Monthly Archives: February 2018

Green Eggs and Ham Week!

This week was all about “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss! We had so much fun reading, playing, and rhyming! This book is one that I could read a million times, and my kiddos would never get tired of it. We read it each day with a different comprehension focus. We make predictions, we ask questions about the story, we answer questions about the story, we read it with hand motions, we retell the story, and we compare/contrast the book to “I Am NOT Going to Get Up Today!” It has a similar theme of the main character refusing to do something throughout the book. The difference is that one character ends up doing the thing he didn’t want to do and the other doesn’t. My kiddos also noticed that someone ate eggs at the end of both stories!

We played some fun circle time games this week, too! My kiddos always love playing Snap! This ham and eggs version was just as fun as the others!

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I glue the eggs and ham pieces onto craft sticks and turn them picture-side down in a little basket I have. My kiddos take turns pulling out a stick, looking at the letter, and telling me the sound it makes. If they’re right, they get to keep the stick. If they pull out a stick that says “Snap!” everyone says, “Oh, snap!!” and we all put our sticks back. I try to keep going until everyone has had 2 or 3 turns, and they usually beg me to keep playing after that!

We also played “Sam, Sam, Where’s Your Egg?”

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And “Green Eggs, Green Eggs On the Ground”

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But… our very favorite this week was the “Green Eggs and Ham and Ham” chant that I literally made up driving to work one morning this week! We started by tapping the beat to the chant by patting the floor twice and clapping twice. (My kiddos loved the fact that I let them sit on their knees for this one instead of being criss-cross!) Then we said this chant:

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I used the Ham and Eggs Rhyming Cards with this one.

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I chose a card and used the two rhyming pictures on it to fill in the first two blanks. Then on the third one, my kiddos got to call out another word that rhymes. They absolutely LOVED this game!! They were literally walking around all week chanting “Green eggs and ham and ham! Green eggs and ham!”

All of these circle time games along with directions and printables are in my Teachers Pay Teachers store! Just click on the product image below to get your own set!

Green Eggs Circle 6

 

We had a blast with our shared reading this week! We learned the nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty,” a predictable chart all about green things, and an adding poem called “Five Little Eggs.”

We added some hand motions to “Humpty Dumpty” to keep it fresh, and we made up new versions that had Humpty sitting on things other than a wall. We had to generate rhyming words to complete the nursery rhyme!

The green predictable chart was great because it is so simple. I printed the words to it and used them in the pocket chart with picture support. At the end of the week, each kiddo got their own copy of the chart in a small book. They love being able to read the book all by themselves!

And, the math poem was a blast because my kiddos got to take turns being the eggs! They love when we get to act things out!

All of these shared reading resources are in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, too! Just click the product image below to get yours!

Green Eggs and Ham Shared Reading Snip 1

 

I think the favorite of the week though was science! (Well… let’s be honest. Science is ALWAYS a favorite with prekinders!)

We got to crack open eggs to explore what’s inside of them…

 

We did a taste test with different green fruits and vegetables…

(I didn’t get a lot of pics of this one because my TA was gone, so I was flying solo!)

 

And, of course, we made green eggs and ham!

 

Next week we’re moving on to “The Cat in the Hat!” I’m already so excited about some of things we’ll be doing! Check back for posts next week will all of our activities!

You might also want to check out my Ham and Eggs Word Cards and my Ham and Eggs Recipe Writing FREEBIE!!

If you need a copy of “Green Eggs and Ham,” just click on the book cover to grab one from Amazon!

Green Eggs Book Snip

Happy teaching!!

Takeaways from Ruby Payne!

So, most teachers were off work today, sitting at home in their jammies watching Netflix. But, our district had a PD day today. Most teachers were at their campuses doing whatever incredible PD their principals had in store for them. But, I was lucky enough to get to attend a Ruby Payne workshop with my AP and a few other teachers from my campus.

I’ve wanted to hear her for a long time, so I was SO excited when I found out I was going!! (Plus, it cut my commute in half today, and that’s always a welcome change!)

If you haven’t hear of Ruby Payne before, she is pretty much the guru on poverty and its effects on the brain. She’s written multiple books, but the most well-known one is called “A Framework for Understanding Poverty: A Cognitive Approach.” (Click on the cover to get your own copy!

Ruby Book

The whole day was filled with research, information, examples, anecdotes, and application. She is knowledgeable AND entertaining, and I actually found myself feeling sad when it was over! I could have listened to her for days. I guess this topic is just near and dear to my heart because I have always preferred to worked with children who are on the lower end of the income spectrum, and I am always searching for ways to serve them better. Ruby definitely gave a TON of ways to do just that!

