Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wild Wednesday!

I'm bailing on "wordless Wednesday!" Because I can. And I have things to say! But just a few words ( me saying a few words is rare! Enjoy it!)

You've read of my adventures with my ELL friend ( the running, crying, splitting her days with her older sister, attacks from other teachers....) and the recent breakthroughs so I want to share this with you all. We all need celebrations and encouragement, right!?

Today in the middle of centers my friend walked up to me with a piece of paper and wrote the following sentence:

"I love Mr. Greg" and then she read it to me!!!!!!!

Can I just say that I love being able to do what I do!? You have read some snippets (sarcasm...snarky comments...) about the situation at my school and the lack of support from above... I can honestly say I've been so demoralized and discouraged and feel I'm under constant attack. And then this happens. And nothing else matters!  My students are learning, laughing and loving.  Close the door and teach on!  My new motto and philosophy for this adventure we're on!!!

I think you are all amazing teachers and you're doing amazing things with your students.  Please don't let the unwarranted criticisms and attacks of the unknowing bring you down.  Look at your students each day and know that you are loved, appreciated and needed.  And know that Mr. Greg has your back and if anyone messes with you, I will kick them in the knees!  We have to stick together and love each other!!  If you ever need anything, Mr. Greg is here for ya!


Happy Halloween!!  We made spider hats today!  Ya know you love to see me in silly hats!!!!!  Well this one is awesome!  Be sure to head over to my friend  Robin at Sweet Tea Classroom and tell her you love my hat!



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Technology Tuesday!

It's Tuesday!  Shoo, the anticipation is building for tomorrow!  Are your kids as wild as mine??  I have a little fried who hasn't stopped talking since yesterday.  Talking.  About everything.  Non stop.  Talking.  Talking.  Talking.  Talking.  I will pay him to stop talking.  Talking.  Talking.  Is there an app for that???  I will add that to my list of apps to create this summer.  I have one already.  Send your app ideas to me and I will get on it.  Not that I know anything about creating apps but why not?!  

Well, it's Tuesday so that means it's time for some fun technology stuff for ya all!  I made a graphic for Technology Tuesday.  Simple.  Plain.  Like me.  The Mr. likes that I am a simple and plain dude.  Makes for a cheap date!  Anyways...here are some fun apps for us teachers.  They might not have much classroom use but they are great for us adults!  And speaking of technology...I had my personal laptop sitting out this morning and the kids were in awe that I had two laptops.  And they were excited that mine was bigger.  My talking friend...talking....talking....talking...pointed out that I needed a big computer because I "have to do my lessons and they are big lessons."  I like that.  I plan big lessons!  Can he put that in writing for those higher up?!  







Instagram!  Have you heard of this cool app?  It allows you to add cool retro effects to your pictures!  Even polaroid like effects!  And you can share them with people who follow you!  I have had a personal Instagram for a while and have fun with it.  Then Michelle and Apples and ABCs shared that she had a classroom Instagram!  Oh, you know I am so on board with that.  Have you seen the pictures I take?  Currently I have 1,400 pictures on my iPhone and about 976 of those are classroom pics!  Now you can see them on Instagram with super fun effects! 

Check out Instagram and follow me!  My username on Instagram is kindergartensmorgasboard

Here are some recent Instagram photos!






IFontMaker!  I have actually had this app on my iPad for a year and have played with it a bit.  This app allows use to turn your handwriting into a font!  I KNOW, RIGHT?!  I have made two fonts.  I used my own handwriting to make a font and I have on that a student made!  This app has tons of possibilities and potential!  I have seen a lot of people sharing super cute fonts that they have created on this app!  I am going to sit down soon and crank out a font or three!  

How fun would handwriting fonts from students be to use on your creations for your classroom?!


ArtStudio!  I just downloaded this app and haven't done much with it.  This app is similar to Photoshop but for your iPad.  Guess what it's good for??  Drawing!  Hello clip art!  Yeah, I have this dream to be a clip art creator.  But...there is a slight problem...um, I can't draw!  But I am not letting that stop me!  Look out Ashley Hughes, here I come!  I can also see this being used in my classroom for students to draw and create their own pictures.  I can also see students using it to illustrate their writing and our class books!






Pants:  GAP (yep, pink pants!)
Shirt:  Old Navy
Mr. Rogers inspired sweater:  Kohls ($8 people!)
Shoes:  Target (not that you can see them!)

Isn't the Mr. a great fashion photographer?!

Don't forget to check out these great creations that your students will LOVE!!!!  







Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Math Minute

Holy children gone bonkers batman!  I decree that Halloween week be a federal holiday that closes all schools.  Thanks.  Appreciate it.  My kids went off the deep end today.  It can't get worse?!  Right? No really...it's all up hill from here!  But it's funny hat day so that makes it all better!

