Saturday, March 30, 2013

Egg Perspectives

So this week didn't exactly go as planned. I usually do a unit on eggs-I love this unit because there are so many great stories, especially ones where something unexpected comes out of the egg. I also like to do some experiments with eggs to show the kids how we think of them as being so fragile, but really they are pretty strong. But we were just too busy with other things this week.

On Thursday we were told some Texans (as in the football team) were going to come read to the kiddos. Turns out there most of the players may have been from a university team, however, a big, strong athlete took the time to read to a bunch of 5-year olds. He was pretty nervous at first, I mean, understandably so. Who knows what these little guys would say? But he was a really good sport. He told them to always study, even if your goal was to be a professional athlete and work hard at whatever you do. Great advice.

The one activity we did get to do was to write from the perspective of an egg. Here's what they came up with:

I will be sad because I will not last for long.

I would be beautiful and big and shiny.

It's fun to be an egg because it's silly.

I will only feel happy if they never find me.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Peeps Dioramas

Have you seen these:

I think it's amazing how creative some people can be! I love the Hunger Games one!

 I think I may try something like this with my kiddos next year...although they will probably try to eat their materials. :)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Incredible, Suspenseful Egg

So we read the story:

It's a cute story about a hen who decides to be a writer after loving so many books that she has read. She checks out a book with tips for writers and gets started on her own story. You need a main character, a plot and most of all....suspense--is what the book tells her.

So I asked my munchkins to use suspense in their stories that simply began with finding an egg. I think some of them did an outstanding job with coming up with some creative twists and turns!

I found an egg in the park and then a ferocious dragon came out of the egg. I runned and runned so then the ferocious dragon ate me up.

I like mystery endings!

This one is definitely obsessed with $ !

I found an egg in the street, I pick it up. What comes out? Pop went the egg--a baby T-rex!

I couldn't eat but there were 3 nests so I made the right decision.

I have a cat.....

I love it so much I petted it and put stickers all over the egg.

Now this is one of my kiddos who really struggles academically. But look how creative this is. Everyone else found an a strange egg--hers is a regular old Easter egg hunt where the child is trying to get the eggs out of a nest instead of finding the ones on the ground. Love it!

We still have a ways to go, but hopefully they will remember to add a little more suspense to their stories now! :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Perfect Nest, etc.

I feel like I haven't posted in a long time. Last week I was doing a lot of individual assessments-high frequency words, reading fluency and then our required progress monitoring. I usually catch up on the weekends but this past weekend I was really sick. I even had to call out sick yesterday--which I hate to do. I use a yardstick that's colored for behavior with clothespins, mostly I just use it for hallway/lunch behavior-I turned the names around, but look what I came back to today:

Oh my little angels! So misunderstood! :)

This really did make my day. We have a very talented paraprofessional who was doing caricactures of various teachers and here was mine:

Too cute! I love the glue in my little holster. At least someone recognizes 26 Kindergarteners in one room (no aide by the way) is a LOT! :)

So anyway, one of my favorite stories to read aloud is called:

I think it's just an adorable little story about a cat who "hatches" a plan to get himself some eggs to make omelets with. Well, he attracts 3 birds and they all fight over the nest so long that by the time they leave the little eggs hatched. Then he has 3 hungry chicks on his hands! Each one has a different personality and it's fun to read their little taglines.

So I asked the kids to design a perfect nest for a bird. What amenities would it include? And this is what they came up with:

A spy nest

Bird Hotel

made of grass and has a pillow

golds (not like the soccer "gold" it was explained to me, but like jewelry gold!)

It has drinks (my kind of nest *wink*).


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Product Menus

I am all for giving kiddos choices in how to show what they are learning. I have several different kinds of menus that I use with them, this one is one I made for responding to a story that I read to them aloud. I explain that it is like the menus in the restaurants-you are going to choose one that appeals to you. I do ask them to challenge themselves and not necessarily "act out the story" every day (that one is their favorite).

 We read a story that I love, it's called What to do About Alice. It's about Alice Roosevelt (Teddy's daughter) who apparently was a handful! My favorite response was where one of the students compared Alice to another student in the classroom who also likes to "eat up the world" as Alice did.

Especially this time of year when they seem to be getting bored with the same old activities, it's a way to spice things up a little bit and keep them engaged!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Kidblog Anyone?

I consider myself to be moderately technologically-literate. However I always feel like I'm behind the eight ball when I discover "new" things that I find out have been around for a while now. I attended a training last week on "Differentiation Using Technology"-sounds exciting right? Well, it was but now I have this huge list of programs to see if I can navigate.

I was really excited to try out Kidblog:

I'm still playing with it and trying figure out how it all works. I introduced it to my kiddos before the break and they all made up their own passwords (that was hilarious by the way-they'd say "dinosaur" and I'd say, "are you sure you can spell that?" Ok, then "dog"). The first time I asked them what they learned at school that day and actually did get 2 responses *yay*. We've been on break this past week and a couple of them have posted-how's Ruby doing, I saw the Oz movie, etc.

If you don't use this, it seems like a fun thing to use maybe even as an exit ticket type of activity-what did you learn today? I can see you being able to ask specific questions to specific students and using it to differentiate that way, I'm just not sure I work with a population of students where they have regular access to the web at home.

If you do use this, what kinds of activities do you do with it? I know I'm probably missing some brilliant way to use it as a resource.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Story "Goal!"

Well, my Spring Break didn't exactly go as planned. *sigh* First of all, I definitely didn't get done everything on my to-do list (although when does that ever happen). I did finally put my car in to get 2 new back tires, something it's needed for a while now. I borrowed my Dad's car as a loaner while it was being worked on to run some errands, since they live right around the corner from the mechanic's. I went to Walgreen's to pickup a prescription and knocked the side mirror off the car on a post in the drive-through. This could only happen to me! So my car repair budget doubled quite suddenly yesterday! Then my neighbor's house was broken into during the day which I find really creepy. I was home at the time but unfortunately didn't see anything.

The good part though, it's my baby's 4th birthday today! I know she doesn't look very happy in this picture (she so does not like to get her picture taken-Tyra would be very disappointed! :) Here was her present though-she got a new necklace and leash for spring.

Her favorite thing in the world to do is sit out in the grass and watch the world go by, we have a beautiful day to do that today and I can catch up on some reading. :)

Ok, the real purpose of this post. I love this book:

It's about how much soccer means to children in Africa and the clever way they trick some bullies into letting them keep their ball. I had the kiddos write about the big idea of the story and this is what they came up with. Soccer is a sport many of them already participate in, so I definitely think they could make that connection.

The big idea is the ball was important to the boys.

Never give up. I never say I hate soccer.

Soccer is fun because you can have some fun (we are working on word choice).

Don't let anything get ahead of you.

He hid it in the bucket.

It's a good running start with good running skill.

Soccer is my favorite game because I want to play soccer.

Soccer if fun because you can kick the ball.

The boy runs and does not give up.

Goals are good because they are a target.

Soccer is not good because your legs will hurt.

They hid the ball in the bucket.