Schedulin’ Sunday!

It’s that time again…teachers everywhere start scouring Pinterest and blog stalking for inspiration and distractions from planning for the week ahead!  I actually like planning and preparing lessons.  It’s a hobby of mine and I am not ashamed to admit that!  So here now, the lesson plans for the week!  Get ready to be amazed!

We’re starting the letter A this week!  We will be making our ants and acorn hat to wear while we celebrate the letter A!  We will identify pictures that have the short a sound and we will use our chalkboards to practice writing the letter A.  In math we are focusing on writing our numbers from 0-5 this week.  Today we will play a game called Grab and Write! Each child will have a sheet with a graph from 0-5.  In each box of the graph is the number.  For example, for the number one column, there are  6 boxes in the column and each box has the number one in the box.  The child grabs some cubes and counts the cubes.  They trace that number on their graph.  They continue to grab and write until they finish.   After the finish I will let them color their graph.

This week for writing we focus on our goals for the year.  We call these our Hopes and Dreams.  I read the book, Big Plans and we discuss our big plans for Kindergarten!  We then create a circle map of things we want to learn in Kindergarten (hopes and dreams).  Each child shares 1 or 2 things they hope to learn or want to learn.  We also send home a letter to our families asking them to write down their hopes and dreams for our year in kindergarten.  Once the students and parents have shared their hopes and dreams, I copy them onto puzzle pieces and assemble them in hallway.  This puzzle stays up all year to remind all us (especially me) of where our goals are and that I am responsible for these hopes and dreams.  If parents don’t send in their hopes and dreams for their child, I write on their puzzle pieces so no one is left out.  I will post pics Friday or Saturday!

Today we race to trace!  Each child rolls a dice using their casino baskets (click for my post on casino baskets).  Come on, we all know how much the sound of all of those dice drives us crazy.  It’s like nails on a chalkboard to me!  After they roll the dice, they count the dots and find the number on their paper to trace.  I am making this game extra special by letting them use….MARKERS….to trace their numbers.  We will do an astronaut picture sort for the letter A and short a sound.  You can find your free copy at the bottom of the post.  We will continue with our hopes and dreams discussions by taking our circle map full of ideas and turning them into a sentence.  I use the sentence frame:   _____________ wants to learn _______________ in kindergarten.  And of course, no day in Monsters Inc. is complete without an art project!  We will be making the “Swinging Into The New Year” craftivity from Valerie at All Students Can Shine!

We continue with our celebration of the letter A by doing a picture sort using pictures that start with the /m/ sound and the /a/ sound.  We will practice handwriting with the letter A again!  And again.  And again.  We will use the Smart Board for handwriting practice with the letter A and M.

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog stalking to break you this important update….
I had some questions about my Smart Board handwriting and how I do it.  So here it is…it’s a super easy way to practice handwriting and makes for a great center!  Our district uses Interwrite Workspace software (which, btw, is the worst interactive board software ever.  Seriously, the dinosaurs inside that software need to chip away the rock faster…).  In the gallery portion of the software, we are lucky enough to have handwriting templates for letters and numbers.  I simply drag the letter or letters we need to practice onto the page and lock them down so we can’t move them or re-size them.  Then each child gets a turn to practice their handwriting on the Smart Board.

And we now return you to your regular stalking…

We read and discuss the book A Bad Case of the Stripes and talk a lot about being unique!  This is a big issue for Mr. Greg because I want every child to feel safe enough in our classroom to express themselves how they see fit.  And then we get to do one of my most favorite classroom projects EVER!  EVER!  Of all time.  It’s the best.  These are so famous that I get asked when they will be done so people can come see them.  People, they are that hilarious!  We get to make our self portraits!!!!  You have to click here to see these from last year.  Each child gets a head to cut out and a sheet of various facial parts (eyes, nose, ears, etc) and they get to create their image in their own likeness.  When I post pics Thursday you will want to hug me and kiss me (OK, maybe not kiss me…not that I am opposed to the fancy cheek kissing I learned in South America…) for making your week.

We will create a bubble map for all the things our hands can do that are helpful to our friends.  We will then use our predictable chart to write about how we help our friends.  Our predictable sentence is :  My hands can ______________________.  In math we will do a quick game of Flippin Numbers!  Flippin numbers is where we use a random number cd and our magic math fingers.  We point to the number the song plays and Mr. Greg gets a quick informal formative assessment!

And finally, this Wednesday is super special at Monsters, Inc.  Today is the day.  The one and only, BEAR THE READING DOG makes his first visit to our classroom.  If you want to know the story of Bear, you MUST click here and watch the video.  Last year, the local news did a story on Bear and my class!  Today we will not read to Bear.  We meet Bear and we talk about some rules for being safe with Bear.  After that, each child gets to spend a few minutes alone with Bear and Ms. Leigh so they can get to know each other.  And every week from now on when Bear visits, each child gets to choose 1 book from their book bag to read to Bear.  And then they get to feed Bear a treat!

We continue our friendship and community building activities this week.  Today we’re reading Hooway For Wodney Wat!  One of my favorites.  Check out this post for why this book is one of my all time favorites!  After reading Wodney, we create a circle map of how we can be a good friend.  And we learn that BULLIES NEVER WIN!

And finally to practice our number writing, we will use snap cubes to form numbers.  I downloaded some free cube clip art and through these cards together.  I hope someone can use them in their classroom!

We will also do a friendship craftivity because I can’t go a day without an art project!  We will be making the best friends craftivity from A Cupcake for the Teacher!  Be sure to check out her blog and tell her Greg sent ya!  Instead of using the writing piece of the craftivity, each pair of students will get a picture that I made using our names. If you haven’t heard of Tagzedo, Google it and check it out.  It’s a fun and fabulous way to make word art for your room and home!

Today we finish up our celebration of the letter A by making an uppercase and lowercase A out of apple jacks.  And then we eat the apple jacks.  YUM!  Today I will wrap our week long celebration of uniqueness and friendship by reading MY very own children’s book (unpublished as of now!  But stay tuned!) about two hamsters overcoming obstacles and teaching a lesson about friendship.

We are also wrapping up our celebration of the Olympics by making Olympic t-shirts and competing in the Measurement Olympics!  I can’t wait to use the Measurement Olympics pack that I created!!  We are going to have a blast!

And for foodie fun Friday, we are making applesauce.  Yes, I know it’s early and we’re not doing apples, but we will make applesauce again in September.  I couldn’t think of other food and snacks that would be good for A so applesauce it is!

And that’s my week.  What do you like?  What don’t you like?  What inspired you?

And here is a challenge for you all…..who can find or create a cute astronaut craftivity???  Anyone?

Now, for a secret.  You wanna know how I was able to get through this great post?  By eating these!!!

These cookies are the best ever.  They come from a bakery in my hometown.  My parents visited this weekend and brought me 4 dozen!!!  They are sugar cookies with doughnut glaze for icing.  The word delicious is a vast understatement!

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