Wednesday, November 30, 2016

It's Christmas Time!

This is my absolute most favorite time of the year!  These three weeks before Christmas break are full of so much fun and learning, it's hard to not be just a little bit giddy!  
These are a few of the activities we have going on in our classroom for Christmas.

Decorate the Tree
Decorate the classroom tree
This one is a favorite every year, and is so simple!  I just set out a small fake tree with ornaments, and when the students come to this center they can decorate the tree however they want.  I also added ornaments that I made out of craft foam for each sight word we have learned so far.

Christmas Sensory Tub
Christmas Sensory Tub

This is our Christmas Sensory Tub.  It has plastic candy canes, miniature trees, Christmas figurines, felt snowflakes, felt reindeer, felt Christmas trees, green and red poms, mirrored balls, bells, a foam Santa, stockings, and a string of plastic lights.  There are also letters that look like Christmas cookies to spell "Merry Christmas".

Christmas Sensory Bottles
Christmas Sensory Bottles

This week I added our Christmas sensory bottles to our Science center.  The bottle on the left has confetti, water and glycerin.  The bottle on the right has miniature items I found at Hobby Lobby and faux snow from The Dollar Tree. (I think I have just as much fun making these bottles as the kids have exploring them!)
Christmas Sensory Bottles

Interactive Writing: 
How to Decorate a Tree
Interactive Writing, How to Decorate a Tree

Interactive writing is probably one of the best ways to teach writing to Kindergarteners.  So many skills are covered in one lesson.  
We start by reading the book, Mooseltoe, by Margie Palatini.
Such a cute story!

Then, we wrote about how to decorate a Christmas tree.  We discuss as a class the steps we need to take, then I call students up one a at a time to write part of the directions on the chart.  We also add the decoration to our paper tree.  As the student is writing on the chart, the other students are sitting on the carpet, helping figure out which letters to write.  Each student has a clipboard and they are copying the directions onto their own individual papers. 
Interactive Writing, How to Decorate a Tree

Then they get to make their own tree on their paper. 
Interactive Writing, How to Decorate a Tree

Christmas Light Bulb Center
Christmas Light Bulb Letters

Christmas Light Bulb Letters,sight words, alphabetical order

I have these light bulbs in our ABC center, and it is a favorite every year!  I hang green yarn on our magnetic white board to look like real Christmas light strands.  The light bulbs are printed onto cardstock, then I add a magnetic strip to the back so they will stick to the white board.  The students can put the letters in alphabetical order, or make sight words with them.

If you would like a copy of these light bulbs, you can grab a set here.
I have provided a black and white set that you can color yourself to save ink, and a colored set that you can just print and go!
Christmas Light Bulb Letters, sight words, alphabetical order

I hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sight Word Parking Lot FREEBIE

Earlier this week, we had our Family Literacy Night.  The game I had for parents to play with their kids was my Sight Word Parking Lot.  
Sight Word Parking Lot, Freebie

To play this game, all you need is the "parking lot" and a toy car.  I call out a word, and the kiddos drive their car into that parking spot.  

I use this game during tutoring and with my Guided Reading groups, but it would also be great for partners to play during centers.

You can grab a copy for FREE on Teachers Pay Teachers!
I added a blank copy too so you can program it with your own words.

Sight Word Parking Lot                      Sight Word Parking Lot

FREEBIE! Sight Word Parking Lot

Monday, November 14, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

 Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!

Here are just a few of the things we're doing these few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.

Timmy the Turkey File Folder Story from Dr. Jean. (You can find the words to this story here.)
Timmy the Turkey
To make the file folder story, I found turkey clipart and glued the body to the cover of the folder.
The "tail feather" section of the cover picture is cut out to make a window so you can see inside.  Inside the folder, you place the six different colored sheets of construction paper mentioned in the story.  As you read the story, you remove each piece of construction paper to reveal the new color.  The kiddos are always so amazed and think I'm magic!

Thanksgiving Sight Word Board Game
Sight Word Board Game

Turkey Art
Sometimes in the Art center, I will give the students patterns to trace, but sometimes I like to just give them the paper they will need, and see what they come up with!  
This week in the Art center, we are making turkeys!

I have an example out on display just so they can remember what they are making.
Turkey Art

 On the Art table, I have a basket of brown construction paper, and a basket of red, orange, and yellow construction paper.
Turkey Art

 The students make their own turkey bodies and feathers, and add the other details.  They may not be perfect, but they sure are adorable!!
Turkey Art

 Thanksgiving Memory Game
This was simply made by di-cutting turkeys and adding stickers.
Thanksgiving Memory

Gobble, Gobble
For this game, I ran off, and cut out, turkeys.  Then I wrote sight words and color words on the blank sides.  There are about five of the turkeys that have "gobble, gobble, gobble" written on them.  The students take turns turning over cards and reading what is written.  As long as they read the card correctly, they get to keep going.  If they don't know a word, or they get the "gobble, gobble, gobble" card, their turn is over.
Gobble Gobble Sight Word Game

Here are few of my Thanksgiving products available on Teachers pay Teachers that you might find helpful! (click on picture to be taken to TPT)
Thanksgiving ABC OrderThanksgiving Vocabulary Match & WriteThanksgiving Write Around the Room Sight Word Sentences

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Alphabet Board Games

As part of my Guided Reading instruction, I have started using these Alphabet Board Games.  Two of my groups of students are still working on learning their letter names and the sounds they make.  I am introducing one letter at a time with them, and on one day we will do many activities working on the specific letter.  On the next day, we use the board game as a review of the letter. 

