Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard Paint and Dice Center!

Well, this blog has been ready to post since about 7 pm tonight, but thanks to our awesome friends at Comcast...it's just now getting fixed.  30 minutes on hold.  20 minutes with no solution.  No technician until Monday.  um, yeah.  And then, BAM it works.  Hey Comcast, you really do need to get it together.  That is all.

Now I can share two fun centers my monsters have been enjoying the past two weeks.  They are simple, cheap (really free if you have a few basic items) and engaging!

Center Numero Uno!  You're going to want to steal borrow beg for some of those beautiful paint sticks from Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot!  Wal-Mart gave me a bunch (trick:  grab a giant handful and go through a check out lane with a younger employee...they don't care!)  for free!  Just ask...use tears...

And then you can create this sentence writing center!

I found this idea somewhere 4 years ago when I was moved to kindergarten.  I have no clue where I found the idea...but thanks for the inspiration!!  It was before Pinterest so who knows where it came from!  

I simply wrote sight word based sentence starters or sentence frames on the paint sticks.  I made sure to leave a blank space at the end and included punctuation marks.

I made copies of tons of these picture cards of animals, food, toys, things, places, people...you name it!   The students choose a stick and a picture.  They use the picture to complete the sentence.  They read the sentence and write the sentence.  

And yes, they will be silly and funny sentences.  Yes the monsters giggle and crack up.  That's the beauty of the center.  They laugh, they learn, they read, they write...all while having a good time.  Common Core is fun!  And engaging!
I whipped up this little freebie for you!  A recording sheet and some colorful picture cards to use with your legally obtained paint sticks!
Just click the picture for your freebie!


Got dice?  Got stamp pads?  Then you've got the ingredients for a fun addition center!

This is a messy center so you know I love it.  Messy=success!

Students roll the dice and stamp the dice on their paper.  When they press it into the ink they need to make sure the dice is covered with ink.  They press the dice onto their paper and it leaves a nice stamp of the dice face!  They write the number sentence and add.  

Tip:  use the dice that are more square as opposed to rounded! The more ink on the dice the better! 

Here is a free recording sheet for you!

Monday, April 29, 2013

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard Q and U Wedding!

Monday.  That is all.

Today's blog post is coming to you live, via satellite from the outdoor offices at The Kindergarten Smorgasboard World Headquarters!

We enjoyed our first dinner on the patio with our new BRIGHT ORANGE patio furniture (as the mister refers to it, "It's very Greg Warren patio furniture!")!  Now I am blogging and working on fun new creations.  And enjoying a beverage.  Blackberry if you must ask.  

Today was a major event in the kindergarten smorgasboard.  Today we were honored guests at the wedding of Mr. Q and Mrs. U!  And what a wedding it was!  A bride.  A groom.  A wedding party!  And a wedding cake.

Now, for all of those people who are not teachers and criticize us for doing these things.  Let me just say this:  I still have kids who were in my kindergarten class four years ago coming to me and talking about writing q and u and how they always write them together.  Outsiders might call it silly and trivial and "non academic" but these experiences help our students to cement those skills into their minds.  PS  This is much more authentic and valuable than the standardized test we have to do this week....just sayin!

And now, the wedding of  Q and U!

The boys made glittery bowties to wear at the wedding!  People, I love glitter so much I even have BLACK glitter!!!  True story!

We all walked down the aisle to the wedding march.   Notice the looks on some of those faces!  Priceless.  I wonder how many people have the look when they're walking down the aisle?!

The official wedding portrait!  The girls are wearing their custom made veils featuring dazzling glittery tissue paper and precious pink sentence strips.  A must have for all alphabet brides!

Our beautiful (and delicious)0 wedding cake!  This was made by one of the Pre-K teaching assistants!  She has made our wedding cake every year!  They're always cute and yummy!!

And finally, here are my three princesses.  They named themselves this because they all wore their beautiful dresses!!  

And yes, I even dressed for the occasion

I am sporting my bowtie and mustache lanyard!  How appropriate for an alphabet wedding in the land of mustaches and glitter?!

I must give a shout out to Crystal at Kreative In Kinder for her awesome Q and U wedding unit!   It was a last minute grab this morning!  The story was a perfect way to kick off our wedding day and we loved coloring the picture of Q and U!

