Friday, October 31, 2014

Five for Friday- Halloween Edition!

Linking up again for a Five for Friday post with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching! What a FUN week in Kindergarten. I must say that today was my best Halloween party to date! The kids were AMAZING! Here are a few snippets from our week.

Candy corn mosaics are always a fun little project to exercise our fine motor muscles! We make mosaic spiders in the spring when we do an author study on Eric Carle. I LOVE the way these projects turn out each year.

On Wednesday, our oldest turned 5! Her birthday also happened to fall on the same day as her preschool Harvest I took a half day and spent it with her! And see that little chef? He's our little guy too! Due to some unforeseen circumstances, he and his sister are BOTH in the same preschool class (at ages 5 and 3). But we look at the situation as a total BLESSING and their preschool teacher is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Here our cuties are helping to act out the Soup Opera. So fun!

We read the story Where's My Mummy? and worked on text to self connections. We added a fun little mummy project to our writing too. We're getting better at turning a square into a circle with our scissors! 

Today was our Halloween party! We paraded around the school for the older students. Our Middle School principal always passes out a sucker to each of our kiddos too. Back in the classroom, we played BINGO with our lowercase letters by using one of the Smartboard alphabet dice. The kiddos also enjoyed "Freeze" dancing to the Monster Mash and seeing who could "wrap the mummy" the fastest with white crepe paper. The kiddos were wrapping EXPERTS and worked so well with each other. Proud teacher moment. It was by far the best behaved classroom party I've ever had!

Our Kindergarten team dressed up as Pete the Cat. It was SO MUCH FUN! We've got a Superhero-themed Right to Read Week in November...and ideas are already brewing! I am so blessed with a job I love and equally amazing coworkers! 

It's 3:00! WE SURVIVED!

Rocking in our SCHOOL shoes!

Every cat needs a tail.

My mom snapped this picture for me. Did you know that I work with my mom?! She's an elementary music teacher. Although she doesn't have my class this year, she's been our music teacher in the past! I try not to take this for granted because it is a blessing to see my mama every day!

I hope you have an amazing weekend, friends! After all, you deserve it!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Five for Friday

     This week flew by...and it's probably because we have a BUSY weekend planned! Our oldest turns 5 next week and we're celebrating with family tomorrow. (Sidenote: I'm having a hard time dealing with her being so old already...there have been tears today!) It was a great week in Kindergarten though. Sometimes I think Common Core and following (yucky) district curriculum can really bog a teacher this week we worked extra hard to do stuff that was meaningful AND fun.

     Excuse my boots in the next two pictures...oops! I love these spiders. And my kiddos did SO well doing our "accordion" folds for the first time. I had a few students who were folding experts and finished 8 legs quicker than I could say "easy peasy lemon squeezy." It was so sweet to watch these few kiddos walk around and willingly TEACH their classmates one-on-one...without me asking or prompting. Bless my soul. These arachnids were a great project to help us prepare for the cute Frankensteins we're making next week!

     Again with the boots. My apologies. I'm currently laying in bed about to fall asleep so picture cropping isn't a priority, ha! I love these little cupcake liner owls though. The kids did such a great job on following directions...and those eyes? We did the ole "turn a square into a circle" trick...on a Friday...for the first time. We were brave and it was a success! Our bravery was the perfect, albeit accidental, extension to the story we read The Brave Little Owl.

     A giant spider graph made for an exciting morning in Kindergarten. The kiddos loved creating this "big" graph and answering the question "Are you afraid of spiders?" Then we used our math talk words "more" and "fewer" to describe our data. Proud teacher moment! They came up with some amazing conclusions about our data!

     We continued our Unit 2 in Guiding Kinders Math (by Deanna Jump and DeeDee Wills). The above picture is of our number trains with pumpkins. I'll be honest, I thought this activity was going to be a lot easier (and a lot shorter). We had just completed a similar activity the day before with leaf pictures so today's pumpkin activity only built upon what we had just done! Eek. I must have done a subpar job of explaining directions because this activity was difficult lol. Anyone ever had a lesson like that? Maybe it's just me. After 25 minutes of my kiddos attempting to complete these pumpkins trains (with no end in sight), I actually had a little sweetheart say, "Mrs. Murray, I'm sorry we're so behind!" HAHA! I assured her it was not a problem, but we did want to try and move on to something else that day. ;-)

     Today I received the SWEETEST package from an Etsy sale I participated in earlier this week. If you haven't checked out The Adopt Shoppe on must go now. Kate is the creative genius behind this little account. And by little, I mean big. Can you believe the detail in this packaging?! Kate has the most giving heart and her little creations bring such joy to others! This is my second TAS necklace. I purchased my first necklace in an adoption fundraiser this summer. Anywho, these necklaces are little billboards for your heart and make great gifts too! Check Kate's IG account out! I'm warning you though...these items are HOT commodities and are in high demand. You can't just order them or ask for custom designs. Also, if you check out her Etsy store, you'll notice it's empty. She only holds little sales here and there. I encourage you to read more about the way she works things. It's pretty fun (and potentially stressful!) Haha!

Have a great weekend, friends! You deserve it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Nocturnal Animal Week!

     This week, we're working our way through a little unit on nocturnal animals! On Monday, we kicked things off with this survey from The First Grade Parade! Can you believe all the Kinders who think bats are cute?! Wait. I shouldn't be surprised. Of course they would think that! Mrs. Murray definitely put her bat on the "creepy" side of our graph. I asked students to share something they noticed about the graph and I was so impressed with their math talk. I heard things like..."Most of us think bats are cute." and "There are less bats on creepy." GOOOOO Kinder friends!

