Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, and more Pumpkins!!!



Ask this question for creating a science experiment:  Does the largest pumpkin have the most seeds?


I do not give my students spoons.  I like that they have to touch the inside and truly get to "experience" the pumpkin.  All the seeds go on a large baking sheet where I have taped a piece of their paper as a label to identify the group.  Pulp goes on the paper, then it all goes in the trash.  I don't worry about bits of extra pulp.  BUT.....trust me, let the seeds dry overnight before trying to count them.  They won't be totally dry, but they will be significantly less slimy and easier to count.



We always take time the first day to talk about what we saw, smelled, felt, and heard (we save tasting for another day) as we were observing our pumpkins.  We record our describing words on an anchor chart and use that to write about pumpkins too.
 


Every time I have done this activity it has gone smoother with parent volunteers, one for each group.  Even second and third graders have a hard time keeping track counting. 

If you liked this bright idea consider following me on TpT, facebook, and here on this blog, KinderKapers.  There will be more tips on what to do with your leftover seeds and how to keep your pumpkin from molding (not forever....but longer)

For more BRIGHT IDEAS, check out the link-up below.  More than 100 bloggers are sharing their bright ideas today.  Browse through and find a grade level/topic that interests you.  Thank you for visiting!




Saturday, August 30, 2014

Number Sense with Peas and Carrots

How do you establish number sense in Kindergarten?  I like to go about things from a slightly different perspective.

I like the one number a week model.

We play with it too.

We look at all the ways we can make our number.  We do this with Peas and Carrots (green and orange connecting cubes).  Once the routine is established it is not hard to increase the numbers each week.  And then move from using the word and to using the symbols + and = .
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Peas-and-Carrots-768700


http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Peas-and-Carrots-768700

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Peas-and-Carrots-768700

We stop at five and play some more....trying to get plenty of practice to begin to establish fluency.

Then we stop again at ten.

I made this:
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Peas-and-Carrots-768700


to last the whole first semester.

I made this as well for day three or four of our number week....More or Less.  That is another tricky concept for Kindergarteners and we practice it each week with every number.  You can grab this for free.  Just hop over to my facebook page and it is a free gift for you.
https://www.facebook.com/KinderKapers

Each week we follow the same routine.  Introduce the Number, Peas and Carrots, More or Less.  We take longer at the beginning, and as the routine is established students do get quicker.  That leaves more time for other concepts (like shapes), and more time for centers.  By the time we get to the tricky teenagers, my kinders are ready to shake it up and start some new routines.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Back to School with a BRIGHT IDEA!

It's that time of the month again...... Bright Idea time!!

I so look forward to this, because I can find so many great ideas from so many of the BEST bloggers.

I have an idea this month that solved a problem in our computer lab and made my year run smoother.

Here was my problem.....the headphones were always in various states of disrepair.  We do not have a dedicated computer lab person, so each teacher is responsible for helping to take care of things and making it work for their own classroom.  It seemed that you never knew which headphones were working and which were broken or about to fall apart.  Even when we bought new ones, it didn't take long until there were many that were not working.  It was a hot mess.

Problem number two....students could not remember their usernames and passwords (and neither could I).  It seemed that the weeks I forgot to bring my printed off cheat sheet were the weeks that that nearly every student forgot their username.  It was a huge pain to find it....and it was all time not on task for them while I worked my way through the maze of clicks and passwords to get the information.

Here is what I did....I spent a little money at the dollar store and gathered these supplies.


Now I know that each of my students have headphones (I tell them if they break them they will have to replace them).  I know they have their username and password with them. 

When we go to the computer lab they have no excuse to get right on task.

Headphones....25 for $25
Ziplock baggies....$4.50
3x5 cards..... $.25
Peace of Mind....priceless

If you enjoyed this bright idea, please consider following me here at KinderKapers, on Facebook, or my TpT store.

For more Bright Ideas from more than 100 bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you.  Thanks for visiting!



Monday, August 11, 2014

HELP!!! It's a SHARK attack!

Baby Shark....do..doo,...do..do,...do..doo.  I think the sharks got me!!  If you saw this post yesterday, it was empty.

But I took care of that shark and I am back!  I brought reinforcements!

Teachers know that kids learn more when they’re excited and engaged. Today a team of bloggers come together to help your students take a BITE out of learning with a theme your students are sure to love!

Slide5

I like to keep my students engaged by bringing in "stuff"  (realia).

I like to bring in things that relate to the lesson.
Cooking in a dutch oven and making butter during a Thanksgiving lesson.
I like to bring in things to touch and handle, and gain experience.

I bring my kids to our butterflies....outside in a screened tent.  They can get up close and personal.  Check it out here.

I am lucky to have a lot of "stuff" to share.
My nephew's luge sled.  It comes to school during the Winter Olympics.
My husband's saddle.  It comes to school during Cowboy Poetry Week.

Of course, picking topics the students are interested in always helps, too!

And what student wouldn't LOVE to touch these??
I bought mine on Amazon.

Slide 10.png


Try this little game with your shark teeth.....a little missing addend fun.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Missing-Addend-Shark-Attack-1385932
Grab some teeth, count them
Player one hides some (while everyone else hides their eyes).  Try under a shell or in a treasure box.
Now player two (or three and four) open their eyes and LOOK....how many do you see?
Figure out how many are hiding.   Check.   Write your equation.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Missing-Addend-Shark-Attack-1385932

Click HERE to try it out!
What about the shark eating these little guys??  Same game, only now there is food and the shark is doing the eating.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Missing-Addend-Shark-Attack-1385932

Be sure to go for a swim in the linky party below. Every blog in the Shark Week Blog Hop features a fishy freebie for you and your students- but hurry! Shark Week only lasts until Sunday, August 17th  : )
 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Five for Friday....the week I found out.

It's Friday....and oh my goodness, it has been a week!  You would think I was one of the ones starting back to school (I have been here long enough each day).  Nope.  We haven't started back yet and it is a good thing.

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching just to give you a quick peek into my week.

http://doodlebugsteaching.blogspot.com/2014/08/five-for-friday-linky-party-august-8th.html

What I really need is a big ole sign that says

Yup, that's right, I am moving to 2nd.  It might be a short trip....the higher ups said I can move back, but "they" need me.  How can you say no?  Especially when they say they need a strong, experienced second grade teacher (I did teach 2nd for about 12 years).  Even if they said that just to make me feel better....I will take it.

So I am going, and I am going with a smile.  There must be a reason, and if I have a good attitude and do my best...I bet I will figure it out by June.

So....in the middle of all that craziness and a bit of panic, I had an anniversary.  I married this guy 36 years ago!  He is my rock, my go to guy, and all around best friend.  We go on lots of adventures together.  We have raised a wonderful family, and even if he drives me crazy sometimes....I wouldn't trade him.


I spent part of my week watching this granddaughter at the pool.  Her brother was taking swimming lessons too until some "big kids" pushed him off the slide and he broke his arm.


The rest of the week I have been at school trying to finish up this organizing project before I start thinking about second grade.  It is coming along....just a lot slower than I thought.


Part of that project was making these with my daughter-in-law and her circuit.  More on that later.


I am blessed to have some great friends.  Unexpectedly a very good friend came by with not one....but two aprons for me.  She, and her daughter, made them just because I had commented on another friend's facebook page how cute I thought they were.  I am still overwhelmed with this random act of kindness.  The more I think about how kind and generous they were...the more I know I need to pay it forward.
That is my goal for this coming week...find a way to pay it forward and do three random acts of kindness.  Of course I also want to get my labels made and my library put back together.  Do you have plans??