Weekly Round-Up: April 22

Hi friends! Today's post is super short, but I wanted to share a freebie with you (that you can use tomorrow!) so I decided to still post!


One area of need for many of my kiddos is identifying beginning sounds in words and paying attention to beginning sounds when reading emergent texts, so I made this centre up to encourage them to practice this skill!  Students look at the card, say the word, identify the beginning sound, look for the letter in the black beans and then match it to the beginning of the word.  Once they figure out all 8 words, they are invited to record their work on the recording sheet.

If you are interested in trying this centre with your kids too, it is in my "Kindergarten Spring Activities" pack on TPT.  You can click here or on the image below if you want to check it out!


We are starting Canadian Coins this week!  The kids usually love this unit so I'm looking forward to teaching them all about Canadian coins!  I have an old blog post about teaching money in Kindergarten.  Click here if you are interested in reading it!

I updated the clip art on "My Book of Canadian Coins" booklet last summer so I made a new sample to put out at this centre for the kids to use as a reference.  

You can grab this booklet in my "Canadian Coins for Kindergarten" pack on TPT.  Click here or on the image below for more information!


My group this year loves to share their work with their classmates and also loves to share what they did on the weekend with me.  Since I can't sit and talk to 15 kids on Monday morning, I started setting this paper up at the writing centre and told the kids if they write about their weekend, they'll get to share it with the class during morning meeting.

I have a class of pretty independent writers, and even the kids who are not able to write too much on their own yet know a variety of strategies (use the words in the question, use the word wall, ask a friend) to get some writing down.  If they only do a picture independently, then I will scribe for them at morning meeting with a highlighter and they can practice tracing over it during the next centre block.

I also usually grab this paper and make it our writing task for my Monday morning guided reading group.

Here is a completed weekend writing by one of my SK's from last week! 

If you are interested in grabbing this writing paper to try with your kids, you can get it for FREE by clicking here or on the image below:


Ok so I know this is super belated since Easter was a month ago, but I forgot to post about it when I first took this picture and I thought if I shared it now someone might be able to use the idea for next year!

I saw this idea on the Ontario Kindergarten Teachers facebook group (I can't remember exactly who posted.. if it was you let me know so I can give you credit!) and thought it was a easy, cheap way to have a little Easter fun!

All I did was grab plastic Easter eggs (I had a bunch lying around from over buying last year), put a chocolate egg and an Easter sticker inside, tape the egg shut and write a short message on the sticker label and stick it on the Easter egg!  I wrote their name on each one so they could only hunt for their Easter egg!

I wrote "Dear ____, Hope you have a great Easter long weekend! Love, Miss Naka" on the sticker label.  If you are more organized then me and you are not making these the morning of, you could also type and print them onto the sticker label!

My kids have gym period 9 so I "hid" the eggs around the room while they were out of the classroom.   When they came back I asked them to sit on the carpet and told them we were having a small Easter egg hunt before home time.  I told them that there was an egg for each student so to only take the egg with their name on it.  Then I also put out their mail bags on a table so they could grab their mail bags after they found their eggs and start getting ready for home.  We reviewed classroom rules (no running, no screaming etc.) and then I let them hunt for their eggs!

I loved how quick and fun it was for the kids!

That's it from me this week!

Hope your are having a great weekend!

- Yukari

Weekly Round-Up: April 13

Hi friends! I'm popping in to share some of our activities from this week!


My friend and co-worker Amanda (@creativekindergartenblogontpt) shared this activity on her Instagram last week and I knew I had to try it too!  My kids love craft activities, so I knew this was going to be a hit!  Students were invited to pick a 2 or 3 letter sight word card from the box and write each letter on the tulips.  Then they were asked to glue them in order and draw the stems and leaves.  They could add other details to their garden too if they wanted to! 

The sight word cards you see above are in my TPT store.  Click here if you are interested in grabbing them!


For the last 2 weeks we have been learning about and working on making pattern stories at centre time.  This is the first one we did! I used Lesson #28 from my "Step by Step 2: Kindergarten Writing Plans" to teach the lesson.

After I explained to the kids what a pattern story was, I read them the book "I Love Fall" as the mentor text for this lesson.  Any pattern story with a simple pattern (level A guided reading books usual work well!) will work!

