30 April 2013

Teacher Talk Tuesday

OMG....I'm LOVING Teacher Talk Tuesday.
It was hard not to instagram everything!

Here are a couple of pics from our day.
 I came into school today and visited my teacher neighbor...she was so excited to show off her brand new babies! Her gerbil had babies! 7 of them! That's after having 3 babies about a month ago.  Gerbils stay busy... Anyway, I think they are adorable...pink and blind..they squeak...
I think I might have to steal one.

 I was working on running records with some of my kiddos, when one of my darlings throws this on the table and takes off.  I called him back over, swooped him up in my arms and hugged him.  He told my teaching assistant that since it's the end of the year...he thought he should tell us thanks.  
I love my darlings!

Our school is having a book fair...and today is the last day.  I bought 3 books and spent $55...I hate having expensive addictions, but I just LOVE children's books!
Have you read any of these books? This is not my hat...BEST BOOK EVER!
No wonder it won the Caldecott...It's amazing.
The latest Mo Willems book is a riot too..
Both are great for prediction.

Look what came in the mail!  Some amazing people in Austin created this shirt after the bombings in Boston.  All the proceeds go to the One Fund...which directly helps the victims of the bombings.  I am so in love with this shirt...
it's the perfect way for me to combine my past home (Austin) with my new home (Boston).

Check back tomorrow and join my linky party. I'll be sporting my new Baustin shirt to show you
What I'm Workin' With!


29 April 2013

Frogs and first attempts

Hi y'all!

Well...last week we learned all about frogs!
My school has a little pond called Cattail corner...there are all kinds of wildlife there and the kids love to visit it.
We were able to get some frog egg masses from the pond and now each kindergarten classroom has their very own egg mass.
Well those eggs have hatched and now we have tadpoles!  The kids love watching them.  They constantly talk about the poop at the bottom of the tank.  Last week we did a lot of work with frogs.  We labeled, learned the life cycle, and did some scientific research!  Here are a some pics of the work we did.

 I made a word family frog.  The kids slid the onset through a -og frog and an -op frog and created new words.  They had a recording sheet to go along with the activity. 

Here the kiddos labeled a frog in their science journals.  

Here's our collection of frog books.  Both fiction and non-fiction.  
Next week, we will compare different frog characters in fiction books.

We fixed some mixed-up sentences.  The kiddos had to read the sentence and find the frog that matched.  Then we got some sight word practice in with the recording sheets.  I have three different levels so kids can get their individual needs met.

 We sorted and counted frogs.

Are your kiddos addicted to the I have, Who has game?  Mine our.  We play it with numbers, science vocabulary and sight words.  They love it!

I've been busy putting the final touches on this packet...and now it's available for purchase on TpT.  You can find it here.

Like I said earlier, this week we will take some time doing character studies of various frogs in fiction books.  We will look at Frog from Frog and Toad, Jubal from Jubal's Wish, and Green Wilma from Frog in Space.  I'm having trouble coming up with more frog characters...can you suggest any?

Now...on to first attempts!
I want to try blogging regularly...and I thought the best way...would be with a weekly Linky Party!

Starting this Wednesday, I want you to 
Show me Whatcha Workin' With!

It's an opportunity to brag, pat yourself on the back, three snaps in Z formation...
Whatever you want!
Maybe you got a great pair of shoes, maybe your kids did a great job on their assessments, maybe you FINALLY finished that packet you've spent days on, 
maybe you got a cute mani and you wanna show it off.

Each Wednesday, using some form of social media (facebook, blogger, instagram, etc.) 
link up and show us whatcha workin' with!

Head back tomorrow to see my Instagram link up then again on 
Wednesday for my Whatcha Workin' With link up.

28 April 2013

Morning Work


I know it's supposed to go against all blogging rules to post twice in one day...
But I had to do it...and you'll love that I did.

I finally finished my May Morning Work!

I can't believe it's already May. It's a double edged sword for me this year.
May means my birthday!....But I'm turning...the dirty 30!

I don't know why it bothers me so much...but I want to stay in the land of my 20's!
I think there has been so much change for me this year (engagement, wedding planning, leaving home, winter weather, new school, etc.) that the last thing I want is to move into a new age bracket.

Next Saturday, I will officially enter my 30's.
Did anyone else go through this? Am I just being a big baby? I'm sure my 30's will be fantastic...I'm just really holding on to 29.

So here's the morning work.

Since it's the end of the year...I really used this month as a review.
Here's what you'll find inside:

The activities get progressively harder so as to challenge the academic needs of all students. With 22 pages full of activities this packet will be a great addition to your morning routine.

May's Morning Work features:
Skip counting review
Memorial Day
Mother's Day
Cinco de mayo
Life cycle of a frog
Life cycle of a ladybug

I added an extra page for this month. Once you download you'll notice the last two pages feature a kindergarten and first grade page.

I hope you are following me on Facebook...because that's where the link is for your FREE download of the entire packet!  If you haven't "liked" me yet...there's a link over here to the right ---->

It'll only be up for one hour!

