Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Newsletters now available online...

I will now be uploading all class newsletters to our blog. Under the title above, you have the option to go to another page, just click and go to newsletters, then click the link to travel to scribd.com which is where I will be putting our newsletters and other professional reading sites/articles that I find. If you would rather receive your newsletter this way and do not require a hard copy just let me know. January Newsletter

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Just gotta post this...

I just love this little camera advent calendar. Just roll your mouse over the tree (or your hand if you have a smartboard) and find the number of the day. Underneath is a great little kid friendly site. A nice little piece of technology for the Kindergarten crowd.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A little Christmas craft with a math flair....


Well, it tis the season. As a Kindergarten teacher, I just need to accept the fact that everything we do HAS to have something to do with Christmas. My little ones are consumed by the upcoming celebration so I have decided to just go with it. We made these little Christmas trees yesterday. We used our cutting skills, making sure our scissors were always pointing toward the ceiling and using our helper hand. Next we had to follow directions and make sure we put glue on the tips of our heart so our tree would end up looking like a tree. Finally, we had to add the correct number of ornaments with glue and SPARKLES (I love sparkles!)The top piece of our tree needed 2 ornaments, next section needed 3 and so on. We will hang them on our lockers to show off our fabulous counting skills.



Sunday, December 5, 2010

We are caring...

Our school has a character education program that we have created called "Expect Respect." Each month we have a different theme or virtue that we focus on. In November, our theme was caring. We talked about,"paying it forward." This is a pretty big concept when you are five. So we just focused on doing something nice for someone else. All the students in our elementary school were trying to create a 'feel good ripple.' I do something nice for her, then she does something nice for him, and so on and so on. Everytime we did something nice for someone in our class we would write our name on a special colored circle and put it on our door. Well, our door is covered with colored circles. We did lots of caring things for our friends. As a class, we cut up apples and took a little snack to our Grade 3 buddies, the Grade 7,8,9 band, Grade 2 and our principal and vice principal.

We also invited our Grade 3 buddies over to play centers with us.


Our monthly assembly focused on the theme of caring and we recognized students from each grade who showed this quality. This was our caring student of the month. He always watches out for his friends. If someone is in need in the classroom, on the playground or in the hallway, he lets me know. He cares about his friends.

The month of December will bring the theme of generosity to our attention.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wonderopolis


What a great little family site I just found! It is called Wonderopolis and I have added it to the sidebar on this blog. This is the way they describe themselves...
Create. Laugh. Imagine. Explore. Learn. Smile. Grow.
Visit Wonderopolis.™ It’s a place where parents seek and nurture a brighter world for their children through the power of discovery, creativity, learning and imagination. Wonderopolis™ is brought to life by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL).

Everyday,a new wonder will be presented like...
Do horses sleep standing up?
Why do onions make us cry?
Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving?
These are great conversation starters for the classroom or the supper table. I look forward to using them in the classroom to promote oral language and of course to encourage those fantastic little imaginations. I am excited about the potential of this site in our classroom, thanks Wonderopolis.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A fun little site...


Honestly, my favorite smell in the world is Crayola crayons. So, anytime Crayola comes out with a new kid friendly site, I am interested. Click here to visit Crayola's Coloring Page Maker. I have also added it to the sidebar under "Links for Little Ones."
Crayola Digi-Maker is worth a visit also. Thanks to Richard Byrne of Free Tech for Teachers for these little nuggets.

Friday, November 12, 2010

A little something to ponder....


Our children are online. That is something that is happening and is not going to go away. I ran across this video called "Guiding our Students on the Internet," as part of a webinar I am taking on Social Media use as a teacher. This course includes tools such as twitter, delicious and diigo (social bookmarking), google reader (RSS), and google docs just to name a few. I feel that if we as teachers are not lifelong learners, we cannot help to instill that in our students. As the only Kindergarten teacher in our school, I do not have others who do what I do, through social media and especially twitter, I have been able to create a professional learning community of Kindergarten teachers and other teaching professionals who help keep me motivated, inspired and learning. As you watch the above video, can you answer the question, who is driving the car at your house?

Image: A Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0) image from impactmatt's photostream

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Annual Kindergarten Poppy Count....


It all started last Thursday after reading A Poppy is to Remember we grabbed the clipboards, our Canadian Flags and headed for the office to use our recycled juice box money to buy poppies. We were collecting data, we needed to find out who was wearing a poppy in our school.

