Tuesday, March 29, 2016


We introduce a lot of literary devices in Kinder-this is one of my favorites! I actually remember learning about this concept with the poem The Bells in high school. The tintinnabulation of the bells!

We have been identifying the sounds in stories that we read and now it was time to extrapolate that knowledge to writing! I simply asked the students to write a story where they incorporated onomatopoeia in some way-here's what they came up with:

Friday, March 25, 2016

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs

I love doing our unit about eggs! When I ask my kiddos what they already know about eggs, one of the things they say is that they are very delicate. Which is true-but they are also very strong! We predicted how many books we could stack on the egg and ended up with over 16. I love that there are so many egg stories in children's literature. These are a few of my favorites:

My students thought this story was just hilarious! They are trying to figure what this creature is that hatched with the chickens-because it's so much bigger than the others.

One of my all-time favorites. Jessica finds an egg and out hatches what must be a chicken. They refer to it as a chicken throughout the whole story which also causes some appropriate giggles from the audience. "The chicken saved her"--it's really an alligator, but since they had never seen a chicken or an alligator before....

Duck and Goose argue over whose egg it is when they find one in the park. They talk about raising their little baby and eventually become friends. There's a nice little twist at the end too!

Oh Horton! This book is great for discussing ethics and the jobs moms are supposed to do.

This is a folktale that is retold. It's a story about a girl who befriends a woman with talking eggs. She follows the rules and is nice, where her sister....not so much. 

This is just a very sweet story about a bunny waiting for his chick to hatch.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

My Spring Break Reads

And I know, there should be more. I didn't get a lot of reading done this past week. I did things I've been putting off forever like getting my oil changed and getting a haircut (yes, can you believe it grew out enough to need a haircut!!!). I also met up with some old friends for lunch and worked on lesson planning and making new workstation materials.

But I was able to get some reading in.

This was a recommendation from Tammy over at: . She knows me too well! I loved this book. I think it's great for students who have difficulties in reading to have a character they can identify with, students who might have a friend who has difficulties that they can empathize with. But most of all I think teachers should read this book-because we certainly have all taught students like Ally. Best book I've read in a while!

This book is considered YA-but don't hold that against it! :) This book is a story set during the period of World War II and it actually details the largest maritime disaster ever-over 9,000 refugees died when their ship was struck by Russian torpedoes. I can't believe I never heard that story before.. It tells the story from the perspectives of 4 different people enduring 4 different experiences that all have a common thread. At first I found going back and forth between perspectives-literally every other page a bit jarring-but I got used to it. It is written beautifully and has some truly poignant moments that I will remember for awhile, I'm sure.

I listened to the audiobook of this and didn't realize until just now that this book was written by the same author as The Returned. Hmmmm. Well, this one is about a girl who accidently heals her friend one day and the way the community and her parents deal with it. There were parts that made me angry (like I'm sure it was meant to) but it was an interesting read. If you listen to audiobooks at all, the narrator who read it was amazing.

Friday, March 18, 2016

An Egg is Quiet

I really try to mix non-fiction stories into our daily read-alouds. The kids loving new facts and I know it's good to expose them to non-fiction text because that's what they will see in future testing, not to mention when they read the news as an adult. I went to the library to look for this book and found several more that I think my kiddos are going to love.

The one I was familiar with is:


                                                  It profiles all different kinds of eggs and the attributes of each. I actually never really thought about all the varieties there are before I read this book. It's a little wordy for Kinders-I generally skip around a little bit, but I think it's very informative and engaging.

So we are actually talking about plants and seeds in science-so this one was a great find!

Same thing but profiling different kinds of nests animals build and the materials they build them from.

My students are obsessed with finding "fossils" at recess (I don't have the heart to tell them they are just rocks :). But they are going to love learning all about different kinds of rocks and minerals.

My library probably hates me because I have put so many books on hold this week-but oh well! That's what they are there for right? 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

GT Frames in Kinder

I love using frames this time of year. We have used most of the concepts of Kaplan's Depth and Complexity on at least a weekly basis by now. I just love that I can write the symbols on the board and ask them to think deeply about a book or other concept and they can do it independently!

We read a book called Baby by Patricia MacLachlan:

I don't read this with all my classes, but I thought this group would like it. A family finds a baby left on their doorstep with a note asking them to take care of her and she changes all their lives. I asked them to make a frame to show the perspective of the baby, the ethics brought up in the story, any unanswered questions they still had and what the big idea we can take away from the book.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Chapter Read-Alouds for Kindergarten

I am a big believer in reading aloud to kids above their grade level. I think it's great for vocabulary development as well as listening comprehension. Plus, selfishly, it's my favorite time of day. We sit in a circle on the carpet and everyone is listening. It takes some time to cultivate that environment with some classes but it's well worth the effort. 

I read different books every year based on what I think the class can handle and what their interests are. I do read classics like Ramona Quimby and Junie B. Jones, which I think are good for things like inferencing and voice. I  typically read the Wizard of Oz, Winnie-the-Pooh and Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. But I also try to stretch their thinking a little bit with other titles. With these titles I find I can use a lot of the Depth and Complexity concepts, we can do projects in response to them. 

This story is written in verse, so a little more challenging to understand-but so fun to read aloud! It is about not judging people by how they dress and being who you really are. My students drew correlations between this book and what we were learning about the civil rights movement-which I was very proud of them for doing.

This is such a deep book! There are themes about love and how a character can change. There are times when it's funny and times when it's sad. A truly beautiful story.

This is an easier read, but one I think many of the students can relate to. The father in the story leaves and the family goes to adopt a dog, instead they bring home all the dogs left in the shelter. You hear the animals talking from their perspective and I think it's a great book for developing empathy as well.

This is just a really sweet story about a little girl and the advice she gets from her grandmother.

Another one I love read-aloud! No chapters in this book-which I think is a purposeful choice by the author. A father goes out for milk and is gone for a long time. When he returns, he spins quite a tale. This is something I could see my father doing! :) Such creativity in that mind of his.

I find that a lot of parents are not reading with their kids at home, I feel like I have to make up for that in our classroom. We read at least a chapter every day. Sometimes they are more concerned with how many chapters/pages are left--sometimes they just enjoy it. I love that moment when you read a particularly poignant part and you look around the room and see everyone just engaged with these characters. When it's hard to say good-bye at the end I know I made a good choice!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

What Teachers Do Over Spring Break

I always try to set a purpose for our writing-we are writing to entertain, to inform, to practice a skill. Yesterday I told the kids sometimes writers write just for fun and that's what we did. As our Spring Break was about to begin, I asked them to write what they thought teachers did over Spring Break. The answers were pretty predictable (they know me too well) with a few exceptions...... on projects for their kids

watch kids run and play outside

have fun bowling (love that illustration)

Ride roller coasters, ride bikes and watch horror movies-sounds like maybe his ideal break! :)

Another vote for bowling!

Our principal had slated a team building activity where we could go bowling--I think that's where they got it from.

I am going to try an enjoy my break. I have some appointments and things like getting an oil change that I've been putting off, but other than that I plan to read, catch up with Netflix and just chill! :)