Jun 27, 2012

Freebie Journal Covers For 2012-2013

Let summer officially begin for me...well kind of! Today I wrapped up helping with Vacation Bible School, worked some in my classroom, and put all of my stuff on the school server for the tech department to clean them up! I have TONS of clipart, so I was nervous of how long it was going to take me to put it on the server. So, I went to the handy dandy Staples and got a Mac Portable Hard Drive. I plugged in 2 cords and in less than 5 minutes I had all of my clipart files backed up! SueBeth says I have an obsession with clipart, so when I say a ton...I mean a ton!!

As promised, here is the "updated" version of journal covers that I will be using this coming school year. Just like last years, they are black and white. I pass them out at the beginning of the month and the kids use markers/crayons to color in the page. Then we place them in the front of the journal binders until the end of the month. At the end of the month, I collect all of the month's journal writings and then transfer them over to the Data Binders. Actually I don't do this I train the kids from the get go how to do this! SAVES ME TONS OF TIME!!

We met today in the morning and brainstormed how we are going to organize our monthly writing packet to share with you. This packet will integrate the new kindergarten writing standards with many social studies/science themes. Hope to finalize it real soon!!

We also worked on wrapping up my "Jungle Themed" Parent Communication packet. It is almost finished are ready to share and put on TPT. Just need to wrap up a few items.

There are 18 pages for the journal covers. We made one for each month except July and offered several "covers" for you to choose from of what you want to put on the "Cover" of all of your journals. I always use mine in my Data Binders which I am going to be updating in the next few weeks. Hope you can use the Journal Covers and we look forward to sharing more fun things with you! These are also available in our TPT store for free. 2012-2013 Journal Covers

Jun 24, 2012

More Tips On Guided Writing

It has been one WILD weekend at our house.  It seems like our my to do list does not end!!  Some important things I did get off of the to do list this weekend were: our flights to help our son move to Texas in a couple of weeks, packing, making appointments, and just spending time together before he moves.  Vacation Bible School started tonight and we have our last Leader in Me training tomorrow until August. 

My husband bought new bikes, so we have been going on causal killer bike rides to break in the new bikes.  Our ride Saturday was 20 miles and Mark and the kids went on a ride tonight while I was at VBS which was 31 miles.

Had a couple of questions about my guided writing procedure on the first day of school.  I have the kids bring over a clipboard, 2 pencils, and a journal paper.  Together we brainstorm ideas to write about.  Typically the first day we write a short sentence like:  I like school.  Then we together say the sentence holding up a finger for each word.  Then I use the same exact paper they have on my SMARTBoard.  We sound each sound out together and I model how to make each letter we are writing.  We talk about leaving space.  After our sentence is over, we point to each word and read the sentence together. 

Then our journal paper has space at the top for us to draw a picture.  We discuss what things we might want in the picture.  Then step by step, we draw a picture together.  We might draw a picture of ourselves on the first day.   We first would draw the head at the top, then feeling our own head we discuss what things we need to add on the head(hair, ears, eyes, etc.) Next we move onto our neck, body, etc. and finally ending up with our feet.  Once are feet are done, we put something for us to stand on...it might be carpet or grass. 

After the picture, we label our picture.  I ask the kids who they drew a picture of and they say "me".  So, I give them a choice they can either write the word "me" or write their name above picture.

Once we are done, the kids go back to their seat and use crayons to color in their picture.  I then model for the students how to put this first day of journal writing in their journal binder.  I then call one table at a time to practice this procedure.

I have done guided journal writing this way for over 15 years and it is truly something that I can honestly say that I have never had to change how I teach writing.  The only thing that I have ever changed are the different topics that we write about based upon different things we do, theme changes throughout social studies/science.  BELIEVE ME, it works with all levels of students.

SueBeth and I are currently working on a monthly writing packet that will have the new Common Core Standards.  It will give you samples of writings to do each day during the month according to themes and the different types of writings that we have to do in kindergarten.  Our "new" journal covers should be up for you this week, too.

Tomorrow is our last day of our Leader In Me Training,  so that will free SueBeth and I up on finalizing some of our ideas for this summer.  Let me know if you have any questions on Day 1 of kindergarten journal writing.       

Jun 21, 2012

Tip #1 Guided Writing WIth Kindergarten Students

I have been reading a lot of the great writing posts the last several days.  If I had to say a favorite thing about kindergarten it would have to be watching the huge growth that kindergarten students show with their writing throughout the year.   It's a great way to show growth to parents, students, administration, and of course to yourself!
Tip #1

I would have to say that Guided Writing is a very powerful tool that I use with the students every day of the year.  It's SOOOOOOOOO easy and the best part is that is will cost you NO MONEY!!  We start it the first day of kindergarten and carry it through to the very last day.  We discuss so many things throughout our lessons that every level of learner can use.  It's a great time to model: handwriting, segmenting words, vowel rules, capitalization/punctuation, spacing, illustrating a picture, and labeling a picture just to name a few.   Typically after a couple of months, most students are ready for independent journal writing.  For those students who are not, I use different things to differentiate their writing.  They may be ready for just drawing/labeling, they may be needing small writing intervention group time when we are doing it together in a small group, or they may need to dictate to you what he/she wants to write.

