Thursday, March 15, 2018

Handmade Math Manipulatives

Many years ago when I was student teaching, one of the Kindergarten teachers had boxes of manipulatives with work mats that were so much fun for the students to use during math.  I knew I had to make some to use in my own classroom.  The best part is how easy and cheap they are to make since they pretty much only involve beans, felt, and construction paper.

Math manipulatives, www.justteachy.comMath manipulatives,

Math manipulatives, www.justteachy.comMath manipulatives,

Math manipulatives, www.justteachy.comMath manipulatives,

Math manipulatives, www.justteachy.comMath manipulatives,
(Yes, these have all seen better days, and they were made long before cute clipart was a thing!  But it just goes to show that things don't have to be perfect or beautiful, to be effective!)

These manipulatives and mats are great to use when learning about counting, addition, and subtraction.  
When using these for counting, you can have number cards to display how many manipulatives the students should put on the mat.  For addition and subtraction, the students love making up their own word problems and acting them out to find the answer.

This school bus is one I like to use during small groups.  It's great for counting,  one-to-one correspondence, one more, one less, ordinal numbers, addition, and subtraction.
Math manipulatives,

These are some examples of prompts I'll give when using the school buses:
1)Put one person in each window.
Count the people.
Count the windows.
What do you notice?

2)Put a person in the 1st window.
Put a person in the last window.
(Continue naming different ordinal numbers.)

3)Put one person in a window.
Add one more. Now how many do we have?
Add one more person.  Now how many do we have?
Continue adding one more and telling how many until all windows are full.

4) Repeat the same as above, but start with all windows full, and take one away for "one less".

5)The buses can also be used for addition and subtraction story problems.

Math manipulatives,

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Take Home Book Packs

The best way to ensure success in school, is to get kids reading!  If we can get the parents involved and show students from a young age how much fun reading can be, then we've done our jobs.  Take Home Book Packs are a great way to strengthen the home-school connection.  These packs provide quality time for the families to sit and enjoy reading books together and to have fun completing activities that go along with the books.
Take Home Book Packs,

 For these packs, I chose classic books that I know families will enjoy reading together.
Books for Take Home Book Packs,

Each pack that goes home contains one book and two activities for the families to enjoy together.  The families get to keep the pack for the whole week so they can read and do the activities as many times as they would like, and also because I know how busy the weekdays can be with after school activities!

I've had different types of Book Packs throughout the years, but this year I updated the activities and gave the covers face lift so they all look a little prettier!   
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.comCorduroy Take Home Book Pack,

The Missing Mitten Mystery Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.comThe Mitten Take Home Book Pack,

If Your Give a Mouse a Cookie Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.comIf Your Give a Pig a Pancake Take Home Book Pack,

The Snowy Day Take Home Book Pack, www.JustTeachy.comWhere the Wild Things Are Take Home Book Pack,

The skills covered in the activities are:

Letter Recognition
Beginning Sounds
CVC Words
Sight Words
Number Recognition 
Number Order
Counting by 10s

Counting Backwards from 20
Sorting Objects
Story Retelling

Of course, participation in the Book Pack Program is optional, so I send home an information sheet with a permission slip at the bottom for the parents to return if they would like to participate. 

To keep track of who has which Book Pack each week, I have a simple spreadsheet with the name of each pack down the side, and I write the student's name next to the pack they select to take home.

My new Book Packs are available now in my Teachers Pay Teachers store if you would like to make some for your students!  
Take Home Book Packs,
(click the picture to go my TpT store)

Book Packs will be discounted 25% off for the first 48 hours!  SO HURRY! :)

Take Home Book Packs,

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Star Sight Word Bottle FREEBIE

Time for another FREEBIE!  

Sight word bottles make a quick and fun Literacy Center that the kids love!
To make this Star Sight Word Bottle, I just cut stars from sheets of craft foam and wrote sight words on them. I added the stars to a clean bottle along with confetti and streamers.  
The students rotate the bottle to reveal the words and write them onto the recording sheet. 

Head over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store for your free copy!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Living & Nonliving

Our Living & Nonliving unit will be coming up soon, and I wanted a few new things to use with my class this year. 
I had a pocket chart sort that was made quite a few years ago, but most of the pictures were of cartoon-like objects, people or animals.  I wanted a new one with real-life photographs that would be easier for the students differentiate between living or nonliving.
Living & Nonliving Pocket Chart Sort,

In our Science center, I have this sorting mat for the students to sort different 3-dimensional objects.
Living & Nonliving Sorting Mat,

We search through magazines to find living and nonliving items to add to our Science journals...
Living & Nonliving Science Journal Labels,

 ...and write about what living things need to live.
Living & Nonliving Science Journal Labels,

I also created this cute little Emergent Reader.
Living & Nonliving Emergent Reader,

There are 3 pages of living items, 3 pages of nonliving items, and 2 pages with a fill in the blank sentence for either living or nonliving.
Living & Nonliving Emergent Reader,

All of these activities and more are available in this "Living & Nonliving Mini Unit" on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Living & Nonliving Mini Unit,

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Snow Globe Writing FREEBIE!

