Peek at my Week: Back to Work and a Freebie!

It's time to get back at it! I've enjoyed the wonderful long weekend for Thanksgiving but now it's time to get a little planning done so I can be ready for those little faces tomorrow.  
I missed them!

Here is a little Peek at our Week!
(Click on any of the plans to see in Google Docs)
In the morning my go to product is: 
Of course for math I will be using: 
Guiding Kinders Math Workshop: Unit 3
by Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills
I made a Word Work Station page to keep myself organized.  My kiddos are getting so GOOD at our regular stations that they finish quickly.  I am putting in a few extras for those fast finishers so I need to keep track of what's going on in the word work area! 
For word work I am using the following products. 
(I have 12 math tubs...some kiddos go to computers, iPads, or share with a buddy.  
The numbers keep them organized on the shelf and help me keep my sanity!)
For Math Tubs I am using the following products.

I am also using a Roll and Record game that I made this morning.  Investigations has Roll and Record for Kinders but they don't have students add 2 dice this early in Kindergarten so I made a recording sheet so my kids could practice adding with the dice.  I have plenty that are more that ready for this. 

You have the recording sheet for free here:
Just click on the pic!

That's my week!  Now it's your turn to link up with Deedee at Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten or just head on over to get some great classroom ideas!

Feeling Thankful Freebie and a Peek at My Week (kind of)

I started writing lessons plans this morning...

I really did.

But somehow I got sidetracked and just realized that I can wing 2 days right?  Do I really need to write it all down?  

Nope....I don't! 

So instead of sharing my plans this weekend I'd like to just share a little freebie I created yesterday afternoon simply because I am thankful. 

I am thankful for my family, and their patience with me as I sit at my computer for hours on end and spend my weekends at school preparing the week for my other family. :)

I am thankful for my health.  I feel very blessed that my children, my husband, my parents and loved ones are pretty healthy people.  I know in life you can't always say that. 

I am thankful for our safety.  A family in our town was in a horrific accident on Friday and it is enough to make you pause and thank heavens that all your loved ones are safe. 

I am thankful for my job and that I LOVE it (I know not everyone can say that).  I do love going to work everyday, even on the hard days. 

And lastly, (but certainly not least) I am thankful for my little addiction to blogging and creating.  I really do love this hobby of mine but the world of TPT has made it even better. I am thankful to customers who have purchased things from me and taken the time to send sweet feedback and private messages.  I've "met" so many wonderful people through this virtual teacher's lounge and I am truly grateful for the experience. 

So enough with the sappy is the freebie!  I am going to use these pages for the "fly by the seat of my pants" lesson plans this week! 
If you are not working this week, the pages will work for Christmas and December holiday family gatherings.  I hope you enjoy it and I REALLY hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving time with family and friends.  Enjoy!

Five for Friday: November 21


Divider 1
Math Workshop was a wonderful addition to my routine this week. I already had a workshop model...however I added Deanna Jump and Deedee Will's Guiding Kinders units.  Wonderful!  I blogged about them here :)  This week has been so productive, I finally feel like we are in our groove during math time!

Divider 2
Do you ever just sit back during reading time and watch?  I am so happy to see my kiddos sharing their books (with enthusiasm!) and I love their excitement as they come to meet with me for small group.  I invite them to take the books from our little caddy (pictured above) when they have independent reading time once we have read them together.  It makes my heart happy when I see them grabbing from the small group books when they have the opportunity to read to self.  They are so excited to be reading!

Divider 3
Centers were fantastic this week and I am happy to know they are spilling over to next week (thank goodness for a 6 day rotation).  Less planning, and more independent work!

Divider 4
Things go wrong sometimes....really wrong.  I had a near fail with centers when I wasn't totally prepped for our new rotation (I was saved though!) but yesterday I had a major fail.....with 23 little pairs of eyes watching.  I put off our big book reading of Little Quack (and  they were totally looking forward to it) and I couldn't find anywhere!  I guess last years teacher misplaced this one from the big book box (or it is hiding.....somewhere!)  I quickly grabbed a book to read instead but it DID NOT go with my lesson.  Lesson learned.  Check the big book box before teaching the lesson.  ARG!

