Monday, February 29, 2016


The past few weeks we have been concentrating on digraphs in our room.  Just one of the many activities we completed was making digraph anchor charts. As a class, we came up with words that started and ended with each digraph.  (We only concentrate on one digraph a day.)  Then throughout the day, the students could come up and add words to the lists that they found in books or around the room.

We also played "Where's the Butterfly?"  I hide the butterfly card behind one of the leaf cards, then the students come up and point to a word.  If they read it correctly, they get to look behind it and see if the butterfly is there! (I have them point at the words with a pointer which keeps them from just walking up and grabbing a card before they read it.) 
Digraphs, Where's the Butterfly?

Digraphs, Where's the Butterfly?

Digraphs, Where's the Butterfly?

Digraphs, Where's the Butterfly?

You can get your own copy on Teachers Pay Teachers!Digraphs, Where's the Butterfly?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hidden Partners with Sight Words and Composing Numbers

Here's another fun way to get kids up and moving and working together.  I saw this idea for Hidden Partners from, Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together.  The best part of this activity is that it is practically free and the kids LOVE it!  All you need are index cards and a markers!

This first version uses whatever sight words we are working on at the time. Each student gets a card with a letter on it and then finds the other students who are trying to spell the same word as them.  Once they find all the letters for their word, they then put themselves in the correct order.

Sight Word Hidden Partners,

Sight Word Hidden Partners,

Sight Word Hidden Partners,

This next version is all about numbers!  (Composing numbers, number bonds, and addition!)
Hidden Partners,

In this version, the students each have a card with a number on it.  (With the cards above, we are trying to make 5.)  The students have to go around and find a "Hidden Partner" to go with their number to make 5.  Once they find their partner, they sit down together.

Hidden Partners,

Be sure to head over to Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together to see the full instructions for "Hidden Partners"!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Tally Mark Count Around the Room

Kids love to get up and move around the room, so "Around the Room" activities are the perfect solution.  They are still learning and showing what they know, but aren't having to sit still in their seats.  And walking around with a clipboard in your arms just makes anything more fun!

This week, we practiced counting tally marks.
Tally Mark Count Around the Room,

The students get so excited when they see cards hanging around the room.  All they need is a clipboard, pencil, and the recording sheet, and they can get to work!

Tally Mark Count Around the Room,

Tally Mark Count Around the Room,

Tally Mark Count Around the Room,

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sensory Bottles

I recently went a little crazy making sensory bottles! (Also known as discovery bottles.)  I remade some old bottles I had so they looked better in these bottles, and made some new ones too!  Once I got started, I just couldn't stop!  There were just so many good ideas out there!  
Sensory bottles are basically just clear bottles filled with any type of small objects that move around.  These bottles are entertaining for the students to move around, but they can also be calming for students who need a little break.

Sensory Bottles,

I made these seven bottles out of VOSS water bottles.  They can be found at any grocery store, or here, on Amazon  You could use any plastic bottles you have on hand, but I just love the smooth sides on these bottles, and how they look all together.  The labels on the VOSS bottles also peel off very easy without leaving behind a sticky residue, which is a huge timesaver!

 This is our new Valentine bottle.  I used Elmer's red glitter glue, warm water, and plastic hearts from The Dollar Tree.
Valentine Sensory Bottle,

 For our "hurricane in a bottle" I just used Softsoap, water and food coloring.  The idea for this one came from here. (It's hard to see in a picture, but looks really cool in person!)
Hurricane Sensory Bottle,

I'm not really sure what to call this bottle.  It's just interesting!  I got the idea from here.  I just used water beads and hair gel from The Dollar Tree, along with some lime green food coloring.  (I think this hair gel might have been a little too thick.  One that moves around a little more would probably work better.)
Water Bead Sensory Bottle,

This one was very easy to make and reminds me of the ocean because of the way the two liquids move with each other.  It just has water, baby oil and blue food coloring.  
Ocean Sensory Bottle,

I saw this one on Dr. Jean's website.  I know we aren't anywhere close to Halloween, but I just couldn't resist making it right now!  It is made with corn syrup, food coloring, and plastic spider and bat rings, with the ring part cut off.

Halloween Sensory Bottle,

The last two bottles in this picture are made with plastic beads and water.  I love how the pinwheel beads spin as they move through the water.
Sensory Bottles,

I also made these weather bottles that I've been seeing on Pinterest for a while.  There is a bottle for sunny, windy, snowy, rainy, and cloudy.  They are originally from here.  The bottles I used are from Hobby Lobby.
Weather Sensory Bottles,

These are so much fun to make and to watch the students use!  
I can't wait to make more! Time to drink some more water!

