Saturday, April 28, 2012

iPad Fun!

I have really been enjoying exploring new ways to use the iPad in my classroom. The other day I came upon an App called Doodle Buddy. It reminds me of a child's toy called Magna Doodle, where the kids write on the board and erase with a swipe. But Doodle Buddy is like a Magna Doodle on STEROIDS! ;-)
 I have been working hard to teach my students about the concept of using tally marks to count. Some of them have a difficult time remembering WHEN to use the diagonal line across. Sometimes when we work whole group, I see little eyes peeking over to copy from a friend. There can sometimes be 8 tally marks and THEN the diagonal if they suddenly remembered one was needed. ;-)
Bring on the iPad!
I downloaded the Doodle Buddy App from iTunes, and put it to work to help. I also purchased a VGA adapter from the Apple store that allows me to connect the iPad to the projector and we can see the Apps on the big screen.  The first time we used it I got goose bumps as I watched nearly everyone of my kids "get it" when it came to tally marks. We'll keep practicing of course..but what a great moment for me in class.  Every child was engaged in the activity!
I also plan to use it to practice sight words, CVC words, number concepts and more.. Take a peek at Doodle Buddy in action...(I recorded it with my iPhone)

Click image to get App
Click image to see VGA adapter for projector, it works with  iPad, iTouch & iPhone

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Painting Blue Horses

I recently came upon Eric Carle's newest book "The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse". I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! I feel it reminds us to slow down a bit...perhaps turn away from the "STANDARDIZED" notion that everyone can fit into round circles...some would even say it's HIP to be SQUARE ;-).
This book opens up a child's mind to express their "inner artist" in ways that encourage thinking outside of the box. I love that the animals in the book are painted with beautiful colors that go outside of the norm.
Due to cut backs in my district, my Kinders are not allowed to have music, P.E. or art with the teachers who are trained to do that work. It pains me so.
But I try to fill in the gaps with the talents I have (which are limited by the way) ;-)
I will say, this year the art work my students have produced is AMAZING!! I am so proud to see their work hanging in the halls, classroom and books they take home. Take a peek at some of our Backyard Birds books.....or our drawings of Abe Lincoln. Didn't they do a GREAT job?

I watched Eric Carle talk about his inspiration for the book and thought it was well worth sharing:

I also wanted to give my students a chance to hear the story, see the images and then be inspired to create on their own. With that in mind, I made this book for students.
 There are two versions of my student book and I haven't decided which one I will use with my kiddos. One book is intended to be copied on full 8 1/2x11 paper and students can paint the animals in the book. The other book is smaller and is more or less intended to be used with crayons. (Painting on such a small space may not be feasible). It is  also one of my EZ-2 Assemble books which are designed to be copied, folded, stapled and distributed to students. Both book options are in one packet and available at my Teachers Notebook Shop!

The book would be a great activity at an independent center.
I would love to see how your students choose to "paint" their horses!

PS...artwork from KPM Doodles and Goodness & Fun

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Blog Birthday (to me)

Today my teaching blog turns 1!! I can hardly believe it was a year ago that I started this blog. I can't begin to say how much I enjoy meeting and sharing with so many talented teachers. I appreciate all the support from my family and friends and people like Fran, Tamara and Leslie; as well as Debbie & Steve at Teachers Notebook and the many wonderful teachers at TBA and beyond! Thanks to all of you for all you do! Another HUGE THANKS to Pam at  The Posh Box for her talents and patience as we worked together on making the design of the blog fit just what I wanted! THANKS also to all the folks who take time out of their busy schedules to check in to my blog to see what's-what and share thoughts and comments!
I appreciate you all more than you know!
And with is the final BLOG BIRTHDAY FREEBIE! ;-)
All week I've been sharing Ocean-related freebies in celebration of the 1st anniversary of my teaching blog. (Sea Life is one of my FAVORITE units to teach, and I LOVE going to the beach, so the materials have all been related to that!)
This is a book for Emergent Readers. It contains simple sight words coupled with pictures to support the text. It's also one of my EZ-2 Assemble books which are designed to either print 2-sided from your computer's printer, or carried to your copy machine and printed 1-sided to 2-sided, folded, and stapled and it's ready to give to students. No need to shuffle pages around, just fold and go! It saves both time and papers. I hope your students enjoy the book.  And once more....THANKS for all your support!

