Our classes have been busy with plane shapes for the past two weeks. The songs above are "oldies but goodies" from Kindergarten Mailbox. Each song is sung to the tune of "London Bridges." The kids love them! We love them! We also use Greg & Steve's "Shapes" song. This song is always a hit. Really, it's a resource you need to check out!
The above book pays homage to the late Bill Martin Jr.. It's the culmination activity to our Math lessons on Plane Shapes. Don't you just love how the simplicity of the googlie eyes enhances the whole activity?! We sent the books home the same day and their homework was to "read" it for their families (while the rhythm of the sentences was still fresh on their mind). Good job kiddos! Now let's move on to geometric solids...
As you can see, a number of students did not grasp word order, even though I read the sentence aloud, modeled how to build the sentence, and worked in small groups. The students just didn't make the connection between the words coming out of my mouth and the words on their paper. Frustrating? Yes. But that's okay, because this is expected at the beginning of the school year for this age group.
With that being said, the photos above show the break through that one student had. She started off by gluing down "paint" on the top line. She then glued "I" directly below "paint." I asked her to read it for me and she read, "Paint I" and hesitated. She knew that is did not sound right. The student sitting directly to her right also picked up on the mistake and was quick to correct her by showing how she had glued her sentence. The confused student was quick to make the correction. I love this type of "peer teaching!"
We did a similar activity the following day using sentences from KinderLeague's Unit 1. Next week we will continue sentence construction in this manner adding the sight word "can."
*I simply cut up the reading page from Treasures Practice Book for this activity.
Our kinder/TK classes start off the school year's math lessons with "shapes." This week, we specifically focused on squares and rectangles. We have revised the pacing plan so that students cover shapes & sorting first because our past teaching experiences (all four K teachers have taught kindergarten for over 10 years) confirm that starting with something familiar, like shapes, eases stress and makes for an easier transition into more abstract concepts later (like numbers).
We began the lesson by making a list describing rectangles. We confirmed our answers by singing the song, "We Are Rectangles!" We then made a list describing squares and sang the song, "We Are Squares!" to confirm those answers.
I modeled how to create squares and rectangles using black strips of paper. I explained that they were now going to think like artists and create their own work. I always stress that sometimes mistakes are made and that their job is to simply fix it. The students were given a large white paper and black strips. With a glue stick and scissors inside their pencil box, they went to work. When it comes to art, I really try to keep my hands off of their work. I might make an observation or a suggestion, but for the most part I let their art be.
Most of the students were done in about 30 minutes. As you can see, most students got the idea. I am always shocked at how many really internalize the idea of "thinking like an artist." If you look closely, you might even be able to pick out the renegade (hint, look for a spiral above). I love it!
School starts tomorrow and our classrooms are ready to go! As you know, Kinder League is made up of 3 teachers. Each of us would like to share some photos of our home away from home....
Alphabet Hidden Pictures have been a part of our workshop for years. Students enjoy watching the picture emerge as they color in the different picture sections. We like them because they give students a chance to practice their fine motor skills, decipher between upper case & lower case letters, and reinforce the beginning sounds of letters.
The pictures are simple enough that even your TK students will find success.
The same is true about the large font used for letter tracing.
Alphabet Hidden Pictures can be found at our TeachersPayTeachers store.
I am referring to the 3 plan books above,... well maybe I am or maybe I'm not, but in either case we are so excited to start out the school year with these in hand! Yes, this post is about the elusive teacher plan book- something we cannot live without. As every good teacher knows, losing your plan book is (almost) just as bad as losing your smart phone. Yup, that's how much of our sweat and tears go into these babies month after month (maybe that's why the three of us at Kinder League have held onto our plan books from our first years of teaching many years back). This year we are trying something new. I think I'll call it the Hybrid Teacher Plan Book.
It all started with a post from Rachel Lynette. She asked if teachers preferred old fashioned write-in planners or digital planners. And I was shocked to see that teachers overwhelmingly prefer the digital versions. So of course I felt like the dinosaur that I am since for the past 15 years I have been participating in the yearly ritual of shopping at my local teacher store and picking up the same type of over sized planner and using my best printing to make it mine. And every year I was left 75% satisfied with my selection. You see, none of the plan books ever met my needs 100% and I just accepted it.
My plan book had to hold my class roster, long term calendar, student placement list & student groups (which constantly change), daily teaching plans, grade book, math placing plan, ELA pacing plan, school calendar, aide schedule, to-do lists, blogging/FB posting calendar, sprinkled with tid-bits from my personal life (I do have one you know).
Needless to say, the perfect planner did not exist...
until maybe now. Let me backtrack a bit here. You see, our school district is in the process of rolling out a massive database that is supposed to include a grade book, all sorts of rosters, and yes- even a planning component (in the future). So the question became: how invested do we want to get into either paper OR digital plan books? I know, I know, the things that teachers contemplate,...but it was a valid dilemma. So the planning queen, Cessy Truex, whipped this up from one day to the next. We now have the choice of either PENCILING in or TYPING in our daily lessons and plans. I for one will be doing both because I don't trust anything technological (until I have no choice).
Yes, like many of you, we were the teachers showing up to meetings with 3-4 different plan books and an assortment of calendars. But no more! As you can see here, it's all included in one book and for this we are truly grateful! We'll see how this Hybrid Teacher Plan Book works out for us. I'll blog about it, I'm sure.
But in the meantime, remember that the true professional always shows up prepared. No,... planning in the shower or on the drive to school does not cut it. It's just not good for your sanity. Plus, don't you want to document your awesomeness? I sure do! So always have a plan and then a backup plan,...cuz you never know when that darn fire bell is going to go off!
From, The Kinder League
*Our pacing plans for Envision Math and Treasures Language Arts are available as a freebie on TPT.
Here We Come to Save the Day!
We are three energetic kindergarten teachers who want to share our kinder experience with you!