Lunch Count on the Door

Thursday, April 23, 2015
calendar routines

Every morning on their way in the classroom, my kindergartners move their clip from the "I'm not here" section to either the "Bringing" or "Buying" lunch section.  This is a quick way for me to visually take roll and since it is located on my door, if we ever have a fire drill or a real emergency, then I can quickly scan the door as a reminder about who is absent for the day.

Here is how it works...

I got the jumbo ten frame magnets from Lakeshore Learning and put those on my door.  They come as a set of four so you'll only need to buy one.  They also have the magnetic circles that you can write your kid's names on if you don't want to get the IKEA magnets.

But I got the white circle magnets from IKEA and wrote the kids' names on those.  These come in sets of 4 and are nice because they have a raised area that makes it easy for my kids to grab and move.  I had planned to put their photos on the magnets, but then I thought that I would rather they be able to identify their name instead, so that's what I went with.  I just wrote their name with a permanent marker.

To complete the area, I put up a picture of a lunch bag for the bringers, a hot lunch tray for the buyers, and a sick child for the kids who didn't make it in to school.  I used a strip of magnetic tape to separate the areas.  You could use colorful duck tape or even masking tape, whatever works with your classroom decor.

tens frame lunch count on the door

When the morning bell rings, I greet the children and their parents at the classroom door.  It's nice to say good morning to everyone and to touch base with parents before the day starts.  My kindergartners move their magnet from the bottom area to the appropriate ten frame under the bringing or buying side.  Then they stow their backpacks, lunch boxes, etc and go sit on the rug.  I have music playing for them to sing along to until we are all situated and ready to begin our day.  You could easily have the kids do morning work at their desks as well, but I like to have everyone gathered on the rug so that we can do the calendar and other opening activities right away.

At the end of the day, I have a student move all the clips down to the home area and the door is ready to go for tomorrow.  Simple, fun and a great visual for organizing data.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

graduating kids glyphIn my school district, we don't have graduation ceremonies, well, really we do, we just don't call them graduations.   Instead we call them promotion ceremonies.  

At my school we don't even call it a promotion ceremony,  we call it a "Celebration of Success."

I teach at an all Kindergarten school.  When kids promote from my school, they go off to their next school where they will stay from 1st through 5th grades.

It's a bittersweet time because we teachers grow so close to the kids and their families and unlike traditional schools, we won't see them as they grow.

That is the one thing that I really miss.  I miss saying hi to the kids and their parents and hearing about what things they are up to.

graduation glyph activity

Here are photos of my Graduation Kids Glyph.  My kids robe color is determined by the school that they will be attending next year.  They are holding either a book or a pencil, depending on if they like reading or writing the best.  The shoes denote how they go home after school each day.  The tassel color tells if they are a boy or girl.

After we complete the glyph we analyze the data.  It's a lot of fun and the parents think it's super cute.  By doing this glyph the kids learn who will be going to the same school as them next year.

I have adapted the glyph to be used by any school.  Take a look at the preview.

Farm Animal Reports

Tuesday, April 14, 2015
We have just returned from Spring Break (two weeks!) and are plowing into our Farm Unit.  

We will learn about different animals including horses, cows, pigs, sheep and chickens during this unit.  As we learn about each animal we will write a report.  Our final project will be one big book with a page for each animal.  This is a snapshot of what each page will look like.

We draw the animals on construction paper and then cut them out and mount them on a different color of 12x18 paper next to the final report.

When we are all finished, I will bind them into one large book for each child.

report writing for kids- farm animal reports

Click on the photo above to get the report, or click on this link.

We take a field trip to our local dairy.  We get to see the cows in their barns, sleeping on their water beds and getting milked in the milking parlor.  The dairy even gives us ice cream as a fun treat.

We will end our study of the farm by having a Rodeo Day where we wrap up the unit.

On this day kids dress in the best western wear and bring their hobby horses to school.  They make and eat chicken scratch by pecking like a chicken -no hands allowed!

They make purple cows- yum!  Have you ever had one?  It's a grape float.

They do barn dancing,  barrel racing,  milk a cow,  rope a steer, help Mrs. Wishy Washy clean mud off of animal (well, chocolate pudding off of animal crackers) and pet small animals in the petting corral.  It's a super fun day.

Currently April

Thursday, April 2, 2015

A new month means a new CURRENTLY.  I love seeing what everyone else is up to.
Here's what's going on with me currently...

It's 7:00 in the morning and the only ones up in the house are me and the dogs.  It's a beautiful spring day here in Southern California and I've got my computer on my lap and my coffee next to me on the table and I'm sitting in my back yard listening to the birds chirping in the trees.  Oh how I love Spring Break!

My plan for the day is to head to my classroom to organize some crates of teaching stuff that I've liberated from my garage and need to find a home for in my classroom.  I'm a teacher and therefor I'm a pack rat.  I hold on to everything that might be useful in my classroom some day and it has taken over my garage (literally).  So, I've decided to sort through everything and if I haven't used it in 2 years,  it's going in the trash.  Yep.  Gonna do it!  Headed out to my room shortly after completing this post.  It's going to be a HUGE undertaking but I'm looking forward to that feeling of having everything in its place and everything being useful.

I've been thinking a lot about family (always do around holidays) and I've got a huge hole in my heart right now.  I miss my mom and grandparents so much.  My grandparents were the kind of people that brought laughter and fun to any situation.  They were warm and fun loving people.  My mom was a kind and quieter soul who loved taking care of her family and seeing everyone together and happy.  She was the center of our family gatherings and her absence leaves a big void.  My sister and I have tried to step in and fill that void, but it's literally impossible.  So, as Easter approaches, I get more and more reminiscent of holidays past.

As for the wanting part- well, if you've read my Currently entries before, then you know I desperately want new flooring.  I want to get rid of this icky carpet and put in hardwood.  I've had new flooring on my wish list for quite some time now, but with one kid in college, one playing sports and no pay raises since I don't know when, it looks like new floors will remain on the wish list for at least another year- (so get used to seeing that in the wanting section.)

I need to get my office organized!  I've been using my laptop and chair in the family room as my office lately and my mess just spills out into that room now.  Time to get the office back in shape and use it as it's intended!  Another Spring Break chore that will get done!

My blog name comes from my twitter name.  Since I teach kindergarten and my last name is Irick, it was a natural fit.

Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to leave a comment and I'll hop over to your blog to do the same.

Here's the link back to the party.

Adding Doubles- Spring Math Fun

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Here is a fun spring craftivity.  I don't know who came up with the name "craftivity" but I sure do love it.

As we are studying insects for science we are also learning about adding doubles in math.  I have combined the two into this cute craftivity.

math activity

Kids make a ladybug then roll the dice to find out how many spots to add.  You don't have to add doubles really, they could also just roll the dice and put that many spot on one side, then roll again and put that number on the other side then add the total.

Lots of possibilities and lots of fun!  Happy spring!

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