Thursday, September 13, 2018

Puzzles for Young Children Book Review

I received the book "Puzzles for Young Children" by Michael Wallach and El Otmani Al from Central Park Tutors.  The book was written to prepare children for the gifted and talented test they take to qualify for this program.

I found this book extremely interesting because I haven't worked in a school that had such a program, so it was interesting to learn the reasoning behind practicing these puzzles in preparation for the test.
Children's way of thinking is "the combination of observation, play, and patient, persistent experimentation."  When children follow this combination to learn and solve these puzzles will separate the gifted and talented children from other children.
You're probably thinking-what!?  Yes, the way these puzzles are laid out really make children think in an abstract way which sets them apart from other students.
Obviously, having a 4 or 5 year old "study" sounds silly, but if you can spend a couple hours on each section of puzzles they will have a huge advantage!  Some sections will take less time and some more based on the level of difficulty.
There are 10 different kinds of puzzles.  Some of the puzzles are patterns, letters/phonemic awareness, and number recognition.
Each puzzle is on its own page.  The left side has "hints" for parents and teachers to use if a child is struggling or to discuss the puzzles more.  It also has the answer.  The right side is a full page for the puzzles with 4 possible answers.
Here is an example of a puzzle:

It seems like the puzzles start easy and get harder as you go on. 

If this seems like something your students or children could use, check them out here

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Apple Week Activities

I wanted to share some fun apple themed activities with you! 

The beginning of the year in kindergarten is BUSY!  Busy learning how school works and throwing in some academics when you can!
Sometimes learning includes strengthening motor skills.  I have a fun activity that works on just that.
Ripping paper is great practice and can strengthen their little hands.

Another thing we are working on is their name!  I created these letter apples and name plates to help with checking that their name was spelled correctly.
A couple fun math activities were sorting and making patterns with the apples.

I also had fun hiding apples around the room.  We would find them and count how many we found. 

Another idea is to hide the letters in their name and have them find the letters in their name. 
To make apple letters a little more challenging, than just spelling their names is to use it with sight words or CVC words.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Community Helpers Garbage Truck Shapes

I found a cute pin on Pinterest for my community helpers unit.  I thought it would be a great activity for MATH.  Yes, MATH!

I created a FREEBIE that can be used during your community helper unit for your math block.

You can cut out the shapes yourself out of construction paper or you can print the templates on various colors have have your kiddos cut them out.

The wheels can be printed on white and then colored black or you can cut out the wheels yourself.

How cute!?  
If you wanted to add more to it, you could have your kiddos write simple about garbage trucks do on the back.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Red, White, and Blue Rhyming

In honor of Labor Day, I pulled out some of my red, white, and blue rhyming activities! 
The first one I have to share has your kiddos up and moving around!

You can use any rhyming cards-since this is a red, white, and blue themed post, I used those colored stars.  Each star has a word on it.  I placed the stars around the room and have the students stand on on one side of the room. 

I have a pile of cards that rhyme with one of the stars.  I will call out a word and the class will WALK to find the star that rhymes with it.  If a student finds one, they will will step on the star.  You can give the card to the student that found the rhyme or you can just keep playing. 

Leave all the stars out, so the students still have to go through all the stars to find the rhyme.
This could easily be done with rhyming cards that you have for class too.  Put half the cards out and keep the other half while you call out the words.

The next activity I have is a matching game.  Students can play in a small group or you could play as a class.  You might have to print off more than one set of cards if playing with a whole class.  I would just lay them out face up or face down and have the students match the pictures that rhyme.
These cards can be found HERE!  These cards would be great when you are learning about the US symbols too!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Student Birthdays

How do you celebrate student birthdays?  Crown? Pencil? Sticker?
I'm pretty sure I have done all of those things.
I wanted to share what I have done the past couple years plus a new addition that you could use with your gifts!
On student birthdays I hand out a SPECIAL birthday medal and we celebrate using Koo Koo Kangaroo's birthday song!

Over the years I have collected "things" that I could use as a gift for students too.  Those "things" could be pencils, erasers, stickers, bracelets, etc.!  I've created some birthday tags that you can use to hand out on your kiddos' birthdays!

I have also created a sign that you can hang on your door or somewhere in the room so everyone knows it is someone's birthday! 

All signs and tags come in color along with black and white!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Writing Center

If you're like me you have a writing center or writing time during your school day!  If you don't, you should start!

I want to share with you an EASY prep writing center!  There is only one thing that you would have to cut before, but other than that just click PRINT and you have yourself a fun writing center for your kiddos!
One of the activities in this pack is sentence writing, I mean this is a writing pack!  I have included three different levels for your kiddos. This makes it easy to differentiate.

I have included a journal, also.  You can use the cover and create a journal for each kiddo or just use the journal paper for your center.  There are two types of journal paper.  One with three lines to write and one with more lines.  Both have a blank space for a picture.
I said there is only one thing that would need to be prepped and these cards are the only thing.  Your kiddos can choose a card then trace the word they choose.

Another way to use these cards is to pick a card and write about your the word you picked.  Your kiddos can write one sentence or write a whole story using the journal paper included.

These sentence builders could even work in a word work center!

Finally, I have added some list making pages, too!  Your kiddos can make their lists and use them to write in their journals or use their lists when they are stuck on what to write about.
Grab this writing center HERE!

Friday, August 17, 2018

The First Few Days of School

Those first few days of school are always a blur in kindergarten.  Did everyone eat and make it home?
I wanted to show you some EASY activities your kiddos can do while you get beginning of the day things together or a great way to practice your routines and rituals.  You could put these in a "center" and practice what a center looks like.  These would be great to use while you are practicing of cleaning up.  Play for a few or 10 minutes and then practice picking up quickly and quietly.

This is a simple bird sorting activity.  Any color sorting activity should be easy for all students and if it is not, pair up students to work together on it!

These number matching cows are great because any academic level can do them.  They can be matched by color OR they can be matched by number/number of spots.

My son got these books for Christmas one year, but of course they would be perfect in the classroom!  Each book can be read to your kiddos by pushing the buttons on the Me Reader.  Each page is color coded with a shape, so they will know what button to push!

 Finally, a good old box of blocks!  This is open ended and lets your kiddos explore.  You could give them a certain number of blocks and tell them to create something or just let them run wild!