Christmas Games and Activities

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

It is hard to believe that Christmas is almost here! This is my absolute favorite time of year, I love absolutely everything about it. So, I try to incorporate Christmas into the classroom as much as possible.

One thing that we love to do is Polar Express Day. A ton of teachers do this, but it is just so much fun! We do this the day before Christmas break when the kids are really not interested in doing work. The kids all wear their pajamas to school, and for a large part of the day we watch The Polar Express. While the kids are watching the movie, we always hand out cute Polar Express tickets. The kids love this! This year, I found these adorable and real looking ones from Oriental Trading! They look just like the ones in the movie, AND they are stickers, which is great because someone ends up losing their ticket every year. We also hand out bells to each student as soon as Santa gives out the bell in the movie. Usually we just string a bell on a piece of ribbon, but this year, I found these cute ones on Oriental Trading. They are perfect!

Another thing that we do each year is Elf on the Shelf in the classroom. This is my favorite thing! It is perfect for kindergarteners. They have so much fun and they truly believe. Our elf came on Monday, and we have already had a lot of fun with him. Occasionally our elf, Chippy, will bring treats for the kids. These Elf on the Shelf chocolates could not be more perfect!

The last day before break, we always have a special delivery from Santa. He sends each child a certificate that they are "officially on the nice list." This year, with the certificates, each child is going to get one of these little Santa bags with some Hershey kisses and their certificate inside. They are so cute!

I also found some cute materials on Oriental Trading that will be perfect for our Christmas centers and games. 
The first game is Mitten Memory, this is just a regular memory game but, I added sight words to the mittens. I specifically put the words on mismatched mittens so they would have to look for the word, not the mitten. 

The next game is elf number order. These are actually cute elf ornaments with a little pocket in the front. I will just have the kids put the elves in a row, then they will be given sticks with numbers on them. They will have to put the sticks in order in the elves' pockets in order to create a number line. 

This can also be done with larger numbers, this group is going to start with 11.

The last game is Stocking Sight Words. This is played with 2 or more players. Each player will be given a mini stocking. The bookmarks fit inside the stockings perfectly. The bookmarks each have a sight word on them and will be face down. The players will take turns flipping over a bookmark and the first player to read the word gets to keep the bookmark in their stocking. The player with the most bookmarks at the end wins. 

If you would like to see any of these fun Christmas materials, click the link below. 

This review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by Oriental Trading and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review. 

Fun Halloween Activities!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

I absolutely love this time of year in kindergarten! The kids are so into Halloween so they love when we incorporate Halloween into our activities.
I really love hands-on, fun center activities. Kids love novelty and connecting novelty with the seasonal things that they love is so motivating.
Here are some fun ideas for Halloween.
All of these ideas contain items from Oriental Trading.
Click here to view Oriental Trading's Halloween site!

I love having things like this on hand for children that finish early, or if you have a short block of time and do not want to start something new. They are all super easy!

This first activity is so easy and perfect for those kids that still need a little help with fine motor skills. It is also a great tactile activity for your kinesthetic learners. Just write or type sight words, letters, words, names, etc. on a piece of paper and have your kids place little themed erasers on top to create the word. This set is from Oriental Trading, and it came with TONS of erasers.

The next activity also uses those little erasers, but also uses these cute little jack-o-lanterns. Just write the numbers, then have your students count out that many erasers and put them inside. SO EASY!

This next activity is for beginning sounds. Those pumpkins are actually stress balls, but I thought they would be perfect for a matching activity. All you have to do is put out pictures and write each matching beginning sound on a pumpkin, then have your students match them up. Click here to download the picture cards that I used.

The next one also uses the stress ball pumpkins. All I did was write each number (1-12) on a pumpkin and have the students put them in order. You can also have them match them to a ten frame or number card, start at a given number and put them in order, etc.

The next idea uses these cute little buckets, as well as the stress balls. I put CVC pictures on a popsicle stick and put one in each bucket, then I wrote all of the words on the pumpkins and had the students match them up. Click here to download the pictures that I used. 

I also got these cool buckets, I think they are meant for party snacks, however I am keeping each activity inside of one of these buckets. The kids can just grab a bucket and everything is inside. They are thin plastic, so I am not sure how well they will hold up, but hopefully they will last until Halloween!

I hope you can use some of these ideas in your classroom!

