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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Dollar Tree Math and Literacy Centers

 Hi peeps! I hope you had an amazing Spring Break and recharged your batteries.

I used my break to plan out the next couple of weeks in my classroom. 
My students needed some extra CVC and sight word practice so I created some fun word searches for them. 

I am planning to use the  CVC, Fry Sight Words, and Dolch Word Searches to send home as homework with littles. 

Over the break I made a little pit stop at the Dollar Tree, which is NEVER a good idea, and saw some vases and gems and had an idea for a few centers for our Ocean Week. 

I picked up 2 vases, I will use these for fishbowls, and 2 packs of rounded, clear gems. 
I pulled out my Sharpies and got right to work. I wrote letters on one set and numbers on the other. It took me a few tries to get the lettering right, hello spring break brain and writing backwards, but after about an hour I had all the stones written on. I think that my students are going to be thrilled with their new centers. 

Here is a quick look at the centers that my students will use this week. 

This center is to help my students practice short vowel sounds. I used colored Sharpies to write the vowels on the stones and placed them into the fishbowl. Students will pull a stone, find a picture to match the vowel sound, and use the bingo dot marker to dot the picture the same color as the vowel on the stone they pulled. 

This center is to practice ordering letters. Students will pull 3 stones and write the letters in the correct order

Some of my students are still struggling with this skill so I included an Alphabet Line for those who need the extra support. 

For this next center you will need 2 fishbowls. Place all the consonants into one of the bowls and all the vowels into the other. In this center students will practice building CVC words and will determine if a word is a real or nonsense word. 

Students will pull 2 stones from the consonant bowl and one from the vowel bowl. 

Students will then order the letters, write it, and use a dot marker to determine if the word is a real or nonsense word. 

For the number word center place numbers 0-10,11-20, or a mix of numbers into the fishbowl. Students pull a number and write the number word. 

Next up is the addition and subtraction center. Students pull a gem and find a problem on their printable that equals the number on the stone. 
Before and After Center 
 Making Ten using Goldfish

or in my case Whales because I forgot to buy the Goldfish

You can pick up all these centers by click the picture below. 

Have an amazing week peeks!

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Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Bit Of Writing

Hiya peeps!

Welcome back

Can you believe that writing is one of my least favorite subjects to teach?
I think I had such a disdain for it because it can be so tedious and many times I always feel like my hair is on fire and my students are just looking at me like....

Writing, to me, can often be dry and boring. Writing was never interesting to me as a kid. My teachers would always just hand me a pencil and say, "write!" 
My response would always be to write what?! I had nothing to write about.
I mean I was a kid
My life wasn't really that interesting. 

I find that my littles say the same thing. 
They are so uninspired and feel like they don't have anything to write about. 
Over the course of the year I created several printables, here and there, to spice up and inspire my littles to write. 
Click on any of the pictures below to snag these writing freebies. 


Peace Out Peeps

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Teaching Writing and a Huge Freebie

Hiya peeps,

It has been a loooong time since I blogged.  I sort of  fell out of love with blogging. I needed to take a step back. I had no idea that step backwards would result in a nearly 2 year absence. But I am back and "plan" to get back on the proverbial horse. 


Today I wanted to talk a little about how I teach writing. Our school wide writing system is the 
four square writing method. The idea behind using  4 square writing is to help student organize 
their writing into a meaningful and cohesive piece. The goal is to have students write a paragraph by
the time they leave kindergarten. Don't worry this sounds much more advanced than it really is.  
The students write 1 sentence each day on a given topic and at the end of the week they 
combine their sentences to create a paragraph. On Day 1 students write about the topic and over the 
course of the next 3 days they write/draw/label a detail that relates to the topic. Then on Day 5 students
create a short sentence to sum up their writing.  Once students have written their initial paragraph
we spend the next week editing and publishing their work.  

This process can take up to 10 days to complete.  At the very beginning of the year every one's writing is essentially the same but as students begin to understand the process their writing begins to become more individual and unique. 

