Sunday, September 30, 2012

More Apples...What a week!

We have been having an apple-licious week.  Getting to present great learning to students in a fun-themed way makes me love Kindergarten.  This week was all about apples.  Yum!

Some of the highlights included my climbing the apple tree in our outdoor education center and handing apples down to my students so we could make applesauce.  Don't worry I really wasn't that high in the tree, but what was a person to do....all the low apples had been picked.  Students worked on their circle maps and torn paper mosaics while I washed, peeled, and cut the apples.  The apples went into the crock pot with brown sugar and a bit of water, it was ready by 2 o'clock snack time.

Wednesday was our "Switch Around Day" in honor of Johnny Appleseed's birthday.  Once a month my Kindergarten team gets together and we rotate all four classes through each room.  We often pick a theme and everyone chooses an activity to go with the theme.  We then move the kids from room to room and we teach our lesson four times.  Fun for the for us! 

Night before.... getting ready.
 In my room we tasted apples and graphed the results.  I made a graph for each class because I knew we would not have time to talk about the data during our short half hour class.  Plus I was hoping they would be so cute everyone would want to hang them up.  The idea for the graph came from Deanna Jump's Apples! Math and Literacy Activities.  Our recording page came from there too.
An apple graph will go here.

Apples ready to taste
After tasting the students will stand at the table of the color of apple they liked best.  They will paint an apple on a quarter sheet of construction paper, cut it out, move to the table you can't see in the picture to make a stem.  Then I will help them put the apple on the right tree.  Voila!  Cute graph and then it's time to look at the data.
Finished graph...I love how the apples turned out!  This will hang in the hallway tomorrow along with our data page.

  In another classroom the students learned about growing apples.  
The half hour switch around time was not long enough to finish these...but they were too cute to let them stay unfinished.  We worked on them again on Friday and everyone took home their finished product..  This student is using a neighbor's to help guide her as she finishes.
Finished cute is that for teaching how an apple grows and sequencing.

Does your classroom get as messy as mine?  Best thing I pinned and started using this year is a scrap bucket at each table.  Scraps go right in the bucket as they work.  Most of the time it doesn't come close to this messy...but even when it does clean-up is quick.

Ready to go again.

All week long we made circle maps, labeled apples, learned about brace maps and tree maps.  I saved all of these and they will make a little apple portfolio of their work.  Many of our math stations centered around apples too.  We made an apple seed counting book, patterns with little die cut apples, sorted apples and practiced talking about more and less, and we illustrated Ten Apples Up On Top.

With our second grade reading buddies we sequenced the story of "Johnny Appleseed" planting, growing, picking, and eating apples.  The stories went in little apple books and our buddies helped us write a sentence on each page to tell the story.  These books also went home on Friday.

Phew!  I'm tired.  But I am already looking forward to next week.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Apples Apples Apples

Are your celebrating Johnny Appleseed's birthday with apple activities?  We are going to taste apples and decide which apple we like the best.  I try to pick a good green apple (Granny Smith), and very red apple (red delicious), and the most truly yellow apple I can find (usually Golden Delicious).  I cut them into bitesize pieces using an apple slicer.  I tell my Kinder Kids that they should only take one bite, because they may need to take another bite when it is time to make up their minds.  To make the cutting go quicker I used to use this:

But now I use this!!   I got mine at IFA...but I saw they have them on Amazon too.

 I love it!  The kiddos like watching it spin, and I like how quick it is.  I can peel the apples or leave the peels on (and thus have color).  After tasting the apples, we pick the one we like the best.  We graph the results using die cut apples.

This year I want to change things up a bit.  We are going to paint the apples and put them on trees like Deanna Jump suggests.  Same graphing activity, same discussions of more and less, a little more fun because we get to paint. Also it will look great in our hallway with the poem Deanna had included in her unit (Apples! MathandLiteracyActivities).  I can't wait for Wednesday.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Zero the Hero

Today was our tenth day of school...Hooray!  I have wanted to do Zero the Hero since I discovered him about day 43 last year. 

Zero the Hero is such a fun guy!  My whole Kindergarten team talked it over and decided we would all do him.  I looked at all the wonderful resources out there and just couldn't decide what to do, because I knew I couldn't do it all (there are too many great ideas and products).  I came to school with a general idea...but I was open to change.  I asked a fellow teacher what she was doing and she said, "What!!'s the tenth day??"  Apparently we all forgot because  no one was really prepared.  We resolved to make day 20 extra good and did just a couple of things. 

Did not realize that taking stickers off a sheet of ten would be good fine motor practice.

  I was able to throw together a couple of really fun activities to go with our learning about 10 page.  We watched Zero the Hero from Schoolhouse Rock, learned about the number 10 using Kathleen Pedersen's (from Growing Kinders) Zero the Hero packet, and then we made this cute Zero the Hero I found on Pinterest.  Aren't they adorable!  I am saving everything and we will make a book for the hundredth day...and even beyond.

Still drawing spider people.
My favorite....I tried to encourage her to add the arms and legs in what I considered the proper places, but she still needed the arms coming out of the head
Oops...I missed that ten.  But doesn't he look happy?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's all about Plan B

What do you do when what you want to do and create with your Kinders doesn't work out?  Do you just say "Oh Skip It!"  I just won't do that...even though it would be really fun and you could relate it to common core and to the things a Kinder needs to know.  NOPE!!  You go old school and find a way to make it work.

I want my kiddos to make a calendar the first school day of each month.  It helps them understand time (stuff they need to know), write their numbers (common core), and parents get a calendar that looks like their kids are learning and they can hang it on the fridge (good PR...parent relations).

First I can't find a calendar with dotted numbers for this year.  The one I used last year was WONDERFUL!  It was from Mrs. Solis' website.  I loved it!  It was already created for me and I just printed it off each month.  She didn't have one with the dotted numbers for 2012-2013. {sigh}.  I am not smart enough to make my own digitally, soooo I went the cut and paste route.  Yup...I printed a blank calendar and one with numbers, cut out each number, glued it to the blank, did the same for the year.  Copied it, then used a ruler to re-line any I covered up and tried to pull it together and look like I might have made it on my computer (which I just got back from my friend who fixes these things when they get sick...different story).

Voila.....Looks pretty good.

Next, I want to glue it on a large blue piece of paper so we can put a picture on top.  Check.   No problem there.

The picture I want to put on top is a school and bus.  We have the die cuts, so it should be a piece of cake.  Wrong....can't find the school.  I could have sworn we had a school.  Bus....yes,

What can I do?  At this point I am committed, so it is back to plan B.  Let's make a school from a square and a triangle.  Yay!  Even better, more common I can talk about squares and triangles.  But can you tell it's a school?  I found some flag stickers, so we practiced drawing a nice straight line starting at the top.  Each little red schoolhouse has a flagpole and a flag sticker.

I think they turned out pretty cute!  Even better than what I wanted to do first.  Plan B is often like that.