Wednesday, November 7, 2018

How I Structure Centers

I love Reading Group time.  It's an enjoyable part of my day where my kids are working independently and I get to listen to kids read and see progress in their letter, sound and sight word knowledge.  I teach half day kindergarten, currently.  When I taught all day K I had the privilege of meeting with each group every day.  With half day I meet with each group twice a week then save Friday for lots of other things (reading test and a weekly art project sometimes involving writing).

So while I'm meeting with kids, here is what the rest of my class is doing:

Seatwork then off to Centers (twice a week) OR I-Read on the iPads (twice a week)

Today's post is all about centers.

I have 9 centers.  I do NOT rotate or assign.  I simply let them choose.  I've already given them the work I want them to complete and now it's time for them to make choices on what they want to do.

3  Centers are ELA games or activities
3  Centers are Math games or activities
    Reading Center
2 Writing Centers (writing cards and write the room)

When they finish a center they either put it in their backpacks and take it home or they put it in the Unfinished work basket to work on the next time they have centers.

For the ELA and Math games -  I put the pages in plastic sleeves so they can reuse them.  I have them play games where they can roll and record or roll and cover.  I also put fine motor activities - for example my kids love pokey pin pages.

For the writing activities I put out plain paper and some writing cards (with pictures and words that go with our theme or season) and let them draw and write.  I also have Write the Room activities that they do.  One of my favorite versions of Write the Room is called Spin the Room (it's one way to work on short and long vowels).

There are so many wonderful products I've found on Teachers Pay Teachers that I've used in my centers over the years.  I also have many of my own.

If you are looking for centers to add to your collection, here are some ideas:

Spin the Room Short and Long Vowel Bundle

Roll and Cover

Writing Cards (fall)

Hidden Objects - Short Vowels

Write the Room (Winter Bundle)

May your Centers be full of joy and learning!
Friday, September 21, 2018

Write the Room

Who loves to Write the Room?  I do!  I do!  I do!

So do my sweet students.  Oh man do they love getting a clipboard, pencil and recording sheet and going at it!  I love watching them focus.

I have a been working on making fresh new Write the Room products this year to go with many of my themes.

I have a Write the Room for the following:  colors, shapes, school supplies, rules, 10 frames, nursery rhymes, family, fire safety, five senses, apples and pumpkins (together), fall, Little Red Hen, and Thanksgiving.

Some of these are unique and I made them because I couldn't find many like them yet these mirror many of my themes.

The best part?  I put them in a bundle BUT you can purchase them individually as well.  This way you can tailor my Write the Room products based on YOUR themes.  Click HERE to see the Bundle.

My favorite is the Apples and Pumpkins Write the Room because it goes with my compare and contrast apples and pumpkins unit.  You will often see Write the Room products for apples and for pumpkins but when have you seen them together?  Now you have!

Enjoy and have a blessed day!

Desk Secrets


Friday, August 10, 2018

Going Back to School

Well it's official......it's time to go back to school.  Next week the meetings begin and the week after we have children!  Kindergarteners are coming!  I'm excited to meet my new little ones.

As we approach the start of school I love to think about all the amazing books I can read to my children.  However, I wanted to be a little different this year so I wrote my own story about Pablo and his friends going back to school.  It's a great adventure that you can display on your screen instead of a book.  This adds to the novelty to your lessons.  Take a look at The Letter Parade.



There are also class books you can make with your children too.

I hope you have a great beginning of the school year!

Natalie
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Have You Ever Wanted To Be A Spy?

Raise your hand if you're a spy.  

Ahh, I see you didn't raise your hand.  

Exactly what a real spy would do.  Your identity has been compromised.  It seems you need to hone your skills.  I have just the game for you and your students  -- Spy Rescue .

  


It's a sight word spy game for 2 to 4 players that can be played competitively or cooperatively.  You will have to utilize all your spy skills to quickly gain access to the top secret plans before another spy beats you to it.  Be about your business quickly agent K3.  We are all counting on you.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

I'm A Mama Hen

I'm hatching chickens with my kindergarten class.  Have you ever wondered how to do this?

