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October Box of Projects

When I first started teaching 12 years ago I started organizing all my files and projects into monthly boxes.  They are just the boxes left after you take all the reams of paper out of the copy room.  They aren't pretty but they have kept all my treasures.

So since October starts tomorrow it was time to go through my box and see which projects I wanted to pull out from years past to do again.  While I was going through I decided to snap a few pictures to share with you in case you wanted to use them in your classroom.

So let the projects and pictures begin:
This is a paper bag fall tree.  The students will make this tree step by set and add their tissue paper leaves in the colors of fall.  This project is a keeper for sure. :)
 This pumpkin writing paper is something I created when I taught first grade.  I took all the pumpkins and hung them up in the hall and connected them with green "vines." It was super cute!

 This is a super cute project that I did when I first started teaching kindergarten.  It just a white piece of paper that we marble painted with fall colors. The black paper was left over after using an Ellison Press for leaves.

This is from last year.  It goes along with the poem 5 Little Pumpkin Sitting on a Fence.  The pumpkins aren't glued down but instead rest in the grass.  This lets the students manipulate the pumpkins to retell the poem.

We made this Ben Franklin kite when I taught 1st grade. Check out the old clipart - wow things have come a long way in just a few years! :)  If you are interested in the template for the kite let me know and I'll try to post it for a freebie. The kids loved making this kite and key project.

 We made this cute jack-o-lanterns to hang around the classroom. Don't you love his teeth?!?

 Here is an adorable retelling of If You Take A Mouse to School.  The students made a little suitcase/lunchbox to glue their pictures in.

Another option for a fall tree.  The students used the edge of a sponge to paint the leaves on the tree.

 I think the kids made this "shape house" in art.  It is probably about 5 years old but still adorable.

This was another first grade project for the hallway.  The students wrote from the prompt "Fall is Fun."

I hope that you have enjoyed my little walk through my September box.  I'm sure as I go through my other files I'll find some more cute stuff to share!

Christina Mauro :)

Math Stations in Kindergarten

I've been very anxious to start math stations this year.  My kiddos are still learning how to use the chart for literacy stations and I didn't want to add more confusion, but I really needed to get them started.

So I set up the chart and went for it. . .

I'll be training them for a few weeks on where to go and what to do but overall it was a great success! I bought the tubs from Target and Really Good Stuff and they are just perfect! The students look at the chart and they go get the tub that matches and go to their destination around the room:

I double up the literacy and math station locations.  The literacy station is on top and the math on the bottom.  If you are interested in the math and literacy stations cards that I use they can be found here:

Last year I used the numbers 1-12 for my math stations and that worked ok but I found that the same stations had the same skill for most of the year.  So this year I decided to use the skill name as the station.  So basically number sense station will always be there but the theme and games can change to fit what we are learning.

Here are some examples of our "starter" stations:

The number writing station is from Lakeshore. The students love using dry erase markers to practice writing their numbers.  The Roll & Cover and Number Puzzles are from my Back to School Math Stations - I have discounted them and all my September products for you this weekend!!! :)

The number sense activity is my Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Number Sense 1-10 (we are only using 1-5 right now). Patterns is also part of my Back to School Stations. The sorts I've blogged about before and are my Shape Sorts and All Sorts of Things.

So I've put all my September Stuff 20% off even my All Things Back to School which is 348 pages of all kinds of Kindergarten Fun for only $32.00!!! :) Check it out!

 Do you use math stations in your classroom?  If so leave me a comment and let me know your favorite station?

Have a great weekend,
Christina :)

Sorts Galore

We are working on the letters B and R this week.  So all week long we have talked about how to make these letters and the sounds that they make.  On Wednesday we did a whole group sort in the pocket chart and then added it to our pocket chart station.  We worked on M and S last week so the kids have lots of pictures they can sort out.

On Friday we use the same pictures that we introduced in whole group and do a little flip book.  Right now I have the kids color in a couple of the pictures to keep working on those fine motor skills and then they cut, sort and glue.  This is only the 2nd week we have done this and they were already pros.

These activities are out of my Flip Books, Pocket Chart Cards, and more B and R:

We are also sorting in math right now.  We are learning to sort by colors and shapes.  So on Thursday we split the kids into three groups and they worked on different sorts at each table.

At one table they sorted real life objects by shape:

The pictures come from my Shape Sorting: Mats and Pictures:

At another table they worked on sorting real life objects by colors:

These sorts are from my Color Sorting: Mats and Pictures:

Color Sorting - Mats & Pictures

And at the third table we worked on sorting by shapes, and colors:

We even took it to a new level and sorted by the color of the frame and not just the color of the shape on the picture cards.

