Manners Monday!

How important are manners in the classroom?  
Please?
Thank You?
You're Welcome? 
Do you hear these very often? 
In my opinion (especially teaching Kinder) they are the foundation we build our classroom community on.  I am a stickler for good manners and we practice, practice, practice using our manners every day!

Here are a couple of examples: 

Passing out papers: 
I love it when someone automatically says thank you without being prompted.  It causes a ripple effect of thank you's throughout the classroom.  I have made it my life's mission to say "You're Welcome" every time a student says thank you because I don't think we say this enough!  I'm even getting a few "Thank you, m'am" to which I answer back, "You're welcome sir/madam".  They love it!  Everyone loves being called sir/madam! 

Share time: 
When I ask a student to share during Writer's Workshop I ask the same way every single time.  "Joey, will you share with us please?".....and I've "trained" them to answer back, "Yes, thank you."  When we start our year we talk about what a special moment this is to share our writing, and it is something to thank our friends for (listening).  In return this reminds our friends to be good listeners. 

Also during share time we our friends give a "comment (something positive) and a help for next time".  The person sharing always thanks the friend for the tip and of course the friend says "You're welcome".  It is a happy little moment in the classroom when they naturally start making this exchange.  We are there this year! 

Lunch time: 
I do not have lunch duty but I hang out for a few extra minutes to help the kiddos get through line.  I've also set the expectation here for "please" and "thank you" when getting their lunches.  It makes all the difference when handing out 20 or so milks when you hear each little sweetie say thank you.  It just makes for a happy environment. 

Happy kids draw happy pictures!
This picture made me smile today!

Just a few random thoughts for the day. Thank you for listening :) .  How do you incorporate manners in the classroom?  Does it feel natural or forced?  (I have to admit it feels a bit forced in the beginning!)

Hope your Monday was fabulous, mine was!  My kiddos were all on point today and we got so much accomplished!

Peek at my CRAZY Week!

It's Halloween on Friday ya'll.....did you know?

ALL teachers look out for this one special day that just happens to fall on a Friday this year. 

Can I get an amen?

As for now...It's MY favorite part of the weekend (insert smiley face here)...planning time!  I didn't share last weekend because going back after break was just a little too much to handle.  But this week I am ready to share our plans.  Here is my peek at my week: (please notice no Halloween activities.....I'm a bum, I know!)


The reason for NO Halloween activities in my room is simple really.  I don't have them long enough!  I only get my 23 kiddos for 2 hours and 45 minutes.  The rest of the day they are next door with the aide.  So don't fret, my kids will have fun and be appropriately exposed to Halloween goodies, but not in my room.

Here are some of the products I am using this week:
(Click on the pic for the link) 

Kindergarten Morning Work.  It's a must have in my room.  If they are not on the table as soon as the kiddos walk in they FREAK OUT!  Really.

Also up this week are some fun new centers that go along with my Reading Street Unit 2 Week 5: A Bed for Winter.
(click on the pic for a link)

 We will start working on CVC words and blending this week.  Our letter of the week is "i" so we will be reading some middle "i" words during our small group instruction. 
  Our grammar focus is still on adjectives and this week we will be focusing on opposites.  

I'm super excited about a new purchase!  Today I found this Next Generation Science Unit from Primarily Teaching
Click on the picture to see it in her store: 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kindergarten-Next-Generation-Science-Plants-Animals-Complete-Unit-1062119
I wish I had found this a few weeks ago but next year I can teach all the lessons included.  As for now I'm skipping to Unit 3 to teach about what an animal needs.  I plan on using a Brain Pop Jr. video too to introduce the concept.  

That's my week!  Now it's your turn to link up.  Check out Deedee Will's linky party here: 
http://www.mrswillskindergarten.com/


Five for Friday: Back from Break...phew!

My goal for blogging was that I would blog at least once a week (Five for Friday is great for that!).  Well...I've fallen off the wagon for a bit but I am thrilled to have a little bit to share after being back in school after a WONDERFUL fall break! 

