Monthly Archives: September 2008

Apple Day Activities (day 1)

We began our study of apples by guessing what I had hidden in my Science Mystery Box.  After a few questions, the children guessed that I had an apple and so it began….

During our math/science time (it was brilliant of me to put them together in the same time block, because of all the overlap in concepts!), we each got the apple that we brought.  We then sorted them by color into rings that I have for making actual Venn Diagrams. I labeled the circles for my friends who are visual learners: 

We then took those apples and made them into a real graph:

We then moved our real graph into a picture graph:

We then wrote about our graph.  The thing I love most about graphing is that it allows me to meet the needs of so many kids at a time.  I can ask the lower students to tell me what the colors are, and to show which column is biggest or smallest.  I can ask the middle students to tell me how many of each apple there are and which are the most, least and equal.  The higher students are asked to tell me what I would get if I added two columns together or if I took one column away from the other.  

Tomorrow, we will taste apples and graph which ones we like the best.

Here is the big book we read:


And here are the read alouds for today:

Stay tuned…..all week long we will be doing other apple activities that I will share!

Kristen 🙂

Homework #2

Here are the cover sheets and page numbers for this week’s homework packets….

The activity pages again come from Best of Teacher’s Helper Math TEC3210  pgs. 13, 15, 17

The activity pages for the “hard” packet come from the October/November 2001 issue of Teachers’ Helper Magazine pgs. 39, 37, 53.

Kristen 🙂

Character Creations

I had a question about this and I knew I needed to come back and elaborate more on it…..

Each year in my room as I guess an addendum to our regular “store” we have a Character Creations store.  It’s basically like a dumbed down version of Build A Bear! 🙂

I begin by choosing a theme–I usually start with the GIngerbread Man, but you could use it for any character.  I use the veggie trays from the Dollar Tree (you know the ones that are circle shaped and you put dip in the middle and veggies around the outside?).  I cut out gingerbread people from rectangles of felt (usually the light brown color) and then add items that the kids can buy with their mini-economy money in the spaces in the veggie tray.  I cut apart sequin rick-rack, rainbow rick-rack, and yarn.  I also get pom-pom balls in different sizes and colors.  There are also wiggle eyes (some with eye lashes and some without).  I pretty much go to my craft closest and what ever is there gets put into the spaces in the veggie trays.

I then call the children over 2-3 at a time (a parent helper is great for this!) and they can use all or little of their mini-economy money to purchase items to decorate their gingerbread person.  I have a colleague who does this with her children and then they get to stuff them and make them into pillow people! 🙂  They are SOOOO cute!

I use that Aleene’s Tacky Glue to have the children glue on their objects so they will stay on–regular glue just doesn’t work.  Some years I have charged for the rental of the glue bottles or charged the children to use my glue–just to show them what their parents have to pay for at the Build A Bear! 🙂

It’s a fun time and we display them in the hallway. It’s a great lesson for Math–counting out money, making change, etc.

Can you think of any other characters this would be cute for?  I could see using it for the 3 Little Pigs and decorating their homes with different materials!

Kristen 🙂

Pattern Block Shapes

For each seasonal “time” in our year, I have my kids complete a pattern to display.  These go along with the Pattern Block Graph I created (under the Math tab and in the PDF files).  I have an apple, pumpkin, (the turkey is in progress!) scarecrow (on the PDF page) ,a snowman, snowflake, heart, shamrock, and I hope to make an egg or bunny, and get the flower posted soon too!

Basically, what I do with these is this: When I had 1/2 day, the kids would glue the pattern block shapes on one day and complete the graph the second day.  Now with Full Day, I think we could get them totally done in about 1 hour–they take a lot longer than you think! 🙂  The kids complete the shape and then count and graph the number of each shape that they used.  Sometimes, I only put out a few shapes, and leave the kdis to problem solve (What can we do if we don’t have any trapezoids?), so that each graph will turn out a little differently! Each table might also get different shapes and some of my more advanced children will notice and go and borrow from another table! 🙂

I like these because even though it looks like a “crafty project”, I can justify my students matching shapes, problem solving, and graphing.

I use those vegetable party trays to put the shapes on the tables.  Each little section gets its own shape.  I keep pattern block shapes in the trays all year long.  I get the veggie trays at the Dollar Tree! 🙂  I purchased a class set and we use them all the time for sorting and for when we have special create a character (gingerbread man) felt store days—much more on that later! 🙂

I am posting them here and will convert them to PDF and have them there under the letter P.

Kristen 🙂

Updated Behavior Card

I updated my behavior card–I didn’t realize that I posted the wrong one, until I needed more today!  It has been changed so that this is the one I made this summer for Full Day Kindergarten:

Here is it–Hope it helps!

Kristen 🙂

New Cube Grab and Record Sheet

Check out the math tab for a new Cube Grab and Record Sheet.  The directions are there on how to play the game, how to extend it and how to get it started. 

