Sunday, October 20, 2013

Blog Redesign

Happy Sunday, guys!

I hope you're feeling better than I am; I spent most of last night coughing and didn't fall asleep until 4am. Bleh. Sinus cavities. You're killing me.  Anyway, since I wasn't feeling up to leaving the house yesterday, I spent my time redesigning the blog and setting up accounts on ABC Mouse and RAZ-Kids.

If you're unfamiliar with these resources, go check them out! They are amazing. ABC Mouse offers a free subscription to teachers in public schools and gives free home access to the students you've listed on your roster.  You can design lessons specifically for what you're teaching in class or provide remedial activities for students you know are struggling in certain areas.  Apparently the marketing for ABC Mouse is better than I realized, because Cameron was incredibly excited that he could get on it now; he's "seen the commercials." That kid and his commercials.

RAZ-Kids is unfortunately only available if your school has a subscription to Learning A-Z.  If you don't have it, it's worth bringing to the attention of your principal! RAZ-Kids reads books to students, allows students to record themselves reading and provides quizzes to check for comprehension at the end of each story.

We should be wrapping up PALS testing this week, but there was a glitch in the server on Monday and the site was down Tuesday for repair.  Any teacher who entered data on Monday lost what had been submitted. Guess who was *raving* about how convenient and easy the online assessment wizard was on Monday?! As a result of this mishap, we get two extra days for testing.

Here's what I've really been struggling with this year: the Science/Social Studies block is at the very end of the day, from 2:45-3:10. But kids get picked up for parent pick-up at 3:10! Where is the time for snack? Where is the time for stamping folders? For packing up? Dismissal in our room is always so. hectic.  So basically, our 'color unit' consisted of making color anchor charts.  The kids made a craft to correspond with each color, but it just wasn't as in-depth as last year. We're going to have to figure something out to fix that!  As a culminating activity for colors, we read and acted out Brown Bear, Brown Bear:

Mrs. Smith's class came to watch our performance!  The kiddos did a great job.  We worked more on patterns in math, introducing ABC and AAB patterns and learned more about the Penny and Nickel.  (Penny and Nickel are the only coins assessed in the first 9 week grading period.)

The following video includes the Dime and Quarter as well and the value of the coins. For assessment purposes, kindergarten students need to know the name of the coin, the value, and what's on the front and back of each coin.  This is a good starting point, though:

Since it was S week, we got to read all about our favorite squirrel... Scaredy Squirrel! Next week during morning meeting we will play the beginning sound game from my Don't Be Scared to Learn activity pack.  Click HERE to grab your own copy!

The kiddos seemed to enjoy Field Day on Friday, but they were wiped out! See some of the highlights below:

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