Real size penguins

It's getting really late and I am getting really tired! But I thought I would post this picture of comparing real size penguins to the real size polar bear. The picture didn't turn out how I wished, but I think you can get the idea! I used the overhead projector to trace an Emperor penguin, a Macaroni penguin, and a fairy penguin. Then I used construction paper to fill in the shapes. My co-partner, Lea, painted hers; so both ways work! What is fun for the kids is to compare themselves to the penguin sizes - they are amazed that an emperor penguin is almost as tall as they are! I laminated the penguins and attached them to a tri-fold board so that they can be used again next year!

Polar project display coming soon!

It's been a few day since I have written a post here! We have been SO busy at school! We put the finishing touches on our paper mache animals and painted the murals for our snowy murals for the hall. Tomorrow (Sunday) the 3 of us will spend the afternoon putting up the kid's polar projects and creating a polar atmosphere for our hall. I will post pictures as soon as I can!

Pictures soon of our polar projects!!

Peace and blessings,

Mouse tail Measuring Freebie!

I did not add mouse tail measuring to my Winter Measurement packet because it was the idea of my awesome co-teacher, Lisa! But I am offering it here as a freebie for any one interested in downloading it. There is a clip art copy of a mouse and a hand-drawn copy of a mouse that was drawn by me. I like the hand drawn one better than the clip art because there is no tail on it and therefore more fun to add a colored tail onto! Enjoy! Click here to download!

Preparing the scenes for the circus

This week we have been practicing for our circus as well as getting our scenery ready. Today the kids painted the background mural. We have 3 kindergartens and each one of us painted a circus mural. This is ours! Tomorrow the kids will be using paper mache to create their polar animal. As part of our polar unit, we are also teaching our students respect and stewardship for our Earth. So we came up with a unique idea of combining our polar unit with our 2nd annual kindergarten circus of the stars! The children will be performing their circus as a service project. We will be collecting a free will donation from our audience on our performance day as well as the rest of the student body during our circus parade. The money that we collect will go to polar bear international where we HOPE to have collected enough to "adopt" a polar bear. Besides creating scenery for our circus, we are also decorating our halls as a polar habitat which is where the children will be displaying their paper mache animal! Believe it or not, we are still managing to get our literacy centers, math, and religion units done ..... but we are certainly tired by the end of the day! Tomorrow, I will post pictures of our polar animal project...

Winter Rhyming Pictures

I am excited that one of my free products was featured in the TPT newsletter this week - Winter Rhyming Picture Match ! If you would like to download the free product, you can find it in my TPT store OR here is a Google doc link. Also if you already downloaded the product before 10:30 a.m. CST today (Sunday), you should re-download because I changed a few of the pictures.

Here are some pictures of my students using the rhyming words. I changed many of the pictures that you see, but you can get a general idea of what they did! This week the children will review the rhyming words and then use letter tiles to try to spell the new words. Besides working on spelling, we will also practice listening for phonemes.

Yikes! Are we REALLY going to be able to pull this off??

We just finished assessments - I KNOW assessing is SOOOO important, but it takes a lot of time because we assess one student at a time so that means that the rest of the children need to be working independently in a "fruitful" and fairly quiet way! :) It takes a lot of planning to get this done, but we got through it and report cards were sent into the office today! Hurray!

NOW, we are working together as an entire kindergarten (45 children total) to put on a circus to raise money to save the polar bears! Yikes! We just started practicing today and when our practice was over, our first words to each other (teachers) were "Oh my goodness, are we really going to be able to pull this off?!" :) BECAUSE besides practicing for our circus, we are decorating our kindergarten hall like the polar regions, and making paper mache paper animals as part of our theme decorations. We will be creating "Save Our Polar Regions" posters that the kids will carry during their circus parade as well as painting murals for our background scene. Of course, in between all this, we are teaching literacy, math, and religion! Whew!

I plan to put our entire circus unit into a packet, but it will take me awhile to get it ready for publication. My students are working to make a circus book by illustrating the pages with draw and cut techniques. Here is a sample of one of the pages.

