Space, the Final Frontier

If you want to capture the attention of your students, just introduce the theme of space! Kindergarten kids love the mystery and excitement of space and space exploration. As an added bonus, they are willing to work on almost any skill if you give it a space twist. In the past two weeks, Kathleen's class have practiced literacy skills such as blending, segmenting, decoding, naming sight words, reading simple books, and writing. In math they have counted by tens, practiced addition, and solved word problems. 

In addition to literacy and math skills, they developed science vocabulary and learned facts about our universe. Through a solar system construct project, the students worked cooperatively to create the sun and planets. Later they followed directions to design astronauts. 

Through a unit on space, you can meet the needs of all of your students. You can tailor your activities to support struggling students, help on-level students move up another step, and challenge high students. For ideas and lessons, check out our unit, Out In Space.

And add some alien variety by joining this unit with our Alien unit!

Clocks in Kindergarten

Telling time is not one of the Common Core Standards for kindergarten, however, there is still merit in introducing clocks. Through a clock unit, you can:
reinforce number recognition and the count sequence.
challenge students.
help students develop a lifeskill.
prepare students to meet a first grade Common Core standard.

We have a clock unit combined with our New Year’s unit, but you can introduce clocks at almost any time during the year. Kindergarten students enjoy working with large and small manipulative clocks. Most kids can easily tell time to the hour with either analog or digital times after just a few time-telling lessons. If clocks aren’t already a part of your curriculum, give them a try.Teach a few lessons, add them to your opening activities, and have a little time-telling fun!

Transportation Unit

You will love this all inclusive unit on transportation, a favorite of all children! Contents are systematically linked to common core objectives and are clearly stated.

                    Contents include:


My Car
Down By The Station
Engine Engine Number Nine

Art Projects

Paint a Plane
Shape Train: Using Shapes to Create a Larger Shape
Construct Vehicles: Developing Spacial Reasoning
Vehicle Wheel Paintings:Using Nontraditional Tools
Transportation Mural: Cooperative Art
Make a Map: Use the Mural to Make Maps


Ramp It Up: Exploring Properties of Physics
Paper Airplanes

Guided Reading Books
Take a Ride

Class-Made Books
My Vehicle


Transportation Word Wall
Writing Prompts: Take a Ride, To Town
Writing Center Activities:
How To (Level 1 & 2) , Label It, Make a List

Scripted Math Lessons With Independent Options:
Derby Race Car: Identifying Numerals 0-100                            
One Up Tune Up: Adding One to Make a Sum                
Transportation Graph: Graphing                                                                                
Parking Lot Subtraction: Subtraction    
Independent Activities:
Parking Cars:  Connecting Numbers to Quantity
On The Plane: Solving Addition Problems 0-5                                                  
Counting Cars: Observing and Recording Data

Scripted Literacy Lessons:
Road Racer: Reading Sight Words
Flying High: Reading and Sorting Real and Pretend Words
Vacation Destination: Alphabet Letter and Sound Fluency
Breakdown: Using Letter Sounds to Read Words

Independent Activities:
Road Trip: Writing Upper and Lowercase Alphabet Letters
 Planes Trains and Everything Else: Rhyming Words
The Missing Letters: Writing Letters and Sounds

The following are some shots of my students enjoying this great unit!

Digraphs, Ocean, and a Sale!

Diving for Digraphs

Chocolate chips, shells, three, whales....these are just a few words that children may use. When they begin identifying beginning sounds, most students can name the sounds sh, ch, th, and wh. In order to use digraphs in reading and writing, however, they need to know the spellings for the common consonant digraphs.

To help students focus on the spelling for each digraph, introduce them on separate days or even separate weeks. Have the students help generate a list of words beginning with your chosen digraph. Write each word on chart paper or a board so the students can see the spelling of the digraph again and again.

After working with the digraphs individually, review and reinforce spellings with a game. Diving for Digraphs, a game from our ocean unit, provides an opportunity to connect digraph sounds and spellings. Each player draws a card, identifies the picture’s digraph, then looks for that digraph spelling on his/her game mat. After playing the game once or twice, students are more secure in recognizing and using digraphs in both reading and writing.

Be sure to check out this and our other great products this weekend as we throw a "Set the Clock" sale!

Constructing at the Art Center

With more and more emphasis on academics, making time for construct projects can be  a challenge. Construct projects are not just fun or frivolous activities, however. They provide students with the opportunity to follow directions, strengthen hand and finger muscles, solve problems, review shapes, use math skills, and be creative.

Construct projects can increase student interest in any subject that you are studying. They provide opportunities to use language and  interact with classmates. Completing a project often gives students a feeling of accomplishment. Furthermore, if the finished projects are posted, students have a greater sense of belonging in the classroom.  

Most students enjoy construct projects. Whether making  an octopus, a pirate ship, a leprechaun, or an astronaut, they will eagerly tackle the latest project, many times remembering it as the favorite experience of the week!