Christmas Activities for Kindergarten

Hi friends! Can you believe it's already the second week of December? We have been enjoying lots of Christmas themed activities in our class so I thought I would share them with you today.

1. CHRISTMAS SENSORY BIN


I put I dyed 3 cups of rice (each) red and green and also added some Christmas items to the bin.  Students were encouraged to explore the items and record what they found on the clipboard.  Great for vocabulary and oral language development! 

To dye the rice I just put 3 cups of rice in a ziplock bag and added 3 tsps of vinegar and the food colouring (until I reached the colour I wanted).  Just shake it up until it's evenly coated and then open the bag and let it air dry over night!


Here's a picture of one of my girls drawing and labeling a candy cane she found in the bin!

If you would like to grab the "I found" recording sheet (which can be used for any type of sensory bin) it is included in my "Play-Based Writing Templates for Kindergarten" pack.  You can click here or on the image below to check it out!


2. CHRISTMAS DO-A-DOT CENTRE


My kiddos were OBSESSED with do-a-dot markers when I brought them out for a patterning centre so I made up these printables with a Christmas theme.  We added a new one each day this week starting with S is for Santa, L is for lights, P is for present and O is for ornament.  The kids LOVED these and I think everyone went to this centre at least once, which is a rare occurrence!  These printables are included in my Christmas activities pack on TPT.  You can click here or on the image below if you are interested.


3. TRIM THE TREE CENTRE


At this centre, the students were invited to decorate the Christmas tree and then draw a picture that matches how they decorated their tree! I set the felt tree out with pom poms and bells, but you could add any loose parts to this centre!  

The extra challenge was to write a sentence on the back describing their tree.


You can find this (and all of the other Christmas printables mentioned in this post, in my Christmas activities pack!)

4. CHRISTMAS SIMPLE SENTENCES


My kids did such a great job when I made these simple sentence cards for Halloween so I made some for Christmas as well! Students are encouraged to pick a card, read the sentence, write the sentence and draw a picture that matches the words.  I set them out with paper and pencils some days and whiteboards on other days!


I set out this example to show my higher kids that they can add more to the simple sentences and make a longer writing piece.  They are getting really good at adding a second and even a third sentence to their writing pieces!

5. CANDY CANE SIGHT WORDS


This centre is always a hit and the kids loved it this year too! The students are prompted to pick a card, write it in the salt (I add a little bit of glitter) and record the sight word under the matching picture on the recording sheet.  

6. CHRISTMAS PRINTING


Letter and number formation is something that we work on with most kids for the whole year, so I made these dry erase sheets to encourage them to practice! My kids love anything dry-erase so they were all over these printing sheets!


7. MY ORNAMENT COUNTING BOOK


I have a group of kids who needed some guided math for creating numbers to 10 so I made up this ornament counting book! Just print and staple (I used the staple option on our photocopier so it made the prep super easy) and punch out a bunch circles out of construction paper with a circle punch (I bought mine at Michaels last year).


Students read the sentence and put that many circles on the tree. The numbers in this book are from 1 to 10.

8. COOKIE NUMBER ORDERING


Another skill my students need practice with is ordering numbers to 10, so I made this cookie ordering centre! To make it a little more fun and tactile, I punched holes in the cards and set them out with linking chains.  The kids love linking chains and enjoyed linking the numbers in order during math centres on Friday! 

9. CHRISTMAS DOOR DECORATING CONTEST


We are having a door decorating contest at our Christmas concert so we finished ours up on Friday! For the tree, students were given a triangle and they were asked to decorate it however they wanted using construction paper, sticker and glitter.  I love how each triangle is unique! Then we glued them together to make a Christmas tree and I added the star, trunk and snow at the bottom.  

I had a bunch of kids help to write out message at the top and I traced the words in sharpie, backed it on black construction paper and glued it to the top. 

Finally The kids got to stamp a snowflake with a snowflake cutter on blue construction paper with paint.  Then we just cut the snowflakes out when the paint was dry, added their picture to the middle and taped them around the tree! We love how it turned out and that much of what is on our door is child-created!

I hope you were able to grab some Christmas ideas to incorporate into your classroom! 

Want to see more ideas? You can also check out my Christmas post from last year here: 

Talk to you soon!

- Yukari

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Weekly Round-Up: November 26

Hi friends! I'm back to share some photos of what we have been up to in our classroom this week!

1. SENTENCE JENGA


I have a high group of kiddos this year where most of my kids know all of their letters and sounds (even the JKs) and are working on sight words and reading sentences.  So I decided to try this centre out to challenge the students who needed more than letter work! 

Students are invited to make a sentence with the jenga blocks and record their sentences on the whiteboard.  They are also encouraged to draw a picture to match and to show their comprehension.  I got the jenga blocks from Dollarama and wrote the words on them with flair pens.

2. COLOUR WORD PLAY DOUGH MATS




My kiddos love play dough so I'm always trying to switch up the mats and invitations at the play dough centre to keep it fresh! This week we used these colour word mats to practice building colour words and reading simple sentences.

