Saturday, November 25, 2017

Sharing The FUN With Teachers Across The USA

So Grateful To Get To Share:

How many ways can you compose to five?
Click the image to see this activity set. 
I love getting to meet teachers across the country and share my message:
"Keep the FUN in the FUNdamentals!"
Adding FUN to EVERY Standard.

That is why I'm thrilled to be able to travel across our country and present workshops for teachers. 

All set up and ready to share!
My favorite ones are the "Make & Take" sessions where teachers get to experience hands-on activities that they can take back to their classrooms. 

Hands-On Learning!
Below, you will find a list of the conferences I scheduled for this year. 
I present on ELA, Math, Social Studies, Science, Inquiry Based Learning, Questioning Strategies, Centers, and Keeping "Play" in Your Kindergarten Day!

Try to catch me, if you can, and experience a day of learning and inspiration. 
And I can bring all of this to your school too!
And be sure to check out any added events like this Blogger Bash Pajama Party at the CA Kindergarten Conference last year
 CLICK HERE for more info 
about this great conference. 
We had prizes, music, food, and tons of Make & Take tables.This year, they are hosting an "X-STREAM" event where you will be ableto participate in STREAM activities!

If you want me to present at your school or district, just email me and we can make it happen.
If you can't make it to a conference, I can come to you!

You can also book professional development for your school or district and find more conferences at SDE's website. Just CLICK HERE
I get to work with the BEST!

My 2017 Conferences:

Jan 13-15        CA Kindergarten Assoc: PK1     Santa Clara, CA
Jan 23-24        TN Pre-K - K Teachers                Franklin, TN
Feb 2-3            CA Conf for Pre-K, TK, & K      Sacramento, CA
Feb 24-25        So CA Kindergarten Conf           Pasadena, CA
Feb 27             New Jersey Conf for K                Atlantic City, NJ
Feb 28             New Jersey Conf for Pre-K         Atlantic City, NJ
July 20,           "I Teach K!"                                 Las Vegas, NV
Nov. 2-3,         Tennessee Conf for K Teachers   Franklin, TN

Friday, November 24, 2017

What Do YOU Need For Your Classroom?

Win a $10 Gift Card + A Huge SALE!

Use the code TpTCyber17 for an extra 5% off on 11/27-11/28!

Enter to win a $10 Gift Card to Teachers Pay Teachers and Shop-'til-you-drop at my TpT Sale. 

Winner will be announced Sunday, Nov. 26 so you can shop my sale through Tuesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Which Would YOU Rather Be?

... a reindeer, an elf, a gingerbread man, or a snowman???

Here is a fun way to get your students to discuss their opinions, justify their answers, integrate the Common Core Practices into your lessons, and have FUN.  You can also use this as a springboard for an opinion writing assignment.

Here is the big question:
Would you rather be a reindeer, an elf, a gingerbread man, or a snowman???

Behind the children you can see the live webcam we watch each morning.
It's and it's a live webcam on 2 of Santa's reindeer.
Santa shows up each morning at 8:00 AM (Pacific Time) and feeds the reindeer!

First, We Read:

Well, actually, I read books to the class about snowmen, reindeer, gingerbread men (and girls), and elves.  I might read only one book about reindeer and lots of books about gingerbread men, but by the time we are ready to discuss our opinions we have all been exposed to these fine characters.  :)


 (Click any of the books to see where to buy them.)

Second, We Discuss:

We talk about the pros and cons of being each character.  They have to justify their answers and tell why they would like or dislike being each character.  Yes, Common Core is alive and well in our classroom as we justify almost everything!  :)
Here are some of the things the children have told me in the past:

"Snowmen get to play in the snow, but they also have to stay outside all the time."

"Gingerbread men get to be covered with candy, but they can't cross rivers."

"Elves get to be with toys all day long, but they also have to work a lot."

"Reindeer get to fly!  :)  But they also have to work all night delivering presents."

Third, We Completed A Graph:

We used the cute icons that I offer on TPT to label our graph.  I have each child's photograph laminated on a piece of construction paper and I have attached a piece of sticky-back Velcro to the back of each photo and to the graph.  Students come up and attach their photo above the icon that represents snowmen, reindeer, gingerbread men, and elves to express their favorite. 
Click the image to see the link.

Fourth, We Write:

Kindergarten kids love to tell you about their opinions!  :)  Now, we encourage them to write about them!  I give them the prompt dotted on the master that reads:  I would rather be a...  Then, all they have to do is copy the word snowman, reindeer, gingerbread man, or elf.  Then, they tell me WHY they want to be that character and I either write it for them to copy or I let them try to sound-blend the words and write them with temporary spelling.  They love to illustrate their writing too.
You might like our writing prompts.Click the image to see the link.
This is just one of the writing templates that comes in this set!