I know I normally post about morning meeting on Monday but I wanted to share this cute little math activity we did today.  

This week we are working on 6-15 so we ended our math block by telling "The Story of 6!"  And we did it with...wait for it...this is good...we did it with...President Obama and Governor Romney!!!  I know?!  Right!  So cute.  It was a great way to introduce the two presidential candidates!  It was very interesting today when we talked about Mitt Romney several students said "Romney Ryan"!  I guess they do listen to the news some!  Anyways...each child received a sheet or Mr. Obama clip art and a page of Mr. Romney clip art (red and blue of course!) and we cut them out while our cutting music played (The Flight of the Bumblebee, Hawaii 50 and Bonanza!).  After they were cut out, each child picked any six pictures and came to the monster pit.  We used our pictures to tell the story of 6.  Super cute and fun!  We will make 7-10 this week too!  We practiced making numbers and talked about the election!  SMARTER!  NOT HARDER!   (Ignore my oh so cute chart!  I made a cute little title for it and everything...left it at home!)  And I really need teacher handwriting classes.  Someone should start that business!

Let's play a game...who can spot my grammatical error?!



You can get the making number freebie here!  If you use the activity, I would love to head how it goes in your classroom!






Funny hat Monday!!  I should have some talented clip art creator make me a cute little graphic for silly hat Monday (Ashley Hughes?  Michelle?)  This week we are not focusing on the letter F (which is appropriate since I don't effectively teach my monsters to read anyways...?!) so I took the two fun hat products I have and like Frankenstein, created a hybrid hat!  Thanks Moffatt Girls and Jennifer at Simply Kinder for the great hats!!!!  





How cute is he?!?!  And yeah, nice outfit on the human too!

Shirt:  Old Navy
Pants:  Old Navy
Socks: Old Navy
Scarf:  H&M
Shoes:  Target
Dog:  GoldenDoodle

And the socks match perfectly!  I always match!  Top to bottom!

If you are working on composing and decomposing numbers or if you're planning on it anytime soon, check out this pack I created for my monsters!  Who doesn't love Legos?  And who wouldn't love using said Legos to learn numbers?!  It's a little kids dream come true!  



And the winner of the Vespa naming challenge is:

LooseWheel Ball (Lucille Ball!)  PERFECT!  I need a shirt that says that and a sparkly red helmet!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Schedulin' Sunday!

Another weekend comes and goes.  Teachers everywhere start to look forward to another week of supportive administrators, happy parents, well behaved children, perfect lessons and perfect centers.  And then we wake up on Monday morning!  And I am pretty sure that this is my evaluation week!  And I am pretty sure I will be scored a 2 (below expectations) so I don't plan to change anything or do anything special!

It has been a very productive weekend around the ole homestead!  Just look at how cute we are!  We did Trunk or Treat at our church this morning!  The scarecrow...in the corn...and if you look closely there are crows flying behind us!  And it was COLD!  To all of the 50 Shades of Grey fans out there...who needs that when I have 50 Shades of Green!




Monday
We will read one of my favorite Halloween stories: Even Monsters Need A Haircut. This week we are focusing on comprehension so we will complete a story map after reading. We will also use this book as our predictable chart.  Every child will complete the sentence   Every monster needs a...!  Of course we will make our F for fish hat because we will not be celebrating the letter F this week!  In math we will be working with numbers 6-15, with a focus on writing 6-10 and counting to 15.   And what better way to learn to write numbers than to use paint?!  We will use paint and q-tips to practice writing our numbers!  I saw the idea on Pinterest so I am excited to try it in my classroom!  We will also work on making numbers 6-10 this week!  The Story of 6...will be told by President Obama and Governor Romney!  I made this cute little set to use this week as we start to shift our focus to the election!  I can't wait to use this...I think it's going to be super cute!  We will also be making a Frankenstein craftivity to go with our Monster book!  Check out the craftivity here!






And we have Red Cross vision screenings today...happy Monday!

Tuesday
Today we will read the story Skeleton Hiccups and complete a story map!  This story is so much fun to read and the kids LOVE it!  We laughed so much at this story last year!  It's also great for higher order questioning (hello evaluations!)!  It is also superb for problem/solution!  We will create a chart of the problem (hiccups) and the solution!  We will also brainstorm our own solutions for the hiccups!  The students will publish their writing from yesterday.  They will copy their sentence from our predictable chart and we will display it with our Frankenstein craftivity.  See how I did that?!  A craftivity for writing!!  Yeah, everything we do is educational and standards based!  YEAH!    We will be working on our numbers 6-15 today by playing Halloween Bump!  You can download a free copy here!  The students will find the number of objects to go with the number I call out.  After we play the students will cut out numbers and match them to the correct amount!  Hello assessments!  Two in one baby!  Smarter....not harder!  As part of our not Halloween celebration we will make a witch craftivity (would it be wrong to name them after people?!  Just sayin...)!  