The teacher usually comes up with a topic for the writing. The topics are either based on our story for
the week, special events or happenings in our classroom i.e. field trips, classroom parties, etc, or our science topic. On Monday we present the writing topic to our students. We ask students to tell what they know about the topic. We create an Anchor Chart listing everything that we can think of 
based on the topic. The chart is interactive and students draw and add to it over the course of the week. Each day students pick one of the words on the chart and use that to write about in their 4 square writing. 

At the very beginning of the year students use pictures to express their writing.  

Each day we fill in one box relating to the topic. To begin 4 square you want to use topics that students can easily relate to for example school. At the end of the week we came up with a short sentence to sum up our writing.
This would be a example of what our 4 square writing might look like in September. 

As students become more familiar with the process we begin to label our writing.

This would be an example of our writing in late October/early November. 

But as the year progresses and the students begin to move from essentially labeling to simple sentences to more complex, and detailed sentences by the end of the year. As students become better writers they are given more freedom with their writing. We move to more broader topics and  from everyone having the same 4 square writing to more individual writing. We all write about the same topic but the student's individual writing varies. For example, our umbrella topic could be about animals but students are given freedom to write about anything they want that pertains to the topic. So one student might write about mammals, another might write about scary animals, while another might write about pets. Everyone writes about the same topic but students are given the freedom to write about what interests them. 

An example of how students combine their writings from the 4 square chart to create a paragraph.

 Here is a look at some of  my students 4 square writings. This is one of the very first writings we did as a class. Since it was the beginning of the year every one's writing looked the same. 

Teacher Copy:

Student's Copy:

The 4 square method is easily adaptable. We used it in conjunction with the Can, Have, Are 
graphic organizer. Our topic for the week was plants. On Monday, we wrote and talked about our topic: Plants. On Tuesday, we filled in the can column about wrote about things that plants can do. Wednesday we wrote about what plants have and on Thursday we wrote about what plants are.  This is one of the first writings that we did where students writings began to vary. Students began to use stem sentences for their writing. 

They would write 

*Plants can...
*Pants have...
*Plants are...

and they would pick one word from the anchor chart to complete their sentence. 

I wanted to give my students more opportunities to write so I began to send home the Write Away sheets for homework. I was initially very skeptical about how parents would respond to their babies writing paragraphs in kindergarten but the response was great. The littles writing grew so much!  I created these little sheets in 2012 and had many requests to make more and update them but never got around to doing so. 


 here is me

In 2016

Finally getting around to updating and posting these

Even if you don't use 4 square I hope these would be of use to 

you. Thanks so much for sticking around

and I hope you enjoy the freebie

Peace Out Peeps

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Morning Work Bundle and a Freebie

Hiya there Peeps

Shuna here

It has been a long time.

I am thoroughly enjoying this Winter Break.

It is much needed.

I have spent the majority of the break finishing up my Kindergarten Morning Work Series.

I have blogged a couple times about my morning routine with my students and morning work is a

huge part of that routine.

The morning work has been such a time saver for me when planning. I don't know about you but

I would always run around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find morning work.

My students can come in any time for 7:10 to 8:00 and it would always be such a challenge to find

meaningful and engaging activities for them to do while waiting for the day to begin.

I wanted to create my own morning work because I wanted something that was systematic and

challenged my littes. I needed a way to incorporate those foundational kindergarten skills

into our everyday routine and this morning work has been perfect for that. I

have seen so much growth and retention over the past couple of years using this morning work

with my littles.

Many times the curriculum moves a little too fast for some and I noticed that my students needed

extra practice and review and my goal and aim with the morning work was to do just that.

When my students come in they grab their morning work and get right to work. 

Their morning work is completely independent and cycles through almost all essential kindergarten

skills. The progression of skills always students to not only practice but also master

these essential skills.

Here is a quick look at sample pages from both the Math and Literacy for Sept-May.








There are 3 different bundles available


If you are interested click on the pictures above.

The bundles are on sale this week only! 

If you would like to try the MW out there is a sample 2 week FREEBIE posted in my store

Peace Out Peeps

and enjoy your Holiday Season.

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