Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Apple Math and Literacy Centers

So, last year I was new to literacy centers. I did the whole trial and error thing and finally figured out a system that worked for me that I liked and that I was comfortable with. Then, this year happened!!!;) With such a Gigantic Kindergarten class (26 little sweeties) at such different levels of ability, my old system just WAS NOT working!! So, after thinking and thinking and thinking of how I could make this time the most beneficial for my kiddos, I decided to split them into 8 groups. I only have 4 different center activities, 2 groups will be working on the same activity, but at different levels. I have tried to differentiate my centers so that every child can be successful during center time and work at his/her own level....no, I don't get much sleep these days!! LOL!;)
So, with that in mind, here are the centers that we worked on last week during our apple theme:
Math centers:
This is an apple match game. Instead of having two sets of cards, I just made a set with apples on them. Then, for the numbers I made a work mat to match the apple cards to. I cut slits in the work mat and put paper clips through them to hold the cards in place. This makes it SOOOOOO much easier for them to keep track of their materials!! As you can see, on this response sheet, the kiddos just have to trace the number and draw that many apples underneath.
 This is the same center, but with a little bit more difficult response sheet. These students have to know how to write and form numbers on their own. They also have to be able to put the numbers in the correct order:
For this center, everyone did the same thing;) They had to spin each spinner to see which shape to trace and which color to trace it with.

For this center, students have to count the number of apples in each basket. Then, they color the basket to match and write the number underneath.
This response sheet is a little easier than the one shown above. The numbers are already under each basket, so they just have to trace it. The number are in order on this paper, so if they can't identify numbers yet, I can show them how to point to each one and count to figure out what number it is.
We also did an apple spinner graph, but, I don't have a picture of it...sorry!!! There are several different graphs to choose from.
All of these apple math centers can be found in my apple math centers pack on TPT. I added a little more cuteness to some of the response sheets and work mats before I put them on TPT:) You can check it out by clicking on the picture below!!

Literacy Centers:
This center came from Miss Kindergarten. It is an absolutely ADORABLE capital/lowercase match file folder game. Visit Hadar to grab your FREE copy!!! Don't forget to leaver her some good feedback on TPT if you grab it!!;) Again, I cut slits in the game above each apple and slid paperclips in so that when they found a match, it would be held in place. It's so frustrating when the pieces are sliding all over the place!

This is the same center, but I only gave this group 1/2 of the game (A-M). I also outlined the apples with different color markers before I laminated them. If you look closely, you will see that both of the c's are outlined in red, both of the i's are outlined in blue, etc. This made it much easier for the kiddos who don't know all of their letters to find the matches. Then, they record them on their response sheet.

You can grab the response sheet here:
This is an ABC order center. These students will work to figure out which letter comes next in the sequence. They will use their apple letter tiles to fill in the missing letter and record it on their response sheet.
This is the same center, but instead of matching the letter, the students can lift the flap to take a peek and see if their answer is correct, or how to write a letter that they might not know.
This center can be found in my TPT store. Click on the pic below to check it out!!
This apple rhyming center is from an old Mailbox magazine. I colored the apple halves to match. The students color the rhyming matches the same color as they apple. For example, clock and lock would both be colored black because they are on the black apple, log and frog would be colored yellow because they are on the yellow apple, etc.
This last center is from Making Learning Fun. The students match the color word leaf to the apple with that color worm on it!;)

I made these response 2 sheet to go with them. The students will write or trace the word on the line and color the worm that color.click below to grab them both!
So what do you think?? Any other suggestions to help differentiate my centers would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

