Infatuated to the Core

Engage students with four sweet and sassy Valentine's Day centers!

Love Monster Tens Frames (Numbers 11-20)- K.CC.3 and K.NBT.1
Cupid Combinations (Adding Through 10)- K.OA.5

Language Arts
Bee Loved (CVC Words a,e,i,o,u)- K.RFS.2
Sealed with a Kiss (Ending Sounds)- K.RFS.2 

Blooming Authors! Procedural Writing

It's week four of functional writing: letters, lists, directions, maps, etc!  This journey has been simply amazing.  Within our functional writing genre, my class has dug in deep with procedural writing.  

I'm unsure how others introduce writing in their class, and I realize there are so many different ways to jump start a writing genre study.  For me, I begin with shared writing.  We used our basal story on How to Make a Salad to guide the discussion.  Since this story is a simple vocabulary reader, it allowed us to discuss the details that were missing yet crucial for completing the task.  After planning with illustrations, we stretched our words for the first official how-to! 

The second story in our genre study is guided.  I had the kids use the same topic.  How to Make Crayons in which you can link here to read their writing samples.  Each day, the kids helped make crayons as a reminder but we focused on one step at a time.  We chart ideas and the kids put their own words on papers.  The idea is the same but their writing reflects what they remember and connect with.

The third story in our genre study is 100% independent.  My mini lessons focused on the plan.  I have my sweeties using a four square identifying first, next, then, and last.  With turn an talk in place from readers workshop, the kids discuss amongst each other what should happen within each step.  This is the time that I guide the kids with techniques from In Pictures and In Words during the mini lesson or small groups.  My hopes are to inspire young illustrators.  After a good 10-15 minutes, the kids are off to write their papers...

For this activity, we used Susan Moran's How to Make Hot Cocoa templates from her winter writing packet.  Here are a few samples!!

 I love that everything is black and white UNTIL she gets to drink the cocoa.
Soooo creative!
 So as you can see, they are still a bit similar from their discussion!!
Here's an example of the plan!

This leads up to yesterday and today.  The topics are free choice.   I love to watch what the kids connect with and are willing to share.  My mini lessons for this week include less about procedural steps and more about author's craft.  We worked on titles, punctuation, a snazzy ending.  This is just a two of many amazing pieces...

 This is my race car driver!  Watch out NASCAR!!!

 She is my environmentalist.

Don't you just love their passion for writing?  I feel routines are really in place for our looping adventures!!!  I'm eager to see how the kids will grow as authors in this next year.

Procedural Writing

My kiddos closed out a fun week of procedural writing today.  We made crayons!!!  I was over-the-moon when I opened my Christmas gift from the Mr.  A crayon maker for the holidays hit the spot. Whose the kid?!?  I'm sure he enjoyed the fact that I asked him to stay away from diamonds.  I know, I know... not so female of me!  

The hubs found this little guy is at Target for under $25.  The crayons are tiny but so worth the excitement of making the blended colors.  My students made two crayons each.  It's easy enough for all my kinder students to use. 

Here are a few samples of writing.  I'm providing responses from low, medium, and high level learners.  As you can see, my brood took great pride in their work.  Crayons weren't the only thing melting.  My heart too....

I'm not sure if a translation is needed but just in case... First you plug the machine in.  Next you peel the paper off.  Then you break the crayons.  Last you put the crayon in the tray.  (EEEK!! She has come so far!!!)
I'm bummed the pictures cut off his cute illustrations!  He did such a great job!!!  His story reads...First you turn the machine on.  Next you peel the crayons.  Then you break the crayons. Last you melt the crayons. 
It's so funny what kids will pick up when you model writing.  In our shared piece on making a salad, I circled First, Next, Then, and Last.  Don't you think it's cute when they do the same?  Although his writing is easy to follow, he doesn't press hard with the pencil.  This one reads... First you plug the crayon machine in and turn it on.  Next you peel the crayons and break the crayons.  Then you put the crayons in the crayon machine and wait.  Last you draw with it. 

Up next, we are using Susan Moran's cute lil unit!  The kids are eager to make, taste, write, and craft how to make cocoa.  Honestly, me too!  Again, whose the kid!?!  

Look at how cute these are...

You'll find this activity in her winter packet.  Click the image above to visit T.G.I.F (her fabulous blog).  Click the image below to link to her store and scoop up this unit.

Hope you have a Wild Wednesday of teaching!  I know I will!!!

Discovering Why Kindness Counts!

Respect, Empathy, Responsibility, Integrity, and Forgiveness are themes covered in The Potato Chip Champ.

This past year, I've worked with nationally recognized author Maria Dismondy on her previously blog tour and created several mini units to align with her cute books: Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun and Pink Tiara Cookies for Three.  I'm honored to work with her again this year!

So, who is Maria?

Maria Dismondy is born and raised in Michigan.  A graduate from Michigan State, she holds a M.A in education, curriculum, and research with 10 years as an elementary teacher and reading interventionist before becoming an author.  She has authored four books: The Juice Box Bully {empowering kids to stand up for others), Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun {having courage to be who you are),  Pink Tiara Cookies for Three (having empathy for others), and most recently The Potato Chip Champ (discovering why kindness counts).  

This cah-ute book takes you on a journey between two boys from different backgrounds with very similar desires!  

Champ and Walter Norbert Whipplemoore are about as different as two kids can be…well, except for their love of baseball and potato chips. Champ had everything, but always wanted more. Walter had very little, but was never seen without a smile on his face. In the end, it is Walter and some crunchy potato chips that teach Champ a lesson about character that can't be taught in school 

Preview the book here...

If this stop wasn't exciting enough, you now have a chance to win a signed copy of The Potato Chip Champ.  Required for entry: follow Maria on Facebook, Twitter, or her blog.  Please limit your response to one comment with an email!  A randomly selected winner will be updated on this post Tuesday January 22nd.

If you are interested in purchasing her book, you can find The Potato Chip Champ at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

AND the winner is...

Dragonflies in First

Valentine's Day Giveaway

Erica Bohrer is having a wonderful giveaway!  It's a must see!  Here are the awesome prizes and the fabulous bloggers contributing!  *If you don't already follow their blogs, you can click the images and follow their blogs!

Click the last image to link over and enter to win!

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes!

What is it about shapes that make kids delighted?  There must something about exploring, building, composing, illustrating, and connecting with shapes that puts a smile on each child's face!  Here's a glimpse at math this week through pictures...
Interested in the numbers page?  It's a freebie download in my store.  Link Here!

Click the image below for the freebie page below!


Understanding Tolerance...

Tolerance is defined as sympathy or indulgence for beliefs and practices differing from one's own.  To spearhead the discussion for Martin Luther King Jr, kids were introduced to the word tolerance through the story, All The Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka. Following our reading and discussion, kids created rainbows prompted by attributes and desires.  The goal was to understand that no two rainbows are alike because no two people are are exactly alike!

My sweet friend Gladys from Teaching in High Heels has a cute lil unit in which helps to build background and introduce vocabulary relevant words related to MLK.

As a school wide book of the month, we read Martin's Big Words.  Throughout our study of the book, the kids and I compiled a list of words and created a Vocabulator.  

Have you seen Mrs. Miner's guided drawing freebie of Martin Luther King Jr?  Absolutely worth linking over to scoop up a copy.  Click here to download!  I combined this freebie with Sarah of First Grader...At Last dreams for the future and Rachelle of What A Teacher Wants peace means activities.

To prepare for his birthday, we concluded with birthday cards and party hats from Sarah's unit and celebrated Martin Luther King's birthday! 

What a fun week of learning!