Instagram linky

I'm letting y'all know now...

This is going to be a double post kind of day.

You definitely want to check back later...

Do y'all instagram?  I do...I have two accounts. A personal and one for this blog.
It's a great social media outlet...to give your followers/friends a quick sneak peek at your day.

If you are an instagramer (new word) follow me at thetututeacher.

Every Tuesday, I'm going to participate in this instagram link party.  Here's a some info from What the Teacher Wants!

So here's what you'll do:
1. If you have a blog, share your instagram username on your blog and use this image to tell your followers about #teachertalktuesday {just right click on the instagram button and click "save as"}. We are hosting a linky party to kick off our "Teacher Talk Tuesday!"  Link up at the bottom: with a blog post, sharing this image,  your user name, and a couple of your favorite Instagram photos, if you want!
2. If you don't have a blog, PLEASE still join us on Instagram on Tuesday for #teachertalktuesday

Here is a little Instagram 101:
*It is like Facebook, but with only pictures (used mostly on smart phones)
*You can make your profile private if you want
*You can make write a caption under your picture and comment or like photos

Here's what my home screen looks like:
You see that? The number in the red circle...what the arrow is pointing at?  Those are the number of followers I currently have...
It truly is the loneliest number.

So...If you have instagram (or if you don't join right now!) please follow me....please.
Then you can join the link party too!
And don't forget to check back later today.

20 April 2013

The Magical Product Swap!

I have to say the magical product swap is one of my favorite blogger events!
Not only do you get the opportunity to see some great products, you also get make a new blogger friend!

My swap partner this time around was Mrs. Parisi from Mrs. Parisi's Kindergarten class.
She and her students have been working on dinosaurs for the last couple of weeks...she has some super cute ideas on her blog.

Her TpT store is FULL of great activities! It took me a while to pick just one item...I finally decided on her Living Things Poster set.  I knew that was a topic we were covering in our classroom soon. It was perfect!

The main focus of the packet is a poster set.  It features a living and non living item for each letter of the alphabet.  It's the perfect example/non example for kiddos.  My kiddos had a lot of fun putting the alphabet in alphabetic order and reading the living/non living things.
This one is my favorite...I love lamp!

She also includes detailed posters that give specific information on the features of living things.

This specific feature really threw my kids for a loop.  We had  a long conversation about what sensitivity means, and that the flower isn't "sad" when it doesn't get enough sun...but that it is effected or sensitive to too much or a lack of sun.

The set also includes a living/non living sorting game.  She includes headers and the kids sort the various pictures into the correct categories.

To go along with this activity, she includes a t-chart recording sheet.  There are a few pictures at the bottom at the sheet.  Students color, cut and glue the pictures into the correct category.  I had my kiddos glue their work into our Science Journals and used it as an end of unit assessment piece.

Do you see the picture of the girl under living?  I had a kinder darling SWEAR to me that it was a mermaid...and it belonged on non-living because mermaids aren't real.  I told him it was probably a girl...because I don't think a mermaid needs floaties...

Mrs. Parisi also includes a sheet where kiddos can choose their own letters and write about a living/non living thing that starts with that letter.  This was fun!  We did it as a class first and I had students give me answers to fill in the blank.  We choose the letter T....well see how the rest unfolds.
They wanted me to draw poop in the toilet...I refused.

I had a lot of fun with this packet! I think it was done really well and is really useful in any kindergarten class.  I love the details and the colors. It was a fun and engaging unit.  Thank you Mrs. Parisi!
If you are interested in this or any other of her AWESOME activities, please check out her store here.

And don't forget to check out her blog and adorable dino activities by clicking on her button below.


16 April 2013

Dear Boston

Dear Boston,

I moved to East Coast almost one year ago.  As a Texas girl I was overwhelmed by your ways.  Your driving, your accent, and your obsession with sports really through me for a loop.  I soon learned to drive like you, how to properly pronounce Worcester and I even bought a Red Sox shirt.  You've grown on me.  The history within your great city is bountiful.  Your people, although crazy drivers, are kind, considerate and helpful.

 My fiancé works a short mile from the bombing.  It being Patriot's Day, he had the day off and got home one hour before the explosions.  I'm so sorry that some cruel individual harmed you yesterday.  Too many hurt and killed for selfish reasons.  I am sorry.

But after knowing you for this short time, one thing is quite clear.  You are strong.  Your people hardworking, confident, and resilient.  You will overcome this.  What happened yesterday was a terrible tragedy but what will unfold during your time of reconstruction will be inspiring.

Dear Boston, I am sorry.
Dear Boston, I love you.

Illustration courtesy of Melonheadz Illustrations


12 April 2013

RAFT and a chicken dinner

Hi y'all...

Have you heard of/used RAFT?
RAFT is an acronym for Role, Audience, Format, Topic.  It's an awesome writing process that is mostly used in grades 3 and higher.  It's a different way to get kids to write and show their learning!

