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Thank you for following our Kindergarten Kiosk Blog and helping us keep the Child in Early Childhood Education! We only sell products that have been tried in our own classrooms, that are loved by us and the students we teach!

Enjoy a 20% off sale on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!

Hoping for a Blessed Year for the Young Child and all that toil in their behalf!

Happy New Year: COMPLETE Thematic Unit

Although learning to tell time is not a math skill, and is not included as a Common Core Standard in kindergarten, the teaching of clocks as a tool for mathematical thinking is crucial. 

A clock is made of the numbers 1-12 laid out in numerical order. This alone makes the clock a handy aid when teaching counting and cardinality. Giving a student opportunity to work with clocks help develop number recognition, sequencing, and numerical order.

I think I have introduced clocks the first day back from winter break for the entire 23 years of my career (thank you Ruth Hepworth). Waiting for Monday morning, right at my carpet/calendar area, I have my little student size Judy Clocks ready to go and my copy of Hap Palmer’s, Paper Clocksready for the play button to be pushed. After we have manipulated the clocks to the song a couple of times, I love to have the students construct their own clocks to take home and show off their new skill of telling time to the hour. 

You may wish to check out our Happy New Year Unit that focuses on ways to measure time: Clocks and Calendars.

Creating Christmas Memories

I found this Santa in a box when I was cleaning this weekend. I made it in elementary school in the 1960’s, so it is 50 years old. It has brought back some great memories of the past. Here are a few Christmas school memories that I remember...

Decorating a classroom tree with paper chains and popcorn.

Drawing names and exchanging presents with my classmates.

Lining up to present our presents to the teacher.

Spending afternoons making crafts (like my cute Santa) and yes sneaking a taste of the paste.

Learning how to sing “Silent Night” in German.

Performing the Nativity as our Christmas Class Play.

Making a Reader’s Digest Magazine into a tree and spray painting it green.

Making a bowl out of clay as a present for my mom.

Obviously the things teachers take the time to do with their students at Christmastime will create lasting memories, mine have survived a decade. So as teachers work to make it through the exhaustion and chaos of the last week before the holidays, remember, you are creating memories that will not be forgotten.

Gingerbread Houses: The Christmas Kitchen

Looking for a special project to try before your Christmas or Winter break begins? Consider decorating graham cracker “gingerbread” houses! 

Recruit a volunteer to make the houses, make them yourself, or help your students put them together. Ask students to bring candy to share...tootsie rolls, kisses, hugs, m&m’s, dots, skittles, red hots, licorice, peppermint wheels, and candy canes are just a few possibilities.

If you make the entire house at school, it’s easiest to construct them during a center. Have the students work with you or another adult to put together the 4 walls. Next, join the 2 sections of the roof and set aside to dry. The roof can be attached to the house when everything is dry and stable. 

Whether you make the houses with the students or provide pre-made houses, the fun really begins with the decorating. Some students will cover the entire house with a conglomeration of candy; others will carefully choose candy and strategically place it on the house. Whatever the approach, the creations are beautiful and the students are thrilled with the results!

Although gingerbread houses are often associated with Christmas, you can decorate them at any time of the year. Use candy hearts in February or jelly beans in April! Culminate a gingerbread boy unit by decorating a house for him or make a special house for Hansel and Gretel as part of a fairy tale unit. Whenever you decide to decorate gingerbread houses, they will be a hit with your students! 

Check out detailed directions on the internet or find step-by-step directions in our Gingerbread Man unit.  Or try any of our Christmas products found on the side-bar of our blog. Have fun!

Children with Behavioral Issues Need Help, Not Labels

I feel strongly that, in the classroom of the young child, there is no such thing as a behavior problem. I do agree that there may be such a thing as a child who demonstrates negative behaviors.

Children at this age are experimenting with all kinds of behavior, some of the behaviors will be positive and some of them will be negative. Our job as educators is to teach children which behaviors are productive and which are not. I worry that as we smother our students with behavior charts, stickers, and contracts, we are taking away their chance to internally process what these behaviors mean. Worse yet, when children see their behavior chart constantly on "red", notice that they never receive stickers, or realize they never get a prize from the prize box, they will begin to feel that the behaviors that they have been demonstrating are a part of them, rather than an external activity that is fluid and can be changed. The child (and the teacher) will begin to believe that he/she is a "behavior problem" rather than a child who has a problem with behavior.

I feel the way we talk to young children about bullies is especially damaging. Instead of teaching children about bully behavior, we teach them that some children are bullies. Children will experiment with behaviors that exert some kind of power over other children. Unfortunately, if we have taught that children who act this way are bullies, instead of empowering them with the knowledge that the behavior is a bully behavior, we have taken away their chance to modify their actions. We have taken away their ability to change behavior and have attached a damaging label to the child himself.

This year I stumbled upon Wonder Grove Kids, a company that offers some great character building videos and supplementary materials. The Wonder Grove Learn Education Initiative covers eight critical areas of early learning that impact a child’s ability to succeed inside and outside of the classroom. The following is one of their videos:

Notice that the child in the video who is not keeping her hands to herself does not realize that the behavior is negatively impacting her friendship. This is something she has to learn. As educators, we need to spend less time dictating the consequences of behaviors to our students, and more time helping them internalize the negative impact that poor behavior has on their relationships. And we need to be especially careful never to label them, or allow them to label themselves as a "behavior problem". If we do, we have written their future for them.

Santa's Mail: Write-The-Room Sight Words or Alphabet Letters

Santa's Mail: Write-The-Room Sight Word or Alphabet

All students love to write the room! Especially when the writing involves Santa Claus!

This packet contains two Write-The-Room activities, one version for sight words (contains all words from Wonders, Journeys and Imagine It reading programs), and alphabet letters


Christmas Flashcards

Since Christmas seems to “take over” the thoughts of most children immediately following Thanksgiving, tap into this exciting time with holiday learning activities.  You can do this in a variety of ways - read holiday books, sing songs, plan some Christmas art projects, play number and other math games using holiday objects such as ornaments or bows, play literacy games featuring Christmas trees, Santa, and/or reindeer...the list goes on and on.

Christmas flashcards can add a touch of “fun” to your flashcards drills and activities. You can extend holiday learning beyond school by sending home Christmas flashcards. Use a set of letter sound flashcards at school and provide a corresponding black-and-white set for use at home to give your students an extra boost in recognizing and identifying letters sounds. 

By directing your attention to fun holiday activities, the next few weeks can become a time of productive learning. For holiday flashcards and other Christmas learning materials, check out these products: