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Thursday, October 31, 2013

An Impromptu Lesson

I mentioned on Friday that I did an impromptu activity with my Kindergartners using Dot Markers.  I had been meaning to actually create this activity on the computer but with my two little ones, it's hard!  I finally just drew (very poorly I might add) a bubble gum machine with gumballs inside.  

Each student (I have 5) and myself had a sheet with different uppercase and lowercase letters.  I would then choose an uppercase or lowercase letter card (ones I already had laying around).  If you had it you got to dot it with your special marker.  Well, they were just beside themselves lol.  They LOVED this activity and my poor drawing skills.  They were so unbelievably excited to be using the Dot Markers!  So was I!

 Even my one little friend, who tends to give me a run for my money, sat and actively participated.  My favorite part was how well they were doing telling me what letter it was and if it was uppercase and lowercase.  It was good to see that they are slowly but surely getting it.  Now if they could just do it when I formally assess them!  Perhaps all formal assessments should use Dot Markers?  ;)  If only it were that easy!  Anywho, I'm working on making this a nice printable.  Hopefully it will be done this weekend!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Five for Friday (Linky Party!) 10/25

Yay! Super excited for my first linky party! I'm linking up this week with Doodle Bugs Teaching for their awesome linky party!

On Sunday, we (my husband, 2 little boys, mom, and dad) all went to a local orchard.  My dad's company was hosting an event there that weekend aka free stuff (still managed to spend some).  It was so fun spending time with my family...even if my toddler was a cranky pants.

Tuesday was fun.  Our school went pink!  Days like this are really important.  My fourth graders were asking some great questions about the day and about cancer.  I wish I had all the answers but I think it was great that they were even having a discussion about it.
My mom took the kids to Walmart this week.  Then came home with some groceries for me.  She ROCKS!
My Kindergarteners couldn't have been more excited about my impromptu Uppercase/Lowercase matching game.  They had never used Dot Markers before so they were just beside themselves!
"They're going to Neverland!"  That's what my son informed me as we sit here watching Peter Pan for the umpteenth time.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Syllable Sorting

My firsties are a tough group for me this year.  I have all boys.  5 of them to be exact.  Keeping their focus (especially with my behavior issues) is tough.  I've found that they respond well to anything hands on.  We are also using Leveled Literacy Intervention Kits by Fountas And Pinnell (not too sure how I feel about them).  Several of the lessons have had syllables as their phonics part.  The kids, and myself, are bored with the pictures they have us sorting.  I decided to make my own activities!  So far, I have created 4 different themed syllable sorting activities.  I used these super adorable graphics from The Pink Cat Studio's store at TPT.  The boys loved it! It was perfect for small group.  They liked clapping out the syllables and looking at the different animals.  You can find the four different versions at my TPT store.

Here are my firsties enjoying the Aquarium Syllable Sort!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Letter Names

My kindergarten cuties are having a tough time with letter names.  I came across this problem at my previous job as well.  They can tell me some letter names, but none of the 5 can tell me each letter.  My favorite is that they can write their name but can't tell me how to spell it!  We have a lot of letter work ahead of us.  To help them with this I created a cute matching activity.  It will help them to match uppercase and lowercase letters.  This can be done in a small group, center, or independently.  We will be doing this in our small group so that we can discuss the names and sounds as well.  The images are acorns.  The top half is the lowercase letter and the bottom half is the uppercase letter.  I will try to post pics of them using it soon!  If you are interested in this activity just click on one of the images below.  It will lead you to my TPT store!

Freebie Friday #5

Ugh.  Sorry everyone!  I know I've been slacking.  We're having a tough time with my 2 1/2 year old.  He refuses to go to bed and we're usually fighting with him until after 10!  MADNESS!  In other words, he's sucking up any small amount of time I might have to get work done.  Today's freebie is a cute stationary border.  I know it's not as fun as past freebies but I'm hoping it will get better!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sleep Sacks

As many of you know, there hasn't been much sleep happening in my house lately.  My husband and I are lucky if we get 3 hours straight with a total of MAYBE 4 hours of sleep.  Our 4 month old hasn't been a great sleeper and my toddler stopped sleeping when we brought the baby home (he had also gone to the hospital himself for a few days).  Our baby has especially hated that we switched him to his crib instead of his snug as a bug bassinet.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVED this thing and so did both of my babies.  But alas, babies grow and well, furniture doesn't.  He was NOT happy about this transition.  Not one little bit.  On top of the rough time we were already having, things just got worse.  My husband and I never see each other.  By the time he gets home it's bedtime for the kids.  That could take hours.  Then one or both of us is falling asleep with one of them.  It's sad.  But...there's a glimmer of hope. I bought one of these babies.

I used to laugh at these.  I thought they were ridiculous.  I still think they're kind of funny.  However, I was desperate.  Our baby is in our room.  We hate it.  But we didn't have a choice.  His crib is in our room until he learns to sleep better.  Then his little baby booty is off to his brother's room (this is all being reconsidered because we feel big brother's not sleeping anyways and might actually sleep if he has a buddy).  Our room is FREEZING COLD.  Little one would be very cold when I would pick him up during the night. I'm thinking this is PART of the reason why he's so miserable.  So I bought a nice fleece one.  I don't swaddle his arms in but you still wrap the part around his chest.  He's so warm and fuzzy at night I almost don't want to put him down (ALMOST haha).  

Friday night we decided he would have to "cry it out."  It sucked.  I hate it.  But it worked wonders for my oldest.  Well this one hates it.  He cried 45 minutes but actually fell back asleep.  Then he slept amazing!!!!  The next night we had the sack and it happened again!  AND AGAIN LAST NIGHT!  I'm probably jinxing myself lol.  But that's okay.  At least I know it's possible.  I really don't have much advice for those of you going through this extremely tough phase.  Just know that you're not alone.  And guess what, it does suck.  And it's okay to cry about it.  I just had my glimmer of hope and I'm sure yours will come soon! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Freebie Friday #4

Man is this a total TGIF moment!  Unfortunately I'm sitting here listening to my baby's first night of "crying it out" aka "Mommy's crying."  But that's a post for another day lol.  Here is your freebie and boy is it a GOOD one.  This one is exclusively for my wonderful followers.   You won't find it on TPT!  It's just for you my lovelies!  As I mentioned in a previous post, I've started my new job and am creating new products.  This one is an alphabet puzzle.  Students must match each uppercase letter with it's lowercase buddy along with a picture that represents their beginning sound.  I suggest printing it off on cardstock and laminating.  It's the best way to keep them intact!  It's my weekend project to use with my Kindergarteners on Monday.  Enjoy!