Wednesday, December 18, 2013

10 Top Reasons I Love My Mom and Dad Booklets

Coupon Books and more!  

Trying to keep kindergarteners busy during the holidays, and follow the Common Core Standards is not easy!!  This week we did some quick and easy gifts which incorporated reading and writing.  This coupon book turned out so cute!  The kids really enjoyed the idea, loved coloring, reading it so they would know what is asked of them, and creating their own coupon.  

This printable book to download is located in my TPT store.  I addition, I also have "10 Top Reasons I love my Mom and Dad" booklet, and a game " I have, who has...for the holidays", and a wish list for the children to complete.                                            

Saturday, December 14, 2013

FREE DOWNLOAD! Winter Wonderland Kindergarten Word Work Center

Winter Wonderland Animal Habitat for Word Work Center  - Tpt Free download

My students are enjoying my new center theme for word work.  I put various materials such as twine, boxes, laminated shapes of paper to resemble a lake, river, and burrow, small blocks, paper bags for bird's nests etc.  I read them a book called, Winter Animals, and we discussed other animals and where they go, or what they do in the winter.  They built habitats and then labeled them using my laminated labels with vocabulary words with pictures as visuals.  Also, I made puppets of the animals (real photos on pop sticks) to use for dramatic play. They used the vocabulary words as they played with the puppets. They were given fuzzy snow, and small twigs for the surroundings.  They loved it so much that they constantly asked me to take pictures of their habitats. And!!!  it is such an age appropriate way to learn to read informative words.  For site words I took a large container and filled it with cotton balls.  I then took some small snowflake foam cutouts I already had, glued tiny sight words on the flakes.  They had to find the flakes within the "snow" and use a magnifying glass to read.  They then used scrabble pieces and holder to build the word.  I'm putting a FREE DOWNLOAD in my TPT store of the pics I used and the tiny words.  Here are some of the photos the kids wanted me to take.  
deer habitat
bear cave
various items used to build their habitats

stick puppets
labels for items the students build
sight words in the snow


2 Neat Booklets For Day and Night Kindergarten Science

 We have been so busy!!

On top of all the holiday fun stuff, we have been very busy with reading, writing, math, and my favorite Science.  My students have really enjoyed learning about the sun, moon, and other interesting things about our galaxy and beyond.  Here are a few samples of my science packet on Day and Night.  I tried to integrate language arts, writing, and creativity!  I have week 1 and week 2 packets with full lesson plans, directions, and printables at my TPT store

 These are from the "My Night Book"  week 1 -The kids loved the peek a boo circles.  Great
to integrate informative writing.

Same type of book for day from week 1 for day concepts,,,I made the pages so the circle to cut are in the same
position.  Multiple cutting makes it easier and faster to make. Great to integrate informative writing.

These scene puppet sticks are from week 2, Day and Night, and go with a poem for shared reading.

This accordion style booklet give the students a chance to sequence (ELA) and at the same time learn about the moon.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Free Thanksgiving Downloads

Turkey Disguise, Native American Activity, and Thankful Card

I managed to scan the patterns for the turkeys and Indian Pouch I spoke of in my previous post below:

Finished Disguised Turkey

                                                                     download here

                                                                    download here

Finished Pouches with beads - they love these!

My students will enjoy a Thanksgiving Breakfast Feast this Thursday.  They will dress like pilgrims, sing for their parents, and tell what they are thankful for.  I find they get tongue tied when they have to speak in front of the parents so came up with this activity.  Now they just have to look at the pictures inside their card, and a bonus was they practiced writing words that have a visual meaning.

Front of card

Collage inside with words

Thank you for visiting my blog!  Please leave a comment, I would love to hear from you :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Native American Center

Native American Fireside!

