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Saturday, October 31, 2015

It’s What Month?!

Where did October go? The month was so safety, pumpkins, field trips, Halloween parties, and parent-teacher conferences!  Our Halloween parties are always on the half-day followed by parent-teacher conferences until 7:30 that same evening. I am so thankful our district gives us the day after parent-teacher conferences off. I did go back to school for a few hours to prepare for a new student who will start on Monday. It is amazing how many things are labeled in a kindergarten classroom! I rearranged a few of my tables too, since some of my koala kinders were getting a little chatty!

Now I am gearing up for November and decided that I wanted my koala
kinders to work on fluency so I created four theme-related emergent readers to send home with them. My plan is to send one home each week in a Take-Home bag. I will include a bookmark to help them keep track of how many times they practice the book for the week. I will also include a parent letter that quickly explains the Take-Home bags and the purpose of the readers. I spoke to 18 out of 19 parents during conferences about the Take-Home bags so I feel confident that this will be successful. 

The four November-themed emergent readers include the following:

Each reader prints in black and white
There are two sets per page which helps save paper when copying for the whole class. 
A detailed cover is provided for each multi-page emergent reader. 
Each reader also includes follow-along touch dots to aid in tracking left to right.

 You can find these four new November-themed emergent readers in my
TeachersPayTeachers store. Click on the caption below the preview page to take you to my store:

Click here to learn more about November Emergent Readers
Janet aka KoalaKdgTeacher

Sunday, September 27, 2015

A New Product at 20% off for the next 48 hours!

At the start of the school year our jobs are to teach so many basic things like letter recognition and writing, beginning sounds, and color words. Our kinder-friends  often come to us lacking in those skills. My goal every year is to make sure we practice proper letter formation as we learn each letter.  Trust me, the little kinders have developed some very interesting ways to write their letters!  This easy to print book gives you a variety of skills all on one page!  It is perfect for a “Letter-A-Day” program. Each page provides both the capital and lowercase letter with starting dots and arrows.  There are pictures that begin with the letter sound and three color words. The kinders are to color the pictures and then use those three colors to rainbow write the letters. The last step is to read, trace and reread the sentence at the bottom.
 This set includes:
full page and 2 per page sets of “My Amazing Book of Colorful letters”
Full page and 2 per page sets of writing practice for letters Aa-Zz
Additional ideas for using both of these sets

on sale for 20% off through  9/29 

    Another option that you can do to keep your kinders practicing proper letter strokes is to copy pages 31 -56 and place them in clear, heavy-weight pocket protectors. Fasten the pages in a plastic 3 pronged folder and you have a writing practice book that will last for several years. In the folders I use in my classroom I also include a name writing template from Kindergarten Whale Tales, FREE letter stroke practice pages from Kinderworks,  There’s a great article on teaching handwriting at this link.  I also include number writing practice pages.
        My kinders keep their writing practice folders in their chair pockets along with their dry erase marker boxes. That way they can always pull  the folder out and practice. Speaking of dry erase boxes, I got tired of the amount of time that was wasted waiting for the kinders to get a dry erase marker and eraser so I started looking for something cheap. I found these sweet plastic pencil cases for a quarter a piece and filled them with 4 dry-erase markers and a ½ piece of Walmart’s brand of magic eraser. All were personalized by my daughter! I'm so glad my 17 year old daughter doesn't mind helping me. :-)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Spring Time means Life Cycles in Kindergarten

Spring Time is so much fun especially when we start our study of life cycles! We had chicken eggs delivered on the 14th and they hatched on the 21st. The kinders were so excited to see this happen in their classroom. Since I am the only teacher to still do this in our school we usually have a parade of students to come through and check them out.

The next living organisms to arrive in our classroom were caterpillars! When the box arrived I asked the kinders what they thought was inside... They guessed a koala, a kangaroo, an alligator! what!?!

I created a few new resources for my class to go along with our Life Cycle theme. 
The kinders love trying to guess what is in side the egg based on the clues when we watch a powerpoint of oviparous riddles called "What is Inside the Egg?". Check out the preview on TpT here.

For ELA practice I have some "What Will Hatch?" sentence building pages and an interactive emergent reader that we work on throughout the week. Click on the title to check it out!

