Monday, January 22, 2018

Zones of Regulation

I have been using the Zones of Regulation this year to help my students become aware of their emotions. Of course, as the Disney lover I am, I added the popular Inside Out characters to make it a little more fun. My students were introduced to the Zones at the beginning of the year and have these posters up in their calm-down corner of the classroom.

By giving my students the vocabulary they need to express their emotions, I have seen a major improvement in students who easily get over-excited, sad, and angry. Download these posters as a FREEBIE for your class!

Friday, January 12, 2018

We are embarking on learning about cultures from around the world. We are also learning about the people that sparked and drove the Civil Rights Movement. Today we ,made our hallway bulletin board with pictures inspired by Rosa Parks. She knew that everyone had a right to self respect. If we can teach this in Kindergarten, we will inspire our kids to know that they are just as important as every other person in the world.
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.”
-Rosa Parks 


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Mystery Science

Recently I was introduced to a program called Mystery Science. What I love about this program is that it follows all of the Next Generation Science Standards and makes it relevant for both teachers and students.

Mystery Science revolves around a man named Doug. He narrates the slide shows and includes stories, videos, and activities right into the slide show. The slide show even has directions for the kids to watch on HOW to do the activities. We have only completed the first couple of lessons, but I really wanted to share this site so that other teachers can check it out.

Right now it is free for teachers. I don't know if they will start charging at some point, but I suggest signing up.

It is a K-5 curriculum with 6 lessons in each unit.
There are a total of 3 Kindergarten units:
Weather Watching
Force Olympics
Plant and Animal Secrets

and a total of 3 First Grade Units:
Spinning Sky (Space)
Lights and Sound
Plant and Animal Superpowers

There are also seasonal lessons. Check it out!

All of the resources are directly in the program. Nothing costs extra. Check out our start on the Weather unit. We have become Weather Watchers and are learning how to check the weather.

Our 4 questions are:
1. What is happening in the sky?
2. What is the temperature?
3. Is it windy?
4. Is it raining?

My students really understood the direct instruction provided to them. We went outside and applied these questions to our learning. While you might think they just watch a video, they don't! The slide show consists of video portions and teacher read-aloud portions, movement and team talk portions, as well. Definitely engaging!
Check out our observations!

As you can see, it was 1) cloudy 2) cold 3) windy and 4) raining. I appreciated my students having the questions right in the corner of their paper to remind them what to look for.

We also created some art to go along with the second weather lesson, which was about storms. I chose to have the students paint, although Mystery Science suggested other activities as well.
While I am just getting started with Mystery Science, I have to recommend it to all who are looking for a good science curriculum. I will keeping you updated on how it goes.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Community Unit Part 1

My elementary school is an International Baccalaureate (IB) school. And we are part of the Primary Years Program (PYP) for IB. Each month we focus on a unit that fosters meta-cognition and global awareness. What does this mean at the Kindergarten level? 

Our first unit was a focus on self. What does it mean to be in school? This unit covered everything Kindergarten classes do at the beginning of the year: routines, rules, friendship, understanding, and patience. Our second unit is on Community.

We began our Community unit this week and are starting small. 
Our first question was: What is a community?  
We discussed our classroom community and tied it into our rules and routine. Then we made our self-portraits that now hang in the hall and remind us that we are a team and depend on each other.

 Our second lesson in community was on Neighborhoods. We learned that we have 3 neighborhoods that we could possibly be a part of: Rural, Suburban, and City. We are working through the unit by Karen Jones titled  Little Thinkers Social Studies Unit 4: Community

This unit it very well organized and takes students through meaningful lessons with PowerPoint presentations and activities that students love.
 We learned that many students in our class live in apartments.
We learned that some students live in a house. 
We also learned that some students live in a hotel as temporary housing. 

We celebrated every type of neighborhood and living arrangement as a way to understand that being part of the community it important, no matter where you live.

Next week we will learn about our neighbors and places in the community.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Handprint Calendar 2018

Every year I make a Handprint Calendar for my students to give their families during the holidays. It is a calendar for the entire year and is such a precious keepsake for parents. My new template is up on Teachers Pay Teachers and I wanted to share it with you because it is the perfect time to begin working on this project.

Each day I will pull students back (or have a volunteer do it!) and paint students' hands. Some days I can do 2 different pictures at once and saves me a lot of time. Each month gets its own hand print that matches a poem that is printed on the calendar. You will place the hand print on the back of the previous month so that when the calendar is flipped you will see the painting! Check it out here:
  • Print every month on a different color card stock.
  • Combine like colors when painting. For example, you can paint the pumpkin and the goldfish on the same day because the color is orange for both. 
  • Make sure you paint the hand print going the opposite direction from the previous month printed on the other side. You want the direction of the hand print to flip when parents change the month. 
  • DO NOT bind the calendar until after you have painted all of the hands. If you make a mistake, you can just change out one page instead of taking the whole book apart. 
  • Use markers and glitter glue to decorate your hand prints. The more elaborate you get, the better they look!
Feel free to ask me any questions regarding the calendar. I hope your families love it as much as mine!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Freebie Bump It Game~

Here is a FREEBIE Bump It Game I made as an assessment for my incoming Kinders. The game serves 3 purposes:

1. Teach the kiddos how to use dice trays
2. See how they work in partners
3. Assess their knowledge of numbers and quantities

Because I am doing this game with EVERY Kindergartener in school the first week (we are rotating classes), I want to make sure it is purposeful, as well as fun. Students love dice and will be using them a lot throughout the year. Why not let them experiment, while I give an informal assessment on their number sense?

I will print and laminate this board double sided, so that we can spend the first few minutes of the game matching dice patterns, and the rest of the game matching numbers to quantities.

How to Play:
Students will take turns rolling a dice. After they roll they will match their dice to one of the board, covering up that square. Then it is the next person's turn. They continue until there is no more places to put a given number, in which case they can "bump" the other person's dice. I use two colors of dice (white and blue) so they can tell which dice belongs to them.

I don't usually have a winner. But, if you choose to, just have them count who has the most dice on the board at the end of the game.
09 10 01 09 10