Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Pond - Any ideas, anyone?

 We are studying the pond for the next week and dinosaurs after that.  Any good ideas for kinders, anyone?  If so, please send them my way!!!
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Insect Math and Science Updated

I've been working through glitches with Tpt this week.  Ugh.  But they've been very helpful.  I was trying to update this unit because I added more activities, but it wouldn't replace the old file.  The tech had to manually do it for me.  Then last night, I kept trying to upload the new file, and I noticed today there multiple copies. This is the latest file!  I hope you like it!

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Finally...My Insect Math and Science Journal Unit...

is now online at Tpt.  It goes along with my Insects Literacy Unit.  I will be posting photos of my students using the activities in the next couple days.  It has taken me a long time to finish it because the keys on my laptop are wearing out on me, I think.  I keep having to go back to retype letters.  UGH.  But this computer is 4-5 years old and has gotten A LOT of use!

I had a lot of fun creating this unit and I could keep on adding...and maybe I will.  If you do purchase a unit, remember you get free upgrades!

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

I'm Seeing Spots!!!

Spots, spots, spots!  Yesterday I created a set of "I Have, Who Has....Ten Frames 11 to 30" cards for my class out of frustration.  Every morning the children put a counter into our ten frame if they are buying a tray from the cafeteria. 
Once everyone has arrived at school, I choose a student to "FLASH" the ten frames to the class.  We talk about what we saw.  For example, "I saw a 10 and a 2."  "I saw a 9 and a 2."  And from those who just PLAINLY WEREN'T LOOKING, "I saw a 5 and a 5."  Ugh.  Not looking? Doesn't care?  Doesn't get it?!  So, I made this set of cards for us to practice.  Now, let me mention, we do NOT have 30 children in our kindergarten classrooms.  And we do NOT expect the children to subitize (form mental pictures) for all the quantities of numbers past twenty.  Heck, if I could get them to subitize just to 10 I would be dancing!  BUT, I do think this game, played many times, might help with the familiarity of numbers past 10! 
I just love these graphics from The 3am Teacher!

BTW, I LOVE these foam ten frames! They are great for so many activities.  Suggestion: If you're going to FLASH the frames, be sure to have the children put the counters in with only red showing since an "empty" square has a blue background.  Otherwise the children will not know if the blue they see is a counter or an empty frame.

Have a GREAT Saturday!  I'm off to see Titanic at the local playhouse.  One of our teachers is in the performance as Molly Brown!  (Why I am watching all of these 100th anniversary shows about Titanic when I am going on a cruise in July is BEYOND ME!)

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Friday, April 20, 2012

TpT issue resolved

I have been having some issues with Tpt and uploading a revised version of my Butterfly and Other Insect themed unit.  If you purchased my unit, you can now download the revised edition.  I discovered a few mistakes and also added more sight words to the "I'm Hungry" game, added some cards to the Write the Room activity, and added stationary for writing about your creatures.  If any part of the unit doesn't work for you or you need clarification, PLEASE email me!  I aim to please!  seaberry@cfl.rr.com


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T.G.I.F.!!!! What a week!  This week our whole school had to change schedules, procedures, etc., to administer the F.C.A.T. statewide testing!  Although my little kinders didn't attack the CAT, they certainly felt the effects of it.  The behavior of even the best students really deteriorated as the week went on.  Today....well, suffice it to say, I was glad when it was over!!!  I love my little ones, but I didn't like keeping a bunch of ants in a can!

And speaking of ants.....here's a little freebie for you:  (If you like it, there are more pages like it in my butterfly/insect unit.)

Happy Earth Day!

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Butterfly (and other insect) Themed Literacy Unit

Well, I have decided that...for now....I am going to have to call it quits on this unit.  I could keep on going forever, I think.  But I have so many other things I need to start attending to!  Just ask my husband!  :-)

Here are two screenshots of the activities in the unit:

This unit is available on my Tpt store.  If you like it, please leave me a comment or feedback!

