Friday, November 30, 2012

My Kindergarten Dictionary - November Edition


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Value of Old Kindergarten Workbooks

A teacher I know from another school district is retiring this January, at the end of the semester. She's currently giving away a BUNCH of her old workbooks.

I initially passed up on her offer because I already have too many workbooks that I've pulled or copied random pages out of. But then I realized I should grab as many as I could, and here's why:

I have several children who need extra help with their letters or numbers, or even with objectives like recognizing same and different, rhyming words, and the like.

So I'm using those workbooks (and some of my own I no longer want) to help those children with the need for intervention. I put a child's name on a specific workbook. That way, when it's time for tutoring, they have their own to work out of. I can also tear out certain pages if I need them to go home and finish or need further working on.

In addition, I don't have to worry about using up my printing allotment on the copier. Each child gets individualized attention and help with their specific target area. And at the end of the year, the book can go home with the student.
My cost? $0 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Creative Fruit Packaging

There needs to be more marketing aimed specifically toward kids, like these packages of fruits and cheeses. Go here to see more of these wonderfully creative and whimsical offerings. And if your local grocery store doesn't have these, create your own!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Stocking Stuffers for Your Kindergarten Child

All of these will help your child's education, including eye-hand coordination and fine motor development. As a note, the boys love to play with jacks and a jump rope as much as the girls do!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Free Printable Dice Maker

From this site ( it says The free printable dice maker is a worksheet wizard that allows you to create dice with pictures, dice with text or printable dice with both images and text. (I've added this URL to my list over on the left-hand side of this blog.)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Letter G Activities

Letter G activities included:

* found pictures of Green things, then cut and Glued them to Green construction paper

* found pictures of objects that began with G, and made an anchor chart

* had Gumball races

* tasted Grapes and Goat cheese (feta)

* made a Gumball Bounce Game (I've had this graphic for ages, and found it just in time to use.)
* saluted students with G in their first names

* glued Goldfish crackers to large letter G
* and on Fun Fun Friday, we all wore Green!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oo or Wuh? Disparity When Trying to Teach Letter Names

Today in a workshop, I was told not to teach the letter W as /wuh/, but as /oo/, like I'm puckering up my lips to blow air through them.

For many years, I've had to battle UN-teaching children how not to pronounce certain letter names, and to replace those sounds with correct ones. For instance, the letter P is not /puh/, and G is not /guh/. Otherwise, when a student faces the word PIG, they're pronouncing it Puh-ih-guh, and can't figure out the word from that blend.

To be honest, I can't remember what my original reading teacher did when I was in elementary school, back in the Dark Ages. However, I do recall the horror I felt when I was taking reading classes in college, and my professor, with her thick Southern drawl, proceeded to make us repeat the number Four as "fow-ah".

Every year at least a goodly handful of my class have been taught to pronounce certain letters the wrong way. But B is not /buh/, C is not /cuh/, and D is not /duh/, as much as L is not /luh/, M is not /muh/, and so forth.

I wish there was an easy solution. Otherwise, I wouldn't have to worry about spending precious time correcting reading mistakes.  Which makes me /oo/ the new W? Or have I somehow missed the memo?

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Debate Continues

We are currently using three different "methods" of teaching the basics to our students, but the one causing the most debate is handwriting. One says DON'T use dotted names. One says DON'T use pencils (instead use crayons to write with). One says teach ONLY capital letters (no lower case). One says DON'T use lined paper. The confusion goes on and on. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I've always used dotted names, and have always had success with that method. I basically switch strategies if the child is having difficulty with one method, because, as a teacher, I know that ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. One method will never suit all the children. And all children do not learn the same way. Yet I'm still getting a lot of flack from the "experts" when they see me doing Y when I'm supposed to be using X. You get the drift.

I'd love to hear from other teachers what they use and find successful.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Letter B Activities

* Cut pictures out of magazines of things that were Brown, Blue, and Black (see pic)

* Went Barefoot

* Traced Letter B with Beans

* Tried to make sounds by Blowing into empty Bottles (see pic)

* Played "Balls and Bag" (throwing balls into old paper grocery bag)

* Ate Bananas with strange toppings (like jam, chocolate sauce, peanut butter, sprinkles, etc.)

* Made Butterflies (see this link) Note: Due to a time constraint, we used clothespins for the body instead of a pipe cleaner.

* And on Fun Fun Friday, we wore our shirts Backwards! (see pic)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Anchor Charts

Recently, our school district has asked that we have Anchor Charts present in our rooms. An Anchor Chart is usually a class-made list or poster of rules and regs that the students have to follow. And since they helped to create them, they would feel as if they "owned" those rules. Anchor Charts can also be related to a particular subject matter or topic currently being taught.

In Kinder, our Anchor Charts are different because of the grade level, and the fact that we're just beginning to read. Since we're currently reviewing letter names and sounds, this is our Anchor Chart for the letter Bb.

Every child was given a catalog.  As a class, we looked through them, searching for a picture of a word that begins with the /b/ sound. When we found one, we wrote the word on this chart and added the picture!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Great Teacher Resource - Thatresourcesite(dot)com

If you're looking for incentive charts, check out That Resource Site dot com!

I've also added it to the sidebar of my blog, in case you forget where you put it in your favorites.

Friday, November 2, 2012

An Update on Fred

Back when school first began, I started a little experiment. I bought a fairy door (see pic) and installed it in my room. I told the class that a fairy named Fred lived there, but that he was terrified by loud noises. Hence, he would only come out when it got quiet. (Remember, forests are quiet places.) Usually after school.

Every so often the children will come into class and discover a little mound of starbursts candy, or other treats, covered in "fairy dust". Or they'd find things hanging from the ceiling that weren't there the day before.

In short, my kids love Fred. When they're good, he "rewards" them. Once in a while, when they're a bit out of control, he'll put a frowny face on the whiteboard. But the students have started bringing him little things to eat, like acorns and apple slices, and leave them by his door. Funnier still, a child will come up to me and say she saw Fred peering at her from behind the door.

One of the things I love most about teaching this grade and age level is that the children still believe in wishes, dreams, fairies, and fairy tales. And that allows us as adults to share the joy and laughter that comes with it.