Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The 100 Worm - A Cute "Counting By 10s" Freebie

I came up with this worksheet as a quick and easy way to review counting by 10s.
What they do is cut out the circles and glue them "touching" on a separate sheet of paper. The head is at the beginning, the 100 is the end. After they glue the worm on their paper, they go back and write each number in each circle.
You can download the template here for free!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kindergarten Printables

This is a terrific site. I've bookmarked this site and plan to go back frequently for ideas. (It's also excellent for substitute ideas!)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Just Take 5 Minutes

Our tables were so dirty. Pencil marks, snack food smears and dried spills, and many of the children have colds or runny noses. So I said, "Enough Already!", and pulled out a can of shaving cream. Five minutes later, the cream had been rubbed into the wood veneer, then buffed with paper towels. Not only does the room now have a nice, fresh scent, but the kids were able to work out some of that excess energy.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Kids and Homework: What Can Parents Do?

When sending your kids to school, you expect the majority of their education to take place during the six or so hours per day when they are actually in the classroom. But for parents, it is important to realize that education needs to be reinforced in the home. This means not only helping kids with their studies, but also imposing homework times and engaging them in conversation about the things they are learning at school. It is easy to fall into a pattern of overreliance on our children’s teachers—but we must remember that teachers have dozens of kids to worry about. Our kids need us to make their education deeper and more personalized.

Establishing a homework time and space

As soon as your child begins getting homework assignments, set up an area of the home that can serve as the designated study space. This should not be in the child’s bedroom, as there may be distractions in there, and it is important for your child to have easy access to you for questions. Instead, set aside a distraction-free space in the common area of the house.

With the homework time, there are many possibilities. Experiment with different things until you find out what works best for your child. Some kids focus best two or three hours after school, just before dinner time. Some focus best in the hour prior to bed time. Some do best when the homework time is split into two segments before and after dinner. You will know you have found the best situation for your child when he or she is capable of focusing and getting all homework done day in and day out.
Meanwhile, whatever you set up for your child’s study time, make sure that you or your spouse are always nearby to help or answer any questions. It is a good idea to make this a quiet reading time for everyone in the household. This way, there is no television or other forms of excitement that may distract the child from his or her studies. So, during homework time, grab a book or magazine and settle in where you are immediately accessible.

Organization for good study habits

Another important point is to make sure your child approaches homework in an organized way. There are different ways to do this, but one that works for many kids is to keep a small notebook for daily homework to-do lists. Of course, this requires a type of discipline that is rare in young kids, but it is a good habit to learn if your child is capable of it.

Take stock of each day’s homework soon after your child gets out of school, and consider how much time will be needed to get it all done. Then, organize the tasks in a logical way that works for your child. Many parents find it best to encourage their kids to tackle the more difficult and time-consuming homework tasks first. Make all this a routine, and your child should eventually become relatively self-sufficient when it comes to homework—though of course, your involvement is always helpful.

Being engaged

Every family must find its own ways of approaching homework and study time. But if you want your child to do well in school and grow up with a good education, there is one indispensible element: parental engagement. This means more than just helping with homework; it also means communicating with teachers, being involved with the school, and staying plugged in to the community of parents in your neighborhood. It takes time and effort, but there is virtually nothing more important in a child’s life than education, so parents need to be engaged every step of the way.

In the end, many parents are surprised by just how much they enjoy being involved with their kids’ education. In helping your child with homework, you will learn plenty of things yourself (and you will relearn many things you have not thought of since childhood). Plus, time spent with your child working on homework is quality time together, a precious resource in these fast-paced times.
Guest article provided by Jamell Andrews who is an accomplished writer and believes in the power of homeopathic medicine. She is a regular contributor to the Parenting Journals.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Frickin Elephant

We who have taught, or love children who have been taught, know this is funny!

From the diary of a Pre-School Teacher:

My five-year old students are learning to read. Yesterday one of them pointed at a picture in a zoo book and said, "Look at this! It's a frickin' elephant!"
I took a deep breath, then asked..."What did you call it?"
"It's a frickin' elephant! It says so on the picture!"
And so it does.

" A f r i c a n Elephant "

Hooked on phonics! Ain't it wonderful?
Now that's funny, I don't care who you are.
Live Well, Love Much, Laugh Often

(Thanks to Tammy!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

After we made a Valentine card for our mother...

We played a game of "Racing Hearts" where teams blew their paper hearts across the tables using a straw...

Passed out our Valentines, then finished off with pizza, cupcakes, and punch.

It was an awesome day!

Friday, February 10, 2012

February is Dental Health Month

And thanks to a teacher on Pinterest, I found this neat way to show the class how flossing helps, even after brushing, with Legos to represent teeth, Playdoh for plaque, and yarn for floss.

We discussed "good foods" and "bad foods" (to review our nutrition unit), and then they got to cut out pictures from catalogs (again from a teacher on Pinterest). 3 bad foods for the Unhappy/Mad Tooth, and 3 good foods for the Happy Tooth.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When Was the Last Time You Cleaned Out Your Closets?

I guess the spring cleaning bug hit me early (because of our unusually spring-like weather this time of year, you think?) Or maybe it was because I was looking for glitter, knowing I had some, yet I couldn't find any! For whatever reason, since I had never actually organized my closets (red face here), I decided to take on cleaning out One Shelf a Day. I bought some baskets from the dollar store, grabbed a few box lids from the trash bins, and now I have organized closets (this is the ART closet. I also have one for LANGUAGE ARTS, MATH, and SCIENCE.)

As an added bonus, I found some tiles and picture puzzles I didn't know I had that can incorporate into my centers and 10 Minute Smarters! (Another plus is that it'll be so much easier to do my end-of-the-school-year inventory!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

I Spy - Math and Language Arts Integrated

I borrowed an idea I saw from a teacher on Pinterest who had given everyone in her class "math bags". The object was for each child to bring back 5 items from home. Subsequently, the teacher put all of the objects into a pile and had her class divide them up into groups. I used a brown paper bag, and the only restriction was that they couldn't bring back any food items. The sorting and classifying took 2 days, as we also did a Venn diagram to label and explain why the objects had been sorted a particular way.

After removing the objects too large for the small paper plates, each student got to pick any 5 items (they didn't have to pick their own) and put them onto the plate already slathered with a thin layer of glue. The plates were allowed to dry overnight.

The next day each child filled out an I SPY paper using creative spelling. When that was done, I hung the plates out in the hallway, along with the papers, and parents-teachers-students got to see if they could pair up the paper with the plate.

You can get your copy of my I SPY template here.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Happy 100th Day!

From One Hundred Days glasses, to One Hundred Days snack,

 making a One Hundred Days necklace from Froot Loops,
and a One Hundred Days pennant to wave during the parade,

and, finally, being in the parade with your homemade One Hundred Days t-shirt and poster.

We had a fabulous day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February Calendar Cheer Poem

February! February!
What are we do to?
Valentine, Valentine,
I love you!

*Hold up R hand at shoulder, then L.
*Cup L hand, cup R hand, put together with fingertips and wrists touching to form a heart
*point to self, then point to class)