Thursday, January 30, 2014

All About Penguins

I just love the winter months in Kindergarten!  There are so many exciting things to learn about. :)  This week, my class has been learning all about penguins.  We began the week with a schema activation activity.  First, I made an anchor chart with a picture of a penguin.  I asked the kiddos to tell me anything that they thought they knew about penguins.  Some of their responses were really accurate, and some were just downright cute!  I recorded their responses on sticky notes and put them on the penguin anchor chart.

I then asked the class, "When we want to know if something is true or not, how can we find out?"  "We can read it in a book,"  "we can watch videos about it," and "we can research it"  were some of the responses.  I explained to the class that throughout the week, we would be reading a lot of non-fiction texts and watching some videos that would help us to determine if the things that we thought about penguins were misconceptions or facts.  Throughout the week, we read the following books:

National Geographic Kids PenguinsPenguins
Penguin Chick
These Birds Can't FlyPenguins and Their Chicks

If we came across information that led us to the conclusion that one of our ideas was actually a misconception, we moved it off of the penguin.  I believe that these kind of activities build confidence among early learners because they are able to see that we all can learn together, and if we aren't sure about something, we can find out together.

We also watched these videos on YouTube throughout the week.  The kiddos especially liked the songs from Harry Kindergarten! :)

Penguin Video

Have You Ever Seen a PenguinMr. Penguin

 We incorporated some fiction text into our Reading Block by reading the following books:

Tacky Tacky and the Winter Games

If you're familiar with this series, you know how adorable it is!  You could use any books from the series, but I chose the original and Tacky and the Winter Games because I wanted to introduce the concept due to the fact that the Winter Olympics start next week!

We then made a Venn Diagram of the books.  I completed it on the white board, and then the students completed a paper version of their own.  (You'll notice that we used inventive spelling to complete this.)

We also worked on some penguin-themed morning work from my Winter No Prep Math and Literacy Printables unit on TpT!

No Prep Winter Math and Literacy Printables

We even incorporated penguins into our Math block in our Math Journals and through a penguin measurement activity (although sadly, I was out with a sick baby this day, so I have no pictures).  If you like these journal prompts, you can purchase them from Deedee Wills on TpT.  Click on the link here.  I highly recommend these!  My students' math comprehension has skyrocketed since I introduced these last year! (She even has a free download available if you visit her store!)

If you also teach about penguins in your classroom, I'd love to hear your ideas!

Monday, January 20, 2014

No Prep Winter Math and Literacy Printables GIVEAWAY

Happy Monday teacher friends!  Some of us were off for MLK day, some of us weren't.  Were you?  Well, I'm finally getting back into the swing of things.  I've only been at school 5 days since Christmas afterall! ;)

My No Prep Christmas Math and Literacy Printables were such a big seller during the month of December that I decided to go ahead and make a No Prep Winter Math and Literacy Printables pack! Afterall, this product is great for morning work, homework, enrichment, and can even be used in a Math or Literacy center.  The best part is, the only work you have to do is make copies! :)  In today's busy classroom, that's great news for everyone!

I've been using this in my classroom during the past week for morning work review, and my kiddos have done an excellent job!  I think they've enjoyed a change of pace.  If you're interested in using it in your classroom too, I'm having a giveaway!

I'll be giving away these products to five lucky winners who follow me on Facebook and leave a comment with their email address under the No Prep Winter Math and Literacy Printables Giveaway post.  If you'd like to earn a double entry, share the post on your wall and comment shared.  Winners will be selected on Wednesday, January 29th. 

Scroll down to see a sampling of what's included. :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Winter Wonderland Math and Literacy Centers GIVEAWAY

I had a wonderful, much needed Christmas Break!  Yesterday should have been our first day back.  This Arctic blast kind of put a kink in my plans for the upcoming week.  We were out today and will be again tomorrow.  Well, when we do finally go back, my kiddos will be completing activities from Deanna Jump's Sneezy the Snowman Math and Literacy Fun unit.  This unit is adorable!  It includes Math and Literacy centers plus a lot of engaging whole group activities that I'm really looking forward to!  If you don't already have this one, I highly recommend it!

Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting and learning from Deanna at the Missouri Kindergarten Conference, and I'm telling you folks--she is one of the sweetest, most generous people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.  This unit was the door prize that I won, so I wanted to give her a shout out.  Thanks Deanna! 

In addition to Sneezy, my kiddos will also be using my Winter Wonderland Math and Literacy Centers, which is one of my top-selling products on TpT!

I'll be giving away these units to five fellow teachers who follow my Facebook page and leave their email address in the comments section of the post titled Winter Wonderland Math and Literacy Centers Giveaway.  Click on my Facebook link to enter!  This giveaway will end on Monday, January 13th, so be quick!  Scroll down to see a preview of some of what's included in this unit.

 You can check out the full preview here.  Good luck and stay warm friends!