Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gearing up for Dr. Seuss!

It's almost Seuss Time! Here is a little freebie for a Cat in the Hat writing activity. Students can draw his hat and write about it. They can use those describing words! Grab it here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

President's Day

Let me share some Kindergarten humor. I love teaching about the presidents. It is actually one of my favorite themes to teach. The kids love seeing portraits of Washington, Lincoln, and even Obama! Of course, they don't really get it. They don't understand that Washington and Lincoln are not alive anymore (although there is always that one kid that can tell you about what happened). They don't even really know what being a president really means. We talk about it. I read them two very good books about what being a president today would mean.

They get so excited talk about the White House and everything that a president does! One activity we do on President's Day is to make a picture of the white house. I use the printable from search.theeducationcenter.com.  We color our picture and put it all together. Then I call them back one-by-one and ask them what they would do if they were president. It never disappoints. Kids say the funniest things. I thought I would include my favorites from this year. Take a look:

Aren't they cute?! I love it! Happy President's Day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine Freebie!

Need a quick and easy craft? Or a Valentine card cover? My class made this cute Lovebug. 
My students loved making it and we will write on it to make it into a card for their families. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Polar Bears

We just finished our Polar Bear Week!

This is one of our art projects. We read a book about Polar Bears and the Arctic. We discussed the ice and the lack of light in the winter sky. I asked my Kinders to draw a horizon line. I taped a pre-cut polar bear to their paper and had them sponge paint over it. The sky was purple and the ice was blue. Once they were done sponge painting I pulled off the bear and it was like MAGIC! They turned out pretty good.

 Here is a polar bear we made from the website learncreatelove.
 This is a writing activity from we made, using facts we learned about the polar bear. The pattern is from 
The Education Center.
Last, but not least, is our polar bear ice cream! Yum! It is a vanilla cup with Nilla wafer ears, chocolate chip eyes, and a Hershey Drop nose. Can't beat it!

My students loved learning about this bear.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Daily Reading

 We are reading in Kindergarten!
Kindergarten is not what it used to be! We are expecting our kinders to read and write at a pretty high level. Unfortunately, a lot of kids come in without the skills they need to start kindergarten at a level that the school districts and curriculum expects. My district is currently shopping around for a Common Core aligned ELA and math curriculum. This year I have been creating my own activities so that my kinders are learning with CCSS and will (hopefully) move into a Common Core 1st grade class with ease. One thing we do each morning is journal writing. I give my students a journal (just writing paper stapled into a book). I tape these cards to the front as needed:

These cards are free and give your kids immediate access to words they want to use in their writing. We combine our word family words and sight words to write. I also give a sentence frame to my students that are not ready to write on their own. They look like this:
I like my _________________.
It is ____________ and ___________.
Students can then use their vocab words that are on the front of their journals to fill in the blanks. A lot of my students are not using the sentence frames anymore because they realize it is more fun to write what they want!

After journal writing we do word family and sight word work. We do our weekly sight words, which are 5 words a week and come from the Kindergarten Pre-Primer and Primer Sight Word Unit I sell in TpT and TN. Grab the Kindergarten Sight Word Bundle, it really gives Kinders the skills they need.


 After our sight word work we get out our fluency folders. These are the folders my students use when we do small group instruction. I have 4 leveled groups. They each do a different center each day. For example: on Monday I will work with my Blue Stars while the other groups do various centers. Tuesday I will work with the Yellow Stars, etc. This allows me to differentiate my instruction so that I can get on-level work done with each student. My groups each have 5 or 6 students. They carry their fluency folders with them during this time so that when they are finished with their center activity they can open their folder and practice their readers. This picture is one example of my readers from my Pre-Primer Sight Word Books.

 I pick out the words that my students need the most work in and give them small activities to do while we read the books. It keeps them engaged.

We drew a tongue on our frog, just for fun.

If you would like to use these books, click here. They are free. They do go along with my Kindergarten Sight Words Lists 1-8. I am working on sight word books for Lists 9-18. I will post them when I am finished.

I finish morning reading with Word Family Work
I use a lot of Marsha Mcguire's word family stuff. I have her sight word bundle (which is AWESOME). I love the clipart and the different activities that come along with it. Her Word Families Galore Bundle is a great asset to my class. I also use a lot of Heidi Butkus' sight word activities.

I am trying to get CCSS into the classroom and getting my Kinders ready for the upcoming changes. I am looking forward to incorporating more technology into my everyday lessons. Right now we are using the iPads to play word games, but our school just purchased the Flocabulary program, which we will begin using very soon.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Groundhog Day!

So I was a little late. Groundhog Day was on Superbowl Sunday, so I waited until Monday to do it with my class. We read some cute stories about the groundhog.

We read the stories and then made our groundhog puppet. After we colored him we put him on a Popsicle stick and went and stuck him in the grass. We were trying to see what a groundhog shadow looks like and if it really is scary. (We thought it wasn't very scary, but maybe a groundhog would think so.)
 Scary, huh?

After we did that we traced our own shadows on the sidewalk and then tried to match animal shadows. 
I got this worksheet from a science workbook, but I can't remember which. Sorry.....it's one of those pages stuck in a file! I extended the activity by having them write the animal name.

Happy Groundhog Day!

Saturday, February 1, 2014


Last week the Kindergarten learned about Penguins. Sure, we learned about what penguins are and what they can do. We also did the Kindergarten Penguin Project! We have 5 Kindergarten classes at our school. Each class took one type of penguin to study.
We had the Emperor Penguin, the Macaroni Penguin, the Black-footed Penguin, the Adelie Penguin and the Little Blue Penguin. We had three questions to answer:
1. What does it eat?
2. Where does it live?
3. What is special about it?

I assigned a homework assignment for our penguin project. I asked my students to find 3 facts about penguins at home:
After we studied our penguin we made a puppet and designed a puppet show to present to all 5 classes. We also made a life size drawing of our penguin. My class had the Emperor Penguin. We read many books about this penguin.

Then we made our life size drawing. The Emperor Penguin is 4 feet tall! That impressed by 4 foot Kindergarten students!
We answered our questions and got ready to present our penguin to our friends. We used a puppet show stage that the Kindergarten shares and told our story. (We also used a karaoke machine....which is way fun.)
I am so proud of our students. They did an amazing job! I had 5 "actors" and they were the best. Here is a picture of some of our puppets:

We also did a cute writing activity about a baby emperor penguin:
I got the penguin pattern from search.theeducationcenter.com.
Penguin week was awesome. I can't wait until we get to do a puppet show about the ocean!

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