Friday, January 30, 2015

100 Days of School

     This week I got to celebrate 100 days in school with the 12 coolest people I know! Y'all, we had such a fun day! We kicked it off by decorating these cool shades and crowns that our wonderful Head of School got for us. My kindergarteners were so excited by this that they made up a song and dance about ME! Here is how this conversation went:

Author: "Ms. Peden is the best teacher ever!"
Smiley Jack: "AND she is a pirate, that is really cool!" 
Daydreamer: "Hey, we should make a song and dance up about it!"  
Author (singing): "Ms. Peden is the best pirate teacher, Ms. Peden is the best pirate teacher that ever lived!..." 

  Here is what we did on the 100th day of kindergarten... 

We read 100 words! Our 100th word was LOVE because we LOVE school and our school family! 

We wrote about what we want 100 of / don't want 100 of... 

We wrote about something that we have learned... this comes from Deanna Jump's 100 Days product on TPT... 
"100 days ago I didn't know my friends, but now I do!" 

I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS WRITING, including my exaggerated skin tone.

     We went on a hunt for 100 hershey kisses! 

This is an idea I got from my friend Greg Smedley-Warren. You can read all about it on his blog, here. I tweaked this activity and had my students write the number of each kiss that they found on a post it note. They had to read the number to me, put their kiss in our "Kiss Your Brain" jar, and place the sticky note where it belongs on our 100 chart. 

     We build 100 block structures with our new Keva Contraption!

I split my class into two groups. The groups had to work as a TEAM to build ONLY ONE structure / tower using ALL 100 Keva Planks. This turned out to be a challenge for my little ones because they  wanted to build different things and they had to work carefully not to knock over the blocks. GREAT team building exercise. 

        I was so proud to see these students discovering things for themselves. It may be simple, but they were learning. They realized what was wrong with their first ball run and corrected it all on their own! 

Here are some ideas from the K4 class: 

The K4 class reads one book every day. On the 100th day of school their teacher had a former K4 student, now a First Grader, read aloud Count Your Blessings to the class. 

They made a 100 treat snack and counted each item into cupcake wrappers. 

You may want to check out these products! I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE KEVA PLANKS, and recommend them for ANY elementary classroom. They say 7 and up, but my kindergarteners are still learning lots from using them! 


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Place Value in Kindergarten

     Last week, my kindergarteners started working on numbers and operations in base 10. Success, success, success! This standard is being mastered. Here is what we have been doing!

     We begin every math class with a GoNoodle brain break followed by an engaging math video. Harry Kindergarten Music has two GREAT videos/songs for teaching the teens to kindergarteners. Numbers in the Teens (They Start with a One) helps with number recognition for numbers 11-19 and Number in the Teens (Have a Group of Ten) is good for helping students understand that numbers 10-19 are composed of ten ones and some extra ones. I added these to my GoNoodle account for easy access.

     After the video, we use our base ten blocks or our ten frames and counters to practice counting. First we count using real number names, "ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen..." Each time I remind them that great mathmaticians do not waste time counting by ones when they can already see that they have ten. After we count using real number names we count the say ten way, "ten, ten one, ten two, ten three, ten four..." I remind the class that ten and one more is eleven so ten one is just another way to say eleven. I would not recommend counting the say ten way if your students have not mastered counting to twenty or have not yet been exposed to teen family numbers.

    We are working on creating these adorable ten frame books in class. Next week, we will create a similar book that uses base ten blocks to demonstrate composing numbers 11-19.

Math Center Activities for Base Ten for numbers 11-19 

Dry Erase Strips 
The books we will make next week will match these dry erase strips! 

Ten Frame Number Puzzles 

Pocket Chart Sort

This activity also includes ordering numbers 10-19. 

Number Mats 
       Grabbed the perfect sized toy cars for these mats from the Dollar Tree! Students also use dry erase markers to practice tracing the numbers! 
It's not too early for Valentine's Day activities, right? 