Kreative in Kinder
In case you missed it, here is my Cinco de Mayo freebie!  Click on to the freebies page to get yours!

Did you know that this Saturday is the first Saturday in May?  That means The Kentucky Derby!  I'm a native of the Louisville area so the Derby is near and dear to my heart!  I created this common core aligned creation to bring some of my Derby love into the classroom!  Check it out!

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard Schedulin Sunday!

Another Schedulin Sunday!  Only 4 more (including this one!) and then it's summer!  What will I blog about on Sundays this summer???  HMMMM

This week's Schedulin Sunday is going to look different.  Because our schedule looks different.  Because our days look different.  Because this week we are not educating our students.  Instead we will be administering a standardized test to our kindergartners   Yes, the time has come to administer the SAT-10 to our 5 year olds.  Bubbles and all.  Let me make a statement and then I'll move on:  This is the point that every parent and community member should be outraged.  We're losing an entire week of EDUCATING YOUR CHILDREN just to give them a standardized test.  That's right.  This week we will not be educating your child.  We're testing them.   How does that make you feel?

And now, our crazy Schedulin Sunday-SAT-10 version!


Today is Q in our alphabet countdown!  That means a wedding!  Today is the wedding of Q and U!  The boys will be making bow-ties to wear and the girls will be making veils.  The bow-ties are just a simple bow-tie pattern cut out of black construction paper.  The boys add a Q to their bow-tie   The girls will make their veil from a sentence strip and white streamers.  On the veil will be a U.

We will hold our wedding ceremony with Mr. Q and Mrs. U walking down the aisle with their wedding party (the monsters)!  After our ceremony we will be enjoying a QU cake and juice! 

I love this day because it's so much fun to see the monsters giggling and laughing about Q and U getting married!  This is also a powerful lesson for the learning goal:  q and u are always working together in words!


SAT 10.  See commentary above.

As part of my plan to help release the stress from my monsters, we're going to tackle an ambitious art project this week!  We're going to make sillouhettes of ourselves.  We're going to pose in an action pose on black paper.  Mr. Greg will trace our outline and cut it out.  After we get them all cut out, we will be covering them in colorful paper circles! 

This idea came from The Art Room At The Falcon Academy of Creative Arts!  I saw this pin on Pinterest and thought why can't we do this in Kindergarten?!  So we're going for it!


Today we will celebrate Cinco de Mayo!  We will read an original story written by my amazing teammate, Ms. Denney.  It's called If You Give A Tiger A Taco!  After reading the story, we will be making ponchos and sombreros   

To make the ponchos, you need brown grocery bags (usually Publix will donate them to you if you ask nicely!) and paint!

Simply cut the sides out of the bags so the students arms will fit in the bag.  Cut a hole in the bottom of the bag for the head.  Students can paint their ponchos with paint.   When dry, just slip them on!

To make the sombreros, cut out large circles from white poster board   Again, allow students to paint the circle with their paints.  Provide students with a small paper bowl and allow them to paint the bowl.   Use the bowl to measure another smaller circle inside the large poster-board   Cut out this small circle to make a place for the sombrero to sit on the student's heads!  When all is dry, glue the bowl to the middle of the poster board!  

As part of our Cinco de Mayo celebration we will be making tacos in our classroom on Friday!  

Also, our ABC countdown continues this week!
Monday-Q-QU wedding

Thursday-N-Noodle Newt  (I color pasta noodles green using food coloring and rubbing alcohol.  The students then glue the noodles onto a lizard cut out!  Noodle Newt!)

Friday-M-Monkey-monkey bag puppet!

Here's a little Cinco de Mayo freebie for you!

Check out my newest Common Core Creation!  Measuring Cinco De Mayo!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard Saturday Kindergarten Post!

Happy Saturday!  It's a washout in the Music City.  Rain.  Rain.  Rain.  Our backyard is now a pond!  We did venture out to Target!  I got a new wireless mouse (I am so excited about this!) and some popcorn socks!