Divider 5
Ahhhhh......Thanksgiving break!  We only get 3 days off next week (I only say that because I know a lot of you get the whole week) but I am thrilled to get to spend some time with family and enjoying yummy food at my mom's house. I will NOT be working on anything school related.....maybe....for atleast a day or so.....well...we'll see!

Fall Friends! Saving Center Time and a freebie!

Oh my goodness!  Major center fail today....

I THOUGHT I had one more day of center rotations.  Have you ever done that?  I left Tuesday afternoon thinking, "I'm good......see ya!"  Well as I took a closer look this morning I realized I was done with the rotation and it was time to add in new centers.  Ack!

My overall purpose for this part of the day is to keep the other 18 or so kiddos that are working independently ENGAGED so that I can teach my small group to just 4 or 5.  I rotate these centers every 6 days.  
It's a major fail if the center tubs are empty!

Thank heavens for having my Fall Friends ready to go (and thank heavens I didn't use them all last week!)  

I quickly added in the new centers and the kiddos were happy and I was happy!  Crisis averted. 

To top it off they loved the new centers.  Here are few highlights. 
 ABC ordering (we don't NEED this but they LOVE it!), Spin a word (this was our first experience with "spinners"....huge hit!) and this week I added in the first sound fluency match up with and ABC matching game.  They loved this one too.
Another big hit this week was a happy accident.  When I created this I made the sight word cards to use as a concentration game with a "Fast Words" reading fluency sheet as an additional resource.  When I printed it out I realized this made a great word search game.  They pick a card, search for the word, and color it in.  They were super excited about this. (strange the simple things that make kinders happy!)

One last center to fill....Cut and Glue.
 I've been working on this one and I'd like to develop this to match our sight words with my reading series, but for now I have a few pages you can try out for free! 

Here is a link to my Fall Friends centers.  There are also math centers included, I use them in my math tubs for an easy transition after whole group and independent work time in math.  
So many options in a Kindergarten classroom!
I hope your hump day was good and to all the friends in the Buffalo area I hope you are staying safe in all that snow!  I can't even imagine!

Math Monday! Math Workshop, I'm in LOVE!

I am just over the moon about how wonderful math was today.  Seriously over the moon. 
(I think only teachers can actually understand what I'm talking about)
I started Guiding Kinders Math Workshop by Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills and it was just pure magic. 
Magic I tell ya! 

A little bit of background for you.  I'm no slouch in the math department.  I try new things, I've taught at multiple grade levels, I've got the workshop model down, and I have more math PD than just about anyone I know.  Not tooting my own horn, but I'm just sayin'....I got this. 

But that's just the thing.  I didn't have it.  Going back to Kinder (1/2 day!) this year and teaching Investigations (and trying to incorporate Math Journals) had me really, really, jumbled up.  I felt like so much was missing and I needed a couple of key details in my math workshop: 
  • I really needed extra practice for my kiddos (Investigations is lacking in this area). 
  • I needed a little structure for my whole group lessons.  The whole group part was lacking for me in my routines.  I was introducing games, but the lessons for me were just NOT happening.  
And finally....
(where have we heard that before?)

So I took the plunge this weekend and got the unit from Deanna and Deedee.  Today was wonderful.  I love the fluency practice (so did my kids!), the whole group activity was wonderful (and my kiddos totally rocked it) and the independent practice quickly identified who needed more help and I pulled them into a small group while the rest of my kids went to math tubs.  
(Insert angels singing here)

Whole group, small group, independent work (along with a quick informal assessment) all in about 45 minutes?  Wait, what?
AND we got to math journals too? 

See why I am so happy? 

Here are a few precious pics: 

Thanks to Deana and Deedee for all their hard work on this amazing product.  If you haven't checked it out (or have been waiting to take the plunge) you should check it out HERE!

