Thursday, October 10

How objects move

Learning all about how things move! We learned all about force and how it makes things go up and down, back and forth, round and round!
We used the book above as our shared reading for the week! We love using the Box Light to make the book interactive. 
We learned that things move with a push and a pull with this science book and picture sort. We explored the different ways objects can move with toys from home. They loved showing how their toy moved. 
Grab the unit here!
We love this song by Jack Hartmann

Wednesday, October 9

Spider Fun!

Aaaarrgghh, Spider! is a cute book about a spider that tries to convince his chosen family that he makes a great pet but just ends up frightening the family. Here is a fun book companion for after reading the story. We did a math survey: Do you think a spider will make a good pet? Then we made these fun spider headbands. I had the kids illustrate the characters and setting. 

We read many nonfiction books, including this one, to learn how spiders differ from insects, how they catch their food, what they eat, and where they live. We marked the marked the pages that we wanted to return to with a WOW sticky note. 

Here are two different  ways you can organize all your new learning after reading spider books. We made a circle map and a tree map. These learning maps help us write spider facts to add to the giant spider web. Gail Gibbons is my very favorite author for any nonfiction unit study. 

Learning how spiders differ from insects and labeling the body parts. 
You can find a print and go version of the circle map in my spider unit!

Check out the whole spider unit here!

Wednesday, September 18

Poems for the Whole Year

My kinder kids love poetry journals! They love adding poems to their journal and rereading their favorites! There are so many benefits to children reading poetry. Poetry encourages children to read, builds phonemic awareness and builds essential skills like rhyming, vocabulary, fluency, expression, and writing. I rounded up all the poems I use in a school year and put them all in one place.

I love reading Jack Prelutsky to my children! These two books are filled with cute rhymes.
Here are some of the poems we have added to our poetry journals!

Grab all the poems for the whole year here!
If you are looking for color poems you can find them here

Tuesday, September 10

Happy New Year!

Ringing in the new year when the students return in January is always a favorite of mine. I have been making these new year kids for years. When something is good you just can't stop. 
This is one of my favorite books to read before we start writing our own resolutions.
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I'm sure most of them do not even remember, but it is still fun to graph if you stayed up until midnight. The ones that do stay up are always so proud of their accomplishment.
We also surveyed our friends!
This dot art looks good on lockers, windows, or your door. 

I updated everything for 2020! Hard to believe the new year is only a few months away. It will be here before you know it. 

Grab the unit here!

Saturday, September 7

The Snowy Day book activities

We loved bringing The Snowy Day to life with this story telling kit from Lakeshore. We practiced retelling the events that happened in the story again and again. One of my literacy stations is filled with story telling kits from books I have read aloud to them.
Then we made text-to-self connections about what we would do on a snowy day. The art project turned out so cute! Once they finished drawing themselves in the snow they added the snow and snowbank using their finger tips. 
You can download the craft here

I found fake snow in the Target dollar spot and thought it would be perfect for a  Snowy Day sensory tub. The students had to pick a mitten, read the word, identify the word part, and put it in the correct snow man. You can download the activity here.

Friday, September 6

Gingerbread Man Fun

Teaching kindergarten in December is a lot of fun! Every year I do a gingerbread theme that integrates literacy, math, and science. We read all the versions of The Gingerbread Man and chart the story elements. 
We also do a fun science experiment by putting the Gingerbread Man in water and observing the dissolving process. You could also extend this experiment by putting The Gingerbread Man in other liquids like milk, oil, juice, soda. I wonder what would happen? Only one way to find out. Test it! 

You can download the recording sheet here or just click the picture below. 

Here are some of my favorite Gingerbread Man books to read aloud 
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Wednesday, September 4

A Day in Kindergarten: Part one

Each day begins with morning work. Morning work can be anything that the students can do successfully and independently. This can be independent reading, playing with play-doh, morning tubs, finishing work from the previous afternoon, journal writing, or a quick skill review. We do this for 20-30 minutes.

Then I grab my big pencil and the kiddos know it is time for handwriting. We have a super short mini lesson on the carpet. I use the big pencil to "skywrite" the letter formations we are learning. Following the mini lesson I set my timer for 10 minutes and start circulating around the room as the students work in their Handwriting Without Tears workbook.
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As soon as the timer goes off it is time for Calendar math. I use Every Day Counts: Calendar Math.

Up next is shared reading. We spend 10 minutes each day doing shared reading. This can be a big book, enlarged poem, or song. We revisit the same book/poem over multiple days while working on a different skill each time we read it.

After a little brain break we move right into reading workshop. I use the units of study by Lucy Calkins. The units of study can be a little overwhelming if you don't know how to unpack the units. I  unpacked the first two reading units. You should be able to plan a ten minute mini lesson on a single sticky note. When you are ready to teach the mini lesson all you need to take with you is the post-it note. I summarized each mini lesson for Super Powers unit 2 on a single post-it note. You can grab the unit here or by clicking one of the pictures below. This is how I organized my unit using a 1-inch view binder. I put everything I would need to teach each session into a pocket sleeve. It makes me feel organized and makes teaching the units of study so easy.

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