Make Valentine's Day Awesome with a STEM Activity

Make Valentine's Day Awesome with a STEM Activity

As someone who thrives on integrated instruction, I've never really been able to find a satisfactory way to integrate my instruction on Valentine's Day. Then I was contacted by GIANTmicrobes asking me if I would like to use some of their heart themed plushies in my instruction. Wow! What a light bulb moment! What if instead of focusing on love and candy on Valentines Day, I focused on the human heart and it's amazing functions using this cute guy?

Arctic Animals, The Olympics and a Bit of Engineering

Arctic Animals, The Olympics and a Bit of Engineering

Here are my son and I testing out the lesson. Who will win the Penguin Race? A penguin on his belly? The "skeleton racer" skateboard? Or, a penguin on a skeleton board? My son made some interesting observations while we were racing penguins. For example, he tried to reduce the incline of the ramp but immediately realized that the ramps became too weak at the midpoint and needed added support. We also tried adding tin foil to the ramps to make them look like snowy hills, but he quickly told me that we needed to take it off because "It's slowing the penguins down because it's too bumpy."  I'm so excited to take this experiment into the classroom and see what my students come up with!

We Made Crystals!

We Made Crystals!

Winter, is my favorite season inside of the classroom (But not outside for sure)! There are so many fun winter things to do that are engaging, bring cross-curricular learning opportunities, and simply put --  winter fun! Last week, as part of our Winter Thematic Learning, making crystals was a major focus.

Celebrate Christmas Around The World

Celebrate Christmas Around The World

Looking for the perfect Christmas Around the World thematic unit? Looking for books, supporting videos and songs? At Christmas time, I love to take my students on a journey around the world to celebrate all the wonderful and diverse ways people celebrate the holidays. It's a great way to introduce them to important social studies concepts in a playful and celebratory way! We love to read books about the different celebrations around the world as we set out on our adventures. Here are a few good ones to start off the journey:

Thinking Outside the Volunteer Box

Thinking Outside the Volunteer Box

I love having parent volunteers in the classroom. It creates such a sense of community and family when children are able to include their family member in the classroom! However, many parents are not able to come into the classroom. I have such a parent whose daughter really wanted her to come into the class, but who couldn't attend because of work. Fortunately, technology affords us many ways to include parents who might not be able to be a part of the classroom otherwise. Here are some ideas:

GIANTmicrobes!

GIANTmicrobes!

It's no secret that one of my favorite parts of the kindergarten classroom is the science center! This year I introduced it to my students through the concepts of magnification and magnifying tools. One of the first things I purchased for this center was a set of GIANTmicrobes. These fun stuffed plushies replicate the look of real microscopic organisms and cells. The children loved looking at these cute little critters under the microscope.

Skeleton Science in Kindergarten

Skeleton Science in Kindergarten

Lyndsey has put up her Skeletons and the excitement level in her classroom is through the roof! Why? Because the best thing you can do for your students is to bring science into the classroom. Kindergarten students are natural scientists! And with the engagement of a science-based theme, such as skeletons, you are able to teach all cross-curricular academic skills with high engagement!

Teaching Kindergartners to Rhyme

Teaching Kindergartners to Rhyme

For those children that enjoy the 1000 plus hours of lap-time recommended to ensure kindergarten readiness by the National Institute for Children’s Health and Development, the skill of rhyming is usually learned unconsciously and effortlessly. However, for those students who enter kindergarten without that skill under their belt, learning how to rhyme can be a laborious task, indeed!

Teaching The Alphabet

Teaching The Alphabet

Young children need to know alphabet letters and sounds; in fact, knowledge of the Alphabetic Principal is crucial for a young child to become a successful reader. The Alphabetic Principal is simply the idea that a letter or groups of letters represent a spoken sound. Once young children understand the letters and their predictable sound(s), they are able to apply that knowledge to the decoding of words.