Monthly Archives: October 2008

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Bats! (day 2)

Here are the pictures I promised from yesterday:

And here is what we did today (during our 1/2 day!):

We read this story called Two Little Witches:

I found this story many years ago at Wal-Mart during Halloween time and purchased it–little did I know that it was a wonderful math related story.  Here are some shots of my students acting it out today!

We also read these stories:

This one is a take off of There Was An Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly (or a Pie, or a bell, shell, star, Cello, some snow, etc.) Does anyone know of anymore versions of this story–I kind of collect them!  I will show you a fabulous activity we will do with the “Pie” version of this story in November–closer to Thanksgiving! 🙂  It’s super cute!

We also watched the Magic School Bus movie about Bats (I think the correct title is The Magic School Bus Goes Batty!).  I usually don’t like to show many movies, but I am a big sucker for MSB movies because they are SOOO full of information presented in a kid-friendly way!  We will watch one more on Friday, about Spiders because I wanted to hit that again–the kids loved it so much!

No kids tomorrow or Thursday, so my next post will be Friday–if I survive Halloween! 🙂

November brings the Little Red Hen, Election (you can find the ballot for the elections on the PDF page under “I” for ice cream), Pilgrims/Native Americans, Thanksgiving, and The Old Woman Who Swallowed A Pie.  I’ll be working on those plans on Thursday.

Kristen 🙂


We started yet another short week by learning about bats.  How’s this for a strange schedule: Full Day Monday, 1/2 Tuesday, No school for Kinder Wednesday and Thursday (1-5 have 1/2 days) and a Full Day Friday!  Madness!!  It’s all due to Parent/Teacher Conferences this week!  I am excited about them–I have all my report cards done, on the computer for the first time ever before Fall Break!! 🙂

Today, we began by writing a Morning Message where I left some blanks for letters to be filled in (picture tomorrow-I left my camera at home today!)  One of the words was “bats”.  We then learned a new pocket chart poem, “5 Little Bats Hanging Upside Down”.  Our wikki sticks were found in a bunch, and could not be used, so we had to temporarily switch to post it flags to underline and find letters.

We then read a Big Book called, “5 Little Bats Flying Through the Night”.  If you haven’t read it, it’s a take of on 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed–very cute!  Great for teaching rhyming words! 🙂

We then made a Predictable Chart titled, “The bat…” and since it is a short week, everyone in the room completed their sentence today.  Tomorrow, we will do touch read and cut up sentences.  Friday will be class book day!

The children were very interested in the idea that bats are nocturnal and so we ended up making a list of animals that are nocturnal and those that are not–we had some great ideas (hamsters, racoons, owls, gerbils, hedgehogs, and a few, like the octopus that we had to do some research on to figure out when they slept)

During our science time, we started by watching an episode of the Magic School Bus about sound (and it just so happens–haunted houses!).  After wards, we got out our Lakeshore Sound Tub and talked about how some sounds are low because of small vibrations and how some sounds are high because of many vibrations.  The children then spent all day sharing with me how they made different sounds using various materials in our classroom!  They loved it!  We also talked about how bats “see” by using echolocation and how that is like sound.  We discussed the ways that bats might use small and large sounds to figure out where they are at.  It was an interesting disucssion! 🙂

I also added a new magnetic word family tin to our Word Work Station (you can see the previous post about them here, scroll down after all the spider things).  This one is the -at family (you know to go with bats!)

Does anyone have any great ideas to spice up ABC station?  Anything you use that your kids love?  I have some games and other things I would like to add, but thought I would see what everyone else is out there doing! 🙂

Tomorrow, during our 1/2 day—more bats!  I’ll take pictures tomorrow and get them posted!

Kristen 🙂


The original plan this week was to study bats, but I ended up being out yesterday, and leaves seemed easier for my guest teacher to handle.  The children began reading this big book:

They took a picture walk through it and then the guest teacher read it aloud to the children.

They then started a new Predictable Chart–this one will be quick because we only have 3 days of school this week due to Fall Break.  Monday/Tuesday will be the days to write the chart and Wednesday, we will make the classbook and touch read the sentences:

Yesterday the children took a leaf walk outside and collected leaves in ziploc baggies.  We used them today with this book:

After reading this story, I let each of the children make  a “Leaf Person” of their own.  We first did rubbings with the leaves, then looked at them with magnifying glasses and then glued them down:

Tomorrow, we have “double store day” because I keep forgetting to pay the children for their jobs!  I promised them a double pay week and more time to shop.  We also will have a Fall Party in the afternoon, right at the end of the day (thank goodness! 🙂 ) and we will do some sorting with leaves in the morning.  We will make our Leaves are…. classbook and finish up our regular morning routines.

