Sunday, February 8, 2015

Love is in the AIR! {iPad giveaway}

Hey there friends!  I am so excited to join Maria from Kinder-Craze and a group of wonderful bloggers to host a 16 GB iPad Air 2 giveaway!  I just recently started incorporating an iPad in our kindergarten classroom in the last year and it has been wonderful so far! If you have been thinking about getting an iPad for your class, now is your chance! You can find more info on how to enter below!

A couple of months ago, I attended an iPad training lead by the amazing Sue Holt from A Digital Kindergarten. I mean, it was SO good! I have never been more inspired by a professional development training. I could NOT wait to get the apps she suggested downloaded on my iPad and in my kiddos' hands!

I wanted to share with you Sue's top 4 favorite apps
{which incidentally are now my favorites apps too ;)}

Teach Me {Kindergarten}
Teach Me Kindergarten is great because it not only offers practice, but also provides support when needed! Just thinking about all those times that my students are working on a skill incorrectly and I'm not there to provide guidance and support makes me twitch a little ;) It's nice to know that they can learn using this app and be successful!

It covers a wide range of phonics, sight words, and math skills. I was able to create a separate log in for each of my students so they all have their own specific account. They also earn stickers for their work which is so motivating and exciting!

I *love* this app because it is digital pocket charts! It can be used whole group to practice a skill {I am still learning how to project my iPad up onto my screen!} or you can have your students use it in literacy/math centers. Just look how fun this is!

We have been using Word Wizard to practice spelling our sight words. You can program which words you want your students to practice, or you can use the lists provided with the app. You can also change the settings so that when the kids touch the tiles, it says the name of the letter instead of the sound which is how I like to teach sight words. This is such a great app!

 iTrace {handwriting for kids}
This app is great for our handwriting practice. You can have your students use a stylus, or just use their fingers. It also won't let them continue unless they form the letter correctly which is just wonderful. No point in practicing letter formation incorrectly!
 It also allows you to choose your letter styles, depending on what you teach your students. Perfect!

I may not be an iPad pro yet, but I sure feel like I'm taking steps in the right direction! Plus, my students are SO good with the iPad, they usually teach me a thing or two ;) So if you need an iPad, or these apps, I have great news for you! You can enter to win it all below!
Enter to win a 16GB iPad Air!
Along with winning the iPad Air you can also enter to win an iTunes gift card from me so that you can try out all these fun apps too!

You can enter directly below to win a $15 iTunes gift card!  This giveaway will run alongside the iPad giveaway and will end on Saturday at midnight!

Why stop there???  Now you can jump to the other awesome giveaways and sign up for additional Amazon and iTunes gift cards, a document camera, portable speakers, and more!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Penguin Poetry!

We have been enjoying our poetry units each month. Having a month to focus on just ONE poem is so awesome! It gives us time to really dig deep, learn the poem and focus on rhyming words, fluency, and even incorporating our learning into science! Thursday mornings are becoming one of my favorite times of the week!

In December we worked on S is for Snowman so in January we focused on Little Penguin!
My teammate found the words to the poem online and I just typed them up and added a cute little penguin clip art ;) We printed it at 17"x22" so that it was a large poster size. Throughout the first week, we took turns being the leader and pointed to the poem as the rest of the class recited it. I'm not sure if this poem was meant to be to the tune of Little Teapot but that's how we chanted it. Really helped us remember. My favorite part about teaching my students poetry is listening to them recite the poem to themselves throughout the day :)

The next week, we got our own poem page and talked about all the sight words we could find. My students LOVE pointing out sight words they know in books, charts and other posters around our room. And I just love seeing all the lightbulbs go off! We used a yellow crayon to find the sight words we learned so far.

The last two weeks, we used what we learned about penguins and make our little penguin book.
First, we filled out our can/have/are chart.

And worked together to label the penguin.
Then we put together our little penguin books. You can find these for free in my store {here}!