Well, I have to tell you, the results were dismal. We found only 7 poppies in our whole K-12 school. We were disappointed and some classes got a "big, fat zero!" We told them we would be back on the following Tuesday and we expected better!
So today was the day, would we find more poppies or be disappointed yet again? Let me tell you, we were not disappointed! We found 127 poppies and the Grade 12's and Grade 3's had a full class of poppies, we gave them each three cheers for their good work. So, if you see a Kindergarten kid from our school coming, you better find a poppy, because we are on the look out!
Look at our data collection:


And here is our Remembrance Day Craft that we whipped up:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just check us out!

Look at our very first voicethread! This was a huge project. We started by partnering up and then just visiting. We needed to find out what each of our partners is good at. After this we recorded it in a prediction chart sort of way. We then needed to take pictures of our partners. This was the first time using a digital camera for some of our students. After quickly uploading our pictures to a voicethread, we made our comments. These are the comments that are directly from our predictable chart. I think we did pretty darn good for our first time. They loved hearing their voices on the voicethread and each got a big smile.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Coming up this week...

I just can't wait to see what ole Frank Lemon and his mule Jenny are up to tomorrow! We will be jumping into that Science Alberta crate and doing more math/science activities. I have uploaded a voicethread for you to watch with your child. These are some of the animals that Frank found in his camp, these are all animals that live right here in Alberta. Can you identify them all? The kids and I will be learning about them and we will be making comments about what we know now and later we will also comment on what we continue to learn about these Alberta animals. This is the beginning of an ongoing project.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Grandparents Day was a hit!



Feel free to comment, just click the "Comment" button and talk away! The kids would love to hear from you.

Monday, October 18, 2010

M is for Maren


Every week in Kindergarten, someone is the official "Really Great Person." Of course, in Kindergarten everyone is a great person, but we choose to honor our greatness once a week. Our first "Really Great Person" is Maren. She made a poster at home that told us some of her favorites....

My favorite things by Maren,
Cake is my favorite treat.
A school bus is my favorite site to see.
I think my favorite color is cool, I like to wear pink to school.
Chicken Fingers is my favorite meal to eat.
Who is my favorite person...me!


Above is the first page of her Name Book. All students in the class wrote Maren's name at the top of their page and their name at the bottom. We had to call up our "cheerleaders" and Maren yelled into the megaphone (Give me a M, give me an A, etc.) We then had a good look at Maren and used our artists skills to draw her. After drawing our pictures we had "Artists Chair," and told one thing we liked about our pictures. All students will get their own Name Book as the year goes on. This activity has proven to be a great tool for formative assessment of student growth in letter formation, name writing, fine motor skills and drawing.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Some fun sites....


Halloween is just around the corner and we really need some fun sites to visit, so here is what I found. ABCya offers free educational kids computer games and activities for elementary aged children. They offer a very good Kindergarten selection.
Here are some Halloween goodies I found...
Decorate a pumpkin
Carve a pumpkin
Halloween Bat Jigsaw Puzzle

I have also added these to our sidebar so they can be found for the next little while.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Seed Project 2010


Just registered our class to be a part of the Pumpkin Seed Project 2010. This should be lots of fun. We will use our math and estimation skills to complete this project and be a part of a pumpkin fashion show with students from all over the world. We will be taking part in a huge voicethread project. The kids are going to love dressing up our pumpkin! We also have the opportunity to video conference with other Kindergartens that are taking part, hopefully we can make that happen.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...


A Thanksgiving song for my Kindergarten kids, please click

Can you even believe how beautiful our Thanksgiving Turkey turned out to be! I sent a plain paper feather home with each student and asked them to use their imaginations and decorate it with anything they could think of. As you can see, the result is fantastic. We had everything from leaves to cheerios to watercolors to sparkles and much more. We had all our feathers come back on time and I wish to say a huge thank you to our Kindergarten parents who take the time to help their children with a project such as this. I am truly grateful for parent support like this.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Terry Fox...


Today we had the opportunity to participate in the Terry Fox run at our school. We talked about Terry. The children had lots of questions about why he only had one leg, why did he run, why did he die. Lots and lots of questions. I found a fantastic video, which I did not show to the Kindergarten kids. You may want to take 8 minutes to watch it yourself and share it with your child if you think it is appropriate. It is well worth your time...
Terry Fox video on youtube

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In the blink of an eye....

