February 2013 - Mrs. Jones's Kindergarten


Hi all!  What a great week off. Spring is in the air! (Are you ignoring the snow flying outside, too?)

Back to school tomorrow-- and that means we are continuing our vowel study, celebrating Read Across America, and hopefully the warmth will follow. I have a few fun things up my sleeve for spring...some new units I've been working on that I know will be a hit!

In the meantime, here's a peek at a new CVC magnetic word center that I am super excited about
...and I just love it most of all because its great practice, and totally independent!  
The kids can stretch, spell, and then check their own work. 

Teacher friends-- if you are interested, you can find my Building CVC Words center here.



Who's ready for a week off?  ME! ME!  I just love this break because it lets us all re energize  reevaluate, and renew. Reright? I feel like with the day to day business of family-work-school-kids-husband-repeat-oh-yeah-I-have-to-cook-dinner? sometimes a good break is all we need to get back into our grooves. Because I can tell you, serving mac and cheese or breakfast-for-dinner hasn't exactly made me feel like mom of the year lately. So, I'm going to spend this week doing a few fun things with my "real" kids, catch up with some friends, family, and get my school-life reorganized too. Ahhhh.

Well, since this is my classroom blog and not therapy I will share a little goodie I've been working on. My little readers are really taking off, but one thing that I feel we need a little extra *oompf* with is stretching out our words all the way to the very tippy end. Yeah, that darn letter at the end sometimes gets forgotten. 

So we are going back to basics here with a little activity that I like to call Stretchy the Snake. 
See, stretchy only comes out when people say his sounds correctly. He's kind of shy.

Then, in order to win the magic prize (no, not really), we have to blend all of the sounds together to read the word. Front to back. Using ALL of the letters my friends. 
Wait..... did you say /c/a/t/... cat???
You did it! Yipee!
Stretchy is so super satisfied that he's slithering from his sleeping bag!
I hope my kinders will be as excited as I am about this. :)
Teacher friends-- If you want Stretchy in all his glory, you can find him here.
Have a super slithery stretchy Sunday! 

V-Day Shenanigans (or not)

... So to continue my last post and answer my own question.... YES Valentine's Day ranks right up there with the 100th day in terms of the two E words...excitement and exhaustion.  I avoided the term "party" (because that seems to make the kids to think there will be all sorts of craziness going on) and instead went along with our regular routine-- but with everything a little valentine-ified. We started our day with one of my valentine sight word books and a cute little math game from Miss Kindergarten Love:
And some of my Valentine-themed literacy centers thrown in the mix with our long o vowel unit.
Approximately 1:12pm had marked the 567th time I had been asked "Can we pass out our valentines NOW?" and so our "celebration" began with a little math candy heart fun. (Can you feel the lid being kept on tight)

...and some other *academic* fun that can be found here in my Ultimate Valentine Printable Pack!

Like this fun reading comprehension activity!

Followed by a few healthy treats and, of course, passing out our valentines in our cutie-pie Love Bug bags.

After all was said and done, the craziness was kept to a minimum, and the kids had a fun day. 
Oh, P.S....Must give props to my Pinterest-inspired valentine gift to the class. 
Was this just too cute or what?!

And P.S.S.... also much love to my sweet husband for sending these sweet flowers in for our anniversary/Valentine's Day <3 comment-3--="" nbsp="">

 Early Spring Break next week! (!!!!!!)

100th Day and Vowel Fun!

Whew!  Can I just say this week was exhausting!? There seemed to be a high level of excitement in the air, maybe it was the snow, the 100th day, or the snow?  How about both!  The kids were PSYCHED all week for our 100th day celebration. We started by making our 100th day placements early on in the week (so we could get those babies laminated in time), our 100 year old portraits, and every day we have eagerly been counting down the days. By Friday, we weren't sure if we were even going to have school with all the snow (of course we did), and our 100th day went off without a hitch. Here is a peek at a few goodies from the day...
Cute class picture (lots of 100 year old cuties here!)
100 Golden Coins Hunt.
Fill 100 Boxes Dice Roll Game.
 100th day snack (see how cute the place mats came out?) 

Ok, now totally switching gears. Remember how I wrote about our Opinion Writing Unit last week?  Well, its over and on the assessment one of the kids wrote all about how much they love... not puppies, not ice cream, not their best friend, but... wait for it... vowels. Yes, you heard right, vowels!  My heart got all warm and fuzzy when I read that... and he even gave some super reasons why he loves learning about vowels!  I think that means my vowel unit is doing its job keeping them focus, engaged, and having fun. Here are a few highlights of the materials we are using for our Short and Long Vowel Unit.
Mini Books for each long and short vowel
 Snip, Mix, and Spell pocket chart fun

Next up... Valentine's Day (Do you think it will be more exhausting than the 100th day?)
Have a great week everyone!
(P.S.... Woohoo for Early Spring Break next week!)


Opinion Writing

Happy Saturday!  We are just finishing up our unit on opinion writing in Writer's Workshop this week, and the kids are really getting into it. They love talking about their feelings on a topic with me and their friends. We like listening to all the different likes, dislikes, and feelings about things. We learned about how the magic word *because* is important in Q & A, or opinion writing, because it allows us to give  a supporting detail or 2 to back up our opinion.

I sent a parent questionnaire home for the parents to work on, and gave them a few questions to answer.  This turned out to be a great segway into our lesson each day-- choosing one or two parent responses to read.
Then we followed up by choosing a question from our ultra-popular "Question Jar"
and using that for the discussion and writing prompt for the day. I liked using questions that would provoke thinking, and lead to some discussion. And, importantly, it was okay to say no, that you don't like something....as long as you can give a supporting reason why!  No, I don't like getting up in the morning. And that's okay! I don't like getting up in the morning because I usually go to bed much later than I should, and I am SO tired when my alarm goes off. (Could you tell by my answer that we are also working on restating the question in our answer? Intermediate stuff here folks!)

By Friday we will be ready for our unit post-assessment and I am confident that I will be reading a lot of nice, thorough opinions. :)  Teachers, you can download my question jar label, *because* labels, and writing prompts here on google docs.

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