Then I told them that they could make a pattern story for any season.  Next I showed them my sample (I made a "I Love Spring!" story) to show them how they can make their own pattern story based on the "I Love Fall!" book.

Then, we brainstormed ideas for each season so the students had different phrases they can use after the "I love" if they needed them.

 Then they were invited to visit this centre during centre time to make their own pattern stories! My SK's did such a great job creating their pattern stories!

Here is a sample of some of the pages from one of the books that were made by one of my students:

We did the same lesson with a new mentor text this week, and starting next week I'm just going to switch out the mentor text and see what stories they can create!

The lesson plan for this activity and the printable for the pattern story can be found here.


I bought these daffodils last weekend at the grocery store.  I set them out with some watercolour paint pucks and a Sharpie and invited them to look closely and draw and paint the daffodils! Not pictured, but I put magnifying glasses here too to encourage them to look closely and add lots of detail!  Simple, but the kids love looking at real flowers and other natural objects!


I made up a batch of brown play dough on the weekend and set it out with some fake flowers, fake leaves, rocks and some pots and had the students pretend to plant their own flowers!  After they planted their flowers, they were encouraged to draw and write about it!  They loved this provocation and loved making different flower arrangements in the pot!  I used cocoa powder to make the play dough brown and it smelled delicious!


We have been learning about Earth Day and ways we can care for the Earth.  During our lesson on how we can protect nature, we learned that planting flowers can help protect nature because it will help the bees find the pollen and nectar they need to make honey and stay alive!  So we decided to grow our own flowers too!

They got to choose their own flower (or vegetable) out of a few choices and we planted them in small groups.  I wrote their name and their flower/vegetable name on the popsicle stick (on on each side) so they can see which one is their's and so they remember what they planted.

After we planted, we created this planting centre that the students can visit to check on their plant and water it daily.  I also put the seeds in the muffin tins and the packages for the seeds in a small container for the kids to look at.  I also added a magnifying glass, some Sharpies and a clipboard with paper for the kids to record their observations on!


I wanted a simple puzzle to practice numeral identification and 1:1 correspondence so I made these up and the kids ate it up! I put both this mat and the 11-20 one out so the kids can choose the one that works best for them.  The kids were prompted to count the items on the puzzle piece and match it to the number on the mat.

If you are interested in the puzzle you can find it in my "Kindergarten Spring Activities" pack here.


I shared spring pattern bracelets in my last post too, but my kids really do love making these so I put this slightly different version out! Instead of just colouring the pictures, students can choose the picture, colour it and then glue them on to the make their pattern.  Then they are asked to name the pattern underneath.

Here is what it looks like when it's put together! 

The printables for these pattern bracelets are also in my "Kindergarten Spring Activities" pack!


My kids love anything that involves cutting and colouring so these symmetry cut and reveal sheets have been a hit! Students are asked to fold the paper in half, cut on the dots and open up their paper to reveal their symmetrical picture.  Then they could colour and decorate their picture if they want.  This activity helps them practice recognizing symmetrical pictures and their lines of symmetry!

This activity is also in my "Kindergarten Spring Activities" pack.  You can click here or on the image below if you are interested in checking it out!

That's it from me this week!  Have a great weekend and I hope you were able to grab an idea or two to use in your classroom!

- Yukari

Weekly Round-Up: April 7

Hello friends! Back to back posts? Who am I? lol Here's a little round-up with links of things I've been sharing over on my Instagram this past week!


I originally taught these reading strategies back in October and November and I finally printed out the bookmarks to add to the kid's book boxes (independent reading boxes) and to our LLI bin.  I noticed that one of my intervention students had a really hard time remembering to use reading strategies so I wanted to put a bookmark right beside her book when we were reading during LLI and many of my kids are reading longer books and chapter books now (I have a good chunk of kids who are in the BAS G-M range) and so I thought the bookmark would be a good tool for them to use during independent reading to mark their spot when they need to put their boxes away.

Anyways, they have been a hit and they love using their bookmarks!  You can find the bookmarks in my "Kindergarten Reading Strategies: Lessons + Posters for Emergent Readers" pack on TPT by clicking here.


