Sunday, September 28, 2014

Apple Day with A is for Apples!

This time of year is definitely my favorite....APPLE theme time! I think it goes without saying that I love apples!! The only way I'll actually eat an apple though is with Jif whipped chocolate peanut butter. (You haven't heard of it?! Seriously, you need to try it!)

This past week we started learning all about apples. On Friday, we celebrated Johnny Appleseed's birthday by having a full day of apple activities and apple snacks.

To start our apple journey, I read a couple non-fiction books and then we did a whole group tree map graphic organizer. After our whole group discussion, I had my students fill out their own graphic organizers. I'm really proud of what my students are able to accomplish this early in the year!

These organizers come from my Fall Tree Map Graphic Organizers pack, a differentiated pack of organizers and matching writing pages for the best season of all...fall!

My students also showed their expertise and knowledge on apples by labeling the parts of an apple and the life cycle from my All About Apples pack.

Being able to make learning fun is one of the reasons I love teaching, and love teaching Kindergarten! Friday was one of those days that made me smile and enjoy my job during the still stressful back to school time.

I brought apple snacks and cider and came ready with lots of activities to have my students do throughout the day on Friday!

Activity 1: Apple Smiles
I brought in my apple slicer and showed the students how it separates the core and slices the apple. They were amazed (and so is my husband)! Since I have a peanut allergy this year, we used white frosting to spread on the apples and then placed mini marshmallows on to make a smile. Mostly, the kids just made a mess and licked their fingers, but they were loving it!!

Activity 2: Silly Hats for Ten Apples Up on Top
This is a wonderful activity from my dear friend Mrs. Leeby! After the students colored the apples, they cut them and glued them in a pattern on a sentence strip. Then, I made it into a hat for them! I didn't get a chance to take pics of the kids wearing the hats because we were all chowing down on applesauce at the end of the day!!

Activity 3: Sorting Mats with Apple Jacks
I had a parent bring in Apple Jacks and I knew I wanted the students to use them for something before they snacked on them so I came up with these sorting mats. Just print and laminate these mats to make a new math center game! I taped together the 2 mats below to make a bigger counting to 10 mat.

You can choose from 3 different fall themes with these mats - apples, pumpkins, and leaves. These are great for math centers and small groups! Students can practice counting to 5 and 10, sorting by color, and making patterns. See the full pack HERE.

End of the day snack: "Homemade" Applesauce and Apple Cider
I totally stole this idea from Amy over at Learning Lessons with Mrs. Labrasciano! I knew I wouldn't have time beforehand to prep everything for homemade applesauce so I brought in 2 big jars and dumped them in the Crock Pot with some cinnamon. I put it on warm during the day and stirred it a lot to fill the room with the wonderful aroma of warm applesauce. The kids loved it and we still talked about the ingredients that you would need (since they all said the ingredients were "applesauce!!!!") We also had apple cider because we're reading Apple Orchard Race from my favorite chapter book series Ready, Freddy. The kids in the story go on a field trip to an apple orchard and see how apple cider gets made. Every year I read this book and bring in apple cider to have the students try and compare it to apple juice. I didn't hear any spit ups so I think everyone liked it this year!!

You can find this brag tag in my Special Days of School pack
but I'm giving it to you for FREE right HERE!!

I'm always looking for new ideas to add to my apple unit! I'd love to hear about the apple activities you do in your classroom this time of year! Leave a comment and tell me all about it! Make sure you're following me on Facebook and Instagram to see what I'm doing for apple day next year!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five for Friday!

Seems like the only time I get around to blogging these days is to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching! The beginning of this school year has just exhausted me!! Hopefully it'll start calming down so I can be around more!!

 So this week started off with another day of one teacher splitting up her class among all the other Kindergarten classes so she could do the FAIR assessment with her students (since we needed a silent room and had to wear headphones!) Then, on Monday afternoon this happened... Florida suspends a controversial exam as debate widens over school testing. BEST. NEWS. EVER.

I finally finished the alphabet watches that I had been working on one week at a time. My students love making these and wearing them home everyday! I have them work on the watches when we come in from playground as a "calm down, cool down" activity. Before I tape it on their wrist I ask them for the letter and sound. It lets me know real quick who has it... and who still needs it! I also love how the parents know what letter we're working on since they come home wearing a letter watch each day!

{Click on the cover below to see it in my store.}

The past couple weeks in math have been all about numbers. One of the things my students have to learn is how to show numbers in different ways. On the way home from work earlier in the week, an idea popped into my head! I created posters and two packs (#s 1-10 and #s 11-20) for ways to show numbers. Here's how it looked in my classroom!

I printed the blank page from the pack using the poster option on Adobe, then laminated and taped the pages together. I had the students help me model each number before they went to their seats to work independently.

Click on the cover images to see the packs in my store!!

The posters pack has a color and black and white version to save on some ink!
Click on the cover image to see the posters in my store!

This week we did our first interactive sight word book from Maria over at Kinder-Craze! I guess modeling how to do it really worked (and they actually listened!) because my kids did an awesome job!!

It's no secret that I love food!! Yesterday, Moe's Southwest Grill had free queso day! Moe's is my comfort food so it was worth sitting in bumper to bumper traffic to get my burrito and queso!!
Today, the 4th graders had a fund raiser for their big field trip by selling Coldstone during lunch. There was no way I was missing out on ice cream at lunch! Chocolate, chocolate, and more good!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five for's been awhile!

It's been awhile, but I'm finally linking up again with Doodle Bugs Teaching for another Five for Friday! Here's a peek into my week!

Today is my first post on the Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals blog! Head over to see what product is being featured and will be on sale for only $1 for the next 3 days!!

It was our 3rd week of school and we finally got some good Literacy Stations going on! I'm one happy teacher seeing them already working semi-independently!! Check it out!

One of my students brought these in for snack this week. Half of my students asked what the red stick was for... I don't know about you, but I totally grew up eating these!! I couldn't believe they didn't know about the amazingness of the red spreader stick!!

Lots of alphabet activities this week! 
Every day for morning work my students have been working on these search and find pages. I have it so that every morning they are reviewing the letter we learned the day before. It's also helping them learn their color words! I just love having something with super simple prep...oh wait, no prep!
Check out this pack in my store
(So fitting that today's page used the colors orange and blue since I was wearing my Gator gear today to show my team spirit for the game tomorrow!! )

Another page we've been doing every day comes from my Print & Go! Activities for Letters & Sounds pack - handwriting, handwriting, handwriting! The letters on these pages are printed in a light gray for easy tracing and handwriting practice. I have the students trace with a marker to get a good feel for the letter formation (and using markers helps make it more fun! No complaining about writing!) I love hearing them read the sentence at the bottom of each page too! (Dd is for dog.)

Well, I'm exhausted and starting to feel the stuffy nose and scratchy throat that kept several of my students home this week. Hoping to catch up on some sleep this weekend!