A Little More Polar Bear

I am posting one more polar bear idea..... It is SOOOOO cool for the kids to see how tall a polar bear would be if he stood up on his hind legs - almost 10 feet tall! My co-partner, Lisa, gave me this idea! I enlarged the polar bear picture to 10 feet on our old overhead. I had to do it in two parts! The polar bear sketch is very skinny because I wanted him to fit in the laminating machine. So, the realism is a little off, but the IDEA of the height of a polar bear is brought into the classroom! I take each child's picture standing next to the polar bear - Wow! A polar bear is big!
Click here to get a copy of the polar bear sketch!

Blogger Friends Give-Away

Five lovely teaching blogs have teamed together for a huge give away! They are giving away some really fun products for a lucky teacher! Click on their buttons to get some wonderful teaching ideas as well as sign up for their give away!
Teaching First


MLK and Peace

We began our peace unit on Friday which was kicked off with a study of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There are so many wonderful resources to use that are based on this great man's life. One of my favorites is the Directed Art Lesson from TLC Lessons by Kaye Espinosa. She posted this as a free lesson a few years ago and I have used it ever since. The pieces are easy to cut and glue and go together pretty easily. The children glue the pieces onto a 12 inch x 18 inch piece of construction paper and fold it like a book so that Dr. King's face is on the front cover. Inside they write some sentences about peace. I did not scan their cute stories, but what they wrote brought happy smiles to my heart. If I get a chance, I will scan some of them when we return to school on Tuesday. As part of our peace unit, we talked about acceptance of people around the world. The bulletin board that we did is similar to many teacher's bulletin boards. But the little twist on this idea was that the children painted tiny little tie dye t-shirts to glue onto their paper person. I cut the person shape from our Ellison machine and then used this shape to make a pattern for a shirt. I traced the pattern onto a coffee filter and then the children painted their shirt with watercolor paints. They then used construction paper to make pants and hair and used their crayons to add details. It turned out cute! Our unit on "I'm a Peaceful Kid!" will continue through next week.

Thank you!

Jana from "Thinking Out Loud" nominated my new blog for the Versatile Blogger Award last week and I just figured out how to thank her and post her button! She has an awesome blog and if you click her button, you will find that out yourself!
Thinking Out Loud

As part of the award, I am to list 7 interesting things about myself... Hmmmm...
1. My favorite foods are finger foods. I could make an entire meal of appetizers....
2. My husband and I traveled to Prague in the Czech Republic last year to visit our daughter who was studying there and we will be traveling to Rome this spring to visit our son who is studying there this year!
3. I love flowers - especially the ones I grow in my garden!
4. I would SO MUCH rather do my arts and crafts than clean my house, do laundry, and cook!
5. My parents are the most wonderful people in the world and instilled in me a zest for life that keeps me focused on the positive.
6. My husband and my kids are my life lines!
7. I like to to do aerobics - both land and water!

Another rule is to list some newly discovered blogs.... I plan to do this in stages because I am just beginning this blogging adventure! Here are a few - some that I have been following and some that I discovered today!
1. Can Do Kinders
2. Under the Alphabet Tree
3. Kindergarten Kiosk
4. Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business
5. Mrs. Jump's Class
6. Growing Kinders
7. Mrs. Johnson's First Grade

So that is it for now..... Now I need to get that laundry finished! :)

Winter Math and Measuring!