People, I have to tell you a story and then I'll get to the week that was!  We're teachers.  We understand the value of education.  We understand the value of a strong foundation in math and numbers.  OK.  I might get throat punched, but I've never been a big proponent of calculators in math classes because I think it allows to get away with not learning math and number skills that we need in REAL LIFE!!!  Today, I was proven CORRECT!  We stopped at McDonald's for a drink and french fries (the smell of those things is evil and cannot be refused).  I handed the young man a $5 bill.  My total was $3.27.  Immediately I know my change is $1.73.  Apparently, the computer doesn't show him the correct change.  And then it happens.  He pulls out his iPhone.  People, HIS IPHONE!  Opens the calculator app and figures out my change.  I.was.dumbfounded.  I have since tweeted McDonalds and now I am sharing this with you.  Math is real.  Math is necessary.  Math is going to be around and will still work when your technology doesn't.  Learn math.  

Now that you've heard my rant about math, here's what you really want to see!  The Saturday Kindergarten Post!

As I was editing pictures today, I was amazed at how much goes on in our classroom in a week.  8 hours a day.  5 days a week.  40 hours of learning, art, behaviors, laughter, tears and it all comes together to create these little scholars.  Seriously...zoo trip, Earth day, plants, poop, oo words, SAT 10 practice, decomposing numbers, calendar, addition and subtraction.  People really have no understanding of what we do!  Teachers, we are superheroes!  BE PROUD!

This week our end of the ABC countdown rolled on!  Read Aloud Day, Sunglasses Day, Thank You Notes, Umbrellas and Violet Day!

Our week kicked off with a trip to the zoo!  We had a blast!  The monsters were well behaved and received so many compliments from people on their behavior!  It is great to be able to take what we learned in the classroom and expose the monsters to the animals so they can see their knowledge in action!  

After we returned from the zoo, we celebrated Earth Day!  We read The Lorax and talked about the ways we can keep the Earth clean and beautiful!  The monsters are now recycling crazy.  I love it!  I might have been yelled at a few times this week for putting paper in the trash can!  I love love love these mustache pictures!!!!!!  So much fun!  They giggled and laughed when they got to put them on!  

This week we learned all about plants!  We learned the needs of plants, the parts of plants and the life cycle of plants!  Of course, we use art to help us share what we've learned!  These sponge paint flowers were so fun and MESSY!  My motto is this:  the bigger the mess, the more success!  I bought some small sponges at Wal-Mart and cut them into petal shapes.  We cut out a flower pot, painted a stem and sponge painted the petals!   Super fun and easy!

Of course we planted seeds too!  We planted marigold seeds in cups and they're already sprouting!  We also planted bean seeds in CD cases so we can see the seed as it grows!  

As part of our plant party, we read the book Tops and Bottoms!  If you don't have it, GET IT!  It's a great book for plants.  After reading Tops and Bottoms, we used our feet to paint carrots!  They turned out way cuter than I thought!  Yes, I touch their feet.  Yes they laugh hysterically while I'm brushing the paint on!  And yes, it smells like feet!  But the end product is so worth it!

This week we also worked on decomposing numbers!  We used dice to decompose numbers!  We used rainbows to decompose numbers!  We used ladybugs to decompose numbers!  And we used our red and yellow counters to decompose numbers!!  It was a fun, hands on, engaging week of learning this common core standard!  

You can get the Decomposing Dice freebie on the freebies page!

This week we also learned about "oo" words!  I did read the book "Everyone Poops" on Friday and we had lots of laughs!  We ended our oo word week with fruit loop words!  And yes, we made the word poop on our activity!  I'm glad that I have the same sense of humor as a 5 year old!

These are some of our fun centers for the week!  The monsters are into sight words and smelly markers this week!   I wonder what it will be next week?!


And finally this week, we welcomed a new member of the kindergarten smorgasboard family!  Goliath the guinea pig!!!

Rockin my blue Oakleys!  Yes, they match the blue shirt and the blue socks.  I always match my clothes.  ALL OF THEM!  ALWAYS!

I heart the Earth!

Alright people, it's time for us to connect more!  I love interacting with everyone!  You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus!  I am contemplating doing a Google Hangout (group video chat) for the blog sometime!  Join me on Google Plus and we can chat!
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