My students continue to enjoy our themed centers that integrate Social Studies!  We still have our Pilgrim Settlement in our Word Work Center (see previous post), and now we are busy reading in our Native American Class Library. After the students make Native American head dress and colorful pouches to hang around their necks with beads  (I will try to remember to scan the pouch pattern for download here tomorrow), I have been reading Native American legends and fables around our Native American fire side.  I put some colorful tissue paper resembling fire and a flash light in a container.  They love dressing up around the campfire and can't wait to hear the stories.  Now we are putting the campfire in the Class Library and they can enjoy as a center.  I will put all the books in one bin, they can read (or try and look at the pictures, and write/draw about what they read.  Very engaging and they love it!!

Our first graders at our school disguised turkeys so they wouldn't be eaten :)  Look at the cute ideas below.  I will also try to scan that pattern as well and have it for download tomorrow.

They are adorable!  

We have been busy with geometry and learning positional words while integrating literature and reading.  We read Rosie's Walk, by Pat Hutchins for shared reading.  Below is a Map with a Rosie on a string to actively move according to the words learned.  They also enjoyed stick Puppets and a story wheel (all shown below).  These can all be found at my TPT store.


    I also have a complete positional words Unit with many more activities in my TPR store - see below.  

Please comment, I would love to hear from you!  and... thank you for visiting my blog!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Great Choices for Literacy Centers

My kindergarteners can't wait!!  Pilgrim Literacy centers!!

My students love literacy centers!  I've been experimenting to see what works best for them.  They love to have choices.  I've always given choices in certain centers like Word Work, but decided to expand this to other centers as well.  In the Listening Center, I put out about 7 books.  Of course I spent some time with my students to make sure they could be independent by following the stickers on the player, gently opening and closing the bag containers, and using one book at a time.  I'm happy to say they have really taken ownership of their centers and treat them with respect.  I did the same with my Retelling Center.  I put heavy duty velcro on the bags and hung them under a shelf in this area.  They have done a great job and love, love, love to retell to each other.
I use this hanger for the bags.  The also complete a response sheet with one story when they visit the center.

I put the puppets, sequencing cards, and all other activities in each bag.  Check out my TPT store for some of these puppets and cards I made myself.

My Word Work Center is my most popular among the students. I think this is because I have a theme for each month. I found this center to be a bit dry if it doesn't have lots of hands on activities, especially for kindergarteners. This month we are reading a lot of books about the pilgrims and how they lived long ago. Our center is our own Pilgrim Settlement. The kids help add things as we go... but for now we have Lincoln Logs for building the settlement, teepees and a fire for an Indian Village, plenty of logs to build fences, gardens, and even an outdoor oven. Next week, the kids have asked to add corn for the garden, which I'm working on now. I have the students label their settlement with cards once built. They then can use the pilgrim finger puppets to use the words on the cards in their play. Great vocabulary activity! Of course there are plenty of other activities to choose from when they are done playing. There are "growing corn" sequencing cards, and sight word turkey activities. Check out my TPT store for the labels and finger puppet patterns. 

My student's favorite book about the pilgrims.
Entrance to the center with pilgrim dress long ago and various pictures. 

I thought the kids were brilliant as they made a half done cabin on their own!

Cute finger puppets - the kids love them.  Check them out on my TPT.  

Saturday, October 26, 2013


Free Phonics Matching Cards

download here 
Download, print, back, and laminate these cards for your students.  These can be played as a matching game or used individually for practice.  My students are using them in my literacy "word work" center. 

Free Gravity Printable My Students Loved

check out at my TPT store

I love teaching Science and Social Studies, especially to kindergarteners.  They are so full of amazement about the world around them and want to understand why things are the way they are.  The concept of gravity has been a popular one for my students.  They have enjoyed exploring and doing experiments.  To introduce gravity, I had the kids color some leaves and acorns, cut them out and stand in a circle.  We all threw our leaves into the air and watched them fall.  I then had the kids collect them, lay down on the floor face up, and I let them fall as they looked up.  See the pics below... Their laughter is so contagious :)  After, we had discussions about what gravity was and read some books, my favorite is

  Check out my complete unit on gravity at my Teacher Pay Teacher page.  I have a printable with the leaves to color below, as a free download.

The students cut out and colored leaves from  my science unit on gravity.  Free download of leaves below.

Check out the rest of the unit at my TPT store 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How can Kindergarten Create Childhood Memories?

I've been working hard to bring as much fun and developmental appropriateness to my classroom while still following the Common Core Standards. To be honest there are times when I wonder if teaching ones and tens in math, or insisting on so much writing from such a young child, is missing the point regarding some of the more important things learned in kindergarten. I vividly remember my kindergarten experience with positive feelings, but the things I remember were finger-painting, having large pieces of paper continuously out to choose drawing and painting (to build fine motor skills).  Music, games, blocks, and lots of social time is what I remember the most (learning to work with others). I have been trying my best to keep the fun in learning, and allowing for social interaction as much as possible. I'm a true believer that many skills which may seem minimal are building blocks for success later in a child's life. I don't think I have gotten one comment on my blog -lol- But, if anyone is reading this and feels the same way, please comment. Anyway, recently I made changes to my "Word Work" station to make it more age appropriate, and I hope fun. One of my standards is keeping childhood memories alive in my students.
I plan to change the theme of this center each month.  This month it is our pumpkin patch.
I added some jack-0-lanterns that light up and various word activities that are inviting to try. 
These are pumpkins to pick with sight words.  There is floral foam inside so they will stand up and can be stuck in over and over again.  There are several pumpkin patches to choose from, some with higher level words.

There are plenty of word games and magnetic letters to use on the trays I attached in the area.  
 Also a pocket chart for sorting and matching, depending on the activity.  I have put pumpkin themes in many activities - some hand made.   The kids can't wait to come to this center.

My students decorated the bulletin board with many fall art projects.  They had so much fun and got plenty of fine motor practice.  

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Free Reading Frog Pattern and Schools in Colombia South America

Back to Blogging and School!!

Wow!  I have to hand it to all you blogger/teachers out there!  I am impressed by all the blogging even in the face of a new school year, and during the summer.  I was very busy traveling all summer.  The biggest trip was to Colombia, South America where we stayed with my daughter's birth family and had a wonderful experience!  She is 23 and found her birth mother last year, and travelled to meet her and the rest of her large birth family.  This amazing family took us in during another visit from my daughter, husband, and me this past summer.  We had the best time and felt so comfortable, cared for, and lucky to have them in our lives.  I am currently trying to create a blog with our experiences that I will share soon.  Anyway, I was able to visit some schools while there. School was not in session of course, but I got to talk with some teachers, and here are some pics.  I got the impression from the questions I asked, that the teachers taught the basics without the programs we all share (i.e.  literacy centers).  However, the teachers seemed very comitted and appeared to enjoy their jobs.
The schools are much more open air due to the temperate climate.

This is the recess/play area. The schools are protected from the streets outside.  Notice the mountains in the background. 

Children's restroom and sinks outside the door.

The children have a covered outside cafeteria.

I have moved to Kindergarten from First Grade this year, my choice.  I love Kindergarten and am very happy!!!  I love the age, and the open minded creativity the children exhibit.  It's been a job though figuring out so many new programs, and setting up a new room.  I have posted some pictures of my room and things we have done lately.  Hope I can keep up with sharing!!
This is my beginning of the year bulletin board.  I actually had my first graders draw their favorite  book cover and make the "Reading Frogs" for the kindergarteners this year.  But, I think the Kindergarteners could also do this project and it would satisfy part of the
K common core standard: 
  Below are closeup pics of the frogs and feel free to download the patterns for free here.  

My leveled reading class library.  The rug is actually a large blind from Ikea that was in the bargain bin.  I like it because it is a flexible, soft plastic and can be cleaned.

My management wheel to keep track of who has visited the literacy centers. It is a circle inside a larger circle, made of laminated poster board and a brad in the center allowing the center circle to move.  I usedVelcro for the names so pairs of student's could easily be changed.

My "Helpers" board (graphics from My Cute Graphics)