All of these activities are going to go into math stations that I'm planning on introducing next week. 

This last groups of sorts also includes letters and numbers that I haven't shown them yet.  They are all part of my All Sorts of Things:

All SORTS of Things

It's been a busy week of sorting in my class this week!

Hope everyone has a great weekend,
Christina :)

Introducing.....Write the Room and a FREEBIE

Last year my FAVORITE literacy station by far was write the room. It looks like it's going to be again this year!  I started "training" today in small groups.  Basically I called about 4 students over while the rest were at stations and gave them a clipboard and the first response sheet.  They were already excited because they got to use clipboards! :)

I showed them that ALL over the room were these adorable school kids with words and pictures on them.

The paper that we used today just said to write any words that you find so they didn't have to look for particular words....yet!

So the task was to find and write 12 words.  They were seriously so excited!  A couple students kept coming up to me after every word, "Look Mrs. Mauro - I found the word red."  "Now I found backpack."  They were so stinkin' cute!!!

The BEST part about my write the rooms is that they are all ready to differentiate and they can last an entire month.  Most of them have 10 different response sheets that you can use with the same cute pictures to hang around your room.

If you are interested in trying out one of my write the rooms for free - then check out my Pirate Write the Room on TpT - it's FREE!!! Click below to go grab it up. ;)

I also have a TON of Write the Rooms available on TpT.  We are currently using my Back to School one.

Hope you enjoy the freebie!  Happy Thursday!


Shapes are Everywhere!

A huge unit we do in the beginning of Kindergarten for math and science is shapes.  Most of the kids know the basic shapes - circle, square, triangle and rectangle. 

We like to kick it up a notch and make some shape pictures.  These are pictures of things that are in the environment. 

We start by reading the big book - What's the Shape? This book has wonderful illustrations of shapes that we see everyday.

After we read the book we made an anchor chart - a little short because we had a fire drill!

After that we got to work on our own shape pictures!  The directions were to choose a shape from above and they were given that shape of manilla paper to work on as their work space.  Then using scraps of paper they had to create something in that shape.  No crayons or pencils - just scissors, ripping paper, and lots of glue. :)

In the past I have down this project in small groups of maybe 4-5 students - not this year!!!  I decided to go whole group!  I was expecting it to be INSANE - but truth be told - they did AMAZING!  

Here are a few examples of the pictures that they were working on:

 Above is the beginning of a present and a slice of pizza.

 A delicious looking donut with sprinkles and all.

A rocky mountain.

A train.
A picture frame.

This student used the triangle as a sail for his boat.

And this is a super plane!
I've actually never had students "use" the manilla shape as part of the project before. I was so proud of all of them.  They worked so hard and I can't wait to put them up in the classroom.


Side note - This weekend is the HUGE September Facebook Frenzy!  If you haven't participated in one of these before you need to.  All you have to do is hop on over to my facebook page starting Friday and click on "Facebook Frenzy."  It will take you to a FREE item that isn't even in my TpT store yet!  Then there will be a link to "hop" to another K-1 teacher's facebook page and grab another freebie!  They are all fall themed and I'm sure they are all going to be fantastic!  So make sure you go like my page and check out all the free stuff!

Writing Workshop and Literacy Stations - The Beginning

We started our writer's workshop today.  I am using Deedee Wills and Deanna Jump's Writing Workshop model this year.

Writing Through the Year Unit 1 {Aligned with Common Core}

I modeled my writing for the students

and then they had a go

They did really great for the first day!

We also introduced our literacy station chart!  I wanted to wait a few weeks but with 27 students running all over the room I needed to take control!!!

The majority of the stations are more like centers at this point.  They are just learning to work with a partner and use the chart.

I made my own cards this year to match the stations that I use.  I made literacy and math ones that are available at mt TpT store if you would like to purchase them:

Work Station Cards - Literacy & Math

Here are a few stations/centers we are doing this week:

Here are my Brown Bear Playdoh Mats.  Students use the Playdoh to form the letters.

My new Aquadoodle mat!!!  I LOVE this.  Right now the students are drawing pictures with WATER but soon they will work on letters and words.  The best part - the water dries and the mat is back to white! AMAZING!

Art/Drawing - This student made a lovely self-portrait .

 Writing Station - kids used pre-made books to write or draw pictures in.

Big Book Station - retelling Brown Bear

Poetry Station - We are working on The Name Chant Poem from Deedee Wills August and September Poetry Station.

They did pretty good for the first day of stations.  I was much happier given them all a place to work.  Reading the chart is definitely going to take some time. :)

Happy Tuesday,
Christina Mauro