Friday, February 27, 2015

Reading Partners Between Grade Levels

In many cases, partner reading meant pairing up the children in the classroom. If there was an "odd man out", that lucky child who felt alone discovered he got to read to me. (Sometimes the children would "fight" over who'd be the "leftovers", as they got to calling that one remaining student.)

But every so often a few older kids would show up at my door from one of the upper grade levels and ask if there was anything they could help me with. The upper grades were often rewarded in that manner. Students who'd done their work, or did exceptionally well with something, were allowed to go to other classrooms to offer their assistance. I would take those opportunities to let the kids take turns reading from their readers to those students. The upper grades loved it because it made them feel like teachers.

And once or twice a year I'd arrange for a "read-athon", where an entire upper grade class would come in and pair up to read. The students had a blast doing this, especially if they had an older sibling in that class.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Another Letter G Activity! G is for Gumballs!

This was given to me by a fellow teacher. I don't have the patterns, but they should be easy to make.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Using Pinterest Pictures in the Classroom - Rocks

1. What do you think these are? What makes you think that?

2. Use words to tell me what they look like.

3. How do you think they would feel? Why?

4. What would these taste like?

5. How big do you think these are? Why do you think that?

6. Where would you find these?

7. Why do you think a person took this picture?

8. Give me one word to describe these items.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Snowman Listening Activity

Initially, I drew the snowmen (3 circles) and numbered them on a sheet of legal paper, then ran off copies for the classroom.

Here are the directions:

1. give him glasses and a surfboard (or skateboard)
2. he's very cold - he needs a scarf, hat, and shoes
3. make him patriotic - red, white, and blue
4. make him a Christmas tree, including ornaments and a star on top
5. make him a mouse
6. make him Santa
7. make him look like a regular snowman, including twig arms, a top hat, and carrot nose
8. make him a sign pointing to the North Pole

You can easily adapt this to fit more winter-themed activities. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

It Bears Repeating! Fun, Fun, Fridays!

The great thing about teaching Kindergarten and Pre-K is that you can still have fun while learning. But one of the best things I ever did was to declare every Friday a "Fun, Fun Friday". And we would do an activity to celebrate making it through another week.

For example:

1. When studying letters and letter sounds, have the children do or bring something that relates to that letter. A stuffed animal for T - toy. Or wear crazy/mismatched socks for S. Or wear a shirt backwards for B.

2.  Have them bring an item from home to share. You can either tie the article in with whatever you're studying (language arts, math, science, whatever). Or just have a plain ole Show and Tell day, the way we used to when we were in grade school.

3. Have a guest visitor no one expects. Again, you can tie it in to a study unit, or a holiday. (This can be as simple as having someone to come read to them.)

The possibilities are limitless! But by having Fridays special, my kids were less likely to miss school on those days!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cheerio Constellations

If you study day and night, and the stars, here's a neat little art project. 

Have the students copy a constellation. I've done a basic five-point star, a sun, and here, the Big Dipper.

One the stars are sketched on construction paper (I've also let them use white chalk and crayon on black paper), have them connect the stars.

Finally, they can cover the "stars" with Cheerios. I've also used stickers and glitter.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Letter Sound Song

The Letter Sound Song

(To the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus")

The A makes the sound of a/ a/ a/
A/ a/ a/
A/ a/ a/
The A makes the sound of a/ a/ a/
Like in the word apple

The B makes the sound of b/ b/ b/
B/ b/ b/
B/ b/ b/
The B makes the sound of b/ b/ b/
Like in the word balloon

You can go through all the letters this way as you teach them. I've found that single or two-syllable "examples" work best for the last line.