Mi Bilingual Verano

Eight days and counting.

Oigo las olas del mar.

I’ll be there pronto.

reading at beach

 

 

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New Beginnings

 

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I love this quote. It’s so perfect for me right now. This year I’ll be venturing into Dual Language Kindergarten, new school, new district– I’m excited!  It’s that time in the summer to begin planning, arranging, cleaning out boxes, restocking on name badges and birthday certificates! Also shopping for this years theme. The theme at my new campus will be superheroes. This is what I have in mind:


I think I’d say, “We are incredible!  Somos increibles!” 😉😉

Summer So Far

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It is summer break. Here is a little snip of our break so far. We have had a little baseball, softball, beach time, 4th of July and a NBA Championship for our San Antonio Spurs! Amazing! It is not over yet! I am hoping you are having a great time with your family. We will be making a trip to the west coast in about a week. The whole family is excited! It will be a first for us. I will be checking in! Thanks for stopping by!

Literacy in a Bucket

The phrase, “A drop in the bucket”, has been used interchangeably with many things from homework sheets, motivation strategies and games. In my class, they are learning stations.

The bucket can be substituted for any box, basket or tub. As teachers, we are very creative in what containers we can use for our stations. In my class, I use a combination of both. For reading literacy stations, I use buckets. For my math stations, I use baskets.

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Reading Stations

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Math stations

Each letter is associated with a reading and/or math skill, and activities are placed in each letter.  At the beginning of the year I keep 2 activities in each bucket for the students to explore together.  Any more than 2 is a bit overwhelming for them because the primary focus at the beginning of the year is to teach them the procedures of work stations.  As they become familiar, you may want to add more.  I would recommend 3-4, but no more than 4.  While the students are at their learning stations, I am in small group at a table.

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For my Reading stations, W.R.I.T.E., each letter is a skill.  Group leaders take their assigned letter tub to the assigned table to work on.  Each group leader has their special leader label (above).  For example, in my reading station, each leader has a Leader hat for them to put on.  In Math, the leaders have a Hawaiian lei to put on while in stations.  The ideas are endless as to what the group leaders can use to identify their role in the group.   The group leaders are in charge of clean up and helping their group.  It works great!  They love their hats and leis!

W= Writing tub

R = Reading

I = Individual instruction (small group with teacher)

T = Technology (student computers and iPods)

E = Explore/Evaluation

In the Reading stations, students are placed in homogeneous COLOR groups.  As you can see in the top photo, I use student pictures on a color strip to help the kids recognize and see which color group they are in and which station they go to.  I rotate the color groups everyday so they are going somewhere different daily for about 20-30 minutes.  An alternative rotating schedule is to go to each station everyday.  Allowing 10 minutes in each station.  Whichever works for you.  I tried both ways.  It is difficult to go to each station everyday because of time.  While the students are rotating in their stations, I am teaching a small guided group at my table.  The guided groups are ability-leveled to work on individual needs.

My math stations, B.R.I.T.E. work similar.  However, the kids are placed in homogeneous number groups.  Also, the teacher small group, I, is integrated into the rotation.  While additional groups can be pulled aside from the assigned group of the day, the purpose to integrate it was to provide daily recursive review for ALL students on a given skill.  It works well also because you can see ALL your students, all ability levels, and work accordingly.  However, as you are able to see which child needs more individualized instruction, they can also be pulled into your table after the assigned group has been seen.  Below are my math stations.  They are similar to reading.

B = Basic facts

R = Review skills

I = Individualized instruction ( small group with teacher)

T = Technology (student computers and iPods)

E = Explore/evaluation

I will share some of the activities I put in my stations in another post.  I am a true believer in learning stations for ALL grade levels not just kinder.  It is ashame that they are not practiced more consistently throughout because the power of movement, interacting, and plain FUN is stronger than any practice test can have.  I just wish our legislators  knew this truth then perhaps they would let our kids….be kids and have fun learning!

Easter Fun and Learning!

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“What?! Easter eggs!” They went crazy when they saw the plastic eggs randomly laying on the eraser rail. I tried really hard to get them off the subject because I didn’t realize I didn’t have space on my cell phone for more photos! So I was madly trying to delete pictures from my photo album. “Oh, man!” I thought. I don’t know if I saved them on my home computer, but, oh, well, I deleted some anyways. It didn’t matter because they found the eggs in about a minute! I couldn’t even get a picture! I thought I hid them pretty good but they were pretty good at finding them quickly.

I thought this was a neat and fun way to finish our day before Easter break. However, it was educational and not sugar-filled fun because they took their goodies home. I filled the plastic eggs with about 15 jelly beans. I made one for each student. I hid the eggs in the classroom while they were out on water break. First, I had them color their sorting sheet. That’s when some of my students recognized the eggs laying around. It was hilarious!

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I had prepared a packet for them to practice graphing skills and tally marks. They had great fun. I had them sort first then color in their graph.

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The plastic eggs and jelly beans I put in a ziploc baggie for them to take home. At the end of the day, it was all good because I had remembered I did in fact save my photos at home. Too bad my phone doesn’t store more than 400 at one time. Otherwise I would easily fill it up too. Too many memorable moments of my kinder babies!

Have a Happy Easter!

End-of-the-Year 2012

When I first wrote this, it was EOY 2012. We are now nearing EOY 2013! But it is a good idea either way. I may do it again this year. Enjoy!  My classroom theme is CHICA CHICA BUM BUM (spanish version) jungle, so I may develop something around my classroom theme.

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We are well into our Summer vacation in July 2012, and I am barely coming in to update my teacher blog! I’m ready now! 😀 My family has been busy planning and preparing for our summer beach trips and upcoming Atlanta trip. We are excited! Needless to say, the year went great. Writer’s Workshop was well underway, small reading groups as well. The students did great! There were lots of new ideas I implemented this year that I will post later with pictures of how it looked in my class. Pictures are always good so that you can see what it may look like in your class.

Let’s get started with my end-of-the-year (EOY) party! As expected, the kids were so excited! They love parties! My kinder team planned our EOY parties just before the kinder graduation so there is always lots of excitement in the air around this time. I had decided on a “Beach” theme for our party. I got the wonderful idea from the kindergarten team at my daughter’s school. They had a “Beach EOY Kinder Program”. The kids sang Beach Boy songs with adoreable dance motions. The parents loved it! I incorporated the beach idea into my party! Below is how I decorated the students cooperative rectangle tables. Room moms came in early to decorate while I took kids outside for recess time. Tables were covered with white butcher paper, plates and napkins were ready when kids walked in. They loved it!

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While the kids were eating, Beach Boy music was playing! Can’t have a beach party without beach music! I bought the album on iTunes and played the music on an iHome in class. It worked perfect.

I made goodie bags in hopes to encourage good homework habits that we had ongoing in class during the school year. Each baggie had a summer journal, a spaceman, and a small bubble bottle, with swimming toys.

I am a bilingual kindergarten teacher so I made English and Spanish journal goodie bags.