March 30, 2014

Vehicle Frenzy

Is it a plane? A train? An automobile?
Does is travel by air, by land, or by sea?
What's the color? Size? Shape? Design?

Oh my, were we busy with vehicles and learning about transportation this past week! We covered a lot of ground in reading, writing, math, and social studies and the children really stepped up to the different challenges we gave them! Check out all of their awesome work below...

We reviewed sorting this week. We worked on sorting by one attribute and then moved to sorting by two attributes at the same time and explaining how they sorted their groups. Tough work, but they did great!

Sorting by color....

Sorting by color and type....

Sorting with cards....

We have been reading stories like Sheep in a Jeep, Duck in a Truck, Duck on a Bike, Red Racer, and more! We focused on events from the story and identifying whether they were true or false and fantasy or reality. We used our transportation leveled readers and played a variety of sight word review games also! The children also sorted how vehicles travel through a transportation book and vehicle classification organizer.

Parking Lot Sight Words...

Vehicle Classification...


Cut and paste classification organizer....

Wow! They blew us away!
We have been dictating, copying, and filling in sentence frames since September....then we moved to writing one complete sentence by November....most children now write two sentences in response to most stories we read. This week we changed it up and challenged them to write a story after a short mini-lesson. They did GREAT and we loved reading what these young authors had to say! 


We also did a mini-lesson on expanding their routine "favorite part" writing to give multiple reasons for choosing their favorite vehicle. Again, WOW! We are so proud of our little authors! Some filled a page and went beyond...others filled a page who we might not have expected...and a few may have only written one sentence, but they, too, have grown leaps and bounds this year! 

Favorite vehicle...


No big unit is complete without a special snack! This one was pretty easy...graham crackers, frosting, and
 M & M's to make a stoplight. They loved it!


Adding the lights...

The finished product!

The best part....

A few of these activities are already in our store and you can grab them here:

We *might* also be adding some more of it to our store very soon!

Our graphing lesson from the week before isn't pictured in this post, but it is available in our store if you're interested.

Don't forget our entire store is 20% off for the Spring Clean-Up Sale!
The sale runs through March 31st.

What's your favorite transportation-themed
classroom activity?
We'd love to hear about some fun to plan and save for next year!

We are "Down on the Farm" for the next couple of weeks now.
We hope you have a great week!

March 15, 2014

Centers 'O Fun!

We are so excited about our new St. Patrick's Day centers!! We couldn't wait to get them laminated and cut out so the children could use them guess what? The children were just as excited about them as we were!!

You can check this new center pack out in our TpT store here.

Here are some pictures of the new centers in action!
Up first, I Spy!

Our new favorite: Scrambled Sight Words!

Write the Room! This is always a favorite in our classrooms!

 Next, working with place value!

Roll a Leprechaun!

Secret Shamrock Numbers!

We had so much fun with these different centers, we will probably leave them out until the end of March, not just St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you! What kind of fun stuff do you have planned for your students?

March 12, 2014

Decomposing Numbers with a Cute Shamrock Number Bond!

Common Core has given some new vocabulary to our students, and for some reason they really love this word: DECOMPOSE!

We have used ten frames, whole-part-part math mats, and manipulative visuals, but they seem to really love our new shamrock number bonds! (We love that number bonds can be used when we are learning to compose AND decompose numbers...what a great tool!)

Before we did this in groups, we even made larger shamrocks to act out decomposing a set of three using student groups...they liked that!


 Number bonds have the same idea as a whole-part-part, but there is something more fun about sliding counters down the bond to decompose in different ways!

Here's a way to differentiate the same activity...

They loved being little detectives to find multiple ways to decompose each numeral and then they worked together to record their equations. They did an individual assessment like this later on also.

You can find these number bonds in our store here.

You can also check out our St. Patrick's Day Cube Game Freebie and Shamrock Centers!

The children love repeating this little rhyme:
I love math, I'm super smart!
I decompose numbers, I take them apart!

Gotta love a song or rhyme that helps the kiddos remember and use their new Math Talk. :-)
Do you use post your math vocabulary in your classroom to refer to while you teach? Here's a section of our math word wall...

We would like to make number bonds for different seasonal themes or some that we could use year-round.
What kind of number bonds would YOU want for YOUR classroom?

March 6, 2014

Oh That Silly Cat!

Today we read The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss! Who doesn't love that silly cat that comes into your home and wrecks havoc? At least he cleans up after himself right?

We have been spending  a lot of time in our classrooms discussing characters, major and minor, and how they are important to a story. Today we delved into character traits and how their actions help the reader to get to know the characters better.

We looked at photographs of people and animals with different expressions on their face and the children discussed what a possible character trait would be to describe them. Some of the descriptive words used were happy, sad, angry, disrespectful, and curious.

After reading, children completed a journal telling about the trait of one character from the story. They used actions and events from the story to back up their answers. Here are a few of their journals:

"The Cat in the Hat is strong. He is strong because he lifted a big box."

"The girl was friendly. She was friendly because she shaked hands to Thing One and Thing Two."

"The cat in the hat was talented. He was talented because he could stand on a ball and hold two books and hold a umbrella with a fish and have a cup and a cake and have a fan on his tail."
Wow!! That is talent. Hee hee.

 In math today we worked on completing number sentences using a part/part/whole mat. Children worked in cooperative groups to draw counters to complete the math mats and make the number sentences correct.

Look at these adorable cats that we created also!

What other fun Cat in the Hat activities did you do with your students?
We are always looking for new and fun ideas!

March 5, 2014

GoNoodle! Brain Breaks and Movement in the Classroom

We all know that movement and transitions in any early childhood classroom are SO important! Sometimes we sing a song, follow a silly direction, stretch our bodies, hop around, and so much more.

Guess what we found?!? A super fun and always engaging website that combines singing, dancing, moving, and exercise all in one...PLUS it has cute characters, goal setting, and much more too!

With all of our indoor recess during this super cold and snowy winter, GoNoodle has been an asset to our classrooms and the children ask for it daily!

Here are some of their favorite brain breaks and silly photos as they let loose!

We love the Dinosaur Stomp...

Working on our hurdles...
A few of their other favorites are Ants in Your Pants, I'm Happy, and Zumba!

We've been tracking our progress with our little man, Tiny O'Flexem! But he's not so little anymore...Check out his muscles!

Have you tried or heard of GoNoodle? If not, give it a whirl with your students and enjoy!

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