Monday, December 9, 2013

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What's Happening?

If you have been checking the blog, you have probably noticed that I haven't been posting a lot about the happenings, but rather I've been uploading videos. These videos are being used during math group time. I have groups watch the video and then do the activity. So far, it seems to be a great way for kiddos to do math, but without having me right there the whole time. It is still me teaching, but then they can be independent afterwards.

With that being said, I will still try and put up things that are happening, but I also want this to be a great tool for the kiddos! You can always do the activities at  home too!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Add it Up! Take it Away!

Here are some tough addition and subtraction problems. Remember to use you fingers, drawings, and math manipulatives to solve the problem! YOU CAN DO IT!

Add it Up and Take it Away!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

More Reading and Math Talk in Action

Please head over to YouTube to see some more reading and math talk in action!


Math Talk

The only people that can see these are those that have this link address. I am set on private. 

Conferences and Fall Fun

It is so exciting and wonderful to meet and chat about the kinders with parents and family. It is always a great experience and so worthwhile. One of my favorite things is seeing the kiddos in their parents! I also start thinking about someday when I'm sitting in the parent seat for my own child. Oh my!

We had such a blast at our fall party. They are still talking about it! This week our essential question was, "What are the different sounds that we hear?" Everybody talked about the sounds that they heard at our fall party. I value the learning day so much, but I also know how important it is to have fun and to have those "party" experiences. Kiddos always remember things like that.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Red Ribbon Week

Next week is red ribbon week. Schools across the country will be celebrating this great cause and bringing awareness to being drug free. On Monday our counselor visited our room and had a conversation with our kiddos about being drug free. She then told them that the whole school was going to sign a pledge to being drug free. The really cool part is that those pledges are going to be on giant sheets and be on display for all of Lawrence to see! Our motto or saying is, "A HEALTHY ME IS DRUG FREE!"

I snapped a picture of two kinders signing their names on the kindergarten sheet. Make sure to drive by or walk by the front of our school to see our PRIDE!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

I Believe in Me!

Sometimes our room can get plagued with the "I can'ts." We are learning a lot of new things and sometimes rather quickly. This is when our littles can come down with the "I can'ts." This past week, after attending a two day training, I came back with a new sense of responsibility to our kiddos. Not only must I give them every ounce of knowledge and strength to prepare them for their life, but I also want to help them understand that they MUST believe in themselves. We are going to do daily affirmations in our classrooms. We are going to say, "I can do it," and "I believe in me." I think if the kiddos say these statements to themselves it will give them confidence and maybe a strategy as they get older.
Believe In Yourself

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Going home with your kinders today is a note explaining how to get on our WONDERS website. Along with the note is a small card with your child's animal pic and a password. Let me tell you why this is going to be such an amazing thing for you and your child!!!

  1. It's easy to do! Once you type in the url make sure to save it or star it. The site itself is user friendly and the kiddos are already great at navigating through it. 
  2. There is so much to do! You can read the small guided reading books together, you can play games that focus on letters and the sounds they make, practice saying our high-frequency words, read one of our BIG books, and so much more.
  3. This will make a difference! Not much more to say than that.
You have to find my name to get to all the kiddos logins!
Find your child's picture and name (I erased all names for the blog)
Once you get this far, your kinder should be able to navigate through the rest. At this point you'll be asked to enter the password and then you will enter the site. 

Enjoy and please contact me with questions or concerns!!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reading adventures

I'm experimenting with the iPad and all that we and all that we can do with it! Here is my first venture...recording a student reading their guided reading book and posting it on YouTube! No faces, no names, only hands and voice.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mini iPad!

Exciting news! I worked on a grant from the website Donors Choose and asked for a mini iPad. Well, I got it and I am so excited to start using it in class. 

My first idea is to start recording the students reading their guided reading books and then post it on youtube. I of course would not show any of their faces, it would merely be them showing the pictures and their voices. 

I think there are I some great things we could do with FaceTime, but I'm not sure how to "hook" up with others outside of our classroom. 

Look for new updates regarding our class as we journey into the wide world of technology! 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Yay for YouTube!

A fun video for counting by fives!
Counting by 10!

