Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bananas for Groundhogs

     Groundhog Day is right around the corner and no one loves silly holidays more than kindergarten teachers! I've been looking through my files trying to decide which activities I'm going to dust off and roll out on Thursday. With the pressure to fit everything we do into the Common Core Standards,  I'm finding myself worrying that some of my "Old Favorites" might seem like "fluff" to administrators who might stumble into my room while we are painting, cooking, or doing other worthwhile but less academic activities.  So, I've been on a mission to beef up some of these fun favs to include a more comprehensive literacy component.  For example, in the past we've made these yummy little snacks on Groundhog Day. They're cute and healthy and the kids LOVE making (and eating) them.  
     So, in an effort to make the fun a little more "Core Friendly," I've created a recipe book to go with the activity.  With shared reading, independent reading and independent writing components to go with the fun, I'm not going to worry a bit if my principal walks in when we're up to our elbows in Cheerios and raisins.  If you're as bananas about Groundhog Day as I am, leave a comment and help yourself to a copy of the packet down below.  You'll just need to pick up some dixie cups, bananas, Cheerios, chocolate chips and raisins.  Have a Core-riffic Groundhog Day!

     On a side note, I've just stumbled across a really great graphic artist, Lauren, who sells clipart on Etsy.  She even allows the use of her graphics in products you make for TPT!  Check out her shop The First Grade Diaries.  In celebration of this great find, I'll send a copy of the emergent reader I made with her clipart to the first three people who comment below.  (Don't forget to leave me your email)
Have a great night!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

MLK Giveaway WInners

Wow!  What great ideas everyone has for Martin Luther King Day!  If you're looking for some great activities, read through the comments on the original giveaway post.  To say thanks for all of the fantastic tips, I picked some extra winners for the MLK unit.  If you're one of the people listed below, check your email!

Have a great night!
**Update at 11:29 PM - Barbara and Jennifer, for some reason hotmail is blocking my email, could you email me at DLCteach@aol.com so I can get you your packet?  Thanks!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

MLK Freebie and Giveaway

     While planning for the month of January, I was disappointed to find that most of the resource materials floating around for Martin Luther King Day are geared toward upper elementary grades.  Word searches and crossword puzzles are great, but they sure don't meet the 87 zillion kindergarten standards we're all trying to squeeze in.  So, as we all often do, since I couldn't find any good cross-curricular activities, I made some of my own.
     Wanting to combine the powerful message this great man had for our world with the emerging skills of my kiddos, I came up with some kindergarten-y math, literacy and art activities.  I've been using some of them in my math and literacy centers and they've been a big hit and the kids are doing a great job with them.  In honor of Martin, I'd like to spread some love and share. First, help yourself to the writing freebie down below. It's a bubble map for students to use to write descriptive words about MLK.  Next, I'd like to send the whole packet to the first 3 people who comment on this post with an idea that they use to share Martin's dream with their kiddos.  Finally, I'd like to have a quick giveaway.  To enter, leave a comment if you're a follower and an additional comment if you blog about the giveaway.  I'll pick one winner for every 20 comments - the more entries, the more winners!  It's going to be a quickie because I'd like the winners to have a chance to use the unit later this week, so I'll pick the winners Tuesday night.  Be sure to leave your email!

Leave a comment to enter to win!
 Have a great night!

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Freebie for the New Year

Sigh... Time to go back to school tomorrow.  I've had a very nice break and feel totally refreshed but the thought of waking up so early on a cold, dark, January morning is making me a little sad.  I missed the kids though and know we'll have an exciting day with all kinds of stories to tell.  I've been planning for the week and we're launching a new unit (Working with Non-fiction - my favorite!) in both Readers' and Writers' Workshop.  Because this is our first nonfiction study, I want to be sure that the kids are all fully engaged when we start.  Since tomorrow is going to be quite the transition day trying to get everyone back into routines, I'm going to wait until Wednesday to launch.  So, I've come up with a little 1-day mini-unit to help get us all back to business tomorrow.  All of the activities are based on a new emergent reader, A New Year, and will hopefully ease the kids back into the structure of school before we tackle more serious learning on Wednesday.  There's a little something for shared reading, independent reading, writing, math and a pocket chart activity. If you're looking for some cute yet meaningful activities to welcome your kiddos to a new year of learning, help yourself to the unit by clicking under the picture.  I'd love to hear how your first day back goes! Good luck getting back into the swing of things and Happy New Year!