The student rolls the dice and moves that many spaces.  When they land on either the upper or lowercase letter, they tell me the name of the letter and the sound that it makes.  Depending on the level of the group, I am also having them produce a word that begins with that letter.
Alphabet Board Games,

I made board games with just one letter on it represented in uppercase and lowercase.  These are great for students who are still struggling with letter identification.
Alphabet Board Games,

 I also made one board game with just the vowels, one with only uppercase letters, one with only lowercase letters, and one with mixed upper and lowercase letters. These would be great for students who can identify most of their letters, and just need more review.
Alphabet Board Games,

When I printed mine, I used different colored cardstock to easily distinguish between the different board games.
I used yellow for the “individual letter” board games.
I used a different color each for the “lowercase alphabet”, “uppercase alphabet”, “mixed upper and lowercase”, and “vowels only” board games.

These board games are available on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Fall Sensory Tub

Happy Fall Y'all!!

Well, it's finally starting to feel like fall around here now that the weather is cooling down al little.  So here is our newest sensory tub.  Fall!
I'm pretty sure most of these items came from Hobby Lobby, except for the plastic pumpkins, which I found at a garage of a retiring teacher! (Aren't those the best!?)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Letter, Word, or Sentence

This past week we started sorting letters, words, and sentences.  
We discuss how letters make up words, and words make up sentences.  We started by sorting letters, words, and sentences in our pocket chart.
Letter, Word, Sentence

Then the students completed an independent sorting paper.

Letter, Word, Sentence

Another day, we hunted around the room for letters, words, and sentences to write on their "Write Around the Room" paper.

Letter, Word, Sentence

Letter, Word, Sentence

Letter, Word, Sentence

Letter, Word, Sentence

All of these activities can be found in my "Let's Sort: Letters, Words, & Sentences" Packet on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Halloween Fun

Five Little Pumpkins
An all-time favorite chant for Halloween is "Five Little Pumpkins".  We read this book many times throughout October, and the kids never get tired of it!  I made pumpkin stick puppets so we could act out the story.  Five students get to come up and play the parts of the pumpkins. The pumpkins each say their own line for their corresponding pumpkin, and the audience says the other parts of the story.  At the end, when the pumpkins "roll out of sight",  the five students roll their stick puppets and walk off the "stage". 
5 Little Pumpkins,

5 Little Pumpkins,

"Stained Glass" Pumpkins
This art activity lets each child's personality come out and makes an adorable display!

All you need is:
*orange, black, and green tissue paper cut into small pieces
*wax paper
*Stay-Flo liquid starch
*paint brushes

Start by painting the liquid starch onto the wax paper, and lay down the orange tissue paper pieces forming the shape of a pumpkin.
Stained Glass Pumpkins,

Be sure that all of the orange pieces are overlapping each other and there should be no holes.
Then add the black tissue paper to make the face, and the green to make the stem.
As you are laying down the tissue papers, you may need to paint on more liquid starch to make sure it sticks.  When the pumpkin is complete, add another layer of liquid starch to make sure all of the tissue paper is wet and sticking to the other pieces. (Be sure not to have puddles of liquid starch.  If it is too wet, it will not peel off the wax paper nicely.)

Stained Glass Pumpkins,

Once the pumpkin has dried, carefully peel it off of the wax paper.

Stained Glass Pumpkins,

I like to laminate our pumpkins to finish them off...

Stained Glass Pumpkins,

...then hang them on a window to smile at everyone!
Stained Glass Pumpkins,

 Yuck Soup
Yuck Soup,

After reading the book, Yuck Soup, by Joy Cowley, we make Yuck Soup!  Actually, we just draw pictures of yucky things and add it to our paper cauldron.  The students also write a sentence to go with their picture.  They write, "In go some_______".

Yuck Soup,

Friday, October 14, 2016

Halloween Sensory Tub

This month's sensory tub is Halloween themed!  
Sensory tubs give the students time to freely explore different types of items.  There are no rules or directions, just options!  The students can sort, build, play, count, etc.

Halloween Sensory Tub,

Here's some of the items in our tub...
Halloween Sensory Tub,
*rubber bats
*brooms (Hobby Lobby)
*ghosts made from white fabric
*witches cauldrons (Target)
*Different types of pom poms (Hobby Lobby)
*witches hats (Hobby Lobby)
*Halloween erasers (Target)
*felt spiders
*felt spider webs (Target)

To work on fine motor skills, I also include...
*large tweezers (Lakeshore)