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Classroom Update: June 10

Hi guys! I'm just popping in to give you a quick update on our classroom happenings and share some freebies!

1. LOOK & LABEL

I got this awesome idea from the Ontario Kindergarten Teachers facebook group (you will have to request to join, as it is a closed group).  I love how open-ended it is!  I choose 10-12 items, put them in a basket and added the instructions and an alphabet linking chart.  


This little gal choose the drum and followed the instructions perfectly to draw and label her drawing! The colours even match the drum! #girlaftermyheart

You can grab the instruction card for free by clicking on the image below:

The alphabet linking chart is from my Step by Step: Kindergarten Writing Plans.  You can find it in my TPT store by clicking here.

2. FATHER'S DAY CARDS

We always start holiday/special day stuff early so that we are not rushed the week it needs to go home.  For Father's Day this year, we kept the card SUPER simple.  I just folded some white cardstock in half and had the kids decorate the front however way they liked.  

Here is my sample.  I made my card for my soon to be father in law, so I drew a picture of him on the cover.


For the inside, I gave the students the words to cut out and glue in order.  The kids filled out the blanks how they wanted (Recipient's name, their name).  The ones who wanted to also added a sentence or two under "Happy Father's Day!"


You can grab these word cards to cut out by clicking here or on the image below:

4. FATHER'S DAY GIFTS

I originally saw this photo on Pinterest and thought it was super cute.  So I decided to use the idea for our Father's Day gift!  First, I had the students fill in the blank for "My dad is SUPER because ____" with a dry-erase marker.  Then I put a mask and cape on them and I took their picture.

I just used felt, hot glue and velcro to make the mask and cape! I used these patterns from Busy Bugs for the cape and mask.


The frames are just 4 popsicle sticks hot glued together! We have LOTS of popsicle sticks so this was a super cheap gift to make! Then, the kids painted their frames and added stickers after the paint dried.  At the end we taped their picture to the frame and added some magnets on the back so their dads could display their gift on the fridge :)


I think it turned out really cute and the kids enjoyed making them for their dad or the special person in their life of their choice :)

4. PATTERNING WITH WINE CORKS + PAINT

Here's a math centre idea I got from @playexplorelearn's Instagram that the kids loved! Just set out some paint with wine corks and have students stamp a pattern! Easy to prep and my kids love anything that involve paint so it was a hit all week like I suspected :)


5. JUNE GUIDED WRITING

I can't believe this will be the last piece I'll be putting up on our writing wall for the year! A week before our Celebration of Learning, I'll be taking it down and making them into a book that they can take home at the end of our Celebration of Learning (a little event where we invite the parents in and share about what we have learned this year in Kindergarten).  

This month's book was "My School Day" by Leilani Sparrow and the prompt was "In the story, "My School day" by Leilani Sparrow, Bear talks about different things he does at school.  What is your favourite thing to do at school? Why?"

Here are some examples by my kiddos.  They were 100% making my day with these sweet sweet writing pieces <3


 "I like school because I like to play with Miss Naka and I love Miss Naka.  I will miss Miss Naka in Grade One." #cuethetears



"My favourite thing to do at school is to see Miss Naka.  Seeing Miss Naka is my favourite because she is pretty."


You can download this writing sheet for free by clicking here or on the image below:

You can find the writing checklist in my Step by Step: Kindergarten Writing Plans on TPT.

That's it from me this week! I hope you were able to use some of the freebies in this post! And did you know we only have 14 more teaching days until summer break? (I'm not counting the PA Day at the end) We can do it!!

- Yukari
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Five for Fraturday: May 20

Hi guys! How are you all doing? I'm taking a little break from report card writing to share with you some things from this week included a free printable that was requested by multiple people on Instagram! Here we go :)

1. SCHOLASTIC BOOK ORDER ADDITION

This was such a fun, easy prep activity for the kids! I got this idea from @learninginroom122 on Instagram.  


All you need are some book orders, glue, scissors and blank paper.

Have the students cut out books, glue them on the paper and add them up!

Here's a sample by one of my kiddos:


If addition is too tricky for some of your kids then you can also have them just count and write the number! Easy to differentiate!

2. ROLL A HEXAGON

I finally had the opportunity to play this game with the kids on Friday!

How to play: Each player starts with 4 hexagons.  Take turns rolling the dice and placing the shape you roll on one of your hexagons.  The first person to cover all 4 hexagons wins!

 It was fun seeing how they negotiate taking turns, following rules etc. and it was also great for me to see their spatial awareness when covering the hexagon.


Balancing the pattern blocks on the hexagon was a bit of a challenge for some of them too! It was great fine motor practice though!