~Apple Fun~

It's apple pickin' time!!!! Although we don't have the funding to go pick our own apples, we DID do LOTS of fun apple activities!!!
Here are a few pics of the fun stuff we did last week:
We read "TEN Apples Up On Top"! (Yes, he only has 9 apples up on top;) We do a book page that says: "____________ has ______ apples up on top" then, I take their picture to put in the book.
We made a web map describing an apple (which I forgot to take a picture of:(  Then, we stuffed these giant apples that I cut out of bulletin board paper. We just got one of the big recycle bins and used a bunch of paper from it to crumble up.
Here's the inside of one of our apples:)
Then we took the words from our web map and glued them on our giant apples;) The middle phrase says "An apple is..." and there are lots of adjectives glued all over the apples.
Here they are hanging in our hallway:) Each table worked together to make a different color apple.
Here are some apples that we made out of different sized squares and rectangles. Then, we stuck labels on the different parts.
Friday is Apple day and our apple FEAST!!! Look at our Johnny Appleseed hats!!! I ♥ them so much!;) it's just a large piece of construction paper cut in 1/2 long ways and we cover it with foil. Then, I roll up a small piece of brown construction paper and attach it for the handle. Last, I cut out apple die cuts and write their Appleseed name on it:)
This is SUCH a fun thing to do with the kids that I have been doing for years!! I use my pampered chef apple peeler and let each kiddo peel their own apple for the feast! They think it is THE COOLEST thing ever!!!;)
For our feast, we eat things like applesauce, apple butter, apple cereal, apple cider and apples with carmel dip:) Here is what our apples look like after they go through the peeler-SOOOO FUN!

HaPpY FaLl!!!!



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Life Saving Teacher Tips Linky Party

 I have to tell you all that with 26 Kinders, some days, well, I just about lose my mind!;) Any Kinder teacher knows that if every last, little detail is not planned out and prepared, then your day will be a total chaotic disaster! I have learned over the years how to better manage my class, how to take it SLOW and BE prepared!;) Here are a few little things that I do that have helped my days run MUCH more smoothly!

The 1st one is lunch count. I don't know about your district...but our district gives the kiddos FIVE lunch choices!?!?  This can be Soooooo overwhelming for the little ones-especially at the beginning of the year!! Have you ever had a kiddo in tears because they ordered something and when lunch time rolls around and they get their tray the break-down begins because it's not what they thought it would be???;) Well no more! I have a solution. Here's what I do:
I have taken pictures of all of the lunch choices over the years. I post the choices each day and the kiddos put there name next to the choice that they want. It's quick and easy AND they get to see what they are ordering!;)
Not sure how helpful the pictures will be-I know every school has different lunch choices...but I'm posting them just incase:) Grab your food picture cards by clicking on the image below:) (FYI some pictures are good, some are of poor quality and some are just nasty looking:)
Also, here is the little sign if you're interested in that too:) Just click on the pic. The sign was created with clipart from scrappindoodles.
Another thing that has saved my life this year is the noise level chart & signs!! I originally found this idea from Miss Kindergarten in THIS post. I LOVED the idea sooooo much that I made my own noise level charts. I added color coding and signs to go with them. I have to tell you that I LOVE the signs!!! I post them EVERY time we transition to a new thing and remind them before we start each new activity what sign is up and what voice to use. I totally had to "Harry Wong-it" at first. Pretty sure I said "what sign is up?" and "what does that mean?" about a bazillion times!!!! But, they've got it now!!! I love that I have something concrete to reinforce noise levels with!!!! It has SAVED MY LIFE!!!! You can grab my jungle themed noise level signs here.  This was also created with clipart from scrappindoodles.

And you can find some different themed noise level charts here.

The last life saver that I'm going to share are the Picture Direction Icons from First Grade Factory!!!!

OMG! This is absolutely brilliant AND so simple!! You're going to say to yourself..."why didn't I think of this!?" I post these icons on the board in the morning so I don't hear 26 "what do I do's?" when they sit down to do their morning work. I LOVE hearing a kiddo ask this and have another one remind them that the directions are on the board!!!! This lets me get so much more accomplished in the mornings with attendance, lunch count, etc.!
It's also a life saver when it comes to step by step projects. For this, I only post one pic at a time. If scissors are the only thing up, then scissors are the ONLY thing allowed out of the pencil box!!!! This helps control the kiddos who just keep going because they THINK they know what to do next:)
So, there you have it! 3 things that make my life SOOOOOOO much easier!!
If you have any Life Saving Teacher Tips, Please link up to my FIRST EVER linky party!...Hope it works!!;)

