Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's Time To Have "Sum" FUN! (+ a NEW RAFFLE)

How do I know??? 

Because "Sum Spiders" is on Sale through Sunday!  And 'Spook'tacular Graphics, by DJ Inkers is on sale through Sept. 30 AND...
you can win a set of 'Spook'tacular Graphics at the bottom of this post!

Who wouldn't like adding spiders to compose numbers to 10?
All the ways to compose three:
1 spider is touching the web. 2 spiders are NOT touching the web.
1 + 2 = 3.
You can use plastic spider rings or just use paper clips. If you use spider rings, just cut off the rings. 

You can start with the lowest numbers just to get your students familiar with the academic language: "plus" and "equal".

How It Works:

I would begin with 2, but I have photos of a lesson I gave on the number 3. 

So here is how it worked using the number 3: 
I placed 3 spiders in a cute Halloween treat container. You can also just use a paper cup. 

I placed my hand over the container and shook it three times.
I did the 1st one, then I let each child have a turn. 

I spilled the spiders onto the spider web mat and together we counted the number of spiders that were touching the web
I did the 1st one, then I let each child have a turn. 

Along with me, students recorded the number of spiders that were touching the web on their record sheet. 
You get colored or black & white masters.

Then, they recorded the number of spiders that were not touching the web
2 spiders are NOT touching the web.

Last, they recorded the total number of spiders we had.

To help them, I wrote the numbers 0, 1, 2, and 3  on little tombstones which I got @ the 99 Cent Store. They were 6 for $1. These models helped the children when writing the numbers. 

Hint: Write the numbers on the backs of each tombstone so you know which tombstone to use.

To facilitate total group participation, I let each child have a turn shaking the container 3 times and spilling the spiders on the web mat. (If you don't have plastic spiders or cute containers, just use small paperclips in a small paper cup.) 

I also let each child make their own counting rack. 

(You can just use a pipe cleaner with 3 pony beads laced on it. Remember to curl the ends of the pipe cleaners.) I gave the students a piece of Fun Foam cut into cute shapes like a pumpkin (you can also buy pre-cut shapes), a pipe cleaner, and 3 plastic spider rings. 
Students can poke the pipe cleaner into the Fun Foam, add the spider rings, poke the other end of the pipe cleaner into the Fun Foam, and twist the back to secure the rings. 

As we counted the number of spiders that landed on the web, we moved that number of spiders across the pipe cleaner. These hands-on tools help to make math real. 
Since one spider is touching the web, we moved one spider to the right on the pipe cleaner.
That left two spiders not touching the web and two spiders at the left side of the pipe cleaner. 

As students get more familiar with this process, they will be able to complete the record sheets on their own. You might also want to allow each child to have their own set of spiders in containers and mats so they can work at their own pace with you observing and guiding in a small group setting. 
All set up for my small group.
We will all share one web mat and complete our record sheets together. 

You can also set this up as a center by copying one web mat and one record sheet on card stock. Laminate them and place them at a center with spiders, a container, a dry erase pen, and a soft eraser.
I LOVE my Scotch Laminator!
Click the image of the laminator for more info.
You can just use any counters and cups, but I spent $6 at the 99 Cents store and got a cute spider bowl, a bag of spider rings, a set of 6 tombstone chalkboards, and a set of treat boxes, a set of Fun Foam shapes, and pipe cleaners to make addition extra fun. 
You can grab this set by 
And guess what? It's on sale from today through Oct. 2.
So Sum Spiders is on Sale through Sunday! 
Click the image.
I used DJ Inkers "'Spook'tacular Smiles" graphics and fonts to create this product. I'm raffling off an entire set of these "'Spook'tacular Smiles" graphics right here on my blog so,
 scroll down to enter. 
The winner will be announced on October 7. 

But, if you can't wait to win a set, you can grab one now while it's on sale through Sept. 30.  
You only have 1 day left to get the sale price. 
Click the image below to grab a set NOW. 
This set is ON SALE through Sept. 30.Click the image to grab your set now. 
If you would like to win your very own copy of 
DJ Inkers' 
'Spook'tacular Graphics,
follow the links on the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


And, you can shop for more Halloween treats at DJ Inkers 

Use my affiliate link and start shopping 
at DJ Inkers 
& find out what all the smiling is about!
to shop. 

Use my "Sum Spiders" all year long. Use spiders in October and then again in the spring. I'll use my other DJ Inkers Graphics to create more themes to use throughout the year, so stay tuned for more FUN with SUMS!

You might also like...
Green Monster, Green Monster, what do you see?

Scarecrow, Scarecrow, please come to my party.Thank you, I will, if you invite....
We have a winner!
 Andrea Rushing Crawford


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Daily Journal Writing in Kindergarten!

Autumn Writing Journals:

This is the perfect time to get your students writing EVERY day.

My kindergarten students started out the year copying a group sentence or attempting to complete the sentence by filling in the last word. 

These are four different sentences that we copied in our journals over one week.
We copied one each day and I covered all of the other sentences so only one showed at a time.
Check out these autumn themed daily writing journals 
with a five-point rubric. 
Use this template to create excitement and interest in daily writing. 

Click the image above to grab the set of all 5 templates. 
The rubric is the same one I used all year long, only the cute icons change with the seasons. 
1. I wrote my name.
2. I used spaces between my words.
3. I used a capital and a period.
4. I sound-blended
5. I wrote neatly.

You can get the entire set of 5 journal templates by clicking on the image above. 

Then, they brought their journal up to me and I used a marking pen to place a dot on each icon that they earned.
This is my generic journal template which may be used at any time of the year.
The teacher uses a marker to place a dot on each earned icon.

Then, each student gets to color in each earned icon. 
Students get to color in each icon that has a dot.
Notice that spelling is not a factor.
This student clearly attempted to sound-blend, so they earned that icon.
The period was left off. I inserted it in red ink and did not dot that icon. 

This is what my students looked like while writing in their daily journals:
My students write on the slanted surface of
3-ring binders. Did you know that it's almost
impossible to write letters from the bottom up
while using a slanted surface? 
This is one of their first journals.
They copied their sentence from a chart. 

I stored the journals in a tote tray in the order that my students turned them in to me. This way, the child who gave me their journal last was the first one to get their journal the next day! That child needs the most time, so they get their journal first. 
Journal pages and a construction paper cover.
The cover says, "If you give a kid a pencil..."
What About The Early Finisher???
If you have a few students who finish way before the others, let them be your special helpers. Give them a pointer and ask them to check the students who are still working and remind them to include certain things while writing. 
I got all 3 of these for $1 at the Dollar Tree.
I added the labels. 

Here are examples of what they can tell the working students:
1. Captain Capital- Check papers for a capital letter at the beginning of the first word.
2. Punctuation Pointer- Check papers for a period at the end of the sentence.
3. Neatness Nurse- Check papers for neatly written letters.
4. Space Cadet- Check papers for spaces between words.
(You may have more than one child for each job.)

Remember, daily writing is NOT a test. We want students to be successful and earn as many icons as they can. Reminding them of these skills helps to build their confidence because it will help them to earn more icons. You can use this template to test writing skills, but not during Daily Writing time. 

Their journals becomes a wonderful sample of each student's successful attempts at writing and should be shared with parents at your next parent-teacher conference. 

My next post will be about October Math Ideas! 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

"It's Fall, Ya' All"

Time for Some Fall Writing FUN!

Fall is here and it's time to to fill your walls with writing. It's not too early to get your students writing! 

Why not start with a simple small group writing lesson? 
This template is perfect for your small-group time.
Here is how it works:
(It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!)

1.  Meet with a small group of about 5 or 6 students. 
Here is the small group I met with ON HALLOWEEN! 
Give them each a piece of lined paper with the prompt "On Halloween, I will be __________." printed on it.  
Ask each child to write their name at the top and then create an illustration of what they want to be for Halloween.

(You can also use one of my Halloween Writing templates. Students trace the dotted letters with a pencil.) 
Click the image above to grab the entire set of 20 templates. 

2. While students are drawing, ask each child to tell you what they want to be for Halloween. You write what they tell you on lined Post-its or dry-erase boards so it can be copied by each child.

You can use lined dry-erase magnets like these.
I got these at Target's Dollar Spot. 
Idea: Laminate construction paper with samples of the alphabet and a number line attached.
Then, I add a piece of lined dry-erase contact paper to each mat.
Then, I can take students' dictation, write it on the dry-erase paper,
and they can copy it. I still need to add the dry-erase paper to the green, blue, and purple mats. 
3.  Students should use unwrapped, broken, black crayons to fill in the black background so it looks like nighttime. 