Last, I Take Their Photograph (dressed like their favorite character):

These are sooooo cute!  You can use them on the graph or on their writing piece.  
Here are some examples of the costumes I use.  I made the snowman and gingerbread man out of construction paper and tag board.  
The nose lights up!

Complete with ears and a tiny hammer!

I made this out of tag board and construction paper.

Made from tag board and construction paper.
We use these to play "dress up" in the home center.
We turn the home into a gingerbread house.

By the way, every year, the reindeer always gets the most votes!  Since we discuss our opinions and justify them, it seems that getting to fly with Santa trumps all of the other positives like getting to play in the snow, being with toys, or getting covered with candy!  

You might also like:
The Gingerbread Man's Book of Settings:
Click the image to see the link.
The Gingerbread Man's Number Formation Book:
Click the image to see the link
Check us out:
          Pinterest:  KFUNdamentals on Pinterest
          Teachers Pay Teachers:  KFUNdamentals on TPT

 See yo all tomorrow!
Palma :)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast

You Can Totally Do This!

Just follow our 6 SECRET TIPS and check out the CCSS for each station:

You can have the greatest Thanksgiving Feast Ever and it's soooo SIMPLE!

Last year, we had so much fun learning & making food for our Thanksgiving feast!
Yes, Common Core can be a huge part of your feast!

First, we planned our special day:

I made a list of all of the things we needed to make these  simple food items on our menu:  Corn muffins, butter,  fruit salad, and apple juice.

 Our Menu

Cornbread cooked right in these paper cups!
Use an electric frying pan.  Just be sure to use the cups with an
airspace at the bottom.  No flat bottom cups allowed!

 Butter forms faster if you
don't use a plastic container. 
(You can see the yellow clump of butter
forming in the jar and the buttermilk
all around it.)

Don't peel the oranges.  Slice them
crosswise so students can remove the
peel and cut the orange.  If you give them
sections of the orange, the knife doesn't
cut the sections well & they get smashed.

This year I plan to bring in my juicer so we can actually
juice our our apples, but you can just serve bottled apple juice. :)

Each child brought home a note asking them to bring in one item.  Be sure to request items to arrive the day before you need them.  For a class of 30 you will need the following items:
(I always request organic produce & cream from cows not given hormones.)

1 pint of heavy whipping cream (liquid) (2 children can each bring in in 1 cup)
3 packages of Marie Callender's Cornbread mix (3 children can each bring in 1 package)
1 quart bottle of filtered water
For all of the fruit, each child brings in 1 piece, 1 bunch, or 1 basket)
2 apple
2 oranges
2 bananas
1 basket of strawberries
1 basket of raspberries
1 basket of blackberries
1 basket of blueberries
2 kiwis
2 pears
1 pomegranate
1 can of pineapple chunks
1 small bunch of green, purple, or red grapes
40 paper plates
30 napkins
30 plastic spoons
10 plastic knives
60 Dixie cups (5 oz size with an airspace at the bottom) (30 for juice, 30 for cornbread)
3 lg bottle of apple juice (or 30 more apples if you plan to juice them)

(10 of the plates and the 10 plastic knives are for cutting fruit.)

Feast Day:

Before the students arrive prepare the following:

Station 1:  FRUIT SALAD

Wash all of the fruit
Set out 10 paper plates and 10 plastic knives for cutting fruit
Set out a large plastic bowl to collect all of the cut up fruit.
Crack open the pomegranate.  Children will only remove the pieces.
Chop, chop, chop!

Station 2:  CORN MUFFINS

Set up an electric frying pan in a safe place (like the teachers' staff room)
Set out 5 oz paper cups (the kind w/ the airspace at the bottom. It's OK if they have wax on them.)
Marie Callender corn bread mix 
1 quart of filtered water
1 Tablespoon measuring spoon to measure dry mix
1 Tablespoon measuring spoon to measure the water
10 popsicle sticks for stirring
1 pencil
A tray to transport the cups to the room where they will cook.
These are real "cup" cakes!  

Station 3:  BUTTER

4 pint size mason jars
Set the heavy whipped cream out so it is room temperature when the children start to shake it.
A small bowl, a dish for serving, and a spoon.

Apple Juice: If you plan to serve bottled juice, just refrigerate it.  If you plan to juice, set up station 4 where children get to toss apple slices into the juicer and watch it juice the fruit.  

