Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October in Our Room

October is here and so it's time to bring out some Halloween centers and activities!  Here are a few of things my students will be using this month.  (Some of these activities are close to 15 years old, and are in desperate need of being remade, but the kids don't mind, and they still work!)

 Fine Motor Center
This week, the students are using tweezers to transfer small plastic spiders into the pumpkin shaped ice cube tray which just so happens to also be a ten frame!  They can roll the die to see how many spiders to transfer.  I also have a second tray in this center so they can take turns rolling the die with their partner to see who fills up their tray first.

We also have this wire shelf that the students can lace the ribbons through.

Sensory Tub
Each month I add a new sensory tub for the students to explore.  This is our Halloween tub and it is full of pom poms, felt spiders, felt webs, mini erasers, witch's hats, ghosts, and witch's cauldrons.  I also always provide tongs, tweezers, and scoops to work on fine motor skills while picking up the items, and a tray to help contain the mess.

Story Retelling
Each year, my Kinders cannot get enough of the "Five Little Pumpkins" chant!  I added the story pieces to our Story Retelling Center felt board...

...and we also act out the story for each other with our pumpkin stick puppets.

Morning Games
In our Morning Game basket, I have activities that might not really fit into a center.  Mini erasers are always a big hit!  I just set out a container of erasers along with a tray to try and contain the mess.  The students can use the erasers pretty much however they wish.  They usually sort them, stack them, or make different shapes.

This is our "Boo!" game.  Super simple, and it could definitely use a little face lift after all these years, but it is still a class favorite!  I just drew a jack-o-lantern face and cut out.  On the opposite side I wrote lowercase letters, but you could label yours with whatever your students are learning at the time.  A few of the jack-o-lantern have the word "Boo" written on them instead of a letter.  To play, the first player turns over a card and says the name and sound of the letter written on the other side.  If they get it correct, they get to go again.  Their turn is over if they can't identify the name of the letter and the sound, or if they get a "boo" card. 

I have several of these Sight Word Board Games for different themes throughout the year.  Each one is programmed with different sight words that we are learning at that time of year.

Classic memory games are always a favorite too, and so easy to switch out with each new holiday or theme.  This one has seen better days, but still gets chosen over and over again!

Nonstandard Measurement
With each new month, I hang a new measurement chart on our classroom door.  The kiddos help measure each other against the pumpkins and then they record how tall they are on the paper next to the chart. The recording page says, "_______ is ____ pumpkins tall."

Pocket Chart Activities
In this pocket chart activity, the students read the sentence, "I can see __ pumpkins." Then they find the card with the correct number of pumpkins and place it next to the sentence.

This "hide and find" pocket chart game is one my Kinders beg to play each day.  I have different ones for different themes and concepts we are learning.  This "Where's the Spider?" game practices number recognition up to 20, and upper and lowercase letter recognition and sounds. 

I choose which concept I want the students to practice, and place the cards in the pocket chart, hiding the spider card behind one of them.  The students take turns coming up and guessing where they think the spider is hiding by pointing to a card, saying the number, letter, or sound on that card and then looking behind the card to see if the spider is there.

This file can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, here.

 Writing Center
In the Writing Center, I have Halloween vocabulary cards and sentence starters.  The kinders write the sentence on a piece of a paper and choose a word from the vocabulary pocket chart to finish the sentence.

Counting Cards
 These Spider Web Counting Cards are great for practicing number recognition, counting, one-to-one correspondence and number order.  Here, my students are using the mini spider erasers from Target to add the correct number of spiders to each card.  If you don't have these mini erasers, you can always cut the ring part off of some spider rings to use instead.  I have included full page cards to use if you will be using spider rings.  Spider rings are bigger than the erasers, and this way the cards won't get too crowded.

These cards are available on Teachers Pay Teachers, here.

Hope you have a great October!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

We Are One Sharp Bunch & a Freebie!

A little while back, I showed some pictures of my new "cactus" themed classroom, and this was one of my displays.  

I went ahead and added this display to my Teachers Pay Teachers store so that you can also show off your "Sharp Bunch"!  You can display the words, "We Are One Sharp Bunch" by itself or around your student's work.  You can also have your students color and cut out the individual cacti to add to the display.

