2012 - Mrs. Jones's Kindergarten


Ahh, December. I think December and January are probably my two favorite months to be a kindergarten teacher. Why?  Because that is the time of year where letters and sounds and reading and writing really starts clicking. We are learning what writers do... and are getting really good at remembering our finger spaces and stretching out our words.  :)

 Yesterday in phonics one of my littles, totally by herself, stretched out and wrote the word "valintin" for Valentine!  I was so impressed!
One new literacy center that we will start this Friday will help us along with practicing beginning and ending sounds. I named it "First and Last" (after break we will be focusing on the "middle" :)  I integrated it into the magnetic words center, and the kids even can self-check their own work when they are done. 
              (Teacher friends, click here if this is something you would like to use in your classroom.)

Have a great rest of the week everyone!  I am home with a sick boy today...and am about to do some disinfecting-- wish me luck! :)

Fun with Jan Brett!

At the library today one of the kids picked up a book from the display and proudly declared, "Look Mrs. Jones... JAN BRETT!!!" You would have thought she was a 10 year old talking about Justin Bieber. :) Needless to say, we just ended week 1 of our two week Author Study on Jan Brett... so Jan's books are a hot commodity. This week centered around The Mitten and The Three Snow Bears, with a few other titles sprinkled in. Next week is The Hat, The Wild Christmas Reindeer, and comparing/contrasting Snow Bears with Goldilocks. 

Story organizers

Story sequencing

Literacy centers like this Sight Word Sentence Mix Up
Choose your own story Flip Book

Sequencing activities

 If you would like to use this in your classroom, you can find it here at my TpT shop!

We will lead up to Christmas break having some fun with the Gingerbread stories, our first Field Trip to see Rudolph, and lots of holiday excitement. Here's our craft for next week, ripped paper wreaths. Doesn't everything look better with glitter?  Super easy to make!
Just cut the center out of a paper plate, grab some different shades of green construction paper, some glue, and some glitter. Kids rip paper by hand and glue to cover the plate. Add some dabs of glue and glitter for holly berries, and a bow if you'd like. (Although I think next year I will use a real bow, perhaps?)
Have fun!

Literacy Centers

Some updates from our classroom.... last week we started our Literacy Center rotations, and the kids have been LOVING it!  I decided to do mini-groups of 3, and we do 2 rotations per day. I made these new labels for one of my pocket charts (teachers you can find the labels here) but then changed it up and transferred all of the files to my smart board. Love that even more! Now with a little finger, I can switch the centers around. Can you say easy peasy?  Here's the pocket chart way:
And the Smart board way. (*Update-- I've had some questions about sharing this Smart Notebook File. I jerry-rigged this setup on my smartboard for my classroom use, but I can't share it because I can't give away unsecured clipart. The labels are only available in the above format. Sorry!**)

 Magnetic words with the beginning sounds we were practicing last week:

And these are the "Magic Reading Wands" that we are using for our poetry center. 
They REALLY help us read our poems better. :)
Have a great week everyone!

We are writers & readers

We are learning about things that writers and illustrators do... and we are becoming them ourselves!  In Reader's Workshop, we have learned different ways to "read" our favorite read-aloud stories with our reading buddies, and are adding real things we can read to our book boxes every week. So far we have our poetry journal, class name chart, Brown Bear book, alphabet linking chart, a sight word book, and one of our letter books. We are beginning to learn "popcorn" (sight) words and are using them in our writing and reading now!

In Writer's Workshop, we are learning how to be just like our favorite authors. Here is our anchor chart for what we can do when we write.

Kissing Hand Project

Ain't it grand?  There's nothing like a mother's love for her baby on their first day of kindergarten. We made these "Kissing Hand" projects for the kids to take home the first day.... and to make their mamas feel better about sending their babies off to the "big world." There's also nothing like getting into some paint on the first day of school! Thank goodness for my wonderful aide who has no fear! :)


There is also a note on the back of the paper that reads:
Dear Parents,
On the first day of kindergarten, we read the book
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.  
It is a story about a little raccoon named Chester
who was anxious about leaving home and going to school.  
So his mother decided to share a "family secret" with him-
the "kissing hand".  
She gave him a kiss on his paw and told him
to press the kiss to his cheek whenever
he missed her.
We know that you, too, may be anxious
about your new Kindergartener going to
school for the first time.  So your child has
made a "kissing hand" for YOU.  
(Feel free to use as needed.)
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