Monday, April 23, 2012

Making Ice Cream

Ok, you know the song...
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! Well, I did exactly that - I screamed with giddy joy when I made my first batch of ice cream. How did I do it you might ask - well it was super easy. I followed directions from Disney's Family Fun website.

First, I gathered my materials. A half gallon of half & half ($2.50), a box of Morton Ice Cream Salt (rock salt) ($1.50), sugar, vanilla, and freezer bags (1 quart and 1 gallon).

Next, I filled the small baggie with:
1 Cup of half and half
2 T. sugar
1/2 t. vanilla

Squeeze out air, and seal tight.

In the gallon bag, fill it 1/2 full of ice and about a 1/2 cup of salt. Put the sealed milk-bag inside with the ice/salt mixture and seal the gallon bag. Shake 5 minutes, rinse bag of ice-cream under cold water to remove salt, eat and enjoy!

My teacher's aid and I made several of these baggies for my 32 kindergartners. My class sat in a big circle and we took turns shaking and passing the bags around for 5-8 minutes ... I wasn't counting.  Then I rinsed the bags off under cool water, and cut a corner from the baggie and squeezed out ice cream into little paper portion cups. There was plenty to go around. Kids oohed and ahhed at how yummy it was. It was super fun. We enjoyed this activity as an end to our farm unit in which we learned about how cows provide many things for people (one of which is ICE CREAM). I love being able to do things with the kids that hopefully they'll remember for a long time!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gotta have it! Linky Party

Little Miss Glamour Goes to Kindergarten is hosting a linky party. It's been going on for a while, but I just found it. If you had to pick 5 things to put in your classroom when starting fresh and new, what are your must haves? Here are mine.
To play along just {right click} copy the picture below, paste it {in Microsoft Word} and add a text box over top.  Save it as a picture and upload it to your blog.  Then go to Kristin's page here with the link and add it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Farm Animal Reports

Hello, or should I say, "Howdy!" I've been wrapped up in a farm unit - and have been having so much fun. I've been reading lots of farm books to my students over the past 3 weeks (as part of my Houghton Mifflin required curriculum). It's one of the best units I teach because the students LOVE animals and there is so much to learn about animals. The books I've read over and over are: Mouse's Birthday and Cows in the Kitchen. They are super cute stories and there are lots of opportunities for students to chime in and say the animal sounds.

In the afternoons we have ELD or English Language Development. My class has been working on learning the difference between singular and plural and how that applies to animals. We created this chart:

We practiced naming animals and learned what their babies are called. We worked on describing them using the sentence frame: A ____ has ____ legs. We also matched the animals' pictures with word cards. These great pictures are from my ELL department. 

Later during writing we worked on a mini-animal report. We began by doing an interactive writing lesson (that means students and I took turns writing. I wanted them to work on using complete sentences using these sentence frames: 
I know about __________.
They have __________. 
They can ___________.

We did cows together, then I modeled how to use the sentence frames with "pigs." After that I sent students out to begin on their own. 

After 3 days of work there were some amazing animal reports!

This is what the cover of our books look like. I have no idea where the cover art came from. Probably a Mailbox magazine or something similar.

I know about cows. They have udders. They can eat. Their babies are called calfs. 
You can make milk out of cows. Cows make cheese. Cows make a lot of things. Cows live on a farm. 

I know about ponies. They have legs. They have hay. They can neigh.

I know about pigs. They have bacon. They can roll in mud. And they say "oink."

I know about horses. They have foals. They can neigh. They can run. They can have tails. 

I know about hens. They have beaks. They can lay eggs. Their babies name is a chick. My favorite animal is a hen.

I know about butterflies. They have wings. They can fly.

I know about pigs. They have piglets. They can walk.
I was very proud of my students and they were too. My high students continued on to write more beyond the required sentence frames. My average and struggling students were able to use the frames and sound out the missing words they needed to complete their sentences. You might also notice that we did a mini-lesson on labeling our pictures (a diagram of sorts). Many students are moving on to writing about other animals. Right now about 70% of the class is done with their first report and were able to do this activity independently. The remaining students will need to work in a small group to be able to complete this as they are struggling readers and need more assistance. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Kindergarten Roundup

Our school is doing an evening Kindergarten Roundup event. During the event the Kindergarten teachers (that's me!) will have to give a little speech. Many of our parents speak other languages so I added some visuals to our presentation in a powerpoint show. I want to share it with other teachers just in case you want to use it/change it. This is in draft form - you'll have to insert teacher pics on the second slide, and change the information to fit your school's specific needs. I'm also not sure about the Russian translation on the front page - but you could just delete it if it didn't fit the needs of your population. Click Here for the free powerpoint download.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Down on the Farm

I just made a farm book for my students to practice the sight words "the" and "said." I used to make the pages. Here is a sample from the book. Download it free here.