Author Archives: Kristen Poindexter

Sight Word Practice

Raise your hand if your students need to learn sight words each year!! Mine do and practicing them can get boring…quickly, so I decided to find a way to engage my students in the learning and practicing of the sight words!

Hands-On Sight Word Practice

I used truly active learning to engage my students in the learning of sight words! We used these three fun activities to amp up our learning (and to review) sight words.  Once these activities were introduced, I kept them out so my students could keep enjoying them!

Click here to read more about the fun we had (and are STILL having!)

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Fun on the Farm

I’m so excited to share this post with you!! Its an idea I’ve had in my head for months and I am so thrilled to finally have been able to execute it!

As part of the unit we are in, we learn about where our food comes from and it gives us a chance to learn more about the habitat of the farm.

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We put on a very simple “production” for the other 4 Kindergarten classes and the Farm Backdrop and Stand-Up Cow (Maggie Moo as we call her!) all came from Oriental Trading!

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Click here to read more about our fun on the farm!!

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Trivia Night

For the last 2 years, the AMAZING PTO at my school has hosted a fun Trivia Night to raise money for our school.  With the profits of each Trivia Night, the PTO is able to do special things for the teachers and staff in our building!  Last year, they funded 10 teacher grants and installed a brand new playground for our students to play on!

A local sportscaster donated his MC services for the night and that made it super fun and totally HILARIOUS!!

With a little help from my friends at Oriental Trading, we were able to make the night SUPER fun and each guest was able to take home some special treats!

When we arrived, there were these cute treat bags and black glasses for each of us to take home (or snack on throughout the night!!)

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Everyone had fun wearing the glasses to help them be “smarter” during some tough rounds of trivia (and trust me when I say we needed all the smart we could get!!)

We had 8 rounds of trivia that were each themed (movies of the 80’s, famous houses, celebrity eyes, etc.).  During each round, each table of 8 worked together to answer the questions.

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There were lots of teachers there and MANY of our fabulous parents!  Unfortunately, because the venue was so dark, most of my pictures didn’t turn out so well, but I think you can tell we had a great time from those that did! 🙂

If your table was great at trivia (mine was not!), and you won a round, during the next round, your table got to host the Candy Buffet!! Extra cellophane bags were provided with the candy buffet, so you could stock up on candy before it left your table.

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After the Candy Buffet had made the rounds, pizza showed up (sponsored by a parent) and after that Jack’s Donuts!! Add that to the taco bar that was available for dinner and we were stuffed by the time the night was over!

After 8 long rounds of trivia, the winning table was awarded $250 (which was donated back to the PTO) and they got to take home the coveted Trophy of Awesome!

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Our trivia night was very successful and we surpassed the $9,000 goal easily! Many thanks to Oriental Trading for their help in supporting my school! We had SO much fun and we can’t wait to do it again next year. 🙂

 

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Seasonal Changes

With the change in seasons this week, I decided to share some activities with my kiddos that help them understand that there are different changes in each of the different seasons.  These are all great activities that I can get out at the beginning of each new season and my students can learn new information each time!

We used the Earth Science File Folder Games, the Season Readers, and Create a Seasonal scene sticker activities from Oriental Trading to help us learn about and document our learning of the seasons!

 

My students ABSOLUTELY loved changing out the clothing options on the weather dog; one of the game options that is included in the Earth Science File Folder games.

Want to read more? Click here and find out how you can get your own seasonal supplies to enhance your students’ learning of the seasons!

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Kindness is Cool!

I’m always encouraging my students to be kind to each other.  We chant “Kindness is Cool!” as part of our morning meeting each day.  My students and I wanted to do something to help other students in our school remember that “Kindness is Cool!”, so that they would keep being kind to others as well.  We created the idea of kindness hearts.  Each time we see someone doing a kind thing for another person, we give them a heart.  These hearts are to help them remember how nice it felt to do a kind thing for another person.  We also symbolically wound yarn around our hearts (kind of like a dream catcher), so that the kindness would get “stuck” in the heart and would help the recipient remember that feeling and encourage others to be kind as well.

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We are currently working on making enough for the school, so that we can give some to each teacher to give out when they see a student or adult doing a kind thing for someone else.  We will also make some extras so that there are plenty in the front office to be passed out by all!!

Click here to read more about how to make your own Kindness hearts!

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Snowflake Science

You all know how near and dear to my heart teaching science to my Kindergarten students is! One of my favorite science concepts to share with my students is weather!  If I weren’t a Kindergarten teacher, I would have been a meteorologist.  I’ve always loved the weather and I’ve taken several classes in high school and college just for my own knowledge.  It is neat to me to understand how weather works and how we can tell what the weather is going to be like just by understanding what the sky is telling us!

In Indiana (where I live!), we have a saying…”Wait 5 minutes and the weather will change!”  It is SO true!  So a few days ago, we were going about our day and when we looked out the window, the weather had gone from a wonderful sunny winter day, to snow!!

At the start of every winter, I get out my winter kit, so that when we get a snow happening while we are at school, we just pull it out and go!  We do get outside to collect snowflakes on black paper, and then we come in and have some fun creating our own:

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I got a class set of these fingerprint snowflake kits from Oriental Trading, just so we could talk about how each snowflake is unique, just like each and every one of us!  We also created our own snowflakes out of pipe cleaners and beads, and we sorted some sparkly snowflakes!  Click here to read more about our snowflake science fun!

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Kwik Stix Thin Stix

Has this ever happened to you?

“Mom!! I just remembered I have a Science project due tomorrow at school!!”

Of course it’s a Sunday evening and it’s going on 9:00. 🙂

This happened a few weeks ago at my house and because I’m a teacher, I always have at least one sheet of poster board and a tri-fold display board on hand. So, we grabbed a tri-fold display board and the new Kwik Stix Thin Stix and got to work. 

The thin size of the Kwik Stix Thin Stix made it SUPER easy for my son to trace over his penciled in words and made a great looking display board in under 10 minutes!! 

For those of you who don’t know the wonders of Kwik Stix Thin Stix, here are some of the reasons my students and I love using them! Kwik Stix are solid tempera paint that dries in 90 seconds!! The Thin Stix allow you to paint with finer detail with no messy paint cups or brushes to clean up after. We use them in our Art center every day and because they last for a long time, my students can always find them ready to use!

Kwik Stix are AP certified, meaning that they are non-toxic and safe for young children. We’ve used them on paper, cardstock, wood, canvas, cardboard, and lots of other places too!! I took a 12 pack of Kwik Stix Thin Stix and some balsa wood picture frames to my 8  year old niece to decorate for her mommy while she was in the hospital recently, and she had a BLAST coloring away right in the hospital room!  No water was needed, and she carefully colored the frames in one color and then layered other colors over the top to draw her scene!

We used the 12 pack of classic colors here, but Kwik Stix Thin Stix are also available in 6 packs of basic, neon, and metallic, and in a 24 pack which includes 12 assorted, 6 neon, and 6 metallic Stix. The 24 pack is a classroom favorite in my room! 

In under 20 minutes we had my sons Science project finished and ready to go with him to school the next morning–no waiting overnight for drying time either!! 

Because Kwik Stix Thin Stix come in a variety of colors, it was easy to make an eye catching display in minutes!! 

 

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Color your own 3D Community

At the beginning of the school year, I introduced Ozobots to my students.  We’ve been having fun exploring all the ways that we can use different colors to tell them what to do.  I noticed that my students were losing interest in using them, so I decided to introduce an Ozobot community where the Ozobots could drive up and down the streets past different community buildings:

For extra fun, we put on our community helper vests so we could pretend to be a part of this community! 🙂  Click here to read more about how we made our community!

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Making Shapes

One skill that I think my students can always work on is to make shapes from other shapes and to explore using shapes in different ways.  We used Giant Pattern Blocks (STILL a class favorite!!), Shape Bean Bags, Easy Stick Blocks, and Tangrams to explore making shapes form other shapes.  My kiddos were and are such a fan of these activities!

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Check out our shape building fun here!!

 

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TPT Sale

I just love when TPT throws a sale!! I have my cart all stocked up with clip art to help me create some new things for my students!  We are easing ourselves into using a more Blended Learning approach in my classroom, so many of the clip art packs that I’m purchasing during this sale will help me create some cool BL things online for my kiddos.

Here’s the info you’ll need for the sale:

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Here are a few of my most favorite December-ish products. 🙂

The brown Gingerbread Man unit that you see near the top on the right is my ABSOLUTE favorite!! We spend 2 weeks chasing the Gingerbread Man all over the world, learning about different celebrations in various countries.  Almost everything you need to get started is included (you just need to provide a few consumables).  We will start our chase tomorrow and keep hunting down that Gingerbread Man for the next 12 days. 🙂

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