Little Penguin was so fun to learn! I am so excited for our February poetry!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Read and Reveal {blending words practice}

My students are absolutely rocking their letters and sounds and learning how to blend CVC words. They've been doing really well with their fluency families and blending words in their guided reading books, but when it came to reading CVC words in isolation, it was a whole different story! They were guessing, and saying random sounds and what in the world happened to my little readers!? So as I was brainstorming ideas to help them blend CVC words in isolation, this fun idea came to me!

I created these fun little cards to give my students the practice reading CVC words. I didn't want them to see the picture and "read" the picture, so I hid it behind a flap! I used these adorable mini clothespins {that I had leftover from decorating a baby shower which is why they're glittery ;)} so my students could unclip the card after they read the word and see if they read it correctly!
 I stuck all the cards in a basket and set it out on the table during guided reading. My students took turns picking a card, reading the word and checking to see if they read it correctly. As an incentive, I told my kiddos they could keep the card in front of them if they read it right, but they had to put it back if they didn't blend the word correctly. This was a definite motivator!
 My students practiced reading by touching each letter, saying each sound and then sliding their finger along the arrow to blend the sounds together.
 After reading the word, they unclipped the clothespin to reveal the picture!
 They loved this game and I can already see an improvement in their reading!

You can grab Read and Reveal {CVC words} in my TpT store on sale today!

Along with everything else in my TpT store!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Making Sight Words Fun!!

One of my all time favorite things about teaching kindergarten is the awesome growth you see all year long! I just love the confident little learners that my students are becoming. We work really hard in kindergarten, but we also have a lot of fun. Because I believe that having fun is the main ingredient behind building life-long learners! So what's my secret behind teaching sight words? Making them fun, of course!

A great way to start your kindergarteners off is with some color word practice. These are sight words that are seen often and your students will have some of them in their sight word bank already. These are fun activities that help your kiddos feel successful while they're learning!

 We also LOVE the novelty of using dry-erase markers to practice writing our sight words, and we're saving paper along the way! With these printables, not only are they practicing writing the word correctly, but they also have to use the word in a sentence and draw a picture to match. That means they have to actually know what word they are working on, not just mindless tracing ;)

 We are BIG fans of songs and chants in my classroom! During transitions or down times, we love singing our sight word chant. I hold up a sight word flashcard, or write a word up on the easel, and then we practice the word altogether. Whole body learning and total physical response all the way with this little ditty! {you can download this chant here!}

We also love using stamps to practice our sight words. This is great because your students have to use what they know about letter formation to find the correct letter stamp, and the reluctant writers love the stamps because it gives their fingers a little break from writing.
Sometimes we even make stamping booklets! We focus on one sight word per book to complete our little stories. My students love getting the chance to be the author and illustrator of their own stories as well!

One of my students most favorite way to practice sight word spelling is with play-doh! I seriously could have this center out allll year and they would never, ever tire of it! I totally get it though, who doesn't love learning with play-doh!?

Sight word task cards are also fun little activities to set up in your writing center. Lots and lots of fun and engaging ways to practice those all important words!
Later on in the year, as our sight word knowledge grows, we are able to integrate our sight words into our learning. My students love to roll the sight word dice and use it in a sentence. We practice our writing conventions, remembering our uppercase letters and punctuation. Plus, notice that fabulous finger spacing ;) {you can grab this recording sheet free here}

We also love to cut apart sentences and glue them in the correct order. We usually  make silly sentences before gluing the sentence down which results in endless laughter, but what my students don't realize is that they are reading the words solely on sight and not relying on the context clues to get them through the sentence! #teachertricks

I am always changing it up and keeping it interesting when it comes to practicing our sight words. I would love to hear any ideas you have! Please leave me a comment if you have a fun way to teach sight words!

You can grab all the activities pictured above in my TpT store. I recently posted a Sight Word Mega Bundle which houses ALL of my sight word resources in one easy download! I will for sure be adding to it as the year progresses since I love creating sight word activities. You can grab it by clicking the picture below. The bundle is discounted 20% off the total value of the products and is an additional $10 off this week as a special introductory price!
If you own some of my sight word resources but would like to switch out for the bundle, email me!

Happy New Year friends!

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