Here's how it works:

Role-Think of a role you could have as a writer.  Similar to point of view, the role will become the voice of the paper.  George Washington, a ladybug, a teacher are some examples of possible roles.

Audience- This is who you are writing to.  The audience can be an individual or a group or people. Congress, an aphid, or students could all an audience.

Format- This is the HOW of the paper.  How do you want your students to relay the message.  A letter, speech, diary entry, brochure, want-ad are different types of formats.  The possibilities are endless.

Topic- What will be covered in the writing?  The topic is usually accompanied by a verb.  Describing, evaluating, persuading...

Still with me?

Here's the next step... I found a great clozed sentence on the web and used it with my kiddos to help them better understand what RAFT is all about.

As a ___(role)____, write/make a ___(format)____ to ___(audience)  telling/asking/describing (etc.) _____(topic)_____.

Since we are learning about plants, I decided to use that as my focus and fill in the blanks with the kids.  Here is our sentence:

As a seed, fruit, vegetable, or flower make a poster to a Gardener describing why he/she should buy you over any other seed, fruit, vegetable or flower in the store.
So that's a picture of the chart we made as we talked about RAFT.  Before I let the kiddos go and try it out, I had them close their eyes and imagine what kind of seed/vegetable/flower they wanted to be.  I told them to think of all the great things about that plant and why they are the very best!  The first couple of kids I called on weren't sure how to answer the why part of the question.  Until I called on one little boy.  He decided he would be a red apple.  I told him (as the Gardener) I don't really like red apples so I don't know if I want to buy you...why should I buy you?  He replied..."Well, you don't have to eat me...you could cut me up and bake me in a pie!"

DONE! SOLD!  After that, they all understood the project and got right to work!  I encouraged them to write the words BUY ME! in big letters at the top of their poster as an attention grabber.  Check out how awesome they did!  Remember this is our FIRST attempt!

 This darling decided to be dandelion and wrote that "People love wishes" and 
"You can make a wish on me"
 This is a mango.  You should buy him because, "I'm yummy!"
 I apologize...this one is upside down and I don't know how to flip it!  It's an orange and you should buy him because "I am juicy (jose!)
 A pineapple can cool you down!

I love this one because he wrote pros and cons.  He choose a peach and you should buy him because "I am healthy...but I have seeds!"

So awesome! I was super proud of them!  I can't wait to try this again.  I think it's a great end of unit assessment.  It's automatically differentiated...it's creative...engaging...and fun!

Let me know if you have any questions about RAFT...I'll post each time I do it with my kiddos! I'd love to hear from you if you have tried it out in your room.  How did it go?

And now...the Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!!

On my last post I asked y'all to comment on thematic teaching.  I loved hearing your responses. Seems that most of us love thematic teaching! It's a great way to pull everything together.  I asked Mr. Roboto to choose a number between 1-6 and he picked....

Rikki you are the lucky winner! 
Please email me at thetututeacher@gmail.com, and I will send the full packet!

I added a couple of things to the packet. Here a few pics...I'll be uploading it to TpT this weekend so keep an eye out!



10 April 2013

Thematic Units and Beyoncé

Hi Y'all...

How do you teach?
I'm not asking about your teaching style...but how do you teach Language Arts, Science, Math, or Social Studies.

Do you use themes to tie everything together? Or do you teach each subject individually and thread it all together?

I've always loved thematic units...and I typically base mine around a specific Science or Social Studies theme. For example, this week we are learning all about plants.  For a read aloud I might read Jack and the Beanstalk and with it, talk about text features such as fairy tales or cause and effect.  In math we are practicing addition with seeds.  Our social studies time is an opportunity to discuss taking care of our Earth and community. Thematic teaching is the best way to tie together all our learning.  And don't even get me started on the benefit to our second language learners!

Today, I had a great conversation with another teacher about thematic teaching.  Currently, she's teaching a GREAT unit on birds.  Her stuff is rigorous, engaging, and FUN!  She has her students on bird watch duty, marking their observations, reading non-fiction leveled readers about bird attributes, and painting birds at art.  Best of all, her kids LOVE it! We talked about how thematic teaching engages all learners at various levels.

Like I mentioned, we are working on plants this week in my classroom...so I created a plant packet that covers Science, Math, and ELA.
Here are a couple of pics!

The full packet includes:
-leveled reader
-plant poem

-short vowel activity
-addition activity
-find the missing number
-vocabulary cards
-I have. Who has.

If you head of to my Facebook page HERE, you'll find a copy of the I have...Who has...game for free!

Tell me...how do you teach?  Do you teach thematically? How often do you change topics?  What topics do you cover and which are your favorite to teach?

I bet you're wondering...What does any of this have to do with Beyoncé?
Here's the story.  One of my kinder darlings says to me...

Kinder darling: Ms. Corbett can I see your Beyoncé?
Me:  My what?!
Kinder darling:  Your Beyoncé...on your phone.
Me:  Oh!! You mean my FIANCÉ!

Isn't that great!
 I love it!
With a quote like that you know I had to link up with
A Turn to Learn and her wonderful What did they say?
linky Party!

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