You can find my colour word play dough mats by clicking here or on the image below:


3. FARM ANIMAL INQUIRY

During our trip to the pumpkin farm, one of my students asked "Do cows have any predators?"  I loved this question so when we got back to our classroom I shared his question with the kids and asked if anyone else had any questions about something they saw at the farm.  The kids came up with so many good questions! So we delved into our first full inquiry project!

First we sorted the questions into categories (pig questions, sheep questions, chicken questions etc.) and started our research!


We learned what pigs eat and what eats pigs:


(We did a t-chart as a class and I had students volunteer to come record one new learning on a index card.)

We learned if horses have good eyes or not, what they eat and if they have predators:


We learned that chickens are birds but they do not fly:


And we learned what sheep eat:


We used books, websites and videos to research answers to our questions.  I realized we forgot to record the answer to our original question "Do cows have predators" now that I'm looking over the board more carefully but we did talk abut it and read an excerpt from a website about it!

I had lots of people on Instagram ask if I could share this inquiry research writing template.  I've uploaded it to my TPT store.  You can click here or on the image below to check it out:


4. FARM SMALL WORLD PLAY


During our farm inquiry, I also set up this farm small world play centre for the students to create a farm story and to show what they know about farms.  Students loved this centre and loved making farm stories here!

One of my girls even wanted to record her farm story in writing! She worked so hard on it so we decided to put it up on our inquiry board!


5. WONDER WALL


I'm currently participating in a book club for the book "The Curious Classroom" by Harvey Daniels.  In our board, if you attend the book club (usually 2 sessions after school) you get the book for free! I've been wanting to check this book out for a while so I jumped on it as soon as registration opened! It has a lot of practical tips for teachers who want to do inquiry based learning in all grades! I highly recommend it for K teachers but 1-8 teachers as well!

Anyway, our homework for the first book club was to try one activity from Chapter 3 and bring back how it went to the second book club.  I've always made wonder charts with the students whole group when wonders were not coming up authentically through play and day to day conversations, but never released the work entirely to the kids.  With this wonder chart, students can grab a post it note anytime (during centre time) and write what they are wondering about! Of course the JK's will still need help, and some are not writing questions (I have one girl who keeps just writing her name and sticking it up there... lol) but I will scribe for them or I have one of my stronger SK students scribe for them if I'm busy running a guided group.  So far they have loved the ownership and new questions are popping up everyday!  I'm looking forward to finishing the book soon and trying more activities from this book!

6. CYBER SALE + A GIVEAWAY


While I'm here, I just wanted to share that I'm doing a super quick giveaway on my Instagram page.  You can enter for a chance to win a $10 TPT gift card and an item of your choice from my TPT store, just in time for the TPT cyber sale happening this Monday and Tuesday!

Click here or on the image above to read details on how to enter!

That's it from me this week!

I hope you are having a great Sunday!

- Yukari
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Remembrance Day Activities for Kindergarten

Remembrance Day is an important day to teach about, but it can also can be a little tricky in Kindergarten.  It's important to gage how much they can handle in terms of talking about war and death before delving too deeply into it.  

And although it is important to remember and talk about the soldiers and veterans who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom, as it helps kids understand why it is so important to be respectful during the Remembrance Day assembly, in Kindergarten I think it's also important to focus more on how we can be peacemakers and keepers.

We usually start off by talking about why Remembrance Day was established.  This book "A Poppy Is to Remember" is a great book that explains Remembrance Day in a primary friendly way.

We talk about why the poppy became a symbol for Remembrance Day and we practice looking closely at poppies and making our own representations of poppies.  

Here is an invitation to create poppies with red and black loose parts:


I set out black and red unifix cubes, black flat marbles, red buttons, red gems, red wooden cubes and red pom poms.. but any red and black loose part will do!


I also left these recording sheets out so that students could record their creations and practice writing a sentence about it.  There were options to write their own sentence or to trace the sentence "I made a poppy with loose parts." 

(You can download this recording sheet and other recording sheets I am sharing in this blog post at the bottom of the post.)


We also read "The Peace Book" by Todd Parr and talked about what peace means to us.  We did this whole group and wrote the ideas on chart paper.  Then at centre time students recorded their own ideas on these recording sheets.



 "Peace is having food."

I also set out some red, black and green paper and had the students make their own poppies out of construction paper.  This is a simple, open-ended and independent art activity! I provided an example and the prompt "Can you make a poppy with construction paper?" (which I forgot to include in the photo, oops!)


We also projected images I googled of poppies on the screen at the front of the room and students practiced painting poppies.  Next year, I will print off pictures to place at the tables but this worked in a pinch!


And for our wreath, we created poppies out of egg cartons.  We painted the egg cartons red on the first day and the middle black on the second day.  I had one of my students write "Room 105 Remembers" on a sentence strip and we hot glued the poppies on to the wreath.


The writing sheets that I shared in this post I have compiled into a freebie.  You can click here or on the image below to download a copy:


I hope this post gave you some ideas on how to incorporate Remembrance Day into your Kindergarten classroom!

- Yukari
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Weekly Round-Up: November 18

Hi friends! This weekly round-up is going to be super short and sweet. I had requests to share the Scholastic wish list printable that I shared on Instagram so that is a free download near the bottom of this blog post!

