Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yoga in the Classroom

If you are anything like me, you would laugh at the thought of doing
yoga.  I have tried it a few times before and it just wasn't my thing.  I
have a hard time being silent and I am the least flexible person on
this planet.  I prefer a long run over yoga any day.

I have found a series of free yoga videos for kids that includes yoga stories, yoga poses, and yoga for the classroom!  My kindergarten kids have loved doing yoga when they need a brain break or are stuck indoors for recess.  A new video was recently uploaded and the kids went nuts over it (HINT: It has to do with a movie series)!  Check it out!

much as yoga is not for me, I completely understand the benefits of
it.  Everyone who does it raves about it.  I have seen articles about
yoga in the classroom and chuckled when I saw them.  People think my 5
year olds can be quiet and do yoga for an extended period of time?? No

We had many days of rain and indoor recess.  I was
out of new ideas and figured I would give yoga a try.  I have no idea how to teach yoga, but there are fabulous YouTube videos.  My kids LOVED
it.  It is a new indoor recess favorite.  Cosmic Kids Yoga has at least 10 different yoga episodes.  They are fun, involve characters, and the kids go on an adventure.  It is a great, and quiet, way to do indoor recess.  I highly recommend you try yoga in the classroom with your kids.

I have posted one of their favorites below!  What is your favorite indoor recess activity?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Eggcellent Math & Literacy Centers

I am gearing up for April and starting to work on some new centers for Word Work and a few new math stations.  I LOVE Easter eggs and there are so many ways to incorporate them into the classroom - in an educational way!

Here are some ideas for you!

 WORD FAMILY EGGS - This is a quick and easy center to make.  Simply decide on a word family.  Write it on one side of the egg.  Put letters on the other side of the egg.  Students twist the egg and read all the different words.  You could have them use the words in a sentence or come up with new words that work for that egg as well.

RHYMING EGGS - This is another easy activity.  Write rhyming words on eggs (I didn't repeat any word families..).  Unhook all the eggs and students have to put together the eggs that rhyme.  I will also use this to pair up my kids.  I will unhook all the eggs.  I will have kids pick a half of an egg.  They will then have to find the person with their other rhyming half and that will be their partner!

 MATH EGGS - I can't wait to use these for one of my math centers.  I am going to create a recording sheet to go along with the eggs, but haven't created it yet!  I will be sure to share once I do.  Anyway, the eggs each have 2 problems on them.  The answers to the 2 problems are the same.  I will see how long it takes my kiddos to figure that out!  I like having the answers the same because it is an easy way for the kiddos to check their own work.  If they get two different numbers, they know something is not right.  I also have included the answer inside the egg.  This is another way for my kids to learn to check their own thinking while doing independent or group work.
What I love most about these eggs is how easy it is to differentiate the center.  I have kids who will pick yellow and orange eggs and I have other kids who will pick green and blue eggs.  My yellow and orange eggs have addition with 3 numbers on them and subtraction within 20.  My green and blue eggs have addition and subtraction within 10.

Another thing that I love about these eggs (yes, this is my favorite egg center), is that you can challenge all of your students even further.  Once the kids solve the problems and I will ask them to come up with another problem that fits with that egg.  I love giving kids an answer and having them come up with the problem.  It really shows what they know and some of the things they come up with just amaze me.  This will all be on the recording sheet that I eventually create.

Other Ideas (sorry - no pictures...)
EASTER EGG SIGHT WORD HUNT - I will be hiding Easter eggs around the room.  The students will hop to find an egg.  They will open the egg and hop back to a teacher and read the sight word inside.  They will then hop the egg back to where they found it and then hop to a new egg.  This is a great brain break or perfect for a rainy day.

Now, I have a bad feeling that the permanent marker is going to wipe off the eggs with all the little hands that will be on them.  Anyone have any ideas of how to get it to stay?!

Have a grrreat day!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Safari Time!

My entire classroom is safari theme. I went on a safari last winter and fell completely in love with it.  I just had to have my classroom theme be a safari.  I have different table names, each after an animal (lions, tigers, rhinos, zebra, giraffes, and tigers).

We recently have been working on researching a topic and writing about it.  We researched and wrote about penguins as a class.  We researched and wrote about polar bears as a class  The kids LOVED it.  I decided it was time for them to do some research in groups and create books about their animals.  They are already in tables with an animal so we just used those!  The books came out GREAT!  The kids had such a fabulous time reading books and researching the animals.

I even created non-fiction animal books for each of the tables to use when doing research.

I have some writing samples that I will share later on (I don't have the pictures with me currently), but I do have pictures of all the covers we made for the books.  The kids loved having a special craft that they got to do and loved showing off their animal!

After creating the title pages, the kiddos added the title to their book and their name.  We displayed our books proudly in the hallway :)

Write the Room - April

My kids are obsessed with Write the Room!  We have been doing Write the Room since the beginning of the year and they are always so excited when it is a new month which means new words and NEW GLASSES.  My kids love finding out what our new words are and love wearing the glasses when they write the room.

I am so excited about my Write the Room - April Edition and even more excited about the glasses I just found for this month!

Before I show you, I figured I would share a little bit about the station.  I keep this at my word work center and it is so easy to manage.  I switch out the words once or twice a month.  I print the colored copy onto cardstock and laminate it.  The kids put it on a clipboard and grab a dry erase marker.  They head around the room and find words wearing groovy glasses.  After that, they come back and grab a black and white copy.  They transfer their answers onto a copy to turn in. For those who need a little more of a challenge - they use the word they found in a sentence.  Easy as that!

My pack for April includes pages on Easter, Earth Day, Arbor Day, and Spring!  See a preview below :)

Write the Room - April Edition is FREE today!! If you happen to come across this post and missed the freebie, comment below and I will e-mail it out to a lucky winner  on Friday - March 28th!

As for the glasses, I am just so excited about what I found today.  I always find the best stuff at the dollar store.  They had out bunny glasses for Easter season.  I picked up some bunny glasses - for just $1 - and I know my kids are going to LOVE wearing this while writing the room this month!  How adorable!!!

Have a grrreat day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

You are in Luck!

I love St. Patrick's Day! I think it is such a fun holiday with great celebrations. I love leprechauns and rainbows and especially the color GREEN! It also helps that I have some Irish in me! In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I am having a SALE!! I am having a 3 day sale where everything in my store is 20% off! Visit my store March 16th - 18th to get some wonderful products and even better prices! Happy St. Patrick's Day!