Peek at my Week: Little Quack

Peek at my Week:
Click on the pic to see these up close!
A few products I am using this week: 
Morning Work:
 This week we will focus on sight words, the letter R, and Verbs that are happening now and in the past.
I am also using items from my Little Quack unit: Reading Street Unit 3 Week 2-Click on the pic for a link!  This unit includes posters for the week (Common Core Standards, Question of the Week, High Frequency Words, and Amazing Words) and also center activities to supplement the Reading Street curriculum.
Math?  I am sooooo excited to start this unit this week.  I have been WANTING this for so long and I finally made the purchase (thank you TPT) and will start Guiding Kinders this week.  I am following my Investigations units but I am going to include the Guiding Kinders units by Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills to provide more structure and practice for my kiddos :) Click on the pic for a link!
Writer's Workshop: 
We are bringing it all together this week!  I am introducing a task analysis this week for writing a story.  We have already had each step as a focus, so now it is time for us to bring it all together.  I have the steps listed in a poster here:

If you would like a copy just click HERE!

Wacky Wednesday will be more science linked to our FOSS kit.  Our next step is to plant wheat.  I'm contemplating this.....I don't know if I'm ready for this with 46 kinders, but I will give it a go! 

Here is a pic of our grass from 2 weeks ago....
The kiddos loved seeing our little sprouts!  I have to admit they are the first thing I check on when I get to work in the morning.

Here is to a great week!  Check out Deedee's link up for Peek at my Week!

Five for Friday


Five for Friday....finally!  What a weird week this has been.  It's funny how we rely on schedules, it should tell us something about keeping our schedule with the kiddos.  We had Tuesday off for Veteran's day which had me MESSED UP all week long.  I ended the week with a little PD today which messed me up even more.  None the's my Five for Friday! 

#1 Reading:
Wowza!  We are readers.  Really honest to goodness readers!  My kiddos are sounding EVERYTHING out and they are having a ball during Read to Self time.  I love, love, love it!
 I do not "pose" my kids for these pictures.  I just grab my phone when I see a moment that needs to be captured.  Sometimes I walk around at the end of Read to Self to take a few pictures just because we are having such a great day.  It makes my heart happy :) 
#2 Science
We were super happy to see that our seeds actually sprouted this week!  We planted grass last week as part of our Sharing the Planet unit.  They were amazed to see little blades of grass shooting out of their cups this week.  So fun to explore such a simple thing in Kinder. 
This was an up close shot from the doc cam.  It was cool to see the alfalfa sprouting along side the grass.  They noticed the seed coat and made the connection that some of the alfalfa had the "left over" seed at the top and some had leaves.  Fun!

#3 Math
I read a blog earlier this week about a domino game to count to 100 from Mrs. VanMeter. (link to her product HERE)
It got me thinking about an activity I could do with my kiddos as we are using the 100's chart every day and working on our one to one correspondence.  I grabbed some dominos and gave it a go.  They LOVED it! 

When I walked up to this lovely I knew she had a strategy I just couldn't figure out why she had lined up her dominos and crayons this way.  After a minute (or two :) ) I realized she was keeping track of each of her "turns".  She colored each domino in a different color and kept track as she went.  Brilliant! 

The Kiwanas came in this week with "Literacy Backpacks" to share with the kiddos.  Each student got a back pack and a cool book.  They were so excited!  We had to do an extra Read to Someone session just to share books with our friends.  It was precious! 

This is totally much of my life......but I was walking around my room and thinking of all the "buckets" I have.  Do you store things in your room in "buckets" as I love to call them?  We use dishpans for EVERYTHING!  Math manipulatives, books, small group supplies, name it and I have it in a bucket.  I planned on doing an "organization" post but this is as close as I will get this week! 
That's my Five for Friday.  Head over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to enjoy more random Five for Friday posts!  For those that are new to blogging it is a GREAT way to get acquainted with new bloggers, find people you are interested in following, and discover new teaching ideas.  My favorite part about blogging! Have fun!