December 2014 - Miss Kindergarten

All About the Numbers 0-20!

As soon as I completed my All About the ABC printables, I knew I just had to make a set for numbers too! It has been a long struggle putting this together, but they have finally come to fruition!

The letter tracers were a huge hit, so I need these little number tracers will be loved too! They will practice the correct path of motion by "driving" a toy car across each number.
I also included a space for them to practice writing the numbers with the ever enticing dry-erase markers ;)

We will also practice path of motion for the numbers and writing the number words using these number printables.
My interactive alphabet journal was one of my most favorite creations ever, so this number journal had a lot to live up to ;) I think it was able to hold its own!

I also made some more fun fine motor mats for my students to get some fun, hands-on learning! There are so many fun things you can do with these numbers!
Decorate them with stickers!

Decorate with cereal!

Another fun way to practice sorting and identifying numbers is with these number sorts.
There are two levels for these sorts. The first one is sorting 2 numbers, great for number recognition at the start of the year.

The next set is a little more of a challenge! The kiddos will use the number line to help them identifying numbers that are more or less than the given number.

 And finally, the ever so fascinating spin and write!

You can find all of these activities in my TpT store

S is for Snowman!

This year, we have worked on incorporating more poetry into our classroom. Poetry is a great way to help your students build oral language, develop a sense of rhyming words, concepts of print as well as practice fluency and comprehension strategies. Plus, poetry is really fun!

We started our first poetry unit this month with this adorable poem, S is for Snowman. 

We found this poem online {not sure where it's from} and I retyped it and added cute clip art 'cuz that's how I roll ;) My teaching partner got it printed to poster size and colored it for us. We decided to work on one poem a month so we could fit it in to our already jam-packed day. The first week in December, we introduced the poem and practiced it several times. My students came up with arm motions to help visualize the poem and we had it memorized in about 5 minutes ;)

The second week, I gave each student a printed copy of the poem and we talked about all the -at words in the poem. The teaching gods aligned this one perfectly as we just started working on -at family words. We found and highlighted the at words with yellow crayon, then practiced writing them on the back. We talked about how the word family words helped the poem to rhyme.

My students loved going on word hunts and did a fabulous job with this activity!

To culminate our poem for the month, we made this cute little craftivity. After inferring what it meant for our snowman to be flat, we talked about ways to keep our snowman from melting. I loved their ideas and creative writing!  {I actually wrote their ideas on the board for them to copy because we didn't have enough time to complete the writing and craft at once. I almost always try to get my kids to write on their own and sound out their words as they write, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do ;)}

 Then we put our snowman together and had him "peeking" over the writing. We do tons of crafts in kindergarten and they never seem to get enough of them! I just love how they turn out and they are awesome at helping us build our fine motor muscles!
Aren't they the cutest?! 
You can grab this snowman craftivity for free in my TpT store!

Looking for more poetry ideas for the classroom? Check out these fabulous ideas from some awesome bloggers!

Poetry Binders from Ashley Sharp
Poetry Stations from Deedee Wills

 Poems and Songs from Jodi Southard


14 in 14 Linky Party!

Wowie, wow, wow!! What a year it has been! I am excited to recap my 14 favorite memories from 2014 and hosting this linky along with some of my best blogging turned into real life best friends Kristin and Traci

I have to start with one of the COOLEST memories ever of 2014…watching the Super Bowl halftime show at my future in-laws and seeing my soldier craft on TV!!! I'm pretty sure I screamed for a full minute and everyone looked at me like I was crazy…
I made them pause and rewind 50 million times to get a good shot ;)
#coolestthingever #areyoufreakingkiddingme

Dragging my partner in crime with me to present at our very first teacher conference in California! What an incredible experience that was!

Working with the amazing Kimberly Geswein to create my own font!

Standing by my best friend's side as she got married! Such a fun wedding!

Getting engaged to the love of my life!!! I was also completely surprised which I did not think was possible!

Then flying out to NYC thenextday to see my sister!

