## Monday, January 13, 2014

### Free Alphabet Activity & More Kindergarten Fun

The holidays are behind us, and kindergarten fun is in full swing!  Here are just a few of the activities we're enjoying:

I was lucky enough to snag a fantastic pack of winter-themed kindergarten math activities on sale over Christmas break.  It was something of an impulse purchase, but it turned out to be a great decision!

Here you can see Colby completing a ten-frame matching activity.  It was great review, to refresh his skills after weeks of no school.  We haven't mastered recognizing number words yet, so it also provided a bit of a challenge.  (You can see his number line at the side of the photo; it has the number words written beneath the numerals so he was able to check his own guesses and complete the activity independently.)

Here's a look at the completed activity!

Here Colby is working with some clip cards from the same packet.

The two types of cards are shown above.  It was a great way to reinforce the concepts of "more" and "less".

The packet also included some great count-and-graph pages - these are just the two we've done so far!  Colban really likes graphing, and it's easy to extend this activity by asking questions about the graphs and providing simple addition problems.

This Missing Numbers Write and Wipe was one of my favorite activities.  (This is designed for all of the little sections to be cut apart and placed on a ring.  With only one student using them, I simply print the pages out on cardstock and laminate them.)  Colby is still learning those tricky teen numbers, and this is a fantastic way to practice!  We can just wipe them off and do them over and over again!

All of these activities, plus 6 others, can be found in Lavinia Pop's Math Centers - Winter (Beginning Skills).  It has 127 pages of activities, and it's only \$6!  I feel almost guilty that I got it on sale!

We have also been loving these Number Sorts {Early Math Sorting Series, Set #1} by Andrea Knight!

Beginning sounds practice!  These clip cards are one of the sets from Rita Mitchell's Phonics: Clip & Record Cards product.  (60 cards, 3 activities for \$2.50!  Great buy.)

Colby clipped the correct letter . . .

. . . and wrote it on the recording sheet.  Simple, effective activities are our favorite kind!

We had a blast with these free alphabet bingo cards from Sassy Sanctuary!  Hunter was happy to play with his little brother.  I shuffled a deck of alphabet cards and called the letters.  This is a really fun way to practice letter recognition, and fun for older kids too!

This was a simple, inexpensive activity I cooked up to test Colby on letter identification and sounds.  I wrote each letter of the alphabet on one of these little cups, then lined them up (out of order).  Each one has a little treat hidden underneath.

For each letter/sound Colby was able to identify, he got to keep the treat.  Very motivating!  He's eager to do better next time.

I haven't done many stamping activities with my little nugget up 'til now, because the only alphabet stamps we had were decorative ones meant for scrapbooking.  I found some reasonably priced sets on Amazon.com; it turned out to be a good move on my part.  Colby finds phonics a little tougher than math, and he's not always in the mood to keep working on it.  Stamping is the exception!

This awesome stamping pages are from Rita Mitchell's Letter Match: Uppercase, Lowercase, & Beginning Sounds Centers.  Another fantastic, shockingly inexpensive product!  Her TpT shop is just loaded with them!  Also from this same packet:

These pages (meant to be cut apart, but it worked just as well for us to leave them intact) can be used with letter tiles as shown, or dry erase markers, play-doh, magnets, etc.

Colban really enjoyed these, which surprised me a little, as he was starting to get sick of alphabet work that day.

He liked the page I gave him so much, though, that he asked for another one when he was finished!  That's always good news, and I was happy to oblige.

See?  He's having a ball!  In case you missed the link above, you can check out these activities right here.

I'd been wanting a nice alphabet display for our classroom wall.  We have a poster up and refer to it often, but it only shows capital letters.  Obviously, this isn't ideal.  I'd found many free posters and display options online, but expensive printer ink is always a consideration.  Colby loved the ghostly number line we made on sentence strip back at Halloween, so I made something similar for the alphabet.

Each of the cards Colby is cutting apart in the above photo features a letter in both upper- and lowercase, plus a picture of an animal that starts with that letter, to be colored.  Each day Colban colored as many of the animals as he wanted.  When he'd colored them all, he cut them apart.  He put them in order, and we glued them onto the sentence strips.  (It took three strips stapled together, with a little room left over.)

It looks awesome up on the wall!  Colby is so proud of having made it himself.  Each day when we sing the alphabet he uses a pointer to follow along.

Here's a close-up of one section . . .

. . . and a closer look at the end as well.  We're happy to share these cards with you!  Use them to make your own alphabet display, in interactive notebooks, for flashcards, or other projects.