Wednesday

Hump day is also HALLOWEEN!  It's every teacher's night before the nightmare.  We all know that the DAY AFTER Halloween is bad news.  Candy...sugar...late night...stories...WE CAN DO THIS!  We are bigger than them.  We will read the book Trick or Treat Smell My Feet and discuss Halloween, especially safety!  And we will write about what we are going to be for Halloween!
During math we will get to have some fun with measurement and candy corn!  We will use candy corn to measure Halloween pictures!  Click here to get some Haunted Measuring fun!  And we will be making Mr. Greg's favorite project:  A HAT!  That's right!  We're making a spider hat!  This craftivity is courtesy of my friend Robin at Sweet Tea Classroom!  Go visit her and say hi and tell her Mr. Greg sent ya.  And start counting down the days until you see Mr. Greg in a spider hat. Wow, I just realized that you get to see me in a hat TWO DAYS in one week!!  How lucky are you!?  

And of course we will be celebrating "fall-oween" with light snacks since we were told no parties!  light snacks is open to intrepetation, right?!



Thursday

The Day of the Dead!  The day after Halloween.  We can do this people!  We're bigger than them!  We will start the day by sharing during morning meeting and we will share about our adventures trick or treating.  We will actually spend a few extra minutes sharing so we can hopefully eliminate some of the chatter throughout the day!  We will read a favorite book Go Away Big Green Monster and complete a predictable chart.  "Go away big...monster!"  Each child will fill in a color for their monster!  Later in the afternoon we will get to paint our monster.  I will squirt the paint color they chose onto their paper, we will fold it and smash it!  When we open the paper, we have our monster!  We will cut out eyes, a nose and a mouth to finish our monsters!

In math we will work on counting and numbers to 15 by counting candy corn onto our counting mats!  Each child will have a work mat with candy corns that are numbered.  They will count the correct amount of candy corn onto their mats.  Hello assessment!  Smarter...not harder!  


Friday

And we made it to Friday!  We survived the week!  Today we will shift our focus onto the election!  We kick off our campaign with the book Duck For President!  We will discuss what an election is and that there is an election for president.  We will also discuss who the two candidates are!  We will do a cut and paste activity (oh, I miss the paste we used to have in school!) to match numbers and quantities from 1-15 and we will put the numbers in order!  See how we are assessing more skills than one at a time!  Smarter!



And we will end our week with some pumpkin pie!  

Of course, we will read our poem and emergent reader every day, we will work on our sight words (even though those don't make good readers...or so we've been told!!!!), we will do our math journals, and picture sorts!  Oh, I love picture sorts! Mr. Greg is the KING of picture sorts!

If you're looking for a great election resource, check out my Kindergarten Votes pack! 

CLOSE THE DOOR AND TEACH ON!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Saturday Kindergarten Post

CORN!  I am in the process of whipping up a corn costume!  For our church's trunk-or-treat tomorrow the Mr. is a scarecrow and I am a corn stalk!  Cute huh?!  I will post pictures for sure!

Well, another week of Kindergarten has come and gone.  Another week of cutting and pasting.  Nose picking.  Standing on toilet seats.  Rainy field trips.  Crying.  Tattling.  Angry parent.  Learning, laughter, fun and light bulb moments!  Ahhh, a week in the life of a kindergartener.

Here is your Saturday dose of Mr. Greg's classroom craziness!  I know you've been waiting to see what kind of hilarity ensued this week at Monsters, Inc!  Well, you're desires are about to be met!  Enjoy.  And leave a comment or snide remark!  I love comments!




This week we worked on counting on!  My monsters ROCKED it!  I was so impressed.  Every day we used the "mental math" portion of our math block to practice.  We use the balanced math approach which requires mental math practice each day.  I would say a number and the class would count on from that number.  After we practiced whole group, we did it individually so I was able to differentiate our counting.  Yeah...I  know...differentiating whenever you can!  We used this cute activity to introduce counting on.  I made the little monster game pieces by gluing cut outs to paper clips.  Each student received a number line and some dot stickers.  We placed the dot stickers on the lines and  wrote our numbers (number writing?  check.  number order?  check.).  We used our SmartBoard spinner to find out starting number and place our monster.  After everyone placed the monster on the correct number we counted on.  So much fun and a very concrete, hands on way to introduce a challenging concept!

