Thursday, October 18, 2012

Apple Pie a la Whoa!

Boy, do my Little Learners love apples!  They enjoyed every moment of our apple unit.  As the culminating activity for our unit, we baked an Apple Crumb Pie.  My Little Learners were beyond excited about cooking their own treats!  Enjoy the peek at our hands-on fun!

My VERY happy helpers!!



A super easy recipe that is super yummy!

Just a little cinnamon, sugar, flour, spices and apples.  
Add a little mix of butter, sugar, and flour on the top!

Hooray for Apple Crumb Pie!

Peace, Love & Apple Crumb Pie!

Jessica Purtell

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Apples, Apples, Apples!

What a wonderful start to Fall!  My Little Learners and I have spent time investigating, graphing, tasting, writing, and learning all about different types of apples.  In our first week of our Apple unit, students participated in a Five Senses, Survey, Graphing, and writing activities.

Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, & Granny Smiths
Let the tasting begin!

Initially, we only tasted the Red Delicious apples.  We brainstormed apple descriptions using our Five Senses.  Students chose they favorite adjectives and created the below activity. 

Students crunched and munched on all three types of apples.  They then decided which apple was their personal favorite.  They received a colored apple to indicate their favorite and used them to create a large class graph.

Students used the information from our class graph to practice their Same, More, & Fewer math skills on the below graphic organizer.

Our apple discovery even branched out into the uses, parts, and life cycle of an apple!

Would the activity really be complete without a little arts integration?  Students were shown various artist renditions of apple orchards.  They then completed their own masterpieces using drawing chalk.  I'm so proud of my Little Learners' creativity!

Peace, Love & Apples!

Jessica Purtell

Saturday, September 15, 2012

It's Jazz, Baby...

What an incredible week I had with my Little Learners!  I always enjoy getting them involved with the arts.  Their little faces light up when they dance, sing, paint, etc...  However, the very best part of arts integration is seeing their brains and hearts open up to completely new and exciting ideas.  My Little Learners and I jumped into the world of Jazz Baby this week.  This fun piece of fiction gets children moving and grooving while learning about various literary elements and instruments.

Throughout the week, we did a variety of activities with Jazz Baby.  These activities included retelling and webbing of key details and writing.  Students also experienced early and modern Jazz music throughout their literacy centers.  By the end of the week, I felt that students were able to tackle Jazz in a more critical way.  After listening and internalizing some early Jazz, we discussed the feelings that it emotes.

Some of my Little Learners "feeling it"!

Students assisted in creating a chart of our jazzy feelings.

After creating our chart, we began talking about what colors might express these particular feelings.   One of my students commented that Jazz made him feel smooth, and purple was a smooth, calm, and cool color.  Students viewed samples of various paintings depicting jazz music.  They were then asked to paint the emotional effect that the music had on them.  Their work was out of sight!

Some of the masterpieces!

I was so unbelievably proud of my Little Learners!  Their creativity knows no bounds!

Peace & Love
Jessica Purtell

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Popping Good Time!

 After last week's Primary Color science experiment, my smarty-pants Little Learners are now completely fascinated with all things science!  We have been discussing Scientific Method and the use of various science tools.  Their eyes completely lit up after discovering that they could use there own five senses as science tools.  To reinforce their recently acquired knowledge of the five senses, I chose to incorporate their blossoming love for science with another one of their loves... snacks!  Students worked together to identify characteristics of popcorn by using their five senses.  We made a list for each one of the senses and each student chose which word they liked best.  Students then wrote the word next to the correct sense and drew a picture of the matching body part.  My Little Learners found it exciting, educational, and extremely yummy!

 Whole Group Five Senses Popcorn Anchor Chart

 My proud Little Scientists!

A happy face and a full belly!

There's nothing better than seeing my Little Learners get so excited about new challenges!

Peace & Love

Jessica Purtell

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Color me Kindergarten!

The 2012-2013 school year is off with a bang!  What an incredibly exciting (and BUSY!) year it has been already!  My lovely Little Learners have been with me for a few weeks now.  Thus far, the start of the year has gone wonderfully, minus a few unplanned vacation days courtesy of Tropical Storm Isaac.  

