The Saturday Kindergarten Post!

Happy Saturday!  It’s the weekend!!!!!!  And it’s a rainy weekend in Music City!  Seems like a good day to lay around and do nothing.  Alas, we’re putting up the Christmas tree (finally!)!  And doing laundry.  UGH.  I.HATE.LAUNDRY.  I don’t mind washing the clothes but I despise folding the laundry and putting it away.  So I am going to blog about my week and avoid the laundry monster!

It’s time for the next edition of The Saturday Kindergarten Post!  The weekly recap of all things kindergarten smorgasboard!  A recap of the fun, excitement  chaos and Common Core standards based learning!  Throw in a writing assessment that was handed to us the morning of the day it was due, a fire drill and the anticipation of Christmas and you have a great week!

This week we worked on measuring and since it was our huge gingerbread man week, we measured gingerbread pictures using candy!  The first day we measured how big our pictures were.  As you can see, we used peppermints and hershey kisses!  And yes, we got to eat a couple of pieces of candy!
The second day we were introduced to the concepts of area and perimeter!  And yes, kindergartners totally got that area was covering the whole picture and perimeter was round the edges!  You’re welcome upper grades teachers!  After we measured the perimeter, we recorded our answers and had a great discussion of why it took more kisses than peppermints.  That same discussion was repeated with area and perimeter.  My monsters did a great job of realizing that the kisses were smaller so it took more of those and that area took more candy because we had to cover the whole picture.  My monsters are so stinking intelligent!

This week we also got to use our phoneme segmentation skills in a fun new way!  Nothing motivates monsters like some Justin Bieber!  Click here to see more on how I used this amazing, awesome, life changing Justin Bieber tape.  Oh, Biebs, what would we do without you?!  Click on the picture to see my post about this activity!
The highlight of our week was THE GINGERBREAD MAN!  My monsters loved every gingerbread man activity we did.  We read five different stories and completed this chart to compare and contrast the stories.  My girls were especially thrilled that the gingerbread girl was smarter than the gingerbread man and boy.  They’re now convinced girls are smarter.  

We made a cute gingerbread couple!  And a house for them to live in!
We also did this super fun and so sweet smelling art project!  We traced gingerbread patterns with a black crayon and added the details using other colors.  

Next, we painted the pictures. Not with regular ole watercolors.  No way.  That’s not good enough for the monsters at Monsters, Inc.  We used Kool-Aid watercolors!!  You simply mix 1-2 tablespoons of hot water with a pack of Kool-Aid powder and mix.  And you have some very sweet smelling paint!  Our room smelled so good all day long.  These turned out so cute!!!  
TIP:  Don’t spill this paint.  We have some pretty red tables now.  And my hands are still red.  Yeah, it stains.  FOREVER.  
We also wrote our won gingerbread books.  I love this illustration of himself running from an apple.  You know those apples are dangerous.   He was one of only a handful of students to draw the ground and the sky!  This is something we are working very hard on as authors and illustrators.  
This week we did not celebrate the letter E and the sound of E.  That would be bad.  Bad.  So for our non-celebratory week of E, we of course had to make elf hats!  E for elf!  Um, how cute are my little elves!?
And I would never deny you the joy of Mr. Greg in a silly hat!  I am short, with big ears.  I am Sarcasm the Elf!  If you want the elf ears pattern, just click on my face!

And the highlight of our Gingerbread week was making our gingerbread cookies…that weren’t really gingerbread!  After reading the gingerbread recipes, I said, UM NO!  So I made sugar cookies in the shape of gingerbread men (I baked…huge accomplishment )  And I found gingerbread flavored icing so we used that to give our cookies the gingerbread flavor!  

And then we go to eat our cookies!!  Yummy!  It was during this feast that it was decided that Mr. Greg is “famous!”
This monster is OBSESSED with gingerbread men!  This was the best week of his life I think!  Just look at that smile!
Finally, I want to give a little information on craftivities.  I get a lot of comments on the blog and Facebook about the craftivities and art projects we do.  We do one almost daily.  And it’s just not for fun.  There are many benefits to doing these projects:
1.  Students need to be able to follow multi-step directions.
2.  Students need to be able to figure out how to orient their pieces and shapes just like they need to be able to orient their letters when they’re writing.
3.  Students need to be able to work work independently on projects and complete projects by seeing a model of the project.
4.  Students need to have time be creative.
And any craftivity can be made into a writing activity.  Simply provide a writing prompt or sentence starter and some writing paper, and you are meeting Common Core standards!  You can also use craftivites and art as comprehension pieces for books and stories!  With the big push to have better assessments, this is a great way to get away from pencil and paper assessments! 
So our love of craftivities is fun but there are also powerful and important academic pieces to these projects as well!  
This is one of our craftivities planned for next week.  My students, “Oprah” and “Gayle” made these models for me.  How cute are these?!  Click on the picture to get your free pattern!
And how was your week?  What did you do this week?  

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