Sunday, March 31, 2013

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

We are all done with our digraphs and finished off with a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!  I love the story, especially the CD narrated by Ray Charles.  After learning the ch sound, we read the story and created our own chicka chicka trees.  Since we are also learning addition, mental math, and writing our last names without a model, we combined all those concepts into our trees.

Using foam letters, each child spelled out their last name, counted out the letters in their last name, and had to put some on the ground and some on the tree.  Each child orally repeated how the number of letters on the ground plus the number on the tree got them the sum or total of letters in their last name.  Some children have long long names and did a great job!

I forgot where I got the template for the tree and writing, but as soon as I figure it out I WILL post a link.  The picture is distant on purpose since it has last names on it.
Sunday, March 24, 2013

Tooth Fairy Subtraction



Kindergarten is that special time when everyone starts getting their grown-up teeth and losing those baby teeth.  To help us think more about our new math skill, subtraction, we read Fluffy Meets the Tooth Fairy and solved some tooth fairy word problems (from Smart Tarts Learning).  Of course I erased my whiteboard before I took a picture of how we drew a picture to solve the problems and then created our subtraction number sentences.

 Then each child made their own special tooth fairy and created their own subtraction number sentence.  The tooth fairy template is from Fallin in First, which I printed on construction paper to make them sturdy.  We made little bags for the children on which to record their own number sentence.Some leftover holiday sparkly chenille stems make great wands too.

The tooth fairy collected 10 teeth, but when she checked her bag there were only ____ inside.  How many did she lose? 


It's a wonderful hands-on and Fun Friday way to get into subtraction!  And I have to say, I was gushing because they are ADORABLE!
Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dramatic Play: Art Cafe

We are back from spring break and with our parent-teacher conferences coming up, I haven't had a chance to post.  I wanted to share our newer and very popular dramatic play area, the Art Cafe.

I combined our art easel, kitchen and shop supplies so that the children could make art postcards to sell in the cafe.  Other children enjoy coming into the cafe, buying art and sipping on tea and scones!  There are some wonderful art books, including Linnea in Monet's Garden, Children's Play in Art,  Art A To Z, and Museum ABC.

Some of our homemade art cards for sale!  More posts this weekend, now that I almost done preparing for conferences...
Friday, March 8, 2013

Stomp Out Unkindness!


Our school is kicking off the Olweus anti-bullying program this spring and named it  "Stomp Out Bullying."  The program focuses on changing the reaction of bystanders and engaging bystanders to stand up for their peers in bullying situations.

 For our kinders, I wanted them to think about how to be an active bystander and how to use kind words as well.  There were a few suggestions out there (including Hooway for Wodney Wat), but I choose Martha Walks the Dog by Susan Meddaugh.  I love the Martha Speaks series and many of my students are familiar with the show on PBS Kids.

After reading the story, we discussed how Martha felt when she saw the big dog Bob corner her friend and brainstormed how it feels to be cornered like the poodle in the story.  After listening to Martha stand up for her friend, we examined how she used strong but also negative words to get his attention.  At the end of the story, the big dog Bob calms down when Martha indirectly compliments him.  We listed and wrote kind, strong words to use when we might be in a situation like Martha.  If you go to the link here and scroll to page 7, there is a writing page corresponding to the story (the whole Reading Buddies journal is great for vocabulary though!).  The Committee for Children has a nice springboard of questions linked to the story available here.

We are on spring break now, but upon our return we are also going to watch the Martha episode on pbskids.org (see here).  We are also going to apply some of these ideas and role-play situations in which a child might be the bystander or the victim.  It will also help the students differentiate between everyday conflict resolution and bullying.
Monday, March 4, 2013

The Teddy Bear Factory and Store



To finish our unit on the world of work, we worked in our classroom teddy bear factory.  We watched a video of the Vermont Teddy Bear factory and read The Legend of the Teddy Bear, which tells the story of how the teddy bear got its name.

Each student picked a job in our classroom factory--head, body, arms or legs.  Everyone went through our "training" and then made a headband and uniform badge to get ready for work.  Here's our classroom pet, Daisy the Dinosaur, wearing the badge and headband.

Hard at work making bears in the factory!


Our completed bears!


Each child earned $5 Bear Bucks which they can spend in our bear store.  They can buy a bear and accessories for their bear.  Each step in our bear factory process helps the children be part of training, working, earning, and choosing how to spend money.


Our Bear Store is open! Everyone came over and chose their bears and accessories.  We had felt jerseys, felt capes, lace skirts, foam visors, straw hats, necklaces, and flowers and bows to glue into their hair.  Before the bear store opened, we discussed how each bear cost two dollars, and brainstormed the different opportunity costs--how when we choose to spend money one way, we make an active choice for one thing over another.  I wish I had a template to share for the bear bucks featured in the picture in green--they are dollars featuring a bear with the words "bear buck" underneath a picture of a teddy bear.