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Friday, April 25, 2014

Little Red Hens In Kindergarten

My kindergarten teachers are working on a unit of study about teamwork and we are using the story of the Little Red Hen to do this. The teachers have been growing corn (see the previous post) and are reading a variety of versions of this story. This allows you to compare and contrast stories, focus on different characters that appear and talk about the sequence of the story.
They also love doing art with this unit and I had to post some of the hens the children created. We kept the shapes simple but so much learning went on during this activity. Students had to listen carefully to each step and the results are hilarious... 

This leads to writing for a purpose. Students can make a bubble map describing the little red hen and then write about her. Common Core does not need to be complicated!
This can easily be integrated into a farm unit and a study of chicks and their life cycle. We like to use it to teach character traits and the message it clearly has about working hard to reach a goal.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

It was a crazy week of learning

It was a busy week in kindergarten and I had so much fun working with my teacher friends. We planted corn and lima beans with the kids in little greenhouses I created for them. Usually we put in damp paper towels and the lima bean behind the greenhouse and place it in a window. This year one of my teacher's decided to add soil and just spritz it lightly with water. She soaked the beans and popcorn ahead of time. The students were exploding with enthusiasm for this activity. The corn grew in just a few days and the kids were thrilled to see this. I was pretty over the top myself.
Once we saw that corn worked so easily the teachers decided to let their classes plant a few seeds in a clear cup so they could see the root system grow. I made the greenhouses much smaller this time, put their picture in the middle, and used a label with their name on top. I also laminated them in case they got wet .Colorful tongue depressors are just the right size to use as the stick. This made an adorable garden marker. I got this idea from a group of teachers I love at another school who did not have space for the big greenhouses and put these outside in the sun. I thought this was precious and so did my teacher friend. These went home with the kids after Open House. Parents were told to take pictures of their plant's progress. The kids were over the moon with excitement.
Students also worked on a cut and paste little book called My Bean Garden which I created to teach what is needed for a seed to grow. They could not wait to show me their beautiful work. I loved listening to them read the words. The teacher also wanted an emergent reader about spring which the students completed with ease and many could also read. Spring is blooming in this classroom for sure.

My teacher friend loves to grow butterflies in the room at this time of the year and students watch this process with amazement. Naturally, I made them a sight word game with butterflies and they are having so much fun with this. Watch out because I have a flower hiding behind a more challenging word!
This week I better work on an emergent reader about butterflies just to keep up with all the learning going on in this classroom. 
What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day and Spring? Any ideas for me to add into the mix? What are you growing?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Even Kinder Kids Can Make A Difference

This time of year makes me crazy with all the testing, Open House hoopla, conferences, and report cards. Are you on my page? In my district that discourage us from doing any holiday celebrations because many of our students do not observe them. So what works for the month of April that provides valuable content and will be meaningful to students... Earth Day! Our kids love learning about caring for the earth and how to do it. This is a theme that can easily be aligned to the Common Core since the Big Idea is the need to care for our planet to ensure that we continue to enjoy our natural resources. Non fiction books are readily available and I bought new ones this year that I love! What kid is not interested in recycling and collecting trash...right? If you have never used this theme I hope you will try it this year. There are so many wonderful books to read to your students that are both fiction and non fiction. Check them out on Amazon.

This is a great packet for kindergarten teachers. It has both math and literacy activities that are interactive and engaging for young children. There are many opportunities for children to practice new academic language and to do "opinion writing" that is appropriate for their age. Your students can make a necklace, wear it home, and explain their new learning. If you are interested in this packet click here to go to my TpT store. There is even a free headband which is another teaching tool to use with your students. Raise awareness about our earth and the need to care for it.
What do you do for Earth Day?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Final Froggy Freebie: Catch It While You Can!

This flash freebie is over. I hope you had as much fun as I did. Your comments and emails were wonderful to read and I tried to respond to everyone. It was a blast to read your enthusiastic and super creative ideas. Teachers are amazing and I thank you for participating in this little activity with me and making it so successful. I promise to do more of these. If you missed any of these downloads I will try to put them in my store for a minimal amount of money. This was so much fun!

Join me on Facebook where we can stay connected and continue to learn from each other. Click on this icon to get there.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Here Is My Next Freebie

Thanks for all your sweet comments. I read them all and really enjoyed your ideas.  Will you check out my Facebook page for updates? Should I do one more freebie? Hummmm.... What do you think? I hope you found time to grab this. I really liked this one. The carrots are adorable. When you teach about planting this is perfect. I wonder if you could put soil and a seed in these and have them grow!

So I woke up early this morning ready to rock out the next freebie and I had a black screen with a weird message. The husband was asleep and I was completely freaked out. I am thinking I lost all of these files and I spent days creating this (sob, sob). However, I begged the poor guy to look at it and after about an hour he had it up and running again and I stopped sweating. Thank goodness he is my superhero. This freebie is precious (in my humble opinion) so leave a comment and "like" Kindergarten Crayons on Facebook cause I need more fans (don't make me beg).
Remember that this is available today only. What sorting activities do you like to do with your students. Let me know so I can create them. Do you keep your sorts in a notebook. I haven't up until now so advise me please. If you want this freebie just click on the pictures. I really enjoy your comments friends.
Enjoy this literacy center and let me know if the kids have fun with it!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Flash Freebie #1: Do Bunnies Make Sounds?


This is over now. Keep you eyes open for the next file. I hope you got this one! Thanks for all the great comments. You suggested so many amazing ideas. I hope my readers check these out.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Are you munching on carrots...check out these plastic ones!

 Okay I need to get a handle on this. I swear this is my last idea but it is a whopper! The carrot containers are my all time favorites and here is what I came up with today. It's a syllable sorting activity with fruit and vegetable cards. The cards fit in the carrots perfectly! The mats fit in the back of this container, along with the directions. Cute... right? I love that these are all Common Core activities and this is an important Foundational Skill for our kinders.

Normally I buy the carrot containers at the Dollar Tree but this year I could not find them. My daughter called me in the middle of the day to tell me they were in Walgreen. Yup, who knew? I bought a few but believe me in a few weeks these will be on CLEARANCE. If you can hold out until then you will love the price. I couldn't resist so here is my final idea!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Looking for Some "Egg"- Ceptional Mini Station Ideas?

Have you ever considered what you can do with plastic eggs? Students love these little containers so turn them into quick and easy learning stations that make learning fun. These containers are super cheap right after Easter so be on high alert!
Here are some of the ideas I put together today: 

My kindergarten teachers loved these little math and literacy stations and I had so much fun using them with some of their students. What is it about "little pieces" that kids love so much? I had some of these plastic eggs from last year but I bought more at Walmart recently. Usually I buy them at the Dollar Store but they had slim pickings this year. The baskets that I put them in are from their and you get 3 of them for a buck. I am going to make these a flash freebie this week for a few days and then I will put them in my TpT store. 
What is your best idea for these eggs? Leave me a comment and come back for the freebie if you can use these. They are aligned to the Common Core and all of them have student response sheets. I hope you like these ideas as much as I do!