Sunday, September 30, 2012

Autumn Time Common Core Thematic Unit





This fall themed unit is strategically linked to the common core standards and is newly updated!
Contents include...


Scripted Literacy Activities:
The Falling Leaves: Alphabet Fluency
 Letter Whoo: Identifying Upper &; Lowercase Letters
 Collecting Acorns: Blending Onset/rime
 Hidden Sounds: Identifying Beginning Sounds.
Corn Maze ABC: Identifying Letters

Independent Literacy Activities:
Squirrel Sort: Sorting Syllables
Trace and Write A-Z
Syllable Count: Identify Number of Syllables

Scripted Math Activities:
What's Missing: Developing  Observation & Descriptive Skills
Squirrel Match: Identifying Numbers
Leaf Graph: Graphing Leaves
Leaf Hunt: Ordering Numbers

Independant Math Activities:
Counting Leaves: Identifying the Count
Leaf Count: Counting Leaves
Writing numbers 1-10

Writing Prompts/Word Wall
Falling Leaves
All About Autumn
Harvest Word Wall Words

Guided Reading Book
Fall Leaves
My Leaf Book

Science
 A Tree For All Seasons: Creating trees to represent
the four seasons
 A Fall Walk: Observing and recording the change of
season found around the school yard
 Seasonal Change of a Tree: Using senses to
observe and record the seasonal changes of a tree.

Art Projects
Leaf Person
Fall Leaves
Leaf Rubbings
Leaf Painting
Fall Tree

Songs
Autumn Leaves
Pick It Up
5 Little Squirrels

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Scarecrows!

We have been having a great time in our classroom this week with scarecrows. 



Enjoy these and many more scarecrow activities in our newly renovated Scarecrow Unit!




Table of Contents

Scripted Literacy Lessons:
Spin a Scarecrow: Blending Onset and Rime
The Sound Maze: Identifying Initial Sounds
Catching Crows: Identifying Letters
Scarecrow Rhymes: Matching Rhyming Pictures

Independent Activities: 
Find the Crow: Writing Capital Letters
Scarecrow Sounds: Identifying Initial Sounds


Scripted Math Lessons With Independent Options:

Scare-A-Crow: Creating a Picture Graph and Recording Data
The Scarecrow: Using Pattern Blocks to Make a Larger Shape
Scarecrow Scare: Comparing Numbers
Scarecrows Count: Counting Forward

Independent Activities: 
Counting Crows: Counting Cardinality
Team Scarecrow: Comparing Groups 

Art Projects
Pattern Block Scarecrow
My Shape Scarecrow

Kitchen
Scarecrow Snack
Scarecrow Supper

Writing
Scarecrow Word Wall
If I Were a Scarecrow
How to Scare Crows
Classroom Book: My Scarecrow

Guided Reading Books
The Scarecrow

Songs/Fingerplays
The Scarecrow
Little Scarecrow
How Scary Can You Be?
Scarecrow Turn Around
Dingle Dangle Scarecrow


Monday, September 24, 2012

Apples: Thematic Common Core Curriculum Essentials






This apple unit is strategically linked to the common core standards and will link all areas of your curriculum. Check out our Harvest Unit for even more apple ideas and much more!

Table of Contents


Shared Reading Lessons:
And Apple is its Name Oh: Enjoying Songs & Poetry
Way Up High in the Apple Tree: Enjoying Songs & Poetry
Yummy Apples: Word Substitution

Scripted Literacy Lessons:
ABC Apple Orchard: Identifying Alphabet Letters
Eating Apples: Identifying Beginning Sounds

Independent Activities: 
Color Word Worms: Matching & Writing Color Words
ABC Apple Trace: Tracing Alphabet Letters


Scripted Math Lessons With Independent Options:
Willy the Wandering Worm: Identifying Numbers

Independent Activities: 
Apple Number Memory: Matching Numbers
Bobbing For Apples: Working with 5-Frames
Math Journal Sticker: Draw an Apple Story


Writing
Apple Wordwall
The Way I Like Apples
Johnny Appleseed
Aa Handwriting Sheet



Guided Reading Books
I like Apples
Apples Guided Reading Supports


Science
Apple Taste Test: Making Comparisons & Recording Data
Apple Life Cycle: Portfolio Sample



Art Projects
Apple Tree Art
Apple Mosaic

Songs/Fingerplays
Eating Apples
Five Little Apples
Have You Ever Seen An Apple














Monday, September 17, 2012

Kindergarten Monthly Homework Packets


Check out our complete set of Kindergarten Homework Packets. You may purchase each separately for $4.00. But, we have packaged all 16 together for a $14.00 savings, $50.00. Below are the monthly packet contents and links to the individual previews. We also sell preschool and 1st grade packets.


