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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Weekly Round-Up: September 8th

Hi friends! How was your first week back at school? I have the sweetest class ever and I am enjoying them so much already! But I am finding it difficult to get into the swing of things.  My new school is a late start school and the dismissal bell doesn't ring until 3:40! By the time our last student is picked up I feel like I have such little time before I need to pack up and leave to go home and make dinner! I'm hoping to get into a better routine soon :)

Anyways, I used to do a Five for Friday post but since that linky is not being hosted anymore I thought I would pop in every Friday and do a weekly round-up type post.  This way you can come here if you need direct links  of things you see in my Instagram posts! So here are some of the activities we worked on this week!

1. BUILDING NAMES WITH LETTER BEADS


I always set out lots of name activities the first week of school so I can find out if my students can recognize their name and the letters in their name.  It is also great for encouraging the students to learn each other's names! I already had the uppercase letter beads from last year (I bought them from Michaels) and had just bough some lowercase letter beads from Learning Resources so I set them out with these name cards and encouraged the students to build their names! They did a great job with this!

You can grab these editable name matching cards in my FREE name bag file by clicking here or on the image below:


2. NAME PLAY DOUGH MATS


As usual, my new group loves play dough! I set out these name play dough mats and some alphabet cookie cutters I found at a local dollar store.  You can grab these play dough mats in the same free editable file I mentioned above by clicking here.

3. HOW MANY BUGS IN THE BOX?


This activity was a hit last year and a hit again this year! I read the students the book "How Many Bugs In a Box?".  Then I showed them how to put bugs in a box, ask their partner "How many bugs do you think are in my box?" and have their partner guess a number between 1-10.  The partner would grab the number card that matched their guess.  Then the opened the box and counted the bugs to see if the guess was right.  They loved this activity and it's great for one-to-one correspondence, numeral recognition, building community and oral language!

4. MAKING LETTERS WITH LOOSE PARTS


I had these mats set-out with play dough the first few days but switched it with loose parts near the end of the week.  They loved this one! Students were asked to build letters with loose parts using the tongs.  The tongs are great for building strong finger muscles, which benefits all learners but especially those who are working up to printing with a pencil!  You can find these playdough/loose parts mats you see above by clicking here.

The white tray and letter beads are from Walmart. 
The wooden cubes and rocks are from Dollarama. 
The pom poms are from Michaels. 
The tongs are from Dollar Tree. 

Ok that's all I have for this week! I'm going to try to be better about taking pictures next week so I have more to share! Have a great weekend!

- Yukari
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Classroom Reveal 2017

Hi guys!

Happy Labour Day long weekend!

I FINALLY finished getting my room "ready" yesterday.  I put ready in quotation marks because there is so much I still want to do, but it is ready for the kids to come, play and learn on the first day! I was lucky that my new school was open on Friday and we could go in to do some last minute things if we wanted to.  I was so thankful because I honestly did not feel ready at all on Thursday! #whathaveibeendoingthelasttwoweeks

I always put a lot of thought and time into my classroom set-up.  I truly believe that the environment is the third teacher and strive to set-up a classroom that supports students to be creative, calm and independent learners.  My walls are bare because I will be creating a lot of anchor charts, bulletin board titles and posters with the students when we start school.  

Some of my challenges this year included the colourfulness of the room (I love neutral rooms so I'm not used to the bright blue walls and the blue/green/purple/orange chairs) and the size of the tables in proportion to the room (they are huge!).  I also currently have 5 tables that seat 6 kids each plus a guided table and 32 chairs.  I am a classroom of 15 with no ECE partner this year so after re-org (end of September) if there is an alternate storage space the custodians said we can chat about where to store the tables and chairs I won't be using.  My classroom is a new Kindergarten room so they had absolutely nothing in the room except the standard furniture.  I thankfully had a lot of bins, toys, manipulatives and other materials from my 4 Kindergarten LTO's and my principal has ordered me a sensory table and it's coming soon.  The OCD in me is dying that the classroom doesn't look the way I envisioned it from the start but I'm learning to live with it.

Okay enough with the jibber jabber! Let's get to some photos! 

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My kids will coming through the Kindergarten pen, vestibule and this door when they enter the school.  It leads into the cubbie area.  I put my clipboard above the cubbies so it's easy to grab for dismissal and for the first day of school. 

For the first day I'm bringing out sticker labels with their name and room number on them to stick on them as they enter the gate.  I also have a First Day Dismissal Permission Sheet so I can ask the families and quickly jot down who is going to pick each student up on the first day of school.

*Cubbie set-up tip: Set up your cubbies so that it is SK boy, JK girl, JK boy, SK girl.  This way the JK's will always have an SK beside them to ask for help if needed when getting dressed or undressed.  If you already know a bit about the dynamic of your class, put the students who will require the most support or supervision at the end(s) so that they have a bit more space and you are able to keep a close eye on him/her and support them if necessary.  Also labeling the buckets helps you move students easily if a certain combination of students doesn't work out during the first week!


After the cubbies are two cabinets and the door on the left is the bathroom.    This will be our writing wall and our monthly guided writing will be going here.  I will have a student make the title for this "wall" for us during the first or second week.


I decided to keep my literacy materials in one cabinet and my numeracy material in the other.

This is the inside of my literacy cabinet: 


And the inside of my numeracy cabinet:


I had a few requests to share these labels so they are now available in my TPT store.

Click here or on the image below if you are interested in checking them out:


When you turn around the corner you find the technology centres.  We have 1 desktop computer and 2 iPads.


Next to the iPads we have our Lego Centre.  I set-up this simple invitation to build for now to get students used to playing in this area.  I also have a printer in my room (but it is for the entire first floor) that I haven't figured out how to print to yet ๐Ÿ™ˆ.  The workroom is at the other side of the building so this is going to save me time when it's set-up!

Mail bags and things that have to go home the first week of school are stacked beside it for now.  I'm planning to buy a legal size hanging file folder tub to store these in over the weekend!


This is a view from the room from the Lego/Writing centre.  The custodians were moving one of the big tables (you can't see it in this picture but it is between the paint rack and the literacy/numeracy cabinets) after the church group had moved out of a room they are using over the summer.  Once it's gone I'm moving the guided reading table to that spot so the kids can line up at the sink easily and I can keep an eye on students while they are doing entry routines and eventually run a guided group at the same time.


I often get questions about my linking chart.  It is included in Step by Step: Kindergarten Writing Plans.  Click here to view it in my TPT store.

The shelf beside the lego centre is empty for now.  I'm thinking about having the kids save their creations there to work on later.

Then my writing/art area starts.  The top shelf has 3 buckets with pencils/erasers and 1 bucket with dry-erase markers.

Then crayons sorted by colour and glue sticks on the bottom shelf. 


The next shelf has the markers and scissors.  Under that is the "art bin".  I just have some paper in it for now but eventually I want to put some magazine files here and provide construction paper sorted by colour that the kids can use.


Then I have our paper drawers.  I'll actually be taking off the labels other than "Blank Paper" on Tuesday and keeping the other drawers empty until I have taught them how to use each one.  But this way the students can grab blank/GOOS paper independently during centre time.

Under that I put the student's independent writing folders.  I sort them by JK/SK and colour so that they can find their folders more efficiently.  I still need to add one more magazine box labelled "resources" to put linking charts and other resources in and add it to this shelf.


The drawers are from Walmart (Sterilite brand).
The labels for the drawers are included in Step by Step: Kindergarten Writing Plans.
You magazine files are the FLYT from IKEA.

You can download the labels for the magazine boxes and editable writing folder labels by clicking here or on the image below:


I backed the JK/SK labels on coloured paper and laminated them to match the folder labels and the washi tape I put on the spines on their writing folders.


Next to that I have a bin for clip boards and a spot to store cookie sheets.


Here is where I store my stands and cork rounds that I use to set-up invitations to learn/provocations.  The space below is empty for now.  


On the next shelf I stored some of my math manipulatives. 


Next to these shelves is the book shelf! I put mostly literacy books on one side and numeracy books on the other side.


I put some more numeracy based books and back to school books on hold at my local public library.  I will pick them up over the weekend and add them to finish filling the shelf on Tuesday morning.


Next to the math manipulatives we have some first week puzzles on the top shelves and book boxes on the bottom shelves.  I made labels for now but I'm hoping to replace these labels with a photo of the each student reading during book box time within the first few weeks of school.


If you want to grab these book box labels, you can find them in my TPT store here.


Next we have our dramatic play area!  I'm also keeping this area super simple for the first week.  I added some cups, utensils and plates to one shelf.  The white container has pom poms sorted by colour that I'm hoping they will use as pretend food.


Here is a view of the rest of the room from our Dramatic Play area:


You can see the extra table near the bathroom I was talking about earlier.  I'm hoping that that table is gone by Tuesday morning and I can move my guided reading table there.


On the other side of the dramatic play area is our manipulative shelf and meeting area! 

Here is our word wall:



I'm planning to put our math wall cards on magnets this year and use the low whiteboard space beside the word wall as the math wall. 

Here is my teacher chair and my chart stand:


I'm going to keep an eye out for a more comfortable teacher chair.  Any suggestions?

Behind the teacher chair and chart stand is my desk.  This is my first time having a desk! I have a nice comfy chair for my desk๐Ÿ™Œ  At first I didn't know where to put it and thought of getting rid of it but now that it's in I kind of like it.  We can't request moving any furniture until the end of September anyways so I'm going to see how functional it is and then decide.

I often get a lot of questions about my supply caddy.  It is from Michaels!


Behind my teacher table I have 2 more floor to ceiling cabinets.  I have so much storage this year and took advantage of it.  I sorted all my craft/centre making supplies and labeled them so that they are easy to find.


I didn't label the clear bins because you can see what is in there easily.


Next to these two cabinets I have some counter space, an adult sink and cabinets above it.  I put my binders here and my Sterilite drawers.  



Then we have a small wall with the paper towel dispenser on it, a student sink and this counter space.  Since the paint rack is on the other side I put the painting centre out here for now.  


I have four large tables the students can work at during centres (hoping to get it reduced to 3 at the end of September!).   I set them up for entry centres before I left.  

Here is one of the tables with play dough and play dough mats.



Here is another table with whiteboards & alphabet dry-erase books on one side and alphabet Magnatabs on the other.


If you are interested in the Magnatabs you can buy them here:



 Another table for alphabet puzzles.


I got the puzzle on the left at Dollar Tree (this month) and the puzzle on the right at Walmart last year.

And another table for writing/mark making.


And here is one last look at my room from the writing area.


I hope you enjoyed taking a little peek into my classroom! I'm looking forward to seeing how the room grows and changes with my new students.  If you are starting a new school year like me on Tuesday I hope you have a great start and school year!

- Yukari
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