I have always loved snow globes.  There is just something so magical and relaxing about watching the snow slowly drift down.
Today we read, The Snow Globe Family, by Jane O'Connor.

The Snow Globe Family book,

Then we made our own snow globes!
Snow Globe Writing,

I told the kiddos they could draw whatever they wanted inside the snow globe.  Most of them chose snowmen, but a few chose a penguin.
Snow Globe Writing,
 For the writing, we discussed simple sentences they could write about what was in their snow globe.  I didn't give any assistance on spelling because I wanted to see what they could do by using the word wall and sounding out words on their own. :)
Snow Globe Writing,

You can download your FREE copy here!
Snow Globe Writing,

Like this idea?  Go ahead and Pin It so others can find it!
Snow Globe Writing,

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Penguin Craft & Bulletin Board Display

Who can resist an adorable display of cute penguins made by students!?
Penguin Craft and Bulletin Board Display,

My Kinders used patterns to trace, cut out, and create their own penguins.  They also used extra construction paper to add bows and bow ties if they wanted.
Penguin Craft and Bulletin Board Display, Penguin Craft and Bulletin Board Display,

Then I printed the words, "Kindergarten is SNOW cool!" to display with their penguins out in the hall.
Penguin Craft and Bulletin Board Display,

Penguin Craft and Bulletin Board Display,

I've added the patterns for the penguins and the words in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store, here.  
If you don't teach Kinder, no worries!  I also included "Pre-K", "1st grade", "2nd grade", "3rd grade", "4th grade", "5th grade," "School", and "Our class."

If you create a bulletin board, I'd love to see it!  
Tag me on Instagram @just_teachy

Monday, January 8, 2018

Winter in our Room

Here in Texas, we don't always get a lot of winter weather.  However, this year we have actually seen SNOW!  I'm talking INCHES of snow that stuck to the ground and was perfect for making snowballs and snowmen!  And we even had a few straight DAYS of freezing weather a couple of weeks later.  Now when we talk about winter and snow in class, the students can actually personally relate to what we are learning about.

Family Snowman Project
Before we get out for Christmas break, I send home our Family Snowman Project.  It is just a letter of instructions for the parents, and a blank snowman outline.  The students work with their families to decorate the snowman using any items they would like.  When I introduce this project, I like to start off by reading Snowballs, by Louis Ehlert.  This book gives tons of great ideas on items the families could use to decorate their snowmen, or snowgirls.
Snowballs Book,
(affiliate link)

Family Snowman Project,

Family Snowman Project,

Letters in the Snow (FREEBIE!)
This is a quick and easy center activity for the kids to practice letter recognition and letter writing.  I filled an empty bottle with letter beads and epsom salt for the snow.  The students turn the bottle around to reveal the letters and then they trace the letters they find on the recording page.
FREEBIE!! Letters in the Snow,

Click here for your FREE copy of the recording sheet!

Snowflake Letter Match
Here's another easy-to-make center activity.  Students match the uppercase letters to the lowercase letters.  They can also put the letters in alphabetical order or even play a memory game.
Snowflake  Uppercase & Lowercase Letter Match,

Snowflake Uppercase & Lowercase Letter Match,

Winter Sensory Tub
Winter Sensory Tub,

Where's the Snowman?
These "Where's the...?" pocket chart games are our favorites!  On this one, the students are trying to find the snowman that is hiding behind one of the snowflakes.  The students have to point to a snowflake and say the number on it.  Then they look behind the card and see if the snowman is hiding back there. (This "Where's the Snowman?" packet also included number words and color words.)
Where's the Snowman? Numbers 0-20, Number Words, Color Words,          Where's the Snowman? Numbers 0-20, Number Words, Color Words,

Where's the Snowman? Numbers 0-20, Number Words, Color Words,

You can get your copy of this game in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Where's the Snowman? Numbers 0-20, Number Words, Color Words,

Winter Count Around the Room
Winter Ten Frame Count Around the Room,
In this activity, I have the ten frame cards hung around the room.  The students move around the room looking for the cards and recording the number of each object in the ten frames.

Winter Ten Frame Count Around the Room,

Winter Vocabulary Match and Write
This page is great for learning the vocabulary of the season.  Students cut out a picture and read the word written with the picture.  They then match the word on the picture with the one on the recording sheet and write the word themselves.
Winter Vocabulary Match & Write,