January Homework Contents
Table of Contents:
The Snowman A guided reading book
Snowy Lotto An alphabet game
Winter Delivery A sight word activity
Color Match Snowmen A color word activity
A Winter Wonderland A blending game
Snowflake Swirl A Counting activity
Snowman Clock A math activity
January Calendar A number handwriting activity

February Homework Contents
Table of Contents:
Little Valentines A guided reading book
Heart Bingo & Flash Hearts Sight word activities
Don’t Break My Heart A word segmenting game
My Valentines Using valentines to extend learning
Dragon Dance Alphabet Sound Fluency
Number Games Math Activities
February Calendar A number handwriting activity

March Homework Contents
Table of Contents:
Out in Space A guided reading book
Mr. Spaceman Conventions of Print
Letter Blast Off Alphabet Letter Sound Naming Automaticity
Race Through Space Alphabet Letter Naming Automaticity
Skip Counting Counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s
Alien Planet Segment Words into Individual Phonemes
Decode it-Defeat it Reading CVC Words
Alien Snap Counting From any Given Number

April Homework Contents
Table of Contents:
The Pond A guided reading book
Slithering Snakes Alphabet sound fluency
Frogger A decoding game
Turtle Lotto A sight word game
Family of Ducks Word families
April Calendar A number handwriting activity
Frog Eggs Composing numbers
Easter Egg Delivers Plus and minus

May Homework Contents
Table of Contents
The Jungle A decodable, sightword reader
Roar! A decoding game
Safari Sights A sight word game
The Jungle A writing activity
Around the Zoo A comprehension activity
At the Zoo An addition game
Gorillas in Cages A subtraction game

June Homework Contents
Table of Contents
Capture the Butterfly A word family game
Mosquito Slap A sightword game
Flower Garden A sentence game
I Can be a Scientist A sightword reader
Lilypad Leap A number line game
Ladybug Addition An addition activity
Dragonfly Subtraction A subtraction activity
Across the Curriculum A collection of fun learning activities

July Homework Contents
Table of Contents
The Beach A sightword reader
Sand Castles A sightword game
Summer Celebrations A sentence game
Diving for Letters Alphabet recognition game
Shell Addition An addition game
Beach Ball Subtraction A subtraction activity
The Number Swim Writing Numbers


August Homework Contents
Table of Contents
Rhyme Book A book of rhymes
My ABC’s An ABC activity
Ride to the Park A color recognition game
The Shape of Things A shape recognition game
Number Flashcards A number recognition activity
Name Writing A handwriting activity
All about ME A classroom community building activity

September Homework Contents
Table of Contents
The Game Sightword reader
Football Flashcards A capital letter review
Kick off ABC Game An alphabet game
Name Cheer A letter recognition activity
Football Rhymes A rhyming game
The Team A number game
Huddle Up A number activity

October Homework Contents
Table of Contents
Haunted House A syllable game
Boo to You An alphabet game
Spider Race An alphabet activity
Monster Cookies Beginning sound activity
Dark Woods Math A number game
No Tricks, Just Treats A sort and graph activity

November Homework Contents
Table of Contents
My Bear A sightword reader
Time to Hibernate An alphabet game
Star Gazing A letter sound game
A Walk in the Woods An ending sounds game
Letter Trace A handwriting activity
Bear Math Various math activities
Number Bears A flashcard activity

December Homework Contents
Table of Contents
Christmas Time A sightword reader
Christmas Tree ABC An alphabet game
To the North Pole A rhyming game
Christmas Sounds A phonemic isolation game
Sound Train Alphabet Sound Fluency
Christmas Memory A number game
Letter Cookies A handwriting activity