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A Picnic of Words

I made a unit to go along with our "Amazing Creatures" unit and I just can't seem to stop!  At first it was just caterpillars and butterflies, but then I wanted to add some other "creatures"....and it just keeps growing!  In fact, it has grown so big, I am going to have to split it into two - math and literacy - because I have been unsuccessful making it into a pdf.  I don't know if it's because of the size of the document or that my computer's RAM isn't big enough.  (I have an OLD computer!) 

This activity is for a Literacy Station.  Children will build words by building an ant.  The head is the (C) and the thorax/abdomen are the (VC).  Included are the ants, letters, and a recording sheet.  I have NOT used this yet with my students.  (I just made it while unwinding from a long, long week!)  Please leave me a coment if you download it and would love your feedback if you use it with your students! 
In the meantime......here's a freebie for you!  Happy T.G.I.F.!

Today was our kindergarten music program, "In Our Backyard".  Before we left the classroom, the students reported to me that the chrysalids were getting "transparent".  I looked at them and sure enough they had gone from grass green to almost black!  I told them that if we were lucky we might be able to watch them come out of the chrysalids.  I hoped aloud that they wouldn't wait until the weekend to emerge.  Well, wouldn't you know it, we went to perform for the parents and when we returned about 50 minutes later, both caterpillars had emerged!  They were BEAUTIFUL!

True story:  In the afternoon I told the students we were going to release the butterflies because we didn't  have food for them and they needed to be free.  I asked them if they wanted to name them before we released them.  They came up with almost as many names as there were children, but one name that kept popping up was "Hannah".  We couldn't decide on a boy's name.  Finally, going out the door we decided we'd name them after Junie B. Jones and Sheldon.  When the first butterfly came out of the habitat, it flew right out and "lit" on one of our little girls' head - Hannah's!  It stayed there for the longest time.  We decided it really did want the name of "Hannah"!

(More photos coming soon!)

After the butterfly release, we joined another kindergarten class that was releasing butterflies.  EVERYONE got to hold not one...or two...or three ladybugs.  There were more than enough ladybugs to go around!

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

OMG! A Second Award?....I'm so excited!

I just discovered that I had a comment....from over a week ago that I am just now seeing!  It was from Amanda at "Inspired in Second".  She left me a surprise, and oh what a wonderful surprise it was!  Thank you, Amanda!  I am honored...even if I am a bit slow.  Be sure to check out Amanda's "Whisper Wizard" necklaces!  Amanda is a Canadian blogger, blogging from Kuwait!  How interesting is that?!

Now, I am going to pass on this lovely award to five other well-deserving bloggers.  This has not been an easy task, deciding on five bloggers, because everytime I start looking at blogs, I get lost in the blogosphere because there's "just one more" that I have discovered and want to see!

Hurray for FDK (check out Five Time Friday)
Rubber Boots and Elf Shoes (if THAT doesn't grab your attention...)
Sprinkles to Kindergarten (check out her giant Ten Frame)
Mrs. Bremer's Kindergarten (LOVE her spri ng nature walk)
Pocket Full of Kinders (oodles of reading ideas)

The Rules, should you decide to accept this award:
1.  Link back to the blogger who gave you the award.
2.  Pass it on to five more lovely bloggers.
3.  Follow the award sender.

Thanks again, Amanda. And good luck to my five lovely bloggers. I hope you don't get "lost" in your search for your five bloggers!


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Friday, April 6, 2012

"I'm Hungry!" - Number Bond Freebie

The main goal for the kindergarten math curriculum in our district is for the students to have "subitized" all the number bonds for the numbers 0-10 by first grade.  This has not been as easy as it may sound to some.  It is a work in progress and we continue to try to find a "back door" to learning this.  Are any of the rest of you kinder teachers finding this to be difficult?  Any tips to share? 

