Monthly Archives: November 2008

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie (day#3)

Here are the pictures I promised!  We used the Little Old Lady props to tell the story together today instead of reading the book.  We also used our pointer to point and read our Predictable Chart, ” I know an old lady who swallowed a…”




Here is the milkweed we planted–pre planting of course! 🙂


Here is a look at the pocket chart that we used yesterday to sequence the story. I will scan the pictures and the Little Old Lady tonight so you can print them off and use them.  Directions will be below for the Little Old Lady.


Here is the front of the Little Old Lady–this is my copy, I laminated her and she’s holding up very well after 8 years!


Here is the back–you take a sandwich baggie and cut the zipper/seal part off and tape or staple it to the back for her “stomach”.


This are the items that she eats…posted later tonight


Here she is “full!”


Our pocket chart in use this week!


This is a set of cards that I got from the Dollar Spot at Target that I will use in my Math Stations for patterning.  I think I may laminate them before using them.


This is our greenhouse full of milkweed to be plants–we hope!! 🙂

Here is how I use the Little Old Lady/Pie story over the course of the week:

Monday: Introduce the story with a picture walk, then read aloud

Tuesday: Re-read story (choral or echo read) and then tell the story using pocket chart and sequence the story.

Wednesday: Introduce Little Old Lady prop and tell the story with the children using her

Thursday: Use the Little Old Lady again and the children make their own Old Ladies–I model how to cut out her stomach and attach the baggie to the back. 

Friday: The children color and cut out their Little Old Lady foods and we practice telling each other the story and then take the props home. 



Kristen 🙂

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie (day#2)

So the pictures I promised are at school–which I had to leave early today because I got my flu shot! 🙂  I will get them posted tomorrow (maybe–my assistant is out all day tomorrow! 😦 )

Today we choral read There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie and then I took pictures that I laminated many years ago that correspond to the images eaten in the story and the children helped me put them in order in a pocket chart.  Then we told the story together using just the pictures in the chart.  They did really well.

Tomorrow I will show the children the Little Old Lady props and tell the story using her.  I’ll take pictures of that for sure!

I also worked on sketching out more ideas for my Math Work Stations.  I think I have a pretty good handle on them already and have decided rather than overwhelm myself, I will change the stations out monthly and only worry about one topic at a time (or maybe two at a time–addition and subtraction could go together, and so could number writing and recognition).  First up is graphing and when I get the details worked out, I will post them! 🙂  Maybe this weekend???

We also checked out our compost today, and turned it–it’s working well, all the original organic materials we put in have “disappeared” and we keep adding more! 🙂

Monday, we planted our milkweed plants and I have them in the green house growing away!  I had to figure out a way to get a bulb in the greenhouse and figured that out, so they are happily getting toasty warm!

During our Math time today, we worked on patterns.  I put out a variety of materials on the tables and the children made various patterns with them.  I wrote patterns (ABAB, ABCCABCC, ABBCABBC, ABCABC, etc.) on cards and put them one at a time on my visual presenter.  The children would work on a pattern and when I switched the card, they switched their pattern to match.  It was very interesting to see what the children with the tiles came up with versus the pattern blocks and the unifix cubes and links.  The up/down patterns were the most interesting.

See you tomorrow!

Kristen 🙂

Math Work Stations

In thinking about my classroom and how it would work best, I am still looking at the idea of introducing Math Work Stations.  What I would like to do it wait until 2nd semester (January) and then start them, so that I can get the “bugs” worked out before then.  I would like to use a 30ish minute block of time (maybe more/less  because our Science themes are getting incorporated elsewhere and are not taking up 20 minutes of time usually) I’m still sketching out plans/details but this is what I have so far:

Math Listening Work Station (math related books on tape)

Math Computer Work Station (math sites bookmarked on the computers according to topic)

Math Work with the Teacher Station (working with me on concepts)

Math Exploration Station (using manipulatives to explore concepts)

Math ____________ Station (using the Lakeshore math boxes to explore a concept)

Math Puzzles and Games (using puzzles and games to reinforce a concept)

Math Number Writing Station (using the MTW number writing tasks to reinforce/teach number writing)

Math Seasonal Station (a station using seasonal games-“roll a snowman”, stamping patterns with Halloween stamps, making valentine’s day patterns with foam hearts, etc.)

I’m trying to make it easy for the kids, easy for me; meaning using materials I already have and can easily get to and avoid worksheets! 🙂

I would like to use Monday to introduce a concept–not every Monday, but maybe the first one of the month, introduce the concept (patterning for example) and then spend the next 2-3 weeks working on it through various stations.  I want to try this because I know the children all learn in different ways and sometimes me going over the same thing over and over is boring and they could understand it a different way.  Having said that, I want them to learn the concepts and apply them in several ways so that when they are in first grade they will be ready for any presentation of the same material.

Any thoughts? Does anyone do anything similar?  Any pictures to share?