1. SHREDDED PAPER SENSORY BIN


Changing up sensory bins so often is hard work (and expensive!).  I didn't have time to run to the grocery store or dollar store for a new filler, so I decided to just roll my sensory bin down to the copy room and fill it with shredded paper! Best part is that it's free! It gets a little messy but the kids loved it.  To encourage some literacy and sorting, I also added a muffin tray, upper/lowercase letter beads and animal figurines.

Sources for items:

Muffin Tray - Dollarama
Animal Figurines - Michaels

2. CVC READ, MAKE & TRACE


My kids are obsessed with CVC words (they love this song by Harry Kindergarten) so we have some CVC centres always out to practice reading and spelling these words as well.  This week we had CVC Read & Find (you can find it in my store by clicking here) out and next week we'll have CVC Read, Make & Trace out for the kids to practice with (find it in my TPT store here).

3. SCHOLASTIC WISH LIST


I had a bunch of extra Scholastic flyers this month, so quickly made up this wish list printable and set them out with the flyers, glue and scissors.  Students were invited to make their own wishlists.  Great fine motor/scissor skill practice and maaaaybe it will encourage more parents to order ;) 

A teacher can hope :)

You can grab this printable for free by clicking here or on the image below:


4. SPIDER CATAPULTS


Deanna shared this amazing idea in her Math in Inquiry-Based Learning Facebook group and I knew I had to try it too! She actually made a web with white yarn for the spiders to land on, but since I didn't have any yarn, I just used these spider plates instead.

The students were invited to catapult the spiders on to the "web" and keep track of how many spiders they got on the "web".  They used dots and tally marks to keep track of their successful catapults!

Here is a close-up of the catapult.  All you need to make it is a jenga block (they sell them at Dollarama), rubber band and a paper clip.


5. HALLOWEEN SIMPLE SENTENCES


I have some really great writers this year and they are very ready for sentence writing, but during centres they don't always have the independence they want to write a complete sentence on their own.  So I decided to make these Halloween simple sentences that they could read and copy as an option at centre time.  I put the witch fingers out to make the reading part more fun and to remind the students to point to each dot under the words.

I've added these to my Kindergarten Halloween Activities pack and also updated some of the older files.  You can grab it by clicking here or on the image below:


That's it from me this week! I hope you're having a great weekend :)

- Yukari




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Weekly Round-Up: October 27

Hi friends! How was your week? I'm back to share some of the new things we have been up to in our classroom!

1. BIRTHDAY CHART


My kids have been asking me about their birthdays since the beginning of the year (When is my birthday? Is my birthday soon? etc.) so we finally made this birthday chart!  First I had some of my SK's help me write the months, the title and the numbers for the dates we needed and I outlined them with a sharpie.

Then I had the kids hold their birth date and we took pictures.  Finally I printed the pictures and we sorted and glued them onto the correct month.  When we first put it up, the kids loved coming over to this area at centre time and talking about what they noticed!

2. PUMPKIN SIGHT WORD SEARCH


I got this adorable idea from my friend and co-worker, Amanda (you can check out her Instagram by clicking here).

All you need to do for this centre is write some sight words on mini pumpkins and set them out with magnifying glasses, whiteboards and dry erase markers.  Then invite the children to read and write the sight words they find! They loved this centre this week!

3. PUMPKIN STEM: CAN YOU MAKE A MAZE FOR THE PUMPKINS?


I love STEM centres that work on 21st century skills like creativity and innovation! At this centre students were given paper/plastic plates, strips of green construction paper and tape and were asked to build a maze of the "pumpkins" (which are just orange pom poms with green pipe cleaners glued to them).

Students experimented and problem-solved as they investigated how to make the loop, how to make bigger or smaller loops and fixing the loops when the pumpkins wouldn't fit through them.


We saved the finished mazes and the kids got to play each other's mazes on Friday during centre time before they took them home!

4. MY PATTERN BOOK


We are still working on patterning in math.  We continued to practice creating patterns with a variety of manipulatives in our pattern mini books!

First we created patterns with these Halloween stamps (they are from Walmart and Dollarama).


Then we made patterns with snap cubes and recorded them...


And finally we made patterns with stickers!


I found keeping up with the booklets a little difficult as not all students had the stamina to complete so many pages, so I also just printed individual half pages and set them out at the corresponding centres!

You can find the pattern booklet in my patterning unit.  You can click here or on the image below to check it out!


5. DESIGN A FACE FOR OUR CLASS JACK-O'-LANTERN


After we were finished searching for sight words on the mini pumpkins, I erased the sight words and set out this invitation for the kids to design a face for our class jack-o'-lantern.  We will be voting on our favourite Monday morning and hopefully carving it Monday afternoon!

(Sidenote: To erase the Sharpie on the pumpkins, I just went over the letters with a dry erase marker and then wiped it away.  Then I used a little bit of VIM and scrubbed off the rest with water and a sponge!)

This printable is in my Kindergarten Halloween Activities pack on TpT.   You can click here or click on the image below to grab it.


That's it from me this week! Have a great weekend!

- Yukari
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