Monday, October 27, 2014

Crazy for Colors!

I LOVE teaching all about color words! Colors are something that all children have schema in, and I think that's why they love learning about them so much! Talking about colors also gives a lot of children opportunities to be successful!

I usually spend 2-3 weeks focusing on color words. Many of the students come in knowing their colors, but not knowing how to read the color words themselves.

I always start with our emergent storybook Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Even though it is a pattern book, we use it as a close read for a week.



Every day, I would introduce a color word. We would start by singing the Frog Street Press Color Word songs. These are amazing and the kiddos love them! Here are a few examples of the songs :)









I also have songbook versions of each song that you can have for free here!




Then we would make a color map for each color. The kids would give their idea and I would write the word. Then, they would come up and help me with the pictures.



We also used a TON of resources from Cara Carroll's True Colors packet. This AMAZING packet really gives students a ton of practice with each color/color word. 

True Colors {A Color Word Identification Practice Packet}

We used her emergent readers for each color (obviously it would match our color for the day!). These are a few pages of a book my student completed.




Then for morning work, my students would do a color word find (also from the True Colors pack). This was awesome practice for reading and writing each color word. 



We also practiced identifying the color words by doing a sequencing/matching activity. We retold the story together, and matched the color word to the animal as the story went on. SO much fun!

At the end of Brown Bear week, each student made their own Brown Bear book. Students got a small book with each of the pictures that the had to color the correct color. Then, they cut and glued the words to match. They turned out so cute and are a favorite for my kiddos in their independent book tubs!

(Picture to come!)

And since my kiddos do get so strong in reading the pattern, I usually make a class version too! I wanted to make a template for you all, but it is so personalized, you'll just have to use my idea and make it for yourself :) They kiddos could not believe they got a book about themselves!

(Picture to come!)


The next week's book in our color extravaganza was Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes! Who doesn't love Pete? (If you say you don't like him, I think my kids might stone you!)





We had a BLAST learning more about color words this week! We continued learning about a color each day. It became an exciting surprise each day when my students heard my letter each morning and learned what color we would be exploring that day!

To assess my students in their retelling of Pete the Cat and their color word identification, we used the retelling page from this awesome FREE Pete the Cat pack! (Can you tell I'm cheap and use as many freebies as possible?? :)) My students had to cut out each retelling card, color it to match the words, and then glue them in order of the story. They turned out super cute! (Besides the brown paper...it was what we had the most of!)

(Picture to come!)

We also got to make Pete himself! It is AMAZING how well my kiddos follow directions when they get to make something fun! 

We began by discussing how when Pete stepped in something, his shoes turned that color. For example, when Pete stepped in strawberries, it turned his shoes red. So my kiddos had to think of their own idea of what Pete could step in, and what color it would turn his shoes. So of the ideas were hysterical! It was also a really great way to assess to see if my kiddos understand that concept in the book (what Pete stepped in changed the color of his shoes!).

Here are a few examples of my students finished products! They turned out even cuter then I expected. You can get your templates to create your own Pete for free HERE!



Since the end of our Pete week was basically the end of our direct instruction of colors, I wanted to do a quick check at the end of the day to see how many color words my students could identify. So once again, I found this freebie Pete the Cat color book

pete the cat shoes book.pdf - I love Pete the cat! Don't know if I'll ever be in a classroom young enough to teach him but just in case!

Students read the sentence on each page, and color the shoes to match the words. I watched to see if my students could read the words, or if they were able to look up on the word wall and use it as a resource. They actually did much better then I thought!!

So this week, boy were we surprised to be reading another Pete book, Pete the Cat and His 4 Groovy Buttons. Although this book is not about colors, we are beginning to learn new word work games for color words.

These games are from Cara Carroll's True Colors pack again! This first game is a matching game. Students match the paint splotch to the color word and then complete the optional response sheet. We did this as a whole group game, and then put it at the word work center as a matching game.



Today, we worked on our predictable sentences with color words. Once again, we built the sentences together as a whole group and choral read them. Now my students will be able to try to build the sentences independently in the word work center.



To really challenge them, we tried this True/False game. My students really had to think about what color word they were reading and if it matched the color on the ice cream cone. I had them work together with a partner next to them to decide if it was true or false. They LOVED it!!

To finish off color word fun, my students made a class book of our favorite colors! You can get the template for it here :)

Are you crazy for colors?




Monday, October 6, 2014

The Three Bears, More/Fewer, and a Peek at my Week (10/6)!

Whew!! This whole fall without any breaks thing is getting tough. My babies work REALLY hard, but even I'm starting to get stir crazy. Only 2 months till Thanksgiving Break right? :(

Last week we read The Three Bears!



It is amazing how many of my kiddos have never been exposed to these classic stories before. They just thought my Papa Bear voice was phenomenal!