Do you have any great ideas for Sensory Bottles I need to make!?

Friday, February 12, 2016

Five for Friday Linky Party ~ February 12th

I'm linking up again this Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday! 

 Here are my five random happenings from this past week!

Pick and Draw is a great little art game that gives kids, and adults, confidence to try drawing.  You just turn over a card from each stack, and draw what it shows.  You end up with a cute cartoon drawing.  We've been playing this whole group, but you could also add it to your art center.
Pick and Draw,

I love how even though everyone used the same shapes to draw their cartoon, each one turns out a little different.
Pick and Draw,

This year, our nurse won a grant for these awesome water fountains that refill water bottles with filtered water.  There is even a counter on the top to show how many plastic bottles have been saved by refilling your own bottle!
Water Bottle Refill Station,

My students are still loving using our Happy Hearts Valentines to write nice notes to their friends.  I'll probably keep this out for the whole month.  You can read the original post here.
Happy Hearts Valentine Notes,

We're studying weather this week so of course we had to read, It Looked Spilt Milk, by Charles G. Shaw and make our blob pictures.
It Looked Like Spilt Milk,

I've been working with my kiddos on crossing the midline.  I came across this great post with some good activities you can have your students, or personal children, do to work on crossing the midline.

Have a Great Weekend!!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Valentine Sensory Tub

This past week I introduced our Valentine Sensory Tub.  I'll be adding a themed sensory tub to our fine motor center each month and the kids couldn't be more excited!  They will be able to explore, create, sort, and pattern, and the list could go on and on!
Valentine Sensory Tub,

Here's a little better look at what's inside our Valentine Sensory Tub.  There's rose petals, felt roses, ceramic heart cookies, felt hearts, pom poms, and rubber Valentine pieces with pattern cards that I believe came from Scholastic.  There is also a heart shaped ice tray and I'll add some tongs for the kids to use to transfer items to work on their fine motor skills.
Valentine Sensory Tub,

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

100th Day!

We celebrated our 100th Day of School last week!
100th Day of School,

The best part of teaching Kindergarten is how the littlest things can completely amaze these kiddos!  This simple door walkthrough had them absolutely mesmerized!

100th Day of School,

Here are just a few of the 100th Day Centers that the students participated in to celebrate.

We made a 100 piece trail mix...
100th Day of School,

...used 100 cups to build different structures...
100th Day of School,

...stacked 100 pennies...
100th Day of School,

...put together a 100 tile board...
100th Day of School,

...made 100 piece Fruit Loop necklaces...
100th Day of School,

...and read books about the 100th day!
100th Day of School,

What a fun day!
100th Day of School,

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Snowman Interactive Writing

Interactive Writing is a great way for students to practice writing sentences using correct capitalization, spacing, punctuation, and letter formation.  When I do Interactive Writing with my class, I usually have the whole class sitting on the floor with clipboards so they can copy down what we are writing on the large paper on our easel.

Here, we are writing sentences that describe the snowman.
Snowman Interactive Writing,

Each child is writing the same sentences on their own paper.  This way every child is engaged and participating even if they aren't the one holding the marker writing on the large paper.
Snowman Interactive Writing,

Our finished product.
Snowman Interactive Writing,

After the students finished writing on their own papers, they drew snowmen that matched the descriptions we wrote.
Snowman Interactive Writing,

If you would like a free copy of this student page, click here!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Bears and Balloons

This is my absolute favorite Valentine's Day decoration!  This idea came from the amazing Debbie Werth.  I was blessed to start out my teaching career working with this inspiring woman many years ago.  She taught me so much about how Kindergarten should be taught!

This project is a little more time consuming than others, but when you have a room full of Bears and Balloons hanging from your ceiling, you'll be so overwhelmed by their cuteness, it won't matter!
Bears and Balloons Art Project,

The Kinder Kiddos start out by tracing and cutting out their heart shaped balloons, and then stamping heats all over them.  They also cut out their bears and the bear shirts.  I used wallpaper samples for the shirts, and they added the bear's features with markers. 
Bears and Balloons Art Project,

After the paint on the balloons dried, we stuffed and stapled them so they were puffy.  (For the stuffing, we used the leftover paper from when they cut out the heart balloons.  No waste!)  
Bears and Balloons Art Project,

Then I just used a piece of white floral wire to connect the bear to the balloon, and TaDa!

They look so adorable when they are all hanging from the ceiling!  I wish you could see it better, it's hard to get the full effect in a picture!
Bears and Balloons Art Project,

Bears and Balloons Art Project,

Bears and Balloons Art Project,