Counting and Cardinality

The foundation of numbers is crucial to the development of other math skills.  In fact, focusing on numbers is so important that kindergarten math programs should devote more learning time to numbers than to other math topics (Common Core Standards, p. 9). 

Counting and Cardinality addresses numbers in a variety of ways. As students work to meet the seven standards in this strand, they learn number names, develop counting skills, and  make number comparisons. With these skills in place, students can work competently in the other areas of math throughout their school years. 

Our Counting and Cardinality  packet includes ten lessons/activities to help your students understand the standards of Counting and Cardinality.  Each of the seven standards is addressed, with separate lessons provided for subsets of the standards. 

The Alphabet Chant

The alphabet and its sounds form the foundation for reading. The success of early readers is impacted by letter and sound knowledge. A resource that Kathleen is currently completing to enhance letter and sound knowledge is the Alphabet Chant

The Alphabet Chant addresses the letters of the alphabet and their sounds. The Alphabet Chant packet includes a page for every letter of the alphabet, enabling each student to make an alphabet chant book. Each page features a portion of the chant along with an accompanying art project. The projects include coloring, painting, and constructing pictures. An alternative page is included for every construction page, allowing the option of simpler projects if desired.

The Alphabet Chant can be used with students of varying abilities. While it was designed to highlight the letter/sound association, it can be used effectively to introduce letters or sounds, reinforce rhymes, emphasize beginning sounds, and/or support sight word recognition. 

The Alphabet Chant book is very versatile and can be adapted to fit your needs. It can be completed over a period of one or two weeks or over a period of two or three months. It can be used to introduce or reinforce letters and sounds. It can supplement your alphabet study or be used as an intervention tool. The pages can be completed in alphabetical order or out of order to fit your sound introduction sequence. Make a book from the completed pages or send each individual page home as it is finished.

Whatever options you choose, your students are sure to enjoy the Alphabet Chant. It is a fun and interactive way to focus on letters and sounds!

Multi-Task Sight Word Workbook

Make the most of your student's sight word practice by providing them this great multi-task workbook. Students are asked to color the word, trace the word, write the word, find the word, and then create the word as a puzzle. Contains 38 sight words, however, I will provide additional words as asked.

The above color the word page also comes with a lower-case font choice.

Contents Include:

We Made Crystals!

As part of our winter unit, Kathleen's class made crystals this week. Sugar, salt, and snowflakes are examples of is borax. Borax, a cleaning product found in the laundry aisle, makes (almost) no-fail crystals. 

On the first day, we mixed hot water and borax. The kids wrote their names on craft sticks and made designs with pipe cleaners. 

After pouring the borax solution into cups, we added the pipe cleaners and set the cups aside. 

On the next day the kids poured the water off and examined their crystals! We wrote about the experiment, then bagged everything up for the trip home. 

Find complete directions in our White Wonderful Winter unit!

Art Makes The Brain Smart!

Art is not only fun, it is a critical part of the kindergarten curriculum!  

Art Coach directs students to look closely at the positions and shapes of the Arctic Fox's body.

Adding Feathers and Spots to the Snowy Owl in Flight.

Art raises scores in math and language arts.

Art strengthens critical brain processing capacities.

 Art strengthens spatial reasoning and visual imagery skills.

 Art strengthens auditory perception.

 Art expands sequential memory development.

 Art exercises both the long and short term memory.

 Art builds oral language skills and strengthens vocabulary.

 Art is a great assessment tool.

 Art allows students to excel at their developmental level.

           Art strengthens problem solving skills.

           Art allows students a natural outlet for frustration and aggression.
             Art allows students to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.

            Art provides opportunities for teamwork and collaboration.

          Art builds the ability to make decisions.

            Art provides opportunities to respect diversity.

            Art allows opportunity to communicate nonverbally.

            Art allows students to build intrinsic values.

           Art builds bridges from culture to culture.

          Art allows opportunity to think differently and expand imagination.

    Art is fun!

Oral Blending

Oral blending is a precursor to decoding or sounding out words. Developing a strong foundation in blending will help students make a faster and smoother transition when reading words.

Blending should begin well before the phoneme stage. Most students can easily blend the two parts of a compound word together. From that point, present words in smaller and smaller units. Provide opportunities for blending multi-syllable words together, then onsets and rimes. 

After multiple experiences successfully blending the initial or final consonant with the rest of the word, it is time to blend two and three sounds together. For your first phoneme blending experiences, put the sounds in the context of a sentence or story.

My puppy likes to /b/ /ar/ /k/.
He likes it when I /p/ /e/ /t/ him.
He likes to chew on a /b/ /o/ /n/.
He likes to chase the /c/ /a/ /t/.

Another support for oral blending is to provide picture clues. Place a set of three-sound picture cards (or objects) in front of your students. Name the three sounds of one of the pictures and have the students find the correct picture. Limit the number of pictures for students who struggle with blending. 

After playing games with pictures or objects, the students are ready to try blending sounds without any clues. Kathleen's students recently played a blending game called Build a Snowman (found in our unit Crazy for Snowmen). This game can be played with or without picture cards, so it can be used with students working at different levels. For each correct answer, the students were able to add another piece to the snowman; “building” the snowman made the game a little more fun for the students and kept them engaged throughout this guided lesson!

Snow at the Sensory Center

I love putting this great instant snow at the Sensory Center! 

If you have yet to use this great product, 
check it out at the Steve Spangler Store.
A few of our other snowy centers included:

Snowball Ten-Frames

Listening Center

Constructing a snowman and then adding a blizzard to the page.

Arctic Freeze: Thematic Common Core Curriculum Essentials

Love the Polar Regions!Teach the Common Core Standards with confidence by using these strategically linked cross-curricular, thematic activities

Contents include:

Shared Reading Activities:
The Whale & The Penguin: Group Poetry Activity
Arctic Friends: Retell a Story

Scripted Literacy Activities:
Glacier Bay: Phoneme Segmentation
Glacier Melt Down: Fluently Naming Alphabet Sounds
March of the Penguins: Alphabet Letter Fluency
Arctic Hunt: Nonsense Word Fluency

Independent Literacy Activities:
Walrus Waddle & Walk: Writing Beginning Sounds
Igloo Match: Matching Upper and Lowercase Letters
Arctic Animal Names: Writing Missing Letters

Math Activities:
Polar Bears in the Cave: Counting On
Penguin Playground: Adding to and Taking Away
Eskimo Count: Joining Sets
Rescuing Penguins: Identifying Teen Numbers

Independent Math Activities:
Polar Bear Fishing: Comparing Quantities
Comparing Igloos: Comparing Written Numerals
Eskimo Friends: Composing Numbers

Writing Prompts/Word Wall
Arctic Word Wall
The Penguins
Polar Animals
Label It

Guided Reading Books
Arctic Friends
Class Made Book
Arctic Friends

Art Projects

My Eskimo

Ice Race: Exploring Properties of Water
North Pole Facts
South Pole Facts
Blubber Experiment:How Polar Animals Keep Warm

North and South
Arctic Friends