Book Talk Tuesday: The Sandwich Swap

Is there anything better than reading a picture book to Kindergarteners?  No, no there is not.  Sometimes I just scrap my usual plans and sit down with a book because, well...that's all we can handle sometimes.

And sometimes I actually plan out a book to teach a new concept.  Shocker right?  This month our focus at school is respect so I thought this was a great opportunity to search out a new book on respect.  I think I found a great one! 

The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah
 Quick Summary: Lily and Salma are best friends. They like doing all the same things, and they always eat lunch together. Lily eats peanut butter and Salma eats hummus-but what's that between friends? It turns out, a lot. Before they know it, a food fight breaks out. Can Lily and Salma put aside their differences? Or will a sandwich come between them?

Quick Tech Tip:  If you can't find a book in the local library (or in your own...if you are like me and have a million books!) search YouTube.  Almost always there is a link available to the book being read aloud.  Great resource!

Back to the book: I think this is a great opportunity to teach respect and tolerance at the same time.  We are REALLY working on showing respect (and especially manners) in our Kindergarten classroom.  When we get to tolerance it's a tougher concept to introduce to young students. I would love for them to be able to make the connection to respect right away when we get there! 

A few other books I use to teach respect: 
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
Wooray for Wodney Wat  by Helen Lester
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

What books do you like to use to teach respect?

Looking for a good book?  
Link up with Deanna Jump at Mrs. Jump's Class for Book Talk Tuesday! 
Thanks for visiting!

Peek at My Week: September 29

Tomorrow is my sister's birthday, so first off--Happy Birthday Sis!

Secondly....I don't have a lot of new planning happening right now because I spent all weekend in a professional development math class and I'm beat!  Signing up for a math class that included a Saturday AND a Sunday was a BAD idea! 
Actually...clever planning last week makes for easy planning this week.  I started a new round of math stations last week and word work and we have 8 rotations.  We are only half way through so I can't switch anything out yet.  CLEVER!  It saves my sanity for sure! 

Here is a quick, quick, quick, peek at my week that looks very much like my last week! 

Our new Reading Street Unit this week is called Nature Spy.  I plan on introducing our FOSS kit this week also, Plants and Animals.  Fingers crossed that it shows up in my classroom Monday afternoon like I planned.  We are going to investigate seeds like a "nature spy" to go with our story for the week. 

Here is the unit I will be pulling from:

Don't forget to check out The Printable Princess that I showed last week.  I'm pulling more centers from her creations to implement next week.  I can't wait to show you those!

Also....just in case you were wondering.  I finished up October Homework and the first week of Unit 3.  I'm trying to get the first half of the year done between now and the middle of October.  That way we can all sit back and relax knowing the files are ready! 

Here's a link to each of these new products. Click on the pic!

Now it's time for a little football so I can recharge for tomorrow!  No more professional development on my schedule until late October....thank heavens! 

Now it's your up with Mrs. Will's Kindergarten to take a peek or link up your own visual lesson plans! 

Five for Friday September 26

I meant to blog all week.  I promise I did.  However sometimes life (and Kindergarten) get in the way.  It was  long week and I'm certainly happy it's Friday!

Join up with Doodlebugs Teaching for Five for Friday! 
Here we go! 
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So we started using rotations for our Word Work this week and it worked!  It wasn't perfect...but it worked!  I'm expecting next week will be even better.  Here are a few centers we had available this week: 
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I also started small groups this week.  It is SO NICE to sit with a small group and actually get to teach.  That sounds weird...but the first 6 to 7 weeks have all been about procedure.  Now we get down to work!  I got this shower caddy at Walmart to hold all my small group materials.  It's working so nicely. 
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 We started using our resources in Writer's Workshop this week.  Our first resource is our "Friends" list.  They love writing about their friends!

 So sweet! 
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TPT has been an amazing journey for me.  This week I had a first (of many!)  I had an actual request for a product!  It amazes me that people are willing to reach out and ask me if a product is ready yet.  It keeps me on my toes and up to date. This week I finished up October popular demand :) 
I plan on doing A LOT of work over October break to catch up on all my Kindergarten resources! 
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So I don't have 5 things to share....I am that tired.  Also I am dealing with the evening before a 2 day stint with professional development.  I will be participating in a math class all weekend.  Saturday AND Sunday.  
Good stuff? 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Enjoy friends!

Peek at my Week September 22

It's small group week!  Finally we have all of our procedures in place so we are independent enough to get down to the real work.  What a relief to have those first 6 weeks behind us (when all the growing pains happen in Kindergarten!)

Here is a Peek at my Week:  TONS of exciting things happening this week!
Here is a little run down of what we will be doing during each session with links to products included: 

Morning Work: 
We are starting Unit 2 in our Reading Street curriculum and that means even more independence during Morning Work.  Kiddos complete these on their own as soon as they walk in the door.  They include a review of the letter of the week (this week it is A), the sight words for the week (both a review of words we have already learned and an intro to new words), and a grammar skill (this week we are focusing on adding -s to a noun to mean more than one).
 Click on the pictures to see this in my store. 

Word Work: 
The next session of our day is also an independent work time.  As soon as students finish their morning work they head off to a station.  Tomorrow I am introducing assigned stations (we have explored for the last 4 or 5 weeks to learn all the options).  I am assigning stations now because our Title I aide comes in during this time and is meeting with 2 groups and I am starting small group instruction too.  So now 6 groups will have a station and 2 groups at a time will be meeting with a teacher.  Oh man I hope it goes smooth the first day! 

Here are our stations: 
Write the room:
Students complete these with a dry erase marker on a page protector.  It cuts down on copies (yay!) and they LOVE using the dry erase markers.  I think they will be excited for the added element to write words from around the room that start with A!  These are included in my Flowers Reading Street Unit 2 Week 1 creation.

ABC Center: 
I'm so excited about this new purchase!  I bought Pencils, Glue and Centers Too by The Printable Princess and it is LOADED with wonderful ABC center goodness.  (and math too!)  My ABC Center this week is a Uppercase/Lowercase match up from this packet. Click HERE to see it in her store.  It is amazing!

Listening Station: 
We will be listening to Eric Carle's The Tiny Seed this week.  It's a pretty long story so I am not using a response sheet this week.  This will give us a good foundation to get started with our plant unit on Wednesday. :) 

Cut and Glue Station: 
I MUST include a cut and glue station each week because my kiddos love it!  This cut and glue activity is also from The Printable Princess.  I told you that packet was amazing!

Computer Station: 
I only have 3 computers in my room but my kiddos love the games from the Pearson site that go along with our Reading Street curriculum.  This week I will introduce a new game that focuses on Uppercase and Lowercase letters.  It's kind of like the whack a mole game so I think they are really going to "dig" it.  :) 

Build a Word: 
I created these a few weeks ago and I am slowly integrating them into my weekly centers.  I'm not selling them yet, just trying to work out the kinks.  In all honesty I was just trying to create something to use with those little white letter tiles you get with Reading Street that the kiddos can use easily.  It's working so far.  They look like this:
They have been ok....just ok so far.  I'm hoping to find a few more things for them to do with the tiles before I make a whole unit with them.  You are welcome to click on the picture and get the first few pages I've made so far via Google Drive.  I'd love any suggestions you have!

Phew!  That was a lot!  The rest of my day goes pretty smoothly now that we are into our routine.  After centers we do read to self (this is when I do another round of small groups and the kiddos read on their own. Here's a quick organization tip for small group instruction.  Get yourself one of these:
 I found this shower caddy at Walmart today for $1.50!  I'm banned from spending any money on my classroom but who could pass that up? It is perfect to fit my small group materials (leveled readers) and there is a perfect spot for writing tools so I can meet with a group anywhere I want to. It's so much easier to get small groups done when you have everything you need at hand! 
In Writer's Workshop this week we are introducing using a resource (our friends name resource).  This one is used all year long....they love writing about their friends!  

Wednesday I'm introducing Wacky Wednesday (because it will be a disruption to our regular schedule) but it is for a good cause!  We will start our first science unit this week so Wednesday will be all about science.  Our first unit is on Plants and Animals (right now we will focus on plants) and there will be more to come on this later in the week!  

Math is rolling right along with our math journals and math tubs.  I will introduce our problem of the day this week featuring a kiddo each day (they LOVE this!)  They don't realize it....but we are really just introducing addition story problems :) My math problem of the day looks like this....
I cut them up and we glue them into our math journals and then draw a picture to solve the problem.  Tomorrow will be our first day so it will be ALL about learning how to glue down the problem. :)

Once we get the procedure down it makes math journal time pain free!  They work on the problem, they raise their hand to get it checked, and then they head off to a math tub for extra skills practice.  Perfect! No one is sitting bored waiting because they are "done"....they just finish and move on to the next thing.  No boredom allowed here!

Oh my this has been a long post...can you tell I'm excited about the week ahead?  I am!  Now head on over to Mrs. Will's Kindergarten to see what's up in bloggy land and get some more ideas for visual lesson plans (or just some great ideas for your classroom)!

Five for Friday

Phew!  Made it!  Five for Friday!

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It was national talk like a pirate day.  What a fun day to be at school....but I was not.  
Professional Development anyone?  
I don't even have a boring picture of the table I stared at all day long.  I hate dislike very much being away from my kiddos and this was not the perfect way to end the week.  However it is nice to recharge and collaborate with other teachers.  
I got some of that today!