This review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by Oriental Trading and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review. 

A Super Easy and Cute Mother's Day Project

Saturday, April 30, 2016

We just finished our Mother's Day projects in one day, they were super simple and came out absolutely adorable! I am sure all of the moms are going to love them! We have always done plants or other things for Mother's Day, this year we wanted to do something different. We decided on a watercolor portrait of each kid with their mom. It was probably the easiest Mother's Day project that we have ever done.
These watercolor portraits of each child and their mom is a super easy Mother's Day project that the moms will love!

They did a really awesome job on these. 
These watercolor portraits of each child and their mom is a super easy Mother's Day project that the moms will love!

These watercolor portraits of each child and their mom is a super easy Mother's Day project that the moms will love!

These watercolor portraits of each child and their mom is a super easy Mother's Day project that the moms will love!
This is him and his mom playing Uno, so cute!!

Here is how we made them:
  • Each kid had a piece of white construction paper (with the inside of the frame traced in pencil so they knew where they could draw).
  • They drew a picture of them with their moms in black permanent marker (so the marker will not bleed when it gets painted).
  • Then, they used watercolor paints to paint their picture.
  • When they were finished, I had them write their name on a label and then I put them in these foam frames from Lakeshore (we already had these frames in the closet so we used these, I'm sure you can get them much cheaper from Michaels or another craft store). The ones that we used were pretty small too, so I'm not sure that I would recommend them. They would also look really nice in those cheap wooden frames from Michaels and then the kids can paint and decorate the frames too.
  • I put the labels on each frame for them, but the labels did not stick at all so I had to glue them on. 
  • Then, I just wrapped them up with some tissue paper, and they are all ready to be sent home next week!
It was super simple and I think that the moms will really like them!

I also have a freebie for a Mother's Day card and mini book in my TpT store if you are looking for something else for Mother's Day!

Kindergarten: A Day In The Life

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I am back after a long blogging break! After a very busy semester in college for me, a busy fall in kindergarten and a relaxing and fun Christmas time, I am excited to be back to blogging!

Today, we had a very normal day in kindergarten. I decided to take pictures of what we did to share what a very normal day is like for us.

As we do every day, we started off with our Rise and Shine books. We get a new book every month and the books go over basic skills. The books are all done independently and at each child's own pace. The books get sent home at the end of the month.
Then, we introduced a new fluency sentence. We put the words in the pocket chart all mixed up. Then, we have kids come up to put the words in order to make the sentence make sense. After the sentence is in the right order, we have kids come up to put the yellow pieces up. Each of the yellow pieces points to something important about sentence structure (uppercase letter at the beginning, spaces between words, punctuation). 
After doing the fluency sentence chart, we attach the new sentence to each child's ring and they read all of their sentences with their partners. 
Then, we do the fluency sentence sheet with the same sentence that we just learned. 
We always have a student leader complete their sheet under the document camera. This is something special that is earned by doing really great work. It also helps the other students to see exceptional work on the board.
Then, it was time for snack. Once a week we graph snack for a different letter. This week we were graphing snacks for letter N. Each student brought a snack beginning with that letter and we put them on the graph, then we ask questions about the graph. This really helps with math vocabulary and graphing skills. 
Then we read The Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett and completed a sequencing activity in our reading journals. The students had to put the pictures in order and then write a sentence about each picture. 
Someone gave us these Christmas post cards and we decided to use them for the kids to write a thank you note to someone who gave them a Christmas gift. It was a great activity to teach gratitude as well as a writing activity. 
After that, it was lunch time. 
After lunch, we completed a shape page in our interactive notebooks. The kids all love the interactive notebooks and they really get a lot out of it. 
After math, we did a page in our writing binders. The kids all have to bring in photos at the beginning of the year. They pick a photo and write about the picture. They love writing about their pictures and they always have so much to write. 
We had our special after writing. 
After special we only have a few minutes left of school. This is the time when we do calendar. By this time in the school year, the kids are in a routine with the calendar so they all know what to do. We have a student helper every day to lead the calendar. 
Then, it was time to go! We had a very productive day in kindergarten!

Click the links below to view the resources that we used today. 
Reading journal activities for The Three Snow Bears
Fluency Sentences
Interactive Math Notebook Activities
Our Morning Rise and Shine Books