I am so excited to be linking back up again with Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten to share my plans for the week.  First, I want to share what we did last week.  I am new to the kindergarten world, so I knew I need some help from some amazing teachers in the blogosphere.  I decided to use Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills' Guiding Readers ELA Unit.  It has been amazing and such a time saver for me!  I want to incorporate a craftivity or art activity each week with the unit, and I couldn't really find one for Molly Lou Melon.  So, I came up with this simple little Molly Lou Melon craftivity.

Molly Lou Melon Craftivity

Molly Lou Melon Craftivity

Molly Lou Melon Craftivity      Molly Lou Melon Craftivity

The writing is from the Guiding Readers ELA Unit below.


The next two weeks are going to be all about APPLES!  


This upcoming week is going to be really crazy.  We have our school's fall carnival on Thursday and no school on Friday.  We had so many apple activities we wanted to incorporate that we are going to have to spread the apples out over the next two weeks.  

I only included the first half of our day's lesson plans, because after lunch, we have specials, recess, snack, and afternoon meeting only.  You can find all of the activities from the units below.

          

    

Before I left on Friday, we got everything ready to go for next week, so I snapped a few pics.  We are doing a fun little inferencing activity to introduce apples.  We are going to put apples in the bags and let students use their senses to try to conclude what is in the bags.  We really want them to practice using descriptive words this week with apples.  You can find this activity in my All About Those Apples pack.

apple inferences


Students will use this recording sheet to record their findings.  My kindergarteners would probably mostly use pictures to record their details.  We are actually going to do this part whole group.



apples main idea and details

We will read an informative book about apples and record details on the apples on the anchor chart above.  Then, we will work on labeling parts of an apple in the craftivity below.

label an apple craft

Do you have this book, Bad Apple by Edward Hemingway?  It's super cute and I just knew we had to use it!  We aren't going to have time for it this week, but I just wanted to share this craftivity incase you needed something to go along with it.  It deals with bullies and friendship, which is something we really need to hear.

apple craft

apple craft

Apple Week is one of my favorites, and I am super excited to kick it off tomorrow.  Head on over to Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten to see what everyone else is up to this week.  Have a great week!  







Inferences are my favorite!  There are so many fun ways to teach students how to infer during reading.  It requires some higher order thinking skills, so it can be difficult for students to grasp.  I have some ways and ideas to make teaching making inferences super fun and engaging!  

I like to kick of the unit with a Pixar short film.  I actually show one to kick off each day of the unit as an attention grabber.  They are super quick, fun, and get the students thinking.  They are inferring and don't even realize it yet.  This is a great one to use, but there are tons more out there that would work.


As with every new concept, I always make an anchor chart for us to refer to all throughout the unit.  I introduce inferences with this chart, and then I have the students talk about it.  I then chant the parts of how to make an inference with a motion for each part and have the students echo me.  We do this a lot! After about a week of doing that, they will know what an inference is for the rest of the year!  It's crazy how it helps them remember!  You can just randomly ask them during the year, and they can use the terminology and everything.  They're amazing!

making inferences anchor chart

That's Miss Nelson from Miss Nelson is Missing on the chart.  That is the first book I use as a read aloud for my students to practice making inferences.  Make sure they have not read it before.  If someone has heard it, tell them to keep what happens a secret!  This book is perfect for making inferences.  I use it first because there are always students who have read it before, so I like to use it for the whole group introduction.


As I am reading the book, I am completing one of these graphic organizers, modeling how to properly make an inference and record my clues and schema.  Students are filling one out with me on their clipboards at the carpet.  You could even make an anchor chart you fill out by sharing the pen, but I like to use one of these to make them familiar with the format.  I use these all throughout the unit.