I printed the large cacti onto colored cardstock and painted on the details to add a little bit of texture.  I also made tissue paper flowers to attach to each cactus.  For the individual cacti, I just printed them on regular paper and the students got to color them however they wanted.  (I added my Kindergartener's names on the pots for them.)
Click here, or on the picture below to find it on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Cactus Themed Positive Notes Home

All of my students have a behavior calendar in their Take Home Folder where I can write down any behaviors the student needs to work on.  But I think its always nice for the kids to have a personalized note they can take home and show off to everyone and hang on the refrigerator to show what an awesome job they are doing.  I know these notes make the students proud and want to continue doing a great job in the classroom! Click here or on the picture to grab your freebie!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Spider Web Counting Cards

Who else snatched up some more mini erasers from Target!?!  I already have pumpkin, cat, ghost, and Frankenstein erasers, but I just couldn't leave these adorable spiders on the shelf!  

Mini erasers are great math manipulatives, and as soon as I saw these spiders, I knew I wanted to remake my spider counting cards.  I have some hand-drawn cards I made probably 10 or so years ago, so I figured it was time to give them a face-lift! (If you don't have the spider mini erasers, you can cut the ring part off of spider rings to use instead.) 

I ended up making four different cards to choose from.

There are:
 *1/2 sheet cards with numbers 0-20
*1/2 sheet cards with numbers 0-10 and spider counters to help with number identification.

*Full sheet cards with numbers 0-20

*Full sheet cards with numbers 0-20 and spider counters in ten frames to help with number identification

Right now with my Kinders, I'm using the 1/2 sheet cards, numbers 0-10, with the spider counters printed on them.  I like to have the spider counters on the card so if a student cannot identify the number, they can count the spiders and determine the number. I also always make my cards on alternating colors so that when they are laid out in order, the cards will make a pattern. (Odd numbers on one color, and even numbers on a different color.)

These counting cards are now available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cactus & Kindness

Over the past 14 years, I've only had two different themes for my classroom: jungle animals, and turtles.  I thought for my 15th year, it was time for a change!  This year I'm going with Cactus and Kindness.  Here are a few decorations around my classroom.

This year I really want to work on our classroom community, so Kindness is a natural choice!
(These letters and paper fans are strategically placed to cover up large holes left in the wall when the wall mounted tv was removed a few years ago!)
I thought this would be a good reminder for everyone who enters our room!

I can't get enough of all the adorable cacti things!
Marker board from Target Dollar Spot

"Stick With Kindness"
My newest favorite shirt!
New labels for our headphone and journal baskets
Student Work Display 
Each student will have their own cactus with their name written on it.
(There's a clothespin behind each cactus to hold a paper)

Random watercolor cacti all over the room!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Where Did Summer Go?

Well, I took a much longer break this summer than I intended.  I really wanted to work on adding on to some of my existing  products in my TPT store, and creating new ones too.  But then summer just seemed to start going by way too fast and I was having way too much fun hanging out with my kids!  
I hope enjoyed your summer too!

I was able to get these two products into my Teachers Pay Teachers store that are perfect for Back to School.

First up is this Write Around the Room activity with Color Words.  All you have to do is hang the color words around the room, and hand the students a clipboard and recording sheet.  They walk around the room looking for the color words and then record them in the correct place on their paper.

Color Words Write Around the Room,

I also added this adorable cactus color memory game.
Cactus Memory Game,

Happy "Back to School", and I hope you all have an amazing year!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


It's hard to believe that this school year is just about over!  But that just means we have to cram as much fun as possible into this little bit of time.  
Bring on the Happy Campers!

This tent set-up has been an exciting addition to the room.  I have been choosing two kids at a time to get to use our campsite.  They can choose to sit in the chairs, or sit inside the tent while they do their work.  

 I hung this display in the hall, but it would also make a cute bulletin board display.  I took a picture of each student looking "excited".  The kids got to color their camper any way they wanted, then we glued their pictures in the window of their campers.

We made a class graph about whether they would want to camp in a tent or a camper.

 Next to our tent, I have a fishing station set up.  The fishing poles are just dowel rods cut to size with twine tied onto one end, and a magnet tied to the end of the twine.  The paper fish each have a paper clip attached to their mouths so they can be "caught"!

The kids can sort the fish by size of color.

Thanks to Lucky Little Learners for these awesome QR codes for some camping read alouds!

For a little crafting time, we made handprint campfires.

Then of course, who doesn't need a new bookmark?!

And then there's my new favorite Happy Camper shirt!  This shirt is so comfy and soft, and it really ties the theme together, don't you think!?

If you liked these ideas, you can grab my Happy Campers unit on Teachers Pay Teachers!  
(I have more ideas for this unit in the works.  If you purchase now, before the price increases, you'll be able to get the updates for free!)

Happy Camping!