Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pumpkin Reader

Here is a quick freebie!
My Big Orange Pumpkin reader is a cute activity to go along with your pumpkin unit. We are learning how to follow along with our "reading finger" and reading the sight words. Grab it here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Apple Week!

I always do an apple theme in September. Who doesn't? This year I tried a few new ideas, including some of my common core training. We had a pretty successful week, so I thought I would share some of these activities:

The lowercase vowels are already on the tree. Students have to match the capital vowels. 

I begin the lesson with How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro. Once the story is done I cut an apple open sideways so students can see the star inside the apple. They are always amazed. We talk about how a seed can grow into a big tree.

We begin by reading The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons.This activity is done by tearing construction paper to make the leaves, flowers and apples on the tree. They don't get any scissors until it is time to label the picture.

Apple Mobile
I don't have a digital copy of this, but will try to get one soon. Students get to pick the color of their apple. We cut the pieces apart and I help them glue the pieces on the string. The funny part of this activity, and it never fails, is that the students don't understand what we are making until it's done. Then they LOVE it! We take turns going around the room asking each other "Did YOU eat my apple?" It results in lots of giggling. 

 Apple tasting! Yum! We try a slice of a yellow, green and red apple and graph which ones we liked the best!
Common Core Apple Math
 This is an activity from one of my supplement math books. We do counting, number identification, addition and subtraction with this activity. It is a great activity to differentiate for small groups.

Other activities that we do for apple week is reading 10 Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss. I give each child a photograph of themselves and we glue apples (the cut apart ones from Apple Tasting Graphing) on top of our heads! They get the same number of apples as letters in their names. Then we write the letters of their names on their apples. It's very cute.

We do an Apple Investigation Day also. We measure and weigh our apples. We stamp it and write the color word. 

The kids love apple week because EVERYONE LOVES APPLES!

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I have been teaching Kindergarten for 8 years now. (Holy cow!!! 8 years!!) Anyway, the Common Core standards are having me teach a brand new shape this year. And, while I don't mind, it is not easy finding resources for this particular shape. I am talking about.......the HEXAGON! Yes, the shape that looks like an octagon, but isn't. Sure, the kids all know the octagon. They love the octagon. And here I am with the hexagon. And I have 40 little eyeballs looking at me like, "hey, lady, that's an octagon....not whatever you said." So we count the sides. We count the corners. We compare to an octagon. Then they get it.....finally. And we do a tasty craft. And once they do this craft, they LOVE the hexagon. It's called the Honeycomb Hexagon and another K teacher at my school came up with it.

We used Honeycombs cereal and it was yummy! Honeycombs go on all 6 corners and one in the middle (for the bumble bees, my students told me). Grab the activity sheet here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Number Book

Common Core has made me a better math teacher. It gave me the direction I needed to supplement my current math curriculum in a way that develops the number sense my Kinders need. We do a lot of activities each day with numbers. I want my students to see a number in many ways. Use this chart from on my Math Focus Wall. It works well to introduce a letter, review, and preview next weeks letter.
 But, I also wanted my kids to "see" the numbers for what they are. I am sharing a project that we are working on right now. It is called My Numbers Book and we take it a page at a time.
As you can see, this is a booklet filled with blank pages. Just copy paper stapled together. I used a die cut for the numbers. It's more visually appealing to my Kinders than writing it. Students need to think about the number direction before gluing it into their book. They shouldn't glue the number in backward. Then we think about the number. I give each student a blank 10 frame. They glue the 10 frame into their book. They color the dots on the 10 frame. Then we think of ways to make the number with our fingers. We do this throughout the day, so this is nothing new. But, we do have to think about how to write that down. I model the writing and students copy it. We think of all the ways we can make the number. When we think we have them all we get to draw pictures. My student in this picture made 2 balloons. I do this in a small group setting. The student who made the book in this picture is a Transitional Kindergarten student and is only 4 years old. Amazing how critical thinking skills can happen at such a young age. :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Alphabet Fun Crafts!

As Kindergarten teachers know, getting the kids to work on one letter a week can be...well....boring. We like to spice it up with more than just handouts. We do activities like Highlight a Letter where they get to use a highlighter to color letters. We like to make a snack with foods that start with the letter of the week. We like to make art with the letter of the week. And we like to do the Alphabet Crafts each week. Here is what they look like:
This is the old version of what I using, but it shows the work very well. Each week we do a page like this with a different letter and material. Some of the activities have food and some don't. Of course, the food ones are the most fun. If you would like to do something like this with your kinders, GRAB IT HERE


Monday, September 9, 2013

Sight Word Complete List

It dawned on me, once I saw that someone had pinned an old sight word checklist I made, that I should upload the new one. As one of my grade level team teachers say "it's the pretty one." Haha. So, here you go, the "Pretty Sight Word List."
This is a complete checklist of ALL the Kindergarten words. I teach them by lists (which is part of my Sight Words Unit on TpT) and these words are organized by the lists. Grab the checklist .
Our Kindergarten classes like to challenge each other to who can read the most words. We usually do this at Progress Report Period (which is right now actually) and all who meet the goal get to go to the ice cream party!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Go Away Big Green Monster!

It was green week in our class this week. We painted and constructed a paper plate frog with a party blower as his tongue. We made an alligator picture and read the story Baby Alligator by Robert Munsch. And we read Go Away Big Green Monster. The kids LOVE Big Green Monster.

I read this story and then re-read it using felt pieces on my felt board. The kids love using the felt board for story retell. Then me made a big green monster to hang up in our classroom.
I found a website that has amazing story retell props. It is call KizClub. They have many stories and I am looking forward to using a lot of them. The kids had fun putting their monsters together and I had fun watching them retell the story with their friends as they put their monster together.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Color Week

The last week of August we have Color Week in Kindergarten. Everyday we wear a different color. I send home a note to the parents the week before so we can all wear the color of the day.
For color week we read a lot of books and sing all the color songs. Some of my favorite books for color week are:
1. White Rabbit's Color Book by Alan Baker (We retell this story using a felt board.)
2. Dr. Seuss' My Many Colored Days
3. Dog's Colorful Day by Emma Dodd
4. Purple, Green and Yellow by Robert Munsch (Kids LOVE this book!)
5. Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh

We do color mixing during the week. Of course we are learning to name the colors, but my students always think it's magic to make new colors. I use a page of out The Mailbox's Superbook Kindergarten for my experiment.
 We color the first and second steps with crayons. Then we use tempera paint for the mixing part.
Another activity we do is a Fruit Loop color sort. Here is the mat we use: Fruit Loop Sort

The students will color the mat with their crayons first. (I recommend underlining each color word with their correct color to help the kids do this right.) Then we get a cup of Fruit Loops and sort them on our mat. After we sort we get to eat them!

And of course we color a rainbow. The kids do such a great job on this easy project, but I do recommend underlining the color words with the correct color. I am not trying to test their ability to read color words. I am trying to get them to match colors.
Color Week is a lot of fun!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is probably the most read ABC book in Kindergarten at the beginning of the year. It is a super fun way of introducing the letters of the alphabet. We read it and we sing it. We make our own tree and we make a tree we can eat! For our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom craft we use toilet paper tubes and a palm tree cut out to make the tree. I then give students a letter sticker sheet and tell them to put the stickers on their tree however they want. They love to retell the story. As they are putting the stickers on I have them tell a neighbor the letter names. We did this craft with our principal in the room with us. The kids loved showing off what they know.

We also make a coconut tree we can eat! We use apples, a pretzel rod, and Whopper candy. I like to use Alphabits cereal or ABC cookies, but I couldn't find any this year.
The kids love making pictures they can eat!

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