Kindergarten Teacher

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KWL Journals with @Wonderopolis

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If you follow my blog you know that I use this site every day in my class. This year we added KWL journals the second semester and it was a big hit! I recently posted about this addition over at We Are Teacher… Read about it here 

 

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Phonics Practice with Skitch App

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I started using coloring pages this year for our labeling center with Skitch on the iPad. (Need a tutorial on using Skitch app? Click here)  The kids have always liked labeling pictures and being able to take those images home but using the coloring pages allows them to color them also and they love that added bonus. If you look at the images below they represent three weeks of examples. The first two you will notice the kids have most of the words spelled correctly. This is because I included an example with some of the things labeled for them and they were copying my example. Starting with the third week there is not an example and the kids will sound out all the words on their own. We will continue doing this many times throughout the year because the kids seem to never get tired of it and it is a great way to encourage writing and phonics practice. The expectation is that they label at least five things but often they label much more than that. My class always work in pairs on the iPad so these examples are two kids working together. I pair them so that at least one child will be strong enough to complete the phonics part. Setting up expectations for how the kids work together is important. For this project one kid pics what they want to label and then that child draws the arrow and writes the word. Their friend is allowed to help them figure out how to do this but is not allowed to do it for them. The friend can help them figure out the sounds and point to the letters on the keyboard if needed but not actually touch the iPad until it is their turn.

I find the coloring pages by doing a simple search for a keyword (such as Fall) followed by “coloring pages”. There are many sites that share free printables. Once the kids are finished I email the finished product to my teacher computer using the kids names as the subject line. To print the images I simply insert them into Microsoft word. To save paper I fit two images on each word document, print that page and then cut the page in half to give to each kid that worked on the project.

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Interactive Notebook: Beginning of the Year

Last year I started the interactive notebook mid year and it was a big success! If you want to know more about the interactive notebook please read about it here. I wanted to share how I started the notebook this year. Here are examples of the first entries…

We talk about balance and stability in the class meaning that it is a safe and fun environment for learning.

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My class only one rule. We talk about expectations and being brave.

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What is our mission in Kindergarten. The kids came up with their ideas and we worked together to create this video.

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Learning about the pledge. They were asked to draw a symbol of our country.

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Hand Washing System. The icons were mixed up on their side and they had to put them in the correct order.

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School Leaders

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Labeling the parts of a flashlight

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“Needs and wants” lesson

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Magnetic or Non-magnetic

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Realistic drawings

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Oil, water and honey experiment.

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When should we call 911?

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Bus safety

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Examples Posts From A Kindergarten Classroom Blog

After three weeks of school our classroom blog has 48 posts. If you want to read more about why I use a class blog read here. For this post I want to show what I am actually posting in the hopes that people will see how easy it is to share learning from your classroom using technology. As I have said before I try to keep my posts short and sweet to make it easier for me to update often. Also, I use the blog app to update as things are happening during the day so I don’t forget after school (or run out of time.) All the major blog platforms have free apps you can use to update the blog. Here are some highlights from our class blog so far…

Our Class Schedule: with this post I included a printable schedule for the parents.

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Texas and USA Pledge: I posted a picture and a few sentences describing our morning announcements. We also used Explain Everything to create class pledge and I shared that video with the class (see here for example)

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Library Time: I posted several pictures of the checkout process at our school including how the kids pick a book and how they scan it on the computer.

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Our Mission in Kindergarten: Read more about the video we made HERE

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Math Centers: At least once a week I post an image of kids working in each math center and describe the center to the parents.

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Literacy Centers: At least twice a week I post an image of kids working in literacy centers and describe the center to the parents. If you want info on the monster painting below look here.

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All About Me: I posted the All About Me project images on the blog (without names.) I thought this was a fun way for the families to get to know about the kids in our class.

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Specials Teachers: We shared an image of the “specials” teacher: art, music, library and PE. I used the iPad and Explain Everything app during large group instruction to create the image below. I had the words and pictures ready on the page and the kids helped me match them.

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School Leaders: We posted a video of each leader (principal, nurse, counselor, secretary) on the blog. We asked them what their most important job was and a kid recorded the video on the iPad. Example video here

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Wonderopolis: We visit this site most mornings and after watching them we often have mini lessons. For this word web we used the Educreations app. Look here for my 50 favorite wonders!

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Observing Outside: We explore outside often, each time I post pictures of our adventure.

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Monster Story: We read a story about a monster that had a tough day at school. The kids helped me make a T-chart (using Skitch app) after reading the story. We shared the finished T-chart on the blog.

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 Word Web: We used Popplet for these word webs. My large group instruction looks similar to any Kindergarten class but instead of using the white board or journal paper we use apps most often. This allows us to share the finished product easily on our blog.

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How We Look

 Balance Scale Lesson: I shared images of exploring the balance scale after our lesson on using them

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Lockdown Drill/Fire Drill: Each time we have drill I share an image with the parents so they can discuss at home

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Journal time: I explained what journal writing looks like in K and the typical steps kids go throw in their writing journey during the year.

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Recess: 

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Hopefully that will give you an idea of how we use our class blog!

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Lego People Template- Draw Your Family (Printable)

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The last few years I have had my class draw and label their family as a center sometime during the first few weeks. I have used several different people cutouts for this activity but when I saw the Lego figure printable I knew that be perfect for the activity. Of course very family is different so the kids are just cutting out the number of adults and children they need.  The class was very excited when I introduced the center. I hope to find other ways to use this in the class this year.

You can find pdf file here- Lego Family Printable

I found the image HERE and used it to create the pdf

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“Brown Bear, Brown Bear” Sequencing Activity with Free Printable

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I got the idea for this lesson from the Math Pickle website. The video there talks about helping the kids recognize the patterns present in many stories and of course Brown Bear is an obvious one to start with. I took the original Powerpoint and changed it some so that it works exactly with the story (see below.)  In addition I created small images to represent each page of the book (also below). I had my students cut out those pictures and then glue them in the correct order on a sentence strip. After that they wrote the correct color word under each image and for a challenge my higher kids tried to write the animal names above each image. Please note that the PDF is designed to be cut into four different strips (4 kids can use one page.)

Another idea I had that I will be trying next year is using the iPad for the kids to practice sequencing and retelling the story. One idea is to use the educreations app  . I copied the images of the characters from the Powerpoint and added them to my iPad. Then I loaded them into educreations and had my son retell the story.

You can see the video example here.

Brown Bear Sequence PDF

Brown Bear Sequencing Powerpoint

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