One minute we are making the letter T with playdough, and then all of a sudden, out of no where, we have a Candy Factory! Right there people... is the joy of Kindergarten! Within 5 minutes, we had a "Candy Boss" rolling the dotted dice on the smartboard, I as the "foreman" had a gruff voice and a hardhat on, all the workers had applied for a job and been hired as candy makers and had made many colored candy "balls." They had their packaging material (recycled muffin containers) and they were working. The "Candy Boss" would roll the dice and that would be the number of candies that needed to be added to the containers. Of course, once the containers were properly packaged, they needed to be shipped to Michigan(?), by big truck of course, so we got some keys, used the big blocks to pack our containers in and sent the "Candy Boss" to Michigan with his load. GOOD DAY people, I love Kindergarten! Have I mentioned the importance of pretend play...YES....I have. While pretend playing they were also developing fine motor skills, counting, identifying number, showing one to one correspondance, following directions, helping others and staying completely on task. The Candy Factory was continued at afternoon Center time and expanded upon in many ways. It was awesome!
video
Have a glimpse at the back of our big truck getting ready to go to Michigan, one of our sales clerks taking a phone order and our new foreman keeping our employees organized.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Playdoh....

Honestly, not many things appeal more to a 5 year old than playdoh. Honestly, not many things appeal to a Kindergarten teacher more than playdoh! I love, love, love playdoh. We celebrated National Playdoh Day on Thursday and we all had a blast. First we had to make our playdoh, we had our directions on the smartboard and four groups. We added ingredients, mixed and mixed some more. Then we had to carry those heavy pots to the kitchen, where the adults mixed and cooked. We rolled that warm playdoh in flour and proudly took it back to our room. We even ran into the principal and informed him of the importance of National Playdoh Day! Then we played.
Squeezing and squishing works on hand strength while pinching and rolling into cool shapes helps with coordination. So while I say we "played" we actually followed directions, measured, and developed our fine motor skills. Have a look at some of the fun we had....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Don't forget the COW bus!


Dont' forget that the C.O.W bus is visiting our town on Thursday, September 23 from 3pm to 6pm. This Classroom on Wheels is designed for parents and their children under 6 years old. It is absolutely packed full of learning activities and ideas that can be easily incorporated into your home. It is a very fun activity to do with your child and they will love it!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The importance of pretend play....


I am and always will be a huge believer in pretend play in the Kindergarten classroom. I hear so many stories about Kindergarten classrooms that have become so academic that you can not separate them from a Grade 1 classroom. The learning that takes place during every "Center" time in Kindergarten is very evident if one just listens to the voices of the children. This is a great time for parents to come in and just watch, the children are having a ball while learning social and emotional skills, building language and thinking skills. If interested, here is an
article from Scholastic that shares an opinion similiar to mine.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And here they are....

Welcome one and all to the adventures of 14 fabulous five year olds! Watch as these children will amaze and delight. Each one with a personality all their own and ready to take on the world. It's going to be a good year!

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A new school year...


Like each of you, I am a Mom. I ran across this video this morning and it just made me realize again what a huge responsiblity I have to your children. You trust me with them and that is an amazing gift. I understand this because I trust my babies to teachers and pray that they understand the magnitude of their responsiblity. As this school year begins I just want you to know that I take this responsiblity seriously and will nurture your babies like they were my own. Thank you to Heidi Hass Gable for producing this video.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I'm starting to get excited....


The 2010-2011 school year for our newest class of Kindergarteners is right around the corner. My student packages have been sent out, plans are being made and my classroom is a big mess...but I'm going to fix that! Here is the supply list just in case you need it....
Our Kindergarten Supply list:
1 white eraser
5 pencils
5 large glue sticks
wax crayons (box of 24)
1 HILROY Studio Scrap Book (20pgs, 35.6 by 27.9 cm)
Back pack big enough to fit a binder
inside shoes with non marking soles
Paint shirt (can be an old large shirt)
Set of extra clothes (pants, shirt, underwear, socks)
If last name begins A-N...1 box large Ziplock bags
O-Z...1 box small Ziplock bags
Scissors and Pencil Cases are supplied.
PLEASE LABEL EVERYTHING!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

They are slithering away....


Our year has come to an end and our little ones will be "slithering" to Grade 1. Our windup was great fun that started with a family potluck lunch, followed by family games (parents, you were great sports,) and the actual ceremony where each student was presented with a certificate of completion. The kids presented their parents with a scrapbook of their work for the year and the day ended with "Our Year in Pictures" slideshow.
I wish a wonderful summer to each of my little ones and end this year with a little poem...

You're a very special person,
And I want you to know.
How I loved to be your teacher,
How fast the weeks did go!
Please come back to visit me
As through the grades you grow,
Try hard to learn all that you can
There is so much to know!!
The one thing I try to teach you
To last your whole life through,
Is to know that you are special
Just because you are you!!!


Love,
Mrs. McMahon

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Railway Museum...