During this time in my reading units, when we are close reading each emergent storybook, we are really looking for the students to get deeper into the book! We have been focusing on the aspect of retelling the book. I found a similar version to the following activity on Pinterest. 

My kiddos and I retold The Three Bears orally and I made sure they included the important parts. Then, each child took a part of the story to retell and illustrate on this large piece of construction paper. I made a big deal out of the fact that each part of the story is important (for the whiners who didn't get the part they wanted!). 



They worked collaboratively together to finish it! I made it in the shape of a road map, so during other parts of our day (literacy centers/learning centers), my kiddos could walk the road and tell the story!




They were so proud of their part, and it really forced  slightly pushed some of my kids out of their comfort zone that normally didn't participate as much in the retelling process :)

We also read the most adorable Three Bears poem! I found it on pinterest here :)

Love this song for a pre-k bear theme.  Sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice.

We have also been using our Guiding Kinders math resource to learn all about more/fewer. These are some pictures of my students choosing cards, building the number with bears, deciding which has more/less, then spinning to see if the winner is the person with more/less. YES! MY KINDERS CAN DO THIS!!




Here are a few pictures of my kiddos in action!








So precious right? They are so proud of themselves for all the math they can do! And bonus for me, my kiddos are progressing faster and more fully than last year at this time and they started out lower in general!! WOO!

As usual, I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills Kindergarten to share a peek at my week! 

You can get a copy of my lesson plans here :)




We are reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? this week and learning TONS about color words!! I'll try to share more throughout the week :)

Have a great end to your Monday! I am watching my Cardinals and hoping for a win!!


Monday, September 29, 2014

Peek at My Week 9/29, Apples and the Three Little Pigs!

This week we were doing all kinds of learning about the Three Little Pigs and Apples!

We read this version of the Three Little Pigs this week. I like it a little better than the traditional version of the story because I believe it allows for us to dig deeper into the story.



I also loved reading this version because if you are a teacher that has access to Discovery Education videos, there is one of this exact book! My kiddos freaked out when they got to watch this close read as a video at the end of the week. It was like Christmas!!

As I said above, we did a lot of deeper thinking with this book. We always talk about tough vocabulary with each close read we do. These were the words we focused on this week:



We also got to make two fun craftivities! The first was of the last little pig. We talked about how he was SO smart and he kept tricking the wolf so he stays safe. We made our little piggy and wrote how we would trick the wolf.


I would tell the pig to dress up as the wolf.


I would jump in a barrel and run into the wolf.


I would still hide from the wolf.

The kids loved thinking of how they would "trick" the wolf! But of course, we also had to make a tricky wolf! I've been trying to integrate character education into my curriculum as much as possible. So we talked about how the wolf was unkind, and how he might have been able to be friends with the pigs if he was nice. So we made our wolf craftivity, and inside the mouth, the kiddos drew a way the wolf could be nice to the pigs.





I would play with him. (I know...great phonetic spelling here haha!)

They LOVED that the wolf's mouth opened. It was the greatest thing ever!

Lastly, we had our 3rd grade buddies come to our room and make the Three Little Pig's houses with us. We made a house of straw (yellow paper), sticks (popsicle sticks), and bricks (red paper)! It's so cute how different they turned out based on the different kiddo!


 This little guy insisted the pig in the brick house had to be first because he was the smartest, even though he was last in the story. :)



I am working on scanning the templates for all of these craftivities and will link them for free to this blog post as soon as I do :)

Last, we had a special Three Little Pigs snack! Potato straws for straw, pretzels for sticks, and licorice bites for bricks.

(Picture to come)

Then we also finished up our apple investigations this week! We got a lot of cute ideas from Cara Carroll, including these apple games below.




We also used her colored apples and color words to do a predictable sentence activity. The kiddos loved all the reading they could do and it was a great introduction to some new sight words!



I plan on laminating these sentence strips and allowing my kiddos to build these sentences as a literacy center!

We also discussed the parts of an apple and did a cute craftivity. My students put together an apple and labeled the: skin, flesh, core, seeds, and stem!








Last we did an apple taste test! We tasted red apples, green apples, and caramel apples to decide which one was our favorite. This was one of our first introductions to graphing and my kiddos did great!



I made this graphing sheet and favorite page to go with this activity. After tasting each apple, my kiddos drew a picture of their favorite apple and then drew/wrote 3 reasons why they liked it! Then, we graphed those favorites. You can get your copy these sheets here.




A day late (this is my conference week! STRESSFUL!!), here is a peek at my week! I'm linking up with Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten.






Up this week is the Three Bears! Can you believe that only half of my class had ever heard this story before????



Enjoy your week! Hopefully not filled with conferences. This was my table this morning....not pretty I know!!




 
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