Assessments Guide Instruction

Find out how to guide instruction by clicking the link to our post on our new blog!

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I have a very exciting announcement! Kindergarten Kiosk is moving!

Try out our new website at Leave a comment on our Facebook page sharing something about the new website (something you like, something buggy, whatever) and you'll be entered to win a product of your choice. Winner drawn on Monday!

One of THOSE Days: Teaching Sick

I woke up sick this morning throwing up, dizzy, from a sinus infection. Because it is simply to hard to get plans together unless you have a "You are going to be sick warning," the night before, I headed to school.

Still being sick when the kiddos arrived, and throwing up in the garbage under my desk right before their eyes, I stated. "I am not feeling good today." "Duh!" Their faces told me!

I am pretty dizzy. So if I pass out, here are your jobs. Girls I need to you stay with me and tend me. Boys I need you to run to the office to get help. "Okay!" They said eagerly (truly hoping that I would pass out). Then, we started the day with what else, free-choice. And yes, after I made it through the day.... I went straight to the doctors to get some much needed antibiotics.

Teaching. The only career where it is easier to go to work sick than to stay home.

Kindergarten Assessments at their BEST

I have spent this week testing, using fabulous ESGI, preparing for my Mid-Term Conferences. Today, I enjoyed a little entertainment from this delightful student.

Me: Please write the word in the box, saying the sounds as you write. Pig.
Cutie: (As she writes the letters p-i-g). "Oink, oink, oink. That was easy."
Me: Hen.
Cutie: "Well! That's easy too. Cluck, cluck, cluck." (As she easily writes H-e-n).

Yep, Kindergarten keeps me fully entertained!  And because ESGI makes the assessments a breeze I am able to assess stress-free, allowing me to savor small magical Kindergarten moments.

By the way! You still have time to enter The AMAZING ESGI Giveaway!: Follow this link for full instructions. 

An Arctic Winter

The great Arctic Freeze is here once again! Capitalize on the weather through winter related units and activities. Investigate the Arctic and the Antarctic. Read the guided reader Arctic Friends, compare quantities with Polar Bear Fishing, construct walruses, and sound out words with the game Arctic Hunt. Next, turn your attention to the Antarctic and the penguin. Write about penguins, read about them, construct penguins, and play penguin games such as Rescue the Penguins - a teen math game and March of the Penguins, a letter fluency game. The Arctic air is cold, but make the best of it with our Arctic Freeze activities!

Learning With Play Dough

If you want to improve your students’ handwriting, give them some playdough! Paper and pencil practice will help, but kids in kindergarten and other early grades need to continue strengthening hand and finger muscles. Manipulating playdough is a great way to do this! Handwriting Without Tears and other handwriting programs promote the use of playdough with supplementary letter and number cards.  Students not only develop muscles while using the cards, but they can also review letter names and letter formation at the same time.

Even if your students have great handwriting, playdough has a place in your classroom. Playdough is a great “tool” for Word Work activities. Forming each letter of a word helps students focus on the spelling of that word. The creators of The Daily 5 program recommend playdough as a material to keep in your Word Work or phonics center all year long. The tactile sensation of playdough helps students remember the words that they make.

Although you can purchase playdough, it’s fun to make it, too! Students can be involved in reading the directions and measuring the ingredients. If you make it in January, keep it white to resemble snow; if you make it in February add a little red food dye to the water for a pretty pink playdough. By using a different color each time you make it, this material will be “new” and exciting each time!

This unit has a great activity called "Snow Dough" that uses homemade dough to teach a Language Development 

Parent Teacher Conference Success

Are you getting ready for your winter parent teacher conferences in Kindergarten? You will love this easy form that will make reporting to parents a breeze! Two reporting forms are provided. One that matches our popular assessment packets and one that is blank to record your own benchmarks.

Bonus! This packet includes Intervention Packets in both English and Spanish to give below grade-level students an extra boost. Send these packets home with parents to offer additional support for their child's academic learning.

Amazing Prizes Compliments of ESGI and Friends

Each day January 9-21, a winner will be selected by Rafflecopter. Yes, a winner every day for 13 days! The  13 winners will each win $50.00 worth of product from a Friends of ESGI store, and a FREE 1 year license to ESGI!

The 13th winner will win an iPad Krayon Kiosk, 4 iPads, 4 chairs along with ESGI for a full year!

It is Easy to Enter! Follow the Steps Below

Step 1. Submit an active ESGI Username

If you are not a current user of ESGI, click on the ESGI logo above and register for a 60 Day Free trial. Be sure to use the code: B7227 to save $40.00! Remember, no credit card is needed. The full-version trial is absolutely free.

If you are a current user, or you have your brand-new user name that you have just created, go to the Rafflecopter below, enter your USERNAME, and Viola! You are entered a chance for some amazing prizes.

Step 2. Score Extra Entries

Earn extra points by visiting the ESGI Friends' Blogs as listed below. Leave a comment on their ESGI Giveaway post, and then you can check off the "I Commented" in the Rafflecopter. Each blog that you comment on will earn you extra entry points. And yes, you can comment and score those extra 13 points every day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Day 1 Winner - January 9th: Kinder Gals/Kim Adsit

Day 2 Winner - January 10th: Sharing Kindergarten/Mary Amoson -

Day 3 Winner - January 11th: HeidiSongs/Heidi Butkus -

Day 4 Winner - January 12th: Kindergarten Kiosk/Kathy Crane -

Day 5 Winner - January 13th: Smart Kids/Jayne Gammons -

Day 6 Winner - January 14th: Mrs. Jump's Class/Deanna Jump -

Day 7 Winner - January 15th: Pre-K Pages/Vanessa Levin -

Day 8 Winner - January 16th: KFundamentals/Palma Lindsay -

Day 9 Winner - January 17th: Differentiated Kindergarten/Marsha McGuire -

Day 10 Winner - January 18th: Kreative in Kinder/Crystal Radke -

Day 11 Winner - January 19th: Kindergarten Smorgasboard/Greg Smedley-Warren -

Day 12 Winner - January 20th: Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten/Deedee Wills -

Day 13 Winner - January 21st: Aridan Books -

January Interactive Math Worksheets

These are not your typical worksheets, they are made for adult/child interaction and teaching to complete. These higher-level thinking pages will challenge students and deepen mathematical understanding.

Contents Include:
Winter Wonderland: Properties of Addition and Subtraction
Candy Jar: Equations that equal 6
Winter Birds: Equations that equals 7
Measuring Mittens: Comparing Lengths
Favorite Winter Activities: Gathering and comparing data
Favorite Winter Animals: Gathering and comparing data
Hibernating Bears: Finding Missing Addends
Counting Snowflakes: Grouping in 10's plus remainders
Snowball Fight: Ordering numbers starting with a given number 1-6
Penguin Party: Finding missing addends to make a given number

Teaching Academic Skills Through Song

My students absolutely love learning academic skills through music! Here they are rocking to Number Jumble, one of their favorites. Click on the link below to explore all of Heidi's great offerings!

 Number Jumble 0-10 DVD

Subtraction Worksheets: Winter

Tomorrow, my students will begin the chapter on subtraction, and yes, I already know they will need lots of practice to become fluent subtractors with numbers 0-5.

Subtraction is a crucial math skill. It is important that students understand that subtraction involves taking away or pulling sets apart. As they grasp the underlying concept of subtraction, students can solve problems and begin to learn the subtraction facts.

These worksheets will allow independent practice in counting objects, taking away, and identifying differences.

To further meet objectives for Operations and Algebraic Thinking, check out: .

January: Time for Mid-Year Assessments

Are you like me and have to begin mid-trimester, or semester tests as soon as you get back into the classroom next week? Well, thank goodness to ESGI Software, the time needed to gather this valuable data through assessments has been literally cut in half. 

Beside the savings of valuable teaching time, students love to be assessed through the use of technology. It feels to them like a game. As students are called to the Ipad or computer for a little one-on-one private teacher time, the students bolt over as quickly as their names are called.

If you haven’t given it a try, click here to sign up for your free 60 day trail using promo code B7227. Worried about starting in mid-year, no problem! It is so simple to use, catching up on that great data assessments will take no time at all. And you will be very glad you did!

To help you get started using ESGI, you may want to check out these great assessments that are available in paper formant and as a bonus, already digitally loaded on ESGI!
Common Core English/Language Arts Assessments:Kindergarten  


Snowman Fingerplay: Poetry in the Classroom

Five Little Snowmen Fat.
Each wore a funny little hat.
Out came the sun
Just to chat.
What a sad thing was that!
Down, down, down.
I have enjoyed this finger play for many years with literally Hundreds of kindergartners. Download this freebie, copy, cut, laminate, and
attach to sticks and the poem is ready to go!

Click to Download

If you wish to have the entire "Standards Aligned" unit, it is available here.

Table of Contents

Literacy Activities:
Snowman Spill: Automaticy of Lowercase Letter Sounds
Snowman Match-up: Matching Letters and Sounds
Build a Snowman: Blending and Segmenting Words
Snowman Melt: Reading High Frequency Words
Draw a Snowman: Reviewing Early Phonics and Phonological Skills
My Favorite Things: Identifying Medial Sounds
Beginning Sounds: Identifying and Writing Beginning Sounds
A-Z: Fluently Connecting Dots From a-z.
Writing the Alphabet A-Z and a-z: Practicing Alphabet Letter Formation

Math Activities:
Snowball Fight: Comparing Numbers
The Snowman's Buttons: Decomposing Numbers
Snowman Sets: Joining Sets Using a 10 Frame Strategy
Snowman Sums: Making a Sum of 10 Using an Unknown and a KnowN Addend With Visual Representation.
Symmetry Snowman: Symmetry Activity
Snowman Puzzles: Using Geometric Shapes to Construct a Snowman
The Tallest Snowman: Measurement
Snowman Number Hunt: Matching Quantity and Numerals
Math Journal Prompt (Labels): Joining Sets

Guided Reading Books
The Snowmen (Level B)
The Snowmen (Level C)

Writing Prompts/Word Wall
My Snowman
How To Build a Snowman
Snowman Word Wall
Snowman Label-it (3 Levels)

The Melting Snowman: Observing States of Matter
Science Journal Page: Why does the sun melt the snowman?

Art Projects
Snowman Gallery Art Show
Marshmallow Snowman
Shape Snowman
Painted Snowman Portfolio Sample

Five Little Snowmen
I'm a Little Snowman
Drawing a Snowman