Tuesday, July 24, 2012

my Kindergarten teacher shoes!

I am so excited. There is nothing like a new pair of shoes for the new school year and I found the perfect pair! I thought I would share with other people who would understand. Let me know what you think. I can't wait to see what the kiddos have to say.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Daily Five Book Study Chapter Six and Freebies!

1.      Experimenting with words for learning and practicing a spelling pattern (brainstorm a list of ways you can do this)
I love word wheels.  They are hands on and the kids love to manipulate them.  I also love creating theme based letter cards so the kids can use those to form simple words.  I print out multiple copies so several kids can make words together.  I usually start with cards that have the picture and the word so the kiddos can copy them (cat and picture of cat).  This is a great way to introduce them to the concept of making words.  I will move on to putting cards that are of the same family (cat, hat, rat, bat, mat) together so they are concentrating on one word family and see how changing one letter changes the whole word.  I am including some of my letter cards for you here for free.  Just click on the link and download from google docs!  They are part of my packets on TPT


Dinosaur Letter for Word Work

Beach Themed Word Cards

First Letter Sounds and Pirate Words

2.      Memorize high frequency words (How often do you introduce new words? Do your students have their own lists of words that they can work on? How will you keep track of words that they already know)

At my school the teacher used “popcorn words” and we add a new piece of “popcorn” to the giant popcorn box on the wall.  Each time the class masters a new popcorn word a new one is introduced.  At the end of the year if all popcorn words are mastered they get their own popcorn party with popcorn and a movie!  The kids love this.  I may do this after each set of words are mastered for my Kindergarteners for more frequent reinforcement.

3.      Generalize spelling patterns (brainstorm a list of ways you can do this)
I am looking forward to seeing other people’s ideas on this one.

4.      Adding to our knowledge and curiosity of unique and interesting words. (What is the best way to do this?)
I love having a word of the day!  Funny sounding words with lots of syllables are the best.  It makes the kids laugh and exposes them to vocabulary.  I figure if the kids know the correct word for the dinosaurs (and goodness knows they correct me when I am wrong!) then they can learn all kinds of cool words.  I try to tie the words into something we are learning about.  Like, ARCHOLOGIST when we are learning about dinosaurs.  Or PLETHERA when they want to say many or a lot.  The kids feel so smart when they use those big words.  I may introduce a Linguist of the Week and have the student (with the help of their parents) send in cool words to introduce during morning meeting.  I am all about the home-school connection so this may be a great way to get the kids and the parents exploring words together and then having the kids bring those words to school to share.
What materials do I already have?
I have so many word games, word cards, letter cards, magnetic letters, playdough, alphabet and word stamps, wikki sticks and other assorted letters and words for the kids to manipulate to create words.
What materials would I like to get?
I don’t know, what else should I have.  I can’t wait to see what else other people have/want so I can get/make those items too!
How will I store them?
I have a serious container addiction so I have plastic tubs, zip-lock bags, pockets, pencil boxes and on and on so I don’t think storage will be a problem!
Where will students work?
My students work EVERYWHERE inside and outside of the classroom.  Words are everywhere so they work everywhere.  Yes, I have the traditional desks they can work at, and the word work center, but I don’t want them to feel limited by space.  Whenever they want to work on words, I want them to grab the opportunity.

I can't wait to read everyone's posts!  Please follow my blog if you like it.  That way I can come and find your blog and follow you too! 

Freebie! All About Me Book Assignment Packet for Parents

I have had several people ask me about the All About Me Book that I have the parents do at the beginning of the year with their kiddos.  I have put together a packet that can be given to the parents as a resource for completing this project with their kiddos.  It is free and it is available at my TPT store.  I hope this helps you all.  This is a great way to introduce "reading to self" and "reading to a partner".  I also use these books to teach the kids how to care for not only their books, but all classroom materials.  I will be handing this out to my parents at Kindergarten Orientation.  I can't wait to see the books they create this year.  I will post pictures after they come in. 

Link to free All About Me Book Parent Packet on Teachers Pay Teachers

Sorry, I know it is not the best picture but you can see it much better at Teachers Pay Teachers.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Found my blog designer!

