Peek at my Week: Field trips, Animal Research, and ASSESSMENTS, oh my!

So we have 4 weeks left in the school year.  4 weeks people!  I just had this sudden "OH NO" feeling that I haven't done everything I've wanted to do this year so it's time to get to work! 

We are completing our 2 weeks of field trips with Mrs. H20 this week as part of our water literacy program.  This week students will go to the water towers (to see where water in our community comes from) and then to the Waste Water Treatment plant (to see where it goes when we are done with it).  They get to meet the Queen of Poo at the plant!  This is like every Kindergarteners dream!  

Because 12 or so students will be missing each day my schedule needs to be super flexible.  I'm taking advantage of this to do some math assessments this week.  
Smaller numbers = Easy management!

Just in case I forget, here is the quick math assessment I whipped up for the end of the year.  I was trying to make it align with the CCSS and be something that I could either give whole group, or sit down with 4 or 5 kiddos at a time to give it.  I'm going to try small groups.  This is completely an experiment at this point.  You can try it too for free HERE!
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwy_8L1vfUHTSnNpMTVDT3lnZkU/view?usp=sharing

Now for my plans: 

We have no school on Friday for a teacher work day (also....the fair is in town so the kiddos are all out enjoying that!)  I'm excited to get my classroom ready for those last few weeks of school.  

Here are the products I am using this week: (Click on any of the pics to see the products)
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kindergarten-Morning-Word-Work-Unit-6-1617155https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Kindergarten-Morning-Word-Work-Unit-6-1617155

Morning Work is the start of our day.  Students work on these before heading off to independent centers.  This week we are working on decoding CVC words and rhyming.

Our story of the week is Alistair and Kipp's Adventure.  It's such a fun story and there are so many cool underwater creatures that come into the story that we will talk about during writing this week.  I love it when everything comes together! 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Alistair-and-Kips-Great-Adventure-KINDERGARTEN-Unit-6-Week-4-1752303

During writing I am using an informational writing packet from Primary Graffiti.  It's an awesome way to get kiddos writing about animals.  It fits just perfectly with what we have been doing!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Informational-Writing-Freebie-1818884
In math I am starting Unit 7 of Guiding Kinders.  We are going to do just the first lesson or so and then use a coin collecting game (to count to 100) along with our regular math tubs for some independent work.  I am being a little loosy goosy this week because I will be utilizing the math tubs a lot while I meet with small groups to give the assessments.  Oh we shall see how this goes! 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Guiding-Kinders-Math-Workshop-Unit-7-Common-Core-Aligned--1174318
And when you teach half day.....that's it!  Wash, Rinse, Repeat.....the end.
Link up with Deedee at Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten here!
http://www.mrswillskindergarten.com/ 

Five for Friday: Field trips, Beavers, and so much more!

As usual....I'm exhausted.  Thank heavens it's Friday!
We had such an exciting week!  The week started with a series of field trips, we studied beavers in reading and science, and continued our investigations into wood and trees.  So much happening in kinderland!
We started the week with field trips!  My kiddos went on a series of field trips this week with a wonderful volunteer from our city.  We call her "Mrs. H20" (although her real name is Linda!) and she teaches a series of water literacy lessons in the field.  This week we traveled to our local river and learned about the natural resources in the area.  Kids went 11-12 at a time and I stayed behind in the classroom.  Talk about stressful!  I sent them off each morning with Mrs. H20 and a handful of super parents.  I was worried the first day but by the end of the week it was smooth sailing! 
They experienced so many wonderful lessons at the river.  I have heard about this trip non stop for the last 4 days from 45 excited Kinders!

While some of us were away on field trips the rest of us were busy little beavers!  Our story of the week was Building Beavers and we learned so many cool things about these awesome creatures.  Did you know that much of our fertile farmland across the country is thanks to these little guys?  We spent our week collecting awesome facts about beavers!



Our classroom Abuela brought in compost worms today to share with the class as part of our classroom garden.  I love when she shows up with surprises!

Oh my!  I posted my very first post on our new collaborative blog, Hello Sunshine.  I was super nervous about it but it turned out ok....in my opinion!  (you can click on the button to check it out!)
http://www.hellosunshineteachers.blogspot.com/2015/04/celebrating-mothers-love.html

Last but not least we continued or investigation into wood by using sandpaper to change the wood.  This sounds like the simplest idea EVER....however when you are 5 all the little things are amazing.  They were sanding away all day and amazed at how much the wood changed when they sanded it.  We will use our sawdust next week in a series of investigations including making paper!   I can't wait!

Have a great weekend friends!  Link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for more Five for Friday posts!

Sharin' a Little Sunshine: Spring Linky




I'm thrilled to be linking up with Hello Sunshine for our very first linky!  Do you have anything SPRING to share?  You should link up too! 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/April-Showers-Bring-May-Flowers-ELA-Centers-First-Grade-1184933
We have started a classroom garden thanks to our classroom Abuela who got us going.  I'm in love with this project already!  We started with 2 outdoor planters that are just outside our door and this summer we will have an even bigger classroom garden happening on our playground.  I can't wait!  
So my Spring tip is to grow something.  It can be as simple as grass in a cup or a planter outside or just some seeds in a bag.  Spring is all about renewal and growing something reminds us of that! 