Five for Friday time!
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Coming back from break I was READY for my kiddos to start writing.  We have spent the last 10 weeks learning about what writers do, routines, and using tools.  We are ready!  This week was all about writing out our stories with pictures and words.  I was AMAZED!  Not only at how much better their pictures were telling stories but also the attempts to write.  Wow, I love Kinder! 

This was just one of my favorites from the week.  This little guy got up for share time and said, "I am fighting a dragon to save my girlfriend."  Check it out:
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This week was all about the letter C.  We made our poster and these kiddos continue to amaze me with their ideas!  During write the room they have the opportunity to write the letter C words on our dry erase pockets.  

 
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I turned our computer station into a standing station.  I figured it would encourage them to stay a little more engaged.....plus I'm out of chairs.  They actually love it! 

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Speaking of chairs.....I needed some for my small group area. Yes, I made more of those bench chairs that have been floating around for ages on Pinterest.  They are my absolute favorite thing because they double as storage! 


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Did you see the solar eclipse on Thursday?  We had a short staff meeting in the afternoon and a cool teacher brought her welding mask so we could all check it out.  It was pretty cool! 
Not much of an eventful week but it was good to be back.  Just getting back into routines and getting our feet wet again with all this learning.  I was TIRED each night and I know my kinders were too.  As for the weekend.....math class.....again.  Ugh.  I'm NOT looking forward to it but it is the last one so I will be happy, happy, happy, when it is over! Have a great weekend and someone PLEASE sleep in for me!

Five for Friday: October Break!

fiveforfriday2_thumb[3] 
It's here!!!!  Fall Break is finally here!

I never thought I would make it through the first 10 weeks of Kindergarten but I actually did it.  It's been a big scary new world but I really wouldn't have it any other way! 

Here is a little bit about our week :) 
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We were all about apples this week!  I had a friend come in and teach about apples all afternoon to sprinkle a little fun in our overloaded curriculum.  It reminded me I need to take time to have a little fun once in awhile. :)  
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I caught this little bugger in the parking lot this week.  Before I even had a chance to show the kiddos and introduce this new "friend" to the classroom he spun himself into a neat little chrysalis and that was that.  Now he is sitting in my classroom in a jar and I don't know what to do with him!   We will see what happens over Fall break...we are starting life cycles after break, maybe he can help me out with that!
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 My middle little turned 17 this week.  My husband and I both had the same reaction....Wow....where on earth has the time gone? 



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 My little little and I went shopping for Homecoming dresses last Sunday.  It really was a fun day!
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Guess what?  I get to sleep in tomorrow.  And the next day, and the next day, and the....well, you get the idea.  Hooray for a break! 
 I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and if you are lucky to get a break, HAVE FUN! 

Apple Fun and a VERY hungry caterpillar!

Oh my goodness, my class had so much fun today with our guest teacher Mrs. Adams.  They now officially call her Mrs. Apple.  (I wonder who Mr. Apple is?)  They read books, talked about the lifecycle of an apple tree, ate apples, voted on their favorites, taste tested applesauce, and planted apple seeds.  All this in about 2 hours.  I don't know how Mrs. Apple does it...she has way more energy than I do!  

Now I get to do it with my morning group on Wednesday.  I hope I can live up to all the fun the afternoon group had today! 

Here are a few quick pics of some of the learning that was recorded during this busy day of fun! 

 In other science news I had a fun discovery this morning...

I caught this little guy in the parking lot on Friday. 
I figured it wouldn't hurt to find him a few flowers to munch on and see if he would actually turn into the very hungry caterpillar and spin a chrysalis right before our very eyes.  Well....he didn't.  I guess he ate until he could eat no more and spun his chrysalis over the weekend.  I was shocked to find him all curled up and hanging from a branch when I got to school this morning. Actually I was shocked I didn't find him dead....but the idea of introducing him to the kiddos today and waiting to see what happened kind of lost it's surprise factor.  No matter, it will still be fun to see what happens from here!

Ok, what's the strangest thing you have ever brought in to your classroom to show your kids?  This isn't my strangest by far.....the top of the list would be a tarantula last year (although I let my student teacher do most of the sharing of that one!)

