Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas Fun in Kindergarten

Here's a quick look at some of the Christmas-themed activities we've incorporated into kindergarten this week!

You all know how my little nugget loves to measure!  

I was delighted to find this Christmas themed measuring unit from Simply Skilled in Second, and even more excited that it's FREE!  It's called Merry Measure (cute, right?) and you can find it right here!

Colby measured each of the Christmas objects and wrote his findings on the recording sheet.

We usually use one-inch tiles for this sort of activity, but to mix things up I had him measure with this ruler that I found at Wal-Mart.  Each inch is a different color which makes it easier for my little man to read.  It's also jointed at each inch mark and folds right up!  At only a dollar, it was a great find.

Gingerbread Shake & Spill! So much fun!  We used the fabulous, free Gingerbread Shake and Spill Math Mats from Teaching in Progress.  There are mats for numbers 3-10, plus a blank mat (which we used for this activity).  Colby spilled out two-sided math counters, and we wrote how many of each color on the math mat with a dry-erase marker.

Then Colby showed the combinations on these free worksheets from The Linton Academy.  The .pdf includes worksheets for numbers 6-10. (You can find them here!)  We recorded the combinations as we discovered them, though we plan to make similar charts after Christmas break that are better organized.  

Here's a closer look at the shake & spill mat. (And here's a link to the math counters I bought, if you need some: Learning Resources - Two-Color Counters, Math Manipulatives,)

Now this was a really fun activity! This pocket chart center is just one activity from from the Gingerbread Literacy and Math Combo Pack by Caitlin Clabby.

Using the printable reference sheet provided in the pack, Colby unscrambled the sentences and built the gingerbread man story in the pocket chart.  

We worked on the independent reader a little bit each day.  Colby wrote the word "the" on each page and colored the pictures.

The finished product was pretty great!

Colby looked at the pictures on these gingerbread boys, then stamped the initial sounds on the recording sheet. 

He colored the gingerbread boys on the recording sheet to correspond with the correct letter.  This was the first time we'd used stamps for a school activity, and he loved it!  

This fun worksheet required Colby to follow the directions to color the gingerbread men.  He likes coloring and counting, so this was fun for him.  

I tried hard to get a good picture of this "If I Were a Gingerbread Boy" worksheet, but it's still a little tough to see.  Colby drew pictures of what he would look like if he were a gingerbread boy (surprisingly, he would wear a lot of denim) and what his gingerbread house would look like.  He also wrote that he would run away from a fox, and a dog.  Sounds like a good plan to me!  You can find two FREE versions of this worksheet (one for a boy, and one for a girl) right here.  

You can also find this and the other activities in the 145-page Gingerbread Literacy and Math Combo Pack.  We barely scratched the surface of what's included, and will be using more of these activities next year!

And here's a little Gingerbread Write the Room Math Fun, from the three-tiered activity by Marsha McGuire.  I am a huge fan of her products; they are simple, meaningful, and fun.  Best of all, everything is differentiated.  There are two or three options to choose from, so you can match your child with the activity level that best suits his or her abilities.  I find that I can usually use more than one of the options - one level might be good for reviewing or reinforcing skills, while another will offer a little more of a challenge.

Here you can see that Colby worked on some simple addition within 5.  This was great practice for him!  He loved the colorful pictures.  (Only a portion of the activity is shown here.)

Also from Marsha McGuire, this I-Spy Gingie's Numbers activity was a blast!

There were multiple options for this activity; here you can see Colby practicing numbers 0-20.  He uses a magnifying glass to find the teeny, tiny numbers hidden in the picture and writes them on the recording sheet.  He then writes the two numbers that come after.  This was the perfect activity for him to help reinforce the "teen" numbers. (He can count past 20, but for some reason always skips "15"!)

For more Christmas ideas, check out our Pinterest boards:

TpT Shops and Blogs mentioned in this post:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Kindergarten Highlights: Autumn, Farm, Thanksgiving!

I'm late again.  This post covers two weeks rather than one; things have been extra crazy around here lately!  Among other near-catastrophes, I managed to dislocate my thumb and believe me, you don't realize just how often you use your thumb until it malfunctions!  We still managed to get a lot done, and I was able to get photos of some of it:

This was one of Colban's favorite activities.

He measured all of these farm animals with one-inch tiles  . . 

and then he recorded his measurements on the worksheet:

The best part is, this activity is a freebie from Mrs. Kilburn's Kiddos!  You can grab a copy from her blog, right here!

This ten-frame activity is from Rakin' in the Learning by The Printable Princess.  If you follow this blog, you know how happy I've been with this packet!  Look at the concentration on Colby's face.  Love it!

Here's a look at the ten-frame cards,

and the recording sheet!

These "What's Missing?" Number Cards (also from Rakin' in the Learning) were great practice.

