Saturday, April 20, 2013

It's Product Swap Time!

I know that I have been absent from my blog, and I'm sorry.  I was all excited last night to write a new post {the one I was going to write on Tuesday}, but my blog was looking a tad bit funky.  I decided to hold off on that, again, and wait for today's fun Product Swap.

MrsStanfordsClass

I was so excited when Jessica teamed me up with Kourtney Payton from Mrs. Payton's Precious Kindergarteners!  She has a super cute blog that you should definitely check out!

Mrs.Payton'spreciouskindergarteners

My class was about to begin a weather unit.  When I saw Kourtney had a weather centers packet in her TpT store, I knew that was the perfect product to check out.  Kourtney's unit, Weather Centers & Supplementary Activities for Kindergarten, is jam packed {and I mean jam packed} with a ton of great stuff.  I'm going to share with you just a few of the great activities that we used from this packet.

The first one I want to share with you is her abc activity.  For this activity, Kourtney has six weather cards and a recording sheet.  This activity is a center activity, but we completed this as a whole class.  It was a great introduction to abc order!  The first thing that I did was to put the cards under my elmo in random order.  We talked about what kind of weather was on each card.  {Please excuse all of the random things on computer table.  I really need to clean it off.  lol}


We then identified the first letter in each word, and I underlined it.


Next, we used our alphabet in the classroom to put the cards in abc order.


After we used the cards, we completed the skills sheet that came with the activity.  Each student underlined the first letter in the word and circled the letter in the alphabet line at the top.  We then wrote the words in abc order.



The next activity I want to share with you is Kourtney's write the room center.  She included 8 word cards and a recording sheet.  She has two cards to a page, but I printed them off so that I had four cards on a page.  {This size works the best for my classroom.}


I cut out the cards and placed them around my classroom.



During centers, my students walked around the room and completed the top portion of the recording sheet.  They then completed the bottom portion at the table.



Another activity we completed from this great packet was a double bubble map about suns and rainbows.



The last activity that I am going to share with you is a math activity that Kourtney included in her weather packet.  It is a review of 3d and 2d shapes.  This activity included picture cards and a skills sheet.  For some reason, I don't have a picture of the picture cards - sorry.  I do have some pictures of the skills sheet though.  It was a great assessment to see if my students remembered the difference.




This is just a very small sampling of what is in this unit.  Some of the other activities in this unit include a pocket chart center for matching picture cards and word cards, two abc centers {one for initial sounds and one for final sounds}, a cute rainbow craft, a cloud flipbook activity, and a weather journal.

A big thank you goes out to Kourtney for sharing her Weather Centers & Supplementary Activities unit with me!  I love it! Please check out Kourtney's blog and TpT store.  You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sad Day

I have been in a funk lately with my blog.  I sit down to write, but nothing comes out. However, before school I decided that tonight I was going to come out of the funk. I had a blog post in mind and was excited to get back in the groove of things.  I'm sad to say this isn't that post. :(

My principal called a meeting this morning before school.  We thought this was a little unusual since we didn't know about it ahead of time.  At the meeting, our principal informed us that our night custodian, Mr. Bob, was killed last night by a drunk driver on his way home from work.  Today was a very sad day at school. :(

Mr. Bob was a wonderful man.  He always had a kind word.  He would talk to me about my son and Disneyland.  He was always willing to help with anything that was needed.  He will be greatly missed. 

Please keep Mr. Bob and his family in your thoughts tonight.  Thank you.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Five for Friday

So, technically it's not Friday.  However, I am still up so I am going to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the weekly Five for Friday Linky Party.


1.  My students have been working on their sight words with a fun twist this week.  We are beginning to study weather and when I saw this pin about a month ago, I knew I wanted to do it with my class.  Here is my version of writing rainbow sight words.


2.  My students earned a popcorn party and were thrilled when this showed up in our classroom.  We finished our day with a video and some popcorn.


*I don't have pics for the next two things, but I still want to share.  :)

3.  Today was our day to take cap and gown pictures of the Kindergarten and fifth grade students.  My Kinders looked so cute in their little caps and gowns.  I can't wait to see all of the pictures when they come back in a few weeks!

4.  I have been working with a small group of students from my class and my bestie's class.  We have been working on getting letter sounds down pat.  When I tested them today, each student improved their scores (and by a lot).  I am so proud of each of them!

5.  My final part of my Five for Friday has nothing to do with school.  It has to do with this picture that my husband sent me.  I saw it when I got my phone out of my purse at lunch time.


See the pile of rubber on the top of the engine.  Yep - that's my husband's drive belt - destroyed.  And joy of all joys, it broke another part when it broke.  And when I say part, I mean an expensive part.  And you guessed it - recently out of warranty.  :(  It looks like my husband is going to looking for a new car.  I feel so bad for him because he loves his sporty car (most of the time), but it's not worth it (to him) to fix it up.  The worst thing about the whole situation is that we found out the drive belt broke because the mechanics at the dealership didn't put a bolt in correctly.  The bolt ended up on the pan and it caused the belt to break.  I'm not looking forward to car shopping.  We are ones who usually research for weeks/months before we buy a car.  Wish us luck.  lol

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Magic Paper Cutting Trick

Do you hate all of the little pieces of paper that appear whenever your students cut anything out?  Yep - I did too.  That is until I learned the magic paper cutting trick.  Ok, not so much a trick as a sanity saver for someone who hates having little pieces of paper all over her classroom floor.

My bestie taught me this several years ago, and I have been using it ever since.  I teach this to my students at the very beginning of the year in a very dramatic way.  I tell them to watch very closely because I am going to show them a magic trick.  {They get very excited by this.}  I then pick up a piece of paper and a pair of scissors and take my time to cut very carefully around whatever it is I'm cutting.  Once it it all cut out I yell "Ta-Da!!!"  The students then kind of look at me like I'm crazy.  {I'm ok with that.  lol}  I then tell them that my trick is that I cut out my paper with only one piece of scrap.  I then challenge them to show me that they can do a "one scrap cut" too.  Every year, my students are so excited to show me their one piece of paper that they have left after cutting out their project!  It's fun to see them get so excited about something so simple.

I took some pictures yesterday to show you what this looks like in my classroom.  {We were making whirly birds to go along with our weather unit.  I wish I could show you how much fun the students had playing with their whirly birds outside.}



This is what my wonderful recycling box looks like.  Not a tiny piece of paper in the box {or my floor}.  Love it!


Do you do any "magic" tricks in your classroom?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

World Autism Awareness Day

If you haven't heard yet, today is World Autism Awareness Day.


I want to tell you about how Autism plays a role in my family.  My son, Colton, has Autism.  He was officially diagnosed at the age of two.  He started school three days after turning three.  School has not always been easy for Colton.  Until about a year ago, he didn't speak at all.  He now is able to speak some words, but still relies heavily on sign language and his Galaxy Player with Sonoflex (a computerized PECS like program).  He does not like when they play a movie in school (scared of the unknown).  However, he reads on grade level, has a rockin' vocabulary, can spell like a champ, and can add/subtract and tell time with the best of them.  He also has a great sense of humor.

Colton at age 3.
Colton today.

Having a child with Autism definitely changes how you look at life.  I've learned to not take anything for granted.  Colton has taught me to slow down and enjoy life.  I am so proud of Colton and all he has accomplished!

I leave you with a little story and a video.  Right before Colton turned three, my husband and I went to Germany on a trip.  We were in a restaurant trying to read the signs and communicate with the person who worked there.  We pointed and tried everything to get the worker to understand what we wanted.  We finally put our order in, and my husband turns to me and said "Now I know how Colton feels."  That really hit home with me and my husband.  Colton always knew what he wanted, we just had to learn how to "listen."

This video is of Scott James.  He is singing a song called "Through My Eyes."  It talks about how a person with Autism might feel.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


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