I ran 3 rotations for 20 minutes each: (If juicing apples, run 4 stations for 15 min. each.)

Each station will need one parent or aide to run the station and you will need an adult to take the corn muffins to the room where they will cook.

Station 1.  FRUIT SALAD

Common Core:  CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4 Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.C.6 Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another group, e.g., by using matching and counting strategies.

CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.B.3 Classify objects into given categories; count the numbers of objects in each category and sort the categories by count.

Students wash and dry their hands.
The adult gives each child pieces of fruit to dice with their plastic knives.  (Give students slices of  apples and pears to chop, a chunk of a banana, a few berries, etc.)
The plates and knives can be re-used by the next two groups.  
I put out a book for the adult to read to the group if they finish early.
                                                                                                              Fine motor skills!

Making sets of cut fruit!  

Station 2:  CORN MUFFINS 

Common Core:  CCSS.Math.Content.K.MD.A.2 Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute.

(Have an adult pre-heat your electric frying pan to the level indicated on the corn muffin package.)
Students wash their hands and the adult writes each child's name on the bottom of his/her cup.
Each students measures 2 T of corn bread mix into their cup (using the popsicle stick to level off the tablespoon) and 3 T of water.  They mix with their popsicle stick.
The adult sends the cups to the room where they will cook.  15 cups can fit in a normal size electric frying pan.  You DO NOT add any water to the pan.  Simply set the temperature to the level designated on the package it becomes an oven.  Place the cups inside, place the lid on top, and bake as normal. 
I place an activity or a book out for the adult to read to the group if they finish early.
Stirring the corn bread mixture.

Station 3:  BUTTER

Common Core:  

Pour 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream into each of the 4 mason jars.  Make sure the lids are on tightly and that your group will be working in a carpeted area, no hard floors.  One jar will be the demo jar and  each one of the other jars will be for each group.
Demonstrate how to hold the jar with BOTH HANDS and shake it.
Students take turns shaking the jar and counting the shakes until the liquid becomes thick and coats the inside of the jar.
They continue to shake the jar (continue to count from the last number counted by the last student until you reach 100, then start counting again) until they can't hear the liquid any longer because it has turned into whipped cream.  
They continue to shake the jar until they hear a "clump, clump" and a "swish, swish!"  They will hear the clump of butter hitting the inside of the jar as they shake it and they will hear the buttermilk swishing.  They will also see how the white cream is turning into a yellow clump surrounded by white milk.  
They continue to shake the jar until the clump gets bigger and the buttermilk gets thinner.  
Pour the butter and buttermilk into a bowl and let the children see the yellow clump of butter in the buttermilk.  
Pour off the buttermilk into the sink and "rinse" the butter with water, pressing the back of a spoon into the butter to push out all of the buttermilk until the water runs clear.
Spoon the butter onto a serving plate.
I put out an activity (like illustrating the detail of their handprint turkey) or a book for the adult to read to them until their group time is over.

We usually go out to recess after the 3 rotations are done.  While they are gone, the volunteers put the students' costumes on their chairs and set the food on a serving table.
Shaking the cream.
Use two hands!

Our volunteer demonstrating how to shake the jar with 2 hands.

Station 4:  Optional Apple Juicing

Common Core:  

    • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4b Understand that the last number name said tells the number of objects counted. The number of objects is the same regardless of their arrangement or the order in which they were counted.
    • CCSS.Math.Content.K.CC.B.4c Understand that each successive number name refers to a quantity that is one larger.
Students wash their hands and place a few slices of apples into the juicer.  They count as they place the slices into the juicer to understand that the last number names the number of slices placed in the juicer.  Vary the number of slices you give to each student.  They watch as the juice trickles into the bowl.  The adult reads them a story (usually a book filled with informational text about how apples grow) and they color a Thanksgiving Feast page.  


Time to Feast!

When the students come in from recess, I read a story while the adult volunteers help small groups of students put their costumes on.  Each group goes up to the serving table to get their cornbread muffin (their names are on the bottom of each cup), a bit of homemade butter, a scoop of fruit salad, and some apple juice.  What fun!


Before punching the holes for the yarn on the collars, place a piece of tape on the collar, then punch the hole.  This will reinforce the hole and prevent tearing.  
Last year, we mixed a non-dairy topping
into the fruit salad.  You can find a healthier one than Cool Whip at stores like Whole Foods. 

The days before our feast, we made our pilgrim collars and hats with 12"X18" construction paper.
Our Native American vests were made from grocery bags.


