Kindergarten Teacher

By

50 Online Early Readers (with audio)

I found an awesome website that has over 100 early readers with audio! The site is Unite For Literacy and I took the first 50 of the books and created a Symbaloo webmix for my class. The best part is these books work on the iPad as well! I will make another webmix of 50 more books soon.

Find the Webmix here or click the picture below-> Unite For Literacy Books #1

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 4.55.09 PM

By

Classroom Terrarium: Insects, Gastropods and Crustaceans ! Oh My!

IMG_2813

I have discussed on several occasions about having living centers in the classroom (read more here.) This year I found the best terrarium ever so I felt I needed to share it as well! It is made by National Geographic and already has been a major hit in the classroom (you can find it here.) I know it seems expensive but after four years of using about every type of enclosure out there I can say this one is worth the money (I purchased the 30″x12″x12″ size.) The light is separate but any LED aquarium light will work. I love the dimensions of this terrarium because it allows me to place it on a table and still leave room for the kids to work. Most enclosures this long are also very wide and tall and take up too much space. I found this one to be perfect. To set up any terrarium I suggest putting a thin layer of pebbles as a base and then at least 2-3 inches of potting soil. I also add a heating mat on each terrarium, typically I stick it on the back side like in the picture above. Add a few rocks and twigs or old wood and you are set. We keep just about everything we catch in the terrarium. This year it has mealworms, crickets, beetles, snails, roly polies, grub worms, a small gecko, a small frog, and a caterpillar. The easiest thing to start with are mealworms, snails, and crickets. Crickets and snails are the best in my opinion because they are always moving and give you plenty to watch. This year the first day of school we went outside and caught a bunch of bugs for the terrariums (we have three in the room.) The kids learn so much from watching these living centers. Feeding the creatures is easy, they all love fish food. I of course add various fruits and vegetables so that we can watch them decompose. These are easy to find in the lunchroom, the kids waste so much food! There is also a fake turtle in the terrarium. The kids are still trying to figure out if it is living or not. Most of them think it is fake but I move it each day so they aren’t quite sure. I do this on purpose so they can learn the correct science words of living vs non-living. Right now they all ask if it is real and I simply respond “it is really there.” Won’t be long until they figure it out!

Listening center at one of the terrarium tables.

IMG_2846

Look at what we all caught the first day of school!

IMG_2034

This is a mealworm and the beetle it changes into after a few months.

IMG_2250

IMG_2799

IMG_2801

IMG_2811

IMG_2810

IMG_2926

IMG_2344

We even had a praying mantis for a few days. I was worried it wouldn’t survive so we let it go after two days.

IMG_2327

By

iPod Listening Center Setup

IMG_2303

This year I will be using an iPod for our listening center (any version of the iPod or an old iPhone will work for this.)  I have over 70 listening centers on CD and I hope moving over to the iPod will help me streamline the process and make my class more independent. The first step is converting all the CD’s to audio files and getting them into my iTunes library. If you read below I have the step-by-step process I used to do this.

Each week I plan to add one set of books to our listening center. This year I will be using wireless headphones from Califone and I will post a review about them after my kids have used them for a few weeks. Since the iPod is connected to the wireless headphone transmitter all four headphones will play the audio from the iPod. After they have their headphones they will open the iPod Music app and search to find the title of the book in our playlist (the playlist only has books.) There are 70 titles as I mentioned so I expect this to be difficult for them at first. As they get practice I know they will learn how to use the book to help them find the correct title in the playlist and hopefully learn about ABC order in the process. Once the story starts they can sit anywhere in the room and listen to the story!

Adding CD’s to iTunes and the iPod! 

Step 1: Open iTunes (without any device plugged in) and go to the music section. On the bottom left click the plus sign to create a new playlist. You can call the playlist whatever you like, I made mine classroom books.

Screen_Shot_2014-09-01_at_6_33_37_PM

Step 2: Insert a audio book CD. When I do this I get the following pop-up message. Click Yes. If the pop-up doesn’t show up see step 2A

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 9.28.08 PM

Step 2A: If the above step worked skipped this step. If you did not get the message above click import CD instead.

Screen_Shot_2014-09-01_at_6_40_47_PM

Step 3: Once the CD starts importing I always unchecked all the boxes except the first one. I only wanted the audio with turn the page signals which was the first file on every CD I imported. Some had other files as well. You can decide which files you want to download by checking unchecking them, just do it quickly before they all download. My main reasoning for only keeping one file is so that it would be easier for me to manage in the playlists. After the download was complete I then ejected the CD (red arrow)

Screen_Shot_2014-09-01_at_6_40_47_PM

Step 4: Add the book you just imported to the playlist you created in step 1. In the main search bar of iTunes (top right) search the book title or author you just downloaded. When found click the small arrow on the right side to get this drop-down box below. Click “Add to” and then click on the name of the playlist you created.

Screen_Shot_2014-08-31_at_9_30_07_PM

Step 5:Insert a new CD and repeat the process! See step six for syncing iPod once you have all the books imported.

Extra Tip: Two of the CD’s I entered did not have the title of the book automatically imported. This is easy to fix. Go to your playlist and click twice on the name of the book. You will be able to edit the title of any of the books. Also, many of the books had the title plus “with page signals” or other text in the title. I deleted all the that extra to make it easier for my class.

