Saturday, March 24, 2012

Week in Mrs. Miner's Room (with new freebies, of course!)

This year is flying by so fast that I can barely keep up with it!  It's great (because I LOVE summer vacation),  but it's not (I have so much I want to teach and do with my kiddos before the year closes out).  This week was incredible!  We are only in March and we had 4 temperature record breaking days this week alone--I am talking mid 80s.  In Maine, THAT is unbelievable.  I do not appreciate HOT weather when we are in school, BUT hot weather coupled with a nice, spring breeze does me just fine! 
If you have a child who is about to register for kindergarten or know someone who is in limbo over the decision, I just wrote an article about just that for an incredible blog entitled PreK and K Sharing.   It addresses the latest phenomenon of kindergarten "red shirting".  Just to be clear, keeping your child who would benefit from another year of maturing, playing and growing at home and/or preschool is NOT red shirting your child. It refers to a child who is more than ready for kindergarten  (usually already 5 to 5 1/2 years old), but parents keep him or her out of school to provide an academic and/or athletic advantage over other children and to be certain their child will be the "top dog" in the class.  Click here to go read my article and be sure to share with any and all who would benefit from a little bit more information in this type of decision.

We introduced time to the hour this week.  Although analogue clocks are no longer prevalent in this society, it is still important that children learn how to tell time this way.  They pick up on it so quickly and are really excited about learning more and more about time!  Although time to the hour doesn't appear in the Kindergarten Common Core Standards, it is explicit in first grade and states:
Tell and write time in hours and half-hours using analog and digital clocks.
My kindergarten students will always know how to tell time to the hour before they move on to first grade regardless.  It is one of those things that I will not let go even though the CCS doesn't suggest its necessity. 
Here is a great video to introduce time to the hour:

I always use the nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Doc during this unit.  With both this video and the following book, you can have students hold a mini clock and change the clock at each page or verse of the story to practice and review time to the hour.  It is a great informal assessment to see who is getting it and who is not. 
This is another incredible book by Jim Aylesworth.  It is illustrated by the woman who wrote and illustrated The Five Little Monkey series. 
We also played a really fun game with a song/video from Jack Hartman and Harry Kindergarten called Hip Hop Around the clock:

You can play this as a game (children dance around in a circle with a mini Judy Clock and make the time it says each time the music stops OR, as my friend Lisa showed me, make clocks of all different times that students hop around on.  Whoever lands on the time that Jack says when the music stops is the one who says, "Hip hop, hip hop, it's _______ o'clock".  It was really fun and engaging.  Oh, wait and it got the children to see, hear, and move to the time (and, essentially, learn their hourly times!). 
We made these really cute clocks which I couldn't find where it originated from, so I had to make my own to share with you.  Click on the picture to go grab the freebie google doc.  I made one with the clock hands or one without that students can make their own time on:
I also introduced adjectives this week.  We made Adjectives of Me posters and I have provided you with the free printable so you can do it, too!  I think they came out really cute.  I love how all of the kids placed their adjectives differently to make the posters different. 

What better way to learn about describing words than to describe something they know the most about??  My favorite one is below.  Is he God or is he good?  Either way, I find it adorable!

Don't forget about the Common Core Standards!  I have also have a Number Writing Fluency freebie (that has REALLY improved and expedited my kid's learning, writing and understanding numbers to 100 by the way):
This week I'm starting to build automaticity with 10 frames so that we can get ready to move into 5 and 10 facts (all Common Core Standards for kindergarten):

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