Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fight for Your Write!

I joined BIC in the Fight For Your Write campaign.  It is an awesome mission to save handwriting! BIC strongly agrees that writing is an important tool for communication and helps promote individuality. Writing is also a critical learning tool and helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence, and so much more!
I tested out some of BIC's new products and I have fallen in love with them!
I've been writing all of my lesson plans with the BIC Atlantis Ball Pen....I love it! It is the most comfortable pen to grip and this pen writes so smooth and doesn't smudge at all!! I actually attached a little bow to the top of it so no one would accidentally take this pen from my room, haha!
I have a couple little ones who have a poor pencil grip. We are working so hard on 'pinching the pencil'.
 Last year I fell in love with these BIC kids mechanical pencils that are made for proper finger position. The pencils have a built in line (yellow) that sticks out of the pencil.  It is easy for kids to be reminded to 'pinch the yellow'.  Plus, the lead in this pencil is so thick, that it won't break. As you can see above and below, there definitely is a different between the two grips (with the same child) using different pencils.  We are getting there!
 I also have these BIC Xtra-Craze pencils. They are mechanical pencils as well.  These write hard, making it easy for me to read children's letters, and there is enough lead in each one to equal 2 and a half wood case pencils.  I always choose one or two 'awesome illustrators' to use these pencils.  It gives the students a little more of an incentive to draw and color nicely during writing time. 
 I also have their Xtra-Fun pencils, the kids LOVE the colors on these pencils! They are so excited when I let them use these.
My favorite new BIC product I saved for last...
They have this awesome new highlighter that is erasable! We use highlighters every week to highlight our sight words in our poem(s). Occasionally students will highlight the wrong words; for instance, our word this week was 'white' and a lot of students also highlighted the word 'with'. Thank goodness for our new erasable highlighters!! 
 Make sure to stop by BIC Fight For Your Write and sign the pledge to save handwriting! You may be able to receive some tips and tools too!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Halloween Fun with Oriental Trading

My kids LOVE Halloween and they have been talking about their costumes for weeks! We have four parties a year, one of which is a Halloween party. Oriental Trading has some of the cutest Halloween decorations and some great Halloween games!
I let my kids test out some of our Oriental Trading games during our fun Friday.  I think this made them even more excited for our party!
I ordered candy corn fun is that?!
 I am thinking that I will have to add a little bowl of candy corn at this center.  Maybe they can eat as many candy corns as pins they knock down?
 We are also going to make a delicious bat snack!
So I ordered some cute bat straws to use at our cooking activity center.
 Always a party the nose on the jack o'lantern! My kids were all dying to test this out!
 Almost perfect on her first try!
 I ordered some Halloween goodie bags for all of the kids as well.  I couldn't resist these cute patterns!
 At their Halloween party there will be a little goodie at each center.  When they finish their center they can 'Trick or Treat' and add their treat into the bag.
 I also ordered these bat lanterns. I LOVE them!! We are learning about bats for the next couple of weeks and these make a perfect, fun, addition to the classroom!
 I ordered 6 total and they were super easy to assemble and hang!
 I think this one may be my students favorite center.  I ordered pumpkin decorating kits for each child.  
 The pumpkins come out adorable!!
Oriental Trading is definitely the best spot to get your party decor and games! They also have lots of treats for goodie bags! 
Oriental Trading is actually doing an amazing giveaway that ends today, so make sure to enter below!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Teaching Nouns in Kindergarten

In the Journey's reading series, we introduce nouns within the first couple of weeks of school.  I introduce nouns over three weeks. The first week we only do people nouns, the second week we teach place nouns, and then the third week we do things/animal nouns.  We started off by brainstorming people nouns and making a list on the white board.  We continued to do this each week.  Then, the last week we used these cards from Lori over at Teaching With Love and Laughter.
The kids LOVED sorting these cards together. When we were done, I told the students that they were going to make their own poster.  Some kids weren't sure what a 'poster' was, so I showed them a couple of poster examples that I had in the classroom (ex. color poster, hundreds chart, etc.). Then, I split the class into four different groups (making sure to put a 'writer' in each group).
 Each group had to make their own nouns poster.  They started off by writing 'person', 'place', and 'thing' at the top.
 Another student in the group traced the letters in sharpie and another student colored the letters.  This gave more students the opportunity to contribute.
 Then, they had to draw at least three items in each category.  If they wanted, they were allowed to use the cards we sorted on our whiteboard. 
Look at how cute these pictures turned out!! 
 Then, they took turns tracing their words and coloring in their pictures. I always walk around and make sure everyone is contributing. If I see a child just sitting there, I give them a job to do. Eventually, I want them to create their own jobs. But since this was our first time doing a group project, I had to remind them of different things to do a little bit more than normal. 
 When all of the groups were finished, they came to the carpet and sat with their group.
I called one group up at a time to present their poster. 
 They weren't shy at all!! The students took turns reading the different images they drew.
This was the first collaborative group activity we did this year, and they did AMAZING with it!! I was so impressed! This month we will do our next group activity--sorting facts onto a venn diagram to compare bats and birds.  I am sure they will impress me again!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Apple Day

Our 'Apple Day' is quickly approaching and I always like to look back to see what I've done in past years to make planning a lot easier! I always try to keep my special events fun, but easy to put need to make stress or extra work for yourself! ;) I was taking a look at pictures from our last 'Apple Day' and I realized I never blogged about it! So, here we go!
The students made these special apple trees using their finger prints. I stored these away for their end of the year memory books.
You can find my memory books by clicking on the image below. It is incomplete and I will be adding to the pack monthly. 
They played our Apples Letter/Sounds game which is always a hit!
You can find the game here:
We made these delicious apple trees!! All you need is Ritz Crackers, a jar of vanilla icing (dyed green), pretzel sticks, and m&m's.
We also had a station set up for apple taste testing. They had a slice of a red, green, and yellow apple along with peanut butter, caramel, and apple juice.
I had this little poem and q-tip painting activity prepped from a previous year that went unused so we worked on this at one of our centers. They actually had a great time with this and it was a good fine motor center! We glued this into our poetry notebooks when they were dry.
The students all made this cute craft from The Bubbly Blonde. You can find it for free HERE. These would make a cute and easy bulletin board!
Our last center was a roll and dab game. My students always love these games. 
This one can be found in my apple unit below.