3. LETTER HUNT


For this activity, I just filled a Vitamin Water bottle with beans and letter beads (A-Z) and set the bottle out with this printable.  The students were asked to find letters, trace them on the sheet and check it off.  The challenge was to try to find all 26 letters.

I shared this activity on Instagram and had multiple people ask if I would share the printable.  So here it is! Click here or on the image below to grab the printable for free:

4. EARTH DAY BULLETIN BOARD


We started a new inquiry this week so we took down our Earth Day bulletin board.  Earth Day stuff is  not inquiry (I was going to change the heading to "Belonging and Contributing" but ran out of time.. oops) but I used this board for the few weeks we were focusing on it.  I had a lot of fun teaching it this year, maybe because I was well planned and knew I was teaching each activity with intention! I used my new Earth Day unit which has 8 detailed lesson plans and corresponding anchor chart pieces!  I'm hoping to put together a full Earth Day blog post sometime in the near future to show you details of each activity you see on the bulletin board and more!

5. A QUICK GIVEAWAY

I was planning my math block for next week on Thursday night and realized I could just pull out my probability unit, print the lesson plans and I would be ready to go for the next week and a half! It saved me so much time and allowed me to focus on writing some COL's instead and maybe actually enjoying my long weekend!

So I thought hey, why not share some of that time saved with people who follow my Instagram? So I'm hosting a quick giveaway over on my Instagram account.  It closes in 3 hours, so hurry!

Click here or look for the photo below on my Instagram page for details on how to enter!


If you missed the giveaway but are interested in either of these units you can find the Telling Time unit here and the Probability unit here.

That's it from me this week!

You can click on the button below to check out more Five for Friday posts!


Happy long weekend!
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Five for Friday: May 12

Hi friends! Can you believe it's already mid-May? I'm here to share with you some new activities from our classroom from the week.  I hope you can use some of the ideas and freebies!

1. PIPE CLEANER + LETTER BEAD SIGHT WORDS


I found these cute letter beads at Walmart and knew I wanted to use them for a literacy centre.  When I came across this image on Pinterest, I knew it was the one I wanted to try with these letter beads!

I was happy to see so many of the kids really engaged at this centre.  The beads are really small which is perfect for extra fine motor practice, especially at this time of the year.  You can grab the cards you can hole punch and attach the pipe cleaner to for free by clicking here or on the image below:

2. INVITATION TO CREATE A SPRING PICTURE


I saw this invitation to create, draw and write on @kinder_owls's Instagram and knew I wanted to try it.  I love open-ended invitations that all kids can participate in! I set out the prompt "Can you make a spring picture?" with a spring themed book and some loose parts (green/clear/pink/blue marbles, green popsicle sticks, bug buttons, word cards that match the bug buttons, rocks and yellow play doh lids).  The kids loved it and many of the kids decided to document their thinking using the recording sheet I provided.

You can grab the recording sheet I used and the mini word cards by clicking here or on the image below:

3. PLACE AND COMPOSE

I printed and laminated a couple new centres to use both as an independent centre and as an activity for guided math.  Composing numbers is an area of need, especially for a lot of my JK's so I printed this "Place and Compose" centre.  The kids take 2 cards off the top of the pile, put them on the boxes and compose the two numbers.


You can grab this centre (and many more) in my Composing Numbers for Kindergarten pack on TpT.  Click here or on the image below if you are interested in checking it out:


4. TRANSLATING PATTERNS

Something that is new in the Kindergarten Program this year is translating patterns.  I was struggling with teaching this concept to the kiddos but then my teaching partner told me how she used felt leaves and had the kids translate the patterns with snap cubes.  So I decided to try something similar.  I made these pattern strips and asked the kids to show me the pattern in a different way.  We did it whole group at first and then I set them out with manipulatives for the kids to try.  I thought it was good practice! It is still tricky for some of them but a good challenge for some of my higher kids.


You can grab these pattern cards for free by clicking here or on the image below:

5. LUNCHMATE "BUCKS"

I have been collecting Lunchmate bucks forever! I wanted to share this tip with you in case you didn't know about it.

But first here is $30 worth of school supplies I got for FREE because I got Staples Giftcards by redeeming my Lunchmate bucks!


Ok here is how you get the gift cards:

2. Make an account
3. Enter codes that are on the back of Lunchmates (see below)


4. When you have enough points (you can only redeem 10 codes a day) you can go to the Rewards section and redeem them for gift cards! They have gift cards for Staples, Indigo, Toys R' Us and more! 

It is a little tedious but it only takes a couple minutes of your time everyday and eventually you get some stuff for free! My kids were super excited when I showed them our "special art supplies" we got with our Lunchable points!