The packet includes recording sheets, but with only one student to worry about I find it easier to simply laminate them and let Colby write directly on them with a dry-erase marker.  A beautiful autumn-themed number line is also included; Colban liked it so much that he has used it as a reference all season long.

Again, from Rakin' in the Learning - Scarecrow Numbers!  Colby determined which number on each card was the greater number, and wrote his answers on the recording sheet. 

Here's another great freebie, from Can Do Kinders!

Colby looked at the pictures on the pumpkins and matched the initial sound to the letters on the scarecrows.

For a copy of this harvest-themed beginning sound match, visit the Can Do Kinders blog here.

This great farm-themed number matching activity is from Nancy Alvarez's Farm Unit Mega Pack.

Colby matched the number to the corresponding ten-frames and tally marks.

There are also cards with the number word, but Colban isn't quite ready for that yet.

These fantastic Barnyard Rhymes clip cards are also from the Farm Unit Mega Pack!  This is one of two sets included - more about this here.

I discovered last month that Colby needed a little more practice with rhyming, and this activity was perfect.  I love the farm animal recording sheet!
(The cards shown are half-sized; I print a lot of things that way to save ink.)

This farm animal graphing activity is also from Teaching With Nancy, and it's free!  There are three data cards and recording sheets.  We've already completed the other two - you can see them here and here.

If you'd like to get a copy of this awesome freebie, visit Teaching with Nancy on TpT, right here!

These ten-frame clip circles are also from the Farm Unit Mega Pack (and also printed half-sized).  

In addition to being a fun way to practice with ten-frames, they also make pretty good mouse ears!

More barnyard ten frames!  You guessed it, from the Farm Unit Mega Pack!  We are done with the pack for now - some of the remaining activities will be perfect for next year!  We really, really loved this product.  I encourage anyone doing a farm unit for preK-1st grade to check it out, and look through the rest of Nancy Alvarez's shop while you're at it.  

These Initial Sound Picture and Letter Puzzles are one of four activities included in her Initial Sound Learning Activities packet.  (The whole packet is only $3.50.  Can't beat that.)

I give Colby 6-8 puzzles at a time, usually a mix of letters he knows well and a few he needs to work on.  He's so proud of himself when he gets them all put together!

These Write-and-Wipe Number Practice pages are from Lavinia Pop's TpT Store.  It includes numbers 0-20.  (Technically you're supposed to cut the number cards apart after laminating, but again, with only one child using them it was easier this way.)

We've used these multiple times, and I like them.  I like the size, and that the numbers have arrows to guide Colban and ensure that he's forming them correctly.

Awesome freebie alert! These farm-themed beginning sound mats and sorting cards are from The Polka Dot Patch.

Here's a closer look at a couple of the mats (there are 8 of them),

and here are some of the cards (there are 24).

The student matches the cards to the farm animal that has the same beginning sound.  To get a copy of this freebie, click here.

This Mixed Up Numbers activity is one of five included in Fall Fun: Math and Literacy Activities by KinderKids.  (The cards shown are half-sized.)  Colban put each set of numbers in numerical order, then recorded them on the worksheet provided.

Also from Fall Fun: Math and Literacy Activities, this Nuts About Counting activity was a lot of fun. 

Colban matched the acorns to the corresponding numbers on the squirrel mats.  So cute!  Like everything in the KinderKids TpT store, the whole packet is only $1!

These Pattern Block Alphabet Mats from Confessions of a Homeschooler are a fantastic, independent activity for Colban when I'm busy with his older brother.

They're free, and you can find them here!

This Pumpkin Patch Number to Quantity Match is a freebie from Teacher Tam!  Cute, right? It includes numbers 1-20.  You can find it here!

This Farm Animals Sort & Graph activity is a freebie from Randi's TpT store!

Colby sorted the animal cards, counted them, and used different colored bingo markers to record the information on the graph.  This was a really fun activity for him, and a great free resource!  Check it out here!

Colby really likes making little books.  This one (which he put a lot of hard work into) is a freebie from Kindergarten Fever!

He was very proud of the finished product. 

Look at those turkey tails!  You can find this freebie (and others) right here.

This super cute Thanksgiving freebie is from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten!  Get a copy from her blog, here.

Colby is thankful for his family this year :-).  (I think he might have had Christmas on the brain, too,because he drew a lot of presents in his picture!) 

Another very cute, very free mini-book!

This one, from Kroger's Kindergarten, fit into our farm theme perfectly.  It's made to go with "The Very Busy Spider", by Eric Carle.  

To visit Kroger's Kindergarten and get this freebie (and see all the really great ideas in the blog post!), click here.

Lesson plans for December are underway!

You may find these Pinterest boards helpful:

Blogs and TpT Shops mentioned in this post: