Blog Archives

Get Your Skeletons Out of the Closet!

Friday, September 13th is the perfect day to get out your Halloween skeletons out of the closet and ready for October! I decided to take my skeleton into my classroom this year to help remind my students about the importance of healthy eating choices!

“Skelly” the Skeleton

“Skelly” (as my students later named him/her) greeted my students, dressed up in an apple costume as they walked into the classroom and had a basket of apples waiting just for them along with a sign reminding them to chose their snacks wisely on and after Halloween. 🙂

The best thing about “Skelly” is that he’s completely posable! I tucked some wrapped rolls of paper towels and some blankets inside his apple costume to help plump him up a bit. He was super simple to set up and set the stage to engage my young learners in a fun day of learning about apples! He will be heading home with me to grace my front door step and to hand out some yummy treats to our neighborhood Trick-or-Treaters in October!

Click here to learn more about “Skelly” and to see some other ways you can get your skeletons out of the closet and ready for Halloween! 🙂

If you shop for your skeleton today, you can save up to 50% off on lots of skeletons and if you use the exclusive code SQUAD19 today, Friday, September 13th, 2019, you can get free shipping from Oriental Trading Company on any size order!

Cactus Lesson Ideas with FREE Printables!

Who doesn’t love a cute cactus themed activity? I created some super simple, super cute cactus themed activities that your students can enjoy anytime of year (even in the summer!) Each of these activities are great for individual practice, center practice, partner practice, or even small group practice!

Just collect a few supplies and you will be ready to go! These printables are FREE!! There are two additional printables that also round out this collection of cactus themed activities that are perfect for anytime of year!

Click here to get your printables and to see the list of simple supplies you’ll need to make these activities happen!

Making CVC Words

One of the skills we practice from the middle of Kindergarten to the end of the year is making words! I want to share one of the ways we practice making words.

I love when my students can become the letters in the words we are making! The Pocket Pinnies from Oriental Trading Company were the perfect tool to help them do that! I love that this activity can be used with any words and you can customize the letters that you need simply by writing them on 4 x 6 sized index cards.

It is super quick and easy to change out the letters as needed and with 30 Pocket Pinnies in a set, there are enough for an entire class to be involved in making words. Students can pair up in groups to create words from the letters they are given in addition to using this activity as a whole group activity.

Click here to see more about how we make words and get ready to make some words with your students!

Guided Reading Made Simple

I love anything that will help make my life easier and I stumbled upon two great ideas last school year that have helped make my Guided Reading groups run so much more smoothly!

2 ideas to simplify your Guided Reading time!Kristen's Kindergarten

Just changing up these two simple routines has bought me back 3-4 minutes of time and gives my students repeated alphabet practice along with a simple routine they can follow.  When my students see their material baskets out and ready by their whiteboards, they know which routine we will be practicing first and have everything they need ready to go!

In the same way, I used to spend 20 minutes or so every Friday afternoon getting magnetic letters ready for my students so we could make words, but after discovering this idea, my students do all the work and practice locating letters too!

Click here to read more about these tips that will buy you back precious Guided Reading minutes!

 

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Learning to Write Numbers

In Kindergarten, it’s important to have students practice writing and recognizing numbers as soon as you can.  There are so many other things that students will need to do in the first few weeks of school that involve reading, writing, and recognizing numbers!  With a few simple activities, your students (and mine) will be writing and recognizing numbers in no time!

I’m a big fan of anything that creates a tactile learning experience for my students because its another way to cement the learning in their brain.  In an age where so many things are learned through digital media, it is sometimes nice to just have your fingers interact with another surface. 🙂

I’ve got three super easy activities that your students can use to help them read, write, and recognize numbers.  You can start with the numbers 0-10 and add in 11-20 as you find your students mastering the first group of numbers.

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My students LOVE using each of these activities and its already given me great insight into who knows which numbers.  I sit with my students as they use these materials and am quickly able to find out which numbers they know and which ones they are still working on (check off those number id standards!).

You can read more here and get everything you’ll need to get these easy, fun, and tactile number making experiences going in your classroom!

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Back to School Literacy Centers

This year, somehow, I had the foresight to plan out my beginning of year literacy centers BEFORE I left for summer break.  I have no idea where I got that idea or when that idea popped into my head, but it was the best idea. Ever.

Imagine walking back into your room after summer break, and you have one less thing to do! #winning. Seriously.  I walked into my classroom and my literacy centers were ready to go.  Everything I needed to help my beginning of year Kinders learn the routines and procedures associated with learning the alphabet was there in a tub, ready to go.

I came up with 8 easy literacy centers that would help my students get into the grove of literacy centers on the fourth day of school.  Yes, the fourth day of school! That was another brilliant idea! Starting literacy centers as soon as I could.  Getting students in a routine as soon as we can gets them started on the road to independence (and frees you up to meet with small groups sooner!).  Anyway…

8 great literacy center ideas that take so little prep on your part, you will be amazed (and maybe even a little impressed with yourself!).

 

My students have been loving these activities this week (and half of them have asked when we are going to start “learning”)!! Find out all the details here and then get your literacy centers going!

These literacy center ideas are PERFECT for pulling back out later in the year to work with ELL students or other students who haven’t quite mastered all their letter names yet.  They are appropriate, fun, and help those learners who need a bit of an extra boost!

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Dr. Seuss Reading Stations

Anytime of year is a great time to learn about Dr. Seuss!  My Kindergarten students love hearing Dr. Seuss’ stories from day one, but it takes them a little bit to engage with rhyming, opposites, and writing on their own.  Once they are ready for that, I have 7 great stations that you can easily set up for a fun Dr. Seuss day or for small group or large group review!

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Each one of these stations took me less than 5 minutes to set up and create.  I rolled out some Red & White striped tablecloth just to set the scene and we had 7 activities ready to go!  Read all about them here!

 

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Cool Camouflage!!

You know I love all things Science (well almost all things!!) and helping my students explore the world around them is right up there!

I wanted to share this super simple idea that allows students to explore the idea of camouflage and helps them to understand why camouflage is so important to animals, insects, and sea creatures.  With some nature themed fabrics and some super cute critters, my students were able to explore why animals are camouflaged.

Cool Camouflage Pinterest

We spent about an hour exploring all the ways we could best camouflage all of these animals and insects.  It was very interesting to hear my students thinking about why they placed some of the animals and insects where they did to help hide them.  We had fun after this taking those same animals and insects outside to try to camouflage them there!

Click here to read more about our fun adventures in camouflage and to get everything you’ll need!

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Phenomenal Phonics

I don’t know about you, but I always seem to run out of fun activities to do during my small guided reading groups to keep my students engaged and learning! I’ve got 4 activities to share with you today that will keep your students engaged and LEARNING! These activities are great because they can be used in a small group and then introduced as part of an independent practice time.  I also love that more than one student can participate at a time!

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Each of these activities requires little to no prep work and can be used many times as your students skills grow and change.  Click here to check out these Phenomenal Phonics ideas!

 

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Community Helper Bags

I am SO excited to share these Community Helper Bags with you!! I’ve wanted to create them for awhile, but was just waiting for the ideas to come together in my mind so I could make them happen! I created 6 different bags and inside each one of them, I added items that would help my students experience a small part of that community helpers job.  Easy to Make Community Helper Bags

My students have had so much fun using these each day!  They ask for a different bag each time and I love that they are interacting with each other as they explore.

 

A few days ago, some of my students found out how the Chef depends on the Grocer to get the food they need to prepare it!  What a great connection.  Its fun to watch the student who chooses the Mail Carrier bag go on their delivery rounds each day around the classroom! Photo Apr 04, 9 24 19 AM2

This is a closer look at each item that’s in each of the Community Helper Bags!34Photo Apr 04, 2 47 04 PM5

In this photo, you can see one of my students borrowed the fish from the Grocer bag so he could feed it to the kitten! 🙂Photo Apr 09, 3 08 10 PM6Photo Apr 04, 2 52 02 PMPhoto Apr 04, 2 51 42 PM

My students are THRILLED to be able to use these easy to make Community Helper Bags!  You can read more about how I made them here! What other Community Helpers would you include?

 

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