While in NYC, visiting the TpT offices and getting to meet Amy and Karen!

Celebrating Tom's 30th birthday!

Celebrating my 30th birthday!

Presenting at the TpT conference in Las Vegas!

Taking engagement pictures. This was seriously such a fun day and I can't even wait for our wedding!

Asking my best friends to be my bridesmaids!

Hitting 5,000,000 pagviews on my blog {?!?!?!} and reaching a TpT milestone!

Probably the biggest and best memory of 2014…buying our first house together!

2014 was such a fun year! I'm glad I got to make all of those memories :)

Will you join us in the fun?! All you have to do is think back at your favorites in 2014 and add a few pictures. What a fun way to remember the year, huh!?

 You can use these prompts if you'd like, or just list your top 14 favorites memories {like me}! You can also download the cute little headers Traci made {here}.
14. Favorite quote:
13. Favorite article of clothing:
12. Favorite movie you watched:
11. Favorite TV series:
10. Favorite restaurant:
9. Favorite new thing you tried:
8. Favorite gift you got:
7. Favorite thing you pinned:
6. Favorite blog post:
5. Best accomplishment:
4. Favorite picture:
3. Favorite memory:
2. Goal for 2015:
1. One Little Word:

How to link up:
Create a blog post sharing your favorite 14 things in 2014. Add the button to your post and link it to this blog post. Then link up below, making sure to link directly to your post, not just your blog.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!


Working on Our Reading Fluency

Over the last few weeks, we've been working really hard on learning word families! We do this orally, by listening to chunks in words. My students have been coming up with words in the "at" family, and we sing our word family song. This past week, we've used our knowledge of word families to help with our reading fluency!
One of the most important skills for beginning readers to attain is fluency in reading. Fluency means the ability to read text quickly and accurately. When students gain an understanding of word families, and start to see “chunks” in words, they become better readers. Instead of sounding out each phoneme, or sound, in the word, they are able to transfer what they know about “chunks” and apply it to their reading. Word family fluency is a great way for your students to practice reading accurately and fluently.

We used the large foam dice I found at the Dollar Tree because large dice makes any game fun ;) I introduced this game during guided reading groups. My students took turns rolling the dice, finding the matching number on the paper, and touching each word as they read it. Some of these students, who knew 0 letters and 0 sounds at the beginning of kindergarten were reading like champs!! #happyteacher

Here's a short video of one of my students demonstrating how to play the game. Since we are just working on the "at" family words, we only used this mat. As we learn more word families, we will use more!

You can try out the at family fluency in your classroom too! Grab the free download {here} in my store!

We have also started using our Rhyme to Read app during reading groups. When the developers of this app asked me if I wanted to try it out in my classroom, I jumped at the opportunity!

 Last year was my first year with an iPad in the classroom, and I'm always looking for different ways to use it. My students also love reading books on the iPad. They are pros at swiping the pages to turn them {which is also hilarious to me when they try to turn real life books the same way ;)} Rhyme to Read is a beginning reading program comprised of 20 short books all focusing on sight words and word families.

We started working on Book 1 since our focus is "at family" words. The words on the left are an introduction to the words in the story. I had my kids practice reading those words before reading the sentence. The great thing about this app is that is is self-correcting. If my students were stuck on a word family word or sight word, they could just touch the word and it would be read to them. So cool!

Each word family is color-coded throughout the series with a different color.
The color-coding of each word family encourages students to use visual similarities and differences to decode, a strategy employed by successful readers. The color-coding also helps students develop phonological awareness by providing cues for sound discrimination and categorization.

At the end of each book, there is a list of sight words found in the stories, as well as all the word family words learned. This reading program is cumulative and truly helps beginning readers!

Here's a short video from Rhyme to Read that shows the app in action.

We have enjoyed using this app in our classroom so far and I know your students will love it too! You can try one of the stories for free by downloading it from the app store {here}, or you can purchase the whole series for 30% off through December {here}.

If you use this program, I would love to hear how it goes with your class!