I could type for hours telling you every little thing that I learned, but I do have other things I have to do tonight (like finish my lesson plans for this week, get my materials printed and laminated,  and feed my family!). SO… I’ll just give you the highlights!

  • Most people think of poverty as being the lack of financial resources, but there are actually 9 different kinds of resources that impact success (as society defines it), and people in poverty are usually lacking several of them.
  • If you are from a different class than your students, your reality and experiences are different that theirs. When you present things to them that are in line with your reality but not with theirs, they are going to believe their experience over what you say every single time.
  • Children in professional households will hear 3x as many words by age 4 as children in poverty households.
  • The average 3-year-old in a professional household has more vocabulary than the average adult in a poverty household.
  • Because people in poverty have such limited vocabulary, they rely heavily on nonverbal cues.
  • Every language has 5 registers. Formal language is what we use at school. Very few of our children in poverty have any formal language. They use casual language. And, using casual language in a formal setting can mistakenly lead to the assumptions that a child is slow, stupid, or disrespectful.
  • Each social class (poverty, middle class, and wealthy) has its own set of hidden rules. A person’s ability to follow these rules determines their level of acceptance by that class.
  • If a person’s physiological and safety needs aren’t met, nothing else matters.
  • Building a relationship of mutual respect is critical.
  • The differences between male brains and female brains increases the difficulties that males in poverty have in school. The majority of teachers are female. The majority of drop outs and discipline referrals are male. This is no coincidence. As females, we try to handle every situation based on the way our brains think. But, we rarely take into account how the boy’s brain needs to process a situation.

 

OK… I’m stopping now! That literally just touches the surface of what we learned today! If you have the chance to go see Ruby Payne in person… GO!!! If you don’t, read her book!! Especially if you work with children in poverty! It will change the way you approach SO many things about teaching them!

 

Now I’m switching gears to finish getting ready for those precious kiddos to hit my door tomorrow morning!

Happy teaching!

“Green Eggs and Ham” Word Cards!

I’ve just started working on my “Green Eggs and Ham” book unit, and the word cards are up on TPT! My word card sets are usually $1.00, but everything is 50% off for the first 24 hours it’s posted! So they’re only 50 cents today! Go grab yours now!

Click HERE to get yours!!

Check back over the next few days to see the rest of my “Green Eggs and Ham” book unit! You can also get updates on the new things I post by following Mrs. A’s Room on Pinterest and Facebook!

Happy teaching!

How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? Part 2

Well… I fully intended to get the rest of this book unit finished and put on Teachers Pay Teachers this week, BUT… a sick TA, Valentine party prep, and a husband working insane hours, I just didn’t get to. So even thought he full unit isn’t on TPT yet, I am at least sharing the rest of the unit with you on here! I’ll update once the full unit is available!

Our whole week centered around the book “How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?” (Click on the book cover to get a copy!)

Book Cover

My earlier post spelled out all of our comprehension, writing, and circle time activities! You can check it out here! In this post, We’re talking about all of our book activities, math activities, and poems!

Each day, we do some kind of activity that connects to the book. It may be writing, art, drama, cooking, or anything else that’s high interest, engaging, and ties to our state pre-k guidelines! Here’s what we did this week with this book:

Day 1: We did a shared writing activity on a large chart. We talked about and wrote about what love looks like, sounds like, and feels like.

Day 2: We made  a list of people we love. This led into our writing activity later in the day when we wrote a book about people we love. You can read the details of that here.

Day 3: We made an “I Love You To Pieces” card for our parents. We cut up pink and red paper and then glued it onto the card. We were very careful to only use one dot of glue on each piece of construction paper!

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Well… most of us were very careful not to use too much glue!!

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Some of us dumped half the bottle on the paper and had to put the construction paper pieces on until it was all covered!

Day 4: We used paint to stamp hearts.

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Once they were dry, we added our sentences from our interactive writing activity earlier in the week! My favorite part of this is their dinosaur names! They thought that part was so funny! For more details about this writing activity, check it out here!

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We usually do 5 book activities ( one each day), but with Valentine parties and library this week, we only did four.

Our math focus this week was counting and making sets of 8 and 9. The first activity we did was using dinosaur counting mats and heart-shaped candy.

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I called out a number, and my kiddos raced to feed their dinosaur that many pieces of candy. BUT… to keep the focus on the math and not on the race, we either ALL won or we ALL lost! If everyone fed their dinosaur the right amount of candy by the time I said stop, we ALL won. This keeps things positive and upbeat, and it eliminates tears and drama when someone loses!

We used playing cards to play “Who Has More?” (When I was a kid, this game was known as war. But, we now use kinder, gentler card game titles!)

We used dinosaur and heart stickers to make sets of 8 and 9 on ten frames.

8 and 9 Snip

We used Unifix cubes to play a partner game where we explore different ways to make 8. Both partners have 8 cubes, each set in a different color. They take turns choosing how many cubes to trade. After they trade, each partner counts how many of the first color they have. The they each count the second color. Then they each count their whole tower. Their favorite was when they had 4 and 4 of each color because their towers were the same!

And, last but not least… our poems for the week!

I love, love, LOVE using poetry in my classroom!! We do at LEAST 2 poems each week, but usually more! Here are the poems I use with this unit:

The first one is called “Hearts.”

Hearts Snip

The second one is called “I’m a Little Valentine.”

Little Valentine Snip

And the last one is “The Queen of Hearts.” I absolutely LOVE teaching my kids nursery rhymes to my kids, and I use them whenever I can!!

Queen Snip

This was such a fun week! And, it was capped off with our Valentine party this afternoon to end the week!

Now, I’m switching my focus to Dr. Seuss!! Our next two book units are “Green Eggs and Ham” and “The Cat in the Hat!” These book units WILL be posted here and on Teachers Pay Teachers!! So, keep checking back or follow us on Facebook to see right away when they are posted!!

Happy teaching!!

How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You? Part 1

I absolutely LOVE this book!! “How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You?” is such a fun book unit for the week of Valentine’s Day! It’s great for starting discussions about how people show love to each other, and it’s a great companion to a kindness unit (which we are also doing this week). And, it’s actually a GOOD book, which a lot of the Valentine’s Day books out there simply are not. I’ve got a stack of them in my room, and I’m just not a huge fan of many of them. But, this book is one of my faves! (Click on the cover to get a copy!)

Book Cover

EVERYTHING in our classroom this week connects to this book! Here are a few of the things we are doing with it…

I read this book to my kiddos every day. (Yes, you read that right! We read it every day!) Each day we focus on a different comprehension skill, and each day we go a little deeper into the story. This accomplishes a couple of things. First, by the end of the week, my kiddos KNOW the story, and they can “read” the book independently. Second, the text becomes more and more familiar as we go through the week, so we can use it to work on skills that just can’t be accomplished after a single reading. And third, they learn the joy of reading a book more than once. They get to see how you notice things and learn things each time you read. And, the desire to read a text multiple times is really important as they get older! (I plant those seeds any way I can!) Here is what we do with the book throughout the week:

  • Day 1: We make lots of predictions as we read. We notice the pattern of the story (two bad choices followed by one good choice). We notice the different ways the dinosaurs show their parents that they love them, and we predict how they might show love next.
  • Day 2: We answer questions about the text. We notice details in the pictures. We talk about how the characters are feeling and why. We make connections to our own lives by talking about things in the book that we have also experienced.
  • Day 3: We focus on vocabulary. By now, we’ve heard the story enough that it is familiar, and we can use the context of the story to help figure out what the words mean. I usually pick three vocabulary words to focus on, and for this story, we use suddenly, tight, and disaster.
  • Day 4: We retell the story by creating a story map that includes the characters, setting, and main events in the story.
  • Day 5: We describe the ways the dinosaurs in the story show their parents they love them and compare those to the ways we show our parents that we love them.

 

Our circle time games always focus on phonological awareness, but they can also be played just for the fun of playing the game. Here are the games we do with this unit:

  • Dinosaur, Dinosaur, On the Ground: We put cards out on the carpet that hdve the letters on them. We say our dinosaur chant and take turns picking up a cars to say the sound of the letter.

Dino Snip 1

  • Hot Potato: We play music and pass a glittery heart around the circle. When the music stops, the kiddo holding it looks at one of the dinosaur rhyming cards and says another word that rhymes with the two pictures on the card.
  • Snap!: We have a basket that has craft sticks in it. Each craft stick has either a heart or a dinosaur glued to the end of it. The hearts have letters on them and the dinosaurs say “Snap!” We take turns picking a stick out of the can (they are in the can with the hearts/dinosaurs down). If we get a heart, we name the letter and say its sound. If we get a dinosaur, everyone has to put their sticks back in the can.
  • Dinosaur, Dinosaur, Where’s Your Heart?: This is a dino version of Doggie, Doggie, Where’s Your Bone? We use heart cards that have beginning sound pictures on them. Each time we use a different card. One kiddo is the dinosaur. She leaves the carpet and hides her eyes. Another kiddo gets one of the heart cards and hides it in his lap or behind his back. The “dinosaur” comes back, and we say the chant. The “dinosaur” gets three guesses to try to figure out who has the heart.

