Friday, March 30, 2012


This week I was out of the classroom Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday! Before I left on Friday I told the kids I would be out, but I didn't tell them where I was going to be! I told them that they were going to have to be inference investigators. When they got to school on Monday there would be some clues as to where I was. They could use the clues to help them figure it out! They were super excited and curious to figure out where I was going! 
I went to a training at a facility called 'Rock Island.' I have mentioned this place to the kids before so I wasn't sure if they would figure it out with the clues that I left...

 (I got this idea from the Inspired Apple and her Snow day Inferencing activity)
I left the students with a pencil (because I would be doing work), a car (since I would be driving there every morning), then a rock and a picture of an island for the name of the school I was at :)
I checked in with my sub to see what the children were thinking and she said they were torn...either I went to Hawaii and there is a really long bridge to get there or I am in Pennsylvania because I left a PENcil.
They had a night to think about these clues....then, the next day at school they filled out this activity sheet:
 All the students had different inferences, it was very cute to read! When I returned to school on Thursday they were all dying to find out where I went.  I probably disappointed them a little since I really wasn't anywhere 'that cool!' 
During my 3 days out I learned lots and lots about common core. I am going to try and post tomorrow and give you all some common core freebies to use in your class :)
Have a great Friday night!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Had to share this...

So, I think my kids even realized how tired I was this week....look what one of my cuties brought me...(they know how much I need my diet coke in the morning!!)
 Isn't this adorable!!!


I am back!! Returning to school this week, after spring break, was so tough!! I never got used to the time change because I was enjoying my break...that this past Monday it was like a double whammy waking up!! So that is where I have been...napping everyday after school! Haha..okay, okay, enough whining..

This week we started our weather unit. We started off by reading Cloudy With A Chance. It was a very cute way to get the children thinking about how crazy our weather can be and get the creative juices flowing. They all designed their own town and wrote on the back what would be 'raining' if they have a choice..

Throughout our unit, I tried to focus on a different type of weather every two days..sunny, rainy, cloudy, and windy. On Friday for writing all of the students pretended to be weather reporters and they wrote their own report:

The above activities can be found in my weather unit by clicking on the picture below.
 On Thursday I told the children that we would be meeting a new friend on Friday.  He is my friend Roy G. Biv and he only comes when the sun shines after it rains. They all got excited thinking we were going to have a new student in class.  Then Friday we made these cuties..

I typed up the words for the project and you can download them HERE.
This project is a must! The children LOVED making him. We also got the chance to talk about how colors come in all shades. They loved the fact that they actually had a crayon called indigo! We will be doing another week on weather before we move on to plants; but, I unfortunately won't be enjoying the week with the kids. I have to spend my next week in Common Core Academy!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Morning Message/Calendar Time

Kindergarten Lifestyle
Hello! My name is Jeannie from Kindergarten Lifestyle and I am thrilled to be guest blogging for Caitlin today! Awhile back Caitlin asked me about how I do my calendar time. I mentioned to her that my calendar is on the promethean board - completely interactive for the kids. She thought others might be interested in seeing how I conduct it using this wonderful technology.
**Disclaimer - I do have a "real" calendar that we associate with what we see on the promethean board. However, I do not use a hard copy calendar set.**

Each morning we begin with a morning message. Now at the beginning of the school year, I write the morning message on the chart paper and we interact with the message from there. However, by October, I begin using the promethean board as a more interactive, engaging way to do our morning message. I type a message about our days. It could be that we go to the computer lab, it's picture day, or about the big storm that blew through last night. I keep the format pretty simple and standardized. I think this is important in kinder because they need to know what to expect from the morning message. It goes something like this:

                                                                                     March 13, 2012
Good Morning,

Today is Tuesday. We will get to go to the computer lab today. Do you like working on a computer? Why? I love computers!

Mrs. Partin

Of course, I extend the message as the year goes on. I like to include questions and always have the children "turn and talk" about the question. Then we take turns using the magic pen and highlight letters, punctuation, word boundaries, or word wall words. This is a structured time kids love and expect each day. It's not exciting, but is an important routine in our day! And the kids WILL tell you if you mess it up!

Here's a picture of my morning message:
                      (This picture was taken in February - very festive....and this is actually my student teacher - Rebecca)

Next we move on to CALENDAR!
 This is where we read the student expectations before beginning calendar. It's hard to see, but she is actually holding up the expectations here. We recite it with the kiddos - and yes the kids LIKE reciting them!

 This is my "Months of the Year" page. We sing the months song. I record them singing it and play it as we sing along. Each month we move a little star to the new month to keep us on track!

This is the actual calendar. What do we do with this page?
1. Count the days in the current month
2. Extend our pattern for the month
3. Find the day (run our finger up to the day)
4. Sing Days of the Week song
5. Drag the days to today, yesterday, and tomorrow
6. Write the day in long form (written out) and short form (using numbers only)

 This is our weather graph page. I do not keep a running tab on weather for weeks at a time. I feel like the weather graph that they see when watching the weather forecast on the news is a week at a time. This is a more authentic way of seeing the weather.
We sing "What will the weather be?" from Dr. Jean. Then someone gets to come be the "Weather person" and drag the weather to the correct day. Finally, we read the graph -- "On Monday it was....., On Tuesday it was.... On Wednesday it is...." - good way to teach present and past.

 Here you see our "How Many Days Til 1st Grade" page. At the beginning of school we add one each day until we reach the 100th day of school. Starting on day 101, we start counting down until we become 1st graders! They love this and allows us to really start thinking about numbers that come before and after and those bigger numbers. We always talk about why we can't mix up the numbers. For example, this shows "63". We can't write a 3 and 6 because that wouldn't be 63.

This page is our birthday calendar. As each child has a birthday (or in some case - half-birthday), he/she gets to add their name in the color they choose. (This is a big deal for some reason! :0) And of course, we sing "Happy Birthday"!

Well, this is it! I hope you enjoyed seeing my calendar time! It is very routine - a routine the kids learn and love! Thank you for letting me share a special time in my classroom each day! 

If you like what you saw here, please come see me over at 
Kindergarten Lifestyle. I can't wait to see ya!!!

Currently I even have a wonderful Kinder-2nd grade linky party going on!! 

Kindergarten Lifestyle

Monday, March 12, 2012

Friday Cafe!

I totally forgot to share this ADORABLE cooking activity with you!! During our America unit my students fell in love with watching the bald eagles HERE. We still check in on the eagles a couple times throughout the week and we are waiting for her eggs to hatch! So exciting! The students also made their very own, edible, bald eagle....

I was surprised that all of the children liked eating this little guy, because I don't like coconut AT ALL! We used a cookie for the bottom, a large marshmallow covered in vanilla icing for the top, rolled it in coconut for the feathers, added 2 chocolate chips for the eyes and a gold fish for the cute!! I don't know about your students, but mine absolutely love anything to do with cooking activities :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Blog Hunt!

Hi blogging friends!! I hope you have enjoyed your first two days of the blog hunt! If you are new to Kindergarten Smiles, welcome!! I hope you stay awhile :)
My freebie for you today is a great sight word game. My students absolutely LOVE playing!  This is a game that I play throughout the year.  I start off with just letters and sounds and I change the skill as the year progresses. 
Click on the picture below to download your St. Patty's Day Treasure!!
 But you're not done yet! There are 2 freebies today! Click HERE to check it out!!  
Don't forget to continue your hunt tomorrow! Your next treasure can be found by clicking on the shamrock below!

 So far our blog hunt has taken us to: