Tuesday, January 31, 2012

February Math Journals

February Math Journals are here! A day early!!! That never happens because I am always late to everything...haha!

I added some (2...starting out slow haha!) graphing activities to the math journals. If you are using them, I'd love to hear about it or any feedback you have. :)


Calendar Schmalendar...

Once in awhile (not always...but sometimes) I skip calendar time. There are times it just feels plain boring - and I know if I'm bored, my wiggle worms on the carpet are definitely bored.

I've been thinking a lot about how to make calendar time a good learning experience that is new and challenging but follows a routine so my kiddos can get familiar with the concepts.

My goal is to add something new to calendar once a month - whether it's a new routine, poster, chance for them to interact, etc. Something that I (and hopefully them) can be excited about!

Here's what it looks like now. I switched my Calendar to my whiteboard - and love it. It give me so much flexibility with writing on the board, using magnets, moving things, etc.

We always talk about the month, day and number date. After adding the date card, we sing "Days of the Week", "Months of the Year" and then start counting. We count by 2's to 30, and 1's, 5's, and 10's to 100. We count backwards too. Everyday we tell time on my $1.00 Target Monkey Clock (good find whoohoo!).

I saw this idea on Pinterest - and wanted to add it ASAP!


The base 10 blocks have helped with our test prep and number sense in general. I pick a card to go on the left and they determine the number that will "balance" it out. The cards on the bottom right are just to help them remember the values. Want these cards? Grab them here!

The number line changes everyday - they love coming up and adding the numbers to the line.

We recite our money poems - using these super cute (and free!) cards from Erica Bohrer. 

We do a pattern of the week too - Monday is reading/completing the pattern, Tuesday is extending the pattern, Wednesday is naming the pattern (AAB, ABB, etc.), Thursday is creating a new pattern with the same name. We do all of this on the white board - fabulous!!!  Grab your pattern cards from Lory Evans!

We are working on ordinal numbers and positional words in calendar this quarter. We do two of the bear cards per day - the kiddos do a great job describing the bear (and then some lol!). Teddy Bear cards here! 

For ordinal numbers I put up 5 student pictures and have my kids answer questions (Who is 5th? What color shirt is the 3rd person wearing?). I just did this today and they were excited to see their pictures. 

Lastly we have a number of the day - where we write the number that comes before and the number that comes after. 

Whewww. That's a lot when you type it all out! What do you do to keep calendar fresh and new? What great ideas can you share?!?   

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Totally Unrelated to Teaching!!

Hubby and I are trying to get better at planning out menus - so our shopping trip to Wally World doesn't result in a cart full of snack cakes, ice cream, chips and other randomness. Then that feeling of "I spent $100+ on this?!?" sets in when we get home to put everything away...

So, we are working really hard to follow our menu. A guy at Hubby's work told him that they plan based on themes for each day - "Mexican Monday", "Italian Tuesday", "Wing Wednesday", "Traditional Thursday", "Pizza and Snacks Saturday", and "Homestyle Sundays". Fridays are usually going out to eat days.

Pinterest is literally my best friend when planning the menu - I have pinned all types of recipes but didn't really have a plan.

And seeing as how I am a teacher - one of my favorite (such a dork!) things to do is plan. So of course my menu has to be color coded, include a table and definitely cute fonts.

Now comes the "what the heck do I need to buy from the grocery store" phase...uggghhh. But it is much easier come Monday after wrangling kids teaching Kindergarten to know exactly what to cook! It's just hubby and I--so no judging that some of our meals are kid friendly lol - I'm a picky eater.

Do you have a plan for meals? Is this crazy? We did two weeks in January and it worked really well - but I'm curious to see/hear what you do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sound Spy

Sometimes I lie stretch the truth with my K kiddos. There I said it. Like when I make up really cheesy names for games that are *stop the press* learning games. But it's all about the presentation - so when we play "Sound Spy" it is amazing how many kiddos are engaged. This isn't a new concept/game - just has a fun name...

We are working on beginning sounds - sorting words, creating words with that sound, etc. Normally we do 4 sounds a week, but on Fridays we play Sound Spy - which focuses on a variety of sounds - not just the 4 we are practicing for the week.

Student papers look like this:

My paper looks like this:

To be Sound Spies, students first have to count the letters with me and
then pick that many crayons out (in a *cough cough* timely manner...ha). 

Then we become sound spies. All of the picture clues are covered (I use sticky notes).  (Please use your spy skills to turn your heads...because Blogger is being difficult with pictures!

I use my document camera (which I adore) and have the kiddos pick a clue to uncover. We uncover one picture at a time. We decided what sound/letter the picture starts with, find that letter and color it in.