We do our guided writing lesson using the SMARTBoard.  We sit on the floor with our clipboards, journal paper, and 2 pencils.  Depending on the time of year, our lesson can last 10-20 minutes.  It's also a great time to teach/review reading standards while you are focusing on writing.   

Once we are done with our guided writing, I have the students place these into their Journal Binders.  At the end of the month, we collect these monthly journal pages and place them into their year end Data Binders.  By the end of the year, students will have over 170 journal entries just from kindergarten.

Last year we offered free monthly covers for these months using some DJ Inkers clipart for these monthly covers.  Feel free to grab these covers again realizing that we will make new 2012-2013 "Heading Pages" for you to use as an introduction to your Data Binders.  Look for a complete  new Journal Binder covers set coming next week that I designed which will coordinate with our new homework booklet that we will be placing on TPT soon.

Guided journal writing lessons can be used in kindergarten classes all the way through high school.  It is such a powerful tool for all ages to use!!  Check back for Writing Tip #2. 
   Journal Covers for Free

Jun 19, 2012

Freebies...What Do We Have Today and Where Are We?

We have been out of school for over 3 weeks, but we have continued on with our school "routine".  We have been attending our Leader In Me schoolwide training along with some common core standards committee work.  So, I have not yet had time to make things yet for the upcoming school year, but have been creating things that  I want to make but just need to find the time to wrap them up. 
I have been seeing several posts on making charts of What Special Do We Have Today and Where Are We Charts.  I made these with a "jungle" twist.  So feel free to grab a copy for yourself.  I will be posting pictures soon of how my charts turned out.  Here is what Sara Soucy's, Smiling In Second, looks like from her blog.

Today I met with SueBeth and another teacher kindergarten teacher to try to wrap up our math common core standards items for kindergarten.  I am very excited about what we have created and can't wait to share things that I will be using the upcoming school year.  Just had a fellow teacher give me 14 Shape Books and 44 Counting Books that should keep me busy for the next couple of weeks to help supplement our first 9 weeks of 2-D Shapes and Counting Units.  We will still use our Growing With Math Series, but will continue to supplement to help differentiate activities for all students in my classroom.
 Wild Special Cards

Jun 16, 2012

Leader In Me, 21st Century Exiting Meeting, Math Core Standards, and Packing

Has My Summer Even Started...
Well, do you ever feel like your brain is spinning!?!  We have been out of school officially for about 2 weeks.  In the last 2 weeks, I have had 2 awesome days of Leader In Me Training with staff members from our school and our sister school, 3 days of intense thinking on the common core math standards, a presentation for how I used technology last year in kindergarten, and trying to help my son get packed for his move to Texas.  This week doesn't look to be too much less...1 day of Leader in Me Training, 1 day of Math common core standards Planning, helping Jacob pack, and preparing for Vacation Bible School the following week.  SO, I am looking forward to my summer beginning soon!!

With my Math Common Core Standards meeting, another kindergarten teacher and I were in charge of: 
1.  Taking the kindergarten math standards and choosing priority standards and supporting
2.  Typing up KUD (Know, Understand, and Do) charts for kindergarten
3.  Creating Pre and Post Tests for kindergarten students to help support a year's growth for each
     student to help us design our groups
4.  Creating assessments that will be used for the grade cards(which will need to be revamped)
5.  Aligning our math series, Growing With Math, with the priority/supporting standards so that we
     know what lessons we need to supplement
6.  Mapping out our year long study of how to spiral many of the priority/supporting standards
     throughout the year using blooms taxonomy.

Now with all of that said, I had better get busy here real soon with organizing my August/September Math files.  So look forward to seeing ideas on 2-D shapes and Numbers 0-10 focus.  Once we get everything typed up, we will share with you so that we can get other ideas from you!!

One question I do have and would LOVE comments from is does your district do pre/post testing in Math for students.  If so, how do yours look, how often do you give them?

Enjoy your Father's Day with your family!! 