Ok that's it from me for this week! I hope you were able to find something you can use from this post!

You can read more Five for Fridays by clicking on the image below:


Thanks for reading!

Have a great weekend!

- Yukari
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Five for Friday: May 5

Hi! Long time no blog!

Life has been a little busy for me lately but I'm finally back to share some things that are happening in my classroom!  Here are 5 things from this week!

1. CVC READ & FIND

During guided reading I was noticing that some of my kids were having a hard time stretching and blending the sounds in CVC words.  So I made up these CVC Read & Find mats to encourage them to practice the skill during centre time.  It was a surprising hit and even kids who usually don't go to "academic" centres were trying it out.  We did short a words this week so I'm planning to put out short e words next.


You can find these CVC Read & Find mats/cards in the product below.  Click here or on the image to check it out on TpT.


 2. MOTHER'S DAY GIFT

I always like to start Mother's Day gifts early so we don't feel rushed the week of.  This year we made these "Thumb-body Loves You!" magnets!


I cut out a circle from cardstock to fit the juice lid (my teaching partner had a bunch she had saved from frozen juice concentrates) and the kids put their thumbprint in the middle (we used an red inkpad) and wrote their names at the bottom.  Then I wrote in "Thumb-body Loves You!" and taped it on the lid.  On the other side we added a magnet so that it could go on their fridge at home!

Here are some by the kiddos.  They turned out soooo cute! One of my kiddos even wanted to do the "Thumb-body Loves You" part all by herself and did such a good job writing in that small space.  We hope the moms love it when they open it next weekend!


3. MOTHER'S DAY CARD

We always do a card as well and this year we decided use this adorable picture idea from Burgh Baby and make it the cover for our card! 


I drew the heart and U with chalk on the pavement of our Kindergarten pen.  Then I had the kids lie down on the pavement so their bodies would look like the letter I.  Then I got up on a ladder to snap the picture.

For the inside I had the kids tell me what they wanted to write in their Mother's Day cards and then I typed it into a word document.  I typed almost exactly what the kids said.  They needed very few prompting and if they did I prompted them with questions like "What is your favourite thing about your mom? What is your favourite thing to do with your mom?" etc.

They came up with some adorable things to say, so again I'm hoping the moms will love it!

Here is an example of the inside:


4. MOTHER'S DAY GIFT BAG

Stamping with paint and cookie cutters is my go-to for decorating gift bags.  It's easy, cheap, low-prep and each bag turns out unique and beautiful.  It doesn't get much better than that!


For Mother's Day gift bags we used butterfly, flower and heart cookie cutters and pink, purple and white paint.  We'll put the magnets and cards inside (or staple the card to the back if it doesn't fit inside) and send them home on Thursday!

5. SIGHT WORD MINI READER

I'm always thinking of new and engaging ways for the kids to practice sight words independently at centres.  I also wanted something that they could do at centres and then put in their book boxes to read at independent reading time.

So I made up this mini sight word practice booklet + mini reader to try out this week with our focus sight word and the kiddos loved them!

First the kids colour the word on the cover (you could also get them to rainbow write) and write their name.


Then they practice both tracing and writing the word.


Then there are 4 pages where the kids can trace the sight word in a simple sentence and read the sentence.


I'm thinking of making these for all pre-primer sight words but we'll see if I can find the time! I'm also thinking of adding tracking dots under the words with 1:1 correspondance.  Let me know if you have a preference and I'll keep it in mind when I'm working on them!

For now though, you can grab this "will" booklet and "this" booklet (which I made for my LLI reading group) by clicking here or on the image below:

Ok that's it from me this week! If you are interested in checking out other Five for Friday posts you can click on the image below to check our the linky!


Have a great weekend!

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Easter Activities for Kindergarten

Hi friends!
Sorry this is coming so late, but I figured better late than never!

I'm re-sharing some of my favourite Easter activities from previous years and also sharing some new ones we tried this year! I hope you can use some of these ideas either next week or next year.

LITERACY ACTIVITIES:

1. CVC CRACK & SCRAMBLE


My kiddos LOVED this centre this year! Each CVC word letter tile and corresponding picture is in a different colour so the tiles/pictures won't get mixed up.  I put each set in an Easter egg that is the same colour as well.  Students open an egg, look for the picture, identify the word, unscramble the letters and write the word on the recording sheet.  I though it might be a little bit tricky but even my JK's were rocking it at this centre!  This centre is included in my Kindergarten Easter Activities pack on TpT.

2. EASTER EGG SPRINKLE WRITING TRAY


Writing trays are great because they are so versatile!  For this tray, I used Wilton Sprinkles - Colorful Egg Mix that I found in the baking section at Walmart.  We added letter cards in the mornings and number cards in the afternoons.  You can grab these letter cards here.

