November 2012 - Mrs. Jones's Kindergarten

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!

Caps for Sale! And fun with shapes :)

Our new favorite story is most DEFINITELY the old favorite Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina.
The kids just cannot get enough of it... and its become the favorite interactive read aloud for a bunch of reasons.

1. The peddler's caps. Who doesn't love some strange guy that walks around with a tower of hats on his head?  Plus, they are only 50 cents, so its quite the bargain too.
2. Monkeys. Who doesn't love some mischievous monkeys?
3. Fun verse. I don't know which part is better, a hand shaking, foot stomping peddler yelling "You, monkeys you, you give me back my caps!"  or the taunting monkeys giving it right back to him with their "Tsz, tsz, tsz!"
4. Perfect reader's theater. The kids have been BEGGING to use our "free play hats" to act out the story during their free time. Yes, no blocks, no kitchen center, no playdoh, they want to act out this story. Ahh... how can you NOT love this! Although their voices DID get a little loud for the classroom with all the peddler bellowing and monkey screeching, could I quell the excitement of reading and interacting with a story? No way! Had to snap these pics...

The peddler (yellow hat) and the monkeys :)

This peddler taking a snooze against the tree :)

I'm working on a new literacy center that I think the kids will enjoy. I'm taking our favorite read aloud verses, and putting them in a word work center where the kids can piece together their favorite verse on the pocket chart and record it. I don't think we are quite ready for the Caps for Sale verse, but I think we will be soon.

As we finish our first unit in Math Expressions, we are getting really good at identifying shapes, drawing them, and reading and writing our numbers. Today we got interactive with our shapes, and a big piece of yarn tied together at the ends made the perfect tool. We talked about how our fingers were the vertices, and the number of sides = the number of vertices  Then we got creative and stretched and pulled our yarn with our partner to transform it into different shapes. Rectangles and triangles were easy to make.... but squares a little harder, and trapezoids even more. Either way, it was fun-- and we forgot it was math time :)


Turkey Time!

Okay, if you don't want a song stuck in your head... I'm warning you... STOP reading right now!
Still here? Good! If you are looking for little brain break in the month of November, a little "Turkey Time" may be just what the doctor ordered. First of all, I just have to say I <3 Harry Kindergarten. If you are a Kindergarten teacher, or a parent of a 4 or 5 year old and have never heard of him-- get to you tube or google him pronto!  He makes the most catchy, cute songs for kids. You will find your kiddos humming and groovin all.the.time! And I am humming and groovin just CAN'T help it!

Here is our current fav. WARNING. Don't roll your eyes with the first verse. You have to listen and participate to make it fun. Then LOOKOUT!  The kids will be begging for Turkey Time! :)

Okay, and I had to post this action shot. We like to have our Turkey Time at the end of the day while waiting for dismissal. But any time of the day is a good time!


New center & recent happenings

Can you believe its already November!? You know that means Election Day, and Veterans Day, then Thanksgiving... and the following week is DECEMBER! Craziness!  (Okay, trying not to get ahead of myself.)
I threw a new twist into our magnetic letter center this week, and it is a HIT!  I made these mats to go along with the letters we are focusing on for the week. The kids read the word, make the word with our magnetic letters, and then write using a dry erase marker. Its easy, fun, and better yet-- reusable! (My teacher blogging friends-- you can find it here or click the picture).

Some pics of recent Kindergarten happenings:

With our fourth grade Reading Buddies outside on the front lawn

Listening to "Goodnight Goon" on Halloween, read to by Principal Muscarella

And my Pinterest-inspired "Diction-Fairy" costume! The idea came from Lillidale's blog post here.

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