Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day-Love

We started the week with a 2 hour delay, which means no AM 4K. I spent the morning (from 9:30 until noon when my PM class came) working on my classroom organization.  Not quite done, but when I get there I will update the link.   Only a few drawers to go!  See Post

Students worked on sorting hearts. My goal was to have them sort by 2 categories-- by size and by color.  Some students did both at once (a pile of small red, a pile of big red, and so on), while others first did it one way and we asked if they could do it another.  I created four colored hearts in two sizes on the Cricut.  Boy do I love me a cricut.  It makes all size projects and projects of large numbers easy!  Our school has one of these instead of die-cut and it was one of the best investments ever!  We have cartridges the school has baught, and then if a staff member buys one personally, they copy the possible pictures and put it in a binder.  If you need on of theirs you can just ask them to bring it in! It is great!

I introduced listening center this week.  I first taught the red "story reader" set with book cartridges and books that read by magnets.   Unfortunately, they are no longer made because of it's age. I got this with 8 books at a rummage sale for $10. They are asking $17 for 3 books on amazon.  I am keeping an eye out (and telling all my co-workers to as well) at rummage sales and such.  I would highly recommend this type of reader to start with reading.  Students did well with that so then I introduced an actual book on tape with a valentine's book, the one in.  Student are doing OK with this and I hope it will help them work on reading skills and start to even begin recognizing some words, though tapes in the world's oldest tape player is more work and makes me nervous.  Our next goal would be to convert tapes to that expensive?  Where can that be done?  I would hate to waste the awesome resources we have in books on tape!

We decorated our milk jug valentine buckets!  Unfortunately, in all the excitement of Valentine's day, I forgot to take pictures more closely.  We also decorated our milk jug valentine buckets.  Students got to choose from four stations: a marker station, a crayon station, a glue and glitter station, and a glue stick and heart station.  I allowed students to go where they choose, even more than once if they wanted to add.  I played some music and gave them so free choice time when they were done.  Students really enjoyed it and they turned out cute!  As you can see, I had to back up pretty far to get all of them in there!  I will look to see if I have more close up pictures of the buckets as I swear I took some, but can't find them.  Click HERE to see the post on how to make the buckets.

We took technology up a notch this week.  Students not only typed their names to sign in, but found their last names on their check-in cards and then typed their last name as well!  It is interesting to see their little minds at work looking at a lower case letter, finding it as a capital on the keyboard and then seeing it appear in lower case again.  Everyone is doing very great with it!  We even have 1 student who uses home row and correct fingers when typing!  He says the letter name outloud, closes his eyes, thinks about it, and then you see his little finger reach to the correct key (with out looking!) He says grandma taught him on the typewrite at the cute!  With all the studentes, you can actually see the wheels turning; it is so cool!

Thursday was our Valentine's "party."  I put party in quotes as I use the term loosely.  Basically, we did a different schedule Valentine's based and it is a party!

Students took turns passing out Valentine's to their friends.  This worked on their reading names, matching them to the buckets, and putting them in worked their reading skills, following directions, problem solving, and fine motor skills.  It was a whirl wind of "who's this, who's this, who's this," but totally worth it.  It really is fun to see their excitement for the holiday and want to give other's things--show their love.

We played Valentine's Bingo (©Ashley Hughes  This worked on listening skills, following directions, and working on listening to describing words.  Student did well with this and enjoyed playing!  I love using BINGO in my teaching because it gives me time to teach about little things that come up on the boards.  Valentine's isn't as big of a learning moment as President's Day bingo will be next week (also from Ashley Hughes).

Valentines People (brought as a valentine from a student and a gracious project for us to do with them).  The student had written all of the AM student's names on the center heart.  The student also brought in all of the heads already painted and the arm and leg pieces already cut. Students found their name, picked the head they liked, and then assembled 2 hearts for each arm and leg.  They worked on their counting, direction following, and fine motor skills.

Students also made valentines for the parents.  They worked on copying print (the "Love," on the back) writing their name, and the fine motor skills of writing, ripping, and gluing.  They turned out cute and they were projects the students did well with doing on their own while I was helping others pass out the valentines.  

For some gross motor work, we had a valentine heart relay.  Students started in two equal lines.  The first person ran with the valentine, touched the wall, and handed it to the next person in line. As soon as they had it in their hand they had to run.  This worked on team work, fine motor skills of pinching, gross motor skills of running, and following directions.  Students seemed to really enjoy it!  AM class ran 3 times, and PM class ran once on Wed and once on Thursday!

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