What is a good friend?

Last week our essential question was, "How can we get along with new friends?" All week we read different stories about being a good friend, making new friends, and what a friend is. With our new reading curriculum we read a variety of texts; informational (non-fiction), fiction, fantasy, fable. It is so exciting to see them connecting with the texts using text-to-text, text-to-self, and text-to-world connections. These are skills that are going to help them grow into lifelong readers.

At the end of the week there is always a research and inquiry project. It usually involves working in a small group. The project for this week was to get in a small group and create a poster about being a good friend. The group had to agree on their idea and then their poster needed to match their idea. They worked so well together  using their collaboration skills that we practice every day! Here are some pictures from the day.
"A good friend shares rainbow toys and basketballs."
"A good friend plays nicely with friends."
"A good friend shares toys and markers."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Little Readers

As we get more and more into the school year, your kindergartener will be learning more and more words!So far we have worked on knowing three words; I, can, the. Each word has a little reader from our reading curriculum. We practice reading the book together, we circle/highlight the word, and then they get to color the pictures. These books are coming home with your kinder and it is a great tool to help them get better at reading!

Monday, September 2, 2013

August 29th Newsletter

August 29 by lauren1983mitchell

Daily Five Beginnings

One of my most favorite parts of the day is Daily Five. This is an hour block of time in the morning where the kiddos move around the room doing various literacy based activities. When I first came to Kennedy our Principal told me that the whole school was going to do Daily Five, so I needed to read the book and figure out how it would work in a kindergarten room. That first year was a learning experience, but all of the kindergarten teachers and staff really saw how beneficial this type of structure worked. Here's the breakdown...

There are five (Daily Five) stations; read to self, read to someone, listen to reading, word work, work on writing. We focus on one station a week in the beginning and create an anchor chart. The big idea is that the kiddos are INDEPENDENT and they have CHOICE! We practice and practice and practice, until they have built up the stamina to be on their own. Then, hopefully, they are on task and I don't have to remind them too much of what they are supposed to be doing.

  • Read to Self: Reading a book one of three ways; read the pictures, read the words, retell the story.
  • Read to Someone: Sitting in EEKK position (elbow, elbow, knee, knee) and reading a book one of three ways to eachother.
  • Listen to Reading: Listening to a book on the computer, on an iPad, on a CD.
  • Word Work: Working on high frequency words and alphabet practice.
  • Work on Writing: Writing in a journal, completing a prompt, or working on a story from earlier in the day. 
You might be thinking..."How do kindergarteners do all of this???" I will tell you, they do it and they love it. It is a process in the beginning and we take small steps, but by mid-year we are cruising and getting so much done during this hour. Also, perhaps the most important aspect of this time is that I work with small groups while everyone is rotating and focused. It gives me time to really work on the skills that those kiddos need.

Here are some photos of the kindergarteners doing some word work this week.
Name puzzles

Letter tile matching

Uppercase magnet letter matching
Letter clips on a wheel

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

5 Days

5 days of school have past and we have done so much! I hope that your kinders are coming home with smiles, stories about the day, and enough energy to stay awake through dinner. We work hard and it can be a long day. They all need a good nights sleep and a big breakfast. We don't eat lunch until 11:40, so our morning can be made extra long if they get hungry.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

First Day of School!!!!

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow! Here we go everybody, time to start another school year. Today was a great day with all of the 1st through 5th graders. There is just nothing like the first day of school. I especially love seeing my kiddos from previous years just so excited. It is also sad and hard to let them go, but tomorrow I get a new bunch of littles!

Make sure to check in for information, details about the day, pictures, and just general good times happening on this blog!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Summer blues?

12 days until the first day of school (I've got the countdown going now). Olive and the rest of us have enjoyed our lazy mornings, leisurely days, and overall good times. However, with school looming, we do need to start getting back into the routine of things! Here is an example of why...
Here she is at 9:30 in the morning and a little upset because she could not play the Ipad right away. Now, we are pretty minimal with our Ipad and TV around this house, but she does get to play. Once school starts there will be none of that in the morning. It's time to get down to business.

Are you ready for early mornings? Have you started to get back into the routine yet?