I am so excited.  I found my awesome blog designer and can't wait to see what she comes up with.  Go check her out at Kelly's Avenue Designs.  I saw serveral of her blogs and highly recommend her if you are looking to update your look.  Thanks Kelly!  I am so excited to see what you come up with.

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to The Daily Cupcake for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award.  I appreciate it very much.  I am searching for my nominees today!  Everyone make sure you go and check out her AWESOME blog!  She rocks.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Daily Five Chapter Five part 1

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

1. How will you instill the importance (or urgency as the sisters call it) of 'listening to reading' in your students and especially those students who have had little 'lap time' or reading done for them in their own homes?

I think the best way to do this is to make listening to reading super fun and exciting when they listen to me.  I use puppets, I dress up, I jump up and down, act things out and use different voices and I even use sound effects when I read.  When I download a book (which I do when I am on a long car trip) I often listen to snippets before downloading the book to see if the reader can keep my attention.  For those that haven’t had a lot of “lap time” I think it is also important during the first several weeks of school to spend lots of time on the floor reading to kids, modeling what it should look like, sound like and feel like.  I will also be starting a blog with ideas for parents to spice up listening to reading at home and explaining the importance.  I love some of the web sites other bloggers are posting that have actors reading stories (for free!) kids books.  I will be making a list of those to share with parents and to use in my reading nook!

2. What devices or strategies are you going to use to conduct listen to reading?' Will you use a community recording device with one cd and several earphones, individual cd players, tape recorders, ipod-type devices or computers?

I love my iPad for listening to reading.  The kids are enthralled with it and several kiddos can listen at one time.  I am looking to pick up some cheap cd players and tape recorders because I have picked up lots of tapes (cheap) from an on-line yahoo teachers group where you can list items you have for sale and other teachers can list what they are looking for. 

3. What expectations will you have for your students during 'listen to reading' and how will you keep them on task and independent instead of needing your assistance when they can't manage 'devices?'

My expectations are for them to actually listen to what is being read.  This means quiet voices, listening ears, watching eyes.  I will keep them on track by modeling how to listen to reading on the Smart Board as a large group by going to an on-line reading resource and having everyone practice together.  We will make an anchor chart and model it doing it correctly and incorrectly.  Practice, practice, practice.  I love the set of posters on the blog A Differentiated Kindergarten http://www.differentiatedkindergarten.com/2012/07/kindergaten-daily-5-link-up-and.html  so I will be downloading those and using them as well!  Thanks for making those!

4. Do you have enough 'listening to reading' type materials? If not, what ideas do you have for securing these materials? Where will you store them? How will your students retrieve these items? Where will they be used (will there be a designated spot in your class for listen or reading or will it be their choice)?

No, I do not have enough material, but I am stalking garage sales, thrift stores, on-line resources (like the one I mentioned above) and friends and families to get more tapes and CD’s to go with books for listening to reading.  I also have subscribed to several apps that have free books, interactive books and add new books each week.  I have a special place with a special book shelf, a beach umbrella and beach chairs for the kids to listen to reading.  I can’t wait to set it up.  They can listen anywhere in the classroom, but I am hoping this becomes a special place for them.  As long as supplies return to the shelf they are allowed to go where they are comfortable. 

6. The sisters do not really talk about this in their book, but how do you feel about listening response sheets? Will listening to reading be just for 'listening' or will there be follow-up work required of your students? If there is reading response sheets, what will they look like?

I think taking data on what the kiddos are getting out of their listening to reading experience is important, but I do it on a bi-weekly basis and do not have the kiddos fill out a sheet each time they listen to reading.  I hope to see the kids re-enacting stories they listen to during their center time play, but I need formal assessment so I know if the books they are listening to are interesting and challenging for them.  I have a feeling as the year progresses I will add more assessment to the listening to reading section of our Daily Five routine.

7. I would be remiss to not add this so . . . how can this station be differentiated to meet the various learning profiles, interests and/or readiness of your students?

