Monday, August 31, 2015

September Play Calendar

From the Kids Activities Blog.
Click picture for a larger version you can print out.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Weekly Graphing Idea - Fruit

What is your favorite fruit?
 - You can either give them a selection to choose from (ex: grapes, apples, bananas, oranges)
 - Let them volunteer their own choices
 - Give them a selection of not-so-common fruits to choose from (ex: pineapples, kiwis, pomegranates, etc.)
 - Or pick a selection from the supermarket of fruit, cut sections, and let the children sample without telling them what they ate until afterwards. Such were star fruits, nectarines, plums, and raspberries. I did this a couple of times, and also used this as a lesson about 'try it before you deny it'.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

HOMEWORK Tracker Incentive, and a Freebie Template

I used this template for a few years to help me keep track of who had done their homework, and as a reward incentive when they completed it. Of course, one of the stipulations was that THEY had to do their own work and not a sibling or parent.

One way I used this was I glued a page in their homework folder. Every morning, the children turned in their folders in the basket by the door as they came into the room. As I checked their folder, if the work was done, I used a colored marker or Sharpie to initial one block. When the word HOMEWORK was completed, the student got a treat. (A lot of times it was a gumball or piece of bubble gum that they could chew after school.) When the entire sheet was initialed, I glued on a second sheet.

Click on the picture below to get your template you can save and print.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Checklist #3 - Welcome Home

Thanks to The Chirping Moms, here's a handy checklist your child can follow once they get home from school. You can click the image for a larger size you can print off.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Weekly Graphing Idea - Shoes

I kept a list of all the graphing models I used on a weekly basis. I'll be posting one every Friday this school year, in case you're running a blank for an idea.

This week: What kind of shoes are you wearing today?

Who is wearing sandals, sneakers, boots, etc?
Base your selection choices on what the children have on.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Who Let the A Out?" Alphabet Song

Here is a little chant/song I used to review letter names and sounds. It's sung to the tune of "Who Let the Dogs Out?"

Who let the A out?
/a/, /a/, /a/-/a/
Who let the B out?
/b/, /b/, /b/-/b/
Who let the C out?
/c/, /c/, /c/-/c/

And so forth until you end with Z. We did this, or something similar, every day. Then, later on in the year when they began sounding out words, if they got stuck on a letter, all I had to do was say, "Who let the R out?" and they immediately remembered the sound!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Checklist #2 - Good Morning

Thanks to The Chirping Moms, here's a great little checklist your child can use to help them get ready each morning before school, and not forget something during that busy rush. You can click on the image for a larger size you can print out.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Weekly Graphing Idea - How Do You Get to School?

This year, every Friday I'll be posting a weekly graphing idea you can use in your classroom during math. You can implement this in several ways, including having the children place stickers on a chart, put a post-it note on a board, or cut and paste a picture they've drawn on a display. Anything to make it quick, easy, and teachable!

This week, the graphing question is:

How do you get to school?

Ride the bus
Ride in a car
Walk to school
Ride my bike

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August Play Calendar

From Kids Activities Blog.
Click picture for a full size you can print out.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Checklist #1 - Bedtime


Thanks to The Chirping Moms, here's a neat little checklist to get your child prepared for the next school day. You can click the image for a larger version you can print off.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Patterning With Kinesthetic Movement

Another way to work on learning patterning is by repetition using movement.

Put your kids in a circle, either sitting or standing. Give them a pattern to repeat. Ex: AB

You start off by saying A, then hand the ball to the child next to you, who says B. They hand it over to the next child, who repeats A, and so on until you've gone all the way around the circle.

You can start over by making the ball go in the opposite direction, which challenges the child's mind to figure out what their letter is going to be.

Later on, you can increase the complexity of this lesson by giving another pattern, such as AAB and so forth once the class is ready to learn it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Patterning With Nature

My kiddos had fun doing this. We combined science with math with patterning.

We went outside and scrounged for natural items: flowers, twigs, rocks, leaves, grass, etc. Some even found some bird feathers.

Then we went inside and glued them to sentence strips, labeling the patterns like you see above.

We re-did this little trick as we got into more complicated patterning, and when we extended our patterns, by using different colored fall leaves as our differences. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

My Parent Letter Welcoming Them to Sneak Peek

Every year before school begins, parents bring their children to class for Sneak Peek to meet with the teacher. Also at this time, they ask about routines, lunch, supplies, etc. Below is the letter I use every year. You're welcome to cut and paste to use it. Also note that everything emboldened means you'll need to insert your own information to make it relevant to your needs.

Dear Parents, 

Welcome to Sneak Peek!

This is going to be a year of discovery for both you and your child. And you're going to get to watch your child grow and learn, and be surprised by how much they accomplish as the year progresses.

Because we Kindergarten teachers push our students to exceed, we are asking for a few extra supplies from each student, in addition to what the school district already suggests. As soon as possible, please send the following with your child:

2 spiral theme books
1 bag of uncooked rice or beans

My conference period is from 9:00 - 9:45 if you ever need to contact me. And our lunch period is from 10:40 - 11:10 if you want to come to school and have lunch with us.

You are welcome to come to school at any time, but for safety's sake you must check in at the office first.

If you need to pick up your child after school, we dismiss at 3:30 and take them to the front of the school. You may pick your child up there, as parents are not allowed inside the school building during dismissal.

The first day of school, you may bring your child directly to the classroom. But after that day, leave your child in the cafeteria. Kinder teachers pick up their classes from the cafeteria at 7:45 each morning. So if you get to school after that time, take your child to the front office where they will be escorted to class.

Sometimes separating child from parent can be traumatic. If your child begins to cry and doesn't want you to leave, take your child to the office and leave immediately. Please do not stay or linger. I promise that once your child is in the classroom setting, it won't be long before your child will become involved in what the rest of his friends are doing.

If your child has a medical condition, or takes medication, or is under a doctor's care, please let me or the office know.

Yes, your child may bring a small pillow and/or light blanket for nap time, but those objects must be able to fit in the backpack. This is a health measure, and those items cannot be left at school.

We have snack time every day at 1:00. Please send a healthy snack with your child. There is no fridge or microwave for you child to heat something up or keep something cool. We have a water fountain. But if you wish to include a drink, have it in a thermos or other container. No sodas are allowed.

Your child will have homework. As our reading progresses, he will have reading homework Monday through Thursday. Please do not do your child's work for him. I need to see his progress, even if it doesn't look "perfect". And help your child to get into the routine of Homework First Before Play. 

If your child is absent, he will have to make up lost work. Any work not done will be completed during center or play time.

Have your child get into the habit of putting his backpack in the same place every day. And once their homework is done, to put it in the backpack. That way they'll always know where it is during that morning rush for school. My advice on where to put it? On their bedroom doorknob.

Thank you for entrusting your child's education to me. It's going to be an exciting year. And by June, your child will be ready for the challenging world of First Grade.

Sincerely yours,