I like to post their seasonal writing on a 12" X 12" frame that has a file clip (the type they used in medical files prior to the use of computers) attached to the top through two holes. 
This is a writing sample we did later in the year.
I just wanted you to see how the clips work. 
As students produce a new writing sample, all I have to do is punch two holes at the top and add it to the clip. 
This is a sample of their springtime writing.
I continue to add their monthly writing throughout the year.
At the end of the year, open the clips, remove the work, and send it home.

Celebrate Autumn:

If you would rather have your students write about fall, you can use this template after brainstorming things you can do in the fall like rake, collect, or play in piles of leaves, walk in the rain, run in the wind, or celebrate Thanksgiving.  

Click the image to grab the entire set of 20 templates. 

You follow the same procedure: (It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!)
1. Students illustrate while you take dictation.
2. Students trace the dotted letters and copy from their dictation.
3. Students add background color (they can use unwrapped, broken, blue crayons to look like the sky) and you post their writing on the bulletin board. 

You can get the entire set of 20 templates by 

Sneak Peek @ my next blogpost: 
Using Daily Writing Journals in Kindergarten.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Enter to WIN 3 GREAT PRIZES & Find Out How We Celebrated The Color YELLOW!

We celebrated "Yellow Day"!

But, first, let me tell you about my latest give-away! 

You can win a Show & Tell Apron! 
Click the image to enter the Rafflecopter.   

Or you can win a FREE Year of ESGI & save yourself hundreds of hours each year!

And... if you give ESGI a try with their 60 day FREE trial (no credit card required), you will automatically be entered to win a $50 gift card for Teachers Pay Teachers!

The Rafflecopters are at the end of the blogpost about my most recent Webinar.

Now, Let Me Tell You About "Yellow Day":

We all wore yellow, we made individual cups of lemonade, and we made a book about yellow things!


First, I requested organic lemons from our parents by placing a Post-it on our "Giving Tree".  You can grab our Giving Tree FREE here.
I also requested cups, organic sugar, and filtered water.  My great parents had everything we needed at school by 8:00 A.M.  :)
Wow, this has been
over 1800 times!

Here it is mounted on construction
paper and laminated.
You can use any type of Post-its.
 The apple ones are so cute! 
Then, I brought in my juicer and a small knife to cut the lemons.  Now, this juicer is older than me, and I'm pretty old!  You can use any juicer, even a fork inserted into a half of a lemon works well.  Just juice over a strainer to remove the seeds.
It's hard work!

They loved working hard to make their own
You can usually find a juicer like this one for about $10 at a swap meet or flea market.  My son bought one, power sanded it with steel wool, repainted the base red, and gave it as a gift.  It looked so amazingly retro!

Problem solving when the juicer started to move.
I like the way his yellow crown covered his eyes.
I didn't have to smudge out too much of his face!

He loved squeezing his own organic lemon!

How we Made Lemonade:

OK, after each child in my small group of 4 juiced 1/2 of a lemon, we poured 1/2 cup of water into a plastic cup.  
Spills are OK.  That's why we worked on
yellow construction paper.  :)

It was interesting to see who knew how to
1st: hold the white cup so it didn't tip, and
B: pour quickly enough so as not to spill.
(Do you like that 1st, then B thing?)
Then we added 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed, organic lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of organic sugar.
Measuring wet and dry ingredients.  
When they stirred, they got to hear the sugar scraping the bottom of the cup as organic sugar tends to come in larger granules than highly processed sugar.  

Five Senses Link:

So, we saw the yellow lemons, smelled them as we squeezed them, listened to the sugar scraping the bottom of the cup, tasted the lemonade, and felt the bump lemons and the wet, cool lemonade.

Linking Our Color Days To Our Calendar:

For the first 11 Fridays, we celebrate our Color Days.  I use these Color Day Notes

and Color Days Calendar Cards to remind students to wear a particular color on a particular day.
The notes are
in both English
& Spanish.
You get 2 on
a page so they
are easier tocopy.

Color Day
Calendar Cards

You can find these items by clicking on the images.
Then, we made a Color Day Class Book for the color we were celebrating that week!  This download also includes an individual page where your students can write about something that is a particular color. 

Our Color Days
Class Books.  
This download also includes an individual student book.  We used this as we integrated Writers Workshop into our day.  :)

You can win a Show & Tell Apron or Ond Year of ESGI.