Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jan Brett's "The Mitten" - Literacy Activities

Over the next couple weeks before Christmas break, we are doing activities with a few of Jan Brett's books. I decided to make a few activities for her book "The Mitten" which we will be covering over a couple of days. Take a look at it here and at my TPT store.

Jan Brett's "The Mitten" - Literacy Activities

Characters in the story

Mitten Cut-out: cut this mitten and the other one provided in the file and punch the holes out. Use yarn to sew the two mittens together.

Animal Cut-outs: put them in the mitten accordingly as you read the story.

Initial Sounds

Sequencing Cards

Syllable Segmentation

Story Setting

Emergent reader from the perspective of the mitten.

Two more weeks until winter break gets here, and I hope my kiddos are ready for a fun time! :)

- Mrs. Berns

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tech Fair

Today I get to present at our school district tech fair. My presentation is called SMART Notebook Tips & Tricks. If you want to take a look at what I'll be presenting, click on the google doc handout below. 
Wish me luck, this is way out of my comfort zone! :)
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Gingerbread Literacy Activities

Can you believe it is December already?! WOW!! These last two gingerbread packs have been fun to make and I'm excited to use them in my classroom very soon! Hopefully you'll like what you see and grab it for yourself and your kiddos at my TPT store
It’s a Gingerbread Holiday - Literacy Edition Includes 7 different activities:

1. I Have, Who Has with Santa Gingy & the Elves
- Two versions are included with the letters in order and mixed up. Extra blank and "finish" cards are included to help meet your needs.

2. Syllable Sort - Sorting mat with 24 picture cards. Students clap the syllables on each picture card and place it on the mat under the correct number of syllables.

3. 12 Rhymes ‘Til Christmas
- Students make a rhyme with the 12 pictures provided; they can draw a picture and write the rhyming word they create.

4. Naughty or Nice? - Initial & Ending Sounds Match Mats (3 mats each) with letter cover-ups

5. Roll Santa’s Sight Words
- A blank page is provided for you to add in the sight words you need your students to work on.

6. Partner Practice with Santa & the Elves Booklet
- Practice reading and writing letter sounds and words.

7. Santa’s Sound Segmenting Booklet 
- Use manipulatives to segment each sound in the pictures provided. They place a manipulative in the squares when they say each sound.

Please leave me some feedback if you happen to purchase this great product! 
I'm sure these next few weeks will fly, but I hope you all enjoy this holiday season! Happy Holidays!! :)

- Mrs. Berns

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's a Gingerbread Holiday!

To get in the holiday spirit, I thought it would be appropriate to begin making some Christmas classroom materials. I might be a little biased, but the math activity pack that I just made is super cute and I can't wait to use it in a few short weeks!! If you are on the lookout for some fun and effective math activities or centers to use right before winter break, look no further! 

It's a Gingerbread Holiday - Math Activities & Centers
It’s a Gingerbread Holiday - Math Activities & Centers includes seven different math centers and/or activities to use with your class! Plus they are all aligned with the Common Core Standards....BONUS!!! :)

1. Gingy Memory Match - using ten frames and numbers 1-10.
2. Help the Baker Decorate Gingy - Composing & Decomposing Numbers 3-5.

3. I Have, Who Has with Santa Gingy & the Elves - Extra "finish" cards are included to work for any group size.

4. Roll & Cover the Snowballs - 3 mats for 1 dice and 3 mats for adding 2 dice together; students cover the number they roll with a counter or other manipulative until all numbers are covered.

5. Gingy Match Mats - mats have ten frames and are covered with the correct number; number cut-outs are included.

6. Hurry! Color the Blocks Before the Holidays! - 2 color by shape worksheets; shapes included are circle, triangle, square, rectangle, & hexagon

7. Help Santa Gingy Make it Down the Chimney - Hundreds Chart Writing Practice - a blank and fully completed hundreds chart are accompanied by two partially finished hundreds charts.

I hope you like what you see, maybe even enough to hop on over to my TPT store to download it for yourself! Happy Holidays to all of you and thank you for stopping by!! Hopefully I will have more holiday materials for writing and reading coming soon, but for now my eyes are taking a break from this computer screen! :)

- Mrs. Berns

Clipart was purchased through Scrappin Doodles. Fonts are from Rowdy in Room 300 & Kevin and Amanda.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Calendar Notebooks

So the night my Thanksgiving break begins and I get home from school, what do I do?! Relax? Yeah, maybe just a little! Somehow I found the inspiration to create a little something for our calendar time at school. This is part of my day that my kids and I have struggled with this year and we are always changing it to try to keep them engaged. We started the year off doing the traditional calendar, but we then switched to doing it on the smart board. I felt like we are able to do more with it and get more out of it. I still feel like something is lacking though, so I decided to make a Calendar Notebook for the kids. This way, everyone will get to participate in calendar time hands on. I'm anxious to see how this will work and how they will like it. Check out my Calendar Notebook at my TPT store to grab your own copy. 

Calendar Notebooks

What have you done with your calendar time? Please share your ideas in the comments below. 

- Mrs. Berns

Monday, November 12, 2012

Giving Thanks

There is so much to be thankful for these days for sure! I know that with this being my first year of teaching, I have even more to be thankful for. I have an amazing staff and principal to work with, a wonderful support system, kids that make me laugh everyday (no matter how rough the day might be), days off like today, Thanksgiving break right around the corner, and oh so much more!!! :) I am also thankful for my friend, Jennifer Brown, for inspiring me to start my TPT store. For those of you who don't know about TPT stores, it is a website called teachers pay teachers. Teachers from all over create awesome things and share them on the website. Some things are free and others cost a small amount of money (usually). Why not try to sell some of the stuff you are making for your kids anyway? Right?! 

