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Friday, April 3, 2015

April's Pick Three Pin Party

Well, can I post twice in one day?? Sure I can. It's been a crazy week with the arrival of a new ELL student who doesn't have any English yet, presenting district PD for K/1 teachers, and being flexible as our building is without guest teachers TOO often- the substitute teacher shortage is really peaking right now and we are all hanging on for the ride as we scramble to cover and lose our planning time. Yikes!

BUT the good news is today starts our spring break!. Bring. It. On!  One of my favorite things to do is write and post and that's how I'm gonna spend today– I even have a third post started but I promise to wait until at least tomorrow to put it up ;)



I'm linking up this post with Pawsitively Teaching and Inspired Owl's Corner's Pick 3 Top Pinterest Picks. I've already tried two of my three Pinterest finds this week at school, so you can gain from my experience.


This one is a Freebie from Kindergarten Smorgasbord.


Greg explains how he uses plastic eggs to make a match-up word game. I didn't use plastic eggs with my version. I colored two sheets of these eggs by hand– imagine! On one sheet I colored just the egg outline, and on the other one I underlined the words. My two sets of eggs give me two center activities– just a little variation and it's a whole new thing for the kidpeople. Then I laminated both pages and cut out all the eggs. I buried a set in a bin of shredded paper and had the kids go digging for egg words. When they found one they used a marker of the matching color to write it on my word list paper. They were to star the words that they could not read by themselves, then figure out what it said with the help of a tablemate. When their list was complete with ten different words, they were to read the whole list to three different tablemates. Each table partner put their initial in a "read three times box" found at the bottom of the list. 

My list paper is available for FREE in my TPT store. I have several versions of list papers in the set. The boxes for starring words and the prompts for reading the list three times are right on the paper itself. I use it all the time for all sorts of activities. At FREE, you really can't go wrong and there are lots of freebies at my TPT store.

Click on the photo below to go to the list paper, and click on the egg paper image above to go to Greg's original post to learn about his activity and grab his freebie while you're there. Thanks Greg!




This one comes from Liz's Early Learning Spot. She calls it Battling for Sight Word Treasures. You'll go to the post by clicking on the Pin photo below.


I saw this and instantly wanted to try it with my kiddos because I fondly remember the old Battleship game from when I was a kid. This version has dropped the war theme and added a reading component. Liz explains how to play on her blog post. I simplified it a bit for my kinders. To assemble the game I ran each copy on different colored paper and laminated with my home laminator to make it sturdier and completely encased in plastic. I hook two game boards together, back to back with paperclips– I found this cut down on cheating because it is a little less likely anyone gets a sneak peek while the boards are being moved around separately. We don't use the coins, but simply add up the number of words found.  I write the word wall words on the bottom grid with a Vis-a-Vis pen before I give the boards to them, changing it up as I see fit. And I give my kiddos an Expo marker to mark their guesses on the upper grid– an X for an empty square, and the correct letter when they guess it right. This means they can erase the board in between rounds while the vis-a-vis words stay put. 

Note where I put paperclips
at the bottom sides and at the top
All my kids love playing the game– so much so that one of my parents asked for the link to the game because her little guy talked about it nonstop. My better readers do a better job of playing, but even my lower readers enjoy guessing letters, though they find fewer words. I was most surprised when after just a few lessons with an adult they all got the hang of the grids and how they worked. When I got it out yesterday it was to a chorus of "Yaaay!" I recommend you give it a try. Oh, and did I mention it's free? Yep. Whoot! Click on the first image above. Thanks Liz!




My number three is one I'll do when I get back the week after next. In April I focus on taking care of the earth, which always includes the water cycle. I thought this evaporation activity would tie in nicely.



This little science observation comes from E is for Explore. You outline a puddle on the sidewalk with chalk. Then you come back later to see if the puddle has changed any. Where did the water go? Simple, yet powerful, I think. And unlike the experiments where you watch a glass of water over several days or weeks, you get pretty fast results if you make a puddle on the sidewalk on a sunny day. You can read the original post by clicking on the Pin photo above.

Well, that wraps it up for me. If you'd like to see what other goodies are on my Pinterest Boards you can click right on this Pinterest Profile button. You'll find lots of goodies and might even consider following. I like to follow teachers who follow me.



Now scroll on down to see lots more favorite teacher pins in the link-up below. And link your post, too. Hope you enjoy!






13 comments:

  1. I really like the puddle activity idea! It's so simple and yet its lesson is powerful.

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    1. Yep. Me, too! Thanks for stopping by. Kathleen

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  2. I love that puddle idea and your blog is so cute! The picture on your logo looks just like you! Her head is even tilted the same! Ha ha! I teach in a town with many migrant workers from Mexico who come to work in the mushroom farms. I have many ELL students in my class every year. I love working with this population. The growth is so fun to watch. :-) See you around!
    Undercover Classroom

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    1. Well, it was my husband who designed the blog and mini-me. If he doesn't know me by now, nobody does! I gotta check out where you're from that has so many mushroom farms that migrant workers come to them! Something new to learn. Thanks for stopping by! Kathleen

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    2. I live right near Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. There are mushroom farms on every corner and the air smells just wonderful. Ha ha! Thankfully my house is far enough away so that I get to breath fresh air. ;-)

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    3. Well, I just did a little googling– I didn't realize Kennett Square produced half the country's mushrooms, and that Hershey's cocoa shells had anything to do with it! Up here in MI the only mushrooms I've seen are being grown on cut logs in the woods. They line them up on a sort of fence thing so it looks a bit like a fort. Learn something new everyday!

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  3. I love that battleship-style game - and thank you for including a photo and writing such clear instructions on how you modified it! I can't wait to do this - it looks like such a fun way to practice spelling and vocabulary words!!! :o) Pam

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    1. Well, I bet your kids like it, too! See you around, Pamela. Kathleen

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  4. I love the twist on Battleship! I totally remember the game as a kid. Thanks for sharing such great ideas!

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    1. Glad you like it and hope your kiddos do, too. Thanks for stopping by. Kathleen

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  5. Great activities to keep the kiddos excited about learning! The puddle experiment would be perfect for our unit on evaporation and condensation! Thank you for linking up and sharing! :)

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    1. Thanks, Marissa. I thought the puddle one was a goodie and so EASY. A keeper– good thing we have Pinterest to remember! See you next time. Kathleen

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  6. thanks for sharing and joining in the linky fun

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