Fall Intervention Homework Contents (Spanish Version also included)
Table of Contents
I like Books A guided reader
Alphabet Flashcards An alphabet activity
Capital Shake An alphabet game
My Letters A letter fluency activity
Beginning Sound Isolation Beginning sound game
A-Z Handwriting Handwriting
Number Practice A math activity

Winter Intervention Homework Contents (Spanish Version also included)
Table of Contents
Planes An alphabet sound game
Letter/Sound Fluency Practice sheets
Matching Middles A phonemic awareness activity
Find the Picture A blending and segmenting game
Handwriting Handwriting Practice
Sight Word Study A sight word activity
Color the Shape A math activity
Bingo 0-20 number recognition.

Spring Intervention Homework Contents 
Table of Contents
The Early Bird An Alphabet Fluency Game
The Hungry Lamb Sound Fluency
Rain Go Away A decoding game
Flower Garden A sightword activity
Bunny Hop A segmenting game
Word Riddles Phonemic awareness
Number Hunt Number recognition
Baby Lambs Addition


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kindergarten Classrooms Should be Noisy


This weekend I started reading the book, “Tools of the Mind: The Vygotskian Approach to Early Childhood Education” by Elena Bodrova And Deborah J. Leong. Lev Vygotsky was a genius Russian psychologist who studied cognitive development despite the difficulty of being a Jew in Russia, and the pressure to conform to the ideas dictated by the Russian government. Because his ideas were buried in communist Russia, it was only in the 70's that we in the west were first able to access and use the theories he developed. 

I already knew (and love) the theories of Vygotsky, but it was only by reading this book that I realized the impact that he’s had on education. Before we knew what Vygotsky had discovered about the way children learn, classrooms all looked like the one pictured above. Teachers lectured. Students worked independently. This was because back then, we believed learning to be an entirely internal process. Then Vygotsky came along and we discovered that learning happens in a social context, and language is the key to developing mature mental processes.


And that is why my classroom is so noisy. And that is why it's okay. Because research has shown that language is a key element in a child’s learning. There are times when it is important to listen. Children need to learn when and how to attend to information and how to show respect to a speaker. But children also need to be able to have shared experiences with language in order to build their mental processes. Learning cannot happen in silence. Learning needs conversation, so, a noisy classroom is a learning classroom.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reading Strategies

Today we focused on Reading Strategy #2, point at the word your voice is saying. We placed a small ladybug sticker on our pointer and taught him how to fly from word to word. Check out our reading strategy posters. They are great for reinforcing early reading strategies.



Monday, September 10, 2012

Common Core Book Study

I am participating in a book study on the Common Core.


This book, “Common Core Curriculum Maps in English Language Grades K-5,” is a terrific guide when implementing the common core standards!

As every kindergarten teacher knows, kindergartners enter school with an extreme range of knowledge. The Common Core Standards have been developed to assist teachers to better meet the needs of this diverse range. This book takes those standards and provides a pacing guide that guides instruction in phonological, phonics, print awareness, fluency, etc. 

Unit 1: A Colorful Time with Rhythm and Rhyme focuses on the first six weeks of kindergarten when students should be introduced to colorful picture books, traditional poetry, playful songs, and rhythmic nursery rhymes. 

We have developed two beginning of the year units to compliment this unit of color and rhyme. Check them out at our online store. You will quickly be on your way to building early readers!




Check out other unit summaries here: 




Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blocks in the Classroom

Put blocks in the classroom, and amazing things happen.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The School Bus



Approximately 25 million students across the United States ride the bus to school every day. With so many students depending on the school bus for transportation, it is important to review bus safety rules on a yearly basis. 

In order to address bus safety as efficiently as possible, I post a bus safety bulletin board in my classroom. I can easily go over each rule as I have time...one or two at a time or all points at the same time. We discuss the rules, define words, and even act out some of the rules as time permits. 

While learning about bus safety, I include a few school bus activities to add interest and address some important kindergarten skills. I’ve combined many of these activities into a mini-unit called The School Bus. The unit includes an alphabet and a number game, a guided reader, a writing page, a bus construct, a song poster, and a poster with bus safety rules. Check it out at our online store!
Kathleen