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,

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Sentence Dictation

When my class is ready to start writing simple sentences by sounding out words and using the word wall, I like to introduce Sentence Dictation. This guided approach to writing helps to boost their confidence so they can become independent writers.

Sentence Dictation: handwriting, spaces, capitalization, punctuation, sounding out words

We take this slowly and start out with the "Teacher Assisted" page so the students can have guided practice and build their confidence before they are expected to complete it on their own.

 We work together to write the sentences and will complete one sentence a day until the paper is finished.  I will read the sentence aloud a few times and we will count how many words we hear.  Then I will read the sentence again one word at a time as we work together to sound out the words.  I write the sentence on the board as the students write it on their own papers, remembering to start with a capital letter, leave spaces, write neatly, and end with the correct punctuation.

 When the students are ready to move on to the “Independent Work” paper, we use the same procedure, I’m just not writing the words on the board, or helping the students to sound it out.  I will still read the sentence out loud a few times and we will count how many words we hear.  Then I read the sentence one word at a time, while they write it on their papers.  

For both the "Teacher Assisted" and the "Independent" papers, we will only complete one sentence a day.  The students turn in their papers after each sentence so I can make corrections for them to see before they write the next one.  This way they can see what they need to work on.

Sentence Dictation: handwriting, spaces, capitalization, punctuation, sounding out words

Friday, December 29, 2017

Magnet Pathways and Mazes

Science is always a favorite subject for students.  I mean, who wouldn't love a great hands-on Science experiment?!  But I love watching the amazement on their faces when they are exploring magnets!  I think the two biggest allures of magnets is that they are something students can manipulate and explore without a lot of teacher guidance, and how magical they seem.  The squeals of delight when a student figures out how to repel one magnet with another, never gets old.  

When I first introduce magnets, I like to set out a tray of different types of magnets in the Science Center for the kiddos to freely explore.  I'll also add different types of objects they can test to see if they are magnetic or not.  This year, I created some pathways and mazes for the students to use with the magnets. 

Magnet Pathways and Mazes, great for a Science Center,

 The kids use a magnet underneath the maze to manipulate another magnet, or magnetic object, on top through the maze.

Magnet Pathways and Mazes, great for a Science Center,

Magnet Pathways and Mazes, great for a Science Center,

I like to use these magnetic wands.  

You can find these here, on Amazon.
(affiliate link)

My Magnet Pathways and Mazes can be found here, on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Magnet Pathways and Mazes, great for a Science Center,

Like this idea?  Pin it to see again later!
Magnet Pathways and Mazes, great for a Science Center,

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Birthday Sale!

It's almost my birthday so I thought I'd celebrate with all of you by throwing a SALE!  
From now until Dec. 28th, my whole Teachers Pay Teachers store will be on sale 20% off.

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Favorites

I know I might have said this before, but Christmas is my FAVORITE time of the year!!  Here are a few of the things I love doing during this time of year in our classroom.

This Fireplace
Classroom Fireplace,
This cardboard fireplace was passed down to me from one of my favorite coworkers before she retired.  I have no idea how old it is, but I'm just glad it still holds up year after year!  I love the ambiance it adds to our room!

Felt Candy Cane Mice
Candy Cane Mice,
My mom gave me the pattern for these adorable mice many years ago, and I've been making them for my students ever since.

Christmas Tree Counting Cards
Christmas Tree Counting Cards: Number Recognition, Counting, One-to-One Correspondence,
We've been working on number recognition, counting, and one-to-one correspondence with our Christmas Tree Counting Cards.  (You can grab these in my TpT store.) Students can use mini erasers, beads, pom poms, buttons, or any other small manipulatives to place on the trees.

 Gingerbread Men (or Women) Ornaments
Gingerbread Men Ornaments, Gingerbread Men Ornaments,
Each year we make these gingerbread men ornaments as part of our parent gifts.  I, or a lovely assistant, cuts the gingerbread man shapes out of poster board.  If we have brown poster board we'll use that, but if not, we use white and the students color them brown.  Then they add googly eyes, beans, and ric rac for all the details.

Christmas Themed Pictures for the Light Table 
Light Table Activities:Numbers, Shapes, Seasons, Letters, CVC Words,

Light Table Activities:Numbers, Shapes, Seasons, Letters, CVC Words,
This year, I added some themed pictures to my Light Table Activities Packet.  These are a couple of the Christmas themed pictures that I added.  The students use the glass stones to fill in the pictures.
Light Table Activities:Numbers, Shapes, Seasons, Letters, CVC Words,

Christmas Lightbulb Letters 
Christmas Lightbulb letters: alphabetical order, sight words,
The kiddos have been having so much fun putting the alphabet in order with these lightbulbs!  They can also make sight words or spell their names.  
I hung some green yarn on the whiteboard to act like the wire for the lightbulbs and each lightbulb has a magnet on the back so it will stick to the whiteboard.  If you don't have a magnetic board, you can always hang some yarn or string anywhere else and use small clothespins to clip the lightbulbs to it.
(These lightbulb letters can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.)
Christmas Lightbulb letters: alphabetical order, sight words,

Christmas Sensory Tub
Christmas Sensory Tub,
Each month I add a new sensory tub to our Fine Motor Center. So of course this month's tub has a Christmas theme! (I have these tubs in the fine motor center because I always add tweezers, tongs, and scoopers to manipulate the items.)

Monday, December 4, 2017

Favorite Christmas Books in our Classroom

It's my favorite time of the year!!!!  


With so many fun activities, crafts, and books to read, I find myself wanting to do it ALL!  It can be hard to narrow it all down, but I've come up with my top 10 books to read aloud to my class.
Favorite Christmas Read Alouds,

1. The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg
I think I love this book so much because I remember reading it when I was younger.  The pictures are just so magical and really draw you into the story.

2. Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, by Robert Barry
I was introduced to this book only a few years ago, but knew right away that I had to have it!  Such a cute story and the rhyming text makes it easy to read.

3. Santa Mouse, by Michael Brown
This cute mouse quickly became a favorite in my classroom and my own home!

4. Snowmen at Christmas, by Caralyn Buehner
We can't get enough of these silly snowmen and my class loves looking for the hidden pictures in each picture.

5. Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, by James Dean
Any book that comes with a free song to sing along with the book is a winner to me!  And of course my Kinders can't get enough Pete the Cat.

6. Mooseltoe, by Margie Palatini 
A funny story that will have your kids laughing!

7. Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear! by Don & Audrey Wood
What a brave and generous little mouse!

8. Bear Stays Up for Christmas, by Karma Wilson
A sweet story about Bear and his friends.

9. Llama Llama Holiday Drama, by Anna Dewdney
Who doesn't love Llama Llama!?!

10. It's Christmas!, by Jack Prelutsky
We love these fun, short poems!

What other Christmas books do you enjoy reading to your kids?

Here are some Christmas Activities you might be interested in that are available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
Christmas Tree Counting Cards, Number Recognition, Counting, One-to-One Correspondence, www.JustTeachy.comChristmas Lightbulb Letters, ABC Order, build sight words,
Christmas Vocabulary Match and Write,  www.JustTeachy.comChristmas ABC Order,