Friday, March 30, 2012

100 Follwers=Target Giftcard Giveaway!

Woohoo! I never thought the day would come when I had 100 followers and almost 13,000 page views! Thanks to everyone who has supported me! Blogging has been a very positive experience for me so far. The only thing I wish for is more time to create and share more ideas, freebies and products and to try out new ideas that I see on all of your awesome blogs!
To celebrate this milestone, I am having my biggest giveaway yet! Enter to win a $20.00 gift card to Target by doing the following. Each item listed counts as one comment/one chance to win.

1. Follow my blog and leave a comment!
2. Follow my TpT store and leave a comment!
3. Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with the link to your post.

Make sure to leave your blog address or your email so I can reach you if you are the lucky winner!

The giveaway closes one week from today at 11:59 P.M. on Friday, April 6th. The winner will be announced and notified on Saturday, 4/7/12. GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Word Family Center

Since I incorporated some fairy tales like The Three Little Pigs into our week, I decided it would be a good time for my students to review the -ig word family! After all, ig rhymes with pig! My students read and sorted these -ig words into real and nonsense word categories on a pocket chart, then recorded their word work on the chart below.

Hope you find it useful for your class...I left the word family label blank so you can use it with any word family you choose!

I hope that my 100th follower finds me soon...only 2 more followers to go until a BIG Giveaway!!!!!!!!!!! :)

I will be posting pictures from our teddy bear sleepover tomorrow...the students' teddy bears slept over at school tonight and made a little mischief while we were away! Can't wait to see the kiddo's faces tomorrow when they come in and see their teddy bears all around the classroom!

Happy Friday tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poetry Notebooks!

I promised to post about my kiddo's poetry notebooks last week, and have finally gotten to it! Poetry notebooks are a new addition to my literacy time this year, thanks to my new co-workers for telling me about them1 I use regular old spiral notebooks for this, mainly because they are not expensive and hold up through the school year.

My students keep their poetry notebooks in their book bins, which they use every day during read-to-self time (or silent reading for non-Daily 5 people). They keep poems (mostly relating to thematic units) that we have learned throughout the year. We typically learn them together on chart paper during Morning Meeting or Shared Reading. This is excellent practice for emergent readers. The kids really feel like they are reading the poems, and they get rhyming exposure, too. Double win!

We sometimes use the poems in our poetry notebooks for practicing other reading skills, like color words and sight words. In the fall, we were learning color words. Students colored each fall color word in this autumn poem to help them recognize and remember the words.
As the year progresses, the poems get longer and harder! Some students struggled with this one on the 100th day, but they thought it was awesome that the poem had 100 words in it!
Pictured below is a much easier poem from early in the school year.

Here is a poetry notebook cover freebie I created if you'd like to use it for your own poetry notebooks! Click on the picture to download via Google Docs.
Also, I have a new item up for sale on Teachers Pay Teachers. It is a Rainbow Writing Numbers Handwriting Practice Pages. My Rainbow Writing ABC set has been one of my more popular items on TpT, so I hope you find this sister set useful, also! It is only $1.50 for numbers 0-10. Click the preview picture to check it out at TpT!
PS- I am 3 away from 100 followers... a fun give-away is coming soon! Where would YOU to win a gift card to? Target? Lakeshore Learning? Barnes and Noble? Comment and let me know!

Monday, March 26, 2012

I'm Baaackkk!

Whew, I can't believe that I've been neglecting my poor blog so badly. What are my excuses? Nothing really, except that Spring has sprung about a month early and I have been hurrying home from school to get outside and run every afternoon. We have been grilling out and I have gotten to catch up some friends and family lately. I feel good about that, but it is always a struggle to balance exercise and healthy eating, work, personal relationships, and extra things like blogging!

Anyway, I am excited to share what my kindergarteners have been up to over the past week. Our bears unit has been a huge success. The kids LOVE reading nonfiction books about bears. Here are some graphic organizers we made as a class.
Our introductory brainstorming activity-kind of a KWL chart minus the "L". They had SO many great questions about bears!
We compared different species of bears.
We read about the life cycle of bears (see previous post) and made a graphic organizer about it. We practiced shortening up our phrases since we were taking notes. This made the students feel very grown up!

We have also enjoyed watching Jewel and her two cubs on a webcam from the North American Bear Center' website. The kids seriously go gaga over their every move!

This week, we are shifting the focus from "real" bears to teddy bears and folk tales. Today, we read two versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We made stick puppets to reenact the story. Wealso illustrated a "Comic Strip Story" from I Love 2 Teach. Click the picture to go to her blog.

I thought this would be a difficult activity for some of my kiddos, but they ended up doing very well with it (it helped that we did it during our shared reading/writing time and not as a center activity so I was able to monitor their work better).

I also made a Three Bears House dramatic play area complete with three sizes of bowls, chairs and beds for the students to use during Choice Time. It's not the cutest thing I've ever made, but they enjoyed playing in it today.

The table with bowls.
The three beds (a little rough looking, but it was after choice time).
A view inside the Three Bear's cottage.

Sorry for the long post. It's great to be back and hope to be back again tomorrow or Wednesday with a poetry journal post and a new TpT item!