Jun 13, 2012

Wild About Popcorn Words Freebie

This is what I am putting on the back of my Wild Name Tags that we gave for a freebie in our last post. I am headed into town today to grab the other stuff so that I can make one to show you what it looks like and how I use these workmats. I have used the workmats for several years. I have tried other things, but I keep coming back to these. They are also very easy to store each night and have no taping which the custodians love!! Here is a freebie of my popcorn words that we use in kindergarten. I will also use this list in other center areas. 
 WILD About Popcorn Words

Jun 11, 2012

It seems a little WILD to be making things for next year when we have barely packed up our rooms.  It hasn't been decided what our school wide motto or theme is going to be yet, but Robynn has decided to go WILD with a JUNGLE theme.   She is pretty sure she can fit the word WILD into anything that is decided school wide...maybe Go WILD for Learning.  I worked on making a set of WILD workmats for her to use next year and we thought we would share them with you.  Hope your June is being calm and peaceful ... anything but WILD! WILD Workmats

Jun 7, 2012

My Pinterest Follower Button Is Up

Oh, I am cracking up.  Sometimes do you feel like your own personal kids are so much smarter than you are...especially at computer things.  I decided that I wanted to add a Follow Me On Pinterest Button to our blog.  I was doing everything perfect, except it kept linking to where everyone could see my "personal" things.  Finally, my daughter sat beside me and watched me do every step, then she says mom you are logged onto Pinterest from your computer.  I said, duhhhhhhhh.  Well Michelle over at The 3 AM Teacher, probably thinks I am not very smart at the computer either.  So THANKS Michelle it really works now!! 

I think my slow brain might be due to 16 hours of curriculum writing the last 2 days.  IT WAS INTENSE!!  I am starting to sweat from all of the changes that are taking place in the fall.  I think the biggest change is writing.  WOW...have you all seen the different kinds of writing and samples that the kindergarten students are supposed to be doing soon!!??

Well, off to another to do task tomorrow...working on my new homework booklet which is going to include DIBELS practicing!!  I have used it the last 2 years and it has been wonderful!!  Going to do a jungle theme this coming year, so working on my Jungle Communication booklet this week. 

We would love to hear what you are doing with all of the writing changes.  So glad that our district decided last year for kindergarten to implement the new math standards.  This means one less thing to "learn" for this summer.  Of course, I want to make some new August/September Math Centers to support the new curriculum.   

Jun 5, 2012

My New Currently

Today we had our first of at least 4 days of working with K-5 teachers on our new standards.  It was a very productive day, but by the end of the day I swear my brain hurt.  Then I got my hair cut/highlighted, and went straight to a building meeting at our church.  So, by the time I got home tonight, I was ready to chill.  I did about 5 minutes of blogging and thought it would be fun to fill out another Currently.  So here is my latest currently~

Well, going to call it a night as we have another 8 hours of curriculum tomorrow!!  Tomorrow, might be a littler less "deeper" with the curriculum.  I am on the math curriculum, so some pretty heavy discussions with K-5 teachers!

Jun 4, 2012

Won Target Giveaway

I was so thrilled last night when Michelle emailed me telling me that I had won her Target giveaway!  I never win things, so this was a complete shock!  I just made a road trip last weekend with my daughter for a Target run, so I guess I will "HAVE" to do it again.
Once again, Michelle, thanks a bunch.  Check out her blog called Just Wild About Teaching!!

SueBeth and I met this morning to make our Summer To Do List...so another post will be coming about that this week!  We both are attending Curriculum Meetings Tuesday and Wednesday of this week from 8-4.  So, we will be able to start making some of these fun items we have planned.  Hope you all are having a great start to your summer!!

Jun 1, 2012

Freebie Summer Word List

Well, wish I could say that I am on a beach somewhere, but the weather here in Ohio today is awful.  As my daughter said, it feels like a fall day.  We had the heater on in the car today!!  It's our official first day off from school.  I still have to finish cleaning and throwing some stuff away, so will try to sneak in this weekend to finish it up.

My kids love using a word list. The last week of school we focused on summer.  They wrote about fun things they did in the summer.  Here is the word list that we used for this summer journal writing.  Graphics were from DJ Inkers...check out there wonderful summer graphics.  I used a glue stick to glue my back to back, then I put it through the laminator to save my pouches.  We will be working on putting together a Writing Journal Packet over this summer.  Watch for these fun packets to be developed real soon!!  It's on our summer to do list!!

Our June Math Journal is up on TPT as of today, June 1...check it out by clicking here:  June Math Journal.  We also plan on adding a July Math Journal and a August/September Journal.  All other Math Journals are completed for the other months of October-May on our TPT store.  This June Math Journal can be used in a school setting or as a summer math extension.

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer vacation if you are out of school already!  We both have 2 days of curriculum development this upcoming week on June 5 and June 6.  The following week our school is starting a schoolwide training called Leader In Me...focusing on the 7 Habits of Happy Kids.  We would love to hear from any of you who have had this training.  We will keep you posted!!  Sounds like a great program!!
Summer Word List