Just realized that I could reply back to comments!

Oh my goodness, I just realized tonight that I can reply directly back to those of you who have made a comment to me on my blog! It seems like I am learning something all the time about this blogging journey that I am on! So..... I am going to apologize right now for my lack of response to comments that were made from anyone who may be reading this! From now on, you will receive a prompt response from me!

Sorry, sorry, sorry!!

Spring Addition game

This week I tried out a spring addition game on my kinders! My kinders are my test group when I am trying out new ideas! They are getting used to me saying "Oh, my, this won't work, will it? I guess Mrs. Feeney is going to have to go back to the drawing board! Thanks for being my guinea pigs!" Of course, they all laugh when I say this and say "I'm not a guinea pig!" I haven't really explained what being a guinea pig means - I really do not want to get into that! :) But they are good sports about the changes and even though centers may change slightly from day to day, they continue to learn and that's what is important, right?
So, after many changes, I THINK that I have something that will work for practicing math facts from 1 - 5. Before the Common Core Standards, we did not really work on fluency in addition; just exposure. But one of the Math Core Standards for kindergarten says this: I can fluently add number combinations to 5!" Yikes! And even though our school hasn't adopted the Common Core Standards yet, I am constantly looking at them to see if we are following them. I want to be ready for them when we finally DO adopt them!
The pictures here show my students using eggs and baskets to play this game. That is one thing that I changed. Since I am so late getting this game ready, I added spring flowers to the packet as well as Easter eggs. That way it can be used for the rest of the school year. You can also see a die in the picture by the game. That is another thing I changed. The game with the dice was just too complicated, so I took that out and used the number combination cards instead. So if you are interested in this game, click here and you can get it for free or click on the pink packet picture at the beginning of this post! Also, I want to give a Shout Out to Melanie at From the Pond! Her clip art is absolutely adorable and reasonably priced, too! Click here to find her clip art!

Peace and blessings!

Easy and quick bulletin board

I took down the kid's St. Patrick's Day projects before Spring break and had a bare bulletin board when we returned. One thing I do not like is an empty bulletin board! Looking at the projects that my kiddos have created brings me joy each day that I am at school. I needed to replace the bareness fast, but didn't have a lot of extra time to do it. So, I decided to make one of our literacy centers into a "Creation Station." The rules for this center were these: 1. Put your name on your paper. 2. Using only paper, create a picture. It has to be your own thought; no copying! 3. You may only use crayons or markers for details such as eyes or the rays of the sun. Everything else must be made of paper. 4. There has to be more color than white on your paper.
I cut 12 inch x 18 inch paper in half and set out the scrap paper box. I don't know if every kindergarten teacher has a scrap paper box, but if you have one like mine, every color of the rainbow can be found in that box! Included in the center box was scissors and glue sticks. I even found 2 Common Core Standards that could be used for this center; although they are more of a math standard than a reading standard. Here they are: I can build and draw shapes and I can combine simple shapes to form larger shapes. Hurray!
Here is a picture of the bulletin board:
Here are some close ups of some of their pictures. I was amazed at the details! The rainbow is made of little pieces of paper and look at the little Lego guy peeking out of his castle! Adorable and creative AND and an easy center to prepare!

So it is late and time for me to get to bed! Have an enjoyable school week!
Peace and blessings,

Thank you, Rhonda!

Rhonda, from Classroom Fun, nominated my blog for the Top Ten award! I am flattered by this award - especially since I have not posted for over a week! :) Thank you, Rhonda! And now that life is getting back to normal for me, I will start my blog surfing and search for new, wonderful blogs that I can pass on to all of you as well! Have a great week! I'll be writing again soon! Peace and blessings!

I'm back and oh what a trip I had!

I am back and oh my, what a trip I had! My youngest son is studying in Rome this semester and my husband and I took the plunge and visited him over my spring break! Wow! I would go back to Rome in a minute! What a beautiful city! What glorious FRESH, delicious food! And what a beautiful city filled with ancient history! At one time we visited a church that celebrates Mass in a 12th century building built upon a church that was built in the early 4th century that was built upon a church built in the 1st century! The teacher in me could not get over the rich history of this ancient city! Walking through the ruins of the forum and the colosseum, throwing a Euro into Trevi fountain, treading upon the cobblestone steps, walking into the Pantheon, experiencing the beginning of Christianity by visiting the many beautiful churches..... so many historical experiences leading to the incredible feeling of touching the past in some small way. I keep thinking of how I can bring this experience to my students.... Here is what I learned last week.......

1. Learn from the past. Respect the lives of those who lived before us.
2. The world is smaller than we think. What one nation does affects the lives of other nations. Europe is far more advanced than we are in their conservation efforts. It is important that we, as teachers, teach our students conservation methods. Because our country is so large, I think that sometimes we don't realize that what we do in our little section of Earth really does affect what happens all over the world.
3. My husband and I do not speak a word of Italian; yet we were respected in Rome. No one made us feel that we were inferior because we did not speak the language. Does that happen in the United States? Sadly, I do not think so. The slogan "If you can't speak English, go home" is heard too often on our country's streets. Acceptance of the differences of others is something that must be taught to our students. It is only with acceptance that we can begin to understand the thoughts and feelings of other nations. And when this happens, peace begins to grow.

So.......... now that I have my first day back under my belt, I am ready to begin again to encourage my students to be incredible kids, to try their best, and to have fun while doing it! Our theme for the next couple of weeks will be "Oviparous Animals". A common core goal in math for kindergarten is to become fluent in addition and subtraction facts to 5, so we will be working to learn and practice these skills. It is the end of our 3rd quarter, so these next few days will be spent assessing. I do my assessments during literacy centers which takes away from the teaching part of the day, but assessments need to be done and hopefully I will be able to get through them by Wednesday!

Won't be posting for a week!

My spring break starts this coming week and I am taking a short vacation - hurray! I won't be posting until school starts back up on Monday, March 26. Enjoy this wonderful weather and I'll be back in a week!

See ya!

Leprechaun fun!

I start by apologizing for the layout of this post. Blogger is not allowing me to insert my images in the places in which I want them to be, so I give up in frustration!! :)

It was a fun week in our class! We had leprechaun visitors and they played some silly tricks on us all week! Yesterday we set our traps and this morning, we found that all the traps had been set and that there had definitely been someone in our room last night! As a matter of fact, when I went back to check on the traps later in the evening, I actually caught a leprechaun, but he managed to escape because he had his magic scissors with him! :) They left us leprechaun juice and when the kids tasted it, they said "Wow - this tastes just like green Sprite!" They also left everyone some green sunglasses that could be used if anyone ever manages to get to Leprechaun land! (Only in kindergarten can these things be passed off as real!) Here is a picture collage of the chaos in our room this morning!

The kids made some awesome pictures of the leprechaun!
Here are a few examples! They actually did these with a step-by-step CVC and sight word game that they played during literacy centers this week.

Here are our St. Patrick's Day math centers this week:
The kids played "Rainbow Math" from Shari Sloane's website. They sorted and graphed Lucky Charms cereal. They played a pot of gold/rainbow game by tossing dice, putting the "gold" into each pot, and adding them together to find the sum. They also played "Capture the Gold". In this game, the children toss 2 dice, add the numbers to find the sum, and then cover the gold piece on the game board with a 2 sided coin.

(If you are interested in these games, "Capture the Gold" is a freebie in my TPT store and "Leprechaun Read and Draw Sight Word and CVC" game is for sale in my TPT store. )

A ton of K-2 links all in one place!

Jeannie from Kindergarten Lifestyle had this great idea - Why not post as many K-2 blogs as possible in one site and have them all available when you need them? So here is her link - I just linked up myself and I was 108th! That's a lot of K-2 ideas!

Healthy body unit!

We finished our healthy body unit last week and I just had to post of few pictures of how cute the books turned out! Plus, I think the kids learned a lot! In our kindergarten, the kids bring a snack to share each day. Our snack helper today brought in carrots and ranch dip. I said to his mother "Wow - what a wonderful healthy snack!" And she replied,
"It was Sam's idea! He wanted to bring something healthy!" Hurray! We also discussed our hearts, lungs, and digestive systems - in a simple way, of course! We talked about exercise, dental health, and sleep as well! It always feels good when the unit ends and your students have learned the concepts - or at least most of them! :)

A Bad Case of Stripes!

Last week we read the book "A Bad Case of Stripes" by David Shannon. I love to read David Shannon's books because they are always fun, but also often have a good lesson to teach. In this book, Camilla loves lima beans, but won't admit it because she is afraid of what the other kids will think of her. So, she breaks into a bad case of stripes; changing her appearance every time the people around her change. At the end of the story, she learns that it is okay to be different and it doesn't matter what other people think of you. This, of course, is a difficult concept for a kindergartner to understand, but I gave it a try! :)I traced a large body outline onto 12" x 18" construction paper for each child. I also cut it out. Then in a literacy center, I asked each child to create a head from skin color paper and add facial details and hair. I put out the oil crayons and told the children that they were to pretend that they had broken out into a bad case of stripes and decorate their body in the way in which they thought they would look. At another center, they were to draw pictures and write words that showed what they felt they could use to get themselves back to normal. We brainstormed ways that make all of us special - special foods, talents, and foods that we like. They did a good job on their writing, but I am not sure if they really understood the concept of keeping true to ourselves! If you would like a copy of the words, click here.

Teachers helping teachers

Crystal, from Kreative in Kinder, has set up a way that teachers can help the teachers who have been affected by the devastating tornadoes from last week. She is asking any teacher who would be willing to part with some classroom materials to sign up on her blog and she will connect you to a teacher in need. Click on the heart which will take you to her blog where she has listed all the details. What a wonderful idea this is!!

Tooth Fairy fun

I know, I know! There are SO MANY tooth fairy activities around! But when you teach kindergarten and are at the end of your health unit, something fun about teeth needs to be done, right? This is a free download from Angie Neal on TPT. Click HERE to go to her store. 
Here are some pictures..... The boys wanted to make a boy tooth fairy and I told them "Sure!" So I am posting an example of a boy tooth fairy, too!