And for my math centers I have a fun, hands-on  "Hungry Caterpillars and Happy Butterflies" number sense and addition match packet.

Just for sticking with me all the way to the end of this post you can click here for a FREEBIE!

So much is happening in my classroom and we only have 12 and a half days left of school! Agh! I better get started on my end of the year slide show!!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Dr. Seuss and 50 Days Left

Whew! What a busy week we had in the Koala Kindergarten class least week! We spent the week reading Dr. Seuss books, doing craftivities and learning centers to go along with each. It was testing time for report cards and right in the middle of the week was our celebration of 50 Days of School Left
 To help my kinders work on their CVC words I found a great "Circus Cat Write the Room" by Carolyn Sullivan from Buzz Into Kinder on TpT. We also made a cute "Fox in Socks" puppet and graphed our goldfish for "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish". Both are FREE-just click on the titles!

One of my "must haves" for centers is a sensory bin. This year I made an extra special one with red and blue colored rice, sparkly pom poms and decorative flat marbles. I added Amy Lowes' "Seusstastical Party Hat Rhyming Picture Match". It's a FREEBIE! Click on the title for link back to her TpT store. 

Check out my Suess-tastical Sensory Bin:

As I said earlier, in the middle of all the "Cat in the Hat" fun we had to stop and celebrate "50 Days of School Left".
I pulled up some pictures of life in the 1950's to compare with life as we know it now. We learned to do the "Hand Jive" and hula hooped for a brain break. For math we "Rolled and Raced to 50" game and we took a survey of who thought they could blow a bubble. Here are our survey results

All of the kinders were given a piece of bubble gum and encouraged to show me how they could blow a bubble. I also handed out this cute page I whipped up to draw and count how many bubbles they could blow. Their goal was 50! 
50 Days Left of School Bubble Blowing Contest
click on the caption above to get your FREEBIE

The kinders were so cute trying to learn how to blow a bubble. We found out that there were less bubble-blowers than what the survey said. There were a lot of attempts made but only a few actual bubble-blowers.

Our winner with 25 bubbles blown!

We ended the week with a writing craftivity recording our favorite Dr. Seuss book. I found this idea at Me and My Gang's blog.

Now we are off to find that tricky little Leprechaun! 
Check back soon to see more fun learning things happening in Mrs. Black's Koala Class! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's Time for a SALE on TpT!

 Now is the time to check your wishlists because there is a SALE on TeachersPayTeachers!!
 I know I have been busy moving some neat products from my wishlist over to my cart so I can take advantage of the big sale.  There are so many great resources out there just waiting to be purchased and downloaded. Stop by my store and check out the savings!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

My principal and the assistant superintendent knocked on my classroom door yesterday to present a 
brand-spankin'-new iPad mini to me! 
I received an email last week thanking me for participating in a district-wide health and wellness survey. Names were randomly chosen from over 700 participants and I was one of four who won! My mind was racing on how I could use this in my classroom! 

Well, now it's here and I need your suggestions on what apps would be the best to install for my Koala Kinder friends. So...What apps should I install and what makes them the best?
How about some suggestions for classroom use? I keep seeing the bar code activities on TeachersPayTeachers. They really intrigue me! Would the iPad mini be good for those?
How about stories? Do you know of some? HELP!!
   Send me your suggestions so I can get this new tech tool loaded up and going!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Polar Animal Theme

    January brings the cold and the snow but it also brings an exciting new theme to the Koala class! The Koalas are going to be learning about Polar Animals and doing their own research project on their favorite Polar Animal.
     I just finished a cute "I Have, Who Has" Polar Animal card game with a set of Polar Animal picture and vocabulary cards. Click on the link below the picture to check it out on my TpT store.
     I have also been working on a power point slide show with simple facts and cute graphics for Polar Animals. I want to use this to get the Koalas excited about doing their research project on their favorite Polar Animal. I hope to have it ready very soon along with some research paper templates. In the mean time I want to share a book with you.
     One of my favorite books to read during this theme is 
"Where Snowflakes Fall" by Caire Freedman. The beautiful soft, powdery illustrations are by Tina Macnaughton. Every page gets a chorus of "awww's" because all of the pictures are just so cute!! 
What are your favorite books to read to get the kids interested in Polar Animals?