Since we were wrapping up our sky inquiry this week, I decided to put out this raindrop CVC puzzle activity at the sensory bin! I put some cotton balls in the bin, the puzzle pieces, spring smencils and the recording sheets.  Students were invited to grab a word, sound it out and find the matching picture.  Then they were invited to record the words beside the corresponding picture on the recording sheet.  If you are interested in this activity, it is in my "Kindergarten Spring Activities" pack on TPT.  Click here if you are interested in taking a look!


I put these dry erase printing sheets out this week for the students to practice reading and writing simple spring sentences!  These are a staple in our dry erase centre.  I love them because it works on a variety of skills at once (reading, spelling, printing) and some of my kids have even started to write a second sentence or a response to the sentence on the lines below instead of copying the sentence like I had intended!  Love their creativity and independence at this time of the year😍

These are also in my "Kindergarten Spring Activities" pack on TPT!


My kids loved these q-tip painting/spelling pages when I had them out during the winter so I brought them back for spring! They are invited to dot paint the picture and the letters with q-tip and paint.

These are also in my "Kindergarten Spring Activities" pack.  You can click here or on the image below to read about everything that is included in the pack on TPT!


I always do our monthly guided writing that goes up on our writing wall at the beginning of the month.  This month we read the book "Tops & Bottoms" by Janet Stevens and answered the question "Hare grows many vegetables.  If you could grow any vegetable, what would you grow? Why?"

First we brainstormed and wrote some of their ideas on the anchor chart to warm up their brains and so that they could use the chart as a resource when they came to write with me in their guided writing  group...

Then I showed them my example as an exemplar.  My kids are good writers, but their pictures tend to lack detail and their colouring can be a little sloppy so I wanted to show them a really good sample before they started this time.  I also wanted to show my higher kids how to add more detail to their writing and ideas for adding a second sentence.

Then I sat with groups of 2-4 (more kids if they are independent, less kids if they need more 1:1 support) and had them work on their writing!  I give their descriptive feedback AS they are writing (both positive and next steps) and I jot it down on my conferencing sheet.  I add their best writing skill and biggest area of need to the descriptive feedback column AFTER they have handed their paper in.  This way the feedback is instant and I don't forget the feedback I gave them while we were working together!

Here are some of the student's work from this month:

I have written in detail (5 text heavy pages) about how I teach my guided writing lessons in my "Step by Step 3: Guided Writing & Assessments" pack on TPT if you are interested in reading more about it!  The writing paper you see here is also included in that pack as well.

If you are looking for the writing checklist, you can find that in my "Step by Step: Kindergarten Writing Plans" unit by clicking here.


My kids love making pattern bracelets.  They've been obsessed ever since we did them with hearts on Valentine's Day! We did eggs for Easter and this week, I put out these tulip ones for spring!  I also added the sentence at the bottom so that they could practice identifying the core and naming patterns as well.

These are also in my "Spring Kindergarten Activities" pack as well!

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

- Yukari


Inquiry: Clouds & Thunder

Hi friends! I'm sitting down today to share about the inquiry we just wrapped up!

When we did our March inquiry brainstorm (I do these when there are no spontaneous wonders to expand on, I just ask the students to tell me everything they are wondering about about and I sort through them and pick a topic to investigate from these questions) there were quite a few friends wondering about things in the sky! So we decided to take those questions and do a sky inqury.  We focused on clouds and thunder/lightning.

*I totally misspelled lightning for the majority of the inquiry.  So I apologize in advance! Live and learn! Now I definitely know how to spell it!"*

On the first day we read "How Do Clouds Form?" by Lynn Peppas and we recorded on the whiteboard what we learned.  Then we had one of the students who originally asked the question come and record what we learned to put on our inquiry board.  He recorded, "Clouds float in the sky because they are made up of tiny water droplets or ice crystals.  Each droplet is so small and light that it floats in the air."

You can see his writing and picture on the inquiry board below (top middle):

Next we read the book "It Looked Like Spilt Milk".  Then we had two centres available to go with the book.  First I put out this retell centre.  I got the templates for the felt pieces from Kizclub.com.  The students used the book to try to retell the story in the correct sequence. 

We also had this centre where students made their own spilled milk art using cotton balls.  Then they wrote their own spilled milk sentences to describe what they made!  They LOVED this activity!

Here are the students working on their spilt milk pictures and writing...

And here are some of the completed pieces:

"Sometimes it looked like a tornado, but it wasn't a tornado.  It was just a cloud in the sky."