I thought that today I would share what we did in Math this week. Our measurement unit has always been one that I haven't really enjoyed. And of course when the teacher isn't enjoying herself, the students are not either! So I decided to spruce things up a bit and write my own measuring unit and I was SOOO much more enthusiastic teaching it this week and I think my students had fun, too! PLUS, we covered one of our Common Core Math Standards and this is important, too!
So here are some pictures of what we did.... actually, let me first share how I organize my math centers. It's not rocket science, but it has taken me YEARS to find something that worked for me and made sense to my students. I was lucky enough to rescue a movable cart from an untimely death a few years ago and it has become my faithful friend! :) I am sure that if you are a teacher, you recognize the plastic boxes from Really Good Stuff. I attached green, blue, red, and yellow colored sticky dots onto each box in different orders and numbered them 1, 2, 3, 4. The children are divided into 4 math groups and their groups are labeled by color i.e. I have a red math group, a blue math group, a yellow math group, and a green math group. The children work in ONE color math group a day. (On the fifth day, we do large group math activities.) Here are some pictures of my boxes. The numbers denote DAYS. So on Day 1, I put the Box with the number 1 on it on the Red group's table, the box with the Number 1 on it on the Yellow group's table, the box with the number one on it on the Green group's table, and the box with the number one on the Blue group's table. Then on Day 2, each group gets the box with the number 2 on it and so on until day 4. Each box has a different center in it so that by Day 4 each group has done all 4 centers. When the children have finished their "have to" center, they may go to a choice math center until math time is over. Make sense????

Now on to the fun stuff.... !

I will start with the favorite center - the volume center! Why was it the favorite? Why the children could pour water into containers and make a mess and their teacher was okay with it! :)
One child was the "pourer" and one child was the "counter and recorder". They used a 1 cup measuring instrument as their measuring tool. Were their measurements accurate? Not really - especially when one group told me that there were 47 cups of water in the 2 quart pitcher! BUT they did get the general idea of how to measure volume and that is all we do in kindergarten - introduce ourselves to new concepts!

Another fun center was measuring weight. The children used a balance scale to compare weight to an apple. They walked around the classroom looking for items that were heavier, lighter, and equal to the weight of an apple. They found out that finding something that was equal to the weight of an apple was hard! They recorded their findings on a recording sheet.

To measure length, they used Unifix cubes to measure Winter pictures and then recorded and graphed their findings on a recording sheet.

They also used Unifix cubes to measure and cut yarn different lengths and then tape onto their recording sheet.

Next week, they will use Unifix cubes to measure area and play a size game with Unifix cube towers in 2 of their math centers.
If you are a teacher and would be interested in this unit, it is posted in my TPT store. Just click the picture and it will take you there!

Until next time!

Another Winter Fun Idea!

Shaving cream and glue - oh what fun that is!! Equal parts of each, a little paper, and diamond dust glitter and you have a beautiful snow picture! The MOST fun about this picture is that the paint stays puffy! The kids cannot stop touching it! We cut people shapes from the Ellison machine, put out construction paper scraps and let the kids go to town! Fun! After completion, they wrote about their "Snowy Day!"


We had our first winter snow today! The children were so excited when they got to school, so after lunch everyone put on their coats and went outside. I gave each child a piece of black paper and we caught snowflakes! We looked at their shapes and tried to see if we could catch a complete snowflake! It was fun! But the wind kept us from staying outside for a long time, so we came back inside and created paper snowflakes in a warmer place!

Here are some examples of fun snow projects that we made this week! The first is an idea that I got from Pinterest. It is a snowy neighborhood and today we REALLY saw a snowy neighborhood outside our school window! Here is my Pinterest link where you will find this idea: I'm not real organized yet on my boards, but you should be able to figure them out!
The children made houses from construction paper and were told that they had to create at least 3 houses and add details. When finished, they used their paintbrushes to create a snowy day! When completed, they had to write some sentences or words about their snowy house.

Here are our patchwork snowmen.

I gave the children white paper to create a
snow man. I told them that their snowman had to hold something in its stick arms. They used pieces of fabric and buttons to add details and then used Q-tips dipped in white paint to make snow. When finished they had to write a story about what their patchwork snowman was holding in its arms.

We talked a little about quilts and after wards I asked the children to create a paper winter quilt. I pre-cut the 4 inch x 4 inch paper blocks and the children glued them onto 12 inch x 18 inch construction paper. On each block, they were told to create an image of themselves, a winter tree, a mitten, a house, a snowflake, and a snowman.They are super cute! I wish I could post them all!