Sunday, April 29, 2012


As some of you may know, I'm finishing up my ENL (English as a New Language) endorsement through the University of Notre Dame. My friend Marisa (and fellow ACE/ENL student) and I recently presented at the Chicago ACE Forum. We had a good turn out and are so excited to have had this opportunity to share what we've been learning.

Take a look at our power point...

ENL PowerPoint April 28 2012

If you're interested in learning more about our ENL studies, stop by our blog!

Resources for teaching ELLs

See two VERY relieved presenters! Marisa on the left and me on the right.

Gearing up for...EARTH DAY!!

I have updated a few of the KDG centers. We have switched our twice weekly whole class art project to a center. The kids love this.

Our labeling centers this week involved trees, flowers, vegetables with roots, gardening tools and gardeners. We discussed what gardeners needed to make a garden. This helped the kids understand that fruits and vegetables all grow in different ways. We also discussed how worms and bugs help make the Earth a healthier place. The kids loved the book Diary of a Worm.

 Our Earth Day Pledge

"We've got the whole world in our hands..."

We painted the coffee filters and talked about symmetry.

We started writing. We brainstormed what helps the Earth, in our own homes, in the school and in our community. 

We put everything together:

Showing off our hard work!

We discussed how we can conserve Earth's helping plant. As a surprise treat...we ate cups of dirt. We discussed the parts of a recipe: ingredients and following directions. We finished by making a book to share with our families. Yum! The kiddos loved their "cups of dirt." 

Discussing the order of ingredients. The kids did not know that pudding does not just "make itself." Getting ready to scoop and add our worms!

Talking about our senses while exploring the worms...more of a treat for the teachers too :) 

Adding the worms just a bit at a time...

 What do we need to add to finish? How do we get the crunchy dirt on top of the mud?

Adding Oreo cookies to our cups. They so enjoyed pounding the helped keep hands to ourselves....
 Last, the kids were super excited to write the recipes to take home and recreate. I was so proud that they were so engaged!

It's amazing how far my KDG'ers have come this year! Graduation is around the corner and practice is in full swing!

Hoppy Sunday!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring cleaning centers!

Recently, I went to the Kindergarten conference. I was able to see some of my favorite presenters...they were full of fantastic new ideas!

The KDG'ers use water bottles to practice counting up from a given number. The water bottle contains two dice: one 12 sided die and one 6 sided die. The 12 sided die contains the numbers 1-12; the 6 sided die has the dots representing quantities 1-6. The kids shake the bottle moving the dice. They write the resulting number combination (i.e. Brandon rolled a 9 and 3 dots. The adding sentence would be 9+3). This helps with adding, number identification and is a major goal for Kindergarten Common Core standards.

This is our newest center:

The kids also love the writing center. The past few weeks it has contained fun manipulatives. This helps the students identify new vocabulary words as well as descriptive words. We have made cookies using "Melissa and Doug Slice & Bake Cookie Set". The kids practice writing sentences using descriptive writing such as "The cookie has vanilla frosting. The cookie has pink, blue & green sprinkles."

My students' all time favorite center is...the IPAD!! I've purchased many different APPs for the kids to use. So far, the kids love the "Bob Books." These books are completely interactive. The kids are able to read a story with or without clues. In addition, once the story has been read, they are able to identify words, practice word order and spell the words (complete with sounds as they spell).

Upcoming centers this week:
--write the room with our alphabet dice
--labeling for spring-plants, veggies & gardening
--word family cubes
--sandwich recipe center

I look forward to this week's interactive writing as well. We're going to practice brainstorming & writing recipes as a class!

More to come soon :)

Hoppy Sunday!