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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Organize it Tuesday!

Hey friends!  Hope everyone is having a fabulous week so far!  It is hard to believe October is almost over! As for getting organized this week, I am going to follow up with my notebooks.  I am glad to hear you all like this idea!  I LOVE my notebooks!  They make planning so much easier.  I am including some pictures of one of my notebooks this week.  Lets talk about the "guts" of the notebook.  I had to go through my files and get rid of some stuff.  All teachers are guilty of hanging on to way too many things.  I found that I had multiple copies of different items.  I also found that some things had been filed in the wrong folder (easy to do when using a filing cabinet that is FULL-LOL!)!  So, I went through all my materials, keeping only one master copy of each item.  I marked my masters with a yellow highlighter.  When you copy, the yellow does not show up.  Great way of keeping up with the originals!  After I weeding through my paper work, I then organized them, hole punched and placed in the appropriate notebook.  If I had a project that I made an example of I placed it in front of the papers need to create the project.  The notebook is divided on the inside by letter and theme.  There are so many options to use with this organization technique.  We would love to hear if you use notebooks to organize your materials, and how you do it!  Enjoy the picture!

                     Front Cover of "H" Book

Spine of "H" Book (just labeled with a sharpie)

                Inside tabs for letter "H" book

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Going Batty!

So this week our class studying spiders and bats. I found some awesome activities thanks to Mrs. Larremore at Chalk Talk: A Kindergarten Blog. This was the first year that I did anything with bats so I had a little trouble coming up with ideas. We tried most of her activities and the kids LOVED the all! Thank you to Mrs. Larremore for sharing your ideas with teachers all around!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Halloween Activities

Hello, friends!  So sorry we have been absent for a while.  We have been doing some restructuring to the blog, but now we're back with some great ideas coming your way!  Today, I would like to give you some fun & spooky ideas for Halloween activities to do in your classroom or at home with your kiddos.  Some of the ideas came from My Delicious Ambiguity, an awesome blog full of ideas for children!  You should check it out!

1.  Hot Pumpkin:  Play like "Hot Potato," but pass a fake pumpkin instead.  When the music stops, whoever is holding the pumpkin has to answer a review question.  Take this time to review any skills you have learned up until now (sight words, letter sounds, numbers, etc).

2.  Spook-E-Do: Tell the children that each one of them will have a chance to show the others in the group a trick.  Call on a child and lead the group to chant: "Hello, (Child's Name), Spook-E-Doo. What is the trick you are going to do? Will you hop, or bend, or spin around? Stretch, or wiggle, or touch the ground?" Continue until all the children have had a chance to show their trick.   

3. Monster Freeze Dance: Play Halloween music and have the kids dance around like monsters! The Monster Mash is a great song for this game. 
When the music stops the kids freeze in their monster positions. 
The first kid to move is out, and the game continues until only one child is left.

4. Pumpkin Patch: Have children find places in the room and crouch down to look like pumpkins. Adult walks around the room saying: "Pumpkin Patch, pumpkin patch. Looking for a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch. Here's one nice and fat, turn into a jack-o-lantern just like that!". Adult stops and taps the child closest to her on the word "that" and then child gets up and joins adult by the hand. The activity repeats until all the children have been chosen. 

5. Halloween Exercises: 1. Pumpkin fists (make tight fists)
2. Boo hands (have the children stretch their hands as far as they can saying "boo!!")
3. Spiders (tapping fingers on the table/floor).
4. Smashing spiders (smash "spiders" with flat hands onto table or floor).
5. Witches hats (use pincer fingers to make a triangle, place it on your head and cackle like a witch).
6. Two ghosts flying (have the children take their hands and press the palms together and "fly" with their arms).
7. Frankenstein sitting (chair or floor sit ups with flat palms).
8. Shake the scaries out (shake your whole body).

6. Guess The Ghost: Start by having the kids sit/stand in a circle.
Have one child leave the room and take a large sheet and have another child stand and hide under the sheet. Mix up the remaining children in the room and then allow the child who left the room to come back inside. That child has to guess who's the ghost, by process of elimination they need to figure out which child is hiding under the sheet. Then that "ghost" goes out of the room and a different child becomes the new ghost, mix up the remaining children and repeat until all of the children have had a turn being the ghost.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Organize it Tuesdays!

Okay Teachers it is time to get organized!  We are normally start the year pretty organized, but after the first six weeks things start to get a little messy.  One thing I have found difficult to organize is my units of study.  I labeled them, put them into file folders, and placed them in a filing cabinet.  Seemed like a good way to organize my papers, but over the years the folders have gotten fuller and projects are bent or torn from the over crowded drawers.  I found myself looking for other ways to organize these materials.  I needed something that would not take up a lot of space.  I had a fabulous mentor teacher my first year (and a fellow FBU girl)  who organized her units by notebooks.  She stored them in empty cubbies.  So I have collected binders, sorted through materials, and I now have notebooks that are storing all my materials for my units of study!  I LOVE IT!  I can pull the notebook and bring it home with me to do my planning.  Everything I need is secure in one place.  No worries about things falling out of the folder or being torn up as you pull the drawer open.  I am also getting rid of a filing cabinet which creates more space in the classroom.  This could be an expensive way to organize, but be on the look for bargains!  Collect what you can and gradually covert your old files into notebooks.  You can organize them by letters, units of study, season, months, etc.  Since I teach Kindergarten, I organized mine by letters.  Inside the letter Aa notebook, I created dividers using my old file folders (a little cutting and hole punching is all they need).  I can pull my letter Aa notebook and find all my letter Aa work, and my units of study that begin with Aa (like apples, all about me, etc.).  I LOVE my notebooks and feel much more organized!