"Sometimes it looked like a fidget spinner.  But it wasn't a fidget spinner.  It was just a cloud in the sky."

"Sometimes it looked like a sight word.  But it wasn't a sight word.  It was just a cloud in the sky."

If you would like to download the writing template for this craft, you can download it by clicking here or on the image below:

We also had this Raindrop CVC Search in our sensory bin to tie in with our cloud inquiry!  The students were invited to read a CVC word and then find the corresponding picture.  Then they were asked to record the word on the clipboard.

You can find this activity in my "Kindergarten Spring Activities" pack.  You can click here or on the image below if you are interested in taking a closer look!

Next we read the book "Little Cloud" by Eric Carle and made our own "Little Cloud" art! I mixed shaving cream and white glue (half and half) to create the puffy "cloud" paint for the students to use!

"Little cloud changed into a hyena"

"Little cloud changed into a tree."

If you would like to do this activity with your kids too, you can download the writing template by clicking here or on the image below:

I also made this sensory bin for the kids to explore! It has blue water beads, water, airplanes and soap clouds in them! The soap clouds are ivory bar soap microwaved for 2 minutes.  They were so cool and the kids loved playing with the different textures and making stories with the materials provided here!

On the fourth day we investigated the question "How are clouds made?"  We read pages 6-9 out of the book "How Do Clouds Form?" by Lynn Peppas and we filled in a cloze passage on chart paper.  You can see the cloze passage we filled out on the bulletin board at the top of this post!

On the fifth day we investigated the question "How are clouds made?" again but this time I performed a little experiment for them! I followed the "How To Make A Cloud In A Jar" experiment steps from No Time for Flashcards.

First I boiled some water in a kettle while they were at recess.  Then when we started the experiment, I poured some hot water into the glass jar.  I told them the hot water represents how the sun heats up the water and the water will start to evaporate.  Then I sprayed some hairspray into the jar.  We talked about how the hairspray particles represent the dust in the air that the water vapour will cling on to in the sky.  Then we closed the lid and put some ice on the lid.  We reviewed how the air is colder higher in the sky and that is why the water vapour changes back into water droplets.  We watched as the water vapour changed back into water droplets as it evaporated towards the top of the jar and cling to the hairspray, creating a cloud in the jar!  It was really cool!  Finally we opened the jar and watched the cloud float out.  I wish I could show you the reaction of the kids.  They were all clapping and so excited.  They requested to do it again and we ended up doing it three times!

I had one of the students take pictures of the process and the next day we worked on a recount of the steps (procedural writing) and I had students come and write each step on a sheet with the pictures.  You can see their finished work on the bulletin board at the bottom of this post!

Next we moved on to some questions about thunder and lightening.  We investigated the question, "Why does it thunder?" by reading the book "Thunder and Lightning" by Alice K. Flanagan.  This was a really great book that explained thunder and lightning in a Kindergarten friendly way!  After the lesson, we recorded what we learned and I had the student who originally posed this question come and record our new learning.  He wrote "Lightning gives off a lot of heat.  The heat causes a loud sound called thunder."

The next day I had this 2 part art activity out for the kids to try!  On the first day I had the students paint the background by mixing black and white paint to create the stormy sky.

Here they are working on their backgrounds:

On the second day they cut out their cloud(s), lightening bolt(s) and raindrop(s) from construction paper and glued it on to their backgrounds.  I provided some tracers but they were free to cut their shapes on their own as well.  When they were done I had them either trace the sentence, copy the sentence or write their own thunder/lightening fact.

If you would like to try this art/craft activity with your kids too, you can click here or on the image below to download the writing template:

The next day we watched "What Causes Thunder and Lightening?" by Scishow Kids.  We ended up watching it twice and filling in the corresponding cloze chart for two days since she talks fast and there is a lot of information to remember from the video!

You can see the cloze chart we filled out on the bulletin board below!

Here is our final bulletin board for our sky inquiry!

This one was a tricky topic! The science behind clouds and lightening/thunder was tricky to explain in a Kindergarten friendly way (while still being accurate) but they are an advanced group and they seem to have gotten most of the concepts we talked about!

Next we are taking a short break from student-directed inquiry and will be working on Earth Day lessons during our usual inquiry input time!  I'll be back with another inquiry post (I'm hoping to fit in at least one more before I go on mat leave!) when we get back to it!

- Yukari