I’m also excited to be DONE with report cards for conferences next week!  We were able to complete them on the computer for the first time this year, so they were lots easier and given the fact that I only have 26 children instead of the 50 in 1/2 day that I am used to, things went a lot quicker! Yeah!! I can actually have a Fall Break this year! 🙂

I was thinking of creating some more Roll-A-______ games for November/December, any suggestions?  I have Roll-A-Snowman already.  Do you think Roll-a-turkey, roll-a-pilgrim, or roll-a-native american would be offensive to any cultures?  Any that you would like for me to create?

Kristen 🙂

Skeleton Ideas

I just read a post from the Kinder Korner webring–if you don’t belong, it’s a must for Kindergarten teachers! 🙂  I found some really cute ideas for skeletons, and although I won’t be doing them before Halloween in my classroom, we make come back and do some of these in February when we discuss healthy bodies and nutrition.  I’m listing the names, because these are not my ideas! 🙂


I’ll post later about my own classroom and what we are doing in our short Fall Break ended week!


I posted photos on the group site of a skeleton project we did last year. We collected and painted toilet paper tubes and made a very large skeleton and labeled the major bones and body parts. I cut the skull and hips out of white paper. The children really enjoyed it. You will find the pics under the name Skeleton ideas.  Laura Columbus, Ohio —

“gayuhland”  I have done some darling skeletons with Q-tips mounted on black paper with a TLC-head (starting from a square white paper, etc.) Although not exactly ‘correct’ in terms of number of human bones, etc., it has been a great lead-in for a unit on skeletons/exo- skeletons. I also  have a great little booklet featuring different animal skeletons– I  remember a turtle for sure–I think 8 animals in all. Let me know if you are interested in a copy, photo &/or ‘q-tip count’  for the project. Off-list is fine. 🙂  Gay 

“kinderoom” <kimberlyennis@  Hi,  I am doing a short skeleton unit as well. I don’t have lot of time  so here  is one thing I will be using:  Last year my kids loved the “roll-a-?” games. I made a big  skeleton (just enlarged one of those easy ones from a  Worksheet- Mailbox, I believe.) We talked about the pips on the dice, how to  “recognize” or count them,  And how to find that piece of the skeleton to add. After we played  together,  I gave them smaller version to cut out and a die  so they could play by themselves. (don’t know how this year’s kids  will do but am trying something new….they would cut the poor skeleton up  too badly  to use so)  I bought the little plastic skeletons those that come 6 or 8 to a  pack and  cut them into 6 pieces.  (head, chest/trunk, 2 arms, 2 legs) and then made a “roll a  skeleton”  direction card. I put this along with a die in a baggie.  Now they will have game to play at home with their parents. Of course we will still play with the big one as a class, just won’t be cutting  them out  this year. I also got one of those big plastic moveable skeletons. I wrote an  alphabet  letter on each of the bones at the hinges (?) – you know, the  joints they  are put together(?) – for example – at the end of the collar bone I  put a  capital A and on the top of the humerous (the lone arm bone) I  put a lower  case a. I did this for all the bones where they came together.  Then I took  it apart. (the plastic buttons can be cut so you can take it apart).  The kids put it together by matching caps to lower case. You can  put it back together with the large brass fasteners. > > I used to sort and graph the “Dem Bones” candies, but it just got  too hard  to get them. I’m sure they are available somewhere still, but just  not  worth the effort now. (I do miss the activity though.)  I used to make large skeletons using paper towel and toilet paper  rolls.  (saw it on line somewhere) – That was fun and the kids loved that  they ALL contributed to making him.  I hope this helps.  Kim

Spiders (day 4)

We had an off day today and didn’t get to all of the things I had planned–but there’s always tomorrow!  🙂  We did manage to pull ourselves together in the afternoon and we got to make some patterns with various seasonal (okay Fall-ish) items:


The Kinder kids are also WAYYY into creating their own surveys and walking around asking each other questions.  Here is the survey sheet I created for them–my only rule…they have to write the question and the possible answers themselves, they cannot walk around with a survey sheet that has no question written at the top.  I figured if I can get them to write this way, then so be it!



