Image Map

I like Wordle

We made a Wordle today using our star words I and like. Practice having your child read the words I and like while you read the other words that were chosen by our class. You can click on the picture to make it bigger.

Kindergarten Math Apps

TicTacToe (free) I teach my class to play tic-tac-toe every year. On this app they can play the iPad or a partner. Love that the graphics look like a chalkboard.

Magic Math ($.99) Great app for practicing simple addition and subtraction, but you can also practice multiplication and division. Very easy to set the settings and has kid voices that congratulate you or encourage you.

Fish School ($1.99) Fish form in the shape of capital letters, numbers to 20 and shapes. You can also identify colors and look for the fish are different.

Animal Counting Writing Game ($1.99) Practice writing numbers 1-16 in 4 different colors.

Check back for more math apps to use with kindergarten students, or share one that you have found by leaving a comment.

One In Each Building

Jack waiting on the bus to his first day of high school.

Brian off to his first day of 6th grade at the Middle School.

Casey's first day of second grade at the elementary.
We are hoping that Mrs. Prater will survive having
the third and final Bell Boy in her class:)

On our first 1/2 class days of kindergarten we drew lines during writing workshop after we read Lines That Wiggle, read The Night Before Kindergarten and wrote about what we did the night before kindergarten, practiced reading to ourselves during Daily 5, had pretzels for snack, colored our lunch magnets, played tic-tac-toe on the SMART board, made play dough and played in our room and outside. Looking forward to Monday when we are all together for the first time!

I love my new iPad!!

I am so excited about my new iPad and the apps that I have purchased for my kindergarteners. Here are the best apps that I have found for kindergarten learners.
Robot Reader (free) a robot voice tells you the letter, sound, word and definition of something that starts with that letter

1 2 3 Color ($1.99) I love this app! It is basically a fancy color by number, letter or color picture. The letter, number or color only disappears if you choose the right one.

Letters A to Z ($.99) This is the app that I am going to use first. It is letter and sound flash cards with cute illustrations.

iWrite Words ($2.99) Great app for practicing writing upper and lowercase letters, numbers and words. Love how you have to send the letters down a "hole" when you are finished.

Letter Lab ($2.99) Great app for writing upper and lowercase letters.

Pocket Charts! Beginning Sounds ($1.99) Match a letter to a picture of something that starts with that letter. The only thing I do not like about this app is that the pictures are shown in alphabetical order.

Pocket Charts! Vowel Sounds (($1.99) Identify short and long vowels. Great app.

Learn Sight Words ($.99) This is an iPhone app, but it is worth it because you can flag the sight words that you use or sight words that a child is having trouble identifying for practice.

ABC Sight Words Writing ($2.99) Good app for practicing spelling and writing sight words.

Memory Zoo ($.99) Love the pictures on this app. This is an animal memory game.

Check out my post about math apps, stay tuned to this post for more apps to use with kindergarten students, or share some apps that you have found by leaving a comment.

summer reading

Sorry I haven't posted in a long time, I have been reading:) I had one of these books in my hand all summer long. Here are some little nuggets from each book:

Talking, Drawing, Writing by Martha Horn & Mary Ellen Giacobb
*start writing workshop in kindergarten with storytelling
*tell the children stories about when you were their age
*instructions on using a drawing/writing book
*great mini lessons on teaching children to draw people and faces
*instructions on inventive spelling
*introduce writing a dedication page
*revision is reseeing
*great mini lesson on when the children can't read what they've written
*what to teach chart

Pyrotechnics on the Page by Ralph Fletcher
This book is geared toward older writers, but Ralph did an online discussion group that I wanted to follow. For K I think I think of a lot of the ideas in this book will be great discussion topics during mini lessons.
*writers play with language
*listen to the language and play on words happening around you and use it in your writing
*keep a class writer's notebook
*I Stink a book that has alliteration, onomatopoeia and invented or distorted words
*invent words like in Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
*explore, play and experiment in writing
*tap the power of talk
*teach writing during reading
*authors "blow-up" certain words to draw attention to them
*explore expressions
*put on a mask when you write

Growing Readers by Kathy Collins
A must read book for a first grade teacher, but there was still a lot of good information for kindergarten.
*talk about reading events and memories
*careful readers look closely at the information on the cover of a book
* sticky notes hold thinking as you read
*bring in a favorite book from home to learn more about students' reading lives
*mini lessons on taking care of books and putting them away
*mini lessons on reading with partners
*choosing just right books
*print strategies mini lessons
*real tools and reading tools
*characteristics of good conversations
*retelling strategies
*using post-its with smiley faces, question marks and exclamation marks
*interview people about their reading lives
*make a class big book

Cracking Open the Author's Craft by Lester L. Laminack
Love the craft lesson ideas in this book:
*repetition of a specific phrase
*using proper names
*using brand names
* using sound effects (onomatopoeia)
*stretching out the print
*stacking words

The Daily 5 by Gail Boushey & Joan Meser
Love this whole book!

Using Science Notebooks in Elementary Classrooms
by Michael P. Klentschy
I read this book with several of my colleagues this summer. I have my science notebooks all ready for my students to record, mostly through drawing, their science experiences.

Boy Writers Reclaiming Their Voices by Ralph Fletcher
*for every 100 girls facts
*create a classroom where boys feel at home when they write
*don't automatically outlaw topics for boys
*use boy humor as their voice
*consider that many 5 year old boys just don't have the fine motor skills necessary to write the letters of the alphabet
*make a point to actively engage boys in class discussions
*thinking about the book No, David as an analogy for how some teachers treat boy writers
*give writers a glow and grow, something they're doing well, and something they need to work on
*every writing teacher should remember the physician's creed:
first, do no harm
*drawing is something most boys like to do
*girls draw nouns, boys draw verbs
*sketch to compose
*introduce comics
*stop thinking of writing and drawing as two different things
*writer's notebook to collect fascinating quotes, weird facts,
feathers, cartoons and so on
*we're not teaching writing, we're teaching writers
*just let them write
*include drawing maps in writing

Of Primary Importance by Ann Marie Corgill
I reread this book this summer because I got to spend a wonderful week with Ann Marie at a conference. It was a little embarrassing when I asked her to sign my book and she had a hard time finding a spot to sign in between my flags and notes. There are soooo many great ideas in this book, I can't list them all here, but here are some highlights:
*it takes a lot of slow to grow
*create a place to collect 20/20 words or interesting words
*create gotcha titles
*make an iMove as part of celebrations that includes a scope and sequence of the study
*naming what you notice
*mini lessons on how to use stapler, tape, glue...
*about the author page
*dash facts
*did you know? bubbles
*self-reflection page
*teaching point journal
*students that have conferences share their teaching points

Happy Reading!