I love my iPad for differentiating for children at different levels.  Some books can be interactive for my kinesthetic learners; some books can be shorter for my kiddos with shorter attention spans, longer for kids that are ready for that.  I love that I can get books that light up or highlight the words as they are read for my visual learners or the ones that have cool sound effects for my auditory learners.  I can also download books that focus on a certain topic so the kids that are into dinosaurs can read about dinosaurs on so on.  It is cheaper to download a lot of these books than it is for me to buy them from a store many times.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I need someone to help me with blog design

I am looking for someone to help me with blog design.  I thought I had someone, but they are taking a break so now I am back in the market.  I would love to keep my blog name, my little saying at the top of my blog header and my little people.  I really need a signature, page headers, buttons and other little tidbits to help me "brand" myself.  If you are someone, or know someone who could help me out with this I have about $100.00 to spend.  I would love a TPT logo and a logo so I can create a Facebook page.  Thanks in advance for the help!
Carole Dawn

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Daily Five Chapter Four Book Study

Link to Daily Five Chapter Four Book Study at Mrs Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business
Read to Self is a segment of the Daily 5 framework when students need to be reading quietly and constantly for a set amount of time in the classroom.

1)  How far into the school year do you think kinders need to be to be able to begin the process of Read to Self? What is realistic? When do you plan to begin implementation

I will start probably the first day.  I am planning on taking a book in myself and reading when they do at first.  I am going to send home a note with the parents at Kindergarten Orientation explaining Read To Self and I will ask the parents to introduce the term at home and to practice with their child for two minutes each night until Kindergarten starts.  I think it is important for the parents to understand the importance so they can practice at home and have the concept reinforced and practiced when they are not at school.

2)  How will you make sure that each child views him/herself as a reader (whether they are reading words or not)?

Oh my!  They are readers!  I believe that before they even come to school and they will hear it at Orientation.  I will be giving them book marks that say “I AM A SUPER READER!”.  I will have lots of environmental print in the Dramatic Play area to reinforce that they are already reading!  I will also have many “favorite” books that they can “read” to me and to their friends.

3)  What are some ideas you have about "Launching Read to Self" in kindergarten? How will you go about it and what are some ways to make sure it is "kinder friendly"?

I have a ton of stuffed animals that are characters from many of the popular books (I Love Kohl’s for doing this).  They can get an animal to sit with them when they read at first.  I know this is more of a read to a friend strategy, but at first I think it will make reading to self less intimidating.  I also have mentioned their All About Me book they put together to bring to school during the first week of school.  It is great because they can all read about themselves!  I have a special book case they go into so they can always pick their special book about themselves to read.  It is critical that they are given an opportunity to be successful right from the start, and that book they bring from home really seems to help.  We will also discuss reading to self during morning meeting starting the first day.  I have tons of pillows, kids size beach chairs, a beach umbrella they can sit under, I have cut off two rocking chairs and made them kids size so they can have lots of different areas of the room they want to explore with a book!  I want them to snuggle down with a book and really enjoy the atmosphere.

4)  How will you/do you build the children's belief that this IS important? What can we do to encourage the ones who do not value it and create disruptions for others?

Again, I think it is about making them successful.  No one wants to fail, and letting them read the All About Me book they bring with them creates success.  I have also been collecting a lot of non-fiction books (lots of boys really love these, real pictures of real tangible things can really entice some kids to enjoy books because they don’t have to follow a “story” but can understand reading about “real” things is reading and RESEARCH.  My aren’t they smart to be doing all that already!).  I always ask the kids the first day of school what they want to learn about and then it is my job to get books specifically about their interest.  The kids can’t believe that I would go to the library and pick out books special, just for them.  I also write it down for them to take to the library (both school and public) so they can had it to the media specialist (some are shy and don’t want to talk).  I make special book marks for them featuring their interests so they don’t forget what they want to read about (I might put pictures of dinosaurs, princesses, animals, whatever they list onto the bookmark).

5)      How valuable is Checking In and Reviewing with kindergarteners? How often will you do it? When will you do it? What are some different ways to "check in"?

I want to have a morning meeting and an afternoon meeting to check in with the class.  I will check in with small groups and individuals at different times during the day.  This is something I have never done formally (remember, Daily Five is new to me) so this is an area I need to introduce to myself this year.  I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has to say about this.