Five for Friday…. a REALLY important one!

Hey! I am such a blog slacker lately, so I decided to go the extra mile for my link up with Doodle Bugs for their Five for Friday Linky Party. Five randoms for the week? YES! But I am treating you to some pretty sweet, important things this week. But I will leave the most important, exciting one to the end. (Don’t peek! It will ruin the surprise.)

1. Let’s begin with our new science unit and a little schema activation…

We talk about how our schema is not right or wrong, but how some of our schema may be a misconception– something we thought was true, but really isn’t. We got right down to business by talking about that last post-it on the bottom left (in case you can’t read it, is says that seeds will only grow in a garden with dirt) and took a vote– 14 kids agreed. So, we began our experiment. 
Sunflower seeds + wet paper towel + sunlight:
We are making observations daily. Day 3 was today and….wait for it….
We have life! After only 3 days, just about all the kids’s seeds are sprouted. 
Teachers, you can find my Primarily Plants unit, with all of my science, math and literacy activities here
2. Okay, next random. Our math program, Math Expressions, has us practicing writing our numbers… a LOT. I will say that I have noticed a big difference not only in their number formation, compared to my previous class (who did not use Math Expressions), but in their number ID as well. So it does work. But, it’s kind of boring just sitting and writing numbers day in and day out… right? Wrong. Not in my class. Not when you bring out the old online stopwatch
Now, before you get in a tizzy and tell me how kids this young shouldn’t be timed… let me tell you they were not being timed against anything. It was just the fact that I said I was starting the timer and I wanted to see how many minutes it would take them to write 1-50, and something in that sentence made them all get down to business. Not a peep to be heard, they all worked like little machines writing their little numbers. And when they were done, they raised their hand and I wrote the time on their paper. You would have thought they won the lottery. 
The next day, we did the back of the paper (because we can’t be writing numbers all day, you know). And on went the timer (actually they begged for it) and then we wrote down their new time. Would you believe some wrote a whole minute faster than the previous day? Success!
3. And now, for my teacher friends and parents looking for a fun little game to practice math facts, I give you  the SNAP game. I love this game. I was a math teacher for many years before trekking down to kinderland, and this was a game I played with the kids all the time. Honestly, I don’t know where it came from, or if I made it up in my own mind– but its easy to play and fun. 
All you do is take 5 connecting cubes or unifix cubes or 5 pennies if you will– we are practicing facts 0-5, so that’s what we use. 
Partners sit across from each other. Partner 1 takes the cube train and puts it behind their back. They say “1–2–3–SNAP!” and (still behind their back) break the cube train into 2 pieces. They scoop one hand around and show their partner. The partner says the math fact to tell the “hiding” number behind their partner’s back. The sweetie above would say 
“1 + 4 = 5”
 to tell his partner that he knows there are four behind her back. Voila! The partner uncovers her hiding cubes and they switch roles. The point is for the facts to eventually become automatic, and they won’t have to use their cube train to figure out the answer. Simple and fun! Teachers, let me know if you try this game in your classroom. ๐Ÿ™‚
4. Now that something super important is happening (I will get to that for #5, just hang on a second), I am determined to get super organized with my teaching materials. I took a baby step the other day and decided the ziplock baggie with all my word wall words was just annoying to rifle through every week when I go to put the new words up. Easy fix– a coupon organizer from the dollar store! Ugh, this will save me at least 3 minutes a week. ๐Ÿ™‚
5. Okay, if you got this far, I love you. And as promised, I have some really important news to share. No, I did not win the lottery or make it onto American Idol (does anyone even watch that anymore?). I know many of you who know me in real life or through the teacher blogging world, know that I was really, REALLY certain I was going to be laid off this year– after 10 years in my district. They have cut and cut and cut over the past 3 years and I was certain this year was it. So yeah, I am laid off. Just kidding! Would you believe I am SAFE! I am going to still be in kindergarten doing what I love in a school that I love for at least another year. I am STOKED beyond belief! Don’t get me wrong, I made it l.i.t.e.r.a.l.l.y. by the skin of my teeth. I’m not looking long term anymore (which is sad) but I am just taking every day as it comes. Thank you to everyone that has been pulling for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ 
And that, is my mega post. Happy weekend everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚


    • I hope your kids like it! Its quick and fun and I like that you can add more cubes for kids that are ready for that. I know, it stinks, right? Oh well, I guess I have another year not to think about it! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

    • I know!! It's been like this the last 2 years. And I'm guessing it will be like this for a few more, so I'm trying to just go with the flow. Thanks for the love!

  • That is great! I have a recipe box to store my word wall cards in because it took me way too long to find what I needed

  • It is so incredible to me that a teacher as amazing as you is worried about being laid off! I am happy for your sake and for the sake of your students who get the benefit of having such a dedicated teacher. Here's to another year!

    Teaching and Tapas: 2nd Grade in Spain

    • Aww thanks so much Alyssha, that is really sweet. It's sad because I just LOVE my school and Kindergarten SO much, I just feel like its where I am meant to be, you know? Thanks for the love and support! xo

    • Thanks!!! Super crazy excited to have this opportunity– as I'm sure you know ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Very happy to hear that you are safe another year! You are such an amazing teacher and my Lilly has grown so much in your class! Thank you for all that you do!

  • Thank you! It's kids like yours that make my job such an absolute joy! Not many people can say that they love going to work. I feel so, so lucky to be one of those people! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Karen
    Phew for you!! I was laid off three years ago (hired back the next year) and it actually was a great blessing in disguise. It is so sad how the cut and cut and cut. I am so happy for you for another year though! I love the snap game. We play it with a cup and chips. The kids put some chips under the cup and some on top and they need to say how many are in. Thanks!
    A Burst of First

  • Loving that game idea and the word wall idea!

    Debating having some sort of word wall in our homeschool and trying to figure out all the organization tid-bits…

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