I love this little readers, and my students love them too! We offer 127 readers as guided reading sets, 50 guided readers, one included in each thematic unit, and 12 readers, one in each kindergarten homework packet!
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?
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!
Water can be studied at almost any time of the year. Water lessons easily fit into ocean, winter, weather, and spring units. Learning about evaporation, the states of matter, water tension, water flow, sink or float, etc. gives students opportunities to experiment and use scientific process skills.
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.
I have just discovered the most wonderful recource that has been helping my students attend more to print. Bookbuilderonline.com (made by Pioneer Valley Books)! My students have moved beyond the skill of tracking print and are ready to start attending to text features.
In December I love to take my students on a world tour, discussing how holidays are celebrated in different countries and cultures. In Part One we traveled to Germany, Australia, Russia, Denmark, Spain, England, France, South Africa, Ghana, Liberia, Ethiopia, Canada, and Greece. Now the world tour continues!
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:
Looking for a special project to try before your Christmas or Winter break begins? Consider decorating graham cracker “gingerbread” houses!
From memories from my own childhood, to memories I have made with my own children (and now grandchildren), to memories I have made with thousands of kindergarten children, celebrating the traditions of Thanksgiving will never get old.
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:
Reading is a complicated process that involves multiple points of understanding along the way that lead to the connection of text and understanding. These points of understanding include instruction in phonological awareness and phonics.
Who doesn't love LEGOs? Well LEGO is getting even better because LEGO Education is introducing a new line of products, STEAM Learning! Although this product is labeled preschool, it is very appropriate for kindergarten students at well.
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.
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!
Introducing Unit Two of our "Math Through Play" series.
This math unit is developmentally appropriate and *classroom-tested for early learners. The lessons are geared for a typical Kindergarten classroom and can be easily adapted for Preschool, Transitional Kindergarten, or any Homeschool setting.
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!
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.
Seriously! If you are not using ESGI, you are missing out! I began using this great program about 5 years ago. Within the first week, I was hooked! Gone was the need for my stacks of testing paper, gone was my home-made "Red, Yellow, Green" spreadsheet!