Pancakes on Pajama Day

Saturday, January 23, 2016
Each year my school has a pajama day.  This is the parents most favorite day as they don't have to argue with kids about clothes or breakfast.  The kids love it because it's fun to wear their PJs to school.  I like seeing the kids so excited for the day and I like all the fun activities that we do, but quite frankly, I don't like wearing my pajamas to school, but I'm a team player so I do it with a smile.

On pajama day we cook pancakes in my classroom.  The kids try them different ways, plain, with butter, with syrup and with butter & syrup.  Kids decide which way is their favorite and then we graph the results.  

First we lay out the strips making a bar graph.  This is a very easy way to interpret the data.

Pancake Day Bar Graph

After that we put the strips in a circle to make a pie chart.  It's a different way of looking at the data and a lot of fun to see how it all breaks down.  By using a pie chart you can see the percentages of how the data breaks down.  We figured out that half of the class likes their pancakes with both syrup and butter.  Yum!

Pancake Circle Graph

Celebrating Diversity in a Pre-K Classroom

Monday, January 18, 2016
It's the third week of school for me.  I have a brand new class of EAKers- that's Early Admission Kindergarten.  In my district we have a special program that is available for kiddos that aren't old enough to start regular kindergarten but that have birthdays after January- EAK.  I'm the EAK teacher this year and January 4th was our first day together.

I'm loving this group of sweet kids.  Most are 4 years old and are about to, or have just turned 5.  We are busy learning the letters and sounds and just getting to know each other.  With MLK as our first holiday, it's the perfect time to celebrate our individuality and to find our shared interests.

My little guys aren't writing yet (we are still practicing writing our names) so doing any kind of writing for MLK is out of the question.  But I wanted the kids to have some concrete way to represent diversity so I used the fabulous book The Crayon Box that Talked.  

If you haven't read this book before, it's an essential for your classroom library.  It's totally relatable for a young learner.  After reading this we had a great discussion on diversity.  Then I had my littles complete a very easy worksheet to put on our writing wall.  

They only had to write two words- their name being one and their favorite color the second.  I have the color words on display on the wall so we looked at those and I modeled writing my favorite one.  After that I talked about how I can like other colors as well and those I simply colored in using my box of crayons.  Easy peasy.

Click on the picture below to grab the worksheet.
The Crayon Box that Talked Diversity Lesson for Pre K

My kids were fine with copying their favorite color word from the wall.  They were thrilled that they actually wrote a word.  Then they were even more excited with they used the wall again to read each other's favorite crayon colors.  Seeing their little faces so excited as they discovered that they were readers and writers is really what my job is all about.  I always say that I have the best job in the whole world and I really mean it!

Click on the picture below to grab the poem.
The Crayon Box That Talked

To continue our discussion of diversity, I will read them another of my favorites.  It is called The Colors of Us and it celebrates all different skin tones.

My plan is for the kids to complete the sentence "My skin is the color of ____."  Then I will break out my skin colored crayons from Lakeshore and have them draw themselves using my Portrait Templates.  

Click on the picture below to get these.
 Portrait Templates

So, that's how we are studying diversity in my class this year.  I would love to hear what you are doing in yours.  Thanks for stopping by!

Spaghetti and Meatball Spaces

Thursday, January 7, 2016
I'm blogging over at Teacher Deals and Dollar Steals next week and offering a special deal for only ONE DOLLAR.  But I wanted to offer it early to the followers of my blog.

Are you looking for a fun way to help your new writers use appropriate spacing when writing?  Here is what I use in my classroom- Spaghetti and Meatball Spaces.  It's a guaranteed recipe for success!

Spaghetti and Meatball spaces

Fun poster for the writing center!

I give the kids a real piece of uncooked spaghetti and we use those to leave the small spaces between the letters in a word.  Then I give them a brown fuzzy pom pom to use as the meatball space.  They love rolling the meatball to the next spot.

To demonstrate how important spaces are in a sentence.  I will write one or two sentences on the board without any spaces and we try to read it.  Not very easy to do!  Then we use the meatballs to rewrite it and voila!  

After the lesson, I glue the meatball pom poms to craft sticks and place them in the writing center.  Kids just grab them as needed to use when they write.  

I tell you- spaghetti and meatballs spaces are very easy for them to understand.
Just print the posters and hang them in the room or put them in the kid's writing folders.


Currently January 2016

Saturday, January 2, 2016
Wow, It's a new year!  2015 went by in a blink of an eye.

I'm excited to be linking up with Farley and to catch up with all my blogging buddies to see what everyone is CURRENTLY doing.

My oldest daughter Lauren spent the last 4 months studying abroad in Germany.  She had a fantastic time and got to travel to many different cities on her wish list.  I'm so enjoying hearing about her travels.  She studied at the University in Luneberg but got to visit Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Prague, Salzburg, Amsterdam, Paris and Edinburgh.

She wasn't home for Christmas so I kept the tree up a bit longer than usual so that she could see it.  Now it's time to take all the decorations down and put everything away for next year.  Why do I dread doing this?  Maybe because it signals the end of the holiday and I'm never ready for the holiday to end.  I'm determined that the stuff will be put away TODAY (right after I finish blogging)- LOL.

One thing I definitely need is a Personal Assistant.  Someone who can help me take care of all the little things every day (like grocery shopping, cooking, prepping materials for my classroom, etc,).
I always say that if I won the lottery (you have to play to win so that will never happen) I would hire a Personal Assistant to make life easier.

I'm getting a whole new group of kids in January so I've spent a good portion of my vacation prepping for that.  I've had to change the names on everything in my classroom and get ready for a new group of TKers.  It's exciting to wonder about all the new little kiddos that will be walking through my doorway next Monday.  

My little word for the year is ENJOY.  
Don't take anything for granted.  
Take a moment to reflect each day on something good that has happened.
Enjoy life.

Happy 2016 everyone!

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