Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Quick Line Order Procedure!

A Quick Line Order Procedure!

Whenever I place my students in line order; it seems to lessen cutting and saving spots.  I write the exact list down on paper and students have to follow the line format. I form LINE 1 and LINE 2.  Students line up with the same classmates in front and in back of them for the entire year.  Please feel to make necessary adjustments if needed. 

Let’s hypothetically say Mary (LINE 1) and Steve (LINE 2) are the line leaders this week and Jill and Pete are behind them.  Mary and Steve hold the line leader spot until the following Monday morning.  Mary and Steve now go to the back of the line and Jill and Pete are now the line leaders for the week.  All students get a chance to be the line leader for the week and formations rotate in this manner the entire year.

If a student has to leave the line for any reason, they go right back to their space.  This has saved arguing, cutting as well as saving spots.  I hope you enjoyed this line order tip!

Now if you really want to throw a curveball, ask the class to line up in a circle!  If they line up in a circle, then who is first?  Who is last? 



Thursday, March 21, 2013

Probability Lesson


I taught a fun math lesson in my class recently.  We were learning about probability and I used colored blocks to show the differences with the terms likely, unlikely, equally likely, certain, or impossible.

I began the lesson by talking about probability, predictions and outcomes.  I provided a few examples of each and the students seemed to grasp the varying definitions.

Next, I placed one green and one yellow block into a bag and informed the class that I would have ten draws.  The students had to make a prediction of which color would be pulled more often… or would the results be the same?  They wrote their predictions on their dry erase boards (one of my favorite teaching tools).  It ended 6-4 in favor of green.  The students comprehended that the chances were still equally likely of either color being pulled.

In addition, I placed two green blocks and one yellow block in the bag and I did another ten draws.  The results pretty much held true to form.

Finally, I placed nine green blocks and one yellow block into the bag and the whole class drew this time.  Odds had it that the entire class pulled green.  They knew that the odds of green getting pulled were roughly 1/10, therefore; three yellow blocks should be drawn. 

The lesson was hands on and the entire class was involved.   The excitement level was high and learning was taking place.  

Monday, March 18, 2013

Daily Morning Worksheet Student Samples


I am providing a few samples of how my students answer questions on my Daily Morning Worksheets. These common core aligned worksheets are designed to be used in grades 3-5. They include language arts, math, puzzles, grammar, synonyms, antonyms, and geography questions.  The creativity behind the worksheets stemmed from years of daily morning work questions that I would make up on my own.  The point of the critical thinking sections is to challenge students' thinking and not to come up with one "correct" answer. The class discussion that occurs is the most important part of these exercises. This built in differentiation leads to very high levels of class participation!

Students are expected to complete the sheets in about ten-fifteen minutes every morning.  In this timeframe, students will use dictionaries, thesauruses', atlases, learned math and vocabulary skills, critical thinking, and the understanding behind solving patterns. We review the answers as a class.

My students have honed their skills by using their resources every day. I taught my students how to use dictionaries, atlases, thesauruses, index, glossaries, etc., earlier in the year.  These reference materials stay on the students’ desks all year long for easy accessibility.

I will provide more examples of Daily Morning Worksheets in the coming weeks.  If you are interested in trying this out in your own classroom, here is the link to my free sample on TPT.

Thank you,


Student Sample 1

Student Sample 2

Sunday, March 10, 2013

All in the Family

Hi everyone!  I am Christina Killeen.  I am Sean's wife and I am a Kindergarten teacher in the same school district as my husband.  In fact, we were set up on a blind date through a mutual friend that also works with us!  So I guess you could say that we really are keeping it "all in the family!"

I have recently begun to collaborate with my husband on Kindergarten products for his TPT store.  I am enjoying the creative process, the challenge of creating common core aligned materials that are fun and engaging, and juggling my roles of wife, mother, full-time teacher, and collaborator.

Here is a freebie from my St. Patrick's Day Pack.  Hope you enjoy!

You can check you the rest of the pack here.  St. Patrick's Day Kindergarten Pack

Friday, January 4, 2013

Figurative Language Snowman Activity

I am posting today about some student samples from our figurative language snowman activity.  This was a project we did in class just before winter break, but it could be a great activity to do as you transition back into the swing of things. 
The students were given strips of similes and metaphors and they were asked to construct a figurative language snowman.  The sentence strips were passed out at random so each snowman would look differently.  Students were asked to place the strips in order from the head to the bottom and draw a picture of their snowman. 
Next, I brought in tangible items to help bring the snowmen to life.  Students had access to circular cardboard, pipe cleaners, wiggly eyes, cotton balls, fabric, felt scraps, construction paper, buttons, feathers, yarn, etc.  Students used these materials to build a three dimensional version of the drawing they previously made.
Finally, students were given two options to write about their snowman.   Students could write about the actual construction of their snowman in a step-by-step process or they could write about their snowman coming to life.  The students had a great time making their snowman and it was a fun way to reinforce the figurative language concepts we have been working hard to develop all year.
If you are interested in this activity, then check out my TPT store.  The snowman activity is sold separately or in my winter figurative language bundle.

Thank you,

                                                                 Student Sample 1
  Student Sample 2