25 February 2015

Penguin Party

Hi y'all!!

If you follow me on Instagram...you know that I LOVE penguins.

Fun Fact:  I hate birds.
They scare me...and I think they'll poke my eyes out.
So it is very strange that I LOVE penguins.
But here's the thing, penguins won't peck your eyes out.
They won't because they would be too busy protecting their young or huddling together to keep warm, or rock hopping or something else FREAKING adorable!!


the tutu teacher

For the next two weeks, my kiddos will be learning all about penguins.  Take a peek at what we are working on!

Here's my collection of penguin books.

the tutu teacher

If you read my last post, you know that one of my most favorite read alouds is Tacky the Penguin.  I love it so much I purchased most of the books in the collection.  Now that I've read it to my kiddos they can't stop reading it.  I hear them in the library singing, "We'll sell them for a dollar and get rich, rich, RICH!"

the tutu teacher

We read this book today and used it to compare it to the fiction story, Tacky.  The kids loved all of the facts they learned about penguins.  I used this book to specifically talk about facts related to the Rockhopper penguin.  We collected the facts we learned about the Rockhopper and made an anchor chart.

the tutu teacher

The kids loved the fact that Rockhoppers hop instead of waddle.  They also thought it was really funny that their feet are pink!!!

We used what we learned about Rockhoppers to complete the first page in our Penguin Craftivity book.
the tutu teacher

the tutu teacher

Umm!!! How adorable is this Rockhopper?!!  My kids can't wait to learn about the next penguin in our book...the Chinstrap penguin.

One of my most favorite parts about thematic teaching is finding a song or poem to integrate into our learning.  I have a collection of poems from Creative Teaching Press.  The poem, Peter the Penguin is one of most favorite!

Last summer, I spent a lot of time.... A LOT OF TIME...typing up all of these poems and adding clip art so that students could retell the poem during literacy centers.  I also typed them onto paper so that students could have copies of all the poems we read throughout the year.  We store them all into our Reading Journal.  Yesterday, I had them draw three pictures of different P foods that Peter would eat.  Today, I had them circle all the Ps in the poem.  Here are some of my little darlings at work:

During our math time, we worked on counting penguins, matching number words and ten frames, and many more skills!  Here are my kiddos hard at work!

I am not the creator of this awesome penguin measuring center.  I downloaded it a long time ago but don't remember who created this. If it was you, you are awesome and I appreciate all your hard work. Please leave your name in the comment section so I can give you the credit you deserve! YOU ROCK!

During our literacy centers, kiddos get to write all about penguins using my penguin vocabulary cards.  This is great practice for our kids with little vocabulary experience.  I watched one of my kiddos write the sentence, "I am a penguin egg."
Whatever gets them writing!!!

We are having A LOT of fun learning about penguins.
These are two of my most favorite weeks in kindergarten!


21 February 2015

February Favorites

Hi y'all!
I teamed up with my amazing Weekend Warrior gals to bring you something fantastic....

I'm going to share my top 5 favorite books with you!!! There may even be a surprise at the end....
In no particular order, here are my top 5 favorite children's books:

1.  Tacky the Penguin

I love this book! It is such a great read aloud.  My kiddos love it so much.  One year, we loved it so much we acted it out, recorded it, and showed it to all the kindergarten classes in the school!  I have made it my personal goal to collect every copy of the Tacky books. There's a new one about Halloween coming out in July!! You can pre-order it here on Amazon.
Tacky and the Haunted Igloo (Tacky the Penguin)

2.  What do you do with an Idea?

I found this book randomly during a book buying binge at Barnes and Noble.   I stood in the children's section and cried as I read this book.  It is SO GOOD.  It's so important for kids to hear the message in this book.  And the pictures are incredible!!

3.  Rosie Revere, Engineer

Speaking about important messages...This book is amazing.
The little girl in this story is an engineer and doesn't let the discouraging words of others stop her from believing in herself. The message is important for ALL kids to hear...but I love the message of a girl in science...doing science...even when people tell her she can't.  GIRLS....go do science!

4.  The day the crayons quit

I love this book.  I also love Oliver Jeffers.  What a great book on perspective and inclusion.
Each time I read this story...I stop before the last page and ask the kids to draw a picture of what they think will happen in the end...but they can only use one crayon.  Love it!!

5.  The book with no pictures

Have you read this book?
Read this book to your kids...
They will love it.  If my kids happen to see the book...they beg me to read it...over and over and over...

It's a great book...with no pictures.

I have a complete obsession with children's books.
I probably should stop buying books...mostly because I'm running out of places to put them all...

Now, remember that little surprise I mentioned...

I am giving away a $10 gift card to TpT!! To enter, simply fill out the information in the Rafflecopter below!  Good luck! and happy reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guess what?! My other Warriors are also hosting giveaways on their blogs!! Check out their favorites and enter to win another gift card!


08 February 2015

Take a Closer Look: Measuring up!

Hi y'all.
I'm still living in a winter wonderland...
We are expecting another foot of snow this weekend.
But today, I'm happy to have you take a closer look at one of my favorite products.

I do a lot more weight and measurement in the beginning of school with apples and pumpkins…
Then I measure the kids height three different times in the school year…
But I realize that I neglected to have a consistent weight activity at my math centers.

I know Measurement and Data is a skill throughout most grade levels using the Common Core.  I wanted something that the kids could do without my help…but still gather a strong concept of weight mostly the idea of lighter or heavier.  I also wanted my kids to start making educated guesses about weight.  
SO…last weekend I created these Weight Task Cards to use at my Measurement and Data center.  

The kiddos and I had a conversation about the balance.  Many kiddos mentioned that they have seen a balance in the grocery store…but never had used one themselves.  They were so excited to get a chance to weigh things on their own.  

Using a variety of common classroom manipulatives, I have students determine if the items are lighter or heavier.  They are also practicing counting, estimating, and one to one correspondence.
My favorite part about this product is that it is 100% independent.  The numbers and items are big and clear enough for children to know exactly what to do.

It's super engaging!!

Here's some great news! I've created a sample pack for you to try out this product.  Click here to download.  And here's some better news...if you LOVE this, you can grab it this weekend for 15% off!!

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