3. DECORATE & DESCRIBE


I found this awesome felt Easter egg decorating kit at Dollarama for only $2 and knew I had to have it! So I made this recording sheet to go with it.  Students were invited to decorate the egg and then record and describe their egg when they were finished.  I thought this one might be a little tricky too but my kids did such a great job with it! I know not everyone might have the same things in their egg decorating kit so I included an editable version in my Easter activities pack.  Or there is an option to decorate the egg right on the paper.

4. MY BOOK OF EASTER WORDS


My kids love these thematic books and I love them because almost all of my students can complete them independently.


You can grab this Easter word booklet here.

5. MAGNETIC EGG SIGHT WORDS


I got this idea from Marsha at Differentiated Kindergarten and my kids loved it! I picked some sight word cards, wrote the letters needed on the eggs and then a magnet in the egg and held it in place with some plasticine.


You can grab the sight word cards you see above here.

6. EASTER WRITING

After reading the story "The Littlest Bunny: An Easter Adventure" by Lily Jacobs we prompted the kids to write about where they would hide their eggs if they were the Easter Bunny! They came up with some good ideas!

This one was my favourite:


"If I was the Easter Bunny I would hide my eggs at school under Miss Naka's desk."


In case you need some context, I store a lot of things under my desk and it is almost always a huge gong show.. This girl definitely knows what makes a good hiding spot! lol

7. SIGHT WORD FLIP & TRACE


I put this centre out last year and it was a hit this year as well! Students flip the foam shapes, read the sight word, find it on the recording sheet and trace it.  The first week (above) I laminated the recording sheet and the students traced with a dry erase marker.

The second week (below) we switched to the foam bunnies and I set them out with paper recording sheets and  coloured markers that matched the colour of the bunnies.  Little changes goes a long way in making an activity seem new again!


I grabbed these foam shapes at Dollar Tree.  
You can grab these recording sheets by clicking on the image below:

MATH ACTIVITIES:

1. EASTER EGG NUMBER MATCH

My kids loved this centre again this year! I wrote numbers 1-20 on one half of the eggs and corresponding dots for 1-10 and tally marks for 11-20.  Students dug through the Easter grass, found the matching halves and put them in their baskets.


2. EGG TRAY RACE

This one was a hit from this year! This is a partner game.  The kids take turns rolling the dice (which I made by writing on a small wooden cube) and adding or subtracting that many eggs into or from their tray.  The first person to fill their tray is the winner.  A lot of my kids need practice differentiating the plus and minus sign so this was perfect for practicing that in a fun way! I wrote +2 (twice), +1 (twice), -1 and -2 on the dice.


3. EASTER EGG PATTERNING


Remember the felt eggs I used for the "Decorate & Describe" centre I shared above? Well Easter egg decorating pack I bought came with a ton of felt Easter eggs so I decided to put them out for patterning!


They had the option to record their patterns in these patterning books.  This is also included in my Easter activities pack on TpT.

4. EGG-CELLENT EASTER STICKER COUNT

This is another idea I got from Differentiated Kindergarten's April Fine Motor Morning Work Stations blog post.  The kids decorate the outline of the Easter egg with stickers and count how many of each kind and how many stickers they used all together and record that at the bottom of the page.  I wanted to be able to use most of the stickers so I made a second sheet that has hearts, gems, and bunnies.


I bought my sticker book (pictured above) at Wal-Mart.

You can grab the printable with the hearts, gems, and bunnies by clicking here or on the image below.  The first sheet with eggs, birds and flowers can be download from the blog post mentioned above!

OTHER:

1. EASTER PLAY DOUGH


I love setting out play dough with loose parts because it promotes creativity, fine motor development and oral language.  The kids enjoyed creating their own chicks and bunnies with the materials provided in this tray!

2. EASTER BUILDING CHALLENGE


I got this awesome Easter building idea from Pocket of Preschool.  The kids loved building a house for the Easter Bunny and engaging in pretend play at the block centre!  I set out the invitation to build with a bunny, Easter eggs, carrots and some chicks (not pictured) and flowers (not pictured).  This one was a huge hit!

3. EASTER EGG PRINTING


Here is another idea I got from Pocket of Preschool.  Students were invited to make print art with Easter egg halves and paint.  So simple but the kids loved this new way of painting!

I hope this post gave you some ideas to use around Easter to engage your kids in learning! The printables that were not offered as a freebie in this post are all in the pack below.  Click here on the image below if you are interested in checking it out!


Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have a great long weekend!

- Yukari
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