Once upon a time 7 eggs arrive in a kindergarten classroom.  The teacher says, "Aha....that's what this machine is for."


                              
Next the teacher (that's me) and kindergarten class wait 21 very LONG days wondering if anything will ever happen.  But................two days before the hatching date the automatic timer changes from the picture on the left to the one on the right.
See the line by Day 3 - that means it's still turning the eggs
Now see the 0 by Day 2 - that means it's done turning the eggs



I was starting to stress out.  Remember - this is my first time EVER to have anything that resembles a chicken in my presence.  The directions told me to make sure the incubator stops turning two days before the eggs are due to hatch and replace the plastic with a cardboard insert that came with the incubator.  However, I wasn't sure how I would know if it stopped turning. I was also worried about touching the eggs and potentially hurting the little friends inside.  However, nothing to worry about - the incubator has an automatic shut off for egg turning (at least with this particular incubator).  It's almost as if the incubator knows what it's doing.  Ha!  At least that makes one of us.


Now the turning of the eggs is off and the eggs are placed on the cardboard insert (I took the plastic out).  Guess what is next???  Oh you guessed it - here chicky chicky - here chicky chicky!  First two chicks pipped (which means they poked a hole through the shell) then out came the chicks.  Then another one.


 

By day 22 ALL seven of them hatched.  I went home that night feeling like a proud mama hen.  However, I came back the next morning to THIS:

                                   

LET US OUT --- they all said.  Oh my!  I think they want to be let free.  Don't worry, though, they were fine in the incubator.  It's better safe than sorry because transferring them too soon could harm them if they aren't dry enough.  The humidity in the incubator did keep a few feathers damp so I soon transferred them to the brooder.  This happened to be our recycling bin with wood pellets down for a softer bedding.  I gave them water with probiotics (chick boost) and some food for them.  I also have a heat lamp to keep them warm.  Now they look like this:


It's red because of the heat lamp above.

    My kindergarten families are going to take them home.  We get to keep them for one more week.   However, I have one more job as a mama hen.  I have to make sure their little cute chicky bottoms stay clean.  Yes - that's an adventure all by itself!  Let's just say that I keep disposable gloves and rags nearby.  I will also be changing out the water and wood pellets frequently.  I think once the week is over I'll be ready to have just ONE job - teaching kindergarteners.  However, we will miss our fluffy little friends.  I do have to say, chicks and kindergarteners are very, very similar.  They are both cute and quick on their feet!  

I created a Chick Bundle of activities to do if you are interested.  I have a Chick Report, Write the Room, Reader's Theater, Game, and Vowel Slider.  They are all sold separately or you can get them in a bundle.  For the bundle click the link Here.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Chickens........Bawk -- Bawk

Well, it's that time of the year..........SPRING!

I thought it was spring UNTIL is snowed two inches today.  Yes - you heard me correctly!  It snowed - in MARCH.

Anyway, while I was wishing for spring to arrive I thought I'd work on kindergarten products.  I have another new product for my chicken unit.  Yes - we are hatching chicks in kindergarten this year.  It's my first year to ever do this and I'm so excited!  However, I feel like mama hen.  I'm nervous about doing it all correctly - I don't want any of my chicks to not make it.

So here is my newest product.  It's a Write the Room for Chickens - with real photographs.  Just click on the link!

If you are on Spring Break - I hope it's somewhere warm.

Have a blessed Sunday!






Sunday, March 4, 2018

I Thought I Knew Them All........

He was a Novia Scotia Tolling Retriever.  What?  I thought I knew all the breeds!  I can walk up and down the streets of our neighborhood - Hi Tucker!  Hey Roxie!  Yo Annie!  Lexy - looking good!  No those aren't people - those are just a few of the well known (by me) dogs of our neighborhood.  However, I thought I could name any breed but I'd never heard of the Novia Scotia Tolling Retriever.  He looked like my baby (a Golden Retriever) but a bit smaller.  That's what happened on our walk today.

Speaking of taking a walk...........take a look at my new product -- The Elephant's Back.

It's a whimsical song about an elephant who is walking to the zoo and he meets some animal friends who are so excited they make all kinds of noises.  It's a fun animal song!  I hope you enjoy!