     It's getting to be a pretty BIG week in Kindergarten. There are so many FUN things to do with nocturnal animals. I even squeezed in something new this week...thanks to a last-minute TPT purchase. Check out these ADORABLE thematic crowns from Lidia Barbosa. I personally think $3 is a STEAL for these precious crowns. We may or may not have made crowns two days in a row. :-)

As Lidia explains, they are great tools to start conversations about the school home! Besides, I have a ton of sentence strips in my classroom AND my boys were even asking to wear these gems all day. The crowns were an all-around great investment. Go buy them!

Our crown excitement continued today when we made SPIDER crowns. (I realize that eventually I might have to tone it down on the crowns...but right now, we're pretty into them. So we got a double dose! Ha!) We also earned another SMART cookie party this week! We jazzed up our usual smart cookie party and made it a super smart SPIDER cookie party. The kiddos got a kick out of this special activity.

On a final note for this mid-week post...we attempted another directed drawing- THE BAT. Swoon. I am definitely making this a monthly activity. If I had a bulletin board in the hallway...these precious directed drawings would totally be a monthly bulletin board! But alas...I don't have a BB. At least maybe not until next year?! (We are in the process of building a new school...more on that later this year.) Are these bats not totes adorbs?! There, I said it.

Have a wonderful rest of your week, friends! Maybe I'll even be back for an "on-time" Five for Friday. I hope!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Five for Friday

It was a long week in Kindergarten! Did the week drag on for anyone else? My coworker and I were commiserating over the length of each day...needless to say, we were so thankful for FRIDAY yesterday. Ha! This week, we did an assortment of Fall-ish things and began a new rotation for literacy stations.. 

I tried something a little different with our usual "pumpkin art" this year and I'm so glad I did. Don't these pumpkins SCREAM personality? This will definitely be a repeat project in years to come.

For my kiddos who need help with number recognition and one-to-one correspondence, these tens frame cards and novelty erasers were the perfect activity! They picked a number, found its matching tens frame, and then counted out that many erasers. Simple and FUN way to learn!


We tried some Q-tip painting this week...and talk about personality! No two trees looked the same...these were somewhat similar, but overall, we had a wide range of Fall trees. The kids have loved painting this year. I need to keep giving them these opportunities! *Note to self.*

If anyone has read my blog before (still in its infancy stage), I do a lot of DeeDee Wills in my classroom. The above picture shows one of her Sequence games. It is a FAN FREEBIE on her Facebook page. Does anyone use this game for a center? My kiddos LOVED it. The little white board signs are from Dollar Tree and were a fun little way to keep track of student points. Her Sequence pack is on sale over on TPT. Head here to get it! You won't be disappointed!

We switched up how we do literacy stations and I doubled the stations that are available to students. Wow. What a huge difference. You'd think this was my first rodeo, but even after 6 years of teaching Kindergarten, I'm still learning! I have a smaller group of kiddos this year (20 instead of 24) so it wouldn't seem as necessary as it might have with my bigger group last year. However, the fact that I have 2 (or less) kiddos per station is a DREAM! Any guesses as to where I got my new station organization? You guessed it! DeeDee's station cards are a freebie on TPT. You can find the cards here

I hope you had a fabulous week! Enjoy the weekend, friends! I'm sure you deserve it.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Five for Friday- Farm Style

I'm back with my usual Five for Friday on a Saturday antics. Last night, we went to our friend's  pajama birthday party. The birthday guest was turning 3! My friend made the evening so precious...complete with breakfast food, fruit loops necklaces, and cereal box favors.

This is my second post this week...and I'm pretty excited to be blogging with much more regularity than ever before. If I keep this up, I'd LOVE to spend some extra time (and a little bit of $) to redo my blog design. I just couldn't justify a nice new blog before with posts months apart. Ha! Anyone have any suggestions for blog designers that are fairly reasonable?

I've started to sit down and create some TPT products...ones that I'll actually try to sell. (Cue my husband's Hallelujah chorus!) But first...another freebie! I've been making some simple class books that we've done so far this year. They're pretty typical for all teachers...nothing new and fanciful. I have 4 so far and you can find them in my TPT store: Mrs Murrays Kinders. Creating TPT products has made me THAT much more appreciative to all of the TPT sellers I buy from! I already knew this (because I spend all my paycheck on TPT) but you guys rock!

This is one of my farm activities that I'm working on. I put the entire unit on the back burner to figure out whether or not my ideas were "good" ideas. This was a simple emergent reader working on our popcorn words I, am, the, and little. We adopted Reading Street last year so this emergent reader goes along with Unit 1's introduction of sight words.

Simple Simon. These cute chickens were fun and easy to make during a week filled with assemblies. And what great fine motor practice to have Kinders cut out their own handprints! These two clucks were probably better than some others...but overall, the hands looked good.

Glow in the dark there anything more fun than that?! Well, if you asked one of my kiddos he would say "Yes" because he'd rather use our Monster finger puppets. Sadly...I don't have a class set of those yet. These readers are from our RS series and the kiddos love to use something special to find our popcorn words and try to whisper read it to themselves. We also read in a whole group and in a small group. Anything to make reading fun!

Mrs. Wishy-Washy was a GREAT way to end our farm week. These ideas came from Mrs. Williamson's class blog: Welcome to Room 36! You can check out her blog post here. The kids loved finger painting the blue spots on Mrs. Wish-Washy's handkerchief and then stamping their WHOLE hand onto our mud poem. It was a FUN Friday! 

I hope you all had an amazing week! Check out these sunrise pictures I captured on my morning commutes this week. I'm going to be sad when I don't get to see the sunrise each day.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!