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Have I mentioned before that I love math journals?  (yes...yes I have)  
I LOVE math journals!  
We are seamlessly integrating our math journals with our Investigations curriculum.  It's so much fun!  AND it gives me a lot of time to work one on one with kiddos that need it and let the littles go that DON'T need it so they don't get bored.

This week our Investigations lessons centered around creating a "counting book".  We have a "book"....aka journal... right in front of us every day so I am using our journals to create counting books.  They are doing an awesome job on these!
This is an example of "10" and "11".  We are focusing on labeling our pictures (with numbers) to show how we can count.  Lot of things happening here....counting, recording, writing numbers, and name practice (we write our names at the top of the page).  I call that a win, win, win, win! 
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 I think I'm finally in my Kindergarten groove!  We pulled out the letter of the week anchor chart and the kiddos came up with some amazing letter T words.  We have spent the first 6 weeks focusing on ALL the letters, now we will have a letter of the week for a little while :)

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   Do you GoNoodle?  We do!  Everyday between Writer's Workshop and Math we stretch it out to Maximo on GoNoodle.  I was shocked to find out this week some people didn't know about this amazing resource.  You MUST check it out! 
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Pencils drive me crazy.  Erasers really drive me crazy!  I know everyone has that one "thing" that makes them lose their mind in the classroom and pencils (and maybe bathroom breaks and water bottles) make me crazy~  Those pencil top erasers are the worst.  And this week we had to discuss not sticking them up our noses.  I've also had to have the "we don't suction cup them to our faces" talk.  I think I might be getting rid of the pencil top erasers by Monday.   Check out Tales from Outside the Classroom's link on Instagram for a LOT of fun #todayisaid posts.  So much fun to hear about what REALLY happens in the classroom each day! Just search the hashtag #todayisaid.  

I can't wait to get back to it on Monday.  I really missed my kiddos today.  It's no fun to be away from them but I think they were in good hands with the sub. :)  Have a great weekend!

Workshop Wednesday: Word Work and Math Tubs!

What's happening in Kindergarten?  Well....there's this....
I ran across this fun hashtag (on Instagram) from Tales From Outside the Classroom and I thought, "I could post one of these every day!"  I recently saw some advice to new teachers to keep a journal of all the funnies they hear in the classroom.  Seriously, I could write a book!

Pencil top erasers are a new found "fun" item in the classroom.  We had to to talk a bit about them today...

Here's some pics of centers in the classroom this week.  I only wish we had more time!  I would love to get through a couple of rotations a day....we only do one rotation a day. 

Word Work: 

These have been fun.  I introduced these 2 weeks ago in an effort to save paper.  They LOVE using the dry erase markers on these clear pouches from Lakeshore.  I didn't think they would stay a favorite....but they are the first to go every day. 
 The playdough mats are also a big hit.   We had to talk a little bit about not rolling the dough on the carpet....they are working on it.  Overall they have been a huge success!
 They worked SO well I made a set for my store.  If you are a loyal follower you know I linked to a set a little bit ago as a freebie I was trying out (in black and white)  but this set has color and the playdough recipe. ;) Click on the pic to see it in my store.
Our alphabet charts are also a big hit.  They quietly sing Dr. Jean's song to themselves as they are doing it.  GREAT sound and letter practice! 

Math Tubs: 
We added in the 10 frame cards...
They love them!  Busy little counters during math tub time! 

Other stuff....
Can I go to the bathroom?  Ugh.  That dreaded question.  It always comes when you are expecting the best answer ever after you have poured your heart and soul into delivering the most exciting lesson ever.  I can't stand that question!  I saw this on Pinterest (somewhere...sorry, no link to give you!)  and it is working like a charm. 
 My rule is anytime during worktime (NOT lesson time) they can grab the pass, put it at their seat, and then go to the bathroom.  They don't need permission, they don't need to ask, they don't need to say anything, (did I mention they don't need to tell me?) and the just go.  Independently.  On their own.  Just like at home.  (cue angels singing here...)

And I can easily see who is gone...because it's at their seat. 

It's working.  For the most part!  I still have those kiddos that need permission to do everything and convincing them that they can do this on their own has been a little bit of a challenge but overall our classroom is finally working at a nice pace without too many disruptions.  The best part?  One boy pass and one girl pass equals only one at the bathroom at a time so that cuts down on any horseplay in the bathroom.   I love it!

Half way through the week.  I had a LATE night last night driving my daughter and her friends to the One Direction concert and didn't get home until about 1 am.  I do not suggest teaching Kindergarten the day after that!  I made it though!  Thanks to my mom for going with me and keeping me company while we waited out the concert (shopping and at PF Changs...yum!)  and for keeping me up on the long drive home.  I'm going to bed early tonight! 

Night all!  It's all down hill from here!