It's a fun, easy and quick way to practice sound skills. My pages below are just for beginning sounds, but this could easily be adapted for ending sounds as well!

Sad note - these pictures are from the Sound Sorting Menu at this school website.
It's not valid anymore - the site looks all new...so hopefully they will upload and correct it soon. :(

Happy note - I have "Snowmen", "Winter", "Scarf", and "Mitten" ready to go for you. :)




Happy "Spying"...!

p.s. I'd love for you to "like" my FB page! 
Ketchen's Kindergarten

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Blog Land is Awesome!

Bloggy Friends -

I am seriously overwhelmed and soooo excited.

I have over 100 followers, lots of comments, an inbox with email and really feel the love. THANK YOU! Please be on the lookout for lots of freebies in the coming weeks.

I updated my social network buttons - so feel free to click on over to my Pinterest or *new* Facebook page. You can subscribe to my blog’s feed or email me if you have questions or want to share ideas! Working on adding a YouTube one with links to my school playlists!

Whewww...but I can honestly say I heart blogging…

Thanks for making this teacher’s weekend!

On to the Giveaway Results!!! Thank you all for entering - I wish I had more gift cards. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Sorry bloggy friends that might be in love with the NWEA Map test...but currently it is the bane of my existence. I try to balance it all - and make sure that I at least talk about questions that I know appear on the test...but sheesh! I.don't.teach.to.the.test! .

Please feel free to visualize:
*22 kinder kiddos (that alone is enough to visualize haha!)
*22 computer screens sitting on tables that are a little too tall for my kiddos
*22 kiddos enthralled with the game they get to play on the screen (because the test proctor line stating "this is not a game although it looks like one" didn't quite sink in...
*5 kids talking back to the person asking questions in the computer
*5 more asking their neighbor how to get to "that page you are on"
*3 needing restroom breaks
*3 wondering when they will be finished
*4 asking the age-old question--"When is lunch???"
*2 remaining that are halfway focused
*1 teacher wishing that someone would realize this may not be the best way to gather data...

I have to come up with a plan for guiding my workshop with the NWEA data...so this is where I need your help! Do you use data from map tests? What tests do you take in kindergarten? I'm all for assessments but am even more for developmentally appropriate practices that provide me *ahem* accurate results.

Someone please get me a ladder so I can get down from this soapbox puh-lease! Thanks for listening-any thoughts, ideas or comments welcome!

Monday, January 16, 2012

January Math Stations

I am pretty sure I am still in denial that it is January...hence my lateness with January Math Stations. But, seeing as how it is like 15 degrees outside, I'm pretty sure January is here now.

Have you seen this awesome post at Lil' Country Kindergarten?
Check it out - there are some FANTASTIC math freebies available. She made completing my planning guide much easier! Thank you Marlana!

Lil' Country Kindergarten

Planning Guide - makes life much easier!

My stations - grab 'em free!

Other awesome (FREE) stations come from: 


I love bloggy-land! So many creative and giving teachers. :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Currently - January Edition!

Have you checked out Farley's "Currently" Linky Party? Fun easy reads - the kind you find yourself nodding your head at or talking back to (I'm not the only one right?!? Haha).

Added bonus? A chance to win a really neat pencil sharpener (which would be fab - since mine always seem to stop working at the most inconvenient time in class). Link up!

Linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her Currently Linky Party!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I promise I teach more than Math!

I looked through my posts and realized I have lots of math related posts. Scouts honor I teach more than math...

January Math Journals are here! Whoohoo. My kiddos seriously were not happy when I said they didn't have new ones last week and they would be coming this week. Note to self - try to get February journals ready in your "spare time". 2nd note to self: develop a plan to create spare time. Ha. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

When did January get here?!?

Wowza these last few weeks flew by! I can't really even believe it is January - much less the 2nd week of January.

I really tried to do nothing related to school for my Christmas break - and succeeded until the Saturday before I had to return - yep - rockin New Years here haha.

I was super surprised and excited to see an award when I logged in! How sweet of these ladies - if you haven't visited their blogs - please do - lots of good ideas!

Carried Away In Kindergarten

I have posts coming this week with math journals, 3D shapes, etc. but wanted to share some pics of our last week before break - you know - so I can pretend I'm still on break!

Polar Bears are/have/can Chart

Polar Bears Schema/New Learning Chart

Soup for Parent Gifts
Whisks for Parent/Teammate Gifts

Thanks for being a Souper Teammate/Volunteer! Whisking you a Merry Kissmas!

Can't draw for anything!!!
Writing Workshop Board with December themes

Gifts for Students to give Parents - thank you Fran Kramer for the awesome idea!
Kindergarten Crayons
To Make a Grinch Smile we would...
My favorite...invite him to school. :)

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