Well, with this long 3-day weekend, I couldn't think about much else. I finally got started...purchased some different clip art packages to start jazzing up my creations. I love, love, love to make things on my computer that are cute and useful in my classroom. Now finding the time to really hit on the cute part is minimal, but somehow when I have a load of planning to do and a free weekend I manage to make the time....apparently! :) I still wish I had better programs to use, more "extra" money to spend on cute clip art, and of course extra time to spend creating, but what I have now will do...

The good news is, the things I created this weekend I get to use this week in my classroom! Sooo....technically I have been productive, but maybe not in the most effective way!

If you are interested, I would LOVE for you to check out my TPT store, take a look around at the few items I have posted, share with a teacher you know, and by all means download or pin something if you like it!! Since I'm just getting started, I can use all the help I can get! In advance, THANK YOU for helping out this teacher! I appreciate it more than you know!!

A little picture preview of two items I created today:

Please leave any comments or suggestions below. THANKS for stopping by and have a super week...the countdown to Thanksgiving is on!

- Mrs. Berns

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tea with the QUEEN!!!

What an exciting week it has been! I have made it through my first set of conferences and I'm happy to report they all went great! Yay! On another more exciting note, our students got to have tea with the QUEEN this week!!!! Can you just imagine how stoked they were?!?! Here's how it all went down...
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We started off by reading the story "Tea for Ruby" by Sarah Ferguson. After the story I told the kids how I received some very exciting mail today. I proceeded by letting them share a few guesses of what it might be about. Then I took out an invitation from the queen! We were invited to a tea party with the queen. Can you picture the priceless looks on their faces...even the boys!?! They couldn't believe it! The following days consisted of RSVPing to the tea party, practicing our manners, oh and did I say PRACTICING OUR MANNERS!?! :) 
The day of the tea party finally arrived and all of my students came to school in their fancy clothes and smiling faces! They were SO beyond cute!! Our amazing moms that volunteered to help with this event did an outstanding job with the planning. Each kiddo had their own tea cup and saucer that they got to decorate before the tea party. At the end of the day we walked down to the gym with our best posture to attend this fancy affair. 

Our queen was our principal, Mrs. Teeter, and she played the part perfectly! The moms prepared little snacks and "tea" (lemonade) and they were dressed up fancy too. The details they added to the party were awesome from the name plates to the table cloths and table settings...everything was outstanding! The students practiced using their manners and also wrote on a quilt square a manner they needed to remember. They were going to put the squares together to make a Quilt for the Queen
The Queen's place setting!

The moms serving our kiddos fruit skewers and "tea" or lemonade! :)

Check out these smiling faces dressed in their BEST!!! So cute!

Working on their quilt square...
 At the end of the tea party, we had some practice walking with good posture to try to keep the saucer on their head. We also learned how to curtsy and bow like princes and princesses would do! What a special memory we made!!
 Mrs. Berns

Light Up Writing

Writing in kindergarten can sometimes be a struggle. My teaching partner mentioned an idea she had seen before that motivated students to do a great job in their writing. I thought for our quarter writing, it would be the perfect chance to try it out and encourage good writing. It's amazing what a little string of lights will do! :) For a chatty class like I have, these lights were like magic. Students that were working hard on their writing and doing it quietly were able to go to the carpet by the lights and write. Of course EVERYONE wanted to write by the lights and on a clipboard, so they were super quiet and working hard the entire time.

Mrs. Berns

Family Fun Day!

As part of the end of our unit (Those Nearest & Dearest), we decided to invite family members to join their student at our family fun day! We had four fun stations for the students and their family member or friend to attend. Both classes had an amazing turn out and the kids loved this quality time with those nearest and dearest to them!

Making family portraits.

Reading about families on the story steps.

Trace hands and glue them together. We added a picture of them on top of the hands as a special keepsake from the day.

Make a yummy snack out of graham crackers, frosting, and sprinkles. YUMMM!!!
I love the school/home connection possibilities in the classroom and so do those kiddos! What kind of school/home connections do you incorporate at your school?
Mrs. Berns

Setting Up My FIRST Classroom!

So proud of my first classroom and a big thanks to my family for their help!
We take PRIDE in what we do! Students can clip up their work that they are proud of. I used a hot glue gun to put the clothespins on the paper.

Cubbies labeled with their name and number.

Mailboxes labeled with student names.

Floor labeled with student numbers for our line.

Hallway chant and the learning lab chart. Students clip their clothespin to the lab they want to go to.

Looking into my classroom from the hallway door.

Smart board, my desk, and my outside door!

Seating area in the classroom. All ready for the first day of school with homemade play dough on the desks.

The tree my family helped me make in my library lab out of fabric and green wrapping paper.

Calendar area.

Love this area beside my desk. Two file cabinets pushed together and dressed up with the same fabric from my curtains. My sweet husband got my name blocks for me when I graduated.

Word wall separated by black floor tape. I designed the letters and printed the vowels in a different color.

Our daily schedule that I created along with our math word wall.

Student portraits and the sun and rainbow made out of their hands.

Birthdays!! The kids LOVE seeing their picture on the wall!
Grab a few freebies before you go!

Even though the first nine weeks are already over, I am still in love with my room AND my kids! I hope you were able to grab a few ideas for yourself!

Thanks for stopping by!

Mrs. Berns