Friday, September 2, 2011

My First Blog Award =' )


Today someone made my day....no, my year!! When I opened up my email and found a message from the sweet Ms. Pam from Can Do Kinders for rating me one of her Top Ten Blogs, I almost cried!! Me?!?! It means so much to me that someone thinks enough of my blog to do this!!!;) Pam, I can't even express to you how much it means to me! Thank you from the bottom of my ♥!
Go visit Can Do Kinders and check out her awesome blog!! It's such a happy place...so cute and colorful!! She has some great ideas and some awesome freebies to snag, too!!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Chicka Chicka Math and Literacy Centers

Are you all aware of all of the Fabulous Chicka Chicka Math and Literacy centers available out there?! There's TONS of cute stuff out in blogland for you to find!! Here are the centers I did with my kiddos this week!
Literacy Center #1
Click here to visit Deanna's TPT store to check out this awesome pack of centers!!
Literacy Center #2
The cute little retelling mat came from  oopsey daisey! Click here to grab a copy!
Mrs. Wills Kindergarten has a GREAT listening center response sheet! Click here to go to her post about her centers and check it out! (she has lots of other great ideas too:)

Literacy Center #3
I'm really happy with how my step by step monkey drawing is going! The kids are having so much fun with it! Yippeee! Click here to go to my previous post to grab a copy!!!

Literacy Center #4

Click here to visit Kindergarten Hoppenings and get a FREE copy of Shannon's awesome rhyming match game!! She has soooo many amazing freebies for you to snag!!!!
Click on the picture below to grab the response sheet that I made to go with Shannon's rhyming game!


Literacy Center #5
The kiddos had to hunt for the letters. Each time they found one, they had to color in the coconut with the matching letter on their response sheet. The response sheet that I used was from a FREEBIE game at First Grade...a la Carte! I just printed out the 1st page of the game and used it for this center:)

Literacy Center #6
Another awesome center from Deanna and Julie's packet! Click here to check it out!

Literacy Center #7
Another center from Deanna and Julie's pack!

Literacy Center #8
Yet another center from Deanna Jump and Julie Lee:)

And here's our Math Stations from this Week!

Math Station #1
Click here to grab a copy of this from me:)!

Math Station #2
Have you seen these FABULOUS FREEBIES from Kindergarten Works!?!? My Kinders LOVED them!! Be sure to visit Leslie to get a copy of these wonderful mats!!!!

Math Station #3
Exploring manipulatives is a good way to start off your math stations at the beginning of the year, as suggested by Debbie Diller.

Math Station #4
AGAIN, another great center from Deanna and Julie's School is Fun Literacy and Math Centers for August and September

Math Station #5
Math Station #6

This adorable FREEBIE match game came from Peace, Love & Learning!!!  I made this little response sheet to go with it...every time they found a match, they would color the coconut with that number on it. Click on the pic below to get the response sheet.

Math Station #7
You can grab this little game here! Just click on the pic below.
This game was made from original clip art from Scrappindoodles.

Math Station #8

I also found3 more awesome Chicka centers that were posted this week!!!! I will be using them next year!!!
You can grab this one at Peace, Love & Learning!!!! ♥ it!!!!

Here are 2 more Freebies that Frogs, Bees and Under the Seas just posted!!!! I LOVE the clip cards!










So, there you have it!!! Lots of GREAT Chicka Chicka Freebies and resources out there!
Now, I'm off to bed! I have to present this tomorrow to the K-3 teachers in my district. I'm sharing all of our bloggy Awesome-ness!! I'll be also be talking about Common Core Standards and how it all ties in AND what an excellent resources teaching blogs are!!!! Thanks so much to everyone for sharing!!!!!!!
Wish me luck....my first time doing any kind of presenting (thank goodness I don't have to do it by myself:)