We started this year with a review of some of the basics, including color words.  Our journey into the land of  color included poems, arts activities, and a simple science project.  These activities were a hit, especially our science project!  Here's a glimpse into our fun:

 Boy did they enjoy Rainbow Hair!  It allowed my students to recognize and distinguish between color words, while having quite a giggle about the crazy 'do on our little friends!
 Students practiced sorting and placing the Rainbow Colors correctly based on ROYGBV!
 We even had crazy Rainbow Hair Headbands on Friday!  It was great to see my Little Learners enjoying the chance to be a little different than others in the school.  Different is cool!
 Each and every name is beautiful on its own... but a little Rainbow really makes them pop!  
Students enjoyed working together tearing, gluing, and sorting colors to create their name plates (an excellent way to assess fine motor skills!)
 What a super simple science project!  After discussing and charting what it takes to be a scientist, we placed primary food coloring in water.  Students then predicted the possible changes that could occur when adding a second color to each cup.  They OOHH-ed and AAHH-ed as the two colors mixed into a brand new color!  
 All of the student predictions were correct!
 Since we had already made our Rainbow name plates, the students continued to work on their names and the alphabet with a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom activity.  (A must read for any Little Learner!)
 We worked on reading, retelling, and discussing our story.  Students then counted the letters in their own names and created their own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom palm trees!  Instead of coconuts, we used pom poms.  Students distinguished lowercase from uppercase letters by using small and large pom poms.

What a joy it has been having my Little Learners for the last few weeks!
I can't wait for all of the fun that is coming our way!

Peace & Love,
Jessica Purtell 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's going to be a Polka Dot-tastic school year!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting this year's bunch of bright Little Learners!  I cannot begin to contain my excitement!  Not only were they cute as a button, but were polite, excited, and super smart!  This year for our Meet The Teacher event, the Kindergarten team decided to welcome our new students with balloons.  We had previously seen the idea on Pinterest.  What a hit!  Their eyes lit up when they came into the room!  There was very little fear and apprehension since they were so excited by the environment.  It is definitely something I plan to do each and every school year.  Here's a little peek into our room...

Each Polka Dot balloon is tied down by a rolled poster board, which is their homework for the first week.  These "All About Me" Posters are a great way to get to know students, while helping them feel included and comfortable.  Two student posters will be displayed as Students of the Month throughout the year.

I love this corner of the reading area!  The Polka Dot lanterns were given to me by my Co-Chair Mrs. Rosenblit to use this year.  You got to love teachers!  Always sharing! 

I chose to display class birthdays on my office door.
 The Polka Dot Birthday Posters are available at my Tpt store!

Pardon the table clutter in my Guided Reading area.  I was frantically getting ready for my Little Learners to come!  Hanging are the brightly colored Pom Poms that I made from a Pinterest tutorial.  The bulletin board will be used for monthly themes, writing, etc...  
The color word posters are from my Polka Dot Classroom Signs & Labels set.  Also displayed is my Reading Strategy Posters: Building a Successful Reader set.  
Both are also available on Tpt.

I am so excited to begin the journey with my Little Learners on Monday!

Peace & Love,
Jessica Purtell

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom... Guess who donated to our room!

I was beyond blessed to have one of my Donors Choose projects fully funded by Starbucks!  My lucky little learners will now have the pleasure of using Literature-Based Learning Centers and three new sets of Sight Word Readers in fiction and nonfiction.  I look forward to seeing their brains growing while learning to love reading!  Thanks again Starbucks!  You're yummy lattes only last for a little while, but this gift  will give my little learners something they will have forever!

Literature-Based Learning Centers

Our new Literature-Based Learning Centers
Lakeshore Nonfiction Sight-Word Readers
Their brains will grown leaps and bounds with our new Nonfiction Sight Word Readers

Lakeshore Fiction Sight-Word Readers
Their imaginations will run wild with our new Fiction Sight Word Readers

Monday, August 6, 2012

Welcome to a world of Polka Dots!

One of the things that I love about my profession is the creativity and craftiness of my fellow teachers.  I am always impressed with the things they come up with!  I am blessed to have a particularly crafty girl just a few doors down from mine.  I swear, her imagination knows no bounds!  Instead of the same old Welcome sign hanging on the door, she crafted a wreath that matched her classroom theme.  Thanks for the inspiration Rachelle!

Just the beginning....

A little personal touch... 

 And presto!

Peace & Love,
Jessica Purtell

Kindergarten - English Language Arts, Math, Reading -; ?>