Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

Our last Fairy Tale was The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Here are some of the activities we did!

We made the CUTE stick puppets to go with a book we also made. The kids loved acting out the story in their book.

Here is the book. I just love the bridge!

Stamped a scene from the story.

Sequenced the story events.

Used puppets to act out and retell.

Flannel board

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

G is for Germany

The last week before the winter break we studied Germany. I save this country for last during our Europe unit because there are many Christmas symbols and stories from Germany. We read this book a few times. It is loaded with great snip its of information about Germany. My class was most impressed by the Nutcracker and the Autobahn! We also learned about Beethoven. I found this web site to listen to Symphony 5 and 8. We voted and graphed which piece we liked the best (#5). I also used this web site to learn more about Beethoven and his music. This is an online radio program for kids. I also found this coloring sheet. Our journey through Europe is done! On to Antarctica in January.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Polar Express

I have a confession... I never look forward to classroom parties. The anticipation makes for wild and crazed children- I hate hearing myself hold the party over their heads (even though I vow not to-- something slips out when I am trying to control the group the 6 hours BEFORE the party). They take a lot of planning, but last only moments as the food gets eaten, games are over-- then it always seems like I have a mess to clean up and 12 minutes before dismissal to fill. SO--- instead of having a holiday party I decided to do a Polar Express day. I am going to make this an annual tradition! The kids just loved it, it kept them busy and learning all day, I loved sharing this experience, AND it made the day fly by! --- All great things during the last week before the vacation. Next year I am going to ask my administration if we can wear PJs! We have a pretty strict uniform code so I didn't ask this year. The day was just amazing. I didn't get photos of everything but here is a peak at our day. I am writing from home so I can't credit my ideas.. let me just say if you google Polar Express kindergarten you get a ton of amazing ideas from very talented teachers who are so kind to share their ideas for free! :) Before school I set up their chairs like seats in a train. I borrowed an electric lantern from a student and turned off the lights. When the kids walked in they put their things away and I told them to find a seat on the Polar Express.

When they were seated I went over some expectations and train rules. Then I asked for their tickets which were waiting on their desks. They have the date, name of the student, and our school name. I punched their ticket with a whole punch and then we "watched" the Polar Express as Lou Diamond Phillips read the story on Storyline Online.

I pulled up the Hot Chocolate clip from YouTube and then we had a treat!- chocolate milk and cookies.. (yes, it was 9:30 am!)

After the snack we boarded the Polar Express again and I pulled up Believe on YouTube and then I announced that there was a special surprise taped under your seat if you believe. The students discovered a bell on a string taped under their chair.

We finished the morning by learning about "wants" and "needs"

Train shape cut and paste- they had to cut out the shapes to make the train. We also did activities with the AN word family, read books about trains, made an ABC and Number train, and made a class book about the first gift of Christmas. We also did a writing about our Polar Express experience.
It was a really great day. The wonder and surprise and delight was electric. I really enjoyed seeing this day through the eyes of my students. It was such a nice break from the usual and it made our time together before the break special.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Santa arrived Friday for our Annual Courtyard Holiday Celebration! The whole school waited outside for Santa and Mrs. Claus.

We had a wonderful morning! The chorus sang, the SLP read a Hanukkah story, teachers and students acted and sang, played instruments, and we all sang along to the 12 days of a Florida Christmas and other fun carols. I am so lucky to work a such an amazing school with faculty and staff that can let go and have fun! This annual tradition is a wonderful way to make memories. I am lucky that I can witness my kindys first time seeing this celebration. The rest of the day was just as fun. We sang songs and made crafts - I opened thoughtful presents from my students and we had a yummy snack. I came home worn out and my cheeks hurt from smiling! Now the weekend is over and I am feeling great! I don't have to make lunches, lay out clothes, set the alarm, check over lessons plans, make lists... this is the best feeling on a Sunday night! I have a few drafts of posts waiting to go over the break so keep checking back for updates! Off to enjoy my family.

Friday, December 17, 2010

G is for Gingerbread Man

As part of our unit on Europe we have been reading fairy tales. Here are the activities we did for The Gingerbread Man.

Retold the story using flannel board pieces.

Matched capital and lowercase gingerbread letters.

Made color words out of letter tiles.

Matched capital and lowercase letters on a Gingerbread Man.

Cut and paste shape match Gingerbread House.

Made Gingerbread friends.

Sequenced the story.

Baked Gingerbread cookies.

Counted Gingerbread erasers on Gingerbread mats.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'll Huff and I'll Puff!

As part of our unit on The Three Little Pigs we did an experiment and a little math. I collected objects and used Huff and Puff power to move the objects across the floor. We counted and graphed how many huffs and puffs it took. We had a blast! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Three Little Pigs

Here are some of the books we read and activities we did during our study of Europe and Fairy Tales.

These books are great! I LOVE The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs by A. Wolf. It gave me a great opportunity to explain the phrase "two sides to every story". After reading it we all felt a little sympathetic for that wolf.
We enjoyed reading the books with friends.

Story Sequencing

Story Map

Puppet Show!

Sequencing the story with stamps

Writing new vocabulary words
Retelling the story using the flannel board.

Illustrated and filled in the missing words to our own Three Little Pigs book.

Made houses out of straw (drinking straws), sticks (coffee stirrers), and bricks (paper squares).