The Final Countdown...Peek at my Week

Ok, in full disclosure here...it's not the final countdown.  However it is the last week before FALL BREAK!  I made it through my first quarter back in Kindergarten and I have a few quick reflections for those that have been following this journey:
1. I love Kindergarten.
2. Kindergarten is exhausting.
3. I love Kindergarten. 

With that in mind :) 
let's take a quick peek at our week!
http://www.mrswillskindergarten.com/2014/09/peek-at-my-week-apples_27.html

I feel a little "behind" (are we ever really caught up?)  but I really am just hitting my groove here.  We are in full swing APPLE mode and I know that should have come weeks ago as a true September theme.  Next year I will be better...maybe. So when we get back from break we will do a quick little PUMPKIN unit and then move on to animals in our Plants and Animals unit that corresponds with our Reading Street curriculum, FOSS kit, and IB unit.  I'm working to align everything this year and it's a big job!  That being said we have some fun activities planned for the week to wrap up apples!

As always I start my mornings with Kindergarten Morning Work Unit 2. 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kindergarten-Morning-Word-Work-Reading-Street-Unit-2-1281302
I will also use some of the centers and activities from my Reading Street Unit 2 Week 3 Unit: Animal Babies in Grasslands.  Write the room, the listening station, and adjectives activities will be from this unit.  I also use the Question of the Week posters and standards for my focus wall. 
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Animal-Babies-in-Grasslands-Kindergarten-Unit-2-Week-3-1322716
Once again I am using centers in math and word work from Pencils, Glue, and Centers too from The Printable Princess.  My kiddos are really enjoying these centers!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Pencils-Glue-and-Centers-Too-Back-to-School-Centers-for-Kindergarten-CCSS-763710
 Click on the picture to see it in her store!

I'm also using the Scrappy Kids Alphabet chart from Greg at Kindergarten Smorgasboard in Writer's Workshop this week. Click HERE to see his post about how he uses the chart in his room. Last week I used Writer's Workshop to introduce Phoneme Segmentation as we started sounding out words.  This week we will connect our alphabet chart to finding the sounds we hear.  I love this one and my kiddos love Dr. Jean's Alphardy song so they know every. single. sound.  Awesome! 

For Wacky Wednesday I am using Apple Science from Reagan Tunstall, Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits.  This is a new purchase I'm super excited about! Wacky Wednesday is going to be a blast!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Apple-Science-Interactive-Activities-1444752
Click on the picture to see it in her store! 

Something else I have planned for math doesn't have a link...yet.  I'm trying something new and if it works out I might post it.  I might.  I have to like it first which is never a guarantee.  

Question of the day....  Investigations has a Question of the Day built into the curriculum.  We usually just do these as a group and then that's it....there's not much more that goes along with it. (Well, actually there is a ton that goes along with data collection but not in my routine right now...hence the problem)  When I taught Kindergarten before my room walls ran out of space for the huge graphs that we had all throughout the room.  
Fun?  
Yes....but I want to make these a little more personal for the kiddos.  

Insert Math Journals Here...

Yes, math journals.  Have I mentioned that I love them? We have our routine down pat so now I think we can incorporate the question of the day into our journals.  These usually come up about twice a week in the curriculum.   So I made these half sheets to glue into our journals so kiddos can record our class responses.  Will this be a challenge? Yes, I expect it to be pretty difficult the first day. But I know if I stick with it they will do great!
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwy_8L1vfUHTMXlCV2duUnVhcDA/view?usp=sharing
Imagine the possibilities....predictions, counting, recording, comparing, just to name a few.  If they work and I actually stick with it I will finish the file and make them available.  :) Stay tuned!  If you would like the first few for free....click on the picture to get them via Google Drive.

Also in math we are using our usual Investigations Centers (Roll and Record and Build It) but I'm also going to include an additional center in math this week and use Deedee Wills "How About Them Apples" counting book.  She had it a few weeks ago in her links for free.  You can check out her post by clicking HERE.

That's it!  Also did I mention I'll be giving math and ELA assessments to 46 kinders this week too?  My fault for not being prepared, but I expect with all of the fun centers and activities that I will have a TON of time to give assessments. Right?  That's the plan anyway!  

Now it's your turn to link up with Deedee Will's at Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten for Peek at my Week.

Thanks for stopping by friends!