Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Tad Behind, But Here Is Our Native American Writing!

We spent more time that I thought we would on our Native American unit. There was just so much to do and my students were really enjoying this! (And isn't that the whole purpose of teaching a unit!) By the way, most of what I used can be found in my Native American Writing Unit on TPT. There's a huge sale tomorrow and my entire store is 20% off, plus the 8% TPT gives you. So that is almost 30% off every item in every store on TPT that is participating!

We made canoes and teepees. My students love using markers and I usually don't let them because the colors bleed through on paper. This activity was great. The idea came from Pinterest! The original idea just had a canoe and painted paper plate. We used the grass and a teepee to add a little more to the activity. I also used a blue paper plate instead of painting the plate. Gluing these with the glue gun was a difficult task! You  had to hold the canoe till the glue set or it would fall over.

After reading a few books and watching Scholastic news, I had my students use this anchor chart to show what they knew about Native Americans. I have to give my students background information at the beginning of a unit before they can start their Know/Wonder/Learned charts. They know a lot more than they think, but it has to be sparked a little!

I think my students loved the headbands the best. They spent a lot of time on these. I let them wear these headbands the entire week when they were writing or crafting! (Not on the carpet though, too many little ones couldn't see!) We also made paper vests and wrote sentences using the words in my Native American Writing Unit on TPT. In art students made patterned bracelets that were colored in using construction paper crayons. Love these!

We made our Anchor Chart. We had read many of the books and studied using Scholastic Online's Thanksgiving Unit with videos of Native Americans. I give my students post-it-notes and they write/draw and color what they are learning. They love this! 

We used the writing from my Native American Writing Unit on TPT to complete our writing about Native Americans. 

These were hung outside our room for all to see! We try and hang up writing samples from our classroom since we are focusing on writing and academic vocabulary this year. 
There's a lot more included in my Native American Writing Unit. I didn't take pictures of the Emergent reader and Teacher Read Aloud. There are vocabulary picture cards and so much more included. It would take two weeks of instruction time to go through everything included. I think with first graders, who already know how to read and write sentences, this unit could be completed in one week.
My students are working on writing what they are saying. This takes a while. We are doing a great job on coloring which is also an important part of being a Kindergarten student!

Well, now comes the Holidays! Hold on tight for this fast ride!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Veterans Day And A Freebie!

Veterans Day was an all day event in  my Kindergarten class. Having lived here for only three years, I wasn't used to being in a non-military community for a holiday like Veterans Day. I took the time to talk about our military, to watch Discovery Education videos about our military, and to share some of my family experiences being a military 'brat.' I gave my students time to discuss and share with their shoulder buddies and also in front of the class. Most of my students knew about the military only from play and cartoons.

We wrote letters to my nephew, David Cody who has just joined the Army. I am so proud of him, but at the same time I am sad because I know what a sacrifice this will be for him as far as being away from family and friends.

With my Kinders they have to have some kind of connection before they can even begin to write. I was hoping our day of talking, watching, discussing, and sharing would prepare them for their afternoon writing activity.

I believe by coloring they are beginning the writing process. They are thinking about what they are doing and getting their thoughts together.

As they finished, I hung their work out for all to see.

Tuesday we started another activity and I took down their letters to David Cody and got those ready to mail to him.

I thought they turned out great.

It is nice to see Kinders beginning to understand a little about the world around them.

They made connections to our military which was different than just TV shows or cartoons.

They thought about a real person, my nephew, wanting to help his country.

Some just thought about fighting, but we talked about helping children all over the world.

If you would like my Veterans Day Writing Activity, just click the picture above. It's a free download from TPT. Please leave me some feedback and consider following my TPT store for new product notification!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

I've Been Nominated for the Liebster Award!

Thanks for the Liebster Award!

I've been nominated by Jamie at Thrills in Third Grade for the Liebster Awards.

You may find yourself asking, "What in the world is the Liebster Award?" I know that's what I said!  It's pretty simple.  When a person is nominated for the Liebster Award, first they answer 11 questions about themselves.  Afterwards, they nominate 11 additional bloggers with fewer than 200 bloggers for the award.  It's like a chain award designed to help new bloggers* (see #1) become acquainted with the blogging world.  here are my answers to the 11 questions:

1. Why and how long ago did you start blogging?
       About two years ago I started blogging. I wanted a place to talk about teaching and to connect with other teachers world-wide. I figured blogging was a good way to do this.

2. What one word sums up the heart of your blog and why?
    I think my students are the heart of my blog. Everything I do is for them. I am always researching new strategies for teaching and implementing them into my daily lessons. I love my students and that is why I teach!

3. Is there something you learned late in your blog journey you wished you knew before?
    I am learning constantly. I am sometimes amazed that I can even get a blog up and going! I look at other blogs, ask questions, and then try it out. I will tell anyone to just jump in there and try it. You can always deleted your post if it doesn't turn out right.

4.  What is your favorite thing to do other than blogging?
      Knitting, being with my family, sitting on the beach and watching the ocean. I love to make new products for my students to try. I like puzzles, eating with my hubby, and my grandsons!

     5. How many hours per week do you dedicate to your blog?        Not many! This year I have been caught up with getting my Master's in ESL and trying to keep up at work with all the changes. Hoping to change this!

 6.  What category of blog posts do you enjoy the most?       I love reading other blogs and looking at the pictures. Sometimes I won't have time to read the blog, but I will always go through and look at pictures! I like the crafty type teaching blogs. Those are always fun to look at and dream about making these things with my students if there was TiME!

     7.  Where does your blog inspiration come from?
        Definitely other bloggers and my students! My students accomplishments make me want to do more each day!

     8.  Which post that you've written are you most proud of?
         Probably the one on the dodecahedrons. That was the most colorful!

     9.  Is there any post you've been planning to do but have been postponing?
      Oh yeah! Many, many! I guess I should just start writing them and then go back and edit and add pictures later. Did I say I never have enough time!

     10. What is your favorite aspect of blogging?
       Knowing that I am part of a huge group of teachers that want to connect! 

     11.  Which recipe, project, or idea on my blog would you most likely try yourself?
   Jamie I like your Currently blogs! I want to try this. I like to read about other bloggers and how they deal with everyday life!

The Rules:
Now that you've been nominated, here are the official rules for accepting:

1. In your post, link back to the blogger who nominated you as a thank you and "shout out."
2. Answer the 11 questions I answered above.
3. Nominate 11 blogs that have fewer than 200 followers each.  Have them answer the questions above.
4.  Let your nominees know they've been nominated and provide them with a link back to your post, so that they can accept.
5. Send your nominator a link to your post so he/she can learn about you.

That's it! Have fun!

Here are the bloggers I am nominating!
Jodie at Sugar n' Spice!
Jenn from The Primary Pack
Min Ah Kang at Primary ESOL