Click the picture above to find the freebie! 

If you are working on teen family numbers you may find these products helpful. Click on the pictures to find them in my TPT shop:



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Five After Friday

      Y'all, I have the best job (minus the part where I get paid the least). Let me just say... I am LOVING being back in school. It's stressful and crazy as always, but my K5ers are the best kids in the world, they make my days so FUN! 

      We started the week off with a visit from two officers and their partners... police dogs! This was AWESOME! We teachers had just as many questions as the kids. So thankful for the service of these officers and dogs. I now officially want a police / home security dog. Of course, I'm sure Deeohgee is smarter and she is DEFINITELY cuter!

        Field trip! We loaded up the bus and headed to the FedEx Forum for and event with Samaritan's Feet. So thankful for this orgvolunteers and for our dear prayer partners who got us this spot at the event. Each of my students had their feet washed by a volunteer and received a free pair of adidas tennis shoes! 

        Thinking we might actually get to meet some of the Grizzlies players, I prepped my students on what they should say. Unfortunately we didn't get to meet Tony Allen or Marc Gasol, but I did overhear a few of K5ers pointing me out to random volunteers... "That's my teacher. Isn't she cute? I can get you her number!" 

Reading is WAY more fun with finger eyes and reading glasses! 


      I got an iPhone 6 for Christmas and decided to "give" my old iPhone 5 to my students. I do not believe that they have ever been more excited. If you have an old iPhone and responsible students, please let your K5ers use it! I told my students that I was going to let them borrow my iPhone because I believed that they were responsible enough to handle having their own iPhone. They were so proud and shared this news with many! In fact, one of my K5ers was asked to share with our entire school something that she had learned in Kindergarten this year and her response was "How to hold Ms. Peden's iPhone so it don't drop!" Slightly embarrassing... but at least she was excited! I whipped up a QR center for beginning sounds so that my students could use the iPhone during literacy centers. Talk about ENGAGED STUDENTS! They have done SO well! They simply scan the qr code with the iPhone, say the word for the picture they see, identify the beginning sound, and trace the corresponding letter on the recording sheet! 


 Management Tip!!! 

     I created number cards to go along with this center. Each student takes a number card so that no one can get confused about whose turn it is next! This has been a life saver in my classroom. 

If you are interested in this center activity, you can find it on TPT by clicking the picture below! 

      We are currently studying informational text and working on writing our own informational text! LOVE LOVE LOVE these little authors and their writing! 

"This is Hawaii. But this is a map." 

This map "shows that snakes live in The Desert, North America, and Australia." 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Jesse Tree in the Classroom

     I'M BAAAACK! Did you miss me? Christmas break has been busier than planned and I have been without WIFI for the past week. NO WIFI?!?!?! How did I survive, right? That being said, I wanted to catch you up on something that dates all the way back to early December. Hopefully you will find it helpful and can keep it in mind for next school year.

     These advent ornaments were our main classroom project for Christmas this year. I decided on this a little late in the game after having heard about the Jesse Tree. The Jesse Tree is an advent celebration that focuses on the lineage of Jesus and connects Old Testament stories to the GOSPEL, enabling children to see the Bible as ONE story, HIS-story! The Jesse tree comes from Isaiah 11:1, "There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit." Traditionally, families who celebrate advent this way have one ornament for each day of the advent. Unfortunately,  I was only able to complete 8 advent ornaments with my students this year. I wanted to make sure each student understood the stories behind the ornaments well and could articulate their importance to their families! As you can see, most of the ornaments we completed were very simple and took a minimal amount of class time. We finished with a bang and made this adorable ornament of Jesus laying in the manger!

      The idea for this ornament came from one of my prayer partners, who also donated the materials for that I needed. Here are the materials, in case you are curious:

     Please click on the picture below to view the letter I sent home to parents and an explanation for each of the 8 ornaments that my students created this year! 

Suggested resources to use in your home / classroom as you celebrate advent: