Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Letters on the Bus and Introducing Centers

Whew. Another busy week down. I am stilling saying this is one of my best classes EVER. I LOVE them. This week, we worked on our letters, I introduced 3 literacy centers, and we started Math rotations. 

As you know, the first few weeks of Kindergarten are EXHAUSTING but once we get started on centers, the year seems to start to FLY BY. Oh, beware, I did not have my camera at school this week so all of my pictures are taken on my phone...and my phone is not the best, especially on rainy days like we had this week. I keep hinting to Mr. Fabulous that I need a Samsung Galaxy 5 because I hear it takes great pictures.

Every morning this week, we looked at which letters were in our name. This chart was Pinspired by this pin. The pin takes you to an old version of KinderGals. I created my own cut up sentence and you cab get it FREE HERE or by clicking on the picture.

This letters on the bus song comes from Mrs. Williamson's Room 36. I like to project it on the Smartboard and write  4-5 letters everyday. The kids LOVE it.

I thought it would be fun to combine the two and make a bus with the first letter in our name. It was a simple cut the corners project...and it turns out we need A LOT more practice with that.

Bus Measurements
 1 Yellow rectangle 9x8.5
 2 black squares cut 3x3
4 white square cut 1.5x1.5

Make sure the students have the yellow rectangle longs ways (or hot dog style). Have them cut the top two corners. Then cut all four corners of the wheels. This may be hard for some. For students who may be struggling to cut the corners, I draw where they should cut. Then, they use the white squares to draw the bus driver and their friends. I created a FREE sheet with one line of the poem here. To make it more fun, I let each pumpkin place his or her bus under the document camera and everyone sang the song.

For more Back to School ideas, check on my Back to School Pinterest board

This week, I introduced three literacy centers. The first one that I introduced was word work. I placed four activities in word work. All 4 focus on letter identification. I have students who are ready for beginning sounds, but I wanted to start with simple activities.

 On the first day of literacy centers (which was day 8 of school), we only only did word work. I showed students where the word work center is. We talked about using quiet voices and how to put the materials away. I modeled each activity. After all that talking, we were ready for a brain break. I love  Then, I had students go back to their tables and I placed a bucket on their table. The first day is the only time I tell them what to do and require them to sit at their table. I watched to see how long they stayed engaged. The initial rotation lasted almost 15 minutes! But of course, that wore off and the next two rotations lasted about 10 minutes. My hope is to be up to 15 by the time I pull guided reading groups.

The picture on the left is from my Beginning Sounds Word Work Pack.

The picture on the top right is a FREEBIE from Caitlin Clabby at Kindergarten Smiles and you can find it HERE

The bottom two come from Tara West at Little Minds at Work. It is from her Wand-erful Guided Reading Activities.  I have to tell you all, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this pack. It was the best investment EVER. It has activities that can be used all year in kindergarten. They are designed to go with Bingo Wands, which i want to get, but for now, I am just using transparent counters that I already had.

On the second day of introducing centers, I introduced the Listening Center. I played The Kissing Hand on CD. I modeled under the document camera what I was drawing while the kids sat at the desk drawing. At the end, I let everyone come up and share their picture. I found a strength in every drawing, of course. You can get this simple Listening Center template FREE HERE.  For now, we are focusing on drawing our favorite part, writing the title, and rating it. As we begin to work on writing, I will encourage my students to label their picture. Later on, I will switch to a recording sheet with some lines to write. On Day Two, I also introduced read to self., which I will talk about more later.

On Day 3, Friday, we rotated through the three centers. It went well. Okay, it was loud and it took FOREVER to rotate. But, it was only Day 3! On Tuesday, I will introduce the writing center.

I LOVE dice rolling games. The kids had a blast with these two. They are a great way to develop number sense. The top picture comes from my Back to School Math Centers.The second picture is my Star Stacking FREEBIE. Both games come with a dice version and a numeral version to meet the needs of your students.

Guess what??? I almost have 500 followers on Teachers Pay Teachers. I have a freebie and a CELEBRATION planned. Are you following me??? now is the time!!! Look at the freebie I have planned for you!

Have you gotten my Job Chart freebie on Facebook????
To get this freebie, you just have to like my Facebook page!

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