What a fantastic day. Our day at the Railway Museum is always a highlight and today was not an exception. We immersed ourselves in the olden days. First, we made homemade ginger bread cookies. Then we broke up into groups and went on a history hunt throughout the museum grounds and found lots of interesting stuff. Then we played old fashion games, played bubbles and dressed up and played in the lifesize wooden train. We had a yummy, homemade lunch of yooey-gooey sandwiches. We did sack races and three legged races. We rode on the pumper car. Lastly, we danced the Virginia Reel.
video

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Our online project with Grosse Ile.

Today we had some questions for the Kindergarten kids in Grosse Ile. Below you can watch the actual voicethread and see what our prairie kids wondered about.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thank you to Grosse Ile Kindergarten!

We got a big surprise last week. Our friends in Quebec sent us a voicethread project about lobster fishing. Our little prairie kids were amazed by their pictures and explanations. I really hope we get time in our next hectic few weeks to comment on their pictures and ask them questions, we had lots of questions about lobster fishing. Take a moment and watch with your child, it is really fasinating how much these little ones know about their main industry in Grosse Ile. Click above to watch the voicethread, you may learn something too!

View Larger Map

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Our Reading Grannies....

We are so lucky to be within walking distance of our local seniors home. Once a month we walk over with a bag full of books and the Grannies meet us at the door and we settle down in their recreation room and they read stories to our little ones. It is a fantastic experience for both young and old. Today after we read our stories, we sang the song "Bear Hunt" complete with all the actions and then they surprised us with ice cream and cookies. A very good afternoon indeed!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day....

A BIG Happy Mother's Day to the 21 Moms and Grandmas who do so much for our littlest students and as you can tell in the montage below just love them to pieces!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The new calendar is posted.


Hey all,
I have just updated our May calendar, you can find it on the sidebar and at the very bottom of the blog. We are everywhere in May, so keep an eye out so you know what the kids need to be dressed for and such...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The pussywillow patch is always a hit...

We bundled up in extra toques and mitts and started our walk in the less than pleasant Alberta weather. We were on our way to the pussywillow patch to see what we could find. Our first discovery... when we crank our arm up and down when a BIG truck goes by, the driver will honk his really loud horn (always a big hit.) Then we found a giant ant hill, someone just happened to step in it and we found millions of ants scurrying about, we watched those ants for along time. Then we found them, the pussywillows. We found them in all stages, just bursting out of the pod, fuzzy, silver and gray. We found them brilliant lime green ready to burst into leaf, and finally some that were already in leaf form. We formed a circle and explored them, we squeezed, smelled, squashed, tore, ripped, broke and finally decided that pussywillows are amazing. A five year old exploring his or her world is always an amazing and somewhat humbling experience to witness.
It was then back to the classroom to whip up a pussywillow craft to display beside our real ones. You just can't go wrong with exploring our physical world in Kindergarten.




Monday, April 26, 2010

Fun site for our little ones...


While looking around the internet looking for emerging reader sites, I came across Cbeebies. I am thinking our little ones are going to like this. I have added it on the sidebar in "Links for Little Learners."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Create...we are at the top of the ladder now!

The final level of Bloom's Taxonomy in the Kindergarten classroom has to be the most challenging. The whole process, climbing all the rungs of the ladder has taken us quite a while. I needed my students to create a project to show that he or she knows and can use the material I have attemped to teach effectively. As a whole class our project was going to be a letter chain, below are the steps we used to get to the final product.

1) We had to choose 10 letters from our sound farm, write each on on a piece of paper and and glue each on a different link of our letter chains.

2)This took lots of time and admittingly, sometimes it was complete chaos!

3)Upon completion of the letter chains, they needed to find a partner and guide their partner through their letter chain while their partner told them the name of each letter and the sound that it makes. They were advised to correct their partner if they made an error. They were being the teachers.

4)Next we pulled in our beloved Smartboard to take the learning further. The students use the magnet board on our Smartboard to pull up each letter on their letter chain and point to it while the class gave the correct answers. This was completed in both whole class setting and smaller groups for students who did require extra practice.

5)The final product and some final thoughts...Was Bloom's easy to implement in the Kindergarten classroom? Yes and no, it took me a while to get my head wrapped around it and it was not easy to find information about Bloom's in Kindergarten on the internet. Once I was able to take the time to sit down and combine it with what I am already doing in class it did come together easily. Do I see Bloom's Taxonomy as a useful tool in the Kindergarten classroom. Yes, I believe much of my teaching is on the first two levels, knowledge and comprehension and I needed to be pushed to take it to a higher level. Will I implement Bloom's into all lessons in my classroom? No, there are some basic areas in Kindergarten that require basic knowledge learning, but there are areas where Bloom's can and will be utilized.