Use 9" X 13" paper doilies (you can find them at Michael's) for the front of the girls' collars.  They are just like the boys' collars, except they tie in the back with white yarn.  So cute!

A good time was had by all!

You got all the way down here!  Wow!

Leave a comment and tell me how YOU celebrate Thanksgiving in your classroom.

Secret Tip # 6:

I saved the best secret tip for last.
Head over to my blog for the last, and best tip of all:


You might also like:

A Thanksgiving Counting Book
You get 2 versions
One where students write in the number after counting the sets.
The second version allows students to write in the number and the sight word "see" on each page.



And here is a FREEBIE for you:

Here is a helpful apple template that you can use for any number of things.  I use them to help identify the parents who volunteer in my classroom.  They come in color and in a black line master.  Enjoy! 
Click the image
for the link to
the download.  

Remember to visit my BLOG:  KFUNdamentals  (It's where we keep the FUN in the fundamentals!)
And...  Check us out on:
          Facebook:  KFUNdamentals on Facebook
          Pinterest:  KFUNdamentals on Pinterest
          Teachers Pay Teachers:  KFUNdamentals on TPT
I'll see you all here on the 4th of December with a cute holiday idea!
Palma :)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

3D Thanksgiving Art

We made Autumn Spoon Rests for our families for Thanksgiving!

I LOVED how these turned out!
Here is the "before" picture:
Rough, raw, and not so special looking,
but just wait until you see what I take out of the kiln in the morning!
Here is the "after" picture:

Each one was a unique work of art!

10 Steps For Making A Ceramic Autumn Leaf Spoon Rest:

This makes an awesome family gift for Thansgiving!
If you aren't lucky enough to have a kiln at your school, you can visit your local "Color Me Mine" type shop and they will help you out, for a fee.  Then, you can do this amazing project. :)

If you don't have a kiln at your school, you can
usually ask a local ceramic store to fire your clay for a fee. 

Do this first:

Order clay and lead-free glaze from a ceramic store.  I ordered 25 lbs of white clay and a small jar of yellow, orange, and maroon lead-free glaze.  

Do this second:

I use fishing line to cut the clay into 1 inch slabs.  I slap each slab down onto a piece of white construction paper at least ten times to condition the clay and work out any air bubbles.  

Then I roll it out to about 1/4" thick making sure the slab is an even thickness from end to end.
I let the kids help with this part.

Do this third:

I drew a maple leaf that measures about 6 inches in diameter on a piece of tag board.  I cut it out and used it as a template.

Do this fourth:  

Place the leaf template on the slab of clay.  I stretched out a large paper clip and used one end to cut around my leaf template.  Keep a bowl of water close by to use to smooth out the edges of the leaf.
Use the paper clip to write the child's name on the back of the leaf making sure to go less than halfway deep into the clay.

Do this fifth:

Have the child use a pencil to dray vein lines on the leaf.  Pick off any excess clay that builds up when the children draw their vein lines.  Then help the child to turn the ends of the leaf up, sideways, or up and then down to create a rim.  Make sure the center of the leaf remains flat.

I let the students draw the veins wherever they wanted to. 

Do this sixth:  

Cover a flat surface with white construction paper and place each completed leaf on the construction paper.  Then, wrap the top of each leaf with a paper towel that has been soaked in water.  This will help your leaves to dry out slowly and will prevent cracking.  Allow the leaves to dry for 3-7 days.  Check for cracks, and add water and smooth the cracks out.

Do this seventh:

After 3-5 days, fire the clay in a kiln.  Leave the kiln closed for an additional day to allow the pieces to cool completely. 

Do this eighth:

Remove the cooled pieces from the kiln and rinse them in cold water.  They will dry immediately.  
Have each child glaze their leaf with autumn colored glazes.  See directions on glaze jars.

Students painted their "bisque" pieces with lead-free glazes in fall colors. 

Do this ninth:

Fire the leaves.  Make sure each leaf is propped up on a kiln stilt and that you are using the correct kiln cone.  Allow the leaves to cool a day before removing them.
What I saw when I opened the kiln.

Do this tenth:

Wrap your leaves well and send them home as a Thanksgiving gift from your students to their families. 

Each one was so unique!

These were hot out of the kiln!

Students were able to bend and shape their own leaf. 

LOVE the fall colors!

Each one turned out so differently!

I loved taking the sample home to use at Thanksgiving time!

Didn't they turn out great?

          Pinterest:  KFUNdamentals on Pinterest
          Teachers Pay Teachers:  KFUNdamentals on TPT

 See yo all tomorrow!
Palma :)