Saturday, April 12, 2014

Secret Admirer

We all have people we admire. They come in all kinds, from our parents, to our children, to famous athletes, movie stars, etc.! Who better to admire than a fellow hard working teacher! We love our jobs and we work hard every day. So many teachers out there go above and beyond and share their passion with the world! We love reading other teacher blogs. We have laughed with them, cried with them, shared some wonderful ideas with them, and have learned a lot from them.

When the opportunity arose for us to be part of the Secret Admirer blog post, we jumped right on it. The biggest dilemma was who to chose, there are so many wonderful bloggers out there. So here is one of the bloggers we admire and the one who this blog post is all about:

The wonderful Kourtney Payton From Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners!

Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners

She was so generous and let us use her Farm Centers and Supplementary Activities for Kindergarten in our classes. Our theme is "Down on the Farm" right now and her activities fit perfectly into what we were already doing! 

Our children enjoyed the activities that were provided in this wonderful resource. 
Here are the activities in action:

Pocket Chart Center
We didn't have a pocket chart, so the children worked together to lay the pictures out on the carpet and then they matched the word to the correct picture. 

We also took another spin on this activity and the children played a partner match game. (A favorite among our children!) In the partner match game, half of the children are given a picture and the other half are given a word. They then walk around showing the others their card and looking for their partner.

Once their partner is found, they stand next to them and hold up their cards to be checked. 

We also played another round where the children matched the adult animal to its baby.

The children also matched the animal words to the pictures as a follow-up.

This center was a huge hit! They asked to do it over and over again!

Write the Room Center
The children had a great time writing around the room to find the correct spelling to each of these farm animals. We sometimes do Write the Room in a different way, but they loved this version also and they used the animal words for other writing tasks all week long.

After recording the animal names, the children used their "blank it" strategy and context clues to fill in the blanks. This was fun for them and almost seemed like a "secret code" activity and they were very proud once they got the words in the right spaces and they could read all of the sentences also...such accomplishment!

Funny moment! This child struggled with the word "ride" and must have sounded it out as "write" instead.
He said, "I can ride a sentence." Ha!

ABC Centers
~Beginning Sounds~
The children loved these "clippy" centers, as they call them.

~Ending Sounds~
Children put a clothes pin over the letter that showed the ending sound of the picture provided.

We didn't have enough clothes pins so we improvised and used Farm Animal Counters from the math center.

The children LOVED this center. They had a lot of fun working together to figure out the ending sound. 

~ABC Order~
After introducing these centers, this child begged to do this one before anyone else and was genuinely excited about it! Children are so funny!

Math Centers
Children counted cubes of two colors to create number sentences to match their models. Mrs. Payton included colorful cards for laminated center practice and she also included an individual assessment for this skill.

Supplementary Activities
~Matching Animals to their Habitats within the Farm~

~Matching the Adult to its Baby~
We loved the fact that there was a word bank included in this activity. The children were able to use their beginning and ending sounds to find the correct word to match to the animal.

~Matching Products to Animals~
Believe it or not, some of the children were shocked to find out that bacon came from a pig during this farm unit. However, they quickly got over it when they realized how much they love bacon! Haha!

Writing Activities

Here is one child labeling each farm animal with phonetic spelling...

We learned about the lifeycle of a chicken this week also and this activity from Mrs. Payton fit in perfectly!
"A chick starts in a egg and then it hach is (hatches)."

Emergent Readers
The children cut and ordered the book and then we stapled them together. They were able to then color each animal and read with partners or independently. It was nice to have a completed version and also a version where some children filled in the animal names.

Head on over to Mrs. Payton's TpT store and get this wonderful Farm Centers pack NOW! 

Mrs. Payton also has a portion of this pack as a FREEBIE!! That's right, free!! 
Get it here!

Thank you for the awesome activities Mrs. Payton!! Our children enjoyed them all! 
We are always looking for new and engaging centers for our classrooms. 
It was nice to have activities that met several skills and standards. 
Great job!!

We look forward to reading more of your blog posts and checking out your new products as well!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Vehicle Frenzy

Is it a plane? A train? An automobile?
Does is travel by air, by land, or by sea?
What's the color? Size? Shape? Design?

Oh my, were we busy with vehicles and learning about transportation this past week! We covered a lot of ground in reading, writing, math, and social studies and the children really stepped up to the different challenges we gave them! Check out all of their awesome work below...

We reviewed sorting this week. We worked on sorting by one attribute and then moved to sorting by two attributes at the same time and explaining how they sorted their groups. Tough work, but they did great!

Sorting by color....

Sorting by color and type....

Sorting with cards....

We have been reading stories like Sheep in a Jeep, Duck in a Truck, Duck on a Bike, Red Racer, and more! We focused on events from the story and identifying whether they were true or false and fantasy or reality. We used our transportation leveled readers and played a variety of sight word review games also! The children also sorted how vehicles travel through a transportation book and vehicle classification organizer.

Parking Lot Sight Words...

Vehicle Classification...


Cut and paste classification organizer....

Wow! They blew us away!
We have been dictating, copying, and filling in sentence frames since September....then we moved to writing one complete sentence by November....most children now write two sentences in response to most stories we read. This week we changed it up and challenged them to write a story after a short mini-lesson. They did GREAT and we loved reading what these young authors had to say! 


We also did a mini-lesson on expanding their routine "favorite part" writing to give multiple reasons for choosing their favorite vehicle. Again, WOW! We are so proud of our little authors! Some filled a page and went beyond...others filled a page who we might not have expected...and a few may have only written one sentence, but they, too, have grown leaps and bounds this year! 

Favorite vehicle...


No big unit is complete without a special snack! This one was pretty easy...graham crackers, frosting, and
 M & M's to make a stoplight. They loved it!


Adding the lights...

The finished product!

The best part....

A few of these activities are already in our store and you can grab them here:

We *might* also be adding some more of it to our store very soon!

Our graphing lesson from the week before isn't pictured in this post, but it is available in our store if you're interested.

Don't forget our entire store is 20% off for the Spring Clean-Up Sale!
The sale runs through March 31st.

What's your favorite transportation-themed
classroom activity?
We'd love to hear about some fun to plan and save for next year!

We are "Down on the Farm" for the next couple of weeks now.
We hope you have a great week!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Centers 'O Fun!

We are so excited about our new St. Patrick's Day centers!! We couldn't wait to get them laminated and cut out so the children could use them guess what? The children were just as excited about them as we were!!

You can check this new center pack out in our TpT store here.

Here are some pictures of the new centers in action!
Up first, I Spy!

Our new favorite: Scrambled Sight Words!

Write the Room! This is always a favorite in our classrooms!

 Next, working with place value!

Roll a Leprechaun!

Secret Shamrock Numbers!

We had so much fun with these different centers, we will probably leave them out until the end of March, not just St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you! What kind of fun stuff do you have planned for your students?
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