Kristen 🙂

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie! (day#1)

I think this is my most favorite book I read to my Kinder. kids each year!  I know it so well that I can read it to them without looking at the words.  It is one of those books where the words keep running through my head over and over and over again!  🙂  Here is a link to have a look at it: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie.  I have 3 copies of this book because I love it so much, I’m afraid I will wear it out!  Does anyone know if they make a Big Book version of this story?

We began our day by reading this story.  First we took a picture walk through the pages then I read it aloud.  Due to the fact that this is a “little book”, I showed the pictures to the children on my visual presenter rather than making them squint at the pictures while sitting on the floor.  I am able to zoom in on important details to the story as well this way.

We also started a new Predictable Chart titled, “There was an old lady who swallowed a…”.  The Kinder. kids had such a fun time coming up with words to finish this sentence. I can’t wait to see the illustrations that go with these sentences look like!  Some one mentioned that the old lady could swallow the earth/world, so I pulled out my copy of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Trout.  Same idea as all the others, but on a fish/water theme!  It’s cute, but some times hard to read because of the tounge twisters and alliteration used in the words.

We also (a little off topic) baked the bread that we were supposed to make last week (I forgot the vegetable oil at home!) and we also made our own butter out of whipping cream–yum!

During our Science time, we planted milkweed seeds and placed them into our classroom greenhouse.  Our idea is to get them big enough that by the time Spring comes we can plant them out in our Nature Center.  I was a little puzzled a first as to how to get light to them, I couldn’t find anywhere in the classroom where there was both light and a safe, out of the way zone!  I finally came across a clip on lamp that I put a low watt, energy saving bulb into, and feel pretty good about leaving it on all the time.  I also set a large tub of water in the greenhouse to make sure that it got humid inside.  I was a little dismayed that the greenhouse did not come with instructions on assembly or how to grow things–like help with a good light source or how to install one without the risk of fire hazard would be good things to know!  I will see how it has done in the morning–I was pretty leery of leaving it on and having the plastic cover melt, but I think since it’s low watt, it will be fine!  I also had greenhouses made from crates and aluminum foil last year and for growing Wisconsin Fast Plants, the light had to be on 24 hours, and I never had any problems! 🙂  I’ll let you know!

Sorry no pictures today–I took some at school, but they were mainly of the covers of books and nothing too exciting!  I will take lots the next few days to show you the neat Little Old Lady story props we will be making!  They are too cute!

Kristen 🙂

Full Day Kindergarten

I was thinking today during one of my rare quiet moments how much more I am now enjoying the Full Day Kindergarten thing!  That’s a big change from wanting to quit the first two days in! 🙂  What are some other things that you enjoy in your Full Day time (other than having more time?) Just leave your comments here for all to read!

Kristen 🙂

P.S. I promise not to quit until I’m no longer having fun–and a little closer to retirement! (30+ years to go!)

Little Red Hen

We’ve been working hard on learning about how we can help each other! 🙂  We read the Little Red Hen again today along with several variations including The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza, With Love, The Little Red Hen, and Cook-A-Doodle-Do!  

We also acted the story out with props (name cards and pictures from an old book) and those will be placed in the Drama Work Station tomorrow.  

In the spirit of helping others, we have joined the efforts of some other classes at our school in recycling.  A wonderful parent donated three boxes and the children and I are busy decorating them.  We can collect paper, plastic, and cans.  The children will be responsible for sorting out the materials that we bring in.  

We also used our Predictable Chart and make cut up sentences.  I got new lanyards from Teacher’s Treasures and we used those to hold the words:

(It won’t turn the correct way for some reason, but you get the idea!)


I wish you could have seen my room today during Writer’s Workshop–it was incredible!!  To everyone walking by, I’m sure it looked like a zoo, but there was so much writing going on!  Here are some pictures: (the first one is my favorite–the kids were in such a hurry to write, they left the staplers right in the middle of the floor!)




They were writing surveys, books, long sentences, using the sight words in many ways, borrowing the words off the rainbow–but they were ALL talking about writing!


It was a fabulous day!

Kristen 🙂

Updates on Literacy Work Stations

Here are the pictures I promised yesterday showing the new things in our Literacy Work Stations–as always, if you have any questions, please e-mail me at



This is Handwriting Work Station–I added some dry erase slates, some of those Magic Slates (the kind that use static to help you write), and some alphabet writing task cards.


These are the practice cards in use! 🙂


An update to the Word Work Station–this is the “-at” family game.  It was very simple to make, I just printed off the sheet from Word/Excel and wrote “at” on 1/2 of the dice and several other letters on the other (s, m, h, p, b, r). To play the children take one of each kind of dice, roll them and if it is the first time they roll that combination, they record it at the bottom.  After that, they write the word they rolled in the box above where it belongs.