TpT Shops & Blogs mentioned in this post:

## Thursday, January 9, 2014

### Kindergarten Tidbits From December (and a Freebie!)

I did manage to get some of Colby's December activities posted last month!  It was a minor miracle, believe me.  Here are a few of the tidbits that I missed:

More Christmas measuring for my little monkey!  This fun, free activity is based on the book "The Polar Express".

Both the book and the movie are a big part of our annual family festivities, and Colby got a kick out of measuring with strips of silver sleigh bells!

He recorded his measurements on the beautiful sheets provided.  For a free copy of "Silver Bells Measurement", visit Amber Monroe's blog here!

This little project was perfect for Colban.  It combines the alphabet and letter sounds with the story of the first Christmas (with an unflinching message of salvation, and eternal life).

Here Colby displays one of his favorite pages.  He cut and pasted the letter "b"s, and carefully colored the little town of Bethlehem.

Here's a closer look at another page.  With so many pages it was a time-consuming project for my little guy, but we spread it out over several weeks.  The finished product was well worth it.  You can get a copy of "The First Christmas - A Beginning Sound Reader" right here.  It's only \$1.50!  We loved it.

This too-cute reindeer craftivity was originally a writing project for Hunter, but when Colby saw what his older brother was up to he had to make one, too!  Luckily, the product included so many options it was easy to find a page suitable for my little kinder.  He enjoyed labeling the different parts of the reindeer, and completing the craft.  These look fabulous up on the wall!  We got them here.  (If you want to see Hunter's version, check it out here.)

And now, a little freebie!
This number line has proved extremely useful in our classroom, particularly for simple addition, subtraction, and "counting on".

Colby was requesting it so often that we now just keep it on the table, within reach at all times.
I've included two versions - the vertical one shown, and a horizontal one.  All you need to assemble them is cardstock to print on, a pipe cleaner, and a pony bead.

Blogs and TpT stores mentioned in this post:

Thanks for visiting!  Enjoy!

## Tuesday, January 7, 2014

### December Catch-Up Post: Seven Summits, Christmas, & More

December was a whirlwind and I'm not gonna lie, blogging was last on my epic to-do list!  No excuses, folks, just trying to catch up . . .

Here are some of Hunter's December highlights:

This free Christmas-themed alphabetizing activity from Hilary Lewis was a great way to warm up Hunter's mental muscles!  He practiced "ABC order" to the third letter, and recorded the list in the correct order.  There are 40 words included, and you can make the activity more or less challenging based on the words you choose.  We did this twice, with two different lists of words.  It was fun, and great practice!  Get a free copy here!

How cute is this reindeer?!  Poor Hunter hates it when I make him pose with his work, but he did such a great job that I just had to.  There are many ways to complete this writing craftivity, depending on the writing level of the student.  Hunter wrote about what it would be like if he were one of Santa's reindeer, and illustrated it.  Grab the template and printables (23 pages worth) right here.  It's inexpensive and oh so worth it!

I just love this "elf application" that Hunter filled out!  He chose to apply for a job in Santa's bakery.

He listed his huge appetite and his interest in creating new recipes as qualifications.  For a copy of this application for your own little elf, click here.  It's free!

Hunter loved this Math Mystery Picture activity!  It was a great way to practice his multiplication facts. Discovering one of his favorite video game characters dressed as Santa was a fun surprise for him!  For a copy of this freebie from Mr. Peterson, click here!  For the addition and subtraction version (also free), click here.

This simile/metaphor sort is one of a few activities we did to accompany our annual reading of "The Polar Express", by Chris Van Allsburg.

It's from "Polar Express Centers and Fun For Bigger Kids", a packet of activities for 3rd-5th graders by Fourth and Ten.  I didn't get pictures of everything we did (and the ones I did get were all blurry!), so I can't show you how much fun we had, but I do recommend checking out the product!  You can find it here.

This fun gingerbread house coloring/fractions activity is a freebie from More Time 2 Teach.  Click here to get a copy of Fraction Winter Wonderland!

This is the poster Hunter made to show what he's learned about the Seven Summits.  (This project was inspired by a photo we found on Pinterest, but I haven't been able to track down its origins.)

Each of the colored mountain peaks is to scale, with 1 cm = 1,000 ft.

He colored the continents to correspond with the paper mountain peaks . . .

. . . , and drew triangles to show the locations of the mountains.

He worked hard on it, and it looks fantastic up on the wall!

In addition to reading about the mountains and watching documentaries on YouTube and Netflix streaming, we visited each of the peaks on Google Earth.  Viewing the satellite imagery and being able to zoom in from any angle was fascinating for him; he's addicted!  He spent hours looking at mountains and rivers all over the planet, and regularly gets lost in foreign cities thanks to Street View.

And in no particular order, here are the TpT shops mentioned in this post: