Weekly Round-Up: October 13

Hi friends! How's your October going? Truth be told I'm on a little bit of a #strugglebus.  I just cannot get myself up as early as usual in the mornings and feel rushed everyday getting my room ready.  5:00 comes way too quick and I don't feel like I'm getting much done after school. Being sick since last Saturday doesn't help! I'm going to try to rest up this weekend so I'm ready to take on next week!

Even though I'm not feeling the greatest my kids still did a great job learning and growing this week.  Here is what we have been up to!

1. SORTING MATS

We started sorting this week (you can read my sorting post from last year by clicking here).  I did some whole group lessons and invited students to sort at a variety of centres.

At this centre, I provided a variety of fall loose parts, wooden numbers and ten-frames with open-ended sorting mats where they can choose the sorting rule.


We also set out this sorting mat with counting bears after our sorting by colour lesson.


Both of these mats (and many more) are in my sorting unit on TpT.  You can find that unit by clicking here or on the image below:


2. SORTING GEL BAGS


I originally saw these on Facebook and thought it would be the perfect way to introduce sensory bags and also incorporate our math focus, sorting!  To make these I grabbed a large ziplock baggie, drew 3 circles on the bag with a Sharpie (I used the top of a cup for the circles), poured some shape beads into the bag and then squeezed some hand sanitizer in it.  You can use clear hair gel too, but I found a big bottle of hand sanitizer for $3 at Dollarama so I went with that!

Students were invited to choose a sorting rule and then squish the beads into the circles to match their chosen sorting rule.  Here one of my boys is showing me how he sorted the beads by colour.


3. LONG WEEKEND WRITING

So this is something I literally whipped up 10 minutes to the bell on Tuesday morning.  I figured the kids would want to share about their long weekend so I wrote the prompt "Draw and write about your long weekend!" and copied a bunch of these papers.  Then I left them out on a table and told the kids that if they drew and write about it, they could share what they did with the class during our morning meeting.  I'm not sure if it's the sharing bit that motivated them so much, but the kids were all about it! We got some great detailed pictures and some great independent writing as well!

I don't have any student examples since I let them take it home after they shared their piece, but here an SK girl working hard on adding details to her picture!


If you would like to try this after the next long weekend, you can download the printable version by clicking here or on the link below:


4. BEGINNING SOUND PLAY DOUGH

My kiddos love play dough this year so I thought I'd put a little twist on it and add the initial sound of each cookie cutter to the tray.  Then I invited the students to make the shape, say the word and find the first letter of the word.


This is the invitation I put along with the play dough tray.


The fall themed cookie cutters are from Dollar Tree.
The alphabet cookie cutters are from an independent dollar store.
The chalkboard is from Michaels.
The chalk marker I use is the Bistro brand one from Michaels.

5. FALL LOOSE PARTS & LETTER TRAY

I also set out the loose parts (seen with the sorting mats for math above) during literacy centres and encouraged them to make letters.  One of my students wanted to spell the whole word when he was working at the play dough centre (that was mentioned above) so I quickly drew the cutters and wrote the word beside them on the back of the board.  I put this centre on the other side of the play dough centre so that if students were ready to make words, they could try to make some of the fall words on the chalkboard.


6. THE FRIDGE

I have such a sweet class this year.  They are always making me pictures.  I had started to tape some of it up on the cabinets behind my "desk" but we officially named it "The Fridge" this week.  We talked about how when mom and/or dad are proud of something you have done, they will often put it on the fridge and that it will work in a similar way here.

Students are encouraged to bring me their best work, work they are proud of, to display on "The Fridge".  It goes up on the wall as long as they are proud of it and they can tell me what they drew/wrote.  


It's getting quite full already so I'm thinking about making a binder that says "Past work from The Fridge" and filing all the pictures in there once in a while.  I'll also need to make a hand in basket as my desk was getting quite messy with all of their submissions thrown about!

That's it from me this week! I hope there were some ideas you could use in your classroom.  Have a great weekend!

- Yukari
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Weekly Round-Up: October 5

Hi friends! I'm back! I took a week off most things "A Pinch of Kinder" last week so I could focus on my wedding! It turned out to be a gorgeous day (which we were so thankful for since we had an outdoor venue!).  I'll share some photos when I get them back from our photographer!

I took Friday and Monday off for the wedding but we were back to business on Tuesday!  Here are some of the things that we have been up to in our classroom:

1. HOME READING


We actually started home reading last Monday.  Students get these folders (I purchased these at Staples) in their book boxes (I use the IKEA FLYT magazine file for the book boxes).

Inside I include the letter that explains the home reading program and a reading log.  Students switch their books at book box time (independent reading time, after lunch recess) and place their home reading folder in their backpacks.

I put 5 levelled books in their book boxes at their reading level each week.  Students are welcomed to take home the same home twice if they wish.  When they bring their home reading folders back in the morning I have them put it in a bin.  Once all home reading folders are handed in, I quickly check for notes and have one of my responsible SK's put them in the book boxes for me.


Once they fill up a reading log they get to choose a sticker to add to the cover or back of their home reading folder.  In the past we also let students choose items from a treasure box (my old school provided the treasure box, this year I'm doing stickers because I don't have enough items to fill a treasure box myself).

When I asked on Instagram, a lot of you were interested in seeing the home reading printables in my TPT store so I have put them up.  You can click here or on the image below to grab them if you are interested!


2. SHAPE SHIFT CENTRE


I got the idea for this centre from @ourkindergartenfamily's Instagram account.  First we read the book "Shape Shift" by Joyce Hesselberth.  Then, students roll the shape dice 10 times.  They colour the shape they rolled after each roll.  After they have rolled 10 times, they collect the 10 shapes they rolled and make a picture using the 10 shapes.

This activity practices so many skills, such as following directions, ordinal numbers and fosters creativity and imagination! I love activities that promote higher level thinking!


This girl told me she made a girl walking her dog.

We had lots of amazing creations and it was a super popular centre! If you would like the recording sheet to try it too, you can grab it by clicking here or on the image below:



3. 2D SHAPE TRACE/WRITE THE ROOM


This week we continued to work on identifying, describing and comparing 2D shapes so I also introduced this 2D shape trace/write the room and the kiddos LOVED it.  My group last year had no interest in write the room but so far this group is all about it.

I had the students pick the sheet that was "just right" for them (not too easy and not too hard).  

The kids were instructed to find the shape cards that were taped around the room (there were 8) and either trace the matching shape or write the shape word beside the shape on their paper.  I also encouraged them to colour the shape the same colour as the shape on the cards.


You can find this 2D shape write the room activity in my 2D shape unit on TPT here.

4. DAILY SCHEDULE


I've always had a visual daily schedule displayed for the students.  For me it's a serious sanity saver.  I get less questions like "When is it home time?" or "Do we have gym today?" I just point to the schedule and say "Go check the schedule!" and they go and check themselves.  After a few times, they learn to check it themselves before they come to me.

This is my second year using this template.  I had someone on Instagram DM me and ask me for the template.  Since I made an editable template to share wit her, I thought I would share it here as well.



You will have to take your own photos but if you would like the editable template, you can click here or on the image below to download it! You will need PowerPoint to edit the file.


5. THANKSGIVING WRITING

We started our October guided writing this week! We read the book "Thanksgiving Is For Giving Thanks" by Margaret Sutherland and wrote about what we are thankful for.

First we completed this anchor chart together to brainstorm some ideas:


Then we wrote our own on the writing paper!


"I am thankful for my family because they love me."


"I am thankful for my sister because she plays with me."

The kids did a great job and it was a good opportunity for me to get some diagnostic assessments on where they are in the writing continuum.  You can grab this writing paper for free by clicking here or on the image below:


6. TURKEY CRAFT

I set out this invitation to create a turkey at the art table this week.  The kiddos did a great job creating their own turkeys!  Below is the sample I made that I left out for the kids to look at.


I provided them with paper plates cut in half, googly eyes, tissue paper cut into squares and brown, red, orange and yellow construction paper cut into squares.  I had some brown paper cut into circles and some I left square so that kids who choose to could cut their own circle or a different shape for their turkey bodies.

Here are some of the finished turkeys! Love how they all turned out so unique!


7. FALL SENSORY BIN


Our sensory table finally arrived this week! I kept the first one simple and filled it with corn kernals, a variety of fall items (all items found at Dollarama), wooden letters (also Dollarama) and clipboards.  The kids were so engaged in their play here! They only had one centre block to play with this sensory bin so many students are looking forward to exploring it next week!

8. ALPHABET BINGO


I had two Grade 6 kiddos visiting my room for 2 days this week (they didn't go on the field trip) so it was the perfect time to bring out my new Alphabet Bingo! As always, the kids loved playing bingo and the Grade 6's lead the game.  Once they got a line they got to pick a sticker! 

You can grab these bingo cards in my TPT store here.

The calling cards you see in the photo above are NOT included in the bingo product (there are simple calling cards that are included in the bingo product but they are not the ones pictured above).  I already had these cards printed and laminated so I used them as my calling cards.

The letter cards pictured above are the Letter Formation Flash Cards.  You can find them in my TPT store here.

That's it for me this week! We have a PA Day tomorrow (PD in the morning, staff meeting at my school in the afternoon) and then we have a long weekend for Thanksgiving.  If you are in Canada too, Happy Thanksgiving long weekend!

See you next week!

- Yukari
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Weekly Round-Up: September 22

Hi friends! I'm back with another weekly round-up. I hope you can grab some ideas to use in your classroom!

1. CAN YOU MAKE A LETTER TREE?


My kiddos absolutely loved this provocation! I introduced the challenge and the students worked on making the tree that held the most letters! It imbeds counting, engineering and critical thinking.  I got this idea from Preschool STEAM.  I loved that the students showed perseverance as they kept tweaking their tree to create the strongest tree!

2. CAN YOU COUNT THE BEARS?


Here is a simple provocation I set out to practice counting manipulatives.  We read the book "Bear Counts" last week and we set out some bear counters with ten-frames and number cards.  Students were free to create stories with the bears as well in addition to counting them!

3. 2D SHAPE CENTRES

We started working on 2D shapes in math this week! First we worked on identifying shapes. At this centre students were invited to trace the shape and shape word with a dry erase marker.  I printed my dry-erase book 2 to a page to create these mini dry erase cards.  They are in my 2D shape unit!


We also set out these shape mats! We used them with both flat marbles and play dough! The kids practiced creating shapes and making connections to where they see shapes in their lives!




You can also find the shape mats in my 2D shape unit here.

4. ETCH-A-SKETCH


I found these mini Etch-a-Sketch's at Dollar Tree at the end of August and pulled them out this week as a different way to practice letter formation and mark making! I set the Etch-a-Sketch boards out with my lowercase letter formation cards to encourage the kids to practice printing lowercase letters.  You can find these cards in my TPT store here.


5. SIGHT WORD BOOKLETS


I mentioned these last week and I'm planning to put these out weekly as extra practice for our weekly sight word! My kids are doing a great job printing the sight word and reading the simple sentences!



You can find this "I" booklet in this product and in this bundle.

6. TYPING LETTERS

I don't know what it is about them but every year the kids flock to this keyboard centre! I found these keyboards at Dollarama years ago.  I set them out with my tactile letter cards (I made them by sticking felt stickers onto unfinished wood rectangles; they can both be found at Michaels).


The kids practiced picking a card, finding it on the keyboard and typing it.

7. RHYMING MATS

We also worked on identifying rhyming words this week!  We practiced matching rhyming pairs with these rhyming mats whole group and then left them out as a centre for the kids to practice with independently.


I put magnets on the back and put the mats on cookie sheets so that the card stuck to the cookie sheet and gave it a more tactile feel. The kids did so well with these!

I put these mats in my store so if you want to grab them you can click here or on the image below:


That's it for this week! I have my bachelorette party tomorrow and my wedding next weekend so I might be a little bit MIA this coming week.  If you email, DM or PM me I might be a little slower at responding. Please be patient with me and I'm hoping to get back to my regular schedule by the 2nd week of October!

Have a great weekend!

- Yukari
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Weekly Round-Up: September 15

Hi guys! Happy Friday! I hope you had a great week.  Here are some of the things we've been up to in our class!

1. CO-CREATED NUMBER POSTERS


We finally finished up our co-created number posters! We worked in small groups to write the numeral, the number word, create the number on a ten frame, create the number with our fingers and trace the number formation song.  The number formation song is from Dr. Jean's "Numeral Song".  You can find it on YouTube here or in this very old blog post

2. CO-CREATED ALPHABET POSTERS


We also co-created alphabet posters like last year! Again, it was originally inspired by this post by Anamaria at Wonders in Kindergarten.  We brainstormed things that begin with each letter and either collected them from around the room or I collected them after school.  Then we took the photos together and I printed them at home.

One of my favourite books to read before we brainstorm ideas for our posters is A B See by Elizabeth Doyle.

If you would like the editable template for these posters you can download an editable PowerPoint file by clicking on the link below:


3. WHAT LETTERS CAN YOU FIND?


I got this idea from @exploringandlearninginfdk's Instagram account!  I put some letters in beans and added a sorting tray and tweezers.  I invited students to find letters with the tweezers and put them in the sorting tray.  Students were encouraged to identify the letters and if they could, record the letters on the paper.  The kids really loved this!

3. SIGHT WORD BOOKLETS

We started working on learning sight words this week! Our first sight word was "a".  As extra practice, I introduced these sight word booklets for the students to practice with at the writing centre.

On the cover, students write their name and colour the sight word.


On the second page students trace and print the sight word three times.


On the third and fourth page, students trace the sight word in a simple sentence.
On the fifth and sixth page (not pictured), students write the sight word in a simple sentence.


Maybe it's because I don't put too many worksheet type stuff out but the kids flocked to these booklets! I'm hoping I get the same reaction next week when I add the "I" booklet!

If you are interested in these booklets they are available in my TPT store.  You can grab it in Sight Word Mini Books Set 1 by clicking here or on the image below:


Or you can buy it in the BUNDLE by clicking here or on the image below and save 20%!


4. MAKING LETTERS WITH HWWT


I saw this fantastic provocation on Darla's Instagram account (@darlamyersclass) and knew I had to try it! These HWWT wood pieces are great for little hands and for open ended letter exploration! I got these Wood Pieces for Capital Letters from the Handwriting Without Tears website last year.  You can find them by clicking here.

The letter formation cards are in my TPT store.  You can find them by clicking here.

5. ALPHABET SALT TRAY


A surprise hit were these salt trays! I had them out last year as well and the kids liked them, but my class this year LOVED them! They loved them so much that I quickly made up a number version for them to play with in the afternoon.  The trays are from Dollarama.  The rocks are also from Dollarama and I used a white paint pen to write the letters on them.

That's it from me this week! I hope you were able to find some things you can try in your classroom! Have a great weekend!

- Yukari

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