Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Eggs-cellent Literacy Station

     Because I teach in a public school, we steer clear of anything with an Easter theme, which I absolutely agree with but find a little sad because everyone has been posting the cutest Easter ideas on their blogs.  But make no mistake - this does not stop me from shopping in the Easter aisle at Target!  I just have to find a way to use all of my great finds in non-Eastery way!  For instance, one of my kiddos' favorite literacy stations last year was the "Eggs-cellent" Word Work station.  We do this station during of our Little Red Hen character study, so it's related to hens, not Easter.  Using the age old idea of writing words on plastic Easter eggs, I made a set of 12 eggs with short e words on them.  Using the pictures on their recording sheet, the kids worked to put together all 12 of their eggs and then write the words they created.

Here's how it works:


1.     You’ll need 12 eggs for each student working at this station. I sort them so each student has only two colors.  This ensures that the sets don’t get mixed up.
2.    Write the first sound of each word (the onset) on one half of the egg and the rest of the word (the rime) on the other half.
3.    Place each set in a large Ziploc baggie.
  Directions for Students:
1.    Look at the picture on the recording sheet.
2.    Find the two egg pieces that you need to make the word and put them together.
3.    Write the word next to the picture.

If you'd like to give it a try, click below the picture to download.  Have a great night!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Is Spring Really Here?

     I'm not sure how it's been in your neck of the woods, but here in Connecticut, we've been enjoying unseasonably warm weather for the past few weeks.  65 degree days have been the norm, not the exception, and we've going out to recess with no coats on.  In March!!  After only two plowable snowfalls (one on Halloween) and no snow days, we're all wondering, "Is spring really here?"  Freak snowstorms have been known to hit in late March and early April, but I think I am optimistically going to put away my boots and mittens and get out the flip-flops.  There are buds on my trees, birds chirping in the morning, it's still light out when I get home from school and there's the most random little bunch of purple flowers popping up in the middle of my front yard.  Ah... spring...

     I hope everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day yesterday.  Being a good irish lass myself, it is by far my favorite spring holiday.  My sweet beagle, Sally, might not agree based on the picture below, but I thought she should sport a little green, too.  (I tell myself it's OK to put silly little costumes on her because she's blind and she can't see the other dogs laughing at her, but, come on, how cute is she?)
     With spring in mind, I've been shifting away from snowmen and igloos to bunnies and flowers.  I've been working on some new math and literacy stations and some new emergent readers.  Here's a cute little graphing and adding math station using Jet-Puffed BunnyMallows.  Just pick up a bag of the cute little guys and you're good to go!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Hi All!

     Good news - I'm blogging from my new computer - yippee!  About a month ago, I totally fried my old computer. Fried as in it wouldn't even turn on. I feared that years worth of files, photos and hard work were lost in the abyss. Thanks to a Youtube how-to video and a phillips head screwdriver, I was able to crack that baby open and save the hard drive - double yippee!  I still have to go through the tedious task of reinstalling all of my favorite fonts, restoring my iTunes library, etc. but it's a small price to pay!

     February has come and gone since I last posted.  Here in Connecticut we're enjoying 65 degree weather to end the winter that wasn't.  Not even one snow day!  I have to say that after last winter's record snowfall, it's been kind of nice.

     Life in kindergarten is as busy as usual.  We just finished our second marking period assessments and report cards go out on Friday.  Our classroom is currently under attack by a mischievous little leprechaun who is playing all kinds of tricks on us.  Knocked over chairs, piled up supply boxes, green footprints and our favorite - green toilet water - we're in a tizzy.  We set up a little camera trap and (thanks to a little Photoshop - shhhh!) caught our visitor red handed and now even the most jaded five year olds are believers. 

     We've been writing letters filled with questions for the leprechaun, leaving signs for him to read and writing stories about him.  Even my most reluctant writers are producing the most amazing work - it's just incredible.  The kids also sketched out plans to make a leprechaun trap and are now busy crafting them with their families.  We're determined to catch the little critter and get his gold.  I love it when you can make even the silliest kindergarten fun meet learning objectives and standards! 

     We did a little creative writing project that I thought I would share.  The kids have to finish the thought, "I found the leprechaun's pot at the end of the rainbow but there was no gold inside.  It was full of..."  They came up with everything from candy to legos and the finished product makes a really cute bulletin board.  You just need construction paper and a little cotton and you'll be all set.  Click below the picture to download the pattern. Enjoy!