For our unit on Amazing Creatures, I have put together a small game called "I Am Hungry!" with a caterpillar theme.  The main graphics are from an amazing artist with a "call name" of Melonheadz.  She has an Etsy shop.  The other graphics are from The 3am Teacher, and KPM Doodles, also other favorite graphic artists of mine!

The game is played a bit like "Go Fish" with ten frames and/or number cards.  This is a recording sheet that I made to go along with it.

Grab it here

For the whole game, click on the photo which will take you to  my Tpt store.
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Springtime is Here!

Or should I say, "SUMMERTIME is here!"  No, not summer vacation.  Summer weather!  It reached 90 degrees yesterday!  Oh My Gosh! The kids are already ready to go in from recess after just 15 minutes of running around!  What will summertime be like in July/August in Florida?  I am so glad I'll be going to Alaska for a couple weeks in the summer.  I just hope we don't have any major hurricanes head our way, but with the ocean heating up already.....  The father of one of my students was transferred to Colorado.  He and his mother will join him when school is out in May.  They went to visit him not long ago, and it was warm!  Then just the other day there was snow on the ground.  The mom said to me, "Can you imagine what it is going to be like trying to dress him for school in that type of weather?!"  Oh, we Floridians have no clue!
But back to SPRINGTIME.....

We have two monarch chrysalises at the moment. (There are three on the plant, but we gave one to another class.) The students came in on Thursday morning and were excited to see that the caterpillars had attached themselves with silk to the top of the habitat and were hanging in a "J".  I told them that we would probably see some chrysalises before the day was over. 

As they were getting down to their morning work and I was greeting students at the door, one of the children yelled, "Mrs. Berry, Mrs. Berry, I think I see some green!  I think it's starting!"  I went over, and sure enough, it had started to form its Chrysalis.  I called them all over and they watched the miracle in progress! 

Once it had completed its chrysalis formation and had stopped wiggling, I put the habitat under the Doc Cam and told the students we would just keep it up on the projector and maybe we would see when the other one started its chrysalis formation.  Well, sure enough, about 15 minutes later when we were at Carpet Time, one of my little ones noticed the 2nd one starting the process.  So we watched it on the Big Screen and I was able to videotape much of the process.  The kids were sooooo funny!  The 2nd one was more active in its formation and it went much more rapidly.  One of my students said, "It's doing The Worm!"  Someone else said, "No, it's doing The Caterpillar!"  I turned around while filming and saw a whole bunch of the students standing up with their hands close by their sides, wriggling around and they did indeed look like that caterpillar!  I could kick myself for not turning the camera on them!  It was hilarious!  They certainly involved many of their senses in THAT lesson!
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Going Eggy! Study of Oviparous Creatures

Yesterday was OVIPAROUS day - everything having to do with eggs!  (We have to be careful of using the word "Easter" because it is a Christian holiday and we aren't supposed to do anything related to regligion, unless we talk about all religions....but you all already know that, right?!)  So, we read all sorts of books - some fiction, some non-fiction, and then the students were given some choices for writing:
  • Fictional story about findng an egg and what was inside it
  • Non-fictional paper about oviparous animals
Now my students are a young group this year overall, so I use the term "story" VERY loosely when I talk about their writing.  We are finally getting our sound/letter relationships down and I can read decipher the words....for the most part.  It certainly looks like we will be working on handwriting even more after this writing activity!  And in spite of not focusing on "Easter" in the classroom, you can't take it out of their heads!  The Easter Bunny was first and foremost on most of their minds!

Here are a couple samples of our writing and art work, but if you'd like to see the full span of writing abilities in my classroom, please visit my classroom blog.  My students LOVE to use watercolors.  Maybe it has something to do with my love of watercolors....???  I am also one who makes sure the children have opportunities to do art work of their own creations, not just pre-fab or template drawn creations.  They never cease to amaze me what they come up with!


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Page 2

Our modified (and probably incomplete) Circle map of Oviparous animals