Kristen 🙂


Check out the new poll I added at the bottom of my Spiders day 3 post–vote and let me know!  I’ll be posting another one soon! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

Spiders (day 3)

I went back to school today–although I seriously considered taking another day off just because I could, but I would of needed to drive 45 minutes to school and then back, wasting all that sleeping time, when I could just go and teach!  So I did!  🙂  I’m glad I did, I miss my Kinder. kids!

Here’s what we did today:

We read I Like Spiders and predicted how many times the word “spider” would appear in the story (16).  We then read the story and highlighted the word “spider” and counted as we went.

We also wrote the word “spider” on an index card and that will be the task for the Big Book Work Station.

We then continued on with our Predictable Chart:

And revisited our KWL chart:

Here are the books we will read/have been reading:

We worked on Pattern Block Spiders yesterday:

I can only post a picture because I did not make this one, you could lay down some pattern blocks, trace and make your own! 🙂

Today, we started heavily into patterning and used candy corn!

We had everything from the very simple:

To a very elaborate pattern…

After a little while the Kinder kids had a self imposed contest to see who could make the coolest and best patterns!  That was fun motivation for them to get creative!

I also introduced a few new things into Word Work Station:

I showed these rubbing cards this summer and just introduced them.  I have had many rubbings done of them and some children are choosing just to copy them onto the dry erase boards.

These are word family tins I created using old playing card tins.  I have about 10 of them (the tins came from Teacher’s Treasures 5 years ago) and I just used a permanent marker to write in the inside.  I usually have small scraps of paper inside so the Kinder. kids can write down the words that they make, but we’re still just learning how to use these–maybe the first part of November!

I also introduced this sorting board into ABC Work Station.  Currently, it says “Letters in my name, Letters not in my name” and “Letters with a Curve and Letters without a Curve”.  I wrote it in dry erase marker so it can be changed easily and quickly and used electrical tape to make the lines.

I have a ring of names for the name side so once the Kinder kids are done with their name they can find their friends names and try them too!  I will add a ring with pictures of the Kinder. kids for my non-readers soon.

Kristen 🙂

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Spiders (day 1 and 2)

What a long weekend!  I’m so glad it’s over!  Between the wedding and my nephew’s birthday (which was the best by the way), I am wiped out! So much so, that I got the flu somewhere in there and stayed home today!  Fun!

Yesterday, we began our unit on Spiders (they give me the creepy crawlies, but hey, it’s for the kids!).  Now normally, I would have used my Mystery Box with some plastic spiders inside of it to get things started, but since I felt icky, I just told them what we were going to learn about this week.

We began by making a KWL chart to list things we knew and wanted to know about spiders (I’ll post pictures tomorrow).  I then used my much loved Shared Reading With Big Books book and introduced the big book “I Love Spiders” to the children. We took our picture walk and then read the story together.  After that, we started our Predictable Chart, “Spiders…”.  Then of course we had to read a story–“Be Nice to Spiders” which the children just loved.  Check it out if you are able!

During our math time, we completed Patten Block Spiders.  This time, I had the children color in the shapes.  Today, they are graphing their results.  We also added lots of things to our compost bin and you can really see the work that the worms are doing!  Everything is very moist in the box and the worms were busy this weekend crawling up the sides of the compost bin and laying some eggs (I think that’s what they do anyway–still reading about that part!).  So we will have baby worms soon!  The children love to help me turn the compost and check out what was what in the bin!

Tomorrow, we will start heavily into patterning–I have candy corn to help get things started, they always enjoy that!

I will post photos tomorrow, if I am well enough to go back!  Feeling better by the minute so it looks good!

Get those flu shots!

Kristen 🙂

The redworms are coming, the redworms are coming!

Can you tell that the redworms arrived today?  It was perfect timing too, one of my colleagues brought them in while my kids were at gym. I printed out the redworm observation form: redworm-observation-sheet and we used that to draw pictures of our worms and measure them.  Then we all gathered around the composting bin and dumped 500 of them in!  Now the fun begins!  Here are some pictures from our day today (and a few short movies too!)  If this isn’t inquiry science/hands-on learning, I don’t know what is!

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