AH, yes it is time for Mr. Greg in a fun hat!  Ya know you love it!  Ya know you wait all work for it!  Here it is!  I am an octopus!


This week we did not focus on the letter O!  We did picture sorts because I am "The King of Picture Sorts!" and I just think that picture sorts make a huge difference in how well my monsters read and write.  We made octopus hats and O watches from the Moffiat Girls!


As part of our pumpkin celebrations, we finger painted pumpkins!  And by finger paint, I mean two hands, flat out painting!  We talked about mixing colors and and what would happen if we mixed red and yellow and then we got messy!  My motto is this:  the messier we are, the more we're learning!

We measured how many pumpkins tall we were.  We made a chart to keep track of our data.  First we talked about what an estimate was (a smart guess or a good guess and not a silly guess) and we estimated how many pumpkins tall we might be.  Then we measured ourselves!  This monster is the tallest Kindergartener ever.  He's also smart and sweet and loves to laugh!  He was 14 pumpkins tall and most of us were 10 or 11 pumpkins tall.



Pasta pumpkins!


Pumpkin KWL!  Notice...as I did...that my pumpkins aren't straight.  I am working on cute charts!  Working hard...


Our pumpkin wall!  Friday morning when my friend "Whishle" arrived, she said:  "OOOOO Did you that for us?"  I said yes and she said, "It's so pretty.  I love it.  Thank you so much for doing that for us.  I love you!"  What does criticism from administration matter when you have that moment?!  Close the door and teach on!






Our door for red ribbon week.  I got this cute idea from Mrs. Sauod at Primary Graffiti.  I used some clip art from The School Supply Addict (I LOVE ASHLEY HUGHES CLIP ART!) and used our bug pictures!  iTune Out Drugs!  Thanks Mrs. Saoud for the inspiration!  


I love the self portrait feature of my iPhone!


As part of red ribbon week, we had hat day!  I love my new hat that I bought in Key West!  And my friend "Whishle" loves it too!  She loves everything about Mr. Greg and everything about Kindergarten! She's a hot little mess and I love her!


We also had silly sock day!  So I wore my crab sucks!  We had rainbows, polka dots, and stripes and hot pink!!  Super fun day!





This week we introduced the last two centers at Monsters, Inc.  These are the two that make me crazy and drive me to...well, you know...listening means batteries  dropped CD players, chewed up headphones (yes, they eat them!) and buttons we shouldn't push.  And big books means big books that we refuse are unable to put back in the right place without tearing them to pieces.  With lots of modeling and practice, the new centers went smoothly!  The monsters LOVE listening to stories so much I might need to add another CD player (I have a secret stash of 4 new ones hidden in my black mold infested cabinet!)  


This week was all about Pumpkins!  Pumpkin week always culminates in a field trip to the pumpkin patch.  After nearly having our trip cancelled due to a new district funding decision, we were saved by some generous donors including my friend Jennifer by 


 On the way to the pumpkin patch my ELL friend tossed her cookies all over the place, including my leg.  Yeah, that's a sign.  After just an hour on the farm, the rains came.  We rushed to the pumpkin patch, gathered our pumpkins and bolted.  So disappointed that we didn't get to enjoy the farm more but the kids had fun for the little time we were there!






My ELL friend picking up her pumpkins!  She didn't under 1 pumpkin, she thought it meant 1 bag full of pumpkins!  She was so cute all day!  Click here to read a very inspiring story about her huge breakthroughs on Friday!


Look at those faces!!!!




This is a Mr. Greg classroom tradition for 7 years of teaching!  After we gather our pumpkins, we come back to the classroom and Mr. Greg uses the big knife to cut open the pumpkin and we get messy (ya know Mr. Greg loves messy learning!) and clean out the "plop"!  After we get all messy (amid the shrieks and eeeewwws and laughter!) we fill our pumpkin with soil and plant a flower!  I love this activity and look forward to it every year! 


And here is a little of the fun we had this week!  Don't be jealous of the Barbie bling!  And don't be jealous that this was the police activity right outside of my classroom window (plus cops all over and cop cars circling the block searching for....???).  So you probably are guessing we were on lockdown for a while?  Yeah, no.  The principal said she was "aware" of the situation.  Umm there is a police search outside my window and that doesn't warrant a lockdown?  Oh well.  And if you want a copy of my snarky (yes, it is meant to be snarky and cranky!) then let me know!  


And that's another week at Monsters, Inc!  How was your week?  What did you teach?  I hope you find some ideas or inspiration from my week!  Check back tomorrow for my plans for the next week!!


Close the door and teach on! 


I am having a BOO! sale this weekend at my TPT store!  Check it out!  Tell your friends!  Blog about it!  Tweet about it!  

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