Friday, July 12, 2013

To theme or not to theme...

For the past two years I haven't had a theme in my classroom. Instead, I've stuck with primary colors, easy to read signs and labels, and hopefully a pleasing and welcoming classroom. When pinteresting I always see the cutest themed classrooms and they just look so awesome, but they also seem like a lot of work. Another thing is that as cute and colorful as they are, I wonder if it is a bit much and distracting for the little ones. I love cute stuff, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it can easily go from cute to harmful. With that, I've decided to do a VERY minimalist theme this year. I'm going to embrace the world of bees.
((Here are my newest additions to the theme. Bee borders, bee nameplates, and flowers (for the job chart).))

To start, our slogan this year is going to be "We are BEEsy learning in Kindergarten!" Pretty cute, right? I'm going to spray paint an old frame yellow and use it as a prop to take their pictures that first week. I think I'll glue a couple of bee figures onto the frame too. Then I'll display them in the hall along with our slogan. I'm thinking I might also have colored bees hanging above their tables as a way to distinguish between the groups; blue, red, green, orange. Still deciding and thinking about it.

In other news, the classroom is looking awesome for next year.I am really excited to see how it all works with the new arrangement! I'm also looking forward to less stuff which equals less mess. Oh yeah!

What are your thoughts, do you theme or do you not?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer, summer, summertime

Oh glorious summer! Hot days, hot nights, fireflies, fireworks, pools, and Popsicles. I hope that all my friends from this past 2012-2013 are having a wonderful time and all my friends from the year before. Here at the house we are packing away our goodies for our big move next week. We are so very fortunate to be able to move into a beautiful home with enough space for our family. We are also working on colors, counting, and reading many books with Olive. I think that we should all have relaxing time, but in my mind reading is relaxing!

The next school year is approaching and I have spent some time getting ready. The biggest change is my classroom (pictures to come.) I have got rid of the puppet theater and a large cubbie desk. These two things took up a lot of space! I also moved my computer to the front of the classroom, so that myself and the kiddos have better access to it. This helps tremendously with the SMARTboard, because the board runs through the computer. I would often times have to make a trip all the way to the back of the room to right a wrong! This means that my reading table also moved to the front. I am so excited to have more spaces for the kiddos to work in small groups! We are going to do many group projects this year!

I'm looking forward to meeting all of my new little's...but not too soon :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

April showers bring May flowers

April is halfway over and we have been having so much fun in the classroom. So much fun that I haven't updated this blog in a very long time. After spring break we did a short unit on weather and now we are on our insect unit. The insect unit is one of my favorites and the kiddos seem to really enjoy theirselves.

On Monday we made a KWL about insects. First we wrote about "What we know" about insects. Here are some of friends thoughts; "Insects can tickle you," "Spiders eat people," "Daddy long legs don't bite." Then, we read a book called "What is an insect," an easy informational book. When we finished our book we went back and filled in the "What I Learned" portion of the KWL. We discovered that insects have 6 legs, spiders are not insects, and Daddy long legs are not insects. Next we came up with some "I wonder" questions.

Friday, January 25, 2013

We are Paleontologists!

Today we had a blast looking at fossils. The kiddos got out magnifying glasses and took a good and close look at them. Then they drew a picture of what they saw and wrote some describing words about them. How fun! Another group worked on creating a scene with dinosaur stamps. These Paleo ntologists have a lot to say and show you!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dinosaur Feet

This week we explored dinosaurs even more. Ms. Chelsey read a book about how big the dinosaurs really were. Some were as tall as a 3 story apartment building! Today the students looked at a cut-out of a T.Rex footprint, then they guessed how many of our shoes would fit inside of the footprint. One of our students guessed 27 and one guessed 29...we fit 26!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Math Groups

I thought I would do a sneak peek on our Math Groups that we do everyday! It is a fun time where the kiddos rotate, move, and work on math skills. The kiddos count the eggs in the nest and then clip the clothespin onto the correct number.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


The next month or so we are going to be exploring all things DINOSAURS! It is one of my most favorite parts of the year. There is sooooo much to make, create, write, and explore. Here is a little teaser to get you excited too :)