Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Time to Graduate (and Mother's Day)

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Our Graduation got pushed one week earlier!  Eeek!  We are in full swing now with finishing up crafts and learning all our songs and corresponding actions.  We are desperately trying to find time to practice on the stage in the gym (since we are performing around the same time as our School Spring Concert!), and everyone seems to need the gym at the same time!  

I just had to share how these Graduation self portraits came out because I just LOVE each and every one of them!  I am so impressed with how the kids were able to identify their special features and display them through this art activity!  We had so much fun as a class trying to guess the identity of each of our classmates (the name is not written on the front).  The kids were so good at distinguishing one friend from the next, depending on the color of hair, color of eyes, special features (like glasses), or way the hair is parted.  I just had to show each one because I love them all!

The kids wrote what they want to be when they grow up and drew a picture beneath.  Here is a close-up!

 Here is another Graduation craft we did for our "Garden Theme" this year.  I love that parents can look back and remember how small their child's hands were when they celebrated this special time!

These ideas and so many more are included in my Graduation Unit that I've done with my teaching partner, Alessia Albanese.  Click the picture below to take you there.  It has everything you need to throw a Graduation that parents will remember always!

It's been so busy, I didn't write about Mother's Day.  We went our for a lovely lunch at the Banquet Hall where we celebrated our wedding reception, years ago!

I was gifted with 'tea' towels and a tea pot card.  Now if I can just find some time to relax and have that pot of tea...

Monday, 5 May 2014

Guided Writing and It's Teacher Appreciation Week (that means a sale!) and a FREEBIE

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Wow!  I can't believe it's May already!  Seriously, where does the time go?  The expression "time flies" sure does ring true, for my classroom and with my own little one.  The littles in my class have already started to lament over this year, saying, "I'm going to miss you when I'm in grade one!"  and the truth is, I'm going to miss them too.  My own daughter will be going to grade one, so I'm also sad to see her leave K! (especially since she was right next door to me!).  

I wanted to do a post about Guided Writing.  Writing happens all the time in my classroom.  It happens at a variety of learning centres that have specific materials placed at them (for example, cards and letters at our Dramatic post office), or spontaneously as a result of play.  The students, at times, decide to draw, label and write about ideas that have been sparked from their play (for example, a castle they've built with the blocks).  Even though the students are writing in a variety of meaningful ways at centres, I still like to conduct guided writing so that we can think, talk about and plan writing!  We usually write in our memory books, or journals (both shown below).  I can't believe how far the kids have come with their writing!  Seriously!  The biggest surprise is with my J.K. students, some of whom could only scribble write or draw pictures to convey a message (beginning stages of writing), but now are writing sentences independently after much modelling and guidance.

Recently, we have written about our Mother's and how we can celebrate all the wonderful things they do for us!
I can mac a pichr for mom.  ( I can make a picture for mom).

I can givie my mom a givt ava flowers.  (I can give my mom a gift of flowers).

I can giv fawrs too monm.  (I can give flowers to mom).
****This is a J.K. student****

I can get my mom pris.  (I can get my mom pictures).
****This is also a J.K. student****
These kids have come so far in independent writing!

 In preparing for Graduation, we thought and talked about what we want to be when we grow up!
When I grow up I want to be a Hockey playr. (player)

When I grow up I want to be a Balrina techr.  (Ballerina teacher).

Guided writing allows me to go over specific writing conventions (expressing a complete thought, beginning with a capital letter, using finger spaces, ending with punctuation, etc.).  I plan to do more 'free' writing with the kids in the Guided Writing format, where the kids will decide more often what they would like to write about.  I've made up a couple of posters to help us out and they are FREE in my TPT shop.  Click the pictures below to get your  copy!

And I must not forget...
I'm having a sale in my TPT shop for the next two days to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week!
Go stock up!
Happy Shopping!