Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Polar Bear Sneak Peak Supplemental Activities

My winter break is almost over, we go back on Monday for professional development but our student's don't start till the 8th. When do you all go back? What will yo be teaching, practicing, or reviewing? What are your student's expected to "know" by now or this time of year?

Once I get back, we will be doing our backwards planning for the first 3 weeks of our 3rd quarter for the year to include CFA's. Report cards are also due (and I haven't transferred our grades... waahhh) I guess you can say I'm enjoying the winter break with my family and working on some activities for my students, that will reinforce number sense skills.
 I will be focusing on students counting up to 50 (K.CC.1 up to 100) with a deep understanding of before, after, and missing numbers up to 30. I know kindergarten standards only call for up to 20, but I like teaching to the top 25% of my class and scaffolding or differentiating for the rest. I think it's easier bringing up those low kids, than having the high ones "bored or restless." This keeps my class one happy classroom easy to manage (did I mention I'm also full inclusion kindergarten classroom).

We will also take a deep dive into "how many?" and comparing numbers and quantities... hence Number Sense :0 this is so far what some of my supplemental activities will look like! I will be giving away a copy(ies) or perhaps make it a flash freebie on my TPT store! Stay Tuned!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Fourteen in '14 Linky Party

2014 is coming to an end in just a couple of days! That's only 3 days away to be exact! (or like my husband just mumbled "why are you stating the obvious?) Because I'm blogging my year in review, that's why!! Cheers to a Happy New Year an to this Linky Party hosted by:

My Favorite quote of all time is
 "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
 By Eleanor Roosevelt
LEGGINGS with Layered tops and boots!

The ending was PERFECT!!

I honestly can't live without 4 shows! I DVR every single one of them 
(and if I have to stay up late on Sunday night, I will, story of my life) 

I Love their Menudo!

Yoga!! I'm a wanna be yogi! But seriously where has Yoga been all my life?
I love the practice, the benefits, the downtime, and the time to reflect and let go!

My hubby spoiled me with an iMac this summer.... 

Still not a big pinner on pinterest! :( But getting there!

My interactive journal blog post just last week. It has over 500 views from all over the world in just one week (even views from Saudi Arabia!) 

I became a seller on Teachers Pay Teachers and a blogger. 

Do I really have to pick just one??

 My sisters... they are true best friends!

I love horseback riding with my hubby.
Submit and score high on the first two components on my quest of achieving National Board Certification!


The joy of the Lord is my Strength!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Using Interactive Journals

I recently read a post on Facebook about what and how do you use interactive journals or if they were just a waste of time in a kindergarten classroom? In a previews post, I talk about how to make an interactive journal for kindergartners, you can click here to read that post. So what are they and how do they work? These are my thoughts, opinions, and reasons,

First of all the main purpose/reason I use interactive journals in kindergarten is to help my students practice, review, and remember concepts and skills we are learning about. This is the primary reason I divide a notebook into sections and color code each section to make students aware of their learning. This makes it easier for students to use, understand, and engage in their learning or "I can statements..." These statements are aligned to common core standards. For example the ELA notebook sections range from foundational skills to writing, and language standards. Then within that section they do and complete activities aligned to that specific set of standards.
At the very beginning of the year students and parents together make one for Language Arts and one for Math. They personalize it, then I have parents "explain" to their child what each notebook is for (after I explain to the parents, what I'm explaining to you in this post.) When we actually start using them, I ask my students, "do you remember the notebooks you made with your mommy or daddy? Guess what! We get to use them today!"
I explain which one they will use and why they are using that one. We end up calling them our "handy dandy notebooks." I also do this to teach kids organizations skills and also to differentiate for math and reading. I want them to know and understand when we are learning about math concepts or reading concepts; my reasoning for not using just one for everything. I purposely have parents help set them up because it is also an opportunity for parents to be informed about the standards and skills that students need to master by the end of the kindergarten.
  Our activities range from cutting, pasting, matching to writing, synthesizing, and creating. The possibilities are endless. I want to enable students to use them "interactively" meaning if they can go back and reuse them to help them with another assignment they can! At other times, it's just simply amazing when they flip through their pages and they began to talk about a previous activity and what it "means" or what it was "for." Hearing students take ownership or be engaged in any activity is every teachers dream come true!

Above all, my favorite use for them... they are an easy tool for formative assessments and to show parents their child's progress through out the year! They are so "interactive" my kids love them and so do I. Interestingly enough as write this post I found this research based supporting article on the use of interactive journals in the classroom! Still curious and not sure about interactive journals? Read along some more.

Supports my own theory, reason, and purpose on how and why to use them and how to set them up!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Black Bears, New Mexico, & Kindergarten

I've been off for exactly a month but that's because my students and I have been crazy at school, having fun and READING!! My little kindergartener's are reading :) and somewhat writing and coming along in their academics. I just love watching those little eyes grow when they hear themselves read or "sound out" a word and READ it... best part for me as a teacher!!! If I could add a bunch of Emoji happy faces with heart eyes here I would!!! lol!

This past month we did a thematic unit on our state (New Mexico and Our State Animal: Black Bear) which lent itself to a whole STEM, Social Studies, Reading & Math Common Core Aligned Lesson and I'm sharing it with you all today!

We started off by learning about New Mexico, our State Flag, and the Zia Symbol.
This link (see below)  has so many resources it was wonderful! Did you know New Mexico even has a State Dinosaur?? We didn't!!

New Mexico

This is what our final Project looks like! The students worked together to create/make the habitat for the black bear, New Mexico's State animal!

During this project we also addressed common core standards like rhyming. Student's used their interactive journals to make "Rhyming Dens."

We played a counting on game, using "bear dens" And sang "we are going on a bear hunt, we're going to catch a number, we can't go over it, can't go under it, we must go in it!" Then they caught the number and counted on from that number! 

Lets not forget to how to write, count, and compare!

Plus other writing projects! Hope you liked reading along, just as much as I enjoyed sharing! 
You can actually purchase this whole unit at my TPT store and try it in your own classroom, it has so much more to offer and it's all common core aligned! Download it and leave some feedback! Enjoy!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

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