We then made these scary Miss Swamp craftivities!  Even though she is super scary, you can't help but love her!

miss nelson is missing craftivity


During my inference unit, I like to incorporate lots of different books and read alouds.  These are some of my all time favorites.  Chris Van Allsburg may be my favorite author.  His books are so mysterious and amazing!  So much inferring is required!

making inferences books

The following day, I start releasing a little more independence.  We, of course, repeat over and over what it means to make an inference using whole brain strategies.  We do another story and craftivity and then they participate in a cooperative group activity.  If time is an issue for you, you could have them do this during small group instruction or even during centers.  It would also be a great early finisher activity students could easily grab and work on.

I create 3 or 4 case files like the one below and fill each with graphic organizers and a book or passage.  


      

Students read the book or passage inside and complete the graphic organizer together.  The first time I do this unit, I like to use all picture books.  When I do this unit again, I might vary it with other books and passages.  The great thing about my inference pack is that you can use it over and over throughout the year.  There are too many activities to fit in one week.

I like to put a question in which they have to infer in the file.  It gives them a purpose and keeps them focused.  It's the "CASE" they have to solve!



Students wear these little name badges while working.  They fit in a name badge holder or you could just paper clip them to their shirts.


I always like to incorporate craftivities into my comprehension units.  We make pigs for Piggie Pie and teddy bears for Corduroy.  



making inferences piggie pie craftivity



making inferences corduroy craftivity

When we work on inferences again and throughout the year, we make flap books, mini-booklets. and add to our interactive notebooks.  I like to add variety to the different activities that we complete.  


At the end of each lesson, I try to do some sort of exit ticket to check their understanding.  I may read a short passage or story and ask them an inferring question about it.  They write their inference on a slip of paper and clip it up. Last year, I had a board for exit tickets.  Each student had a clip for their exit ticket.  It was quick and simple.  It's also really great for observations!

exit tickets

I have actually done some of these activities for observations, and my administrators always really love it!  I have gotten great scores because of the rigor, pacing, and variety of activities and assessments.  I hope this helps you out and makes teaching inferences easier and more fun for you and your students!  If you need any of these inference activities, click the pic below.



It's been a busy but fun weekend.  Fall has definitely been in the air!


I went with some teacher friends to the Nashville GoNoodle meet-up.  It was so fun!  Mr. Catman was there, so that was really cool to sees the man behind the mask!  Go Noodle has been a lifesaver in the classroom, so it was really fun to see the people behind such an amazing site.


I also went to the Strawberry Patch Barn Sale in Hartsville, Tennessee with my mom, sister, and friend.  So many fun booths and yummy food.  It definitely made me excited for fall!



I am joining the party a little late, but here is the tour of my new classroom!  I am actually team teaching kindergarten this year with my dear friend, Holly.  You may remember her-she used to blog here at The Lemonade Stand when this little blog first got started.   We have two classrooms connected by a small hallway.  My room is used for centers, math meeting, small groups, and for math whole group for my team.  I will blog more later about how that whole process works, but for today, here is a tour of my classroom.  I will post pics of the other classroom next week.

We went with Schoolgirl Style's Happy Rainbow collection to accent our kindergarten suite.  We were also inspired by Kindercraze's amazing classroom, so we combined the two themes.   They were both great because the color combinations matched perfectly with everything we already had.  All of our borders are Creative Teaching Press.



This is my classroom door.  I kept it simple so that I am not constantly changing it throughout the year.  The wreath is from TJ Maxx and the banner is from the Schoolgirl Style Happy Rainbow Collection.  The chalkboard above is from Hobby Lobby.



This is the view when you walk into the door.  


To the left of the door are the student cubbies.  Holly purchased these great black bins from Really Good Stuff.  They look so good!  All of the labels you see in my classroom are from the Happy Rainbow collection.  I love that they are editable so I was able to make everything I needed for my classroom.


I used her table signs to make this transportation sign by my door.  Student names are on the clothespins.


These are the cutest color signs!  I got them from A Perfect Blend.


As soon as you walk into the room, you go through the writing center area.  This is my classroom closet that I hung the pocket chart from.  There are clips on the chevron fabric for weekly tasks and anchor charts.  The buckets will hold different activities for the students to choose from.  The easel is from Ikea.


