Time to smile!

 I saw this today and had to post.  Isn't it so adorable?

Next week I have parent conferences.  I don't mind them, but I really don't have an agenda yet in my mind?  I always discuss reading and growth... but I feel like I am a little stale!

What do you share at parent conferences?


The Wind Blew

I am sure you heard this story before, The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins

I love to read this book at this time of the year.  The kids are thinkers now.  After the story, we did a follow up.  Now, we have REALLY been working on writing and really, it has improved so much in the last weeks.  We've talked about spacing, using details in our pictures, Trying to fill the lines.  Here is what I got today:

So, I am trying to upload this so you can grab it and use in your class too!  I am just not that technical just yet!  Cross your fingers this works!


The Power of Hot Potato

I typically try to plan every second of my day to the T.  And usually there is a gap between the AM and PM and one or the other has lag time, which is secret code in kindergarten for trouble.

So, I love Hot Potato.  It is rigorous, requires cooperation, and well, they have to kinda be a good sport.

How to play: (just in case you missed this somewhere in your childhood!)

Break into teams of 4 or 5.

Pick a bumper.  I always keep this rule, whoever gets out first, is the bumper the next round.  I usually pick the first bumper.

The bumper is the person who bumps the hot potatoes as they go in a circle.

Each person has 2 potatoes (both fist).

The bumper bumps, but everyone counts to ten.  If the bumper lands on your potato on ten, that potato is OUT.  If you lose both potatoes, you sit down.

The person with the potato left standing is the winner.  The winner never starts the next game.

Even if the bumper gets out, they can still bump.

The kids LOVE getting to play.  They get into good little huddles and I always hear kind words... and occasionally there is someone who tries to cheat but there is a posse to catch them.

So if you have an extra 5 minutes... give Hot Potato a try!


They can WRITE! Yeah!

After attending Kim Adsit's workshop, I really wanted to put into play her ideas for writing.  She starts all the kids off on 2 lined paper.  When they can fill up the 2 lines, they get 4 lined paper, then 6, then 9 etc.  (if you go to her website, she has them all there to download too!). 

So I wanted to use the writers workshop model, although I have been using an abreviated version in my class.  I started with the anchor chart of what we can write about.  This was just a one day mini-lesson and I held off on writing.

Then I did a What Good Writers do When they are done.  I spent more time on this anchor chart and told my story of Brayden.  Feel free to use this story too:

When Brayden was in kindergarten he was a Star Wars savant!  (seriously, he knew it all!)  And he loved to write about Star Wars EVERY time we wrote.  Which was fine with me also has he had different things to say.  And he always did.  So I demonstrated one of Brayden's papers.  I drew Luke with a light saber and Darth with a light saber.  Of course all the boys were SUPER attentive. 

Then I wrote (using 2 lines) Luke fought Darth Vader in a battle.

Everyone loved it!  I then went to the anchor chart:  It says good writers add to their picture.  So I did what Brayden did:  He started adding action to his picture and added Yoda and the death star and Chewbacca and before we knew it the picture was all messed up. 

I asked the students what Brayden did?  They said, "he messed up the paper".  I said RIGHT... what should have Brayden done:  everyone answered either get a new piece or add to the words. 


The folder

Maybe Star Wars is out and Ninjago is in?

He couldn't wait for 4 lines!

And they added to the picture perfect!
So they go off to writing.  I also incorporated Kim's idea of clubs.  I put a paper on the wall and it said : The 2 Line Club!  If students could fill up two lines they got to sign their names!  They LOVED that!  They all wanted the 4 lined paper too.  I only had about 4 students total who couldn't sign the paper.  Which is GREAT!

They were so eager to write they were disappointed we didn't do it today too!  But I didn't want to kill the excitement! 


Look who I got to meet!

Yesterday I was so blessed to get to spend the day with Kim Adsit of
in her workshop DI for the Little Guy.

I learned so many good things.  And Kim, well she is fabulous. She has so many wonderful things to share and offer.  And seriously, she knows her stuff!  She is seriously funny too.  She could give Jeff Foxworthy a run for his money!

 I think my BIG take away is really, you need to be organized.  You need to KNOW YOUR STANDARDS!  I, all too often, try to teach everything at once.  But if I am following my standard, then all the other stuff will fall into place.

My second take away was I should have a scope and sequence.  In my district, we do not have one in place.  But I think I am going to invite my team over for drinks and we are going to write one this summer (too bad I don't have a pool, but I do live near the beach so maybe that will work!)

Thank you Kim for a MEANINGFUL and productive day.  I love when I can walk away from a workshop and be energized and eager to dig in and get it done!


There was an old lady... no not me..

My students are... well hilarious!  I read the story yesterday about There Was and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover... and someone asked, why did I eat a clover?  haha so funny!  Do they know I turned a milestone just recently?  Seriously...

BUT the lesson was a success.

With the help of Pam at  Can Do Kinders I used her sequence cards.

After reading the story I passed out all the pictures and their words.  I didn't organize the WHOLE story.. we just didn't have time.

Then each student put the picture they had in the correct place on the pocket chart.

To follow up with the sequencing I had them draw each part of the story.  Here are a few:

They drew each piece and retold the story.

I love this one too!

Some students even labeled the pictures.  Love it!

Also, today I saw Tammy and Annie at  Live Love Laugh  have a few freebie games that go with the story as well.  I just might have to play a few today too!  

I love it when everything works out.  And no.... I never ate a clover!  


I feel so honored

Look what Michelle at Inspired by Kindergarten gave me!  The One Lovely Blog Award!  I feel so honored!  Thank you Michelle you've made my day!

So, the rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award":
1.  Thank the person who gave it to you and link back to them.
2.  Pass the award on to 15 other bloggers.
3.  Follow the person who sent it to you.

So here are 15 blogs that I couldn't do without.  It was hard to decide on only 15 but here are the picks!


Kreative in Kinder        KinderlandFun

Kindergarten Is a Hoot    
Photobucket      It's Elementary My Dear Teacher  Photobucket"/>
Can Do Kinders

And these that do not have a button that I could find:
For the Love of Kindergarten

A Place Called Kindergarten

Mrs. Erickson's Kindergarten