Open House and Appreciation For Teacher Curriculum Innovators!
Tomorrow is Open House! One step closer to the end of school. This year my Open House is very different. Usually I stick to a theme like Farm or Ocean and then all of the displays in my room relate to that theme. I like to call this year a little of this and a little of that. You will see what I mean as we start the Open House photo journey.
Students filled out this Open House writing page. They drew the friends they play with at recess, made a list of important things they can do (sing, work, help, read, sound out words etc.) drew a picture of their favorite memory from the year (field trip to the farm, Coconut Day, Andy Z concert, etc) and students took their papers around on clipboards and had classmates write special words describing them. Click the picture below to head to my TPT store and get your free copy of this)
Here kinders sit and think about what special word to write on their classmates paper. After students wrote their word (nice, silly, smart, caring, hard worker...) they wrote their name. I could tell students were beaming when they heard a classmate give them a compliment. Warning: before I had students do this part we brainstormed a list of words to choose from when giving compliments to classmates.
Our Open House writing is proudly hung on the Writing Wall. When parents read the paper they will really get a sense of their child's experience in kindergarten. This writing activity was also a great reflection for me to see what the favorite events of the year students remember most vividly and to see what students can do. Sometimes my perception is very different from what matters the most to them. For example, one student wrote hula-hoop at the very top of his I Can list. I can think of many other more academic ways this child has succeeded but to him hula hooping is the ultimate success. Every day he practices hula hooping at recess and has become a hula hooping champion. I am glad he can write this celebration on his paper!
I am extremely appreciative to the teachers on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook who are creating amazing curriculum! Here are some of my TPT favorites that will blow the socks right of the parents at Open House! The kids loved these activities and cannot wait to show them off to their parents.
The Handwriting Fairy by Rachelle Smith. Click the photo below and head to Rachelle's TPT store to pick up your copy of this cute activity!
Students enjoyed reading the Handwriting Fairy story. We then wrote letters to the Handwriting Fairy showing her that our handwriting is ready for first grade. I have never seen my students more tuned in to their handwriting then they are now that the Handwriting Fairy is checking out their work at night. We have spaces in between words, capitals in the right places, and writing that stays in the lines. Love it!
One of my FAVORITE TPT teacher curriculum creators is Babbling Abby. I adore her materials and everything I have done in my class from her TPT store has been a huge success with my students! Abby's 'Let's Get Pop-Rockin' comes with lots of great writing activities. One thing I never want my kinders to feel limited by is thinking their words have to be correctly spelled. VOICE in writing is huge to me!!!! I make sure my kinders know that if they are thinking of a big juicy word to add to their writing but can't spell it, they should not choose a less juicy word that is easier for them to write. We talked about how easy it would be to write Pop Rocks are cool, good, fun; but how boring that would be to read. Boy, once those pop rocks went in their mouth, they thought of a bunch of juicy words to describe pop rocks and used their fishy lips to sound out the word the best they could. When a student only captured the first sound that was ok with me, and I took dictation for them. This lesson is another reminder to me to NEVER underestimate a kinder, their vocabulary, and their imagination. We had pop rocks exploding in mouths like volcanoes, and popcorn popping, and bubbles bursting. AMAZEing. Click the picture below to visit Babbling Abby's shop.
Of course the fantastic Deanna Jump MUST make a cameo in this post if I am blogging about my appreciation for teacher curriculum innovators. The day after Maurice Sendak died we read the book, Where the Wild Things Are and enjoyed Deanna's Wild Thing craft and writing activity! I made sure to put them up all crazy and wild! Roar!!!! Click the picture below to find this in Deanna's store!
We completed our symbols unit so our work will proudly be on display in an American Symbols folder. I used Deanna's America Math and Literacy Fun unit and student's completed the Bald Eagle and Statue of Liberty. The flag uses dot paint and oil pastels for the 50 stars.
I love love LOVE Erica Bohrer! Last week I brought my rabbit, Molly Sunshine, to our classroom. Nibble nibble nibble. Since we are getting closer to the end of the year I am reminding my kinders more and more how they are almost First Graders and how much they have grown and blossomed and become such amazing students. Before I brought the rabbit in to school, students had to show me all the ways they are First Grade Ready! I was desperate to find curriculum online about class pets and then Erica pulled through!!!! She had a FREE TPT packet all about having a pet in your classroom. I highly suggest checking it out if you are thinking of introducing a pet to your room next year. We read Erica's Classroom Pet Rules. We read books about rabbits and students completed Erica's Can, Have, Are rabbit paper. After all of this hard work Molly Sunshine came to our room! I hole punched and attached the papers to her cage so students can show their parents at Open House! Students who continue to make good first grade choices get to feed Molly a carrot at recess. WOW THIS IS WORKING! Hello amazing rewards system for the end of the year! One day I will have to share more stories about Ms. Molly Sunshine. She is quite the rabbit. (she even survived the year when a little boy duck taped her to the side of her cage and found my sticker stash and put stickers all over her. Yes, this was when I was absent, and yes this story will forever live in infamy, and yes this happened WAY before I knew about Erica's Classroom Pet TPT pack!) Click on the picture below to check Erica OUT!
Here is our classroom reflection board. Students reflected on ME and our kindergarten classroom! We have been practicing self portraits and labeling all year; now was their chance to try their skills out on their teacher! After they drew a picture of me, they labeled words to describe me. We brainstormed ideas using: Ms. Chako is...... With that simple start, students thought of lots of words (silly, big, happy, a teacher, my friend etc.) The index cards you see around the pictures are words to describe our kindergarten class. This was done on a separate day. We thought of all the words that pop in to our mind when we think of our kindergarten room. I love how this bulletin board is through the kinder's eyes and paints a picture of our classroom.
I can't wait for Open House! My students have been practicing their tour guide skills all week! They are taking their tour guide job very seriously and are going to make sure their parents see and learn about every nook and cranny of our classroom.
Community Fun Continues!
Rhyming Fire Trucks
Short Vowel Apartment
Police Badge Syllable Sort
And my favorite is when the Community Book Homework projects are turned in! I love to see the creativity, uniqueness, and hard work go in to these community books.
Check out my Community Unit. Click below to find these activities!
And last but CERTAINLY not least this week is Teacher Appreciation Week at my school. Students brought in flowers from their garden today and one of my most amazing moms made this cute vase. She hot glue gunned bright colored pencils to the outside. The perfect gift for a classroom that brightens up the room. LOVE IT!
Have a great week, teacher friends! Happy Open House! Thank you for reading this long post. I just couldn't wait to share all this juicy stuff with you.