There's a Wocket in my Pocket is a really cool Dr. Seuss book that I never read before.  I'm really not sure why, because I think it'll make an excellent writing prompt.  I'm just going to give the children the sentence frame "There's a _____ in my _____." and have them complete it using their imagination (for example, "There's a melevision in my television.") and then have the children draw a picture of that.  I'll then put them together to make a class book.  Here is a link to a video of a nice reading of the book:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlmyfyjc7hM.  Did you know that this is the shortest Dr. Seuss book?

We also read Green Eggs and Ham, and I made a comprehension graphic organizer for the kids to distinguish what was in the story and what wasn't in the story.



The students really enjoyed the reading of Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?  They just got so into it and how to make the sounds!  I think this is an excellent book for ESOL children.  I want to add sound effects to the experience - I'll probably make that CD over the weekend.

I made this guided reading book to help the kids remember what books we've read this week.



We also watched the video of Horton Hatches The Egg and had a great discussion about responsibility.  The children were really upset at Mayzie, but in the discussion she still thought it was her egg.  It was very interesting!

Here is a fact sheet about Dr. Seuss that you might find helpful, so that you don't have to spend time looking up all of the information yourself.



I would really enjoy hearing about the things you do for Dr. Seuss' birthday!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Continuing Cupcakes

Wow!  My kids really got into the book If You Give a Cat a Cupcake.  We went around and made up our own story, and my little darlings were just coming up with so many creative ideas - I'm so proud of them!  I can't believe that this is the same group of kids from the beginning of the year who couldn't speak a whole sentence of English.  Here is another freebie that I used to go with the book.  I like making and using these papers because they help me find out if my kids truly are remembering details from the story.



Also, I've been concentrating so much on teaching reading, listening and speaking that I haven't been doing as much with creative writing as I should.  I mean, we did make Valentine's Cards for our friends and family, and that gave them an opportunity to write sentences, but I want to move away from the children copying sentences and get more into completing sentence starters.  So, today I made this sentence starter for the book that they really loved last week.



I'd love to hear about writing ideas that all of you have.  Please, if you can, leave me a note below!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cupcake Freebies and More

Book Cover of "If You Give a Cat a Cupcake"

I don't know about you, but I think books by Laura Numeroff really work for teaching cause and effect.  I found some great ideas for the book If You Give a Cat a Cupcake on the Mouse Cookie Books web site.  There's a really nice activity kit that includes a dot-to-dot paper, and matching pictures to words, fun games for the kids to play, and more.  I've been watching "Cupcake Wars" on TV lately, and it's really affected my choices of things to make for my class.  When I realized this, I thought "Why not blog about it?"

So, I'm going to start off tomorrow by giving my children this warm-up where they have to color each cupcake based on the color word:



During morning message, I will ask the students to do a turn-and-talk and describe their favorite cupcake: what it looks like, smells like, and tastes like.  I will also sing "Do You Know the Cupcake Man?", sung to the tune of "Do You Know the Muffin Man?".  ;-)  And instead of saying "Mulberry Street" at the end, you can say the street that your school is on.

I'm going to use this guided reading book when I pull the kids, to teach more sight words.  I wish that I could have them decorate the cupcake like I've done in years past, but we're not allowed to use food in the classroom this year.  :-(  I will have them also make-and-break the word "will" with magnet letters (that's our new sight word this week) on magnetic white boards.



When they work at their tables, I'm going to have them do this follow-up sight word coloring paper:



If you like this sight word paper, I sell a package of these on TPT that you might want to check out.

In math, we're doing addition right now.  To really grab my students' attention I'm going to use plastic cupcakes that I bought in a bakery set to model what I want them to do, and then I will give them this cupcake addition paper to check for understanding:



Lastly, I'm going to put a cupcake tin with some Play Doh, along with some plastic candles, in math center so that they can practice counting by ones and skip counting by twos.  So if they're skip counting by twos, they would put two candles in each cupcake.

I hope you enjoy these cupcake freebies, let me know what you think.  I love hearing from all of you!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Rose - Freebies

"There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose" Book Cover

I love this book!  It's especially beautiful because my 22-year-old daughter presented it to me.  She knows I collect all of the "Old Lady" books, and she told me that when she saw it at Books-A-Million (she works there), she had to buy it for me.  I'm actually going to go out and get plastic props for this one, and turn it into a "Coffee Can Theater".  Then I will follow it up with this comprehension page.  Enjoy!  It's a freebie.


As I was searching blogs for materials to go along with this book, these three posts really stood out:

Castles and Crayons
Blog Hoppin'
Home Sweet Speech Room

I also made a really lovely writing folder for this time of year.  Even though I'm blind, I tried to make this special folder as colorful as possible because Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays.  This folder really allows the children to be independent and creative when they're writing.  The pictures with words right underneath save me from having to spell every single word to every student.  Let me know what you think.

Here are some great song titles for February and specifically for Valentine's Day:

"The Year's Shortest Month" by Jack Hartmann
"Will You Be My Valentine" by Dr. Jean
"Be My Valentine" by Jack Hartmann
"Valentine's Day Party Dance" by Jack Hartmann

You know I just love using music!  It really helps the kids calm down when they can't go out for recess because of the weather, and to be perfectly honest it helps me relax too.

Here is one more freebie that you could have the children color, read, cut up, and send home:



If you also have an "Old Lady" post or unit, please leave a comment below so that we can share the love!