Tuesday, September 27, 2016


It's County Fair Time!  So that means it's time to study farms!

We start by reading fiction and non-fiction farm books about different animals that live on the farm.  (Mrs. Wishy-Washy is our favorite!)

We make an Interactive Writing chart listing animals who live on a farm.  As the students are coming up and writing on the large chart, the other students are sitting on the floor with clipboards so they can write the same thing on their own papers.

Farm Interactive Writing, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Farms, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

I added our Farm Sensory Tub to our centers this week.  This tub has plastic farm animals, a plastic tractor, pinto beans, measuring spoons to use as scoopers, and Farm Animal Nomenclature cards I printed from Montessori For Everyone.

Farm Sensory Tub, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

We use this Farm Vocabulary Match and Write activity to practice writing farm words.  Many Kindergarteners cannot read these words, but this activity gets the kids to notice letters in words and that the order of the letters matters when trying to read words.
Farms, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

You can get a copy of my Farm Vocabulary Match and Write here.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Teaching colors is always fun for me and the kids!  We sing the color songs from Frog Street Press, wear the "Color of the Day", and here are a few of the books we read throughout our two week study of colors.

This Bakery Shop song is an all-time favorite.  The kids beg to play it anytime we have a few free minutes.  We lay the 10 donuts in the middle of our circle, then sing the song inserting the number of donuts, a child's name and the color they should take.  This simple game reviews colors, counting, and one less.

These donuts were made from construction paper and used in my classroom for the past  few years, (You can tell how loved they are!)

Bakery Shop Song, Learning Colors
These donuts are made from craft foam and have only been used at my house by my son and daughter.  

If you would rather just print out and color the donuts, I have a blackline copy of the donuts and poem here.

Here is a video of our class singing the song.

The students and I just love this Circle Time activity. (The idea and retelling pieces came from My Montessori Journey) After reading the book, Dog's Colorful Day, by Emma Dodd, we use these pieces to retell the story together. (This activity will be added to our Story Retelling Center later.)  Dog is cut out of white craft foam and his "dots" are pom poms.  
Dog's Colorful Day, Story Retelling

Thursday, September 15, 2016

International Dot Day

Happy International Dot Day!!

September 15th is the anniversary of the publication of The Dot, written by Peter Reynolds, so we celebrated bravery, creativity, and self-esteem through the creation of Dots today.   This book is an all-time favorite and sends such a great message.  What could be more simple than a dot?  But these simple dots let kids know that they can do so much more than they think they are able to.

We designed dots and used the Quiver app today to make them turn into 3-D spheres!

These dots are ones we actually made last year, complete with the "gold swirly frame".

Our librarian set up this collage in the cafeteria for anyone who wanted to add a dot.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Learning Our Shapes

Our first math unit of the year is always two-dimensional shapes (along with colors).
Here are some of the books we read while learning our shapes.

When learning about circles, we make this circle collage.  I pass out the background paper, "circles" titles, and circle tracers.  The students then choose what colors they want for their circles, then use the tracers to trace and cut out their circles, then glue them down.

Here is my example.

Student Examples

For our triangle art, the students use tracers to trace triangles onto their paper, then color the triangles however they want.

For our rectangle art, we made Rectangle Cities.

As we studied each shape, we talked about things that are that shape and then made a chart for each.

Then at the end of our study, we made an anchor chart showing shapes we can draw.  Each student got to come up and draw one shape on our chart.

To review our colors and shapes, we used the pocket chart game, "Where's the Turtle?"  I hide the turtle card behind one of the shape cards.  Then call a student up and they use a pointer to point at one of the cards and name the color and shape.  They then look behind the card to see if the turtle is hiding there.  (I have the students use a pointer instead of just pointing with their finger because this seems to keep them from just coming up and grabbing a card before they say the name!)

You can grab a copy of this pocket chart game here.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Letter of the Day

Last week we started our Letter of the Day.  We will be doing different activities with each letter throughout the day.  I start by introducing the Letter of the Day and we talk about the sound it makes and different words that begin with that sound.  
We then use this Pocket Chart Sort with different fonts to sort the uppercase and lowercase letters.  As we add each card to the chart, we say the name of the letter and the sound it makes.

This Pocket Chart sort can also be used to sort different letters.

We also practice writing the letter...

...on marker boards...

...and with paper and pencil. 
(The pictures to go along with each letter are from From the Pond's Alphabet Directed Drawing pack.)

We use the songs from Scholastic's ABC Sing-Along Flip Chart to pick out the letters in text, and of course sing the songs! (The students beg for these songs all day!)


We also use our Alphabet Sticks to find the letters around the room.




You can get a copy of the Alphabet Sort here.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Pinterest Pick 3 Linky Party - September

Yay for September and another Pinterest Linky Party  from  Inspired Owl's CornerJust Reed, and Pawsitively Teaching!!

Here are my top 3 picks for September!
(click on images to be taken to the pin)

Every child needs at least a little help with their fine motor skills and this post is full of great information and fun Finger Aerobics!

I love the idea of incorporating STEAM with books the kids love!

Here's another STEAM activity I know the students would go crazy for!

Hope you have a Happy September!!