Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Day Catch Up! Writing Fun, Winter Centers and A Freebie for All!

Snow Day!!!  We got BLASTED with a storm yesterday.  This was the view from my classroom window just 1 hour into the storm!  A normal 20 min ride home was 1.5 hours!  So today is 'catch-up' and relax day!

My kinders are on the road to writing paradise!  It is finally time to break out and use 'The Author's Chair!'

My kinders LOVE when they get to sit in this chair!  I made it about 5 years ago and it is definitely one of the prized possessions of my classroom!  The power this little chair cover has is amazing!  It slips right over any chair back (like a pillowcase) but we mainly use it over my chair- the thrill of sitting in the teacher's chair is like no other!

And as we are writing more, it is time to work on spacing!  I have tried '2 finger space'- but my lefties have such a hard time with that!  'Space men' are so expensive to replace each year because magically they disappear faster than a plate of cookies!  So this idea came out of pure desperation!
Tongue depressor size popsicle sticks!!! 

I got a set of colored sticks, but I was thinking even with the 'plain' ones and the 'washi tape' craze we could make some fun ones this year!  It's the perfect amount of space needed for kinder writing...and SO inexpensive!!

So this week my kinders tried out our clipping and recording math center for more/less!

The students each had a set of 12 cards.  It was a mix of counting winter clothing objects, ID-ing numbers and reading a ten frame.  They would record the card number, count the 2 sides and write which had more/less and then would spin.  If it landed on 'more' they would clip the side with more- and then the same if they landed on 'less.'  I challenged some of my kids to also then mark/dot on the recording sheet to show which side they landed on/clipped.  

You can find the whole pack here, as well as a Valentine version:

My kids LOVE doing all types of 'clipping' activities- and this new one was no different!  If you haven't tried using clothespins for center activities, be sure to try out my winter syllables FREEBIE!

So what other fun centers are we working with this week?
Number Puzzles....but without starting at one this week!  I found my kids had no problem ordering numbers when they began at 1, but when I gave them a number other than 1, it was challenging!
But after we practiced a bit with laminated copies, it was time to try on their own...and they got it!

Want to try it with your kids?  
Here is a set of 3 'arctic animals themed' colored puzzles, a black and white set (with the numbers in order and a set with the numbers mixed up) and a blank template to guide students as they glue...for FREE!!!!

Print the colored sets on cardstock (I like to mark the back with a colored line across the whole paper so that I can easily find which piece belongs to which set when the pieces 'accidentally' get mixed up!) and then laminate.  Cut on the lines and place in a ziploc bag.  Place at a center and have students practice number ordering!  When they are ready, offer the black & white version (pick which works best for your students) for them to cut, order, glue and color!

And if they LOVE them, check out my new Valentine set!  I have them programmed with numbers 0-20 and also have blank editable puzzles so that you can program them to meet what your students are working on/need more practice!  

Speaking of animals...we are working with one of my favorite winter books this week....The Mitten  by Jan Brett!!!  We combined 'ordering numbers'/ordinal numbers with literacy and interactive writing to sequence the animals in the story!  

And then worked on 'reading' the names to match pictures of the animals!

Hopefully we can return to school soon so we can read a simpler version of the book and climb in the HUGE mitten!

We also tracked those famous animals around the room this week to record sight words and write CVC words!  We are also using Differentiation Station's 'Count the Room' mitten freebie!

If you are working on the same, or talking about winter clothing, feel free to use this poem I wrote to teach my kinders about winter clothes!  It goes to the tune of '10 Little Indians!'
WARNING:  It is catchy and will stay in your head all day...and night!!! feels so good to be caught up!  

Be sure to visit Teaching With Nancy for the Friday Freebie Link Up for more wonderful freebies!

And be on the lookout this weekend for my Valentine Roll, Say, Keep Numbers 1-20 for FREE in the Facebook Free-For-All Facebook Hop!

Here's just a little peek at all that you will score for free!
You can start the hop right on my Facebook page!
Be sure to 'like' my page so that you can get all the updates and notifications!

Hope you all stay warm and cozy!
Till next post!
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  1. I think we are in for 6 more weeks of bad weather so I think he will see his shadow! Sad to say because it's freezing here where I am and we've already missed our snow days! Thanks for the chance.

  2. I'm going to say that spring is on its way. I'm crossing his fingers he doesn't see his shadow. I'm ready for warm Florida weather. Thank yo for the chance.


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