This shelf is on the other side of the writing center.  Holly painted it with chalkboard paint.  The kids love it!  They write their high frequency words and their names here for now.


This is my favorite part of the room.  The colors make me happy!  The chevron rug is from Rugs USA.  They have great prices on their rugs!


The rainbow banner is in the Happy Rainbow collection.   The calendar pieces on the whiteboard are from The First Grade Parade.  


Schoolgirl Style had this great banner on her blog, so I created my own.  It's one of my favorite pieces in the room. Her collection included fun digital papers so I used them to make these number posters.  I kept it low for students to be able to touch the posters.


The chair was originally white and I spray painted it.  The pink pillow was on clearance at Target last year.  I knew I needed that pillow!  


I laminated this scallop border and hot glued it to the SMART Board.  Don't worry!  It pops right off!   If you notice, I tried to do the scallop ombre border in a rainbow theme around the room.  It's the most beautiful border!  I ordered it early, because I knew it would sell out.  The Whole Brain posters are from Mrs. Jones' Creation Station.


I found this basket at Bargain Hunt for cheap.  It's so modern and fun!  Plus, it's the perfect size for anchor charts!


This is my desk area that I never visit.  I got the tassels on Jane and strung them on black ribbon.  They help hide those ugly metal desks.  

I suggest wrapping tables with fabric.  It's the perfect storage solution!


Kindercraze had this great sign over her desk and I knew we had to have them for our desks.  It was actually not too hard to make.


This is my guided reading area.  I have left plenty of space for the anchor charts we create.  The storage containers will hold all of my guided reading materials.  I haven't labeled them yet because I haven't quite figured out how I want it all organized for kindergarten.  I have hot glued everything to the walls because it's the only thing that will hold anything up.


That's a wooden table that we spray painted black.  The finish was just not real smooth, so we rolled it with chalkboard paint.  It looks great now!  Not sure how it will hold up, but I am hopeful that I can just continue to touch it up with paint.  The metal chairs were a find from Holly that we spray painted black. 


This is a mini-word wall for our high frequency words for my reading groups to refer to when we meet.  I will just clip the words as we go with a clothespin.



We had the curtains specially made by a former student's grandmother.  She's very talented and we always love her work.  The floor to ceiling length really elongates the room.


This is the view of the back of the room.  That's where you can find the classroom library and the technology center.


It's not the most organized library ever but it's working for now.  We just ran out of time and it's been okay.  We have students pull out one book bin and they can read from that bin during their center time. The posters are from A Year of Many Firsts.



These fun chalkboard pillows are from Ikea.  


This is our technology center, which is their favorite!


We have fabric all around our computer table.  That's where we hide all of our Saxon Phonics boxes.  


The cushions are from Amazon.  I ran out of time and didn't get the crate seats made, so I just flipped the crates over and got these cushions to put on top.  They are working out just fine!


This table was from Ikea.  It's perfect for them to sit their iPads on.


The trees were Kindercraze inspired.



This line that we use to hang student work is from Ikea, too.  I highly suggest buying these.  They are super durable!  You could even hang books from them.  They're that strong!


We painted everything black!  Including all of our shelves.  I love how it makes to bright colors pop!


The number posters are The First Grade Parade and the motivational posters are from Jamie Huerta.


In each of the monthly bags, we have a little gift for kids whose birthdays are that month.  


And these are our table caddies from Michaels.


And finally is our hallway display between the two rooms.  




We hung ribbon from binder clips to hang student work easily in the hallways.  

 

The silhouettes are from Schoolgirl Style.  I hope to do more in our classrooms, because they are beautiful!!!


Thank you so much for stopping by my classroom!  It wasn't completely finished, but it's working for us just fine.  I have a few more details to add at some point, but you know how crazy it is to change classrooms.  I can't wait to share the other classroom with you!  I also can't wait to tour everyone else's room today!  Head on over to Blog Hoppin' to check them out!