Kristen 🙂

Homework Packet #2

Here is the packet that I will send home this week (Monday the 8th).  I can’t scan the pages that go with it because they are all copyrighted (not by me), so I don’t want to break any laws–I will tell you what book they are from, so if you have it–you can copy them out of it and attach them. Also this week, I am dividing the homework into 2 separate packets (easy and hard).  Eventually, there will be a “medium” level packet as well.  These are the cover pages for the easy and hard levels.

pages 3, 5, 7 and 9 all come from the book, “The Best of Teacher’s Helper Math” TEC3210 by The Education Center.

pages 135, 137, 141, and 89 all come from the book, “The Best of Teacher’s Helper Math” TEC3210 by The Education Center.

I googled the title of the book so I could link it for you, but after 20+ minutes of searching for it–I can’t seem to locate it.  It’s only about 8 years old, so I can’t imagine it being out of print already.

Kristen 🙂

Literacy Stations at Work

I thought you might enjoy seeing my Literacy Work Stations in action, so I took some pictures of the children using what is currently in the stations.  I did learn one thing yesterday–I was so excited to add new things to several of the stations, that I did it all on one day!  Yikes!  Not one of my better teaching ideas!  I’m going to go back and revisit some of the newbies, but overall the children did pretty well considering what I threw at them (figuratively I mean!).

Here they are: 

The current activity is ABC Seas, a game I got through my Discovery Toys affiliation (toys/games anyone??).  I have some of my children matching letters, some are matching upper to upper case, some lower to lower, some upper to lowercase, and some are making the letter sounds.

This is an activity I just got from my Games Galore grant through Donors Choose and the WTSF!  It’s called the Find It! Tube and you search for different things in the tube and record what you’ve found.  This tube just so happens to have all the letters in them and so they are just finding them at this point.  There are lots of other things to be found, but we’re just concentrating on ABC’s for now. 

This is the Handwriting Work Station.  Pictured are the activities from the “Printing Letters” Instant Literacy Centers from Lakeshore.   I have the children practice one page, then erase, do another page, erase, etc. so that the book is always ready to go for the next person.  They are just so mystified by dry erase markers that they are entertained practicing letters for 25 minutes!

This is the Writing Work Station.  These students are getting familiar with the materials and I will soon ask them to write more formal things.  They are having fun writing letters to people at home, friends, and teachers.  There are lots of stamps, stencils, pencils, markers, etc. for them to enjoy.  All my paper comes from Teachers’ Treasures, so there is always an ample supply!

Computer Work Station has been iffy lately.  We got these great new computers, but the logins are not working correctly and on a consistent basis.  Out of 4 today, we were able to log in 2 of them.  The kids are getting familiar with at this point. I will have them progress to other sites as the year goes on. 

This is the Pocket Chart Work Station. We have a “butterfly” themed poem in it currently.  

First comes a butterfly and lays an egg,

Out comes a caterpillar with many legs, 

Oh, see the caterpillar spin and spin

A little chrysalis to sleep in,

Oh, oh, oh wait and see

Oh, oh, oh wait and see

Out of the chrysalis, my oh my

Out comes a Monarch butterfly!  (I inserted “monarch”, but you could just put “beautiful” if you wanted.)


This is sung to “Up on the Housetop”

The cards that you see on the top are cards for the children to use to help them hunt for specific things–in this case letters.  Eventually we will have some rhyming words, sight words, etc. to find. 

This is the Overhead Work Station.  The children use the pencil box full of letters and make words on the big screen.  Today they were spelling their names, names from the word wall, and then decided to put the magnets in ABC order. 

The increasingly popular Leap Pad Work Station

These are pictures of the Big Book Work Station.  I made envelopes for each big book we have read and put key vocabulary on the cards for the children to find in the books.  I also laminated a folder and put highlighter tape inside for the children to use and reuse when they find the words.  It will increase to more difficult tasks in the future. 

Library Work Station–I changed it around after this photo, so I will get another one soon.

Word Work Station.  Each of the students have an envelope with their name on it after they are the special helper.  These go into a plastic tub and the other children work to put their friends names back in the correct order after the letters have been cut apart.

I just added these puzzles to the Puzzles and Games Work Station.  They love them!  If you had a smaller space and combined ABC Work Station and Games and Puzzles these would work well to complement both stations at once.


I’ve added the PDF files up through the letter “s”.  I thought I had converted the rest of the files in the alphabet, but apparently not! 🙂  I will get to that soon.  Enjoy what’s there!


How are you enjoying what you see on my site so far?  Is there anything else you would like to see or know?


Kristen 🙂

Rainbow Words

I made these to go along with my Kinder. kids homework packets this week.  These are our “purple” and “blue” words on our Rainbow Words chart.


I assessed each of my kids yesterday and all but 7 (out of 24) know all 6 purple words.  Even those kids knew at least 1 of the 6 (most knew 2 or 3).  It’s been a fun way for the kids to learn their words this year! 🙂  


These are meant to be flash cards that you can use daily and cut apart to learn the words.  It is a combination of words from the Scott Foresman list and words that we thought were most important to learn before others. 

Kristen 🙂

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