My kiddos love taking turns watering our tomato plants.  We even have a couple of little tomatoes to watch (it helps if you get a mature plant!).

I use these centers every year throughout April and May.  They are best suited for 1st grade but there are plenty of activities for Kinders too! 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/April-Showers-Bring-May-Flowers-ELA-Centers-First-Grade-1184933

I also have a little FREEBIE included in this one.  Click HERE to get it! 
We also write about earth day during the month of April.  It's a good time to talking about respect and caring and our kiddos are overflowing with ideas in this department! 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Earth-Day-Writing-Unit-First-Grade-1195314

So now it's your turn to link up or just head over and enjoy all the other posts.  Just click on the button to get to Hello Sunshine
http://www.hellosunshineteachers.blogspot.com/2015/04/sharin-little-sunshine-spring-is-in-air.html

Five for Friday!

 Yes.....we made it!

 Science!  We have been having so much fun in science this week.  We are working with the FOSS kit Wood and Trees.  This week we investigated with our wood samples to see if they would float.  Then we added weight to see if we could get them to sink.  SO many great conversation came from this!


 Field Trip!  We are going on 2 weeks worth of field trips starting Monday.  Our city hosts a water conservation field trip every year for our Kindergarten classes.  12 kids go each day with Mrs. H20 (and I stay behind in the classroom).  She is super fabulous and is so excited to share her knowledge about the water cycle and water conservation.  I'm excited for my kiddos!

So have you heard?  There is a brand new collaborative blog that just debuted this week.  It's full of sunshiny goodness from all the gals in Arizona.  I'm super lucky to be a part of such a great group of ladies.  We are giving away $100 TPT gift card on the blog.  You should go enter NOW because the giveaway ends at midnight tonight!
http://www.hellosunshineteachers.blogspot.com/

  Hooray for volunteers!  I have the most wonderful classroom Abuela who is helping us with creating a classroom garden.  She has huge plans for our little classroom playground but for now she started us out with 2 containers of tomatoes that we will care for until the larger garden is done. She has taken care of all the leg work and I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful helper in the classroom.  She spends our Friday afternoons with us and I'm always so happy to see her walk through the door.  I forgot to take pics of our planters, but here is our thank you note to one of the companies that donated. 
I love how it turned out, their hand prints are darling!
And last but not least, it's fun to share a little normal life too!  My sister was visiting from San Diego and we got a little hiking in with her.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day in Sedona!  The views were amazing but this gives you a little perspective of how high up we went! 
Have a wonderful weekend friends.  We might get out and enjoy a little sunshine or do a little gardening.  First on my list is to sleep in!

Centers Management: Pencil Pouches to the rescue!


Have you ever had that AHA! moment that just happens in the classroom and you want to share your joy with everyone? 
Then you go home and blog about it?  
Me too! 

  Today was a win in centers management.  I couldn't wait to come home and share this idea!  Not ground breaking, just life saving for me today.   
New centers crept up on me this week and I had one station that wasn't ready.  I could have thrown any old thing in there but I'm trying out some new "Change a Letter" cards that I just made and I really wanted to make it happen.  I had copied everything but they had to be laminated so the kids could write on them.

Will the laminator warm up in 5 minutes.....no. 
 Am I going to give up on this idea.....no.  

What's a girl to do?  I realize in my rush (seriously there are now 4 minutes left before the bell rings) that I only need half of a page protector to cover the recording sheets so I can just use one of those and make it work.  I shutter when I think of all the cards getting mixed up because students have dumped them on the floor because they dump those things out all the time. 
(I got lost in thought so now I have 2 minutes to bell...) Then it hits me....

Zipper Pencil Pouch! 

I have a few of these in my closet so I grabbed 4, threw in the cards and a marker and zipped it up.  

Problem solved!  (cue bell ringing here)

It never works out like that for me!
 So I'm counting this one as a win since this was a big hit with all the kiddos today.  And a double win for me because all the centers are staying together and NOT on the floor!  

I'm buying extra pencil pouches next year...for sure! 

Thanks for stopping by today!  If you haven't already stopped by Hello Sunshine to enter the HUGE giveaway ($100 from TPT!!!) you can get there by clicking HERE.  The giveaway ends tomorrow.  I can't wait to find out who wins!
http://www.hellosunshineteachers.blogspot.com/2015/04/hello-sunshine.html
Good luck!  

Hello Sunshine!

What do you get when you combine 12 inspiring teachers and the year round sunshine of ARIZONA? 
http://hellosunshineteachers.blogspot.com/
 This is HUGE! 
We are excited to introduce a new collaborative blog from 12 of your favorite Arizona bloggers.  We love living in the SUNSHINE and want to share the warmth with you!

To introduce this fun new collaboration we are giving away a MEGA prize!

As part of the fun we would love to give a lucky blog hopper an incredible prize to get you through the end of the year!  $100 gift certificate to TPT......um, yes please!

That's not all! 
You can enter to win a $10 gift card to Starbucks and $10 in products from my TPT store right here on my blog and then hop to all the Hello Sunshine gals to enter to win their prizes too.  Easy peasy and so many chances to win!  
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway  
Good luck!

Don't stop here!  Visit Carolyn at Nurturing Noggins and keep hopping until you get back to me! 
Nurturing Noggins