Dino Snip 2

  • Feed the Dinosaur: We have a box that is made to look like a dinosaur with his mouth open. We have cards that have hearts on them and different pictures. We take turns choosing a card that starts with the L sound (L for love) and feeding it to the dinosaur. He only wants to eat things that start with L!

For the full details and all the printables of the circle time activities, hop on over to our Teachers Pay Teachers Store to grab a copy! It’s 50% off for the first 24 hours!

Dino Snip 3

Our writing activities all relate to the book too! We do a combination of shared writing, interactive writing, and independent writing. Here’s what our writing lessons look like:

  • Things that are red: We do a shared writing activity where we make a bubble map of red things. The we do independent writing and make a list of things that are red.
  • People I Love: We get to be authors and write books about people we love.
  • I Show Love When I: We do an interactive writing activity where we each tell how we show our parents that we love them. I write the sentences on a large chart and we use those sentences for a craft we do later in the week. (We spread this out over two days. Sitting still long enough to do every kiddo in the class just isn’t realistic!)
  • Dinosaur Story: We work together in a shared writing format to write a story about a dinosaur. Then we each write our own dinosaur stories.
  • Valentine Messages: We write Valentine messages for people we love.

 

Check back later this week for our book activities, math lessons, poems, and companion read alouds! We’ll also be posting the full unit to Teachers Pay Teachers!

 

 

Opening the Flower Shop

This week we’ve started on creating our next dramatic play center! I decided to let the kids play a bigger role in it this time, and it has been SO much fun!! We started on Monday with a vote. We talked about elections a lot before we voted. We learned that in an election, you get to vote for your choice, but the choice with the most votes is the one that wins. We learned that you only get to vote one time so that the election is fair. And, we learned that we have to let others make their choice, even if it’s different than ours.

I also did a LOT of talking about the fact that not everyone will get their choice, and that is OK! If our choice doesn’t win, we don’t need to get upset or be sad or angry, because we’ll probably get to have both of these play centers this year anyway. We were just deciding which one to do right now. (There were still some sad friends at the end of the election, but it didn’t last long, so I was at least happy about that!)

Here’s how our election turned out:

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The flower shop won by two votes! So our next step was planning…

On Tuesday we spent some time talking about everything we needed to have a flower shop. My kiddos did a GREAT job of making our list once I got them to understand that a flower shop and a garden are two different things! Here’s the list they came up with:

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Then I had to go to work! I rounded up all the supplies and printed all the signs, tags, and forms.

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I’m so excited to take all the pieces to school today so the kids can help me set up the flower shop! Stay tuned for the set-up pics and the after pics!

“I Can” Statements for Preschool!

I don’t know about you, but I’m required to have my learning objectives posted in my room each day. Most principals and districts require it for kinder and up, but some people look at pre-k differently. So, you may not have to post yours. If you don’t, you’re lucky!

I do have to post mine, and I’m always looking for the most efficient way to do things. I wanted to have cards with “I Can” statements that I could print, put on book rings, and hang up with magnetic hooks on my white board. Then all I have to do is flip each set of cards to the right objective each day. Easy peasy, right?

Well… not really. I’ve noticed that for other grade levels, you can go on TPT and just buy “I Can” statements that are based on your state standards or Common Core. They’re cute, they’re colorful, and most importantly, they’re already DONE!! I searched and searched, but I couldn’t find anything for pre-k.

So… I decided to make them myself. (And it turned out to be a MUCH bigger project than I thought it would be!) They’re based on the Texas Prekindergarten Guidelines, and they’re color-coded to match each section. (I’m a little OCD about organizational things, so that’s just how my brain thinks!) I also did them two ways. The first is taken straight from the wording of the actual guidelines. But, since I wanted a version that my kiddos can understand, I also did a set in kid-friendly language. I can’t wait to get them up in my room! You can grab your own in my TPT store by clicking the links below! You can also get the book rings and magnetic hooks that I use from Amazon.

“I Can” Statements for Social and Emotional Development

 

“I Can” Statements for Language and Communication

 

“I Can” Statements for Early Literacy: Reading

 

“I Can” Statements for Early Literacy: Writing

 

“I Can” Statements for Math

 

“I Can” Statements for Science

 

“I Can” Statements for Social Studies

 

I hope these are as helpful for you as they are for me!!

Happy teaching!!