Check my earlier posts this week to see more of the freebies I offered!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Made in the Shade (Freebie)

I'm back with another Blog Birthday Freebie! I can't seem to control myself! I really enjoy sharing via my blog, so I hope you don't mind that I've gone a bit overboard with the freebies this week! ;-)
This freebie is for teachers looking for a cool way for students to practice using the 10's frame to show work with place value, 10-20. (AKA Common Core Standard K.NBT.1.... Numbers and Operations in Base 10).
Click on the image to head over to my Teachers Notebook Shop to pick up this really COOL freebie! Also check my recent posts for additional freebies.

Freebie images from: Digi Web Studio

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Another Birthday Blog Freebie

In case you didn't blog is having a birthday soon. I am so excited that  I am sharing a few freebies with my followers (before the actual "birthday" ;-)
....Since I am teaching my Sea Life unit at this time...these freebies are HOT OFF THE PRESS.... ;-)
This one is a DEEP SEA DIVING: Counting Backwards set. My kiddos are good at counting forward, but when we count backward from 20, there's a soft murmur (and no eye contact) from some kiddos until we get to 10! Those teen numbers are just so hard to master sometimes! Maybe you find there are a few murmurs in your class too! ;-)
Hope you enjoy the freebies ( click here see previous post) and check out my Teachers Notebook Shop for other freebies and resources.  Click on the image below to get your copy...
images from scrappin' doodles

Monday, April 2, 2012

My blog is having a birthday!

This week is the 1 year mark for my teaching blog! (My classroom blog will be 5 years old this summer!) I am terrible when it comes to holding back my love for celebrations...I can never wait until the actual day and love to start the gift giving early. ;-)
True to that statement I am offering a FREEBIE  now as a Blog Birthday Gift to you. I am thrilled to have met so many talented and wonderful teachers through my blog and appreciate that you take time to visit and see what's happening "In The Teachers' Lounge".
In my classroom we are beginning our SEA LIFE unit and my freebie goes along with the unit. It's called FISH STICKS! (not the edible kind though....boy, they were a favorite of mine as a kid...but I digress...LOL!) Anyway, the freebie helps students as they learn to make tally marks to match numbers. Please visit my Teachers Notebook Shop to get a copy. I hope your students will enjoy playing with the Fish Sticks! ;-)

(Look for more freebies later this week)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Oceans of Fun!

I am so excited to begin teaching my Sea Life unit when we return from Spring Break! It's one of my favorite units and one my students remember for years to come. Over the break I created my Oceans of Fun packet to breathe some new life (and Common Core Standards) into the unit. This packet is spilling over with all sorts of fun things to do with young learners. First of all, there are 10 little books for Emergent Readers. Three of the books are my EZ-2 Assemble books which are designed to be copied, folded, stapled and distributed with a minimum of time and paper! The other books in the packet are designed to support students with simple text and pictures that are fun and inviting to young readers. The Five Little Mermaids book(s) use rhyming and subtraction/counting backwards to keep readers interested. The Word Work in the packet include word graphs that show students the theme related words in a variety of fonts, ABC order (1st letter only), labeling, cut-apart sentences, pocket chart words, counting syllables and more.
The math portion of the packet include activities to support students as they learn to skip count by 2's and 5's , skip counting cards for the pocket chart,  tallies, working with less than/greater than/and equal using the proper symbols, decomposing numbers, ordering objects by size, and more. There are even a few fun playdough mats included.  Writing activities include arranging words to make complete sentences, writing to share facts about animals, whole and small group writing to make books, and more.
Please visit my Teachers Notebook Shop to grab a copy for your students!