Sunday, September 28, 2014

May We Trade? Game

It's almost October!  

Lisa's class is settling in with new friends and new routines!  Hard to believe the fall holidays are right around the corner.  Linda is still retired and working on updating our website and stores when she's not quilting!  

We've working on adding writing journals to our KinderLit books and just uploaded the new My Thanksgiving Book with a journal included.  If you purchased this book on TpT, please sign into your account and click on My Purchases.  Download the new version!  If you have purchased the book on our website, please send us a message through our Contact Us page and we'll make sure you receive the new version with the journal! 

May We Trade?

Looking for a fun game for reinforcing skills that involves all your students at the same time?  Play May We Trade? with your class!

  • A set of cards for whatever skill you want to review.  They can be letters, numbers, shapes, colors, words, anything! Have one card for each student.   
  • A bell or signal to get the attention of everyone.

  1. Review the rules with your students - such as walking only; staying in the designated area!  
  2. Pass out one card to each student. 
  3. The whole class walks around the area to find a friend.  They each tell the other what card they have.  "I have k."  "I have q."  Each can say "May we trade?"  They swap the cards and then move on to find new friends to swap with!  Now they need to know the new card.  The more times they swap, the more letters, numbers, colors, etc. they need to know!  
  4. Every once in a while, we like to ring our bell and everyone must freeze.  This calms the class down if they are getting too noisy and provides body control practice. 

To end the game, have the children sit with their cards on their carpet spot or in a circle. We collect the cards in alphabetical order, numerical order, or in random order.  

Use pairs of cards such as upper/lower case letters, number/set cards, rhyming pairs, etc.  Play the same way but at the end of the game, the children must find their partner to sit with.  Each pair shows their cards to the group and explains why their cards match.  

If you have an odd number of children, you can join in the fun!  If you have an even number, be the checker while walking around to listen to what the children are saying.  Later in the year when there is an odd number of children, we select a student to be the checker!  

Have fun with this game!  We use it all year long and the children never tire of it.  

Please leave us a comment and don't forget to follow us! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Meet the Teacher Team!

Meet the Teacher Team - A Linky Party

Lisa and I were invited to join a linky party by Created for Learning - another social media first for us!  Created for Learning is a store on Teachers Pay Teachers run by a married couple, Lisa and Jonathan.  

The stores included in this party are all owned and run by two individuals rather than one teacher.  Thanks for inviting us to this party!  Be sure to stop by their store and check out their products and share the link with other teachers at your school.  Also, stop by their blog and check out the other stores in this linky party! 

Here are the questions they emailed us and our answers.  

Where did you meet?
Lisa: You would think that two teachers, one from the state of Washington and one from New Jersey, would never meet up!  My husband and I moved our family from Tacoma to Phoenix, AZ, for a job opportunity for him back in 1985 and I started teaching preschool and first grade before ending up in kindergarten. 
Linda: I'm the one from NJ but I went to school in Delaware, lived in Massachusetts where I got married and then moved to Georgia.  After living there for one year, we moved to Phoenix for my husband's job (okay, ex-husband!).   

We found ourselves teaching in Phoenix next to each other in connecting rooms and realized that we had similar teaching styles and team-taught for years!

Who does what?
Lisa: When we first began KinderLit in 1999, we each did anything and everything!  Every afternoon while the students had "free choice" time, we'd stand in the doorway of our connecting rooms for "KinderLit time" and talked about what to do with our website, what books we should create next, and what conference should we go exhibit at.  
Linda: Now we seem to have more definitive roles.  Since I retired, I have much more time to work on KinderLit.  I do the bookkeeping, take care of the website and store, and create the pages for our new books on the computer.  Lisa is still teaching and comes up with new ideas for books, kid-tests them with her students, and designs the collage illustrations for the books.  We are a great pair - I'm the computer person and Lisa is the creative one!  Works great for us!
At our exhibitor's booth at the I Teach K Conference in Vegas several years ago

What do you enjoy most about your partnership?
Linda: When we first decided to go into business together, people told us not to, that we'd end up hating each other, and one would end up doing all the work.  Well, we've proved them wrong!  We compliment each other with our work styles and enjoy each other's company whenever we get together. I've moved to Newnan, GA, to be close to my family so it isn't too often that we see each other face to face.   
Lisa: I'm still in Phoenix but thanks to the internet, Face Time on our phones, and free long distance on our cells, we are able to sustain KinderLit!  We travel to state conferences to exhibit and have a grand time when we're together!  
Lisa and her new "friend" on Freemont St. in Vegas!

Do you have nicknames for each other?
Linda: No, we've never had nicknames for each other.  
Lisa: But many teachers at our school would mix us up and I'd be called Linda and she'd be called Lisa!  

What is your teaching theme song? (Either what song inspires your teaching or, totally pretend, what song would play when you're introduced, like at a sporting event?)
Lisa: We really don't have a teaching theme song but we will admit to singing "We're in the money" after our first national conference where we made a ton of money!  We knew it was the start of something big! 

If you could dress-up to go somewhere, what would you wear and where would you go?
Lisa: Neither one of us like to dress up.  I would rather put on shorts and a tank top and go out and kayak or ride my bike.  

This is as dressed up as I get!  I had to attend a district
dinner when I received the Lamp of Learning award.
Linda: Ride a bike????  NO WAY!  The last time I did that I ended up with a broken radius bone at the elbow!  Now that I'm retired, on the days I don't have grandchildren early in the morn, I do the best I can to just get dressed by 10 a.m.!  But my favorite place to go would be the beach!

Which do you prefer, cookies, brownies, or neither? 
Lisa: I definitely like cookies over brownies and love to bake!  
Linda:  And she's a fantastic baker!  I would rather have brownies since I'm the chocoholic!  (Secretly though I'd take both if I could!)

Name something you've created that you love using in your classroom. 
We started with 30 KinderLit books based on pieces of literature and have expanded with more than 60 and have developed our station activities into books for math and ready centers.  But we each have our favorite KinderLit book.  

Lisa: I love America's Symbols, especially now that we have added a writing journal to is.
My children notice the symbols everywhere after we have completed that book.  One little boy even noticed the Statute of Liberty in a Clifford book!  
Linda: I love the Three Little Pigs.  Each student's collaged pigs are so unique - no two look the same!  At our school many children spoke languages other than English but they all enjoyed this book.  Everyone can huff and puff no matter what language they speak!

Thanks for stopping by!  Stop in at the Created for Learning blog and check out the other stores on the linky party!   

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Welcome to the new KinderLit Blog...

We hope you like our new look!  We haven't been posting on our old blog lately, knowing that this one was in the works! Danielle from CrayonBox Learning has done a fantastic job creating this happy, colorful blog!  Be sure to check out her blog by clicking on her link on the right side of this page or her Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking here.

Please keep in mind that we're still learning about social media and this blogging thing!  We'll do our best to post ideas and photos of Lisa's classroom (and an occasional quilt from Linda!) while giving you some helpful tips.  
Did you know that we are also on Pinterest?  Yes, we did figure that one out!  We have our books and station activities on our KinderLit page where you can see the covers of most of our products.  We even have a board with sample pages from the inside of our literature-based KinderLit books.  Check us out and follow us on Pinterest!
 We're Learning To Write Our Names
Our students usually arrive on the first day without knowing the proper way to write their names or to form the letters correctly.  Lisa's class has begun to practice name writing at stations using the technique that Math Their Way uses for teaching number writing.  

Each child has a laminated card that Lisa made using purple and green markers for each letter with a black dot for the starting point of each letter.  The first stroke of the letter is written with the purple marker and the finishing stroke with the green one.  

The cards are kept in a pocket chart so the children can find them easily when they rotate to that station.  They also need a sheet of dry wax bakery paper which we buy at Sam's Club in a box of 500 and a vis-a-vis marker. 

The children slip their name cards under the top of the dry wax paper and trace their names 4 times while saying "Purple Green" for each letter.  They do not stop to change markers when the color of the letter changes! 

When they are finished, their card goes back in the pocket chart and they take their dry wax paper home with them.  

The children think they are doing magic!  But they really do learn to write their names with proper letter formation! 

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