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 9.30.31 PM

Step 6: Plug in your iPod or iPhone to sync.

Red Arrow: click the correct device. Black Arrow: click music Blue Arrow: click sync music Green Arrow: click sync selected music Orange Arrow: click the name of the playlist you created Click Sync!

Screen_Shot_2014-09-01_at_7_05_45_PM

By

Photo Tour of My Class 2014

The first few pics are taken with the GoPro to get a wide-angle. If you have questions about anything just let me know.

DCIM100GOPRO

The science shelf. Kids have access to the globe, hand lens, goggles, balance scale and various other tools any time.

DCIM100GOPRO

We have seven classroom computers and two windows! I would give up the computers before the windows.

DCIM100GOPRO

This is from the back corner looking towards the doorway

DCIM100GOPRO

The view from my desk. The table that is closest to the camera is what I use for teacher table

DCIM100GOPRO

The view from our doorway looking in

DCIM100GOPRO

Every table in my room is assigned a color. The kids do not have assigned seats or assigned centers the colors just help for organization in general.

image (1)

Math tubs

image

The panoramic

IMG_1883

By

Using the Calendar Like a Calendar

Cal2

Last year I wrote about changing the focus of calendar time. The goal was to have the kids actually using the calendar. You can read about that change here.

Using the year-round calendar was a major success in my room. The kids used it daily and we referenced it often. It was common to see a kid counting how many days until the next big event, using the calendar to discuss past events and referencing the calendar in their journal writing. Since they had access to the entire year of dates they were able to use the calendar like adults us it, which is my goal.

If you want to give it a try I have the 2014-2015 file available for download below. As you can see in the picture above I simply cut sticky notes in strips and used those strips to add dates to the calendar on the side. The main reason for not writing directly on the calendar is so the words can be written larger and seen easier.

These calendars go from Aug 2014- July 2015. I display that as one full year.

2014-2015 Word Document

2014-2015 PDF Document

IMG_0225

IMG_0234

By

2014 Update: Apps We Use in Kindergarten

photo

RED Links- New Apps to the list

Underlined Apps- What I consider MUST HAVE apps for Kindergarten!

Storytelling/Creating:

Lego Movie Maker, Aurasma, Venn Diagram, Write About This, Tell About ThisBalloon Stickies, Audioboo, 30hands, Magnetic ABC, Hello Crayon, Pic Stitch, Pic Collage, PicPlayPost Chatterpix Kids, ToontasticFelt BoardLittle Bird TalesEducreationsSock PuppetsStoryBuddy 2, Explain EverythingDoodlecast Pro, Book CreatorStrip DesignerToontastic JrDraw and Tell HDMy StoryPuppet PalsKid in StorySkitch, Popplet

Creativity/Play:

My PlayHomeToca Tea PartyRobot LabWhere’s My WaterToca KitchenSticker WorldLittle Things

Books: I started using the iPad as a listening center, here are my all time favorite books…

Collins Big Cat Books, Monster at the End of the BookDr Seuss ABCCat in The HatGreen Eggs and HamGo Away Big Green MonsterThree Little PigsThe Kissing HandThree Little GatorsThe LoraxGroovy Story of Tortoise and HareCountry Mouse City MouseTeddy’s NightMiko Goes on VacationThe Chalk Box Story

Apps for all areas:

Teach Me KFeed MeJumpstart PrePirate Phd, Princess Phd, Teach Me 1st Grade

Letter ID/Letter Sound:

Touch and Write, All About Letters, AR Flashcards,  Starfall ABCIntro to LettersInteractive AlphabetLetter of the DayAlphabetimalsAlphabet TracingEndless AlphabetLetter SchoolAlpha TotsMontessori Letter SoundsAlpha MazeFlashCardsAlien Buddies, Wet Dry Try

Letter ID/Phonics/Word Work/Writing:

Alpha WriterSpell AnimalsSound SortingPhonics Fun ( I use phonics fun 1-4), Letter SoundsABC Magic 5Cimo SpellingMonkey WordWord WonderlandSentence BuilderWord BingoFlashcard Maker

Science/Geography:

My Incredible Body, Google Earth, Brainpop Jr, AR Space DinopediaPlants HDPocket Zoo,  Barefoot World AtlasStack the StatesABC Mouse (Set 1-3)World Book Animals, InstaWeather Pro

Math

Todo Time, Todo MathRWT Timeline, Maths Toolbox, MathDoodles, Base Ten Math, Adding and Subtracting, MyScript Calculator, Blokify Intro to MathHungry FishCounting BoardMath BingoPattern Recognition K, Math MagicLet’s Make ShapesSimple SortHaiku DeckNative NumbersMarble Math JrMonkey MathSplash Math KNumber MazeTallyTotsMontessori Number BoardGeoboardiSequencesHungry Guppy,

Programing/Coding/

Tynker,  Daisy The DinosaurHopscotchMove the Turtle

Art/Music:

colAR Mix,, iLuv Draw AnimalsGaragebandDrawing PadMoMA Art LabKid ArtEverything Butt ArtiLuv Drawing DinosaursWhiteboard,

BONUS: iPad Management Resources:

75 Resources for Management and Setup

Introducing Apps to the Class

Turning A Website Into An App Icon

Puffin App,

Using Flash Website on the iPad

iPad Headphones ,

Regulating Yelling with an App

%d bloggers like this: