Halloween, Pumpkins, and Frankenstein

It is Halloween week and there is a full moon......I think any teacher knows what this means:  the kiddos are wound up.  Not just the ones at school either, but my two little pumpkins at home are feeling the excitement of the upcoming holiday.

In order to keep my little kinders focused this week I decided to just focus on Halloween and it has worked wonders so far!

First we read the Halloween Night shared reading book from my Happy Halloween Unit on TPT.  You can get this unit for yourself {here}.

Then we thought of words that come to mind when we think of Halloween.  We made this web.  I thought they did a pretty good job.  I was hoping for mostly adjectives, but I still think it works ;)

We used the web to make a Halloween poem and then the students illustrated the poem with markers!  Markers are a big deal in my classroom because we don't use them too often.  Here are a couple of my little sweeties poems.   I think they did great!

Last Spring, my class made a craft using our pictures and when I hung them in the hallway our night custodian thought they were Frankensteins, but they weren't.  It was really quite comical because she was trying to figure out why I would have my class make Frankensteins in the spring.  Fast forward to October and she starts asking me when are we going to make Frankensteins.  So, we decided we would make Frankensteins for Ms. Deb. The kids loved making these and they did a great job with them.  They especially loved when Ms. Deb came in and "ooh"ed and "aahh"ed over their hard work!  Here is my Frankenstein and then a few of the students.

 Today we are taking our first field trip of the year and we are going to the pumpkin patch.  Then tonight is our school's Oktoberfest which is basically like an evening Halloween party for the kids since we don't have Halloween "parties" in the classroom anymore at our building.  It is going to be a long day, but well worth it!


High Five for Friday

Oh Friday how I LOVE you!  I am linking up with Lauren at From My Grey Desk Blog again today.

1.  Today I am done working at noon!!!!!  It is parent/teacher conferences and we had to stay late last night so to make up for it we are done at noon today.  It makes it an almost three day weekend and I will take it!

2.  I am also going to my own children's conferences today and yes I super stoked about it :)

3.  The weather this week was beautiful.

4.  Yesterday I treated myself to a Starbucks.....it has been months since I have last had one.

5.  This week I put on a pair of pants that have been super tight on me the last few months, but low and behold.....they fit!!  I was beyond happy.  Guess I finally am on my way to goal!

What is your high five for Friday?

Halloween Unit

I just finished my new Halloween Math & Literacy Unit for TPT.  I truly love Halloween.  It just makes me feel like a kid again.  Christmas is my favorite holiday, but Halloween comes in a very close second.  As a result, I really enjoyed making this unit and I hope you will enjoy it too!  I have included a shared reading book, an emergent reader, class book, Halloween song, roll & cover math games, and patterning activities plus more!

Click on the image below to head over to my TPT store to get this for your classroom!


Roll & Color the Jack O'Lantern

I have posted this freebie to my TPT store.  It is a roll & color game with a jack o'lantern.  Super cute, easy, and fun for the little ones!  I included to two dice that you can make.....one with color words and one with parts of a jack o'lantern (eyes, nose, etc.).  Students will roll the dice to see which part to color and which color it has to be.  The students will end up with some very colorful pumpkins :)

Click on the picture below to grab your own copy of this freebie! 


Start of Literacy Stations

Every year in kindergarten, I like to wait until October to start my literacy stations.  It seems like many of you in the blog world dive in way before I do.  I like to get my little kinders going with the routines of the classroom for awhile before I throw anything like this into the mix.  Also, this year I am very excited to have our ELL teacher push-in during literacy station time.  We have two fabulous ELL teachers in our building.  They also needed to get their groups up and running before adding literacy stations into the mix.

I spent tid bits of time last week introducing the literacy stations.  I would explain each station and then show the students what to do and then have a student model the station.  I felt like if I introduced them all at once the kiddos would be overwhelmed!!  Since they had some background knowledge, when we started this week I gave the abbreviated version of what to do.  I was so nervous when I sent each little pair off to their literacy station, but they did AWESOME!!!  It was the best first day of literacy stations I have ever had in kindergarten.  I am so proud of them and of course I gushed all over them when we through to let them know how proud I was!!

Here is a little peak at some of my literacy stations:

These students are listening to one of our favorite stories....Pete the Cat:  I Love My White Shoes.

This is my ABC station for now.  There are baggies with different puzzles.  The students match the picture with beginning letter.

She is "Writing the Room".  The students each get a clipboard and a pencil and find words they can read in the room.  After literacy stations, I have them read the words they wrote to me.

This is my pocket chart station.  Right now, the students are putting letter cards in ABC order.  They have a set of uppercase and a set of lowercase.

And the most exciting station......computer/smartboard station.  Last year our school PTO donated $100 to each classroom to purchase educational games for our smartboards.  These games came from Lakeshore.  The students are LOVING it!

Big Book Station......They take turns one person turns the pages and the other "reads" the story.  As I was going around snapping pictures, these two were having an awesome conversation about what the book was about and making up a story based on the pictures.  It made me smile!!

At the classroom library, the students can read to a reading buddy a.k.a. a stuffed animal or read into a toobaloo or just read a book.

This is my poetry station.  I put poems we have learned in class in this station.  The students put the strips in order, match the word cards to the sentence strips, match the pictures to the poem, and then read the poem.  If they finish, there is extra copies of the poem in our poetry notebook that they can "butter" popcorn words and color.

This is not all of my classroom literacy stations, but it is a good start.  I am also trying to find time in my daily schedule to add some math stations.  I think if I do that, they would only be for about 15 minutes. It seems we are just so busy all the time! :)

Have a good weekend!


High Five For Friday!

Woot Woot......It's Friday!  Man, it didn't come soon enough this week.  Linking up with Lauren over at From My Grey Desk Blog for High Five for Friday.

1.  My grandma had surgery this past week and everything went very well which makes me one happy granddaughter.  Here is a picture of my grandparents with their great-grandkids.......how stinkin' cute are my grandparents?

2.  My hubby and I went for a trip to see our very best friends without our kiddos.  They live a couple hours away so we don't get to see them often.  It was a great weekend filled with many laughs.  Here is a picture from the last time we were there.  I don't know why we didn't take any pictures this time.

Also, during our trip, our besties bought us "My Favorite Muffin" muffins.......Oh...My.....Goodness.  They were delicious!!!!

3. During said trip, Emily and I got a little crafty.  Her idea and I was along for the ride.  As mentioned previously, I like to say I am crafty, but I am not good at finishing projects :)  Here is the wreath we made for her front door.  I was so inspired that I decided to get the materials to make one for myself.  Although, I haven't started that project yet, but I will SOON! ;)

We hadn't added a bow yet at this point.

4.  I have decided I am really liking the owl trend so I picked this little guy up for myself.  He was a steal at $7.  Isn't he adorable?  I found a lot of good buys this week while trying to fancy up my house ;)

5.  I went to an awesome Kagan cooperative learning coaching workshop.  It was fabulous and got me all pumped for improving my cooperative learning in my classroom.  I am sure I will be posting about it soon :)

What are your high five for Friday?  Head on over to From My Grey Desk Blog and link up with Lauren.  Have a great weekend!


October Currently

Hi all!  I am linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for October currently.  So without further ado......here is my October currently.

I am in love with listening to my son read.  He has found a love of reading and I just don't think there is anything better than listening to your child read especially when he is so enthusiastic about it.

Anyone else loving the fall weather?  I love this time of year.....it's my favorite.  I also LOVE warm apple cider.  And of course this is the best time of year to enjoy it :)  I also get to teach some of my favorite units during this time of year:  apples, pumpkins, bats, and new this year spiders.

Today I was just thinking about how lucky I am.  I mean I have my problems in my life, but I am just so thankful for what I have and most importantly my family!

If you have never read "The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything" by Linda D. Williams, you have to go get it and read it.  My son had me read it to him over and over and over again as a toddler.  Then I started using it in my classroom and my students fell in love with it just like my son did.  

Tomorrow I will be wrapping up my apple unit with my little kinders.  We will be culminating the week by making homemade applesauce...yum!  Just hope it doesn't take too long to peel apples in the morning ;)


Voice Levels

I just attended a two day Kagan Cooperative Learning Coaching training.  If you have never been to a Kagan C.L. training, you NEED to go!  All I can say is ah-maz-ing!  You will totally rethink the way you teach.  I love it and I have been using cooperative learning in my classroom for the past five years......yes in kindergarten I use cooperative learning.  More about that another time.....

During the training, I was speaking with the presenter (who was just plain fabulous) about quiet signals and voices in the classroom.  He suggested that I teach my students voice levels based on who they are talking to: no talking, partner, team, or the whole class.  Before I had done a number system for my voice levels and he said it was too abstract for them to grasp.  I immediately thought "why did I not think of this?" and my next thought was "I need to create a visual for my students".  So, I did!  And because you are all so fabulous yourselves I am sharing it with you for free :)  I am introducing this to my students tomorrow.  We are going to practice, practice, practice each voice level until they fully understand what each one sounds like.  I will let you know how it goes!!

Just click on the image below to be directed to my TPT store where you can download a free copy for yourself!