I also added one for the “-an” family as well.  I decided to go with these two because I had already added the word family tins to the station, so they would be familiar with the words, just in a different format.


This is another addition to the Word Work Station.  The children can make various words, and I asked them to write down any words that they make and share them with their partner.  They then need to try to sound out the words and bring it to me to read.


I added several new things to the Games and Puzzles Station.  We have two ABC puzzles, and ABC coloring mat that came with our new handwriting things, and ABC picture cards for the children to match (Letter to Picture).  Also I included Alphabet Lotto for the children to play.


This puzzle really could go to Puzzles and Games, but I put it into ABC Work Station instead.  


This is the rest of ABC Work Station–The blue pencil box has an alphabet puzzle inside, then the ABC rubbing cards, and a small pocket chart I got at Wal-Mart a few summers’ ago.  The children can take the words in the bag on the left and match them to the letters in the bag on the right in the pocket chart.  I also added a set of Alphabet stamps and an ink pad (the paper is 1/2 sheets) and the children are able to stamp words and letters that they know.

Did you notice the colored dots on some of the things?  I labeled the materials in some of my Stations to reflect the levels at which my students are currently at.  There are three levels currently and a dot was placed on each of the children’s name cards in the pouch to reflect the level they are at.  I left enough flexibility in the plan, so that I can change levels if needed throughout the year. When the students go to ta Station, they simply look for materials with a dot that matches their card.



I added several of these sheets to our Overhead Work Station.  I made them with a permanent marker and transparency sheets.  The children place them on the overhead and then fill in the missing letters.

I also had some time during our parent/teacher conferences last week to re-organize my Parent Volunteer Materials.  I used the same “dot” system as for Literacy Work Stations.  I put the children into fluid groups and labeled their sticks with a dot.


When the parents come into help, they just take the sticks from the pocket correlating to the day of the week, look at the dot on the stick, and choose a game or activity that correlates:



We also have a new guest in our room:


See him?  It’s Lucky a box turtle! 🙂  Does anyone know a good way to get rid of fruit flies?  They are hovering around his cage and I feel so bad for him! 🙂


Today we worked on the Little Red Hen, started to read Cook-A-Doodle-Do by Janet Stevens, made a Little Red Hen book that the children cut, colored, and stapled and then took home to help retell the story there.  We also finished our Predictable Chart, “I will help…”.  I have some good helpers in my room! 🙂

We also made patterns with foam shapes and halved sentence strips:



See you tomorrow!

Kristen 🙂



We’re a little off topic today (our theme is supposed to be The Little Red Hen), but since I was out yesterday pulling mommy sick duty and elections today-we went with that.  I have MANY pictures to show you, so I will post minimal words for now and go back and add details later:


Basically the bulk of our day was spent on elections.  We voted in the morning for our favorite flavors of ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry) and then we used our Writer’s Workshop time to write about why we chose that flavor and what our favorite flavor was.  You can find the ballot and writing page on the PDF page under “i” for ice cream.  We also practiced writing letter “e’s” (seemed to be difficult for most this year) and did very well on that.  We also looked at pictures of the candidates and talked about each one, what the kids knew about them and then we read our Scholastic News all about voting.  After recess, we tallied our votes from our election, declared vanilla this year’s winner and then colored an American Flag.  I also passed out “I voted” stickers to all the children. 

Here are the pictures:

Voting by ballot in secret…


Putting the ballot in the ballot box ( I need to get a better box–something a little more decorated! 🙂 )


Practicing those letter E’s


I love reading this book on Election Day!



Our Election Results Graph! 


I have other pictures to post, but my computer is running incredibly slow, so they will wait until tomorrow (they are of the new things I put in my Literacy Work Stations)


Kristen 🙂

Science Stretch Day #1

Instead of finishing up our Bats theme–which wasn’t much considering our schedule this week! 🙂  We opted for having one of our Science Stretch Days:  The 4 Kindergarten teachers get together and we pick a Science-y theme (fall in this case) and then we have 4 different thing stations that the Kindergarten children can visit.  Here are some pictures:

We cut open some pumpkins and let the kids scoop out the insides with their hands!

This is our sinking and floating station–the children were given mini pumpkins and gourds and they had to dtermine what would happen if placed in the water.

This was the leaf station–the children sorted leaves by attributes and then looked at them with magnifying glasses.

My station was the “rubbing” station.  I put out various materials and the children experimented with textures and different ways to rub their objects.

We also had a wonderful convocation on Friday morning and so we missed most of our morning activities, but we did make pumpkin bread first thing in the morning (in the bread machine) and tasted it for our afternoon snack.  It was yummy! All of the Kindergarten classes made bread at the same time–our hallway smelled so good! 🙂

This week will be the Little Red Hen–complete with bread on Friday! 🙂  I also added LOTS of new items to our Literacy Work Stations as well as differentiated them a bit, so I will take photos of those tomorrow and post them then.

Kristen 🙂

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